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BY sblepage

Cameron-Brooks January 2010 Career Conference

The January 2010 candidates have started off the New Year very successfully.  We had over 440 interviews for the 41 candidates, and the highest number of average interviews per candidate since 2008.  Our 9 support team members played a key role in helping these candidates convert over 60% of their interviews to company pursuits.  For all of you who have already scheduled a Conference for 2010 or are considering making the transition soon, there is a reason to be excited about seeing such a strong start to the year.  Every one of the January candidates came out of the Conference with multiple companies interested in them and is headed in to the follow-up process to earn offers.

We’d like to take the opportunity to compliment the 41 officers who attended the January Conference.  They prepared for an average of 10 months prior to showing up in Austin, TX for interviews, and during much of that time they had plenty of reason for doubt.  Many of them began their preparation for the transition at one of the most challenging times for our U.S. economy.  Like you, many of the January candidates had to overcome questions and concerns from those around them in order to focus on preparing for their transition.  The strong results of these candidates at the January Conference show how that confidence paid off.

Our client companies were impressed with what they heard from the C-B candidates and were excited to have the opportunity to interview top quality officers.  These companies have been working hard to fight decreased demand and increased challenges of the recession.  Their performance contributed to the turnaround that was highlighted by the 5.7% year over year growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the 4th quarter of 2009.  We heard from a number of companies that they are looking ahead and want to build the “bench strength” of their management teams to sustain the recovery and growth they have fought hard to achieve.  Several noted that, even though high unemployment means there are a lot of potential hires available, they find their best quality leaders at the Cameron-Brooks conferences.

 While the Development and Preparation Program (DPP©) has several aspects that helped the January candidates prepare successfully, we’d like to note two areas highlighted by company recruiters.  Many of the recruiters appreciated that Cameron-Brooks candidates had taken time to read business books.  This allowed for a discussion of business topics and gave the recruiter a chance to hear the candidates’ ability to relate their experience to business processes and initiatives.  Concepts like Six Sigma, Lean and Kaizen are being used to drive efficiencies, while companies have ramped up their production, supply chain, and sales areas, to increase profitability.  The companies at the January conference were impressed with candidates who had sought out opportunities to apply similar concepts in the military and had thought about how they could contribute to these areas in the for-profit environment.

 A second point that a number of recruiters noted was how much easier it was to pursue candidates who took time to build rapport.  Each organization has a culture and environment that the recruiter knows they have a responsibility to support.  Candidates who were able to open up during the 45 minute interview, and had the confidence to show their personality, allowed the recruiter to see how they would fit with the company.  Simple steps like expressing excitement when describing a job well done, or conveying the frustration with a challenging problem, were key to helping recruiters identify candidates who achieved success due to their internal drive versus those who were thrust into success by external forces.  Industry-leading companies want self-motivated, results-oriented leaders.  The candidates who made it clear to recruiters why they worked hard at their career, ended up making stronger connecting points.

Reviewing our blog postings about each Conference over the past year, you will find they share a positive outlook on career opportunities for Cameron-Brooks candidates.  Through the recession and challenging times in the U.S. economy, there are times where officers with whom we talk wonder why we maintain an upbeat stance.  Joel Junker commented on this back in May of 2009 in his blog post “Want bad news? Look elsewhere” (http://blog.cameron-brooks.com/2009/05/19/want-bad-news-look-elsewhere/).  In addition to his points about looking at challenges as opportunities and the role of leaders in maintaining a positive outlook through tough times, our January candidates showed one more reason why Cameron-Brooks continues to have a positive outlook.  We get to combine top performers with our proven DPP© and put them in front of some of the best companies in Corporate America.  Great people, a great process, and the right level of effort, get positive results.  When it comes to your transition out of the military, you’d expect nothing less.  We look forward to seeing you as we travel around the world to help you with your career.

Scott LePage