Don't Use Poor Judgment in Your Hiring Decisions

Question: It is my opinion that the "bait and switch" tactics used by employers and their hired employment agencies is consistently used to screen the undesirable "minority" and/or “disabled” candidates from the better "match" non-minority, non-disabled candidates.  Yet, in the face of the various adversities that prevents highly qualified candidates from becoming gainfully employed, what can a candidate do without playing the race, age or disability card?  (Harold R., HR Director, Omaha, NE)

Response:  To begin with I am NOT an expert on racism.  I am however a 67 year business professional with a disability (I walk with a cane) and have experienced discrimination from both of these arenas.  Even though I am consider an “expert” in employee retention and other people issues, I was told recently that although I am filled with energy, the President of a particular company was reluctant to hire me to facilitate a management strategy seminar for his people because he wanted somebody that “looked whole.”

Considering I fly airplanes, walk, talk, dress, swim, manage a business, have an exercise regime, play catch with my grandson, facilitate a dozen seminars a year, am happily married and have spent a lifetime learning my trade, I was a bit irritated to say the least.  So irritated in fact that I canceled the recruiting contract I had with them, even though it was lucrative and they “claimed” I was one of the few recruiters that every really performed for them.

My advice to you is the same as it is to all of my potential candidates.  In order for me to present you as the “most place-able candidate” or better said……in order for YOU to prepare yourself to become the most place-able candidate it all comes down to the following; SKILLS, STABILITY, EXPERIENCE AND ATTITUDE.
  • All companies ask me for the “skill set” first.  If you don’t match the qualifications, why would you try to force a square peg into a round hole?  All it does is offer frustration and a set up for a failure.
  • Job hopping is a no-no.  I recently read an article that says the Generation X & Y employees will change jobs 26 times in their career path.  This is an atrocious goal in life. I hear from hiring managers, “why doesn’t he/she stay any longer than 2 years at any given job?”  And I rhetorically respond, “Good question, why don’t they?”
  • You must learn your trade and then relearn your trade every day.  Our world moves fast and change is a common word in most growing business environments.  If you don’t have the skill sets required by an employer it probably won’t be a match, no matter how hard you try. What did you do in the last 12 months to improve yourself?  Remember that YOUR resume is only a job description of who you were.  You must be prepared to demonstrate to a prospective hiring manager what you plan to be and how your presence can impact their company in a positive way!
  • There are no longer any “give-me’s” in this world.  Having an attitude that the new employer or current employer “owes you” is a destination to nowhere.  It all begins with you the employee.  Why fall into an impossible stereotype?  Why not demonstrate your qualifications by example?  My grandmother used to tell me, “deeds not words!”
When I speak with employers about employees they have terminated I hear, “they just acted like they didn’t want to be here; or he/she stood around with his/her hands in their pockets waiting for ME to do it; or He/she never contributed to the conversation, never offer good solutions to problems; or when the five o’clock buzzer rang, they were out the door like a shot.”

All these actions demonstrate why an employer wouldn’t want to keep an employee.  And if you fit into these categories, change or the results will be the same in the future for you.

Now from the management or hiring side of these issues I suggest the following;
  1. Start looking at candidates from what assets and value that they bring to the organization.
  2. Look at candidates with this thought, “if he/she has only five years left to work, how can I empower them to allow me to tap into their knowledge to grow the people in this department or company?”
  3. Become known as a company that is a champion of PEOPLE. This will probably include soul searching and making decisions that you have probably not made in your “job hiring” past.
  4. The results will be that you will have a work place that people will WANT to work and the word will spread and it will positively affect your sales and bottom line.
  5. If one of your friends or parent was noticeably older than you or walked with a disability or had a different color of skin, would you tell him/her not to come to your house because you didn’t want the neighbors to know that you associate with “those types” of HUMAN BEINGS?  I think not, so why do it in your business life?
  6. QUALIFIED candidates will reward you, the company and their co-workers once given the opportunity to shine.
Go forth and make this a tremendous week for you and everyone around you!  If I can be of any assistance to you or your organization with regards to Revenue Growth, Retention or Recruitment please call or write and I will respond immediately!

George F. Mancuso, CPC
Client Growth Consultants

Employee Retention Is a Management Issue, Not a Human Resource Issue

Question:  Employee Retention continues to be a management and not a human resource issue!  Below is a true story that was related to me by one of my clients in Overland Park, KS.  This is shared with you with their permission.

Response:  My “client” has a high end greenhouse operation. They hired a young lady “employee” on a part time at minimum wage.  The employee had lost her job, was a single mom, homeowner and been in the community for several years.  She took the job out of desperation to feed her family. The client loved her work ethics, on time always there reporting, and first to offer to help.  The employee was on a hunt for a full time job and met with the client owners, explaining her dilemma.  The employee explained that she really loved working there.  She enjoyed the co-workers, good working environment and was very comfortable but just couldn’t make ends meet.
So the client said, let us think about it and we’ll give you an answer tomorrow. 

Tomorrow came and they offered her full time work, and a whopping .25 per hour raise.  TWO WHOLE DOLLARS PER DAY! 3 days later the employee gave a two week notice as she had interviewed and was offered an administrative position for $3.50 more per hour.  The client responded by saying they would match it if she would stay, but the die had been cast and she turned them down.  One well trained good worker gone, and it didn’t have to be.

In discussing this with the client they revealed to me that they pay a temp agency almost $13.00 per hour for untrained help for a day or two of “warm body” work.  I asked if they didn’t see the error in their judgment.  Their turnover rate is very high, they don’t keep but a very few employees as core employees.  The cost of training and retraining far outweighs the value of paying people a fair wage for a fair days work.

I asked, “…if you were willing to match the offer, why didn’t you just make it in the first place?”  Answer, “…because we thought she’d stay and we’d save the money.”

This scenario plays itself out all over the United States in the workforce.  From a financial standpoint this position is truly illogical.  From a moral standpoint, it’s deplorable.  And from a morale and retention standpoint, it’s the kiss of death.  Retention continues to be a management issue.

I hope this week is a great one.  Call or write if I can assist you with Employee Retention, Recruitment or Revenue Growth issues.


George F. Mancuso, CPC
Client Growth Consultants


What You Need to KNOW, Because the Best Solution Doesn't Always Win

QUESTION: I recently had this conversation and sales event with a professional sales/management young lady that I have mentored for many years. Because it has an unusual happy ending, I’d like to share it with you.
“George, I lost an account that I had been working on for weeks and I feel so beat up and demoralized that it’s almost difficult to put into words.
I pursued this account with tremendous diligence using most of the techniques that you have taught me over the years. I understood their problems, got close to them so communication seemed to be right on target and I believed that our solutions were the best solutions for them. What really hurts is that they made their decision on issues that just weren’t that important.Not only am I upset because I lost but I’m upset because they lost too.”
RESPONSE: My young friend learned valuable lessons that included:
  • The best solution doesn’t always win
  • The one with the highest sense of service doesn’t always win either
  • Solutions and services are only prerequisites for success
  • It is possible to sell competitively without selling negatively
  • And the one who wins isn’t necessarily the best person with the best product but possibly just the best competitor
So here are the future considerations and how we turned this event around;
  1. KNOW YOUR COMPETITOR: You need to know everything there is to know about the competition.
  2. KNOW THE OPPOSING SALES PERSON OR TEAM: There is a strong difference between sales people, their approaches, their presentations and their closing methods. Know who you are dealing with.
  3. PICK THE ISSUES THAT GIVE YOU THE COMPETITIVE EDGE: If you can control the issues you can control the sale.
  4. SELL TO THE INDIVIDUALS NOT TO THE COMPANY AS A GROUP: Remember that groups are not homogeneous. They are composed of individuals who will have different reasons for voting the way they do.I know you are going to scream at me, “THIS IS NOT FAIR” but life isn’t fair. When it comes time to vote, personal issues typically outweigh corporate ones.
  5. FINALLY, CONSIDER YOURSELF THE QUARTERBACK: An outstanding quarterback gets ready for the game, knows where he might get overrun or intercepted, and understands the opposing team and their players and DIRECTS THE GAME PLAN.
I was fortunate that this young lady’s company is very progressive, determined and strives for excellence. They hired me to perform a “post mortem” on the alleged lost sale. I met with the players of her company, learned about and understood the presentation and its intended results for the prospect. I called the President of the prospective company, explained who I was, why I was calling and asked for an appointment in the immediate future which was granted. When I left they were so impressed that the selling company had gone to such lengths to secure them as a customer, they invited BOTH competitors back for a second presentation. And yes you guess it; “our” team got the final contract signed at the day of presentation. A 1.5 million dollar loss one week turned into a $1.5M gain the next week. Aren’t happy endings great? As always, please accept my wishes for a tremendous week. If I can be of assistance to you or your organization when it comes to revenue growth, retention or recruiting, please call or write and I will respond immediately! Regards,
George F. Mancuso, CPC President Client Growth Consultants, Inc.

6 Points Every Leader, Manager, Director or Team Player Should Know

QUESTION:  I get asked many questions about leadership and team players. So with that in mind, here are six points every leader, manager, director or team player should know.


  1. Leaders are defined as someone you or I would want to follow. Appointed managers and many times owners can be people that we have to follow.  With that said, owners and managers can and should be leaders.  Titles are earned and not granted.
  2. Being a role model is critical for the success of your team.  Employees will watch and listen for the direction they “think” you want them to go.
  3. Excellent communication is critical.  Unless your team is filled with prophets that can read your mind, you MUST communicate.  Secrecy and massive amounts of behind door meetings breed contempt and distrust of leaders.

  4. Distrust of your team members is an ingredient that will destroy your organization. Those of you who have been long time readers of mine should remember me writing on several occasions about me asking the following questions of business owners and/or managers before I accept an engagement:
    “Based on your management style and the environmental culture of this organization, which statement is most true?”
    a.    I have to earn your trust?
    b.    I have to earn your distrust?

    It doesn’t take a Rhodes scholar to ascertain why I ask that question.  Those of you who distrust everything and everybody….."your bad" and your loss.
  5. Don’t try to fit a round peg into a square hole.  Have respect for your team members.  Just because YOU think a team member would be a good fit into a particular role or job, doesn’t necessarily mean the team member who must perform in that role would agree with you.  If a team member isn’t openly willing to accept a new role or spot on the team, then it probably is not going to work.Instead it becomes a path of destruction and a destination of failure.
  6. And finally, work has got to be enjoyable, it’s got to be fun.  I’ve said it many times, but here it is again - Work is a place that employees should want to go.  This needs to be the last “job” or career they will ever look for or consider.  A place where those at the top respect their employees, their employees’ families, family time and activities and where praise of good work and success flow as freely as sunshine from the sky.
As always, please accept my wishes for a tremendous week.   If I can be of assistance to you or your organization when it comes to revenue growth, retention or recruiting, please call or write and I will respond immediately!

George F. Mancuso, CPC
Client Growth Consultants, Inc.

Recruiting the Best

QUESTION:  I am constantly asked about employee retention and recruiting the “best” people, thus, the subject for this week’s newsletter.  I certainly hope you enjoy this, find it interesting & educational and share this newsletter with your management staff by clicking on the “SHARE” button below.

Projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecast a shortage of 10,300,000 workers by the end of 2010!  And this shortage is simply raw numbers; it doesn’t fully address the growing skills gap.  The numbers also don’t take into account the changing attitudes in the workforce.
Because so few corporate leaders are fully cognizant of their predicament, executives who DO prepare for the new operating environment will lead their organizations to a bright future in 2011; those who ignore the threat, risk dangerous vulnerability.  With these thoughts in mind, I have six suggestions for owners and managers with regards to employee retention and staffing.

    The old expression that “you get what you pay for” is never truer when it comes to employees.  To get above average talent, service and productivity, you must consider pay grades that are above the average for competitors in your marketplace.  It is ludicrous to think you can get a world-class staff by paying below average wages.

    When I ask members of a management team why they have heavy turnover, the answers are usually the same: no recognition, no promotional opportunities, no training, work not appreciated, lousy benefits, too much stress, overwork and of course the most popular, a better opportunity for more money.  What amazes me is all of these excuses are fixable by management, but they go into a non-response mode with a complacent, “oh well.”
    But in reality the number one reason IS LOUSY MANAGEMENT OR SUPERVISION!  If the basic supervisor-employee relationship is not good, employees leave with dispatch.  What is really sad is that this problem IS fixable.
    Executives and owners often confide in me, “George, it isn’t easy”.  Just because so and so is a lousy manager, he/she means no harm, OR He/she has been with me for so many years and is a good person, OR my all time favorite, he/she is my wife’s brother/sister.
    Loyalty is one thing but if you have a supervisor or manager that continually drives away good talented people, you have ONLY two choices:  Fix him/her by getting them into a training and/or self development program or GET THAT PERSON OUT OF MANAGEMENT!
    Have you ever thought of someone in your organization that you would gladly fill out an employment application for them for ANOTHER company and then offer to drive them to the interview?  Whenever I am asked, “what is the fastest way to turn around low morale” my first and immediate response is to get rid of the “turkeys” in the organization.  Your company should be staffed with EAGLES not turkeys.

    Leadership, whether strong or weak, ultimately determines the overall retention rate of your company.  Retaining GREAT employees is far too important to completely delegate to mid-level managers or human resource managers.  Retention must be front and center within every strategic initiative, expansion plan or turnaround situation that you face.  Remember, leaders are not necessarily good managers and managers are not necessarily good leaders.  It doesn’t have to be that way, but most times it is.

    If you do not have internal staff with a learning and training curriculum, spend the money and hire an outside, highly qualified (one who has been there and done that) consultant to help you design a plan, train all trainable employees and get over your high employee turnover.  It will be the best money you ever spent.  Third party influence many times works much better than hearing from a peer or upper management person.
Employees WANT to learn, they WANT to grow and will reward you when given the opportunity to do.  Lack of retention cost corporations millions of dollars on a DAILY BASIS!You don’t have to fall into that category.

As always, please accept my wishes for a tremendous week.   If I can be of assistance to you or your organization when it comes to revenue growth, retention or recruiting, please call or write and I will respond immediately!


George F. Mancuso, CPC
Client Growth Consultants, Inc.

Budget vs. Hiring vs. Growth

Question:  We are a small service organization with less than 15 employees.  I want to grow revenue and improve our company's standing in our marketplace, but budgetary constraints prohibit me from hiring a whole bunch of new talent and engaging in a massive marketing campaign.  Any suggestions for us that won’t give us a negative look to our prospects?   (Roger E., Business Owner, Columbus, OH)

RESPONSE:  To begin with, if you look all around the business world, the realization that you are not the only company in this “club” will become apparent rather quickly.  Your question is an excellent one, as who amongst us wouldn’t like to improve cash flow, have happy employees and be known for greatness.  Here is my take on a path you might consider;

  • Revue your current corporate culture; you can do this by speaking with ALL of your employees either one on one or as a group.  Ask them if this is a good, great, or just okay place to work.  Ask what you as a business owner could do better to make the culture of your business one that employees WANT to work within the organization.  Trust me on this, your employees know the answers and if you approach this with an open mind, listen intently, design a path they approve, your culture will become the best of the best.
  • Ask each of your employees what they could personally do to help you improve growth; this might mean taking on additional tasks or doubling up on their role within the company.  But if they agree to take on more, set a time line that once you or they reach a certain plateau, you will be in a position to hire additional professionals to carry the load onward.  If it is their idea, it means that they take ownership of the success or failure of the new method or process.  But that doesn’t mean that they don’t need YOUR support and the support of ALL of the other team members.
  • Recruit top level professionals; this doesn’t mean individuals that have been power students and possess several degrees in multiple disciplines.  It means individuals who have made a difference, are unique in their approach, are driven to achieve and will fit within your cultural environment.  If your success is hiring employees that stay for lengthy tenures hasn’t been the best, I suggest you hire a professional recruiter to assist you.  Believe me, they are worth the money.
  • Share with your employees your expectations; No business man or woman goes into a project without reviewing the return on his/her investment.
  • Share with your employees what needs to be accomplished and then to help insure success, give them a little reward for making it happen. Entrepreneurs, who don’t share profits, typically don’t remain entrepreneurs for long.  Once the greed factor sets in, recovery through credibility wanes at break neck speed and employees don’t forget.
As always, please accept my wishes for a tremendous week.  Hopefully your goals for 2010 are on track and will come to a successful conclusion as we only have 2 months and a week left in this year.  If I can be of assistance to you or your organization, please call or write, I will respond immediately!


George F. Mancuso, CPC
Client Growth Consultants, Inc.