4 Things to Stop Saying Now

We interview people every day for a living. When we’re not interviewing someone we’re talking to client partners about their challenges in hiring, business trends, and sometimes just general chit chat.    This doesn’t make us experts in grammar.  Our founder, Tyson, says “ain’t” sometimes and “y’all” anytime he’s referring to a party of more than one person. Such a vast number of conversations does, however, give us an interesting perspective on linguistic trends that exist in broader groups than just friends, family, and your co-workers.

It’s common for little sayings to gain traction and become popular business cliches to a point where they run the risk of cutting into the intelligence of your point. “Laser-Focus” is a good example, though I think the blogs and magazines have effectively countered it’s heavy rotation by berating its existence.  Every single fortune 500 manager breathing has employed the term at some point over the last decade, just as every notable business magazine or blog has filled dead space with an amusing article ridiculing the overuse of the term.  But it doesn’t stop there. Here are some bits and pieces, categorized in order of urgency from the need to eliminate entirely from your personal vocabulary right now, and moving on to something you might want to start transitioning out before it’s too late:

*Warning* Spontaneous Combustion is Imminent: “You know what I’m saying?” or ” You know what I mean?”

Usually this question is used as a substitute for a more lengthy and helpful explanation, a shortcut.  The problem with shortcuts is that you likely failed to complete your thought before you attempted to confirm that it was received.  Unless you’re a 911 operator walking a plumber through heart surgery with only the use of kitchen utensils, you rarely need to confirm every thought in real-time as it’s being delivered.

Complete whatever it is you’re trying to say, and if you want to make sure it’s understood than try something less casual- something like “Does this make sense?”.  Substituting key ingredients of your message with “Know what I mean?”, is really unacceptable.  Especially in an interview.  Your number one priority is to communicate your ability to deliver the goods.   If you’re using this shortcut in business meetings and interviews than there’s a good chance that the answer is no, we don’t really know what you’re saying.

Please stop now: Really?!?

You’ve seen this episode, let’s say it’s your nephews soccer game.  Every time something happens in the game, not just big things, but when anything happens, every single person on the sideline flails their arms out, palms up, and hollers to one another ” Really?! in a feigned indignant way.  It’s understood what this means. They’re announcing that they disagree with whatever it is that’s going on.  This is becoming an absurdity.  The ref calls offsides and they stand around saying “Really?! Really Ref?! Offsides?! Really?!”. Little Johnny misses a wide open shot- “Really?! Really Johnny?!” The act replays itself over and over, all game. Even the orange wedges aren’t clear of harm’s way.

Believe it or not, it’s used professionally as well.  It’s got to stop.  Describe whatever it is that you find so repulsive that you’re in disbelief, and how you can fix it. Use your words, details are helpful.

Change this, and while you’re at it, change the circumstances: It is what it is.

No it’s not; we can change how it is. To imply that it is always what it is, well,  that’s a concession that you can’t change it, and when it’s not good, it needs to be changed.  Unless it’s already good, in which case we need to make it even better.

On it’s way to becoming a problem: So…Right?

This one is tough.  We live and work in the startup world and we all catch ourselves doing it.  Our Co-founder Jeremy does it excessively, and he has a Masters degree in how to use the English Language!

Starting an explanation with “So” and confirming it by asking if the the recipient got it by ending with “Right?”.

The word “so” at the start of a sentence is considered a discourse marker as this discussion describes.

It doesn’t hurt the viability of message, but it’s not especially useful either.  Its function is not much different than, “uh”, and “um”.  So why are incredibly bright people and well accomplished entrepreneurs using it so commonly?  It’s a cultural thing, let’s call it “startup culture”.  Cultural things rub off and grow legs and become trends. Popular trends get over used and become annoying, just ask anyone who played John Legend’s “All of Me” at their wedding only to hear it repeated at all of their friends’ weddings as well.  Lets be preemptive and try to stop this one before it gets there.

Most of these sentences that we’re starting with “So,”, we’re ending with “Right?”.  It’s not quite a full blown question, and it’s not quite a statement of fact.  It really isn’t even being used to give the recipient the chance to seek clarification, because there’s no subsequent pause nor wait-time for the recipient to confirm with a “right.” of their own.  Where it gets problematic is that it has the potential implication that this statement is unequivocally “Right”.  Anytime you’re talking at someone, instead of talking to them in an exchange of information, you’re cheating yourself out of their insight on the matter.  People are far less inclined to share their information if it’s potentially contradictory to an idea that is without question, fact in your mind.

So, we should all be proactive here and make an effort to improve our communication, especially as it pertains to interviewing and business meetings, right?

6 Best Ways to Make Recruiters Work for You

Source: http://www.careerbliss.com/
Article By: Ritika Trikha
Date Published: April 27, 2014

“Recruiting is an out of sight-out of mind business,” says Bill Holland, PhD and author of Cracking the New Job Market.

A recruiter’s typical day consists of a whirlwind of emails, phone calls and LinkedIn profiles. We all know that recruiters’ end-game is to keep their clients happy…but, as a star candidate, there are proactive steps you can take to make them work for you! After all, their goal is to fill jobs with the best possible match—it’s your job to show them that you’re their guy or gal!

“I can tell you with certainty that we work exponentially harder on behalf of those candidate partners who create synergy and value our work,” says Tyson J. Spring, senior consultant of business development at Elever Professional, a recruiting company.

We spoke with Spring and a few other recruiting experts for advice on how to make recruiters work hard for superstar candidates. Have you tried any of these methods to get the most out of a recruiter?

1. Be Generous: Offer Candidates from Your Network

Helping should be a two-way street. “This may sound self-serving, coming from a

recruiter, but keep in mind that our networks are what make us great,” Spring says.

So, one way you can be on top of a recruiter’s call list is to be a great resource of other candidates. If you’re generous with your network, you can stay on top of the recruiter’s mind.

“As they call, make sure they know of new developments in your career when and only when there is something to report. Continue to cultivate relationships with them and from time to time, call them to chat. They will work for you because they know you work for them,” Holland says.

2. Cater to the Recruiter’s Process

“Some may want you to check-in with them frequently, while others don’t need you to do so,” says Judi Wunderlich of WunderLand Group LLC.

It’s better to be straightforward with your recruiter rather than trial and error methods of communication. Traditionally, most recruiters are always on the phones. Some might prefer that because it’s a faster way to communicate—others might prefer email.

Whatever you do—make sure you keep the recruiter in the loop! “The recruiter can only advocate on a candidate’s behalf if they know what is happening and, if necessary, have their side of the story so that they can offer explanations to address any concerns the employer may have,” says Bruce Hurwitz, PhD and executive recruiter at Hurwitz Strategic Staffing. Ltd.


3. Send a ‘Thank You’ Note Post Interview

A lot of times, people forgo the ‘thank you’ note after an interview with a recruiter—since it’s traditionally for the hiring manager.

However, that’s precisely why sending a ‘thank you’ note to your recruiter is a great way to standout. Try this after your next phone interview with a recruiter!

Greg Patrick, president of G2K Solutions would agree and advises you to: “Treat them as you would a hiring manger by showing follow-up, personality and persuasiveness.”

4. Make Sure Your Expectations Match your Experience

First and foremost, make sure your expectations are aligned with experience,” Spring says. “If you’re expecting your recruiter to find you the position of your dreams as a VP of Marketing, but your experience today barely stretches you into a Sr. Manager, you’re not going to have very many recruiters tripping over themselves to work hard on your behalf.”

5. Be 100% Honest

If you lie about your skillset, you’re not only hurting your own credibility but also your recruiter’s reputation.

“When a candidate tries to slip a secret through the cracks, a good recruiter will not miss the discrepancy, and will not be inclined to put their reputation on the line,” Spring says. “Be honest about career mishaps and a recruiter will advise you on how to best address the issue with a potential employer.”

Related Article: Interviewers Share their Top Phone Interview Pet Peeves

6. Establish a Relationship Before You Need a Job

Lauren McGoodwin, previously a recpuzzruiter for Hulu, offers some stellar tips on getting in with a recruiter at a specific company. Here’s what she had to say, paraphrased:

Step 1. Send a professional email to schedule the meeting—work around their schedule.

Step 2: Send a confirmation for your meeting the day before.

Step 3. During the meeting, establish a professional yet personal connection.

What do you do outside of work? What college did you go to, etc.? Find things you have in common with the recruiter.

The final step: Follow up with the recruiter with a direct email with a short explanation on WHY you are a good fit and what you can offer the role with your resume attached. Be patient and respectful.

Manager: Online Analytics and Strategy- Austin

Élever Professional is seeking experienced Business Analyst candidates for a best-in-breed, rapidly growing Internet company in Austin,TX. This is an exciting opportunity to join the management team of a successful eCommerce company that owns the marketplace in its vertical. Succesful candidates will be skilled technical thinkers but also experienced in Project Management. If the growth opportunity alone isn’t appealing, the company is headquartered in Downtown Austin, a short walk from Stubb’s world famous BBQ.

The Manager of Strategy, BI , and Analytics will perform and report valuable statistical analysis that will have a great impact on the company’s development and strategic decisions. Must have Project Management experience and be up for the challenge of a diverse and ever-changing job description, as the company is a late stage start-up and will deploy Business Analysts cross functionally improve overall effectiveness and efficiency.

* Assist in the business decision making process by developing analytical models to estimate the impact of different scenarios
* Deliver accurate results based on economic, financial, and statistical analysis
* Predict and proactively communicate factors affecting performance to management team
* Identify opportunities to improve processes and focus on providing solutions and delivering results
* Monitor and improve performance of existing algorithms and predictive models
* Present strategic and tactical recommendations based on quantifiable data
* Assist in the business decision making process by developing analytical models to estimate the impact of different strategy scenarios


* Must possess extensive experience modeling complex business scenarios
* Must be a Microsoft Excel Ninja, Guru, Rockstar (you get the point).
* Knowledge of internet related business metrics including SEM/SEO/CPC/CPA
* Experience with Web Analytics Software such as Google Analytics, Omniture
* Must be able to adapt to changing needs quickly. While our client is well established, they foster a frenetic, collaborative, start-up environment and the parameters of the job are quick to change!
* Able to work with different business units and teams to gather complete datasets and communicate findings to internal decision makers
* Superior problem-solving skills, self-motivation and the capacity to keep cool-headed under pressure and tight deadlines
* Excellent and written and oral communication skills; outstanding presentation skills
* Expert knowledge of analytical tools, including Excel, database querying (SQL), relational databases, WebQL a plus
* Ability and willingness to work independently and also manage other analysts.
* Bachelor’s degree or higher in computer science/data processing, mathematics, statistics, finance, or related discipline
* MBA from top tier university preferred.
* Must live or be willing/able to relocate to Austin, TX (Relocation compensation provided for right candidate)

Additional Information

Élever Professional is a leading firm in Executive Search and Recruitment. We look forward to receiving your application! All your information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines. Visit us at http://www.eleverpro.com for more information about our services.

Lead Software Engineer- Integration- LA, CA


Élever Professional is partnering with an exciting e-commerce start-up out of Los Angeles on the build-out of their development and engineering team.  Our client is well funded and well positioned to scale at an impressive rate.  The Integration Lead will be an important piece of the puzzle and will be charged with creating and managing the developer community , related documentation, website , community building tools, managing integration staff, and testing integration.  This is an exciting opportunity to get on board with a start-up that is well equipped to experience growth and expansion.


* Hiring and managing the integration team

*Adept at on-time delivery of Project objectives

*50% travel expected.  Telecommute possible under right circumstances

* Effective ownership of all merchant integrations, including: Data Acquisition, Defining Integration Prototypes, Coordinating application development team to extend API and functionality and oversight of Integration Testing and updates

* Swift identification of E-Commerce Plug-ins that should be developed and development of such applications

* Implementation and management of developer community, including documentation, website and necessary tools

* Cross functionality with App Development team

*Able communication necessary.  This position reports directly to the CTO


* Entrepreneurial minded w/ 5+ years of experience in Integration, E-Commerce and Marketplace experience strongly preferred

* 3-5 years in Customer-Facing integration practice required

* Bachelor’s Degree from a Top Tiered university mandatory, MS or MBA preferred

* Fast-Paced, Start-up experience a major plus, blend of start-up and enterprise experience preferred

* Technical skills required: C#, ASP, .NET, XML, DHTML/HTML, Webservices, SQL Server

* Experience with Online payment systems, including: Gateways (such as Authorize.net), Processor systems

* 2-4 years’ experience developing against / integrating with external payment gateways and payment processors. Experience with payment systems such as PayPal, and gateways like Authorize.net a must

* Experience with eCommerce solutions — integration work with shopping carts, catalogs , third party commerce platforms

*An able communicator, both in customer facing interaction as well as team leadership and development, and project management

Additional Information

Competetive Compensation + Benefits

Telecommute possible but must be on the West Coast

Contract to hire considered though not preferred

Élever Professional is a leading firm in Executive Search and Recruitment.   We look forward to receiving your application! All your information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines. Visit us at http://www.eleverpro.com for more information about our services.


Tips for a valuable Executive Recruiter Relationship

An Executive Recruiter goes by several monikers: Headhunter, Search Consultant, Human Capital Acquisition Consultant, Permanent Placement Consultant, and so on.    In addition to the wide range of titles we choose to go by, recruiters cover the gamut in efficiency, communication style, and level of professional competencies.  One area that remains consistent throughout, is that the service has a cost attached to it.  Based on the success you’ve experienced partnering with an Executive Recruiter, this expense is filed in your mental ledger as a sunken cost or a sound investment in the health and performance of your business.  For employers looking to retain or engage an Executive Recruiter, here are a few general tips that will assist in making this partnership a valuable one: