Are Resumes Still Important?

facilityresources_headerResumes are less important than they were 10 years ago. Networking is the #1 quickest way to a new career option. Recruiters are 2nd. Resumes rank 5th. Especially in healthcare you better check your grammar, keep consistent formatting, and watch that spelling.

Are you planning 1-Year in advance for succession planning?

Are you planning 1-Year in advance for succession planning?

Long-term care organizations across the industry are experiencing exits of vital senior leaders from key management positions due to retirement. Therefore, there is an urgent need for experienced C – sweet leadership to fill the ensuing void. This same principle applies to continuing care and retirement communities as well as other senior living organizations.

The senior living sector and their management teams are presently entrenched in a paradigm shift of the industry to service diversification, industry consolidation, as well as changes in compliance regulations. However, the grooming of successive executive leaders has not been a focal point in the senior care industry. There have been multiple studies revealing an impending exit of executives due to retirement. Unfortunately, the number of qualified candidates able to take up the helm of leadership is currently insufficient.

Why prepare?

In order to avoid the coming leadership shortage there is an imperative need to actively implement a detailed succession plan for senior living organizations. There may be no industry as critical as senior living where succession planning is required to attain seamless transition.

Having a successful succession plan should be comprised of the following:

  • Mentorship program
  • The initiation of an ongoing appraisal system for prospective leaders
  • Long-term vision
  • Contingency planning for an unforeseen void of a key leadership event
  • Maintaining communications and database of perspective talent outside the existing organization
  • developmental programs built into the succession plan that provide exposure across multiple internal skill sets and disciplines.
  • A keen proactivity with governance, compliance, and regulations

In a quick scan of 38 senior living organization ranging across a wide spectrum of sizes, it was found that over 40% of the leaders have been with their organization for the last 10 years.  It was not unusual to see the CEO having been with the organization for over 20 years. This type of prolonged stay in office can be counterproductive when making room for continuity and succession planning. There is a risk of organization becoming complacent with an existing leadership structure and losing fact for the need to be proactive towards development of new leadership.

Fewer than 45% of executives say their companies have a process for conducting CEO succession planning, according to a survey by InterSearch Worldwide. Establishing a C-suite succession plan should be a fundamental obligation of any public or private company. This is regardless of size or senior living industry niche.  For smaller companies, only 17% of these firms had any type of leadership succession planning.

In a market that actively competes for leadership it is erroneous to assume that quick recruitment of best– fit leaders from outside the organization can result in a quick and seamless transition.  An organization must have a well-developed plan for this “outsider” transition as the timeframe from recruitment to start date can take as long as 6-months, with another 3-6 months for this candidate to become effective in the hand-off of responsibilities.  Are you thinking 1-year out today for your succession plan?


Timing is critical.  Succession planning is not always the top of the agenda. Typically, more critical operational factors take its place on leadership in board meetings. Therefore, planning for succession has many facets and needs to be outlined in a specific project timeline.  The succession requires a “champion” who will be the forefront of making this transition a priority.

Occasionally a committee is formed; however, it is important this group is not too large as the process can be slowed. Obtaining input on the critical attributes of the successor should be outlined prior to any search or succession plan. Is there consideration for diversification, does the vision of the organization require experience in acquisition and/or capital acquisition, how important is innovative operations, and/or social responsibility?

The art of planning for succession in senior living goes way beyond the future C-suite participants. It is about securing the future of the organization and ensuring its continuity in an ever-challenging healthcare and business environment.

20 Years of Past/Present/Future of Executive Search

5 areas staying the same:

  1. Personal presentation and professional communication set the tone and are the price of admission for high quality candidates in the executive search process.
  2. Everyone has a “story” or a “caveat” to their candidacy that occurred somewhere along the way in an executive career path. Being open and transparent and willing to discuss what was learned from the experience is highly valued by an executive search consultant.
  3. Accomplishments over job description. Candidates can discuss their job responsibilities well.  However, what is lacking is being able to describe your accomplishments, i.e. what makes you differentiated?
  4. Exhibiting too much confidence, arrogance or lack of humility during any phase of the executive search process works against an executive.
  5. Character is a core component of an executive’s leadership brand.  Emotional intelligence and self-awareness goes a long way in demonstrating this.


5 items that have changed notably:

  1. Access to potential candidates has grown exponentially through technology and social media. Along with it comes an exponential increase in the need to do careful vetting and screening.
  2. Client organizations who say they want to do a retained executive search are often very interested in fast and cheap candidate identification. Speed has trumped quality in more instances than twenty or even ten years ago.
  3. Social media has dramatically blurred the lines that previously existed between the professional and personal life of executives. How you market your professional “brand” is commonly overlooked.
  4. The “ideal age” or the definition of “career stage” has gone up every five years.  It is not uncommon to have top candidates on an executive search slate be well into their 60’s today.
  5. Dealing with the purchasing or supply chain division at a client and treated as a vendor rather than a trusted advisor/consultant during the interview cycle is much more prevalent and typically cumbersome and impersonal.

5 fast-forward predictions:

  1. Not surprisingly will be the use of big data to predict everything from candidate success, culture fit, and employee retention.
  2. The use of career managers. With the addition of more and more social media outlets, precious time to balance work and life, and the need to stay discrete in attempting to seek a new career; a certified career manager will be needed to assist candidates to navigate, find, and close new career opportunities.
  3. Video for interviewing, video for pre-screening, and video to have a competitive edge over similar companies in similar vertical markets (e.g. hospitals).
  4. Supply and demand. It’s a statistical conclusion. There will be more openings than candidates to fill these roles. Companies will need to provide a positive cultural, benefit laden, and a conducive management environment to attract the best talent (money will rank 3rd or 4th overall).
  5. Management value. The company will need to show a long-term market value proposition, competent management, and innovation.

Regaining Career Confidence

Regaining Career Confidence


Have you been skipped over for that promotion…?

Is your new boss having a negative impact on your performance…?

After multiple interviews did the hiring company turn you down or tell you that you lacked enough experience?

Did a high profile project fail…?

Do any of these or similar thoughts sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone.

As someone who has worked with professional careers for over two decades I can tell you that an event that lowers your “career confidence” can be hold you back in getting to your next level of career progression for months and maybe years.

Therefore, action needs to improve career confidence and can start to heal with a few suggested possibilities.

  1. SaySTOP to your inner critic and work on eliminating the negative voices in your head. We’ve all had setbacks in our careers so if you’re constantly bashing yourself you might be creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. List out the negative feelings and figure out which ones you can control, and the ones you cannot. Now list your positive attributes. In comparing the two lists you may find what is causing declining career confidence can be reversed.
  2. Stay away from that issue which is bringing you down.For example, remember you have options in your career. Many options. I’m sure you have heard the expression “this was meant for a reason.” I find when you have a career setback, you will find positive energy in seeking new opportunities. Even if you don’t take on a new job; interviewing or networking with others within your industry is almost always an uplifting experience. Spend more time with supportive people is a really good start to improve your career confidence.
  3. Take action.Practice being self-confident and soon it will become second nature. Inaction breeds doubt. Volunteer for that next project. Show others you can pick yourself up after falling. Once you put energy into your positive traits, your career confidence will improve substantially.
  4. Try something new.When you try something new, when you challenge yourself and go outside of your comfort zone then your opinion of yourself naturally goes up. Easier said than done after a career misstep? Of course. But at least you tried instead of sitting on your hands and doing nothing.

Eliminating your limiting beliefs about yourself is not easy. However; by simply trying you are on the road to improved career confidence which can have lasting positive life consequences.

The cost of turnover!

According to their CEO, Kevin Kelly; a recent study of 20,000 Heidrick & Struggles searches found that “40% of executives hired at the senior level are pushed out, fail, or quit within 18 months.”

Can you imagine the cost to morale, retention, and company culture?


30 Horrible Introductory Email Phrases

30 HORRIBLE introductory email phrases that may kill your sales
Jan 19, 2016

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cropped-thumbs_using-tablet-and-business-website-header.jpgThis is a repost from Mike Renahan:

Below are 30 commonly-used phrases that kill a relationship from the very first email.

1) “Hi, my name is and I work at … ”

Using this phrase indicates that you haven’t taken the time to become familiar to the prospect before sending this email. According to studies, cold emails are not effective. Instead, reps should build a rapport online before emailing a prospect.

2) “Whenever you have a second, let me know.”

Including a clear next step for the prospect at the end of the email is the best way to keep the conversation moving forward. Using this phrase, however, could leave the prospect in limbo because they aren’t sure what it is the salesperson would like them to do.

3) “This is the perfect product for your company.”

While it’s great to believe in your product, unless you know the business’ specific pain points, goals, and ins and outs, this phrase isn’t accurate. Feel free to indicate that you believe your offering might be a good solution, but don’t overstate your case.

4) “This offer won’t last forever.”

Today’s buyer is working on their own timeline, regardless of how close to the end of the month it is. This pushy phrase scares buyers away because they aren’t ready to make a commitment yet and don’t want to feel rushed.

5) “Our product will make you hit your goals.”

Until you’ve spent time talking in-depth with a prospect about their business, you don’t know if your product will help them reach their specific goals. Sellers who make guarantees without information can sour a relationship because they have no credibility.

6) “Who at your company would be the best person for me to talk to?”

Using this phrase indicates that you haven’t taken the time to research the company, go beyond titles, and learn about individual responsibilities. Instead of reaching out blindly, reps should focus on the people downloading materials from their website and capitalize on this demonstrated interest in their product.

7) “Our product does A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, …. ”

Too much information can be overwhelming. Instead of listing off each and every feature your product offers, make an educated guess about one pain point based on your research and offer a tactical suggestion for that specific pain point. This approach provides value and doesn’t overwhelm the prospect.

8) “What do you think we should do next?”

By putting the ball in the prospect’s court, they might not respond at all because they’re not sure what to do. Offer clear options about next steps which will allow the prospect to choose their own path.

9) “Do you have problems with X, Y, and Z?”

An introductory email shouldn’t be about figuring out if they have a problem. It’s best to save the lengthy pain discussion for your first call. Instead, salespeople should spend time researching this prospect, make an educated guess as to what their most pressing pain point might be, and speak to that pain in the email. Clues from website downloads, financial statements, and job boards can tip a sales rep off to where a particular company might want or need to improve.

10) “Would it make sense for us to chat?”

If a rep provides value, it always makes sense to the prospect to explore their options. Focus on helping from the get go, and it will inherently make sense to get on the phone.

11) “To whom it may concern:”

Studies have shown that personalized emails have higher open and response rates. By opening with “to whom it may concern,” the prospect might feel slighted because it appears this email is going out to 100 random people. When in doubt, personalize.

12) “I know your time is valuable, but … ”

… But what? This phrase implies that what the prospect is about to read is a waste of their time. Prospects are looking for a return on their time invested, and using a phrase like this primes them against seeing one.

13) “Sorry if I’ve wasted your time.”

Salespeople need to provide value with every touch. By writing that they might have wasted the prospect’s, the rep indicates that this and any future emails are wastes of time. Don’t set the wrong tone.

14) “Sorry to bother you, but … ”

Saying “sorry” means you’ve done something wrong. When a prospect sees that you’re apologizing for sending an email, they might assume the message is completely valueless.

15) “The product only costs … ”

Mentioning the price of the product in the introductory email can scare the buyer away because they don’t fully understand the value of the offering. Listing any price is going to be a deterrent to the relationship. Provide value first.

16) “Are you free for a demo tomorrow?”

Requesting time for a demonstration in the very first email might make the prospect feel like the rep is forcing them through the funnel faster than they want to go. Instead, allow the prospect to decide when the time is right for a demonstration, which will naturally happen after they’ve built rapport with the rep and understand the value of the product.

17) “Just a quick email to … ”

As Nancy Friedman points out, “just” is a weak word. Using “just” implies that what the salesperson is about to say won’t be important. Erase “just” from every sentence and take note of how the sentence improves and becomes stronger.

18) “I’m not trying to sell you anything.”

Really? A prospect is likely to read that statement and say, “but you’re a salesperson … right?” While the goal might not be to sell the prospect anything right away, ultimately the rep doeswant to convert them into a paying customer. Honesty is the best policy.

19) “Our product increases revenue/decreases cost/reduces risk.”

Every company on the planet claims to increase revenue, reduce risk, or decrease cost. Generic claims make buyers’ eyes glaze over. With the introductory email, salespeople should try to paint a clear picture of what specific benefit their product offers for this individual prospect.

20) “I guarantee that this product will … ”

Guarantees are great, but unless the salesperson knows every detail about the prospect and their business, they shouldn’t offer one. Don’t make a guarantee in the introductory email until you understand the prospect and their business.

21) “Can you do me a favor and … ?”

Asking for a favor before providing value puts the prospect in the awkward position of asking themselves, “Why should I do this?” Provide value to the buyer before asking them to do something for you.

22) “If I could just have two seconds of your time.”

What good can happen for this prospect in just two seconds? If a rep is looking for only two seconds of a prospect’s time, it suggests that what they have to say isn’t valuable. Don’t be afraid to ask for a half hour and give yourself the chance to provide value.

23) “What makes us different from our competitors is … ”

Why bring up your competitors in an introductory email? This email is meant to gauge interest in your product, not a competitor’s.

24) “We’ve helped plenty of companies just like yours.”

While this company might have similarities to other companies, it’s important to remember that every prospect is different. Instead of trying to generalize that you’ve had success with others, inform the prospect why you believe you will have success with their business.

25) “Don’t miss this opportunity!”

Using a sales-y phrase like this can deter a buyer because they are working on their own timetable, not the salesperson’s. The threat of “missing out on an opportunity” might signal to the buyer that they need to look at other companies willing to work on their timeline.

26) “I can tell we’re going to make a great team.”

But what if they’re not a great fit for your company? This email is about learning about the prospect and setting up a meeting to determine if the prospect really is a good fit. Don’t jump the gun and predict a perfect relationship; learn as much as you can about the buyer before making a statement like this.

27) “I was wondering if you’d be interested.”

This phrase signals that you have not done a proper amount of research to determine whether or not this prospect would benefit from your product. Salespeople can rely on inbound leads and a commitment to research to stop using this phrase.

28) “We accept all forms of payment.”

This phrase can turn a buyer away because the prospect might have recently learned about this product and aren’t anywhere close to ready to buy. Instead, gauge the prospect’s interest and when they’re (much) further along in the funnel, bring up payment.

29) “I know what you’re attempting to do.”

While sales reps have worked with many companies, implying that you know the ins and outs of a prospect’s business can hurt your credibility. It might also come across as presumptive to the prospect, damaging the fledgling relationship. Salespeople should learn as much as they can from a prospect before making assumptions about the prospect’s goals.

30) “Trust me … ”

Trust is earned, not given. By using the phrase “trust me,” salespeople imply that they might not be trustworthy and have to ask for trust rather than earn it

Initial Hiring Trends 2016


As part of an STEM enterprise executive search team, I have the unique position of participating, hearing, leading, learning, sharing, and being exposed to literally hundreds of interviews a year.

My clients will conduct 300 interviews with various candidates we present, and our firm will average over 5,000 internal interviews conducted per year! This is a lot of interviews to be “enlightened” with in the course of the year. So with all that data, what trends do we see clients implementing to vet the best talent in a growing and more competitive career market in 2016?

1.Cultural Ambassadors- A cultural ambassador is someone that is less concerned with the candidate’s professional qualifications, but wants to learn about his or her personally. We have cultural ambassadors in place for every role we hire within Precision Metrics because we want to make sure the right people are coming through our doors. If you are being interviewed take this as a compliment the company cares enough to have the right fit for you if hired. If you’re an employer, add that one additional person to your process to potentially eliminate those personality “surprises”after the candidate starts.

2.Presentations and Simulations -As one of the final steps in the interview process,many companies are turning to presentations or simulations to really see the candidates’ skills. These offer insights into the role, the client’s product, and the company gets to learn more about the potential employee’s thought process. Easy to implement, presentations have been more revealing than most other interview techniques. Plus companies can achieve perspectives on how others perceive their product or market message.

3.The Interview as a non-unilateral event- it means providing the candidates respect and an honest dialogue throughout the recruitment lifecycle, especially when it comes to the interview. Why do all the work to build your brand, great talent networks, and engagement through social media, only to cause the candidate concern by providing a hazy, lazy,or counter-intuitive interview process in your company? Are you trying to show dominance and control, or can you provide the beginnings of a mutually respected workplace?

Our client’s are becoming more creative to vet the best possible candidates. Candidates don’t want to be in a confusing hiring process. In 2016 we will see more blending of a process that becomes efficient and more enlightening to both company and prospective employee.

Top 10 List for Work/Life Balance


By Roy Maurer 10/27/2015

Amidst a whirlwind of sourcing leads, scheduling interviews and negotiating salaries with candidates, recruiting professionals are able to maintain a healthy work-life balance, according to Glassdoor’s new report on the 25 Best Jobs for Work-Life Balance.

Talent acquisition specialist ranked third on the list with a work-life balance satisfaction rating of 4.0 out of 5. Recruiting coordinator was ranked sixth with a 3.9 work-life balance rating.

Data scientist took the top spot with a rating of 4.2.

To qualify for the report, job titles needed at least 75 work-life balance ratings on Glassdoor over the past year from a minimum of 75 companies and also have the words “work-life balance” or related terms in at least 15 percent of their reviews.

“Recruiters can work from almost anywhere at any time thanks to technological innovations,” said Heidi Parsont, president of TorchLight Hire, a Washington, D.C.-based recruiting and staffing firm. “This provides a high degree of flexibility that isn’t always found in other jobs because recruiters are not tied to their desk.”

The ability to work virtually and seamlessly with the market is a major differentiator for professional search consultants, said Jeff Kaye, co-CEO of Kaye/Bassman International Corp., an executive search and recruitment firm based in Dallas. “A search consultant with Internet connection and phone can conduct their business from anywhere in the world. There are people at our firm who spend part of the year in the U.K., the Colorado Rockies, beach resorts and the like.”

Recruiting is the art of connecting, said Rachelle Falls, a Phoenix-based technical recruiter and founder of Sun Strategies, a consulting firm focused on candidate engagement across social platforms. “You connect when it makes sense, not when the clock strikes a certain time referenced on your time sheet.”

This means it’s typically not a 9-5 job as candidates sometimes need to talk before or after the workday, Parsont said. “It’s a client-driven, relationship-based profession which requires you to be readily accessible to your clients and candidates when they need you. But with a little careful planning and time management, work-life balance can be achieved.”

The lack of micro-management and internal politics in the recruiting profession appeals to Kirk Sears, president of Precision Metrics LLC, an executive recruiting firm based in Tampa, Fla. “You have your portfolio of clients, and your depository of professional candidates which you are seeking. If you are good as a recruiter then you will be left to build your practice and over time the business becomes easier as you build a relationship with both clients and candidates. There isn’t a big need to work after hours or the weekends except for the occasional cross time-zone projects.”

Falls found that when self-employed or working for a firm that values work-life flexibility “there absolutely is a possibility to make your own schedule, and as long as you’re adapting your hours to the firm or the candidates you’re calling on, you can make it work.”

Organizations that value traditional work hours and face time in the office “may in fact be limiting your ability to reach out and connect with candidates. The good candidates are being snatched up by recruiters who are working flex hours while you’re stuck in that 9-5 box,” Falls said.

Overall work-life balance has decreased in recent years, according to Glassdoor, with employees reporting an average satisfaction rating of 3.2 out of 5 in 2015, down from 3.4 in 2012 and 3.5 in 2009.

According to an October 2014 survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management, HR professionals predicted that telecommuting and other flexible work options would increase during the next five years, yet nearly 75 percent said that managers do not support their work-flex goals.

Of the 39 percent of respondents who said their organization offered telecommuting, more than one-quarter (26 percent) said it increased worker productivity, while almost one-third (32 percent) said the absenteeism rates of those who telecommute decreased.

“Most search professionals operate in true meritocratic environments so their success is linked almost exclusively to results,” Kaye said. “So if a person who comes late and leaves early gets better results than a person who works all day and night then he will still earn more.”

More than one-half of respondents said flexibility had a positive impact on attracting and retaining employees, turnover, absenteeism rates, productivity, quality of employees’ work, quality of employees’ personal lives, employee health, company culture, company public image, and employee morale and job satisfaction.

“The talent war is back on and as such recruiters are in demand by clients and by search firms,” Kaye said. “Those search firms that want to keep their successful recruiters must ensure they have phenomenal work environments, so the flex-time, job sharing and incentive trips that are found in tech firms are also found in many recruiting organizations.”

Glassdoor’s Top 10 Best Jobs for Work-Life Balance

Technology, marketing, recruiting and data jobs comprise Glassdoor’s list. The sole exception is substitute teacher, which ranked fifth with a work-life balance score of 3.9.

The entire list:

1. Data scientist, with a work-life balance rating of 4.2.

2. SEO manager, with a work-life balance rating of 4.1.

3. Talent acquisition specialist, with a work-life balance rating of 4.0.

4. Social media manager, with a work-life balance rating of 4.0.

5. Substitute teacher, with a work-life balance rating of 3.9.

6. Recruiting coordinator, with a work-life balance rating of 3.9.

7. UX designer, with a work-life balance rating of 3.9.

8. Digital marketing manager, with a work-life balance rating of 3.9.

9. Marketing assistant, with a work-life balance rating of 3.8.

10. Web developer, with a work-life balance rating of 3.8.

– See more at: