ASG News & Blogs

ReSearch | Summer 2023

Author: Joe Giacomin (248) 453-0092 |


Change, whether in our personal or professional lives, is inevitable. And it’s best to embrace it – roll with it –because it can often make us stronger, lead to opportunities, offer flexibility, and generally make life more interesting. We’ve heard it many times: Change is good! I tend to agree.

There are some other viewpoints. For example, the business of recorded music. There was a time when a person could write a song, publish it…possibly record it themselves or offer it to an artist, (known or unknown) have it picked up by a record label …or maybe start a label (think Berry Gordy of Motown fame) and convince a radio station to play it. If the station received enough repeat requests, it would drive sales. The local activity could expand popularity to a national level, and before you know it– Kaboom! Gold, possibly Platinum…and establishment of new music, ideas, and a budding artist. It is how many of the legendary recorded music we know and love, originated.

One could argue that great new music continues to flourish – and yes, some terrific artists have arrived on the scene in recent years.  However, they are often “packaged” and supported by big money. Quite frankly, it all tends to become a bit homogenized. Meanwhile, there are thousands of creative would-be artists whose work may never see the light of day, simply because the system has “changed” significantly.

Another example is the field of education. Have you observed some of the new methods of performing what we might refer to as simple math? It’s not so simple anymore. And what happened there? Just my opinion, but we have created too many levels and layers of “philosophers” and not enough quality people (our terrific teachers, for openers) on the front lines, focusing on the basics. I believe we can agree on the results of these changes – or lack of them.

During my career in search and recruitment, I have served many clients in my area of specialty (automotive suppliers) and observed first-hand the massive shifts they’ve experienced in every segment of their businesses, how they design, manufacture, market, and deliver. No longer is change evolutionary…it’s rapid fire!

How companies hire people has also changed dramatically and it is here that I find that the earlier examples referred to in music and education draw some similarities.

I believe many people will agree, when it comes to locating, attracting, and acquiring (key to any organization) top talent, there may be a tendency to over-complicate our hiring processes with inefficiencies. As a result, there is the risk of missing out on some true game-changers as they are directed elsewhere. Please take stock. Have we become a little too “sophisticated”??

Two plus two equals four – Well, at least that’s how I remember it.


Recently, during a recruiting process, I spoke to a potential candidate about a position in sales on behalf of a global automotive supplier. “Todd” graduated college in 2019 and is currently employed within the industry in a similar sales capacity.

Todd appears to have a reasonable amount of experience and a record of success. His communication skills are very good, and he made an excellent overall first impression. He also expressed an interest in submitting to an interview with an official of our client company.

During my interview with Todd, I asked him about his first-year salary expectations. He floored me when he stated a number that was about $20,000 beyond the top end of the salary range my client was prepared to offer (competitive)… a salary figure he claims he is already earning.

Nowhere in this conversation did Todd consider long-term potential, product technology, or any reasons why this job change may benefit him. In fact, he was a bit cavalier about it all.

I’m happy that Todd is doing well, and I’m behind him 100% if he is capable of demanding and receiving a better salary offer. However, it dawned on me that Todd hasn’t experienced many of the “dark days” in the auto industry. In fact, if my math is correct, Todd was 10 or 11 years old during the major downturn of 2008.

“In fact, if my math is correct, Todd was 10 or 11 years old during the major downturn of 2008.” 

I’m concerned that Todd’s bubble may burst. It would benefit him to focus on expanding his knowledge and fortifying his track record. Hiring authorities are faced with an employment market that features a limited supply of qualified candidates coupled with a staggering rise in salary levels. The result: It has created a fair number of “Todd’s.”

There is a cost/benefit equation… and “sticker shock” aside, hiring executives are willing to pay what it takes within some level of reality if a candidate can make a positive impact.

As for Todd, it might help to read some history.

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