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Published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on March 22, 2000. All rights reserved.

Boost Recruiting By Involving CEOs

In this market where jobs are so tight, the CEO of a

company must put his or her stamp on the company to succeed, says

Linda Resnick, president of CEO Resources Inc. in Media, Pennsylvania

(610-565-9767). "The CEO must `brand’ the company and brand the

culture in order to attract the top talent," says Resnick. "Recruiting

is as important as selling product and raising capital."

Resnick speaks on "CEO as Recruiter" at the New Jersey Technology

Council’s human resources track on Thursday, March 23, at 4 p.m. at

Alpha Technologies, 88 Centennial Avenue, Piscataway. Cost: $40. Call

856-787-9700.

When companies are planning to go public and or attract talent to

grow, they need to make a real commitment in time and budget for recruitment,

says Resnick, who heads an executive search firm that works on retainer

for growing technology companies. CEOs may have busy schedules, but

they might need to make themselves available for this purpose. "They

need to have a very strong internal strategy with somebody driving

it, augmented with a very strong recruiting plan, and they need to

keep abreast of the trends."

She cites Mel Baida of Bluestone Consulting in Mt. Laurel as an example

of a CEO who recruits successfully. "Mel has a clear culture in

his company and this is his second company — he is well known

in the dot.com world. He is very opportunistic about making presentations

and taking the opportunity to meet people he might not need today

but may need tomorrow. A founder and president like Mel becomes a

talent scout for the company."

Resnick’s website (www.ceoresources.com) reveals that she

is searching for an assistant to the CFO for a 14-year-old $175 million

company in central New Jersey with 1,100 employees, a global provider

of specialty software products for the pharmaceutical and consumer

packaged goods industries. This company turns out to be Dendrite International,

based in Somerset. Another search is posted for vice president of

sales for an "early stage B2B E-commerce solutions company in

Princeton," which is evidently Mirronex at 4390 Route 1 North

(www.mirronex.com).

If you are itching to be headhunted, you might benefit from Resnick’s

expectations of prospects. She welcomes resumes by E-mail, and even

follow-up phone calls. But send the resume first, then call. You would

quickly be pigeonholed in an uncomplimentary way if you apply for

a job for which you are not qualified. A second mistake would be to

say you can do anything.

"Focus on your background," says Resnick, "and if you

are changing careers, make a good case for it."

Prospective employees: Do your due diligence on all members of the

team. "Reputation is pretty easy to ascertain in dot.com companies,"

she says. "Take a look at the investors — are they marquee

investors? And who is on the board? Be very thorough, because you

are investing time. If the company does not currently have a lot of

revenue, you are investing in a company that may make it or not make

it."

Watch out for CEOs who are so enthusiastic that they lose perspective.

"Some entrepreneurs believe their own press releases and believe

in their product so much that they oversell what they have," she

says. "It is purely out of passion and drive, not out of trying

to be deceptive."

"Look beneath the sheets," she cautions. "Determine if

the market is that great, and look at the competitors. Don’t be enticed

by tremendous energy and passion, which is very seductive."


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