Monday, May 18, 2009

Hunting for a job? Make your contacts work for you

Dallas Morning News Article --by: Cheryl Hall

Sunday, May 17, 2009

PLANO – Forget traditional networking with near strangers. Executive headhunter Bob Beaudine says you already know everyone you need to know to land your dream job.
Chances are that person is a close friend or family member just waiting to help, says the 53-year-old chief executive of Plano-based Eastman & Beaudine.

Job hunting? Here's the trick: You have to ask

Beaudine's recently published book, The Power of WHO, details how to define who your real allies are and what you really want your next job to be.

"This is common sense parading as wisdom," Beaudine says. "But most people don't think of their friends as conduits and resources to their dreams and goals. That's ridiculous."
Sports Illustrated called Beaudine "the most influential man in sports you have never heard of."
In the last decade, he's placed 33 major college athletic directors, 24 head coaches and a slew of top executives in the professional leagues. The executive vice presidents of sales and marketing at both the Orlando Magic and the Charlotte Bobcats owe their new pro basketball jobs to him.

"His energy is always contagious," says Steve Orsini, who was recruited by Beaudine in 2006 to be athletic director at Southern Methodist University. "When you're working with university committees, many of the members need a little jolt. Bob surely provides that."
There's nothing subdued or downbeat about Bob Beaudine.

Almost every thought is framed as a question, followed by a cheery exclamation. Interviewing him takes stamina, followed by a nap.

Beaudine has been recruiting since opening a Dallas office for his dad's search firm in 1980. He took over as CEO in 1995 and refocused the company on sports and entertainment executives.
He collects friends as business assets.

Orsini and Beaudine have known each other since the mid-1990s, when Orsini was the assistant athletic director at the Naval Academy and Beaudine was scouting for talent.
Orsini's signing with SMU was their first placement together.
Before Orsini even got to campus, he hired Beaudine to find a basketball coach, which he did: Matt Doherty. Two years later, Orsini hired him to find a new football coach, June Jones.
"I'm really proud of the hiring up Bob did for us," Orsini says, "from managing people's expectations to keeping confidentiality to coaching some of my committee members because they weren't optimistic about us getting two former national coaches of the year."

At Baylor University, Beaudine brought in athletic director Ian McCaw, basketball coach Scott Drew and football coach Art Briles. McCaw gave his graduating athletes a copy of The Power of Who! at the year-end banquet. "It was a great way to send them off into the real world. Enough common sense becomes genius. That's really this case."

Beaudine always works on retainer with the organization looking for the management talent and usually gets paid a third of the person's first-year salary. While he has staff in offices around the country, he's the rainmaker, pulling in between $2 million and $4 million in annual revenue for the firm.

5,500 contacts

Beaudine's database contains nearly 5,500 contacts, but only about 100 are his "Who." He begins at this core when doing any type of search, then steadily reduces the circles of influence to find the best person for the task at hand. That's how he landed well-known book agent Jan Miller. He sent an e-mail to 48 friends asking who knew her. In five minutes, he had five positive responses. He chose the one who had lived in the guest house of Miller and her husband, Jeff Rich, while settling into Dallas.

"I met with Jan, and it was a lovefest," recalls Beaudine. "Two hours later, she signs me. Before that, I couldn't even get in to meet with her."

How did he get hockey great Wayne Gretzky, now head coach of the Phoenix Coyotes, to endorse his book? "Wayne is great friends with one of my Whos – a nobody in the world's eyes," Beaudine says. "All of the endorsements are one-offs on purpose."

Voice your dreams

Another key piece of advice: Allow yourself to dream out loud.
In 1993, when a bored Beaudine wanted to quit, his father asked him what he enjoyed most.
"I told him, 'When I do a search for a president of a manufacturing company, I get a tour of the plant. When I do a search for the head of marketing for the NBA, we get the all-star weekend,' " he says. "Dad said, 'Go get that.'

"The amazing aspect is the bridge to those [search] jobs was already there with my corporate clients."

That's how he got his first swing at big league baseball. A corporate client was also part-owner of the Atlanta Braves and head of the search committee for a new baseball commissioner. Beaudine wound up helping the committee interview candidates.
Beaudine still does corporate searches, but mostly for longtime friends.
Beaudine's office on the second floor of the Shops at Legacy resembles Tom Hanks' fantasy flat in the movie Big. Visitors are greeted with a basketball hoop and a huge bowl loaded with 50 pounds of Hot Tamales candy.

Wire bins contain balls autographed by Troy Aikman and Nolan Ryan, along with unknowns who've touched his life. There's an honorary Mustang football jersey with the number 77, the year he graduated from the Hilltop with a degree in marketing.
And an enormous moose head stares into Beaudine's office.

"I grew up with Bullwinkle, and he makes me laugh," Beaudine says, explaining his antique store trophy. "People need to be joyful in their jobs. I am."

Bob Beaudine's reasons dream jobs don't come true:

1. You don't ask.

"There's an epidemic disease: Pride," Beaudine says. "We expect people to come to us like Bob Barker's going to call? He's RETIRED! He's not calling you. I don't care how long you sit or how great your resume is."

2. You ask the wrong people to help.

"If you give me seven references, I guarantee one reference will trash you. Another will throw you under the bus and try to take the job away from you. You need to choose one trusted friend who is a trusted friend of the decision maker."

3. You're Vague.

"You say, 'Gee, I'd like to be a CEO again.' Of what? Or 'I'd like to be in sports. Really?' Want to be a referee? Want to hand out towels at the Mavericks games? How can I help you if you don't tell me what you want? In job search, it's preparation, preparation, preparation."

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1 comment:

  1. I have stopped counting how many times I’ve recommended “The Power of Who” to people who are searching for their next job, but the beauty of this book and the principles it imparts is this: our “Who” is a vital part of our entire careers and personal lives. Bob has captured this concept, brilliant and timeless in its simplicity, and distilled it in a fast-moving and entertaining book. What a gift to all of us!

    Mark Dyer
    Senior VP