Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Banks Rebound? Two New Positions Indianapolis Headquartered Bank Hiring

Some banks are actually thriving in this recession.  And, we are fortunate to have a fourteen year executive recruiting relationship with an Indianapolis headquartered bank that is adding about 10% to staff this year.  

Currently, there are two new positions open for Client Support Managers open due to continued growth.  

One is a Client Support Manager supporting Corporate Banking.  This person would handle operational contact with the bank's commercial lending clients including commercial deposit accounts and commercial loan accounts, handling duties such as booking, collateral documentation, processing draws and paydowns, documenting changes, and continually communicating with Small and Middle Market Commercial Lenders on client relationship activies.  This position requires at least two years of routine banking operations administrative experience.  Here is a job description:

The second Client Support Manager position supports Private Banking.  This person handles all operational contact with Private Banking customers for deposit account operations, operations of loan accounts with duties like title searches and insurance, documentation management and review, monitoring construction loan draw processes, contacting clients on past due payments, meeting with Private Banking clients to open accounts and execute loan documents, and coordinating meetings and luncheons often in the downtown area including catering and assembling brochure packets.  Here is this position's description:

Career Solutions Group has been providing permanent placement custom recruiting services, primarily sourcing passive candidates, for this client for about fourteen years.  In addition to our retained search custom recruiting solutions, csg also provides csgSelectionQC for clients who need to make sure they are selecting the right fit for a position and CSG Top Echelon Contract Staffing for clients who want high quality contract staff in the downtown, "near the Circle" area or throughout the metropolitan area in the investment operations/management niche.

If you are interested in either of this positions or in other services of our firm, please contact Steve Fero at (317) 466-9740 x13 or John Fero at (317) 466-9740 x12 or sent and email to or  If you would like to submit a resume unrelated to these positions, please send it to

Financial Services Adminstrative Support - Downtown Indianapolis

The following is our most recent update of Financial Services Administrative Support personnel interested in contract or contract-to-permant placement positions with downtown Indianapolis financial services firms.  Commercial and Private Banking support were the focus of a couple recent search assignments uncovering these candidates:

Process Development Engineering Manager - Medical Devices

We are beginning a search for a confidential medical device manufacturer.  

Here are some of the specifics for the position.
1)     1 of three key positions in Operations.  This hire needs to be high potential and be on the bench for possibly succeeding the VP of Ops.
2)     Need to be very professional and have strong communication skills as they will be interacting with Sr Mgmt
3)     Strong ability to influence those who are not direct reports.
4)     They will live with the product from the beginning working in partnership with R&D through obsolescence.
5)     Metrics oriented – strong analysis skills.  Will design goals, measure and then work to improve
6)     Team = 18-19, combo of engineers and techs; need to have strong people mgmt skills
7)     Strong technical skills – esp. product design to ensure credibility with R&D
8)     Very solid business sense to keep multiple perspectives, both short and long term; also able to be strategic and think big picture
9)     Success will be defined by hitting new product development milestones and meeting product performance expectations
10)  Open to any med device company background except Medtronic
Comp $120-130 base, 20% bonus.  Reports in to the VP of Ops

Please contact me if you have questions or need more information:

Career Solutions Group provides custom recruiting solutions for corporate recruiting and talent acquisition teams, executive recruiting for "key man" talent selection assignment with small to mid sized corporations, and RPO services for selected high growth companies.

csg Top Echelon Contract Staff for Financial Services - Week of August 17th

Over the past month, we interviewed over 75 Indianapolis area administrative support staff in investment management, private banking, and commercial banking.  The candidates listed below are interested in contract assignments in the Indianapolis area or contract-to-permanent positions.  We have two dozen similarly experienced candidates.

These are primarily passive candidates identified through custom recruiting solutions and custom recruiting services exclusively for a locally headquartered client company.  After completion of their recruiting assignment, we are making these candidates available for contract placement or contract to permanent assignments with other local financial services firms seeking assistance with talent acquisition and talent selection.

csgTop Echelon Contract Staff for Administrative, Accounting, and Finance - Week of August 24th

The following candidates were identified through retained custom recruiting services search assignments with Indianapolis area companies.  All three candidates described below did go on interviews with our clients and although not selected for the positions that they interviewed for, we did receive very positive feedback about them.  References are available on two of the three (and can be easily checked on the third).  

Career Solutions Group, Inc. was founded in 1995 in Broad Ripple and moved to the Circle Tower in 2000.  We have provided custom recruiting solutions for national and local corporations ranging from development of competitive talent databases for medical devices to providing a Recruitment Process Outsourcing solution for nationwide expansions to retained executive level search and placement.  Increasingly, we are handling talent acquisition and selection engagements with Indiana headquartered companies that have 50 to 500 employees and a small or no HR staff.  With these clients, our SelectionQC process helps executive managment teams evaluate internal and external candidates equally to insure that the best fit for the organization is selected.  Contact us by phone (317) 466-9740, on the web or blog by clicking here, or email

Thursday, August 6, 2009

CSG Ning sites

Here at Career solution we have created several sites for people to get information and share information. We have two sites on for Indiana professionals one is for banking and one for high tech business. 

Banking professionals can post job opportunities, resumes, and job description; while other professionals can look post and see if they want to apply. You can also talk amongst each and share information that is useful to other people.

People that are in manufacturing/medical professions can post seminars, job opportunities with job descriptions to those openings. They can also post schedule to work shops that they are holding. You can also look for people for your start-up company.

In order to use these site you need to sign up and its free to join.

For those who have no professional background we have a site for you to post your resumes. to get useful tips on how to obtain employment. This site is called No Resume Required

Career Solution Group is a custom recruiting agency that is focus on finding the best employees for your company and to help other Hoosier find employment.

Custom Recruiting Services

If you are looking for custom recruiting service which can develop custom research of passive candidates, identify and recruiting passive candidates, and provide one of the most comprehensive finalist selection processes in the industry, you should call Career Solutions Group to hear what we could do for your company with an executive recruiting search project or multi position custom recruiting solution.  

Don't believe the hype and sales pitch of Heidrick & Struggles when they tell your company that they can help your company overcome your number one obstacle - that you're located in Indiana.  

Don't believe it!

Call John Fero at 317-466-9740 x11 or Steve Fero at 317-466-9740 x13.

Talent Selection & Recruiting: Indiana Banks

The banking job market has been hit hard.  There's no denying that.  But, there is a sense growing out there, as oneIndiana Chief Credit Officer told me yesterday, that if Washington would make a decision on the bailout package and the value of depressed assets, the capital markets will come back quickly and there could be new jobs created to clean up the mess.  Right now, jobs posted on Indiana Banker seem to be at an all time low.

We've learned that some private equity firms are getting an early look at some of the troubled loan portfolios the government has to help determine the value of these assets.  And, experienced bankers are convinced that with the right level of scrutiny there is money to be made in managing these troubled portfolios.  The question is what price will have to be paid for them and when?  

Will this create a boon for executive recruiting in banking and development of massive talent selection strategies forIndiana banks?  Probably not.  But, it could create the need for some specialized custom recruiting services in theprivate equity community.  Stay tuned....

Indiana Manufacturer Upgrades Engineering In Down Economy

 As many traditional Indiana manufacturers make the transition to an Advanced Manufacturing business model, business leaders are committing to talent acquisition strategies which put the value of key people on par with state-of-the-art technology.  To compete in the global economy, Indiana Advanced Manufacturers like Roehm Marine / Signature Seating in Fort Wayne are realizing that acquiring and retaining top talent is the key to growth, even when the economy is down.

"Our numbers are down.  But, we can't afford not to fill this position," says Rob Roehm, Founder and CEO of Roehm Marine.  Roehm has taken a 28 year old company and invested in technology in engineering and manufacturing, adding a the latest in CADCAM technology (a Topsolid and Letica integrated solution), the latest CNC technology, and a semi automated assembly line for larger product runs.  Roehm made the decision to hire a retained recruiting firm to attract and retain an Engineering Manager who will help the company continue its product development leadership position in its current markets while exploring growth opportunities in strategically related areas.  Even as his industry contracts with reduced orders, Roehm says that he sees several new opportunities developing in the near term which he will be able to pursue with the newly added technical talent. 

Recently, Roehm and his senior management team met with Purdue University's Technical Assistance Program (TAP) consultants who evaluated Roehm Marine and helped develop a strategic plan for growth.  Purdue says that it's TAP has reached out to help over 600 Indiana companies in 80 counties over the past two years.  Many times a traditional manufacturer's investment in positioning an established company for global competition includes a talent acquisition strategy or utilization of an executive recruiting firm to identify and help select key members of the leadership team.

For more information visit Indiana High Tech Talent.

Talent Selection: Green Jobs & Clean Tech

This morning, the Indianapolis Business Journal sponsored a breakfast on the Green Economy.  The panel included Jesse Kharbana of the Hoosier Environmental Council, Scott Prince of clean tech venture capital firm EnerTech Capital, and architect Bill Brown, chair of the City of Indianapolis' Green Commission.

The current recession has brought many aspects of the green revolution into question.  Will venture capital interest in clean tech and green continue?  Will the federal government follow through on new carbon regulations?  Can LEED certification in construction spur a rebound of the residential and commercial construction industry?  

Perhaps most important in this discussion is oil.  Oil has dictated the direction of the US economy for more than fifty years.  Gasoline prices in the US have dropped below $2 per gallon which has provided much needed relief for consumers, many of whom are losing their jobs.  However, a friend with an instrumentation division of Emerson Electric in Dubai points out how much of a flux the oil industry is currently in.  He called yesterday worried about layoffs is the Middle East and Africa within his division while at the same time their company is forcasting sales growth five fold by 2012 in the Middle East.  The oil industry isn't counting on Green / Clean Tech succeeding in putting them out of business or getting the US off foreign oil.

Can any of this development lead to meaningful recruiting strategies and talent selection strategies for the recruiting industry?  A LEED certification driven boom could create a need for recruiting in the construction service industries but also in engineering and manufacturing talent aquisition and selection for building material manufacturers.  We have see some increase in recruiting and job postings for wind power product manufacturing in recent months.  However, I think it's just too soo to know if clean tech and green tech will result in a significant growth in recruiting needs and jobs.

Green Jobs for Indianapolis?

The City of Indianapolis has created an Office of Sustainability and a citizen commission called the Green Commission which is working on a number of environment and sustainability initiatives.

Part of the City's efforts involve recruiting strategies for green jobs and clean tech jobs.  The future of Indiana employment opportunities in clean tech and green is still somewhat unclear.  Biofuel facilities have been constructed throughout the state over the past few years.  But, these operations are fairly low tech and do not require much in terms of a recruiting strategy or talent strategy.

However, the Green Commission's desire to promote LEED certification in construction could bring back parts of the building materials industry and construction industry that were some of the first parts of the economy to go into recession.

For a full report on the Green Commission's activities, visit the Hoosier Environmental Council's Central Region site, the Hoosier Environmental Council site, or the City of Indianapolis' Office of Sustainability's site.

INsourcing: Bringing Specialized Talent to Indiana - Clean Tech Power Generation

 Prior to Coal Gasification becoming a household term during the Presidential debates, Career Solutions Group developed a custom recruiting solution for a state-of-the-art facility processing raw coal into Syngas.  Our staff worked in a retained search agreement with joint venture partners Conoco Phillips E-Gas Gasification in Houston andWabash Valley Power in Indianapolis to develop a talent acquisition and selection strategy which included custom research of passive and active candidates, systematized interviewing practices, and a detailed selection process.  

This gasification facility had been build as a Department of Energy project and had unique, high tolerance processing technology.  The technical management team determined that the local labor market did not have the highly trained, advanced technology technicians needed to operate the facility's equipment.  Therefore, our talent recruitment and sourcing strategy required relocation of all candidates to Indiana.

Being unable to attract desireable highly trained technicians from across the US to Indiana and faced with a time-critical start up of the plant, our custom recruiting solution used unique research methodology to identify sources of passive candidates.  Our staff then target recruited over 200 highly skilled technicians who had completed the desired technical curriculum to be trained to run gasification process technology.  

From these 200+ potential candidates, our staff successfully recruited and referred 47 qualified candidates within a five month period.  After working with the technical management interviewing team to determine the desired finalist candidates, our staff took finalists through a detailed talent selection process focused on behavioral qualifications.  Eleven candidates were relocated, mostly from warmer climates like Florida, Georgia, and Southern California to Indiana.  More than two years after completion of this project ten of the eleven are still at the facility.
This cutting edge facility has since been converted from coal gasification to petroleum coke gasification which converts a waste product from the oil refining process into synthetic natural gas.  The plant is gaining international attention with this use of a waste product to generate energy.

Career Solutions Group's Permanent Placement Service is a project based, passive candidate recruitment system designed to recruit a high volume of passive candidates for multiple positions or target passive executive level candidates for single positions, using custom, targeted research and detailed three part finalist talent selection.

For more information on the gasification process read Wikipedia or the redefining clean energy information at theGasification Technologies Council.

CEO - Medical Device Components (two different positions)

Our firm is working on two separate CEO projects (custom recruiting solutions) in medical devices.  Both positions are targeting candidates with ortho or cardio device manufacturing backgrounds who used to work at Guidant, Boston Scientific, Cook, Biomet, Zimmer, J&J Depuy, or similar device manufacturers.

One position is leading a $100 million company with multiple manufacturing facilities.  This is an established company seeking a dynamic leader who can build a senior leadership team.  Ideally, the right candidate will have significant P&L experience, have been CEO of a $50-250 million device company, and be motivated by growing equity.

The confidential job description for this position is below.

The talent selection strategy process for this client involves initial identification through executive recruiting (our firm) and preliminary preparation for a Topgrading onsite interview with the client.

If you know of individuals who would be interested in these positions, please pass this information on to them or you can visit our office at 55 Monument Circle, Suite 1000, Indianapolis to meet Steven R. Fero, CPC, or you can click on the compass at the right to go to Career Solutions Group, Inc.’s web site.

Chief Executive Officer
Medical Device Components
Southern California

The Company
The company is a leading custom-engineered metal fabrication and intricate machined parts manufacturer offering some of the industry’s broadest capabilities and most advanced technologies. The company has been a long time supplier of critical machined components, sub-assemblies, precision metal piping and tubular components to blue-chip companies. The company has galvanized these relationships through its unparalleled metallurgical, metal alloy and machining expertise. With multiple facilities in the US and offshore, the company is one of a few companies to offer total supply chain management to its customers, including material selection, design for manufacturability, technologically advanced manufacturing capabilities, low cost manufacturing alternatives and project support service. The company sells its products principally within North America. Its sales are about $100 million. It is profitable. 

Job description
The Chief Executive Officer will be responsible for the development and execution of the company’s strategy and achieving the financial and operational metrics approved by the firm’s Board of Directors.  He/she will have full functional accountability and will be responsible for driving a significant culture change through employee enabled management programs within the organization.  

Key responsibilities include:

•    Driving sales growth by anticipating market needs, fostering technical sales, catering to national accounts, and driving market pricing with good margins.  
•    Ensuring relationships with key customers and vendors are strengthened while keeping employees motivated.
•    Increasing manufacturing margin throughout the organization through performance and productivity improvements.
•    Management and oversight of all functions of the company.  This includes optimizing the company’s multiple plant strategy to improve Overall Operational Effectiveness through LEAN initiatives. 
•    Ensuring appropriate goals and measurable metrics are in place, monitoring performance, and taking action wherever appropriate to ensure the business is meeting the goals in a “will do” environment.
•    Mentoring and developing the senior management team to successfully execute the company strategy.  Raising the expectations for timely improvements from the entire management team and transitioning the culture to one that focuses on long-term continuous improvement and profitable growth.  
•    Working closely with the Stakeholders to evaluate strategic options leading to suitable returns for shareholders.  This includes working in conjunction with the CFO to manage the relationships with the banks and other lenders to the company.

Ideal Experience
The ideal candidate possesses over twenty years of increasing responsibility, culminating in the management of a successful standalone P&L.  A portion of this experience should have been gained in the machining of precision engineered, metal components and assemblies.  Candidates who have worked as a CEO, President or COO in an entrepreneurial, growth oriented, high-expectation environment are preferred, rather than those who have served as a division president in a large organization.  The preferred candidate has been successful driving change and growth in a small to mid-sized ($75 to $250 million sales) manufacturing organization by building a “can do” culture.

Controller - Indianapolis HQ Distributor Expecting 30% Growth in '09

An Indianapolis headquartered distributor of low end consumer goods is expecting 30% growth this year and looking for a Controller who can lead a small department, manage cash flow, and improve operational efficiencies as the company continues to grow with both large volume retail distributors and specialty stores.

We are handling executive search / recruiting services as well as finalist talent selection using a custom recruiting strategy to source passive and active potential candidates.  The position's job description is below:

Corporate Controller
Corp Controller-2

If you are looking for a custom recruiting solution for your company, one that targets passive candidates, with an executive recruiting team that will go beyond the norm to help you select the best candidate for your company, contact Career Solutions Group.

Survey of Indianapolis HR Shows Networking Provides Best Hires

A recent and ongoing survey of Indianapolis metropolitan area Human Resource Departments is showing some surprising results.  What sources of applicants are Indianapolis area employers using to find candidates in their corporate recruiting strategies, talent acquisition and selection strategies?  More importantly, what sources of applicants have provided the best talent?

To view the graph visit the No Resume Required site. 

Indiana Unemployment Rises 0.2% But Still Better Than Neighbors

Indiana unemployment numbers rose last month another two tenths of a percent according to Hoosiers By The Numbers on the Indiana Workforce Development site. As Inside Indiana Business points out, Indiana's unemployment rate is still lower than all our bordering states, led by Michigan at 9.3%. Although Indiana has lost many manufacturing jobs in recent years, our Indiana Economic Development Corporation and Governor have worked hard to attract investment in a variety of industries in order to attract and retain talent and jobs here in Indiana.
The Indiana Department of Workforce Development has been reinvented since 2004 to offer many tools online and through its Work One office around the state. Many of these State offered tools and services for job seekers develop and teach skills that corporate recruiting strategies are designed to identify in their talent recruitment processes. The IDWD offers job seekers tremendous value in this regard.  For more information visit No Resume Required.

Is there money out there?

 Most of us are listening to the national media’s message of no lending by the banks.  But,  are they telling the full story or just selling bad news?  This week, I talked with John Lorentzen of National City Bank  who told a somewhat surprising story.

With National City’s financial troubles and ongoing merger with PNC, you would think them to be the least likely bank lending money.  But, Lorentzen, a twenty year small business credit officer and lender, says that he is putting together his best month on the year.  Lorentzen who operates in the Greenwood market says that he expect to close on three loans which may be the best three deals of his tenure (over ten years) with the bank.

National City small business lenders are having a killer month?  Impossible if you listen to the media.  What is really going on here?

Greg Gordon of First Merchants Bank says that Lorentzen’s experience is unique, an aberration.  Gordon is feels the pinch of restricted credit criteria.  He says that while there is certainly money to be lent, banks are being very selective in approving loans.  

All the confusing and contradictory opinions and messages about what is going on with Indiana businesses in terms of growth or stagnation is causing candidate reticence and paralysis for many corporate recruiting strategies and with executive recruiting consultants who are moving forward with growth plans for the first quarter 2009.  For more information visit Indiana Banking Talent.

Custom Recruiting Solutions: Sourcing Passive Candidates Can Eliminate Relocation Costs

Actively recruiting passive candidates can be very time consuming for a corporate recruiting staff and the last priority in a corporate recruiting strategy that is focused on filling open requisitions quickly and efficiently.  However, corporate HR departments can expand a local candidate pool to include passive candidate sourcing with a talent acquisition strategy that includes outsourcing of passive candidate identification through a custom recruiting services provider like Career Solutions Group.  

The cost of outsourcing recruiting services can have offsetting benefits, as well.  Two examples from past assignments come to mind.

Minnesota Rubber Company, a major manufacturer of elastomer-molded medical and automotive components, was in need of an experienced Tooling Engineer.  Without many major competitors in the immediate Minneapolis area, Minnesota Rubber’s HR department knew from experience that a qualified Tooling Engineer would likely have to be relocated from major elastomer molding competitors in Michigan, Indiana or Ohio.  Relocation costs would likely double the overall cost of the recruitment, including the executive recruiting fee.  After running trade journal and other ads, our custom recruiting of passive candidates identified a qualified (and interested) Tooling Engineer at nearbyHiawatha Rubber Company, working about 10 minutes from Minnesota Rubber’s location.  Interestingly, the VP of HR was initially upset that this individual had not answered the ad run for the Tooling Engineer.  But realizing the relocation savings among other advantages, Minnesota Rubber’s VP of HR was glad to pay only the recruiting services fee.

Similarly, ABB Drives&Motors, the New Berlin, Wisconsin US division headquarters for this multi-billion dollar electromechanical product company, was pleased to have a passive candidate, custom recruiting solution identify a qualified Product Manager living within driving distance of their facility.  This talent acquisition strategy also benefits passive candidates who may not be answering employment ads, but are eager to take the next step in their career when targeted as a passive candidate for a position they fit.  In this case, the placed candidate was quite pleased,“From our first telephone discussion and on you have shown the highest degree of dedication to your profession...Your concern for both employer and employee is evident...The hours that you worked into the evening assuring that all questions and issues were addressed directly got us to a smooth positive result. I am very thankful for the outstanding job you've done. Hopefully others will benefit as I have from your devotion to your business."
-J. Roberts

New Position Created: Compliance Manager - Indianapolis

Some Indianapolis area small and mid sized employers are creating new positions and progressing with their talent acquisition strategies and corporate recruiting strategies for 2009.  The attached job description is for a newly created position.  The Regulatory Compliance Manager will be in charge of Consumer Product Safety Act 2008 compliance for this growing, Indianapolis headquartered company.  This company is privately held, has had double digit growth year over year, and is having strong sales numbers for this holiday season since their product line is a lower end product sold to big box retailers. 

The company is pursuing a custom recruiting service with an outside executive recruiting firm like Career Solutions Group to expedite their hiring process since the Act just went into effect and to recruit regulatory compliance experienced candidates from other industries.  Our custom recruiting solution helps this small HR staff implement a corporate recruiting strategy for passive and active candidates without adding to the HR staff.

Interested in a career in banking?

For over ten years, our firm has represented the fastest equity growth bank in Indiana which also ranks in the top ten nationally in that category.  This bank has had double digit growth every year for over ten years.  The bank's employee turnover is very low, well below 5%, including CSRs/Tellers (Yes, all you regional bankers out there.  There is a bank that doesn't turn over nearly 100% of it's CSRs/Tellers every year.)

If you are interested in a long term career in banking, your chances of working your way up, being recognized, and promoted for doing your job, then this bank is far superior to the regional banks like Fifth Third, National City, Chase, and Regions.

Who is this bank?

CSRs at this bank all are eligible for up to 18% bonus based upon the bank's success.  This bonus has paid in double digits every year, for over ten years.

Our firm helps with the recruiting strategy for this bank and works with the senior management team in implementing a talent acquisition strategy focused on corporate recruiting of bankers who understand a high level of customer service.

When I look on Careerbuilder and see ads for Retail Personal Bankers and CSRs at Fifth Third Bank, Personal Bankers at Chase, and Tellers at National City, I wonder if people applying to these large banks, have ever considered The National Bank of Indianapolis?  

If you are considering applying for one of the jobs above but are concerned about the regional banks financial problems, not giving Tellers/CSRs regular 40 hour schedules and pushing sales tactics on Tellers/CSRs, then you shold contact our firm to find out if you fit an open position at The National Bank of Indianapolis.

Topgrading: HR Tests blog provides false feedback

A recent comment on the "HR Tests - Recruitment, assessment, and personnel selection" blog site questions the viability of Topgrading, suggesting that it is only useful in in-house hiring since a candidate's current employer will not serve as a professional reference.  Having applied the TORC portion of the Topgrading process, I would suggest that a candidate who is serious about pursuing a new position will find away to have current peers and superiors or recent past peers and superiors function as professional references.  The true value of the detailed reference checks goes well beyond validation of qualifications.  Detailed reference checks used as part of the finalist candidate selection process can afford the opportunity to explore how candidates overcame weaknesses or shortcomings that many still be a concern.  All corporate recruiting strategies should include at least some elements Topgrading.

Talent Strategy: Smaller growth companies in Indiana are hiring

The job boards, newspapers, and general media is clogged with the ads and names of the Fortune 1000 and like sized companies that are all crippled by the current financial crisis.

Here's a secret.

Small, well-capitalized companies that you may never have heard of are gaining marketing share and growing right now as their larger competitors can't continue to service customers.

Most of these companies are too small to have a sophisticated corporate recruiting strategy or a budget for executive recruiting consultants' fees.  But, these are the companies that are hiring right now and have good, long term jobs to offer.

I could tell you about small growth companies in Indiana that are hiring in manufacturing, engineering, service, and nearly every industry.  But, the two examples that I will give are in the industry hit hardest by this financial crisis - a small bank and a small credit union.  

The National Bank of Indianapolis

Financial Center FCU

NBofI continues to expand into markets that the regional banks can no longer serve.  And, many businesses would be surprised to know that Financial Center FCU has one of the fastest growing commercial lending portfolios in the city.  Of course, these institutions have their pick of whom they'd like to give credit to right now.

The small and nimble adapt and survive in this economy.  And, the really smart companies have a talent strategy to retain talent and selectively employ a custom recruiting solution to tap into the passive candidate pool of their competitors.

CEO - Start Up Medical Device Company - Indianapolis

Our firm is working on two separate CEO projects (custom recruiting solutions) in medical devices.  Both positions are targeting candidates with ortho or cardio device manufacturing backgrounds who used to work at Guidant, Boston Scientific, Cook, Biomet, Zimmer, J&J Depuy, or similar device manufacturers.

The second position is CEO for a start up medical device manufacturer to be located here in the Indianapolis area.  They will consider either an experienced medical device CEO or a seasoned Corporate or Division level executive who has had successful medical device product launch leadership. 

The confidential job description for this position is below.

The talent selection strategy process for this client involves initial identification through executive recruiting (our firm) and direct follow up by the client's senior management team who will manage final talent selection.

If you know of individuals who would be interested in these positions, please pass this information on to them or you can visit our office at 55 Monument Circle, Suite 1000, Indianapolis to meet Steven R. Fero, CPC, or you can click on the compass at the right to go to Career Solutions Group, Inc.’s web site.

Start Up Chief Executive Officer
Medical Device Manufacturer
Indianapolis, Indiana

An Indianapolis headquartered Life Sciences Venture Capital firm is seeking an executive who desires to find and operate an early stage medical device company.  The VC firm will provide compensation, office space, resources and deal flow.  The ultimate goal is to find or start an early stage company that would be operated by the EIR and funded by this firm.


In Indiana or willing to move to Indiana

Experience in the corporate medical devices at division/department head level or above; 
Experience at a medical device start-up, at president or c-level

Desired but not required:
-Institutional investor contacts
-Investing experience (VC or otherwise)
-Operating experience in commercializing/launching med devices
-Cardio or ortho device experience

-Economics vary with experience

Founded in 2005, the firm is a life sciences venture capital firm, focused on investing in medical device, diagnostic, and tool companies.  The first fund was raised, closed, and is partially invested.  The management team works with the advisory board, consisting of world-renowned scientists, physicians, and entrepreneurs, to invest in life science companies, technologies, and management teams offering strong growth potential.  To date, the firm’s portfolio consists of medical and dental device companies, bio material and therapy companies, with many other investments under consideration, especially within the firm’s areas of strength in the cardio and ortho device fields.

Talent Strategy for a "Bad Bank"?

As you can see there is quite a lot of press about the idea of a "bad bank" being created.  

The Bad Bank Assets Proposal: Even Worse Than You Imagined

Bad Bank? Bad Idea. There’s no viable model for buying and selling toxic assets.

What to Call the "Bad Bank"? You Tell Us

George Soros is Right About the 'Bad Bank'

There are still many questions regarding it's composition and whether it would be entirely a government entity or have participation from the private sector, especially private equity.  If the federal government can set a low enough value for these toxic assets, then private equity may want to get involved to Workout these troubled loan portfolios.  Of course, we're interested in the talent strategy or corporate recruiting strategy for creating a 'bad bank'.  As experience bankers will tell you, the person who is a great lender cannot be a great workout person.  Although you do see people who have done both, it's very uncommon.  Over the next few days, we will be exploring the talent necessary to staff a 'bad bank' or a simple recruitment project for a special assets management team to manage a distressed loan portfolio.

Talent Selection & Strategy: What style CEO performs best?

In 1995, New York Times science reporter, Daniel Goleman, released Emotional Intelligence (EI) which created a new movement in evaluation of leaders and talent.  The EI study followed Goleman's Primal Leadership which was also favorably received by graduate business schools like Harvard.

The basis of EI evaluation of executive talent is that broad based intelligent leadership is much better than narrowly focused, hard driving leadership -  dynamic relater like was perceived as much better than a slash and burn leader like "Chainsaw" Al Dunlap.

But, does Goleman's supposition hold true in the real world?  Or is it just the latest rebuke of the centurys old, first study of executive talent, The Prince?

Researchers at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business decided to study CEO performance for themselves, evaluating 225 CEOs profiles from Topgrading research interviews.  They compared and contrasted the performance of Emotionally Intelligent CEOs (lambs) versus results-oriented, Type A intesity CEOs (cheetahs).

The high cost of CEO turnover was at the heart of this talent analysis.  Two thirds of CEOs fail to meet the objectives they were hired to achieve and stay an average of 18 months.  The Chicago GSB results differed significantly with the now politically correct EI view of leadership.

Regardless of the level of position, talent acquisition strategies and talent selection processes need to employ a thorough evaluation of finalist candidates whether they are internal candidates, from corporate recruiting, or from an external custom recruiting project.  The Topgrading method of talent evaluation contrasts with psychometric testing methods.  Executive recruiting should include multiple methods of finalist evaluation.

Small businesses in Indiana are hiring

As Jack Robbins, Indiana Division Sales Manager for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), said, "We're choosing not to participate in the recession."  The NFIB has more than 10,000 small business owner members in the State of Indiana.

The Fortune 1000 is paralyzed by the broken capital markets.  Every major headline is about some big employer laying off thousands of workers.

But, who employs 70% of the workforce in the United States?

Small business.

The Federal goverment defines a small business as one with 500 or fewer employees.  And, these smaller companies provide most of the jobs in the US economy.

So the big, Fortune 1000 companies get the headlines - bad headlines.  And, the small companies get no recognition because you wouldn't care about DESI Environmental Services' in Mooresville plans to hire 5 people this year or thatFirst Response in South Bend plans to hire 3.  Those companies aren't household names and those numbers aren't big.  It's not headline material.

But, those little companies and single digit hires start to add up.

In a survey of 17 small businesses at todays NFIB Leadership Council meeting in Indianapolis, 12 plan to add new jobs.  Sure a few are impacted by the poor economy and plan to lay off.  But, the majority plan to hire what amounts to net 13.5% job growth with this group of Indiana employers.

So this big jobs announcement won't ever make the newspaper.  It won't ever require a corporate recruiting strategy, custom recruiting solution, Topgrading strategy, or a sophisticated talent acquisition plan.  But, these are real jobs.  

Can you find any other segment of the US economy that is projecting double digit increases in employment this year?  The NFIB and small business represent the silent majority that is the backbone of employment in the United States.

Getting Caught in Economic Malaise Unnecessarily

Last Friday, I listened to Trent Cowles, a seventeen year veteran of Merrill Lynch, recommend turning off CNBCbecause it’s just too depressing and distracting.  Cowles was giving his view of the US economy on short notice for Don Steel, a member of the NYSE who was ill.  So, forty-five minutes before the planned presentation, Cowles had been recruited to stand in.

And yesterday as I glanced at the front page of the Indianapolis Business Journal, I was caught up in the “malaise” myself.  The IBJ’s front page article, “Hard work, but no pay for unemployed, searching for job is full-time endeavor”, featured three local area white collar executives, two whom I know personally.

Knowing them, I feel like our economy has betrayed them.  Both well educated, they are the knowledge based workforce of the 21st Century economy that Indiana’s economic development leaders at Biocrossroads and Conexussay we have to retain.  Lou Begnel has a life sciences technical background plus an MBA.  And, Scott Sigman is a intermodal transportation expert with a Masters from the London School of Economics.  These are the types of guys that the Indiana economy is supposed to be catering to, right?  All the economic development talent strategies, corporate recruiting strategies, and talent acquisition strategies are supposed to be focused on these types of people.

So in the midst of thinking about Lou and Scott’s trouble in finding employment, I’m starting to believe all the doom and gloom that is coming through every media outlet.  Then I glance at my open positions and recruiting assignments for March and realize that we’ve got more work now than we had in November – which was our best month for 2008.  All the positions are with employers having 500 or fewer employers and they probably won’t fill the positions quickly due to the slow economy.  But, there are jobs out there.  Hope is not lost.

Green Job Creation At Risk in Indiana

Although millions of dollars in federal stimulus money is being allocated to Indiana, our own state legislature may missing a major opportunity for creation of green jobs and infrastructure investment in public transit.

With votes happening possibly this week, if you are interested in seeing Indiana build infrastructure using federal and state dollars for public and mass transit, please contact your legislators regarding the following House and Senate bills.

With only days remaining in the legislative session, legislation that is critical to funding our future public transit needs is still in play.
Please contact your state senator and state representative Monday morning and urge them to support public transit funding.  Votes in the House and Senate will occur as soon as Monday, April 13th. 
What you can do:
In the Senate, tell your senator to support an amendment to HB 1607 to allow communities statewide to establish regional transportation districts to build, operate, and fund public transit systems, including buses, trolleys and light rail.   The amendment incorporates the language of HB 1660, which passed the House but never received a hearing in the Senate.  HB 1607, the target of the amendment, only provides transit funding authority for four northwest Indiana counties. 
In the House, tell your representative to support SB 374.  It contains the regional transportation district language from HB 1660, and  also appropriates $53 million for three public transit systems—South Shore commuter railroad, IndyGo bus system, and the Central Indiana Regional Transportation Authority’s proposed light rail line. 
Need your legislator’s contact information? 
Visit us at .     
Why we need your help:
Expanding public transit in Indiana will create green jobs, help revive our urban centers, save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  Among public transit’s benefits are:
Workforce mobility- cities and towns are more desirable by offering cost-effective ways of getting to and from their workplaces and community services.
Neighborhood redevelopment - walkable urban neighborhoods are the fastest growing real estate sector.
Energy savings -  public transit use in America saves the equivalent of 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline each year.
Public health - public transit takes vehicles off the roads, reducing air pollution.   
Remember to remind your legislator:
Americans are seeking real transportation choices.   Public transit ridership is up nationwide, and in Indiana.  Several local bus systems saw double digit increases in ridership last year, including Indianapolis, Bloomington, and Gary.   The Indiana Department of Transportation’s recent mass transit study found strong demand statewide for more public transit, as did the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce’s opinion poll finding that 87% of central Indiana residents wanted more transit options in metro Indy.  
For more information on public transit and how to contact your state legislator, go to .      

Creation of regional transportation districts along with funding for commuter rail, metro bus system expansion, and Central Indiana's proposed light rail would lead to creation of hundreds of jobs throughout Indiana.  These jobs would help many of those currently out of work.  But, these new jobs would also require retraining and recruiting of some people.  However, it is not known if construction of a light rail line would require custom recruiting solutions or a talent acquisition strategy focused on recruiting personnel nationally for Indiana positions or if the new jobs would increase Indiana employment opportunities for workers already residing here.

Controller/CFO - $20 million company - Indianapolis

Our newest executive recruiting assignment is somewhat similar to our in-process executive search for a Corporate Controller for an Indianapolis headquartered $35 million distributor with double digit growth. 

This recruiting project is for a very stable, well established $20 million industrial equipment services company.  This new opening is  in line with many Indiana employment opportunities that we are seeing with small to mid sized Indiana headquartered companies where we see opportunistic growth and hiring over the past two months.

Here is the job description:

If you are a small to mid sized Indiana headquartered employer experiencing growth through opportunistic hiring, expansion, and strategic acquisition, give Career Solutions Group a call (317) 466-9740 to find out what a custom recruiting solution can do to source and recruit direct competitor passive talent, gather competitive intelligence useful in talent assessment or talent acquisition, and engage your senior management team in a collaborative talent selection process.

csgSelectionQC – an adequate candidate pool

Why is it important to start an executive recruiting or search process with an adequate potential candidate pool?  

At Career Solutions Group, we believe that the executive search process, whether for a single position or for a multiple position staffing project, has three phases – research, candidate identification and recruiting, and finalist selection.

Research or generation of the names and contact information of the correct titled people, active and passive job seekers, has become a commodity in the internet age.  With minimal training and effort, anyone can compile an adequate candidate research pool for most positions in any organization.  

However, in some situations custom, passive candidate identification does make sense.  Situations where there are very specific technical requirements, when relocation is not an option, or when more than seventy correct titled people cannot be researched per position would be examples of inadequate publicly available research.

Without adequate research the recruiting process is likely to stall.  The yield of potential finalist candidates who are qualified and interested will be too small.  This results in a worst case scenario of a hiring manager moving from the recruiting phase into finalist selection with unequally qualified candidates.

Having unequally qualified finalists can make the vetting of finalists either very easy or very difficult.  But, it always results in selecting talent for one position from a hodge-podge of finalists.

The best practice is write job specifications so that adequate research can be developed or to supplement publicly available research with custom, passive name generation.

Moving into finalist selection with all qualified finalists allows a hiring manager the best opportunity to focus on getting the right fit.

Why candidate resumes are a free commodity.

Years ago, almost twenty, when I entered the executive recruiting world recruiters "owned" candidates.  Candidate ownership was a rule within search firms, the same as Realtors own property listings.  Within recruiting firms and between affiliated firms, executive recruiters did "splits" based upon percentages of candidate ownership in order to divvy up fees.

When Career Solutions Group was founded in 1995, we felt the concept of candidate ownership was an unethical practice and an unprofessional way of running a recruiting business.  So, we never allowed it internally and rarely split fees externally with other firms.

While we may have been progressive at the time, technology has finally caught up with us.  The social democracy of the internet has so reduced the value of "candidate ownership" that it's nearly obsolete.

Large contingency recruiting firms and franchises like Management Recruiters (MRI) are having the foundation of their business model challenged by the devaluing of owning a candidate's resume.  If you can find a candidate's resume for free or a minimal charge on the internet, what's the value of paying a 25-33% contingency placement fee for it?  And, corporations are finally doing a much better job of training managers how to deal with unsolicited resumes so that they don't become unilateral contracts.

We believe that the devaluing of resume ownership focuses the true value on the service and expertise that executive recruiters and, especially that, retained search firms provide to companies and hiring managers in the areas of passive candidate development and finalist candidate selection.

To help professionals on the job market and to raise the professionalism of the recruiting industry, the 'No Resume Required' site is a FREE RESUME EXCHANGE zone.

The Cost of Mis-hiring

The cost of hiring could be the most frequently discussed issue in human resource consulting, attempting to place time and monetary figures on internal resources versus external recruiting costs.  With out a quality control process in candidate selection, it can be even costlier.  An issue that is seldom addressed is the cost of a mis-hire.  C-level leadership can agree that, not only attracting and hiring top quality candidates is crucial to strategic business goals, but retaining that talent is as critical and can be the greatest challenge in a hiring decision, however, less quantifiable.  Sometimes too personal or painful to study, the cost of mis-hires is often avoided, even in executive management turnover it can be viewed as a cost of doing business.

The number of hours per year wasted (for you and others) because a C player was hired rather than an A player:

0 - 25 hours 2%
26 - 99 hours 18%
100 - 199 hours 27%
200 - 399 hours 25%
More than 400 hours 28%
Total 100%

Five hundred seven people responded. Since the median response was at the high end of the 100-199 hours wasted category, it seems that the average mis-hire can cause us to waste at least 150 hours.  (

Today’s larger pool of candidates only tempts the situation further. Leadership and search committees can agree on the core competencies of a position, but when it comes time to place a value on the resources necessary to complete a search, there can be conjecture; an organization’s size can dictate expediency.  With economic factors leading to greater active candidates, both in access and drive, quality control in the candidate selection process is of the highest importance.

Employing a solid quality control process in candidate selection will reduce mis-hires.  Through chronological interviewing and reference checks, employers can eliminate many of the costly hiring mistakes that lead to turnover and candidate search re-starts, bring competency, culture and candidate together in accord.

Indiana Talent Selection: A Players in A Roles

In a recent Harvard Business Ideacast, Dick Beatty, Professor of Human Resources Management at Rutgers' School of Management & Labor Relations and author of "The Differentiated Workforce: Transforming Talent into Strategic Impact", discussed strategic human capital planning with the goal of managing talent like a portfolio.

While our firm has been a big fan of the Topgrading methodology of identifying top talent, the idea that all organizations will function well with A Players in every role in the company might be the source of "cat fights" in some organizations versus a cohesive, well-oiled team.  Beatty's research shows that only some roles and people within an organization actually drive the creation of wealth and value in a company.  

From Beatty's research, it is rare that more than 15% of talent in an organization is really responsible for driving value creation.  Still, all roles have importance in a business' successful performance.  Beatty does not feel that businesses should hire just anyone who is looking for a job, rather only hire people who love what you do.  But, 'A Players' need to be in the 'A Roles' to drive value and wealth creation.

Port Director - Port of Jeffersonville, Indiana

We are initiating an extensive, full search of passive, previously identified and active potential candidates for the Port Director position in Jeffersonville, Indiana with the Ports of Indiana.  This is a highly visible role, responsible for direction, leadership, and continued growth of Indiana's newest and potentially fastest growing port.

The Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville is one of the fastest growing ports on the Inland Waterway System. This intermodal transportation gateway is located on the northern bank of the Ohio River in Jeffersonville, Ind., directly across the river from Louisville, Ky. This location is within a one-day drive of more than two-thirds of the U.S. market and is adjacent to the "automotive and appliance alley." 

The newest of Indiana's three ports, the Jeffersonville port began operations in 1985 and quickly established a convenient network of traffic routes and onsite services that offer companies a number of competitive advantages. 

The port also offers:

        •12-month ocean access to world markets via the Inland Waterway System to the 
          Gulf of Mexico
        •1,000 acres with approximately 26 tenants
        •Foreign Trade Zone classification
        •Service for a wide variety of commodities and general cargo products such as 
          corn, soybeans, fertilizer, plastics, paper, iron and steel
        •Onsite storage of approximately 1.6 million bushels of grain with a throughput 
          rate of 30,000 bushels per hour
        •3,200 linear feet of riverfront access.

Waterways - State-of-the-art river facility provides 12-month barge access to world markets via the Inland Waterway System and the Gulf of Mexico. With 3,200 linear feet of river frontage, corn, soybeans, fertilizer, paper, iron and steel are all efficiently handled at the port.

Rail - Port provides competitive rail service to shippers throughout the nation by way of CSX and the Louisville Indiana Railroad Co. These carriers provide interchanges with seven Class I railroads including CP, NS, CN, CSX, KCS, BNSF, and UP. The port also offers tenants an intraport short line that provides on-site switching services through M.G. Rail.

Highways - Located at the Crossroads of America, the Jeffersonville port is directly connected to the Louisville-Jeffersonville I-265 bypass, which provides unparalleled interstate access to I-65, I-64 and I-71, making it possible for port businesses to reach over two-thirds of the U.S. market within a one-day's drive.

Air - The port is located just 14 miles from the Louisville International Airport via I-65 where 90 commercial flights depart daily to 50 U.S. cities. Also, the Clark County Airport, located eight miles from the port, offers a full service aviation facility.

The key elements of a successful Port Director in Jeffersonville as outlined by the executive team in Indianapolis are:

1)  Executive Presence
2)  New Business Development Expertise
3)  Operational Leadership
4) Transportation Business Background (maritime exp. helpful)
5)  Real Estate Development/Leasing

Ports of Indiana was created in 1961 by the Indiana General Assembly to replace the Indiana Board of Public Harbors and Terminals (IBPHT), established in 1939.  The Ports of Indiana is dedicated to facilitating economic development in Indiana through logistics facilities and services, maritime industrial and commercial development, development finance tools, and strategic public-private partnerships.  

The state's three-port system serves the world's most productive industrial and agricultural region through a combination of strategic location, intermodal connections and specialized facilities. The Ports of Indiana is a quasi-governmental organization that operates a statewide system of ports, foreign trade zones and economic development programs under the authority of the Indiana Port Commission, a seven-member bipartisan board appointed by the Governor.  Each year, the Ports of Indiana ships more than 6 million tons of cargo making Indiana the 14th most productive in the United States.

Career Solutions Group is handling full candidate research, including identified candidates, active candidates, and targeted passive candidate sources.  Executive recruiting and identification of recommended candidates will follow our client's talent acquisition strategy.  The finalist talent selection process will fully explore each finalist's ability to meet the position objectives and excel in the role and within the organization.  

Needing a Recruiter for a Mortgage Originator? Housing must be rebounding.

In this anemic economy can you imagine needing to retain an executive recruiting firm to hire a Mortgage Originator?  We're not the only Indianapolis search firm that must be receiving these calls.  

Well, the housing market has been rebounding and all the reports we've heard from banks are that the mortgage applications are flowing in.  The 30 year mortgage rose slightly to 4.91 percent this week.  While there is some concern that the US government won't be able to cover it's multi-trillion debts, the treasury market is moving for now.

According to one local regional bank EVP of Mortgage origination volume has actually been growing steadily since November.  Now the volume is pushing organizations to have to add to staff.  But, positions will likely only be added in Origination since Underwriting, Processing, and Servicing have all been centralized (outside of Indiana) by major lenders.

It's a good sign that mortgage volume is up again.  According to an area realtor, in one Fishers subdivision, four homes listed all sold recently within 45 days out of a 142 home neighborhood.

Talent Upgrading: Should an executive accept an offer for $23,000 less?

In this case, my answer is "yes".

Our firm specializes in working with Indiana headquartered companies that need to hire top talent to grow.  Sometimes executive search involves relocating someone from a State with oceans and mountains to Indianapolis.  Executive recruiting also involves getting top level executives to agree to take a step back in the short term for growth potential.

This month, we have an executive doing just that.  A local executive is taking a $23,000 cut in base salary to start in a position which he believes offers great potential.

I believe he's doing the right thing.  Our client believes they will be able to fulfill this exec's desire for growth, challenge, and also compensation - eventually.  

Why would anyone in his or her right mind do this?

Well, it takes a great deal of trust between the parties involved to make this type of deal successful.  First, as a retained Indianapolis search firm, we are committed to a locally headquartered company and their management team.  We believe in their team and we believe in their mission.  This was not a custom recruiting strategy that we developed to help a company "get a deal" by upgrading the talent on their executive team by "low balling" and preying upon someone.

Was this an opportunistic hire?  You bet it was.  This company has had three years of double digit growth and is in the midst of growing pains - organizationally and financially.  The CEO desperately needed to upgrade the skill level on his senior management team for the company to meet the challenges it faces.  Because our talent acquisition strategy embraced this company's mission and their need, our team was able to provide the bridge to the gap in talent the company needed.  

Today in Indianapolis, there is an exec who is tickled to be starting a new job where he will earn $23,000 less.  And, we're really happy for him - and for our client too!

Talent Selection QC: Truth Serum for Hiring & Proof Of Concept

Over the last 18 years in executive recruiting, I've learned that corporate executives and human resources managers don't always have time to conduct thorough reference checks of finalist candidates for positions.  I've long believed that detailed, thorough reference checks with key managers, peers, and subordinates (not the friends and family references provided) are crucial to validating critical skills, qualifications, psychological profiles, and interview feedback assumptions.  

At the bottom of this post, you'll find an email from a candidate validating TopGrading author, Brad Smart's, assertion below that merely the threat of a detailed reference check can flush out a problem candidate.  Actually checking the references is an invaluable wealth of information not only for talent selection validation, but also for understanding how past managers and colleagues have worked effectively with an individual.


To listen to this Topgrading Tip, 
Click Here

Every hiring manager knows reference checks are generally worthless. The problem is that companies prohibit managers from taking reference calls for fear that if managers say something negative about former employees and those former employees are rejected from jobs, they might sue their former employer.  Candidates know it, so they submit references who are buddies.  

Readers familiar with Topgrading know our "truth serum" works at mid-to-upper levels, where reference checks are done, and in this article I'm pleased to announce 3 new revisions that add to its truth serum power.

But what about lower levels, where reference checks aren't done?  This article describes the Checkster approach, which is effective and inexpensive.  Both approaches have powerful "truth serum" that motivates candidates to tell you the whole truth.

Threat of Reference Check (TORC Technique).  Topgraders all know that candidates are told, from the very first interaction, that in order to get a job offer THEY will eventually have to arrange personal reference calls with bosses (and others).  That's the "threat" of reference checks.

This scares C players away - good!  C players can't get their former bosses to talk to you and C players wouldn't want you to talk with them anyway.  Twenty-five years of experience confirms that high performers CAN get their former bosses to talk and are happy to make the arrangements.

There are several 2009 updates to the Topgrading Career History Form.  As you can see in the Instructions page (below), candidates are told that there are 3 reasons for their having to arrange personal reference calls with bosses: 

Understand that if you are applying for a job with a different employer, before a final job offer, you will probably be asked to arrange personal reference calls with bosses (and others).  There are three reasons we ask you to do this:

a)    Your development.  Candid, confidential insights of bosses and others can be used to help you move smoothly into the next job and can help you create a powerful Individual Development Plan. 
b)    Verification.  Confidential reference calls with bosses and others will add credibility to the information you have provided throughout the hiring process.
c)    Ease.  It's difficult for us to get former bosses and others to talk with us, but high performers CAN arrange for those personal discussions.

And by the way, Topgraders provide thorough developmental coaching to new hires, so the first justification - development of the person - is not a ploy, it's for real!

The latest version of the Topgrading Career History Form includes two other revisions:  1. estimated boss ratings on the 6 competencies most indicative of high performers, and 2. a statement of what they consider the ideal next job.  All three revisions make sense, right?

The "truth serum" is, of course, the awareness on the part of candidates that THEY will be arranging calls with bosses, so they don't want to be caught hyping positives and hiding negatives.  So, all candidates (not just the high performers) tell the truth.  (High performers tell the truth; trouble is, before the "truth serum" it was hard for employers ... that would be you ... to figure out which glowing career accounts were true or false.)


Now, here's an email that we recently received from a potential GM/VP candidate for a position after discussing our intent to interview his references (I've changed the names for confidentiality):

I owe you an apology because I have not been totally up front with you. You asked me what would some of my (Fortune200Co) Managers would say about me. I told you what I hoped they would say based on my productivity but, the fact of the matter is I was forced to resign from 
(Fortune200Co), not because I was unproductive but because I was dishonest and took matters into my own hands and misused my authority.
I was promised a bonus and raise if I performed and met my numbers of which I did, this deal was offered to me by XXX XXXXX a Senior VP, my immediate managers XXXXX XXXXXXX and XXX XXXXXXXXX were not aware of this offer and they felt like they were betrayed and I went around their back so they rescinded it. I was angry and felt betrayed and I began to use one of the credit cards I was entrusted with for personal use. I was wrong and made several bad decisions because I did not just do this once. 
During an internal audit my inappropriate behavior surfaced and I was asked to repay the total amount that I abused and resign. During the following years I have interviewed for several great positions of which I was honest about why I left 
(Fortune200Co), it has cost me some jobs and it should because I deserve whatever repercussions that follow. That's why I need to be honest with you so you are not surprised. I have not made any unethical or immoral decisions since this incident and this behavior was so out of character for me. I think the hardest thing I had to do was explain this behavior to my wife, two children and my parents, they did not condone my behavior and I have been trying to prove myself ever since. 
So, I think I should remove myself for consideration, I 'm sure there are more worthy and competent candidates.
Thank you for the consideration,

Mortgage Banker - Indianapolis Headquartered Bank

We are initiating a search for an Indianapolis headquartered bank that is looking for an experienced Mortgage Banker.  As an Indianapolis recruiter of banking talent, we are looking for an experienced mortgage professional who desires to work in a wealth management style banking environment. This search assignment will focus on Indiana executive recruiting versus out-of-state candidates.

This is not a position for a prospecting salesperson.  

The bank has asked that we screen potential candidates, referring only those who have 3 of these 5 qualifications:

1.  Underwriting experience

2.  Fannie Mae experience or Fannie Mae guideline knowledge

3.  Processing experience

4.  Jumbo experience

5.  Origination experience

Here is a job description for your review:

Growing & Stable Indiana Headquartered Bank Hiring a Credit Analyst

We have been retained to help the largest Indianapolis headquarted bank in selection of a new commercial banking Credit Analyst.  The position is one that our firm filled a little more than three years ago and the individual hired at that time (just out of college) is now being promoted to Private Banking.

This is a great opportunity for someone either just out of college or early in their career to explore a career in commercial banking.  This bank has had double digit growth every year for fifteen years and has one of the top ten equity growth rates in the nation.  Although professional attire is mandatory, the work atmosphere is very family oriented and friendly.

Career Solutions Group is an executive search firm founded and headquarted in Indianapolis since 1995.  The firm handles external executive search and executive recruiting for this Indianapolis headquarted bank.  Career Solutions provides talent acquisition strategy and custom recruiting services primarily to Indiana headquartered companies.

New Contract Staffing for 'On the Circle' & Investment Companies

After working on the Circle and placing permanent employees with other Circle area employers for over 10 years, we decided that it made good sense to start offering contract staffing services outside our permanent placement customers.  

Our service concept is to offer experienced contract staff who have already proven themselves by working with employers in the downtown Indianapolis area surrounding the Circle or within the investment management market niche in the metropolitan area.  Over the years, through our retained permanent placement custom recruiting services, Career Solutions Group has provided external executive search services and custom recruiting solutions supporting corporate recruiting for downtown administrative and investment positions such as Executive Assistant, Client Support Manager, Trust Support Manager, Employee Benefit Support Manager, Administrative Assistant, Investment Analyst, Investment Operations Manager, Investment Accountant, Staff Accountant, Assistant Controller, Controller, CFO, CFA, CFP, Portfolio Manager, Money Manager, Financial Analyst, Pricing Analyst, Paralegal, Legal Assistant, Business Litigator, Sarbanes Oxley Director, Accounts Payable Specialist, various banking back office operational roles, and Office Manager.

Here are current Contract Staff available for assignment:

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

'On the Circle' Contract Staffing for Investment Operations & Sales Support

Although Career Solutions has always been a Generalist firm, working in banking, power generation, accounting, and manufacturing, one area of special expertise has traditionally been investment management.  Over the years, we have helped bank trust departments, institutional investment groups, brokerages, and boutique investment management firms in executive recruiting for wide range of positions from CFA/Money Manager to Investment Operations Specialist.

For Indianapolis area companies with investment management operations, Career Solutions is now offering experienced contract staff who have already proven themselves by working with employers in the downtown Indianapolis area surrounding the Circle or withing the investment management market in the surrounding doughnut counties.  While we continue to focus on retained, passive candidate executive search and custom recruiting solutions for special projects, we are offering these current contract staff available for short term assignments or contract-to-permanent placements: