You started headhunting in 1979 in California's Silicon Valley. Can you describe your work at that time?
"What headhunting is about is helping people to form connections..."

How has your work evolved and can you profile the services you currently offer?
"What I try to teach people is forget the resumé - instead try to put together a business plan for the job that you want. Make a business case for how you are going to take your skills and organize them in a way that you can apply it to a business challenge or a problem that the company (and the manager you are talking to) is facing...I call it 'getting the job by doing the job'...."

Can you share the key lessons for success that you have learned over your long career?
"...Being true to yourself...Integrity (trying to find the value within yourself and trying to help people create value in their work)...Trying to identify and follow what you're most passionate about..."

Based upon your research, and experience, what are the most effective ways for conducting a job search?
"...I think the most effective way to find a good job is to find a good company. I suggest to people to try to work backwards...."

What are your top tips for internal career development?
"...Find out what the other functional areas (in your company) do, explore them, get to know the managers, get to know the staff and the teams and figure out the kinds of problems and challenges they face and then offer your services.....Spend a little time investing yourself..."

Can you extend your tips into effective hiring strategies?
"...They (the companies) don't pay me to find the perfect candidate, they pay me to eliminate the 99 other candidates they don't want to waste their time with. By using the approach I just described, managers can eliminate lots of candidates themselves...."

Why is your approach considered radical?
"...In the end, what gets the right person hired for the right job is an honest working dialogue between a manager in a functional department and someone who is an expert in doing that kind of work. HR people (wonderful as they might be at conducting interviews) simply do not have the expertise to have that level of discussion. I think that any good manager should be spending 10 to 20% of his/her time recruiting; developing sources of candidates; doing their own hiring..."

Nick shares a story (from the many experiences in his career) which illustrates his basic principles.

Provide your predictions of future trends and their implications/opportunities?
"...Serious efforts to try to find ways to help people connect one on one (and I don't think databases are going to be it)...."

Which are your top recommended resources and why?

  • Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age by Duncan Watts
  • How to get your point across in 30 seconds or less by Milo Frank
  • Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini

Nick talks about some of his other passions and interests.

Nick provides his commentary on two frequently requested information on his website.