Thursday, May 12, 2016

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013... The Talent Magnet - Year In Review

Well... if the time between this post and last is any indication... we have been BLESSED to be very busy in 2013!

As we close out 2013; there is certainly much to be THANKFUL for! 

This past year has been one of sustained growth/hiring across ALL the industry verticals we service :  BEAUTY,  LUXURY, ADVERTISING/BRANDING,  FASHION & ENTERTAINMENT

In addition to our core Marketing practice; perhaps what was most exciting was to see companies, brands and agencies begin to spend money and invest in areas not directly tied to revenue generation.

As a result; we were engaged in many more searches this year for:

Human Resources
Administrative Support
Customer Service

This is one of the signs of a strengthening economy and an optimistic outlook by industries who rely heavily on CONSUMER SPENDING.

Another very positive sign is the recent uptick in the number of junior level searches we have been given.  Over the course of the past few months; we have recruited for Entry Level , Marketing Coordinator/Assistant, and Assistant Manager roles with increasing number for the first time since the end of 2007.

There is no doubt that brands continue to invest big money in DIGITAL! This was evident in the number of searches we had that were specific to: E-Commerce, Mobile, Digital Strategy, Digital Analytics, Social Media, Digital Art Direction, UX/UI, and more. (with Luxury leading the way)

This year also saw professionals at all levels taking a greater interest in establishing and/or further developing their Personal Brand. Job Seekers clearly understand that capturing a prospective employer's attention, a recruiter's attention, or perhaps the eye of colleagues requires you to understand how to market yourself.  Your Personal Brand is shaped -- over time -- by the way people EXPERIENCE you in a personal and professional context. The cornerstones of your Personal Brand are seen in your ACTIONS... your COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE... and THE WAY YOU TREAT PEOPLE... regardless of their title or what they can do for you.

At The Talent Magnet, Luxury & Beauty lead the way in 2013-- with the majority of our searches this past year coming out of these sectors. This was followed closely by both Fashion & Advertising --- with Entertainment representing the fewest (the fact that all our searches are in NYC impacts that greatly). We are fortunate to be sought out by CMOs and other senior marketing executives (as well as Directors Of Talent Acquisition) for access to the incredible roster of Marketing professionals The Talent Magnet has become synonymous with representing.

The most common titles/skill sets we recruited for were:

US Brand Manager/Director
Global Marketing Manager/Director
E-Commerce Manager/Director
Social Media Marketing Manager/Director
Digital Art Director
Digital Media Planning/Strategy
Digital Analytics

More than any of these facts - what will leave the greatest impact on me for 2013 was the tremendous courage I witnessed in the face of some life's greatest challenges. From the incredible spirit of Malala Yousafzai and those families in Sandy Hook trying to move on... to those rebuilding from Hurricane Sandy to those picking up the pieces from Typhoon Haiyan... it is their valiant resolve that stands out.  From plane crashes to train crashes... to inconceivably... more shootings --- ordinary people demonstrated extraordinary means to cope... and push through some of life's greatest challenges.  As I get older; my heroes have become ORDINARY PEOPLE who when life seems to be almost impossible --- rise up and move through with great GRACE & DIGNITY.  This is what I wish for my legacy to be as well.

May you attract all the things you want in the New Year... just like a MAGNET :) SK

Friday, July 05, 2013

Sunday, May 05, 2013

To Get A Job Fast, Learn How Companies Recruit

The following is a "Guest Blog" by NYT Best Selling Author and good friend Martin Yate who included me as one of a panel of "Career Experts" to contribute to his latest book: Knock Em Dead "Secrets & Strategies For First Time Job Seekers"... which is now available!

To Get A Job Fast, Learn How Companies Recruit
Martin Yate CPC
NY Times Bestseller
Professional Resume Services
A successful job search requires more than trolling popular job boards and occasionally hitting the “send resume” button when the spirit moves you. As any good strategist will tell you, tactics are determined from a sound understanding of your opponents psychology and tactics. The same goes for job search, a smart plan of attack demands that you understand how companies go about recruitment and then invest your time accordingly. This is especially true for the 2012/2013 grads who are facing enormous competition for available opportunities.

Companies design their staffing needs up to twelve months in advance, so the interviews you go on this year were mostly planned and budgeted toward the end of last year. Hiring budgets usually open at the start of the new calendar year with hires staggered throughout
For more advice for emerging professionals,
check out "Knock Em Dead Secrets & Strategies
 For First Time Job Seekers" available on Amazon
the year.

How recruitment works
Sean Koppelman, President of, understands recruitment cycles as well as anyone, and warns of the necessity of a competitive resume : “During the high-tide graduation months in May and December, in-boxes are flooded with new grad resumes. If yours is less clear or concise than your competition, you are ruining your chances.”

The costs of hiring and training a new employee runs into thousands and often tens of thousands of dollars, so the entire recruitment process is cost/productivity conscious. Consequently, the hiring manager and the assigned recruitment professionals—all want the same thing: good hires, fast hires, and hires made as cheaply as possible. Understanding how and why things are done, and in what sequence they are done, will help you focus your efforts on the most effective job-finding techniques.

Put yourself on the other side of the desk for a few moments. Naturally, you would start the recruitment process by asking yourself, your colleagues and your staff who within the company can do this job; you want to hire from within, because it’s cheap, you are dealing with known quantities, and internal promotions are motivational. Many jobs are filled this way, and this can give you a head start on the competition whenever you hear about internal promotions and transfers, because a promotion also speaks of another opening created by that promotion/transfer, and often that position can be at a lower professional level.

Of course it's who you know stupid
When a hiring manager can’t make an internal hire, she will logically ask, “Who do we know, and who do our people know?” This goes beyond the casual inquiry. The recruitment team will review all the resumes in the company’s database and any promising candidates who have been interviewed in the past for similar positions. The manager will also create an internal job posting (often tied to cash incentives for employee referrals) and will actively consider people known to the recruitment team through their involvement in the professional community. This will include professional and alumni associations and related activities.

If you’re a recent grad, this is where internships and campus activities really pay off. Internships give you real work experience, references, and exposure to working professionals for your network. Likewise, being active in campus societies makes you visible to campus recruiters, who claim they make their best entry-level professional hires from these societies way before the arrival of career days on campus.

These approaches account for fully a third of all hires that are made externally. This means you have to ask yourself three questions:

  1. How do I get better connected to my local profession? 
  2. How do I get to know, and be known by, my peers? 
  3. How do I become more visible in my professional community? 
The next step—slightly more expensive and time-consuming—is to search outside the company for candidates who are unknown to the company. The first choice is usually the Internet, and as recruitment costs now become a serious consideration, it won’t surprise you to learn that the majority of hires—38 percent, according to one estimate—come directly through the company’s own website. Less than you might expect—14.5 percent—come from the big three job boards (,, and, while significantly more (17.5 percent) come from specialty sites that focus on a particular profession.

The explanation for this should impact your job search plan: We don’t pay fees when people come to us on their own, so we naturally look first and more favorably on applicants coming to us through the company website. This is also especially important in depressed economic times, when companies will often decide that they don’t need to advertise with the big job banks because plenty of well-qualified and smart people will find their way to them.

A recruiter’s preference for specialty job sites also makes sense: he can expect more consistently suitable resumes, and fewer time-wasters.

The balance of hires—about 30 percent—comes mainly from on-campus recruitment, job fairs (both virtual and local) temp-to-perm hires, and headhunters.

So, the breakdown of effective recruitment strategies is very roughly split into thirds: one-third of hires come from personal/professional networks and prior contacts, one-third from the Internet, and one-third from the remaining sources.

It’s just good tactics organize your job search plan of attack along lines that reflect corporate recruitment practices. You can learn more about creating a job search strategy that mirrors corporate recruitment practices by checking out 
Knock Em Dead - Secrets & Strategies For First-Time Job Seekers.

NY Times Bestseller                                                                  Resume Services
Professional Resume Services                                                 Webcasts
                                                                        Career Management
Martin Yate
Copyright 2013
All rights reserved

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Employers Seeking A Cultural Match & The Marathon Interview Process

The weather is first beginning to get a little warmer and much like the Yankees (thus far)... the job market has been off to a SLOW START. Wait... let me re-phrase that ---- HIRING is happening at a far slower pace than I expected.

Starting back as many as 5-10 years ago; employers dramatically changed their approach to hiring. Not only did they empower  Human Resources as true "Business Partners" --- but they began to "hire by committee".  This trend was born from a concern for ensuring candidates were a cultural/chemistry match to the team... and company as a whole.

As a result -- it is very common for the 50K and 250K candidate to have 3 or 4 interviews --- over 4 -6 (sometimes 8) week period. During these interviews, it is understood they will meet not only HR and the Hiring Manager --- but peers... and in some cases --- subordinates --- all in an attempt to evaluate the CULTURAL MATCH.

The scary truth is that based on the hundreds of job seekers I speak with every week -- many of  the more "sought after" employers are extending this process out to 3 or 4 months.  

Through the period of our economic collapse (2008-2010)... I understood that we were in an "employer's market". However, as our economy has healed (especially in NYC) --- I believe many employers are SLOW to recognize the fierce competition for talent that has been taking place for nearly 2 years. As a result... they draft a job description (sometimes a WISH LIST) ... and "shop for talent".... looking for this mythical candidate that "checks off ALL the boxes on their spec".     

When you combine this often unrealistic expectation --- with the incredible emphasis placed on "cultural match" --- you begin to understand why so many positions remain UN-FILLED. I am not suggesting that companies should lower their standards --- by any means. I do believe that with the advent of large internal TALENT ACQUISITION teams and more people internally involved in the interview and hiring process --- that the process has become less (not more) efficient.

If cultural match is so important --- more companies should get creative about "spending time" with candidates of interest in later rounds of interviews. Perhaps, have a finalist spend a FULL DAY with the team? Maybe the Hiring Manager and 2 team members could meet finalists for a long lunch or dinner (outside of the corporate environment) to get a better sense for this person's true personality? Wouldn't it make sense to have "candidates of interest" remain in contact BY PHONE with key decision makers THROUGHOUT THE PROCESS --- perhaps on a SCHEDULED "CHECK-IN" so they could get to know them INDIVIDUALLY --- and have them remain FRESH IN THEIR MEMORY? These are all simple suggestions that just require an investment of time and a bit more organization. It's seems a much better alternative to trying to evaluate whether someone "FITS" in 45 minutes of "formal conversation".    

In addition... I am finding it more and more common that the scope of a job -- seems to change -- mid-way through an interview process. I am also seeing that often different people involved in the interview process ---- have a DIFFERENT understanding of the position and key responsibilities. The explanation is simple "too many cooks in the kitchen". While the idea of including a number of people in a decision is appealing -- the downside -- is that that PEOPLE RARELY AGREE.  The other possible explanation is that a search is initiated before truly understanding the need for the role. Ultimately, this just ends up wasting everyone's time.

Let me also throw a little blurb in about FOLLOW UP. If you are going to torture someone by putting them through 16 interviews over 6 months --- with 45 different people --- the least you can do is have the courtesy to respond (at some point) to let them know where they stand. To me --- the way a company treats a candidate in an interview process is a clear indication of what's to come as an employee.

At the end of the day -- I GET IT! Companies want to make the best hiring decision. It just seems that the interview process has become an obstacle course for candidates to move through filled with people who are looking for reasons NOT to hire them. To me, many employers have become like that friend you have --- who you introduce FANTASTIC potential mates to. You introduce people to your friend that have stellar educations... come from good families... are good looking... and they go out on a date. You ask your friend how the date went and your friend says "So & So" was great ... but I am pretty sure --- if I keep looking ---I will find someone BETTER.  I like to refer to this as employer WINDOW SHOPPING


As much of my recruitment practice relates to Beauty, Advertising and Entertainment... the emphasis is on marketing and brand messaging. However... for the past 12 months there has been a dramatic uptick in the demand for DIGITAL "talent" on the Client/Brand side.

The areas that are hottest are:


Would love to stay connected --- so follow me:


" You miss 100% of the shots that you never take." - Wayne Gretzky

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The 5 Deadly Sins Of LinkedIn...

As a result of the more than 4,500 connections I have established and the incredible importance of LinkedIn to my world as a recruiter - I have become somewhat of an expert in "Best Practices" when it comes to etiquette and building your personal brand.



Here are 5 things that I refer to as "Deadly Sins" that when I encounter --- make me cringe.




When it comes to attention to detail and the way you choose to “broadcast” your personal brand to the world – there is no excuse for having spelling or grammatical errors in your profile. Yes… I understand there is no spell-check feature – but c’mon folks! Frankly, I think the number of otherwise very qualified candidates with their title listed as MANGER vs MANAGER are absurd. You would also be surprised at the number of profiles that include misspelled names of major brands and companies (some of which were even former employers). The profile provides a platform for personal expression. However, it is important to understand that this forum is NOT Facebook or Twitter. As a result, there is an expectation of a certain measure of professionalism.



#2 REQUESTING RECOMMENDATIONS FROM PEOPLE WHO YOU HAVE NEVER WORKED FOR OR WITH______________________________________________________


This one really puzzles me! Every week I receive several requests from people I am connected to (but have never worked with) to write a recommendation on their behalf. How can I possibly attest to the quality or caliber of work I have not experienced first- hand?  I respond by respectfully declining the request and citing the explanation I gave above. My livelihood is based on the credibility I maintain with Hiring Managers and Human Resources Executives. As much as I would like to assist someone in their search – I would not do that at the risk of my own reputation. In addition, when you solicit a recommendation from someone you do not know personally – it tells me that you likely are finding it challenging to secure more legitimate sources for professional validation. You are likely a “high risk” candidate.



Let’s face it --- we are in a visual age. Social Media has provided a means for your friends, colleagues and prospective employers to get a 360 degree “snapshot” of YOU. Make no mistake --- people expect this to include a picture! I will tell you right now – that when I come across a profile that is missing a picture --- it is an immediate “red flag”.  It tells me – you have something to hide or speaks to your self-confidence. I understand the thought of some that there may be some bias that they are looking to avoid. However, the reality is that eventually – someone you connect with is going to meet you and see what you look like. The picture just puts a face with the profile.  Many of us have not yet gone the route of some with the professional headshot (me included J).  The flip-side of this is the “inappropriate pic”. This is the profile pic that for me falls into one of a few categories: Full Body Shot, You And A Friend, Too Far, Too Close, Too Sexy, Crazy Eyes, Angry Looking, and Artistic Photo Shoot

 Some of the categories need no further explanation. Your profile picture should be a clear HEAD-SHOT  that you feel captures an expression that conveys a sentiment you want to convey. That can be Happiness, Confidence, Thoughtfulness, Poise, etc. Those others either frighten me or just make me laugh!




If you are going to take the time to have a presence on the largest professional social media network in the world ---- DO IT RIGHT! There are far too many people who have profiles with missing pieces. This could be previous jobs, education, skills – and number of important data points that need to be included. This is the epitome of laziness – as LinkedIn reminds you to complete your profile to achieve the best results. When I view an incomplete profile – I see that person as disinterested in how others perceive them and not understanding how important their personal brand is. The other part of this is INACTIVITY. If you have a complete profile – but you have only 25 connections… there is a problem. You are obviously not engaged in any way. Even if you are not actively searching for a new job; LinkedIn has incredible resources to share information about your industry – follow “Thought Leaders” – participate in industry related Groups and exchange information and become part of an active dialogue. If nothing else; use LinkedIn to connect with people whose work you admire – with companies/brands you find interesting --- just USE IT.



Early on I was obsessed with how many connections I had. I experience the same sort of thing with Twitter. I would check several times a day to see if my numbers had gone up. Ego is a terrible thing J. We are conditioned with a DESIRE TO ACQUIRE. However; LinkedIn is a platform where quality is far more important that quantity. This is why I chose not to be a LION. This is a LinkedIn Open Networker. These are the folks who happily connect to EVERYONE and ANYONE. If you are an Author, a Motivational Speaker, a Life Coach --- being a LION could be advantageous. However; most of us want to build meaningful connections with professionals we share common interests, industries and skills with.  I think this is best done in a methodical and selective manner. Once you do choose to connect with someone --- what does that mean? The connection only has meaning if you interact, exchange information and actually build a relationship. Our lives are so busy that we can trick ourselves into believing that a “virtual relationship” is a real one. One major mistake people make is to establish a connection – and leave it at that. I have done my best to selectively pursue real world relationships with a large number of my connections. Making the initial contact easy is the attraction of LinkedIn – but the true value is seen in converting those connections into real personal/professional relationships.          


“You can pay for school but you can't buy class!” - Jay-Z