Thursday, December 4, 2008

These are the type of responses that we receive for our open jobs.........

Here is an actual response to an ad that we placed for a job that we are working on:

Your advertisement in USATODAY interested me very much.

I am good at mathematics and biology.And I am proud of my physical ability because I have taken a proper amount of exercise for 30 years.The friends of mine say,"you look like a wrestler."

While I was in Uconn,the classmates used to say,"you are the boss of the class."I was very proud.In HLS,I chiefly studied at the library of the school.

I knew some prominent attornies at law both in Boston and NYC.One of them was Francis Sogi who worked for Kelly Dry & Warren in NYC.He is one of the most famous American lawyers in Japan.And I was familiar with the professor of Harvard Medical School.He runs a chemical corporation in China. Moreover,I knew a director of Sumo Airline which is a subsidiary company of Japan Airline.He said,"I will fully support you in New York City." But over ten years has passed since I left the United States.I do not keep in touch with them.I can not ask for their help now.

Now,I ask a favor of you. I will do my best in order to complete your work.Thank you for your consideration.

P.S. Chuo University is traditionally the best law school in Japan.Thank you again.


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Ten Recession Proof Jobs

When every day we see more gloom and doom news, I read something that I thought was worth sharing. just came out with a survey that listed Accountants and Financial Analysts as one of the top 10 recesssion proof jobs. Here is what they had to say about these positions.

Accountant: Now more than ever, companies are paying attention to the bottom line. They need good “bean counters”, whether they are fresh out of school or are armed with years of experience to get the job done.
Accountants and auditors help to ensure that an organization is running properly and its funds are managed efficiently and effectively. They make sure the company’s public records are accurate and its taxes are paid properly and on time. As accounting rules become more complex and stringent, it is vital to have mangers that can run their bookkeeping operations.

Financial Analyst: As businesses struggle to meet financial goals, it is important to have skilled financial experts on staff to guide business decisions and help improve managerial effectiveness. In light of the current economic situation, a closer eye will be focused on the bottom line and financial analysts will be needed to keep struggling business in the black.

Also on the list were Administrative Assistants, Customer Service Reps, Mechanical Engineers, Network Administrators, Police Patrol Officer, Public School Teacher, Software Engineer and Staff Nurse.

We're in for at least 9 - 18 months of difficult times but it is good to know that accounting and finance should still show demand.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Careful Who Your Friends Are!!!

More and more of our clients are no longer resting with the 3 references that we conduct on our candidates behalf. We are getting word that many of our clients are actually searching online for potential employee's Myspace home page to learn more about their interests and the friends that they associate with. Some have even gone as far as informing us that they may call names from their Myspace page to obtain informal references.

With that being said, how is a candidate to respond to this new method of background checking.

One possible solution is to delete friends that you are concerned with. While it may not sit well to weed through friends that you deem "undesirable", when it comes to finding employment in a tough, competitive marketplace, you may need to make some hard decisions.

As this is a new techique, I would love to hear from you as to your thoughts and recommendations to deal with this new reality.

Monday, August 18, 2008

3 Mistakes To Avoid If Working With a Recruiter

Over the last 14 years, we’ve been fortunate enough to work with a wide variety of clients in not only the Phoenix area but also in California and Washington. In that time, we’ve been a resource for our clients permanent searches, contract needs and contract-to-hire needs.

Through this experience, we have run into several mistakes that we have observed and thought would be worth pointing out

• The first mistake we have seen some clients make, has to do with contract-to hire positions. If at all possible, we suggest opening up your contract-to-hire searches to a direct hire search as well. While contract-to-hire searches have plenty of positive attributes, most notably being able to observe a candidates work product and efforts before making a full time hiring decision, it does limit the audience of job seekers to those that are unemployed or currently contracting. It typically excludes those candidates that are working full time and happy in their jobs, unaware of other opportunities and unwilling to leave their position for a contract to hire position even if they are interested in the opportunity. Opening up the search is a sure-fire way to increase the number of quality candidates to choose from.

• Secondly, if you do hire a position on a contract to hire basis, make sure to discuss with your recruiter, what the full time salary will be once they convert over to your payroll. Don’t make the mistake of ending up having your new employee making less money once they convert to your payroll. This can be a de-motivator and not the ideal way to have them begin full time employment.

• Lastly, don’t make the mistake of overpaying for a new hire. A good recruiter should know the minimal salary that a candidate will accept for an offer even before the offer is extended. Work with your recruiter so that if you do extend an offer, it is one that works for everyone. You shouldn’t have to overpay for a candidate, but also don’t want to underpay. Utilize your recruiter to find out what the right number is to accomplish this goal. Salary negotiation is an emotional issue for both sides; use your recruiter to take the emotion out of the equation and to increase the odds of a successful hire.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

No Jerks Allowed

Here is a great piece about a company called Successfactors and the type of people that they have working for them.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Hiring Managers Continue to Hire

According to a recent Q2 survey released by USA Today and, hiring manager's plans continue to be positive.

  • 87% of employers plan to increase or remain the same for their full-time employee levels.
  • 70% of employers report they will increase salaries for existing staff
  • 46% of employers plan to add IT staff, 36% plan to add full-time sales employees and
  • 32% plan to increase professional and business positions

Monday, May 5, 2008

Salary Guide Accounting Silicon Valley

Real Time Salary Survey. We are in the process of compiling a salary survey . One of the ways that we thought we could be different was by taking several of our recent placements and providing compensation information. Our thought is that it would be invaluable to our clients and prospects as well as to candidates, to see real-time salary information rather than data that is sometimes a year or more old. Let me know your thoughts. See below for the last five placeement we completed in May in Silicon Valley.

Salary $180,000.00
Bonus 8-15%
Stock 70,000 shares
Size of Firm 50M
Job title Controller
Years of experience required 10-15 years

Salary $ 78,000.00
Bonus discretionary
Stock 2,500 shares
Size of Firm 1B
Job title IT Auditor
Years of experience required 2-4 years

Salary $ 150,000.00
Bonus 20%
Stock 90,000
Size of Firm 20M
Job title Corporate Controller
Years of experience required 8-10 years

Salary $ 90,000.00
Bonus 10%
Stock 2500
Size of Firm 900M
Job title Sr. Financial Analyst
Years of experience required 5-7 years

Salary $ 55,000.00
Bonus 5-7%
Stock 0
Size of Firm 25M
Job title Staff Accountant
Years of experience required 3-7 years

Monday, April 28, 2008

Silicon Valley Wages are Top in California and 2nd in Country

Area incomes top 2000 level for first time
AVERAGE '06 WAGE WAS $76,562
By Pete CareyMercury News

It's time to shake off those dot-com doldrums once and for all. Santa Clara County is back in a big way, scoring at the top in wages and personal income, according to federal data released Thursday.

The county's performance in 2006, the most recent year for which data is available, was strong in several key categories: personal income, or the sum of income from all sources for the year; per capita income, which is personal income divided by the population; and the average wage, which excludes self-earned income.

For the first time, the county's 2006 personal income of $95.9 billion topped a previous peak of $91.3 billion reached in 2000. The county's personal income grew by 8.7 percent over the previous year.

That impressive performance almost certainly continued in 2007, said Stephen Levy of the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy. "So we are back to our traditional role in terms of having a high-wage economy, but also one that is producing substantial income gains," Levy said.

The county's per capita personal income of $55,735 ranked 30th among the nation's counties and fourth in the state. The Bay Area had the state's top five counties in per capita personal income in 2006, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis report. California's average was $39,626, a gain of 5.7 percent over 2005. In average wage, Santa Clara County's $76,562 in 2006 put it ahead of every other county in California and second in the nation, according to the bureau's data. The only one of the country's 3,111 counties with a higher wage per job is New York County at $90,555. The figure covers jobs and salaries but excludes self-employment income, for example from partnerships and professionals such as lawyers and doctors and people who work for themselves.

But there's a hitch. It costs more to live here.
"One explanation for the rankings is the cost of living," said Bureau of Economic Analysis economist David G. Lenze. "That will be built into the price of housing in particular, and the other services that you buy."
The data also shows that less of the county's income is being generated by people living outside the area, Levy said. "We're not as dependent on commuting as we used to be," he said.
The Bay Area had the state's top counties in average wage per job. Santa Clara was first with $76,562, followed by San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda and Marin.
The state's average wage was $48,027.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Client Communication

We have a recruiter in our Northwest region that just closed a large deal with one of our clients. He placed a Treasurer with a mid sized company. In a business like ours that is filled with extreme highs and lows ( we are contingency recruiters that can work for months on a deal and not get paid), closing this deal should have led to one of the extreme highs. In particular, this search fee was a large one and normally would warrant a few high fives and some celebrating by the recruiter and the rest of the team. In this case, it was only met with a solemn half smile and the words, " I'm just glad it's over." What a strange reaction, I thought, to see this recruiter with their head down, shoulders slumped and energy sapped. It really bothered me. In digging into the background of this situation, I have come to learn the reason for the reaction.

1. The process dragged on and on and on.
2. Our recruiter only had 2 brief conversations with the hiring manager during the entire search. All other conversions were fairly terse email exchanges, as they opted to not return calls but to exchange email ( and I do need to say that I appreciate people are busy and emails are more efficient). Getting information, apparently, was like pulling teeth.

This scenario and reaction made me take pause and realize that part of the enjoyment of what we do is not only the end result and the financial reward that we reap but it is also about the relationships we form and the comraderie we develop with our hiring managers as we work together to find the perfect fit for their opening. Hiring someone is a very personal process, outside of making sure the skill sets are a fit for the job.

The end result of all of this, was that we made a great placement and our candidate is thrilled and the company has a great new employee for a key position. I truly feel like we have given this search our all and our client is better off because of the work of our recruiter. At this point, the million dollar question is whether the client is happy and I guess we won't find out unless we get an email........

Monday, April 14, 2008

Talking Too Much On A Job Interview May Kill Your Chances

You can blow a promising opportunity by talking too much during a job interview.

That's how one facilities administrator ruined her employment chances at Clark Nuber, a small accounting firm in Bellevue, Wash. Asked to describe her strengths, the applicant delivered a long-winded reply focused on her cleaning of every cabinet in her home. "She probably went on for three to four minutes," recalls Tracy White, the firm's human-resources director. "I doubted she could get the job done in an eight-hour day."

Many nervous job seekers blabber endlessly about irrelevant information. They create a poor impression and cut short the hiring manager's time for further questions. "That official won't pay any attention to you unless you prove you're sharp during the first five minutes," cautions Robin Ryan, a career counselor, author and speaker in Newcastle, Wash.

"Oversharing in an interview is the most dangerous thing you can do," concurs Annie Stevens, a managing partner at ClearRock, a Boston executive-coaching and outplacement concern.

Don't despair. Here are four ways to steer clear of verbosity during a job hunt:

• Prepare short statements on how your background matches the job. Rehearse.

When a hiring manager says, "Tell me about yourself," you can offer a few war stories that recount a work problem, your corrective action and the measurable result. "The stories have to be powerful as well as engaging," lasting no longer than two minutes apiece, says Rich Gee, an executive coach in Stamford, Conn.

He helped Ward Smith, a talkative golf pro and instructor, to win a marketing spot with Black & Decker. During practice sessions with the coach, Mr. Smith supplied elaborate detail about the golf irons that he recommended to students. A hiring manager "doesn't need to know this," Mr. Gee interjected.

Mr. Smith soon realized he should translate "what I was doing into what Black & Decker was looking for," and keep it succinct. During his job interview, he used marketing lingo to describe briefly his teaching methods, explaining how he identified students' objectives, forged a rapport and enabled them to reach solutions. He now is an Atlanta field-marketing coordinator for a Black & Decker unit.

Embracing a similar approach, a jobless organizational-development consultant recently landed follow-up interviews with three possible employers. Callbacks rarely occurred when I "was running off at the mouth," he remembers. Defining yourself concisely also "builds an enormous amount of confidence for the next interview," he notes.

• Make sure you understand a question. Stop every couple of sentences to check.

If the interviewer requests your career history, you might inquire, "Do you want me to start with my present situation or at the beginning?" This type of response demonstrates a candidate "is preparing mentally for what's he's going to give me," says Peter D. Crist, head of recruiters Crist Associates in Hinsdale, Ill.

Pausing after you speak lets you collect your thoughts -- and seek permission to continue. Before you resume, Ms. White suggests asking, "Did I answer your question enough? Do you want more examples?"

• Watch the interviewer's body language for hints that your answers are getting boring.

He may stop taking notes, check his watch or glance at his computer. A loquacious middle manager ignored such warning signals after spending 15 minutes telling a West Coast recruiter about several extraneous issues, including her husband's problems with his boss.

"I was rolling my eyes and tapping my pen on her résumé to indicate we should get back to work here,'' the exasperated recruiter says. He finally cut her off because he had many more questions to pose.

• Solicit feedback following an interview.

The West Coast recruiter decided against referring the middle manager to a client. "You had a number of stories to tell but they weren't relevant," he told her. "Use each minute to its best advantage to sell your background."

With practice, you'll be able to polish your pitch, adjusting the length of your responses until someone says, "You're hired!"

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

How to Answer Any Interview Question

This was an article that we included in our client newsletter that was well received and I thought it would be worth posting.

How to Answer Any Interview Question

Don't be rattled by your next job interview. It's possible to answer any question that comes your way. How? By preparing and knowing how to direct the conversation to the topics you want to cover.

To start, take a tip from consultants who coach executives and politicians on how to handle media interviews. These trainers say you can deliver the message you want to an employer, regardless of the question you're asked.

"Most people don't realize that their purpose isn't to sit there and hope the right questions will be asked," says Aileen Pincus, president of the Pincus Group, a media interview-training firm in Silver Spring, Md. "They need to develop two or three key messages and make sure their point is delivered."

Unlike some politicians who ignore press questions and immediately introduce a different topic in response, job candidates must respect and directly answer employer's queries, says Jeff Braun, vice president and general manager of the Ammerman Experience, a Stafford, Texas, media interview-training firm. However, you can quickly make the transition from your answer to the important points you want to convey about your qualifications, he says.

He suggests when answering job-interview queries applying the formula Q = A + 1: Q is the question; A is the answer; + is the bridge to the message you want to deliver; and 1 is the point you want to make.

"If you take the '+ 1' off the formula, then the interviewer is controlling the session," says Mr. Braun.

Diligent preparation also is necessary to effectively answer any interview question, say senior executives. Theirs and media trainers' tips follow:

Study hard. Learn as much as you can about the job, the employer and its executives beforehand. Use this information to answer direct questions and to then segue into a discussion about your qualifications and fit.

Eric Herzog, a vice president of product line management and channel marketing at Maxtor Corp., a hard-disk drive company in Milpitas, Calif., says he always talks to current and former company employees and analysts whenever possible prior to job interviews to gain as much insight as he can into the employer's challenges and culture. If the company is publicly owned, he studies its financial condition by reading U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission documents, such as annual 10-K shareholder reports on the company's performance. He then tailors his interview answers to the company's issues.

"If the company is having a rough time financially, you can say that not only did you make good products or services, but that you produced things on time and under budget," says Mr. Herzog. "That's a little plus if the company is in trouble."

If you're working with a recruiter, ask him or her about what the company is seeking and its key challenges, says Derek Messulam, vice president of rental market development for GE-Capital Solutions, a financial-services unit of General Electric Co. in Norwalk, Conn. Mr. Messulam says he grills recruiters regarding a job's responsibilities and the attributes the company wants before job interviews. He then makes sure that his answers demonstrate his potential value to an employer.

"When questions come up, you can steer the conversation to how you can demonstrate value," says Mr. Messulam. "You answer the question, but maybe not 100% the way they were expecting it."

Have anecdotes ready. Many interviewers ask questions that require candidates to provide examples of how they handled a difficult challenge or other work situation. Such questions often start with a phrase such as, "Tell me about a time when you faced…."

These questions require a story in response, but it's unlikely you have a story that fits every conceivable query. But the task of preparing becomes easier when you realize that interviewers typically are interested in only five or six general categories, says Mr. Braun. Instead of trying to be ready for every potential question, come up with stories to fit these general issues, such as how you handled conflict or a difficult challenge.

It may help to think of each issue as a bucket and mentally place a story or two in each one, says Mr. Braun. "Be more generic in your approach," he suggests. "When asked a question along one of those lines, you can move to the story you have in one of those buckets."

From his research, Mr. Messulam says he can usually tell what types of things a company might want to know about him and thinks of corresponding anecdotes. "I have seven or eight top stories that tell someone what I am good at," he says.

This strategy also works when interviewers say, "Tell me about yourself," says Lucinda Baier, former president and chief operating officer of Whitehall Jewelers Inc., a national specialty retailer and a former senior vice president of Sears Roebuck & Co.

Ms. Baier left Chicago-based Whitehall in December after it accepted an agreement with an investor to become private. She left Sears in April 2004 when the credit and financial products division she headed was sold to Citibank.

When asked to tell interviewers about herself, she determines how much time she should use and then tries to describe her specific qualifications that fit the company's key issues.

"If you know what challenges the company is facing, you can tailor your response to what the company is dealing with and how you can help," she says.

Be positive about the negative. Count on being asked about a past mistake or blemish on your career record, and don't try to dodge the issue. Ms. Pincus advises. "If you have a vulnerability, you need to be prepared to answer the question," she says. "There should be no lying or dodging. Just answer it and move on."

When discussing a mistake, be ready to say how you learned or benefited from it. "You learn as much by dropping the ball as you do by catching it," says Mr. Herzog. When interviewing for his current job, which he started in August, Mr. Herzog says he mentioned he had been involved in successful turnarounds and one that failed. "And I said what I learned from it," he says

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Inside a Recruiting Firm: Finding Candidates

Inside a Recruiting Firm: Finding Candidates

Finding Candidates

I recieved an email from Amy Quinn who writes that they just posted an article that she thought our audience would find useful. In reviewing the post, I thought it would be of interest as well, to anyone looking for professionals in a variety of different areas.

Anyone who's ever had the challenge of looking for great employees, especially those in specialty fields, can tell you that it's no easy task. There are a lot of job seekers out there, but unfortunately, a lot of them aren't what you're looking for. So how can you separate the gems from the rest of the crowd? First you have to know where to look. Here are 100 sites that can help you narrow down

Paste the below link in your browser to check out 100 sites to use to find talent.

At Accounting Partners, we believe in utilizing every resource possible to find the best person for your open position. This oftentimes means browsing job boards, utilizing referrals, on-line advertising, internal recruiters, company website posting, etc., as well as working with a trusted outside recruiting firm.

The biggest advantage that recruiting firms can bring to the table is being able to uncover that hidden talent that isn't actively looking for work. The candidate that is happy with their current position and who wouldn't respond to an ad. The candidate that is giving it their all for their current employer. An outside recruiting firm is able to identify and approach these candidates to explain the benefits of new opportunities. Because of this, we are able to bring a whole different group of candidates to the table that may not be uncovered otherwise.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Employment Demand Still There

I continue to be asked what we are seeing in the employment market. I just got back from visiting our office in Bellevue, WA and am happy to report that hiring demand remains strong in the Pacific Northwest across the board in terms of different industries as well as range of positions. During the two days that I was in the office, we picked up orders for Director of Tax, Staff Accountant, Assistant Controller, Senior Accountant as well as several others.

The same thing holds true in Silicon Valley as well as in Phoenix. Our office in Phoenix reports that demand for contract services remains strong as clients continue to supplement their workforce with contingent workers. While accounting needs are still strong in Santa Clara, we are also starting to see more needs for auditors in the IT area. Positions such as IT Compliance Manager and IT Security Managers appear to remain hot with clients looking for professionals coming out of Big 4 firms.

It is our feeling that good financial talent is still scarce and because of this, firms continue to turn to outside recruiting firms to feed their recruiting needs. Additionally, the work flow has not slowed so they continue to require specialized contractors to keep up with the work.