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Thursday, March 14, 2013

The "placement" of the new Pope: A recruiter's perspective

We have a new Pope- Jorge Bergoglio, now known as Francis. What does this have to do with Digital and Direct Marketing Careers.....?

....absolutely nothing.  But I gotta tell ya, I would have loved to have been the recruiter who placed him there. 
Talk about a great reference.  What would that recruiting call have been like?  If it had been a contingent search, I might have decided to keep the name of the client cloaked:

"Hello.... is this Jorge?  Jorge Bergoglio?  Hi, this is Jerry Bernhart with Bernhart Associates Executive Search, and I recruit senior leaders for world class companies.  I was looking around on Linkedin and found your profile.  Love your interests-- 'winemaking' and 'chalice restoration.'  Looks like you and I have a common connection- Kevin Bacon.  That guy's connected to everyone, isn't he?   

Say, I'm calling about an opportunity to lead global operations for a brand new client of mine.  I know what you're thinking:  Another call from another headhunter about another crazy high risk start-up.  Let me assure you, these guys have been around a couple of years.  They also have built up quite a customer base of, shall we say, faithful followers.  They've been in the same location as long as, say, any other Fortune 500 company.   And I have to say, these guys really embrace Christian values.  In fact, they have a pretty in-depth employee handbook.  I've even seen it- it's 1,100 pages, but if you boil it down there are really only ten major rules and regulations you need to know about.  You're probably already familiar with some of them.  You get a company car, although I'm told you don't want to drive it under low bridges.  Judging by your profile, I'd guess you're probably in your mid-70's, correct?  That's perfect-- Just the kind of high-energy, youthful exuberance they're looking for. There's a dress code, but let's just you'll be able to leave your belts at home.  And the best part is that it reports to someone who I'm told is really out of this world." 

He says he's interested.  I start to qualify: 

"So, Jorge, may I ask you a few questions?  Great, thanks. This will take just a few moments. 

I don't suppose by any chance, by any slim possibility you like to pray, say 8-10 hours a day?  You do?
Awesome.  Are you relocatable?  You are?  Terrific. Have you spoken with the war department about that?  I'm sorry, I meant your wife.  You're not married?  Fantastic!!  I mean..... that's good to know.   

So, just for the heck of it, let's say I had an opportunity overseas.  Let's say, as a wild example, it's in Europe, and let's pretend it's in…..Italy, of all places, and just for argument's sake, let's assume they have offices near, let's say, Rome.   Let's make it even crazier.  Let's pretend your staff wears robes and funny hats.  Would that work for you? 

I probably shouldn't ask this but you seem like a cool guy.  Are you Jewish?  Why do I ask?  Oh…. just curious. 
I should mention- these guys do most of their business on weekends. Can you work on Sundays?  Oh, and I need to ask- are you allergic to white smoke? No? That's good. 
By the way, how are your knees?   

This may seem like a crazy question, but what kind of shoes do you like to wear?   You what?  You'll wear anything except loafers?  You hate loafers, and you especially hate ruby red?  You are kidding me, right?

You're not planning to retire anytime soon, are you?  Why do I ask?  Oh, I just think they'd frown on it, that's all. 

What sort of compensation and relocation assistance would you need to see?  What's that? You live in a small apartment, you take a bus to work and you give your plane tickets to the poor?  Cool. Not sure, but I think they could match that.  Would you need an employment contract?  Two years, you say?  No guarantees, but I think they could do a long-term deal.  What's that?  You're also looking for a stable organization with long-standing traditions and where you might have some influence on high-level strategy. Hmmm… that might work.  You're interested in a position with advancement potential?  Not sure that would be there with this one.  The boss upstairs has been in charge for a long time.  Seems like eternity.  You're interested in a job where you're more of an individual contributor working alone, rather than being a team leader?  Well, you should know that this has dotted line responsibility to around…. give or take….. 1.2 billion people. 

(click)... Hello?"


Bernhart Associates Executive Search, LLC, since 1990. 
"An expert in direct and digital marketing hiring practices"-  the DMA, 2009. 
As seen on AdAge, MarketingProfs, the CMO Council, ChiefMarketer, SeekingAlpha, Target Marketing, Mobile Marketer, BtoB Online, Chief Marketer, DIRECT, American Marketing Association and listed on Marketing Sherpa's "Best Headhunter and Recruiter Sites for Marketing Pros"

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