FIRST DAY back in my office in Georgetown since Wednesday. Flew in this morning on the red eye from Los Angeles. Attended my first meeting as a member of the Whittier College Board of Trustees. First time they've had a Japanese-American on the board.
Went out a couple of days ahead of time to interview three women for a search I'm doing for a major hotel chain. They're looking for six comptrollers, either women or minorities, and came to me because they know that's my specialty. Glad I've kept up with my contact at the company all these years. The old "networking" concept still works.
Turn on the coffee pot and the copying machine and look through the stack of mail that piled up last week. Find all the resumes I had requested before I left, along with about 25 unsolicited resumes. I usually get about 200 unsolicited ones every week. Ask my secretary to send letters of explanation to people sending the unsolicited ones explaining how Interface differs from the standard employment agency. We explain that I work for prospective employers, not job hunters. Also remind her to enclose tips on writing a resume for the ones I felt needed advice.
I make a lunch reservation at the Bagatelle to meet with a research institute director looking for a senior vice president to organize a public affairs department. Look through the resumes I'd requested and call five of them to set up appointments with them for this week and next. I'd better get cracking on the analyst search I'd signed a contract for last week. Search through some of my "A" source files but can't find anybody who looks promising enough. It's a high-paying job, and most of my sources are still at mid-level, not quite ready for top management.
Go to lunch and find it's a waste of time. The prospective client is only willing to hire me on a contingency. Tell him I don't work that way. In fact, most executive recruiters don't take contingencies. Clients commit themselves to paying 30 percent of the employe's first-year base salary and bonus. Spend the rest of the afternoon calling some old friends from my White House days to see if they have any ideas of people who might qualify for the analyst's position.
Pretty tired from the West Coast trip, so head for home at 6, probably the last evening this week I'll have to spend relaxing with Jean and the kids. Tuesday
In the office at 6 today, my usual time. I noticed being short the two hours of office time when I got back from L.A. and didn't get to the office till 8 yesterday. Take the time this morning to catch up on some magazine reading and to line up the day's telephone schedule. Figure I can fit in at least five or six phone calls before I begin interviewing at 10.
Remember to clip a magazine article on demographics in the 1980s. Has some good stuff on population trends that might be good for direct mail promotion to potential clients. They seem to like it when I send them clippings they might not have had a chance to see.
Sort three different search files and start making calls. First candidate tells me she doesn't want to relocate in Chicago. Too bad. It's top pay for a good position with a medical firm. They're looking for a vice president of marketing. It's good I found out ahead of time that she doesn't want to relocate. Can't afford to have another bomb like I did last week. A real bummer. Should have followed my hunches on that one instead of putting all my faith into what my friend said about the candidate's qualifications. But my friend's pretty sharp. I just can't figure out how he was so thoroughly fooled. I thought the reason the candidate made such a low salary was probably because she's so young. Turns out she's seven years older than I thought. Then, the client was appalled at her portfolio. Called it totally superficial. I should have looked at the portfolio like I always do before sending her to the client. It sure taught me I can't afford to deviate from my standard, overly cautious ways of operating.
Talk to another candidate for the marketing v.p. She likes the sound of the job but doesn't think the title is heavy enough for her. Thinks it should be a senior vice presidency. The way the company is structured, I don't think there's a chance of that. It's the first time they've even consented to actively look for a woman or a minority and I can't imagine they're also willing to elevate the title.
Third candidate I talk with sounds really promising. Strong background in marketing plus lots of management experience. All the right credentials, even the right minority, Hispanic American. Line up interview with him. Probably will end up presenting him to the client if he's as good in person as he looks on paper and sounds on the phone.
Get in three more phone calls before lunch. Lunch is more productive today than yesterday. It's with a likely candidate for a major trade association. Not sure his background as a black union organizer will fit the specific job I have in mind. But he'd be super at the Labor Department, or maybe even at one of the major unions.
That reminds me I've got to get a mailing out to the trade associations with my brochure and a cover letter about executive recruiting. The last mailing really seemed to bring in some good business leads. I'll use the same technique I used the last time, stamp "personal and confidential" on the front of the envelope. It seemed to get the mailing by the secretaries.
Spend the rest of the day going through my files of Hispanic Americans to try to find candidates for a job on the West Coast, a clothing manufacturer. Company's been warned they'd better step up their affirmative action, and they're frantic to comply. They tell me they couldn't find many other firms that specializes in executive recruiting of women and minorities. Leave office at 6 for a round of receptions winding up with dinner with a candidate and client. Wednesday
In the office early again. Take morning phone call from a candidate who was scheduled to meet with a client for two hours who ended up meeting for seven straight hours. They didn't make him an offer, but it sounds like they're serious. Try phoning the client but he was out of town. That will be a biggie for my company if they hire him, particularly at the $50,000 salary they're talking about. After the search I just lost, I can use it.
I was really crazy to put so much time and energy into something before I had a signed contract. I probably spent a couple of days a week for six months, and after that they told me they'd decided to go with another firm. Spend the rest of the afternoon reviewing the status of the nine searches I'm currently conducting. Looks like at least three of these were a direct result of the mass mailing I did to Fortune 500 companies.
Hold a short interview with another comptroller candidate at 4:30 and then go on to a tennis date with a client before going home with two briefcases full of reading and reports to review. Thursday
Spend the morning dictating status reports to three clients, then go to the airport for a quick trip to Chicago. Half-day trips are really exhausting. Meet three job candidates, one right after another, in the Red Carpet Club at O'Hare. All three look promising, and I'll be presenting them to the clients once I get the final presentations all set.
Back on the airplane late this afternoon in time for a party honoring a black woman at HEW. She's a person I placed over there when I was a White House recruiter. At the party, I bump into a lot of government types I've known over the years, and I get an update on the League of Latin American Citizens. They invite me to attend their next meeting.
From Looking around the ballroom, it strikes me that there really has been an improvement in hiring of women and minorities. Used to be that everyone at parties like this was a male, white, Anglo-Saxon Portestant. Now they're the minority.
End up the evening driving a corporate personnel director to the airport to catch the last shuttle before heading home. He promises to call me with some names for a search I'm doing for the vice president of personnel for a big northeastern utility company. Friday
Not enough days in the week to get everything done. Have to rush to finish last three status reports on the nine searches because today is a short day in the office. Several weeks ago I promised the family to take them out of town for the weekend, and I said I'd take this afternoon off.
Take a call from someone who saw me on the tennis court Wednesday. Wants to know if I can help find an aerospace engineer for a management job on the West Coast. I tell him I would be out in the Pacific Northwest in a couple of weeks on another search and could combine the two. Promise to call him early next week to sit down and iron out the details.
Finally hear back from the client who kept my candidate at the interview for seven hours. They want to make an offer and then want my help in putting together the package. Seems they have a difference of opinion on where the candidate should be in the company's hierarchy. Make an appointment for a meeting to discuss that next week first thing Monday morning. I'd like to get it wrapped up so I can work on the other eight searches. Hopefully, at least a couple more of them can be finalized next week.
Sign a bunch of checks for payroll, utilities and rent. Pay American Express and remember to make notes so I can get reimbursed by the clients. Realize that the lunches with friends last week will just have to be written off taxes because they aren't billable to any clients but that they all do help me keep up good contacts.
Load up my briefcase with some more reading and copies of my status reports to review for typos and head home to pick up the family to go out of town. As we're leaving, the phone rings. The guy with the seven-hour interview was offered the job. Today he told his current employer. He matched the offer dollar for dollar. So he didn't take the job with my client. Feeling thoroughly frustrated, I slam the door and head out of town.