Corrections or additions?
This article by Bart Jackson was prepared for the July 11, 2001
edition of U.S.
1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Tips for Recruiting The Mothers of Invention
Alexander Graham Bell was a technical wizard. Bell also
was a businessman. Had he not been both, probably few people would
remember him at all. (They don’t call it Ma Bell because the phone
is ringing.) History has shown time and again that without the swift
lightning of sharp business acumen, the impressive thunder of
invention will just rumble away.
For this reason, the New Jersey Technology Council is putting on its
Regional Economic Growth and Planning Exposition on Tuesday, July
17, at 7:30 a.m. at the College of New Jersey. This exposition is
the second of three regional conferences, with the upcoming Southern
Regional planned for Friday, August 17 in Pemberton. Cost: $90. Call
856-787-9700. The Expo is designed to showcase resources for the
company from first launch through later expansions. Running concurrent
with the host of exhibitors’ booths will be several panel discussions,
including Site Planning and Real Estate; Recruiting and Retaining
Your Talent Pool; and Financing.
"Whether it’s a technical firm or not," says panelist
Fuller, "the real keys to a successful business are its
people." Fuller has spent the last three decades hunting and
the exact right individual to the exact right corporate need. From
an Omaha childhood, he moved east to take a bachelor’s at Fordham
before working in recruitment for TMP Worldwide and other global
Five years ago, Fuller founded Epsen, Fuller Associates (www.efasearch.com)
in Montclair. The firm specializes in procuring senior management
for major corporations.
Fuller refers to his firm as "human capitalists focusing on
team building." As Fuller explains his recruitment methods, one
sees the ultimate personal considerations — all achieved with
a fascinating touch of software. Here is his advice for finding just
the right techie for the job:
an MBA and four years experience in the field and ah, let’s see…oh
yes, and good consumer relations experience." Fuller slaps his
forehead. This is the type of request executives give search teams
all too frequently. "They are seeking credentials, not
he says. "They fill slots like some sort of recipe for the status
A company’s very first step in hiring anyone at any level is to very
specifically define its goal in hiring. Don’t just gobble up MBA
but examine your firm’s total nutritional needs. What do you need
to grow? Near term and long term?
creatures of habit," says Fuller. Occasionally, some new job will
propel a long time plodder into high gear, but that’s seldom the way
to bet. The key here is to analyze more than an individual’s work
performance, and to talk with more than his past bosses. Defining
a person’s critical performance capabilities must entail as exhaustive
a search as the corporation has undertaken to define its own goals.
Pennsylvania, recruiting firm T. Williams Consulting. He says,
choose the right DNA over the right training."
employee, the fit must be total. This includes an attitudinal,
and emotional mesh between the candidate, his fellows, and the
firm. Among other tools, Fuller employs a behavioral assessment test
consisting of an array of questions. For example, in one column there
are five traits: yielding, tenacious, flexible, understanding,
The candidate simply lists these traits in order of how others
him. Then in the next column several sets of different traits: for
example, believable, wary, compromising, relentless, courteous. Such
self-analysis spread over large numbers of questions yields a pretty
good idea of a candidate’s innate personality — and how it fits
with the company’s requirements.
All of this, plus the personal interviews, leads to a report of as
much as 25 pages per candidate. The process is exhaustive, but it’s
a whole lot easier than living with the wrong employee grinding along
squeakily in the wrong company.
of compensation. Naturally, the entire menu of benefits that accompany
salary must be examined. But with the technical industry, relocation
often becomes a major hurdle. Williams notes that the pools of both
talent and industry in greater New Jersey are already so great, that
often the relocation distance is minimal and culture shock is slight.
Fuller, who has offices in Montclair, Houston, and Austin, says that
getting some employees to the Garden State is a challenge. "West
Coast people," he says, "generally do not want to budge."
Candidates from the South are more willing and those from the New
England climates are happy to come down where it is warm.
tend to be flexible.
recruitment opportunities at the Regional Economic Growth and Planning
Exposition as technical talent joins employers in sizing up the state
of technology in New Jersey in the summer of 2001.
— Bart Jackson
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