Archives for November, 2017

Candidate Tip 163: Not Everyone is Going to Like You

One of my sayings is, “In the casino business, you can always find someone that does not like you.” For me personally, the guy that wanted me to invest in his cooking show. Sorry, not my thing! The guy that wanted an introduction to Tony Hsieh at Zappos. Sorry, you need a value proposition! And several of the candidates I would not represent. “Mark says he is a Christian, but he would not help me.” I kid you not.  Heard that multiple times.  They don’t understand that I can’t possibly represent every candidate that approaches me.  And since my reputation is on the line every time I submit a resume, I can only represent executives that I know personally.

Andy Choy of Melco once told me a casino executive was pity mouthing me all over Las Vegas. My response was, “Not sure that says anything about me; sure says a lot about him.” From a career perspective, do your best not to burn your bridges. As Walt Disney said, “It’s a small, small world.” When I did searches for GMs at Ameristar years ago, they would circulate candidate resumes to all 12 GMs. If any of the 12 made a negative comment, the candidate was OUT.

Although I’m a big believer in referrals and references, I always temper that with “consider the source.” If I discounted every candidate that had a personality conflict somewhere in their career…there would be no candidates left. Lesson learned? Not everyone wants to be your friend. Do your best to play well with others and follow the Golden Rule.  Mother Teresa said it best, “For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”

Career Mistake #132: Too Busy to Interview

If your career search is not a priority for you, it certainly won’t be for Executive Recruiters or hiring companies.
It’s fine to be a passive candidate (not really looking), however once you are in the interview process it needs to become a priority.
As Walt Disney said, “It’s a small, small world.” Time is the great equalizer. We all have 24 hours a day, from Bill Gates to the homeless. Time is our most valuable asset. If you waste the time of an Executive Recruiter and/or hiring company, they won’t be back for seconds.

Career Mistake #347: What We Have Here is a Lack of Communication

This is a common issue executives that have either not looked for a new career opportunity in many years, or have never worked with an Executive Recruiter.
First, keep the Executive Recruiter informed of all communications and interviews with the hiring company. They are your Talent Agent.
Second, provide feedback to the Recruiter after each interview. Specifically, do you still have interest in the job? It’s disappointing when I email a client to find out when a candidate will interview, only to find out they already did. Where’s my feedback from the candidate? Far too often candidates push on me to make the interview process move more quickly, but don’t keep me in the loop.
Remember this, I don’t get paid unless I get you placed, so rest assured I’m on the job.

Career Mistake 332: Failure to Disclose

“Mark, bring me people of integrity.  If they don’t have integrity, I don’t care how brilliant or talented they are.”  A CEO told me this many years ago, and it has stuck with me ever since. 

Failure to disclose is a fatal candidate error.  If you don’t disclose information on an employment application or gaming license that can have a material effect on the document, and it comes up during the background search, you will be terminated or denied a gaming license.  

For example, I once had a VP, Human Resources that did not disclose a minor incident that was 13 years old.  It was not something that would materially affect his employment, however the fact he did NOT DISCLOSE it on the application was a deal breaker – he was terminated.  ALWAYS DISCLOSE. 

As Gaming Arts CEO David Colvin famously said, “Honesty is not only the best policy; it’s the only policy.”

Career Mistake 117: Pricing Yourself Out of the Market

Getting a job is similar to selling a house. Most sellers have an emotional attachment to their house and price it way about the COMPS (market rate). Candidates tend to do the same thing – ask for compensation that is far above the market rate and/or more than their education and experience justify. Same result: They sit on the beach (unemployed) for a year or until they lower their price.
Let’s be crystal clear about one thing – anyone that tells you money does not matter….doesn’t have any! Careers and compensation are important, however understanding your market value is CRITICAL. It’s based on education, professional experience, unique skill set and market conditions.
Keep in mind that if you currently make $100,000, no company will pay you $200,000. Even if I valued you at $200,000, current compensation does play a role in job offers, and no HR executive is going to double your salary.
The good news is market conditions are optimal. Lowest unemployment rate in history, so candidates are receiving “above market rate” offers. Always remember this – the best way to secure a new career opportunity is to understand your market value and price the house appropriately.