Staffing Advisors Blog

Managers with Really "High Standards"

Posted by Bob Corlett on May 7, 2010

"I need to warn you, Mary has really high standards."    You hear this kind of comment all the time in the workplace.   But what does it mean, really?   Is Mary some impossible-to-please overly demanding ogre?  A detail-obsessed punctillious, nitpicking micromanager?  Often the person issuing the "warning" secretly thinks so - Mary's behavior is a mystery to them.

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Your Best People Are Getting Calls

Posted by Bob Corlett on November 16, 2009

I just spoke with someone we placed last year.  The good news is that she is happy and thriving, likes the direction of her organization and sees a bright future for herself.  (Yeaa hiring process).

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Great Recruiting is Useless ...

Posted by Bob Corlett on November 16, 2009

Many people think the reason to engage a search firm is to get help with recruiting.  Well, maybe that approach works in big companies, but in small firms great recruiting is nearly useless by itself.

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Gap Creates a Results Only Work Environment

Posted by Bob Corlett on September 18, 2009

Businessweek reports that Gap headquarters followed the lead of Best Buy and went to a results only work environment, where you can work whenever, wherever you want - it's only the results that count.   You can read more about ROWE here.

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Rock Stars, Glory Seekers, and Unicorns

Posted by Bob Corlett on August 18, 2009

Are you frustrated in facing a really complex problem?  Have all your attempts to solve it failed?  That is precisely when you must resist the temptation to hire a "rock star" or savior - someone who can magically solve all your problems simultaneously.   I often see companies who want someone to come in, understand a complex situation, create a strategy to solve it, then execute the strategy singlehandedly, then when it succeeds, hire a team to build on that success.  One magical person who takes all the risk, possesses all the knowledge, has a wide range of incredibly diverse skills, and gets results without rocking the boat, causing trouble or needing much help from anyone else in the firm.  They want a unicorn - a mythical creature that lives only in their mind's eye.

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The Hidden Problem of Genial Generalists

Posted by Bob Corlett on August 10, 2009

Well rounded employees, we all like working with them.  They are the cheerful, upbeat, utility player - the kind of person you can put anywhere and they do well.  Often described as team players, self starters, and good all around generalists.  Small companies particularly love them.   Entrepreneurs like having people around who can "turn on a dime" and are not flustered when the company turns in a new direction. Utility players do not have job descriptions, but are more commonly doing a  hodge podge of unrelated tasks - making these people very hard to hold accountable - which is, of course, the hidden problem with hiring genial generalists.  Utility players are not very demanding to manage, but it's hard to get spectacular results from them.

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When Good People Behave Badly

Posted by Bob Corlett on August 7, 2009

Today's guest post is by Pat Nichols,  who does business as Transition Leadership International, LLC. He serves civic sector organizations facing major strategic transitions--start-ups, turnarounds, mergers etc., as interim CEO or as a consultant.

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Maybe That Poor Performer will Get Better ... and Other Lies

Posted by Bob Corlett on July 24, 2009

I have several clients who are dealing with low performers right now.  Many of these issues have been dragging on for months.   The managers go through all the predictable stages:

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Why Do Change Agents Often Fail?

Posted by Bob Corlett on July 23, 2009

As the recovery begins to take shape, CEOs are increasingly optimistic and forward thinking.  As new initiatives are unleashed, it's very tempting to want to bring in someone who will "shake things up" or be a catalyst for change.  It's also very risky.  Studies show that up to 70% of change initiatives fail.

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Beware: People Under Stress

Posted by Bob Corlett on April 27, 2009

There is a growing realization among hiring managers that their current recruiting and hiring process is broken.  Whatever you did to hire all your current employees in a "normal" environment, suddenly appears inadequate to the task of hiring people who will thrive to today's extreme conditions.

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