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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Have you ever done a Skype interview that becomes a podcast?  You think it should be a “no brainer”. You have a conversation with someone on a topic you know and you are looking at the person on your computer- it’s simple. Not so fast, if it’s the first time you have done it and you don’t know the questions ahead of time, it can be tricky.

Jeff Hyman, founder of Strong Suit, successful serial entrepreneur, advisor to hundreds of entrepreneurs on how to recruit “rockstars” and long-time business colleague of mine invited me to be interviewed for one of his biweekly podcasts. The topic – how to recruit rockstars! No preparation ahead of time.

It was a great experience, a little nerve-racking at the beginning, but I look forward to doing it again. It actually was great fun. The things to keep in mind are similar to what I would tell a candidate who is doing a Skype interview with a potential employer. I had to remember my own advice.

·        Before the interview, do a test with someone to see how you look to them. Make sure the monitor is set properly so that not just your face is in view. You want to be sitting at a desk or table to create a setting and you might even want to have the chair raised a bit to have more of you in view.
·        NO cell phone, telephone, pets or children nearby.
·        Have a glass of water nearby.
·        Practice having a conversation and don’t talk with your hands – it’s distracting.
·        If you have to clear your throat, press “mute” so it isn’t disruptive.
·        Look directly at the interviewer on your computer.
·        Be a good listener. Don’t interrupt the interviewer.
·        If possible, get the questions ahead of time, but don’t rehearse answers. It will sound that way.

Relax and enjoy the experience. And, use social media to promote it.
To hear the complete podcast,, Podcast #020, May 10, 2016

Monday, May 23, 2016

Strong Suit Podcast, the playbook for how to recruit Rockstars, interviews Susan Rosenstein on how to find top talent for start-ups.

Jeff Hyman, advisor to entrepreneurs on hiring “Rockstar” talent and founder of Strong Suit, asked to interview me for one of his weekly podcasts. What an opportunity for me! Jeff is a successful serial entrepreneur, who has started 5 companies and raised $55 million from VC investors and who is a fellow Kellogg alum of mine I have known for twenty years.

He asked “how do I define a Rockstar”. There is no single definition. A “Rockstar” at one company may not be a “Rockstar” at another company. A person may have an MBA from a top school, worked for large corporations, achieved major accomplishments, received promotions and be considered a “Rockstar”. That same person may go to a start-up where he/she has no staff, there isn’t a structure or processes in place, must wear lots of hats and changing directions is the norm. That same person may feel like a fish out or water.

So, candidates must take a true assessment of what drives them and understand their true comfort level with making dramatic changes and start-ups need to really do a “deep dive” when interviewing candidates to understand the person’s fit with a culture.

As recruiters, the exploration of the candidate’s fit with our clients’ culture is pivotal and can be the tipping point in presenting the person to our client.

To hear the complete podcast,, Podcast #020, May 10, 2016

Monday, June 3, 2013

"Just Look Me in the Eye Already", WSJ, May 29, 2013

The Wall Street Journal’s May 29, 2013 feature article in the Personal Journal section, “Just Look Me in the Eye Already” is one to take note. With the use of smartphones many people feel it is acceptable to have a conversation while constantly checking their mobile device for fear of missing a communication.  With more meetings being conducted via conference call, there are fewer face to face meetings. Smartphones are even brought to “in person” meetings and checked during discussions.  The result is a reduction in eye contact during a conversation. As the article indicates, eye contact can be an influential tool and lack of eye contact can send the wrong message.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Working with Recruiters, published in American Marketing Association Newsletter By Sima Dahl

Personal Branding and Social Networking Expert at

For this Article I interviewed Susan Rosenstein, President of Susan Rosenstein Executive Search Limited.

Q: Susan, I’m often asked by recent grads for advice on how best to launch their career, and I’m sure you hear the same. What do you tell them?

A. Build relationships early in your career. Don’t wait until you need to look for a job. Consider it part of your career planning. Think long-term.

Q. What is the best way to find a qualified recruiter that specializes in marketing?

Ask your colleagues for recommendations

Search LinkedIn on keywords including recruiter, marketing and similar keywords.

Recruiters often work nationwide, so don’t limit yourself to your backyard Explore industry associations, like the American Marketing Association. Recruiters with similar interests are likely to also be members.

Don’t forget alumni websites and your school’s LinkedIn groups where recruiters often post jobs

Once you have gathered a few names, do your homework. Visit recruiter’s websites to determine if they specialize in your functional area(s) of interest, level of experience and geographical preference. Understand how the recruiter works with his/her clients, e.g. retained, contingency, or “container”, a hybrid model.

Q. What are your top tips to successfully work with a recruiter?

Introduce yourself via email and attach a copy of your resume. Briefly describe your qualifications and the type of work you’re seeking and request a phone meeting to explore if you’re a good match for their practice.

Be prepared and organized for your call. Managing your career is first a “thinking” exercise, then comes the “doing”. Be prepared with a target list of companies including industry, culture, size, salary, geographic preference and any other important parameters. Create a vivid picture for the recruiter of your dream job.

Be respectful of the recruiter’s time. Ask how they prefer to work, for example, how often should you provide updates, and what is the best mode of communication (email, phone, social media).

Recruiters may not meet with you until they have a search that fits your background. When you do meet, remember that you have to “sell” the recruiter first, and only then will they feel comfortable “selling” you to their client! Help the recruiter see your personality and presence. The success of this meeting may be the deciding point of whether they send you for an interview or not!

If you are able, offer to be a resource for the recruiter for any current or future searches. Being a valuable resource is a great way to stay top of mind.

Q. What are ways can candidates stay connected in between opportunities?

LinkedIn. This allows the recruiter to tap into your connections and vice versa. Be judicious in asking the recruiter to introduce you to their connections. Many of their connections are candidates and clients who they may not feel comfortable contacting.

Facebook and Twitter – be a fan, be a follower.

Email. Send updates when you have career news – a promotion, change in responsibility, updated contact information, or a new assignment. It not only keeps you top of mind but also helps us keep our candidate database current. If you are in transition, send periodic updates to let the recruiter know you are still looking and include any recent consulting assignments completed or interviews you’ve had, even if they did not result in a job offer.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Competitive Edge Tips

In this competitive environment where the candidate pool for a position is filled with top-notch backgrounds, getting in the door for an interview is just the beginning. With clients scrutinizing all aspects of a candidate, it is the subtle, behavioral, soft skills that close the deal.

It is inevitable that at some point in the interviewing process, dining enters the mix; a lunch, a dinner, a reception. An interesting article on the front page of the Chicago Tribune’s Money & Real Estate section (October 9, 2011) written by Bill Daley presents the case for the importance of etiquette and table manners in landing the job---at any level from a new MBA to a CEO. Being able to comfortably juggle eating, using the correct fork and conversing presents a very polished image and puts people at ease and able to focus on the conversation.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Social Media and Corporate Boards

The effective use and management of social media to connect with consumers and customers present challenges for businesses. For senior executives on corporate boards, social media presents a unique twist. Karen Kane, a contributing blogger, tells us how to manage it.

It’s Not Social Media, It’s Strategic Communication Boards Need By Karen Kane

Concerned about social media, a few boards have actively sought new directors with a social media background to bring that capability into their boardroom. A staff member of the National Association of Corporate Directors mentioned that directors are having a hard time because the candidates are generally in their 30s and 40s and directors worry about upsetting the collegiality of the boardroom. That is, how would a 30 or 40 year-old fit with a group of mostly older directors? In fact, boards are getting older. The number of boards with elderly members is growing because many boards are raising the age limit for retirement to 80 and some eliminating forced retirement altogether according to Joann S. Lublin in the Wall Street Journal.

Social media may be a helpful competency but so much of what is embedded in the Dodd-Frank Act is a call for greater transparency, better communication between directors and the shareholders who elect them. Social media is communication, albeit faster and user-generated. Since the concept of communicating directly with shareholders is a new concept, boards need the assistance of high-level communication strategists—either as board members or consultant –to help boards craft their own communication policy and get them ready for the dialogue shareholders are demanding.

What directors are really worried about is hijacked media where a company’s asset or campaign is taken hostage by those who oppose it. Managing social media is rooted in best communication practices including crisis management.

A recognized expert in corporate governance communication practices, Karen Kane offers unique competencies in working with CEOs, corporate secretaries, corporate staffs and boards on governance communication, including shareholder engagement programs. Her company website, offers rich content including articles that describe how regulations and shareholder dynamics have changed corporate board work as well as her blog about current governance issues.

Susan Rosenstein Executive Search Limited

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