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BY sblepage

Cameron-Brooks August 2009 Career Conference

The August Career Conference in Charlotte, NC is now complete.  Our client companies are leading their way out of this recession by focusing on getting the “right people on the bus” as Jim Collins says in Good to Great.  The result: candidates averaged over 9 interviews each and every candidate achieved success at the Conference.  10 support team members attended, helping candidates convert initial interviews into an average of more than 5 companies expressing interest in each.  The combination of great candidates, great companies and great preparation continues to pay off.  The August Conference results show the true “win-win” scenario when military leadership experience meets Corporate America’s need for results.


We’ve added a new feature to our Facebook page where you can see videos of our August candidates discussing the Conference.  I’d encourage you to use this opportunity to hear directly from them on their thoughts and recommendations.  We were even able to track down one of the 15 C-B alumni who was back recruiting, and who gave his thoughts on his career.  In this post, we’d like to share with you trends and an example of a business initiative that helped drive opportunities that companies brought to the August Conference.  Our goal is to help you understand why companies are hiring military officers now.  In our next post, after we have completed some of the follow-up process, we’ll post steps you can use to turn this insight into action to help you connect with business needs.   


We continue to see opportunities for each candidate to interview across a number of career fields and industries at each Conference.  As our economy recovers, our relationship with a broad range of client companies gives us unique insights into some “macro-trends” that relate to your career.  In April, we heard from many companies focused on driving revenue to combat the economic slowdown who were looking for “top line” impact-oriented leaders.  In our last letter, we discussed the “view from the corner” as companies took lessons from the downturn and were hiring into improvement initiatives designed to help them through the recovery.  In our August Conference, we continued to see both of those efforts creating leadership openings and also saw a third area pick up steam – Operations/Manufacturing.  In addition to sales and process improvement, our August client companies have strong needs in production and supply chain areas as they look ahead to the upturn.  This helped drive the rising number of interviews per candidate from April through June and August as we continue to see companies inject great leadership into the areas that need it most. 


An example of the types of initiatives gaining steam in business operations, manufacturing, and engineering, is Total Productive Maintenance (TPM).  TPM is a process where equipment operators share in the responsibility of equipment maintenance.  This may sound familiar to military personnel because it can be the case there as well.  TPM is not a new concept because many businesses start this way when small, but growth and increased production can lead to more focused specialization of personnel.  TPM is a way to reduce specialization and decrease the downtime needed to maintain equipment, while increasing employee productivity.  In an economy where we’ll need to step up production to meet increased demand but keep expenses down, TPM is one way companies decrease cost while increasing production.  It takes leadership to get a team to adopt a new process, as many of you have already experienced.  That is just one of the many reasons why businesses will be interested in your leadership.  No matter the development career field you see yourself starting in: Sales, Manufacturing, Operations, Business Analysis, Engineering, Marketing, or any others – you will see opportunities to drive performance in a business that is focused on success.


When discussing development opportunities, we focus on the future.  For candidates transitioning out of the military to business, you may find yourself explaining your decision to family, friends and co-workers around you.  They are likely focused on the past and asking about your decision to step out into a tough economy.   You can have the confidence to look ahead at your career in Corporate America and your opportunity to be part of the recovery.  Take the time to listen to the August candidates as they recommend points for you to turn that confidence into a successful business career.


Scott LePage