Publisher’s Corner

Jim Kennedy, the founder of Kennedy Information and the Executive Recruiter News, passed away on November 3rd. Although we were competitors of sorts, Jim and I became good friends. I went to Fitzwilliam, NH where he cooked me a lunch of spaghetti and wine and he came to St. Louis where I bought him a dinner of steak and scotch.

Despite his reputation as a curmudgeon of sorts, when he published ERN it was a ‘fun’ publication to read until he finally sold it to a major national firm. It’s not so much fun to read anymore.

I still have a jar of the real maple syrup he used to send me once in a while. I will keep it as a reminder of the friendship we enjoyed and of a time when the ‘business’ didn’t take itself quite so sanctimoniously. I will miss him.

The acquisition of The Fordyce Letter by ERE Media, Inc. in November created quite a buzz in the recruiting industry The transition continues to go smoothly and the more I work with ERE CEO David Manaster and his exceptional team of professionals, the happier I am for having made the decision. Although the content of The Fordyce Letter will still be my responsibility, the blending of our archives with the vast resources of ERE will give TFL readers more benefits than I ever could have offered.

Although the ‘nuts and bolts’ of fulfillment, renewals and all the other back office functions will now be handled out of the New York headquarters, I’ll still be around to answer your questions, discuss any issues you may have and just chat about the comings and goings of the business. Our readers have always been our strength and the foundation of our content, so don’t forget that you’ve got a friend and a shoulder to lean on in St. Louis. To receive the full benefits of ERE, I strongly suggest that you become a member of the ERE community. It’s free. Just go to staging.ere.net and register. You won’t regret it.

January is traditionally the month when we address Specialties for those who are interested in changing theirs. Nowadays, that information is freely available on the Internet so this year we asked a random sampling from readers and have included a number of them as a mini-overview of several of them. No matter how narrowly you may want to slice your selected niche, I have always felt that Specialties = Special Ties – relationships foster a full pipeline of business opportunities and make you a ‘go to’ person of influence within whatever specialty you choose to follow. Be sure to read Terry Petra’s excellent suggestions on the topic of specialty selection. For a more detailed look, I recommend that you purchase Special Report #16 through www.fordyceletter.com.

Also, stay tuned for a special contribution from legal analyst Jeff Allen which will appear in the February issue. “The New Year always has employees leaving and managers asking them to leave. Employees want the security and perks of the holidays, managers don’t want to fire them, and the New Year means taking stock of what changes to make, etc. But every decade or so a real legal breakthrough occurs. It happened in the 70’s when I wrote the trade secrets law for placement businesses. It happened in the 80’s when I edited The Employee Termination Handbook. Then it happened again in the 90’s at the groundbreaking of the National Placement Law Center building. Now I’m doing it again. We’ve discovered a new weapon in the fight against misuse of your most valuable asset – your information. Not just your ‘customer list.’ E-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g on your computers.”

We are in the final stages of the article on consultant compensation which will appear in the February issue. From the simple to the sophisticated, small firm to large, you will definitely find much to emulate because, as an old manager of mine said: “It’s not what you make, it’s what you keep.”

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We all respect the Pinnacle Society – that group of big billers who set the standards for those who aspire to produce at those upper levels. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this organization, The Pinnacle Society is the nation’s premier consortium of top recruiters within the permanent placement and search industry.

For more than 15 years, the Pinnacle Society has provided the nation’s top recruiters a forum in which to exchange the business principles and placement techniques that led them to achieve, and allows them to maintain their success. The Pinnacle Society only accepts into its membership those persons who:

(1) Place candidates permanently on a contingency or contingency/retainer basis for a fee.

(2) Have a minimum of five years experience as a Sales Counselor/Manager/Owner in the permanent contingency or retainer placement business. Non-owners must be nominated for Pinnacle Society membership by his/her owner or by a Pinnacle Society member.

(3) Have cash-in billings in excess of $300,000 annually for three of the five most recent sales years with one out of the last three years showing cash-in billings of more than $400,000. Starting this month, through a new monthly column entitled “Pinnacle Perspectives,” we will provide a window into the reasons why this group’s members excel at what they do.

Paul Hawkinson is the editor of The Fordyce Letter, a publication for third-party recruiters that's part of ERE Media. He entered the personnel consulting industry in the late 1950's and began publishing for the industry in the 1970's. During his tenure as a practitioner, he personally billed over $5 million in both contingency and retainer assignments. He formed the Kimberly Organization and purchased The Fordyce Letter in 1980.

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