Welcome to Issue Number 3 of The Dossier.

Since our last issue, things in the US economy have improved somewhat, following several interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve Bank and more likely to follow. Individual corporate forecasts have been mixed. Hardware vendors like Sun Microsystems have been adjusting expectations downward, but applications vendors like Oracle Corporation are hitting earnings targets and remain bullish in the near term.

So what does this mean to you as a corporate talent scout? That's what we'll be exploring in this issue.

Before we get into that, we at Selection Strategies would like to say hello to Ms. Ruth Tan, Editor of the the Human Resources Journal for Butterworths Asia in Singapore. Ruth will be reprinting our eZine content in her publication from time to time. Thanks, Ruth. We're looking forward to meeting your audience.

Now, back to business. This issue includes three articles.

The Perils of Pedigree
By Ross Rich, Managing Principal, Selection Strategies, Inc.

Today sales managers face a very different world than they did just a couple of years ago. We all got accustomed to operating at breakneck speed, having more deals than we could adequately manage, and too few, if any, candidates for all the positions we needed to fill.

Today, deals are few and each is a “must win.” And, given the few people managers need to hire, it seems that each hire needs to be perfect. These pressures are real but in response to them they sometimes lead to practices that are counterproductive.

The pressure to hire well should never be dictated by market conditions. During Y2K and the heyday of the Internet expansion, there was far less concern about diligent hiring because speed and volume were the only two factors guiding organizational growth. This should not have been the case, because sustaining the meteoric growth that companies were experiencing was predicated on the ability to continuously hire talent. Now that the market has contracted and deals have slowed to a trickle, the need for extremely talented sales people is no less critical but is certainly more acute. The fact is that, up market or down, the factors that make sales people successful don’t change. However, current hiring practices often ignore these critical traits.