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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

What Happens in Vegas – Exposed

A Recruiter’s Tale of Appearances

So it was off to Vegas for a conference. The town was a let down, not the glitz and glamour I was expecting. Let’s start with the hotel (a term I use very generously). It was more like the setting for a CSI installment – I was waiting for a dead body to surface in my room at any moment. I thought I’d see high rollers and fashionable celebrities like in a James Bond movie; instead I am haunted by thoughts of dim hallways, sketchy carpeting, and views only a HVAC expert would enjoy.

What would Vegas be like without the night life? To me, it seemed more like the low life: future “Jerry Springer” guests, cocktails at 7am, prostitutes (female, male, and those who just look like they’re for sale), and pool parties that resemble 80’s porno flicks. Look, I am no prude, but if Vegas is supposed to be about fantastical appearances, then my flight landed in the wrong place.

The Fordyce Forum, on the other hand, went beyond my expectations. Fordyce brings together some of the top recruiters in the country to share their knowledge, and this year research was a hot, hot, hot topic. Lucky for me (this is Vegas after all), it was my first opportunity to present my newest business venture, IIPE, an international candidate research and name generation firm. Everyone who I respect in the executive recruitment field acknowledges that good list generation and sourcing is essential, but it’s not exciting or sexy. The more interesting part for recruiters is building relationships and closing deals.

I spoke on the “Pinnacle Perspectives Live!” panel with my esteemed peers from the Pinnacle Society and brought my usual outspoken attitude. Talk about appearances. The rumor about research is that it is dull, dull, dull. Face it, a lot of researchers are behind a computer for a reason, yet when you are passionate about something, as we are about research, you need to let it show. People gravitate toward enthusiasm; they responded to the energy within my team. The IIPE booth was a huge success and we brought in five clients within the week. Jackpot!

But it wasn’t just about appearances. In business, like in Vegas, the harsh light of morning reveals things to be as they truly are. If there is no substance to back up a promise, the attraction fizzles. I back up IIPE’s value statement. We don’t outsource to people who are disconnected to our mission or regard their work as an isolated task. We employ researchers who can discern variations in titles and organizational charts and can scrutinize the process. We value researchers for their ability to be aware of connections and alert to opportunities.

I took a big risk when I launched IIPE – see my interview on I saw a trend and unbundled services when others warned against it. Appearances count – yes. But it’s finding something with value underneath that makes for lasting attraction.

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Want to share your thoughts about trends in executive research? Please feel free to post your comments.


Jobs In Pakistan said...


I this conference is so good for all members and we can get better knowledge from it.

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