September 17th, 2014

Keep It Positive

Les Brown quote about not limititing yourselfWe ALL have tough times … what will lead us to success is how we deal with those times.

Sometimes when your back is against the wall you will have a tendency to be negative.

You will find all of the excuses why things are going wrong.

You will find people to blame.

You will find others to take your frustrations out.

You will focus on all that is wrong, all that is conspiring against your success.

THAT is the very time when you need to stay positive.

You need to own your failures.

You need to accept that success will come from your positive actions … not because of someone else.

You have to focus on what you CAN do, not on what you can’t do.

You need to take a deep breathe and use the fear, and the anger, and the frustration to fuel your resolve.

You may need to change your game plan.

You may need to change the execution of your game plan.

You WILL need friends.

You WILL need to step up.

OR … not!

Life does not owe you anything.

You are the architect of your own destiny.

Only you can make your success happen.

Only you know what success looks like … for you.

Stay positive.  Stay focused. Stay on track.

Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiterservice?

September 16th, 2014

Quality First THEN Speed!

Ziglar quote Do the things that countThe phrase “learn to walk before you run” exists for an obvious reason … and in business we need to get good at our role before we can get faster at our role.

Whatever your job, you will likely have heard phrases like … “Doing more with less“, or “Work smarter AND faster“.

We know that multitasking is not efficient, in fact it is fairly self evident that very few people can work on more than one thing at a time … and if there are more than two things, forget about it!  Hence the saying, “The hunter who chases two rabbits catches neither one“.

Yes, we live in a fast paced world and the volume of demands coming our way is not getting any slower.

The thing is that at the end of the day we should be measured on what we deliver, not on how much we do.  If you churn out a ton of work, but it is largely unusable … then nobody wins!

It would be far better to have some quality work get delivered regularly and predictably that to have great loads of work that never actually hits the mark.

Focus on what you can do well.

Deliver quality results.

Worry about getting it RIGHT first, THEN work on doing it faster.

It is OK to have several “things on the go” BUT you can only focus on one at a time.  Stay focused on your now task for as long as you need … then focus on your next task as long as you need.  I call this “time slicing” as opposed to multi-tasking.  It is the only way to efficiently move multiple projects along.

Quality first,  Speed next!

Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiterservice?

September 12th, 2014

10 Reasons Clients Use Staffing Companies

CEO of Pepsico on the value of talentThe staffing industry continues to grow and provide value to clients across every level of government and every type of industry. Our services are used for many and varied reasons, so here are just ten reasons why we exist.

“Thirty-six percent of global employers are having difficulty filling jobs. This percentage has increased for the second consecutive year and is at its highest level since 2007.” Manpower 2014 Global Talent Shortage Survey

  1. Broad reach. The staffing industry spend their days looking for talent, talking to talent, receiving resumes from talent and building databases that track that talent. Our clients take advantage of that reach which most would have difficulty achieving themselves.
  2. Focused. We find great people, quickly and economically. That is our core competence… our clients are focused on their core competence. I don’t try to build pipelines, provide telecommunication services or manage people’s money. Our clients get professionals to help them with their staffing needs.
  3. Fast. Our clients need talent now, and that is exactly what we do.
  4. Cost effective. Some people have trouble with this, but paying a staffing company is an extremely cost effective way to recruit. Your people stay focused on what your company does. A fast hire means faster productivity. The cost of the client’s time and the improved productivity of their teams makes it a no brainer from a cost perspective.
  5. Strengthen teams. I blogged about this recently, but our clients use our services to proactively improve the quality of their teams. They replace poor performers with top talent… a huge win.
  6. Fill a gap. One of the most obvious uses of staffing services. A maternity leave replacement, a project that needs to be done, a short term increase in demand… all serviced by your staffing provider.
  7. Flexibility. Clients want to test run projects, have flexibility in their staffing levels, meet short term demands. There are any number of reasons why a well run company wants to have this kind of flexibility.
  8. Market knowledge. Staffing companies know what people are making in the market, know who else is looking for those people, understands what their client needs to do… and brings that knowledge and expertise to the table.
  9. Anonymity. Clients sometimes need to strengthen their teams through “head hunting”. They don’t want their name associated with the calls going out into the marketplace, so they use staffing companies and search companies.
  10. Easy. Like any services industry, we need to make life easier for our clients. They give us their hiring problems and we make them go away. Easy.

“More than 50 percent of global employers reporting talent shortages say the shortages significantly impact their ability to meet client needs. Forty percent of employers say shortages reduce their competitiveness / productivity.” Manpower 2014 Global Talent Shortage Survey

As “middle men” recruiters have been written off with the dawn of the internet and with the availability of apps on mobile devices. Some people don’t appreciate the depth of value our industry brings, despite the obvious impacts of skills and labor shortages, globalization, technological innovation and increased competition.

One final quote for the sceptics, from another staffing guy, Greg Savage, who says “Technology will never replace recruiters. Ever. Talent is not an online commodity.” I agree!

September 11th, 2014

Be Realistic In Your Career and Business Expectations

Man carrying a pile of booksThere is a saying which I came across recently that goes like this … “Don’t compare your chapter one to someone else’s chapter twenty”. I don’t believe that there is any one person attributed with the quote, but I like it!

I like it for a number of reasons:

  1. If you are looking for a mentor … then you should probably find someone who can relate to your current situation.
  2. If you envy someone’s accomplishments, remember to understand their journey.
  3. It is a reminder that there are a lot of steps between Chapter one and Chapter 20.
  4. It reminds you to understand exactly where you are in your book (or journey).
  5. It reminds me that my book has been a long, winding one … and I have paid my dues along the way.

Some thoughts.

“The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.” Confucius

  1. Over the years I have been asked for advice by young entrepreneurs and I have always tried my best to help. Often they don’t know what they don’t know … and when you are in the later chapters of your book, you don’t always remember the pain of Chapter one.
  2. I have been in the workforce for more than forty years (ouch) and my career has seen several Chapter Ones! The latest was as a business owner … and that was eighteen years ago. There has been a lot written in those intervening chapters!
  3. The premise of the phrase resonates with me when people just starting out think that they should be me … who is eighteen years into “this book”, or perhaps forty plus years into my career book. When I started out I did not have the resources, money, knowledge or contacts that I do today. I operate today with the credibility and experience that I earned during those intervening chapters. If you are just starting out, on a career or a “new book” you need to EARN some credibility!
  4. There can be many Chapter Ones during a career! When you first enter the work force, when you change roles, when you get promoted or maybe when you start a business. Yes, those books that came before will help, but if you can treat each of those new situations like a fresh start … perhaps a short story in a, book of short stories … then your head will be in the right place!
  5. There are many different kinds of books, and lessons can be learned from all of them but the best lessons will come from those that are most similar to your book. Likewise, your career trajectory will get its best advice from people that have been there done that, and recently enough that their experience is credible.

Seek to learn. Take advantage of other people’s experience. Be prepared to build your own credibility. Understand that the person on Chapter 20 probably remembers his tough times a little differently than how he felt when he was in chapter one!

Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Find Canada’s top hot jobs, updated in real-time!  Visit Eagle’s Job Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiterservice?

September 10th, 2014

Proactively Strengthening Your Team

Douglas McArthur quote about leadershipEvery leader knows that “people management” has the potential, (and often fulfills that potential), to be a huge part of where you spend your time. You deal with poor performance, complaints of all kinds, ego stroking, breaches of rules, motivation issues and politics. On the positive side of the equation you coach and mentor, you guide and share your experience.

If you look at a typical team in a typical large company it might look like this:

  1. There will be some percentage of “A” players … who I will categorise as highly productive.
  2. There will be some higher percentage of “B” players who get the job done in a good way.
  3. The largest percentage of your people will be “journeymen (and women)” … they get the job done, are not particularly efficient and they take too much of your time.
  4. You will probably also have some small percentage of “problem children” who are not productive, who cause you to lose sleep, who are perhaps on some kind of performance plan and they most certainly take way too much of your time and mind space.

If your company culture is a positive one, then you accept some responsibility for the success of your people. You will invest in them, give them time and guide them to success. However with your “problem children” you have thoughts such as. “This seems to be taking way too long”, “will they ever get there?”, “It seems like they should be good and maybe just a little longer…” .

“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” Phil Jackson

You have read all of the management books … have heard the theories, “Hire slow, fire fast”. “Build a team with A players”. “Get the right people on the bus”. It is never quite that easy! You are busy! There are (growing) skills shortages. The hiring process is tough, and takes time (and did I mention … you are busy), you don’t have a budget to hire more people! There are a lot of reasons to adopt the “hope and a prayer” strategy that your “problem children” will make it! Here is the deal … they won’t!

Ask yourself these questions …

  1. If I could replace one of my “problem children” with an “A” player, what would the impact be?
  2. If I could replace ALL of my “problem children” with “B” players what would the impact be?
  3. If I could replace one, or more, of my “journeypeople” with an “A” player what would I be willing to pay?

If you are honest with your answers you will know that the positive impact would be huge … on productivity in general, on group dynamics and on your time! If you want to do something about it then you can.

“You put together the best team that you can with the players you’ve got, and replace those who aren’t good enough.” Robert Crandall

The role of staffing companies is to find their clients the best resource, at the right time and for the right price. Very often our clients have a project or some other reactive need for those resources, and we find them.

There is real value in also having a proactive strategy that says, at its most basic level … “If you can find me great people, that will strengthen my team, I will act on that.”

You need to have a good rapport with your staffing company (or search company) and work with them to define what an “A” player looks like. They should be able to do all the “heavy lifting”, providing you with a very short list of people when you are ready.

You should explore your own networks too, and build your own pipeline of potential employees that you can “tap into”.

You need to work your internal system to figure out how you will logistically make it work. It may mean a business case showing the impact of replacing underperformers with top talent. It may mean getting approval to pay fees. It may mean understanding severance packages for those who need to go.

  • It is not easy, but the end result will make your life easier.
  • It is not easy, but it is good management.
  • It is not easy, but your team will thank you.
  • It is not easy, but it is what your company deserves.
  • It is not easy … but nothing worth doing is easy!

“A boat doesn’t go forward if each one is rowing their own way.” Swahili Proverb

Start your proactive planning today, and reap the benefits tomorrow.

September 9th, 2014

Are You Thankful Enough?

Thankfulness quote from OprahIt is very easy to get swept along with life, to be too busy to “smell the roses”, to be too stressed to recognise what you have and all too often we forget that we have it good.

Every day we could be reminded of how lucky we are … if we would only see, listen and recognise!

“Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.” Alphonse Karr

Here are some of the things that sometimes we don’t see, recognise or hear…

1. It was LUCK that I was born in a first world country, into a family that loved me and gave me an opportunity in life. I could have been born into poverty in a third world country.

2. The person on the street who is dirty and begging and clearly has issues … could have been me. Do some research … addiction, hard times, unemployment, family issues, depression can happen to any of us, and life can quickly spiral out of control.

3. The wonder of nature is all around us, even in the city … do you even notice the flowers blooming, the trees full of birds, the sunsets, the warm sun of a Summer afternoon and the cloud formations overhead?

4. We sometimes take our health and fitness for granted … but it was luck if we were born with good genes. Life could have been very different.

5. It is easy to adopt an attitude about work that is characterised by “dreading Mondays” or the TGIF culture. If you have a job you are lucky!

“Sometimes we focus so much on what we don’t have that we fail to see, appreciate, and use what we do have!” Jeff Dixon

When the world reached a population of 7 billion, one organisation decided to take a fresh look at those 7 billion and boil them down into 100 people. This is what they found.

(Special mention to 100 People: A World Portrait)

If the World were 100 PEOPLE:

50 would be female

50 would be male

26 would be children There would be 74 adults, 8 of whom would be 65 and older

There would be:

60 Asians 15 Africans 14 people from the Americas 11 Europeans 33 Christians 22 Muslims 14 Hindus 7 Buddhists 12 people who practice other religions 12 people who would not be aligned with a religion

12 would speak Chinese 5 would speak Spanish 5 would speak English 3 would speak Arabic 3 would speak Hindi 3 would speak Bengali 3 would speak Portuguese 2 would speak Russian 2 would speak Japanese 62 would speak other languages

83 would be able to read and write; 17 would not 7 would have a college degree 22 would own or share a computer 77 people would have a place to shelter them from the wind and the rain, but 23 would not 1 would be dying of starvation 15 would be undernourished 21 would be overweight 87 would have access to safe drinking water 13 people would have no clean, safe water to drink

So, if you have clean safe water, have enough to eat, somewhere to live, can read and write plus have access to technology then you have a LOT to be thankful for!

“There is always, always, always something to be thankful for.” Unknown

Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiterservice?

September 7th, 2014

Invest in the Bank Account of Life

live love laugh sing PLAY TO WINStephen Covey wrote about the Emotional Bank account, explaining that for every relationship we have, there exists an imaginary bank account.  In order to invest in each relationship we need to make deposits in that account, and whenever we make withdrawals we are harming our relationship.  The theory being that we need to deposit more than we withdraw if we are to have a healthy relationship.

Life is like that!

There is a cost to everything, and if you make deposits in your account then you are investing in your own success.

Yes, this actually relates to money but more importantly it relates to every aspect of your life, your career, your relationships, your hobbies, your education, your success, your health and fitness, your aspirations, dreams and anything else you can think of!

The good news is that it is easy to see how you can have a positive impact on your life … make deposits into the Bank of Life!

Here are 10 Deposits that anyone could make in their Life Bank Account:

1.  Take a course to enhance your career.  A technical course related to your profession or a soft skills course applicable to any career.  Invest in your future.

2.  Start a fitness plan, or add to your fitness plan.  Don’t go crazy, but do something that increases your activity level.

3.  Read.  Newspapers (online or paper versions); books; periodicals; magazines.  Enhance your knowledge and make yourself more interesting!

4.  Volunteer.  Give back, devote some time to others … you will get immeasurable pleasure from giving.

5.   Reduce and eventually drop one of your “bad habits” … it could be sugar, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine or some other habit.

6.  Invest time in the key people in your life.  Find ways to build those relationships.

7.  Capture your ideas and dreams in one place.  A book, on the computer, file folders … whatever works for you.  Read it and add to it regularly.

8.  Create a list of all of the things that you should be grateful for … the big things and the little pleasures.  Pull this out when you need a boost, but also on a regular basis to add all of the latest “good stuff”.

9.  Take control of your time, be as productive as you can possibly be … but also make sure you find time to do the things that are most important to you!

10.  Set Goals!  Goals give you a direction for your life, a roadmap to follow and a means to motivate yourself.  If you want to make just one deposit into your Life Bank Account this is it!

“Some people dream of success… while others wake up and work hard at it.” Unknown 

Once you start depositing into that Life Bank Account you will start to see the results of that investment … we need to make deposits before we have anything to withdraw!

Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?

September 4th, 2014

Entrepreneurial Hunger

succes comes from Hard work and determination the reasons for successI was trying to find a word that best describes the mindset of an entrepreneur and the best I could come up with was … HUNGRY.

  • If you are hungry then you are willing to go a long way to satisfy that hunger.
  • If you are hungry you will work harder.
  • If you are hungry you will be willing to take some risks.
  • If you are hungry you will be very focused on what it takes to reach your goal.

“I know the price of success: dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.” Frank Lloyd Wright As time goes by and entrepreneurs achieve some success there is a subtle change from entrepreneur to “corporate” mindset. This is often a necessary change as a company moves through its stages of growth.

  • The hunger is reduced.
  • The risk taking is reduced.
  • The total focus is reduced.
  • The work ethic is not quite where it was.

Where companies run into trouble is when that mindset continues to shift, from the focused needs of the company to an entitlement of position. From a mindset that puts the company first to a mindset that puts the executive first. “The most dangerous poison is the feeling of achievement. The antidote is to every evening think what can be done better tomorrow.” Ingvar Kamprad If I draw a sports comparison, winners are typically those who are the most hungry. The winners are those who are willing to train longer, learn more, continue to grow and who revel in the competition. In sports the difference between winners and losers is tiny! It might be a split second moment of magic, or slip in concentration. It might be a fraction of a second. It might be that last gasp effort because the winner trained just a little harder. In business the difference between winners and losers can be small too. Many of the great businesses of the past lost their way, just Google “What happened to the first Fortune 500 companies?” Companies need their leaders to be focused on the needs of company above all else. Companies that can maintain that type of single-minded entrepreneurial focus will always succeed, and that mindset needs to come from the top. “I never took a day off in my twenties. Not one.” - Bill Gates, Here, in my humble opinion, are some questions that leaders need to answer in order to know if they are slipping too far from the entrepreneurial mindset..

  1. Am I focusing my energies in the right places?
  2. Am I spending the majority of my efforts on activities that will further the business?
  3. Am I spending time with the right people?
  4. Am I making decisions based on ego or on what is right for the company?
  5. Am I willing to sacrifice to do the right thing?
  6. Am I still willing to put in the hours of an entrepreneur?
  7. Am I becoming a corporate executive with big expectations for myself … or is my focus on what it takes to drive growth and success in the business?
  8. Am I taking time away from my role to satisfy my ego … or worse, my personal needs and desires?
  9. Am I still HUNGRY for the success of this company?
  10. Am I still the right person to be doing this job?

Great leaders will always have some of that entrepreneurial spirit. They will always have that HUNGER that winners need! poster with attributes of an entrepreneur —————————————————————————————————————————————– Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company) Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre! Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network! Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiterservice? —————————————————————————————————————————————–

September 3rd, 2014

Technology Industry News for August 2014

Picture of a NewspaperThis is my 30,000 foot look at events in the ICT industry for August 2014. What you see here is a précis of the monthly report I produce, which will be available in more detail at the News section of the Eagle website, where you will also find back issues.

A Little History of August in previous years …

Five years ago in August 2009, the unemployment news was still bleak and there were some household names making acquisitions, but no huge deals.  Facebook bought Friendfind and Myspace bought iLike.  Google enhanced its video capability with the purchase on On2 Technologies; Rim bought mobile browser company Torch Mobile; and Fluke Networks improved its wireless capability with the purchase of Airmagnet. In August 2010 Google made five acquisitions … Socialdeck, Angstro, Slide, Jambool and, but Intel spent the most money … paying $7.7 billion for McAfee AND $1.4 billion for Infinion Technology’s wireless division!  IBM bought Datacap and Unica HP logoCorp; HP bought Fortify Software and Stratavia; 3M paid $900 million for Cogent; CA paid $200 million for Arcot Systems; and Rim, Cisco, Citrix and Nokia were all out shopping too!  In addition to their two acquisitions HP lost CEO Mark Hurd to a scandal.  Three years ago in August 2011 Hurricane Irene hit the US coast, there was a mini-market crash and the world’s economies continued to struggle.  Google paid $12.5 billion for Motorola Mobility and IBM paid $387 million to add Algorithmics to its analytics portfolio, they also bought UK based analytics company i2.  Skype which was in the process of being merged into Microsoft, bought GroupMe, Bitly bought Twitterfeed and Citrix bought Ringcube. August 2012 was slow in the M&A space with IBM busiest, paying $1.3 billion for HR solutions and services company Kenexa, plus they bought flash memory developer, Texas Memory Systems.  The other “big name” deal was Google’s purchase of social media marketing company Wildfire Interactive, reputedly for $250 million.  Closer to home, Quebec’s 20-20 Technologies was sold for $77 million to private equity company Vector Capital IBM logoCorp. Last year August 2013 saw some interesting activity from a number of players. At a time when employee engagement is considered critical, it was disheartening to see Cisco announce record profits and lay off 4,000 people at the same time. IBM reputedly paid $1 billion for Trusteer, a cybersecurity company specialized in the financial services sector; Qualcomm sold its fleet management software unit for $800 million to private equity firm Vista Equity Partners; and the other big dollar buy was AOL paying $405 million for online video company Facebook bought speech recognition company Mobile Technology; Google bought patents to support its Glass product from Foxconn; Software AG bought analytics firm Jackbe; Opentext paid $33 million for cloud based software company Cordys; and SAP bought ecommerce company Hybris.

Which brings us back to the present …

August 2014 saw some generally positive news from the various surveys and statistics reported. Statistics Canada had an uncharacteristic hiccup but finally reported a drop in the unemployment rate and an increase in jobs. In the US almost all indicators were positive including reasonable GDP growth, improved unemployment rate and hiring outlooks. The Eurozone also showed improvement in its unemployment Cisco logofigures with the UK hitting a six year low last quarter.

Getting some negative press were a couple of big names, CISCO announced it was cutting 6,000 jobs (of which 2,000 would be rehired in different positions) and Oracle was sued by the State of Oregon over its health insurance portal (might be sending a few people’s blood pressure up!)

Facebook logoOn the M&A front there were no blockbuster deals this month however a number of big name companies were out with their cheque books. Intel paid $650 million for the LSI Axxia networking chip business; Vmware bought application delivery provider CloudVolumes; IBM bought Lighthouse Security Group to bolster its cloud based identity and access management capabilities; Google bought two startups, Emu to boost its messaging capabilities and Directr for its video advertising business; Facebook bought a security startup Privatecore. and the last BIG name saw Yahoo buying app company Zofari. It appears that the big companies keep getting bigger, which is the way that the business world works!

That’s what caught my eye over the last month, the full edition will be available soon on the Eagle website.  Hope this was useful and I’ll be back with the September 2014 industry news in just about a month’s time. Until then, Walk Fast and Smile!

Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiterservice?

August 27th, 2014

Eagle’s Series of ALS Ice Bucket Challenges

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has taken the world by storm over the past couple weeks and, like many other companies, Eagle participated at offices across the country. In addition to making some fun videos, the Eagle Team also made donations to ALS and we’re proud to say that in total, we contributed over $2,000!

How did this initiative make its way through Eagle? It started with Dan Glenn, a Recruitment Specialist from our Calgary office:


Kevin Dee was first to answer the call…


…while Terry Power, Eagle’s President, responded to a challenge he received from within the staffing industry.


Eagle’s Calgary branch participated as a team and challenged their counterparts to follow suit.


Ottawa was quick to respond…


…followed by Toronto…


…and Montreal, who took it to a whole new level.


Finally the team from Edmonton stepped up to the plate!


We hope you enjoy watching these videos (we had fun making them), but more importantly, please take a minute to visit the ALS website and make your donation if you haven’t already.

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