When hiring a professional, it’s good to use a professional recruiter

With Jason Ball leaving the Chamber (I wish him luck, Austin, TX is fantastic!) the Chamber had this to say about hiring a replacement;

The chamber board will use Waverly Associates to begin the search for a new executive. The firm previously has provided executive search services for the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, the Sioux Falls Development Foundation and the Rapid City Area Chamber of Commerce. It also is the firm that brought Ball to Sioux Falls when Evan Nolte retired.

GET OUT! You mean when you are looking for someone qualified you would hire a recruiter?! Maybe pass this little tidbit of information on to Councilor Neitzert and the Audit committee. Oh, wait, several committee members and councilors told him they should use a professional recruiter. But that’s not how Greg rolls, he knows what is best because he does his ‘research’. You know, because it’s much cheaper to pay someone to train on the job instead of hiring someone qualified to begin with.


#1 Matthew Paulson on 07.25.19 at 2:47 pm

There’s a big difference between hiring a CEO of a 2000 member organization that gets paid six-figures and a mid-level local government position that pays in the mid-five figures. Using a recruiter to hire a new CEO is a pretty common practice. Using a recruiter to hire a mid-level employee in a small organization is not especially common.

#2 l3wis on 07.25.19 at 2:54 pm

MP – Yeah, because who needs a qualified Internal Auditor for a city of an annual budget over $400 million.

You also have to remember several members of the audit committee recommended a recruiter, but a computer programmer thought he knew better.

I have a friend who has been a very successful recruiter for years. You can basically hire a recruiter to hire ANY kind of management position. If he was only recruiting CEOs he would have been out of job years ago.

#3 Matthew Paulson on 07.25.19 at 4:00 pm

Scott – You are factually incorrect there. Councilor Starr was the only member of the audit committee to suggest using a recruiter early on in the process. It was only after that she applied and was nominated that Councilors Stehly and Brekke decided we should consider using a recruiting firm.

Since you appear to be unable to let this issue go and continue to argue these tired points despite having no personal hiring experience, I’ll remind you that this position pays $70-$80K and manages 2-3 people. This is a much different position than a chamber CEO position that pays much more and manages dozens of people.

These types of positions are hired all the time without the use of an outside recruiter. The only reason that you would use an outside recruiter for a position like this is that you have a lack of candidates. We had several candidates that met the criteria of the job description, and I believe we hired one that is doing quite well in the job, which made using a recruiter unnecessary.

I think the “we should have hired a recruiter” argument was really just an attempt to derail Ms. Nelson’s nomination.

#4 l3wis on 07.25.19 at 4:15 pm

Actually some NON-councilor members of the committee suggested a recruiter to. And I know for a fact that someone who has auditor certification applied for position and never even got an interview. The fix was in for Nelson, and it is blatantly obvious, this is why I continue to bring it up, because it is corrupt.

#5 Lemming on 07.25.19 at 9:22 pm

Did Greg beat you in a game of Uno or something Detroit? You’ve been like ‘full frontal assault’ on anything he does for the last 6 months. Meanwhile, Patrick “I’m the true Jellyfish” Starr gets a free pass on anything he says or does? How many council meetings does one of the two grandstand, put on the ‘woe is me’ but I still voted for it BS, and no one calls him on it. Hint/It ain’t Greg

#6 Conservative Here on 07.26.19 at 8:59 am

I think this boils down to a couple things here

1 – MP is correct that the “majority” of mid level management jobs ANYWHERE do not use recruiters, in the end they cost money and are not needed when you have candidates that can fill the role. Businesses use a recruiter when they are looking for Senior Level positions or hard to fill positions, just a fact.

2- Yes I believe this hire was probably not on the up and up, it didn’t pass the sniff test. Many people across SF get hired or are shoe ins for jobs for various reasons. I am not saying that always good or right, its just a reality.

3 – I think the problem Scott has it 2 fold. He is worried about corruptions happening because the reason we have an auditor in the first place is because of some Shady stuff a few terms ago. I believe the job he thinks the auditor should do is more external than internal audit. An Auditor job of that nature costs 100k+ a year, ya get what ya pay for. He is right yet wrong at the same time, the position SHOULD have been changed but, it was not and here we are.

4 – Lemming above brings up a good point that I have brought up before. While I am not very happy with some of Council Neitzerts opinions or votes he is lambasted on here yet Starr, Brekke, and Stehly get a pass. I am not saying he should roast them but, Mr Starr’s action on the Auditor committee seemed non committal at best. He signed Shawna to come out of committee to vote on her. If he felt that strongly why not refuse to sign. 6 members signed to put the vote to hire her on the Agenda. That means one of the 3 mentioned above voted for it to come to a vote. At a minimum the criticism for this issue should have been Council wide.

While Scott is not a journalist (blogger) he has the right to blow up who he wants and protect who he wants but, if your being objective there was plenty of blame to go around on this and its apparently a sore subject.

#7 kurtz on 07.26.19 at 2:50 pm

What’s not to like about six (seven? eight?) month winters, rampant racism, chilling effects on civil rights, an extremist legislature, living in a chemical toilet, perpetual welfare state and permanent disaster area?

#8 Erica on 07.28.19 at 3:23 am

So is Waverly Associates a place where professionals can go to seek employment because it isnt as easy to getbinto the career world here. Know several military retireed folks who have had a very hard time find employment after retiring from military and moving here even though they are trained and skilled professionals with degrees. Why does the city not try to find employment for those vets?

If this is who the city uses to look for employees, why arent they holding job fairs?

#9 Turning Wisconsin Blue Again on 07.28.19 at 6:30 am

Why are we even legitimizing the Chamber by talking about them? The Chamber is against the American worker every chance they can get.

#10 l3wis on 07.28.19 at 1:40 pm

Erica, one of the biggest problems in Sioux Falls is something called wage collusion. Competing employers pay the same so that wages don’t go up. Part of the problem is since this is a right to work state employers are not required to list wages in their ads. I have suggested that the city council pass an ordinance that if you are a SF company advertising a job in Sioux Falls, you should have to list your starting base wage in the ad. This would create competition between businesses to pay higher wages. They should also have to list their benefits, bonuses, vacation, etc.

#11 l3wis on 07.28.19 at 1:45 pm

Wisconsin, a few years ago the Chamber held an informational meeting with YPN to tell people where they stood on certain ballot issues. They usually either support, oppose, or are neutral. As the communications person was going thru the list, he got to the measure about requiring people to join a union if their place of employment has a union that is already negotiating better wages and benefits for the non-union members. Of course the Chamber was opposed. I raised my hand and said, “Of course you are opposed, the Chamber has a long history of opposing organized labor.” As the crowd let out an audible chuckle, the guy from the Chamber pretty much agreed with me.

#12 Erica on 07.28.19 at 11:39 pm

l3wis, I am not even talking about wages at the moment but just even companies who see value in retired veterans and the skills & experience they hold rather as writing them off as a viable candidate. The city, or Chamber of Commerce at least, specifically seeks out graduates for positions here but why is there noone seeking skilled mid-career veterans? Or veterans at all?

#13 l3wis on 07.29.19 at 8:58 am

Erica, I have long said that people use Veterans as props during national holidays, otherwise when it comes to homelessness, employment, higher education or healthcare, they are forgotten. Something like 59% of my Federal income taxes go to military spending, how much of that do you think is spent on Veterans?

#14 Conservative Here on 07.29.19 at 11:07 am

I am a veteran and I distinctly remember after my service was up I went back to school and received my degree in IT. I ran into something that taught me a valuable lesson, most experience in the military is not transferable to the private sector. I went on my 4th interview at Avera for the same job at the time and the hiring manager liked me and wanted to hire me BUT, he needed more relevant experience. He was caught between hiring a young veteran and hiring someone with real world experience, I lost. After that experience I stopped touting my military experience, not because it was not valuable to me, it was just not transferable to the real world. Vets that do 20-30 years have been working in an EXTREMELY top down inefficient organization where are you are only as smart as your rank. After that long you end up thinking a certain way that is not transferable and can be a detriment to moving forward. The military teaches you a lot of things but, in general is short on critical thinking skills and many can become drones waiting orders to do useless shit that adds no value. I would not trade the lessons I learned and the life experience I gained for the world in the military. I just think its’ not the employers fault these people come out and are not ready to join civilian life and it can be a rough transition. I am not sure I have a solution other than the individual needs to recognize and be cognizant of this and prepare long before transitioning out. That could be going to school while your in, transferring jobs in the military to something that is more relevant in the private sector (not many infantry jobs at Costco / sarc)and or getting out while your young enough to find a new career. No matter how you slice and dice it, we treat Illegal Aliens better than we treat our Vets and it ticks me off. The VA is a complete disaster and has been for YEARS/DECADES (thats govt healthcare for those of you who think thats a good idea) and our soldiers are dying left and right. They wait in horrible long lines for any type of benefit they have earned and have to fight months upon months of redtape to get any one to do anything that amounts to progress on their behalf. All around a bad way to treat the Men and Women who have served to protect our freedoms. I wish every man and women upon turning 18 was required at some time to provide 2 years of service to our country NO EXCEPTIONS. This way we would all truly know what that looks and feels like and would be more willing to say, ya know what maybe I don’t want to bomb some 3rd world country into the stone age today because I gotta go fight. I should probably stop because I could write about this all day but, Yes we need to do better for Vets but, they also need to take some responsibility and help themselves in the job sector

#15 Erica on 07.29.19 at 1:10 pm

ConservativeHere, not sure how long ago you left the service but you will be very hard pressed to find many military members, especially 20+yr ones, without at least a Bachelors. It is necessary in order to compete in the promotion process.

There are so many military members with direct military to civilian experience AND degrees (not to mention having the experience of being lead and leading personnel, adaptiabilty, quick to learn new skills & tasks, work under extreme pressure, work w/ diverse groups of people, PASS drug tests, show up to work on time, etc) that are being over looked. I have personally seen about it & heard about it right here in Sioux Falls.

#16 Erica on 07.29.19 at 1:15 pm

I am trying to find a way to bridge gap with employers here to see that vets actually already possess many of the skills they are looking. BOTH sides need to open their eyes and not put one another in a box due to preconceptions.

I guess I need to see if anyone on the city council would be willing to have a chat over this and how we can do better for vets here looking for employment as well as those companies who claim they are struggling to find talent.

#17 Conservative Here on 07.29.19 at 4:29 pm

Erica, its been 20 years since I left and I know things changed (mid 40’s is my age) but, are large bucket of Vets are in jobs that do not translate. Everyone knows if your former military they can at least expect you to be on time, pass drug tests, work with diverse people, etc. These traits are timeless regardless of what era you served, what I am saying is many are getting out with NO actual experience doing a civilian job. Do you know how many Infantrymen, Gun Bunnies, and grunts in general get out each year. This combat jobs take up a good chunk of our military. There are only so many engineers, doctors, medics, intelligence, etc that come out of the military ready to jump right in. If you think about it many end up with the same experience as a 22 year getting out of college if they finished their degree in whatever discipline, minimal to none. I am not bagging on these folks, I applaud them but, its just challenging as you cannot just magically gain experience without it. I can only imagine if I had done 20 years, would just be getting out now, and starting my career from scratch, that would be scary for me frankly. Now for me I would much rather hire a vet than a 30 year old with 5 years experience because I know what I am getting and my odds of finding someone that will GET ER DONE is greatly increased with a vet but, I am a vet so I know. Many do not and its hard to get that passed someone at times. You do what ever you can do to help these folks and if you have something you are doing let us know on the blog as I would love to see what you are doing and how maybe I can help, thank you!

#18 Erica on 07.30.19 at 9:14 pm

ALL military jobs have civilian counterparts, even infantry. Most infantrymen arent getting out of military and expecting to find corporate office jobs off the bat.

I am speaking of people in finance, HR, recruiting, data analytics pros, commo… SO many trained professionals in the military.
And in the very particular case I am speaking of is my spouse (14 years in recruiting as recruiter, small station commander, large station commander and then Brigade operations NCO (analyzing all the performace data and recruiting data) on top of having a Bachelors in Business and soon to have Masters in data analytics.

Anyway, to not hijack this post any further than I already have, does anyone happen to know if anyone on the city council or even in the Chamber of Commerce has a military background? Or are any of them involved in any of the few veteran programs in the area? One for younger veterans could be a great benefit here for tgose who need support in seeking employment, becoming more integrated into the community, networking with fellow veterans, support for vet families, etc.