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Dr. Michael Kannisto

Michael R. Kannisto currently leads the Staffing, University Relations, and Employment Branding initiatives at BASF Corporation. He received a B.S. in chemistry from Hope College, a Ph.D. in chemistry from Texas A&M University, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Materials Science and Engineering Department at the University of Michigan. He's is a member of the American Chemical Society, the Society for Human Resource Management, and has earned certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources from HRCI. He is also a certified Process Excellence Greenbelt, and is a member of the MBA Focus Advisory Board. Michael serves as President of the New Jersey SHRM chapter of the Staffing Management Association.

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So . . . You Want to Sell Me Something at ERE?

by Mar 23, 2011, 4:38 am ET

Those of a certain age will remember a very famous print advertisement that McGraw-Hill used to run. It was called “The Man in the Chair,” and featured an imposing looking gentleman sitting in a chair, staring intently at the reader, while the ad copy to the left of his picture read: “I don’t know who you are. I don’t know your company. I don’t know your company’s product. I don’t know what your company stands for. I don’t know your company’s customers. I don’t know your company’s record. I don’t know your company’s reputation. Now what was it you wanted to sell me?”

The moral at the bottom of the page was “Sales start before your salesman calls.” The message was straightforward: developing trust based vendor/customer relationships takes much more than a sales call, and the more you know about your customer up front the more likely you will be successful.

As requisition loads increase to frightening new levels, and because the ERE Expo in San Diego was approaching, I received dozens of inquiries from vendors eager to talk about their new product offerings. And while I love hearing about the latest and greatest tools and services, more often than not I feel a lot like the stern old man in the chair. keep reading…

The Traditional Career Path Will Disappear

by May 28, 2009, 5:39 am ET

In the July/August print publication Journal of Corporate Recruiting Leadership, I’m spelling out my “10 predictions for the coming year.”

If you’re a recruiting leader who subscribes, you’ll get those 10 in the postal mail. For now, here’s one: the traditional career path and all its assumptions (such as that the MBA is the ticket to success, and it’s the only path to the top) will be gone. keep reading…

Working With Procurement

by Apr 16, 2009, 5:10 am ET

It was agreed by all that the meeting was to be held in the strictest secrecy.

Only first names were to be used, and nothing was to be put in writing. Even though I was the head of recruiting and staffing for a large, multi-national company, I was putting my team in serious jeopardy just by having this conversation. Fortunately, the liaison was successful — we were not caught that day, and so far no one has discovered that we met together.

What am I describing? An international spy ring? The sale of competitive intelligence? keep reading…

Managing Executive Referrals During an Economic Meltdown

by Feb 18, 2009, 5:20 am ET

Several excellent articles have appeared here recently that have offered useful advice on how to deal with challenging economic times; certainly, many of us find ourselves helping our friends update their resumes, deciding where to trim out budgets this year, and coaching our organizations through headcount restrictions and freezes. ERE continues to be a great source of useful, timely information no matter what the business climate happens to be.

Right now, the business climate happens to be a little frightening. Since it looks like things will be like this for a while, I’d like to offer some thoughts on something that you’re certain to encounter in the next few months: a notable increase in executive referrals.

Anyone who spends time here knows that employee referrals are a simply fabulous way of bringing talent into your organization. The benefits are legion: employee referral hires are cheaper, pre-screened, more likely to be successful, increase employee morale, etc. A well-run program that delivers a consistent experience to both the candidate being submitted, and the person doing the submitting, will pay for itself many times over.

Executive referrals are a little different . . .

keep reading…

The Bait-and-Switch is Still Out There

by Apr 16, 2008

I’m not sure why, but I’m fascinated by cons and confidence games. When I lived in New Jersey, I loved walking around New York City just south of Times Square because I was always sure to see some tourist happily handing over his vacation money to a Three Card Monte gang.

I’d stand cautiously and observe as a team of experts would masterfully lure a “Vic” to the game, peek into his wallet to figure out how much money he had, let him win a few games, block his wife as she desperately tried to talk some sense into him, and finally go for the big payoff.

keep reading…

Three Ways to Measure Your Performance

by Mar 18, 2008

I still remember my harsh introduction to the concept of having my performance as a recruiter measured.

I had joined a company to support a functional area that had lots of needs. Jobs were open for unacceptably long periods of time, and hiring managers were questioning the candidate slates that were being presented. I had been hired by a fantastic manager, and that person was incredibly supportive as I worked with my sourcing partner to find new and innovative ways to identify and attract candidates.

keep reading…

Three Questions to Ask Yourself About Millennials

by Dec 28, 2007

I still remember the first time I heard about the Millennial generation. I was at a recruiting conference in New Orleans about 10 years ago, and one of the presenters was commenting about how the boomers were about to turn 50. He said the bulk of workers who would be replacing them would be coming from a generation we now know as Millennials.

I can still see the crowd’s reaction as the speaker talked about how this generation would be particularly coddled (raised by overly indulgent parents), have off-the-charts self esteem, and focus on a “what’s in it for me?” attitude.

keep reading…

40 Questions You Should Be Able to Answer About Your Hiring Process

by Oct 23, 2007

Before a job candidate becomes an employee, there are questions they should be asking you, their potential employer.

Some are questions they’d actually pose to you. Others, like #35, are rhetorical questions they’ll ask themselves.

keep reading…

How to Make a Good First Impression

by Sep 18, 2007

This is a true story. Years ago, I interviewed for a job with a well-known, multi-billion-dollar global company. I was flown in the night before, and interviewed with the hiring manager, the hiring manager’s boss, and the hiring manager’s HR partner.

The interviews ended at noon, so around 1 p.m., the agency managing the search called me to ask how it went.

keep reading…

Is Customer Still King (or Queen) in Your Business?

by Jun 26, 2007

There is something truly magical about that precise moment when a product is bought or sold. I suppose it’s because our species has relied upon this most fundamental form of capitalism for so long.

As humans became more efficient in drawing sustenance and were no longer engaged 100% in the act of survival, we learned to plant a little more rice or catch a few more fish. This abundance was then taken to the “marketplace” where people traded it for something they didn’t have but nonetheless needed. I’m no evolutionary biologist, but I’d be willing to bet the act of buying and selling activates some ancient and primitive part of the human brain.

keep reading…

Developing a Written Talent Acquisition Strategy

by May 8, 2007

If you’re like me, you probably spend a lot of time reactively addressing questions and requests for information from your customers. If that’s the case, you should feel good; people obviously know where to find you, and someone must have told them you often have answers!

My top three questions generally concern requests for processes and forms; requests for recruiting/sourcing data; and requests for interpretation of policies. Your mix might be different depending upon your job, but I’ll be willing to bet you’re often asked certain questions over and over. Have you ever noticed, though, that the best parts of these conversations usually occur in the last few seconds?

keep reading…

Manage Your Own Brand

by Mar 13, 2007

Companies spend millions of dollars a year trying to develop compelling employment brands by interviewing current employees, surveying external job-seekers, and validating the conclusions they draw from the data. But even after all that, there’s no guarantee that the brand statement will perfectly reflect what an organization offers potential employees.

If branding is that difficult for a company with money and resources, how in the world can you and I figure out what our own brand is, let alone try to publicize it to our customers, without consultants, ad agencies, or budgets?

keep reading…

How to Fall in Love With Your Vendors

by Feb 6, 2007

Several years (and several companies) ago, I was on a team responsible for launching a new careers website. I was working for a large, well-known multinational company, and in keeping with our stature, we worked with a very prestigious advertising agency.

Things had been going pretty well, when for some reason we stopped hearing from our account director. We were on an aggressive timeline, and needed the branded graphics we had been promised in order to meet our website launch deadline.

keep reading…

Diploma Mills 101

by Dec 19, 2006

As a staffing professional, how many resumes have you reviewed in your career? Hundreds? Thousands? Do you ever find yourself pausing over something in a resume just because it seems strange? I recently found myself doing just that, and it ended up taking me down a very interesting path.

The resume in question was that of an IT professional who was under consideration for a full-time position. I was reviewing the resume when I noticed that, under the Education section, the job-seeker had indicated that he had “matriculated” at a school in Europe, had obtained an IT certification, and had received a B.S. degree in Computer Science.

keep reading…