Blaine and Associates

Blaine and Associates

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

8 Things Really Successful People Do

8 Things Really Successful People Doin

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Most people claim to want success. But not everyone is willing to do the hard work and the smart work to get there. Often opportunities present themselves and because people are distracted, they miss them or give up on them before things fully develop.
Truly successful people don't leave much to chance. They are disciplined and focused.  They constantly seek new methods to achieve more, in bigger and faster ways. Listed below are eight different practices that will help you concentrate your efforts on rising above the tide.
1. Make Materialism Irrelevant
Fancy cars and houses are all well and good, but many foolishly focus on the byproducts of success, rather than concentrating on building sustainable success in the first place. Establish a bare minimum for your material needs, and then you can enjoy the benefits of success, debt- and stress-free.
2. Enhance Knowledge
Success comes faster to those who are open, active learners. The higher up the success ladder you climb, the more complex the systems and opportunities that are presented to you. Absorb all the information you can and if you sense a gap you can't fill, connect with people who have the knowledge you need.
3. Manage Relationship Expectations
People in your life require time. Successful individuals attract folks, and so they have to carefully regulate the time they can spend with others. It's hard to limit the time you share and still make people feel important. Make choices about the people who matter to you and determine how you each can get value from your interactions. Then make sure they understand your limitations so they don't take it personally when you can't be present.
4. Practice Emotional Self-Awareness
Not all successful people are calm and nice. In fact, many can be volatile. But most are very aware of their tempers and idiosyncrasies. They know how to use their emotions to get what they want from life and work hard to make sure feelings don't become a detriment. Know yourself and learn how to let your emotions work for you in positive ways.
5. Commit to a Physical Ideal 
Everyone has a vision of their own perfect body. They don't have to be fashion models or athletes to be happy. But physical health is a consideration in their life and it's a big distraction when it gets out of whack. Determine the body you believe is worth working for and set a game plan to achieve and maintain it.
6. Gain Clarity About Spirituality
There are many highly successful people like Richard Branson and Warren Buffett who don't consider religion to be important or relevant. But they have a clear point of view as to the role spirituality plays in their life. Find your own way to be at one with the universe and be clear and deliberate in how you practice.
7. Adhere to a Code of Ethics  
Really successful people live by rules. Those may not be the rules of others, but consistency is important for them to maintain power and stability. Their individual view of how the world works is the basis for how they believe people should be treated and they will defend it until their dying day. Determine your ethical lines and broadcast them loud and clear so people around you know where you stand.
8. Focus on Time Efficiency
Prioritization is a key component of success. You can't reach your pinnacle if you are wasting time on distractions. Integration of activities frees up time for greater achievement. Spend your time on activities that are fun, enlightening and productive and soon you'll have gained hours to reap the benefits of success.
Ultimately, really successful people live their lives by design instead of default, so if you want to be one of them, dedicate time and effort to determining the plan for your preferred future and execute that plan in a focused and consistent manner.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Cover Letters 101

Covering Letters – your questions answered

Should you or shouldn't you? And what the heck do you write anyway? Get to grips with all these questions and more.
Do I always need to send a letter with an application form or should it just go with a CV?

It’s polite to send a letter accompanying whatever sort of application you make. If you’ve completed a detailed application form that included a lengthy personal statement this need only be a short note. Don’t repeat information from your form but use this as an opportunity to highlight key attributes or areas of experience. You may want to include details not previously mentioned such as when you’d be available, what prompted you to apply for the job or where you saw it advertised.
When your letter is accompanying a CV it needs to be more detailed and take the place of the ‘What qualities will you bring to this job’ section of an application form.
How long should it be?

That depends on how much you’ve got to say! A few lines are enough when it accompanies an application form, you may need up to two pages if it’s the partner to a one-page CV. If possible keep it to one side, but don’t sell yourself short by worrying over whether two sides is too much. If what you have to say is interesting and relevant, employers will read it. If you’re obviously rambling, they won’t.
Should it be friendly or formal?

The best letters convey your enthusiasm for the job. If your tone is too formal this may be hard to do, but a chatty tone can be a mistake too. Your application or CV should have a formal feel to it, but your letter should allow your personality to show. Consider the nature of the job you’re applying for. If it’s in financial services, a straightforward formal style will be expected. If it’s for a travel rep with an 18-30s tour operator, they’ll be looking for something a bit more lively. Your layout should be as for a formal business letter. Unless you know the person well, do not use their first name. If you don’t know their name, ring up and ask. ‘Dear Ms Jones’ looks so much better than ‘Dear Sir/Madam.’
How should I start?

Get to the point quickly and avoid waffling. Your first paragraph should mention the job you’re applying for and explain why you are right for it. Then develop the points you have made in the opening sentences more fully in the following paragraphs.
What’s a good way to sign off

Your final sentence should be positive and confident, showing that you expect a response and giving details of how you can be contacted, or when you intend to contact them. If it’s a speculative application, a follow-up phone call is a good idea.

Office Manager for a rapidly expanding political/social branding/pr/marketing firm in downtown Los Angeles.
$60 - 75,000
We are looking for a jack-of-all-trades Office Manager to run the day-to-day operations of our company.  You will be responsible for the following areas:
  •  Screening and hiring new personnel, working with staffing agencies, running recruiting ads and assessing resumes, checking references and administering skills and personality test
  • Supervise the training of all new staff - contract, temporary, intern, and full-time staff
  • Conduct the new employee orientation 
  • Administration of employee benefits, including medical, dental, COBRA, worker's comp, 401(K) enrollments
  • Handle all vendors and suppliers, including landlord, parking garage, priniting, computers, furniture, janitorial, phones, office supplies, contractors, etc.
  • Maintain company client and administrative files, which inlcudes document storage, contracts, agreements, leases, warranties, etc.
We are looking for someone out of a similar environment (PR, Branding or Marketing), 5+ years office management expereince with hiring, training, and supervising support staff, a 4-year college degree, excellent references, and solid skills on MSW, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.  We will test on these as well as grammar, spelling and proofreading.  A background check will be conducted.  
We have some of the most intersting clients in the business.  We are growing at a nice steady pace and see 2014 - 2015 as our biggest growth years ever.  We have an excellent reputation and take great pride in the staff we do select and hire.  This is a position that will grow and learn.  
If you meet the above requirements, please submit your resume and salary history today. We would like to have this position filled in the next two weeks.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

New Job Listing - District Sales Manager

District Manager/Beverage Co. - $80 - $90,000 - San Francisco, CA

Develop and effectively implement all aspects of the company goals. Constantly seeking new and innovative methods for increasing sales and enhancing the corporate image. Show a high degree of personal sales performance and the ability to manage a “profit center”.

Areas of Responsibility

  • People Development
  • District Manager is responsible for personnel development through recruiting selection and training based on the fundamentals of “MANAGEMENT BY EXCELLENCE”.
  • Keep at least three active candidates per market for all direct reports in hiring process at all times.
  • Physically meet with at least one recruited candidate a quarter.
  • Implement and manage field-training programs.
  • Conduct quarterly reviews of “direct reports”.
  • Planning / Administrative Responsibilities
  • Must be able to demonstrate proficiency in technology – Excel, SAP, Word for customer analysis.
  • District manager is responsible for administering all company policies and procedures within his district.
  • District manager works closely with the Regional manager in the Company’s annual budgeting and planning process.
  • Communicate itinerary and activity reports on schedule.
  • Follow up on all promotions and price changes.
  • Monitor all inspection reports for due dates.

Customer Relations

  • Represents the Company in a professional manner.
  • Regular visitation of key customers to build loyalty utilizing key account book.
  • Follow up on all problem calls as necessary.
  • Establishes a relationship with key customers so that the customer is satisfied with the company’s products and services.
  • Implement an aggressive customer protection plan.
  • Develop a personal relationship with decision makers in key accounts.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

How They Hire

Influencers on How They Hire by Richard Branson, Virgin Airlines
There is nothing more important for a business than hiring the right team. If you get the perfect mix of people working for your company, you have a far greater chance of success. However, the best person for the job doesn’t always walk right through your door.

The first thing to look for when searching for a great employee is somebody with a personality that fits with your company culture. Most skills can be learned, but it is difficult to train people on their personality. If you can find people who are fun, friendly, caring and love helping others, you are on to a winner.

Personality is the key. It is not something that always comes out in interview – people can be shy. But you have to trust your judgement. If you have got a slightly introverted person with a great personality, use your experience to pull it out of them. It is easier with an extrovert, but be wary of people becoming overexcited in the pressure of interviews.

You can learn most jobs extremely quickly once you are thrown in the deep end. Within three months you can usually know the ins and outs of a role. If you are satisfied with the personality, then look at experience and expertise. Find people with transferable skills – you need team players who can pitch in and try their hand at all sorts of different jobs. While specialists are sometimes necessary, versatility should not be underestimated.

Some managers get hung up on qualifications. I only look at them after everything else. If somebody has five degrees and more A grades than you can fit on one side of paper, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are the right person for the job. Great grades count for nothing if they aren’t partnered with broad-ranging experience and a winning personality.

That doesn’t mean you can’t take risks when building your team. Don’t be afraid of hiring mavericks. Somebody who thinks a little differently can help to see problems as opportunities and inspire creative energy within a group. Some of the best people we’ve ever hired didn’t seem to fit in at first, but proved to be indispensable over time.

If you hire the wrong person at the top of a company, they can destroy it in no time at all. Promoting from within is generally a good idea as the employee who is promoted will be inspired by the new role, already know the business inside out, and have the trust and respect of their team.

Equally, bringing in fresh blood can reinvigorate a company. Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia recently brought in CEOs from outside - John Borghetti at Virgin Australia and Craig Kreeger at Virgin Atlantic. They have brought a lot of fresh ideas into the company, as well as experience of what the competition is doing well and what they are doing badly.

When companies go through growth spurts, they often hire in bulk and company culture can suffer. While it may seem a desperate rush to get somebody through the door to help carry the load, it is worth being patient to find the right person, rather than hurrying and unbalancing your team. I heard a great line by Funding Circle CEO Samir Desai at the IoD Conference in London (quoting Apple's Dan Jacobs) about making sure you hire (and fire) the right people: “It’s better to have a hole in your team than an asshole in your team!”

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

5 Myths That Hurt a Job Search - from

Posted By: Staff Editor On: 8/13/2013 6:00 PM In: Job Seeker - Interview

Finding a job in today's job market is tougher than ever – it takes a lot of dedication, determination and good luck. It's not easy to market your skills, to send in resume after resume, knowing that you will probably only hear back from about 1% of the companies and through it all, you have to network, keep your skills sharp and struggle to pay the bills. It's probably one of the more difficult things you will ever have to face.
Despite everything, there is still another challenge that today's job seeker faces – knowing yourself. You have to be able to recognize the lies that you tell yourself and really examine the myths that you believe to be true to overcome them and reach the next level in your career. Some of the things you will have to do will feel uncomfortable at first, but with practice, it gets easier.
Here are 5 myths aren't true and that can really hurt a job search:
  1. Job seekers do not need to market themselves – I am always surprised by the number of people who are looking for work, yet are stubbornly resistant to the idea of marketing themselves. There seems to be this idea that personal branding and marketing are things that people do to reach the next level of their very professional career, not just to find a mid-level job. While its true that marketing is done by very professional, white collar executives, it's just as helpful to job seekers who are looking for an entry-level, low-skill job. No matter what type of position you are looking for, personal branding and effective marketing tools show that you are looking for a career, not just another job. It impresses hiring managers and will help you land the job you want (even if you do not want a career).
  2. Networking is for executives and high level employees – Networking is another thing that many job seekers believe is only for other people, like executives. Spending time with other professional people, printing up some contact cards and meeting new people can be intimidating, but it's the best way to find out about other job openings and it's a well respected way of getting your foot in the door. Even if you are looking for a part-time job, networking can put you in the path of business owners and other people who could be in a position to help.
  3. Asking questions during an interview makes you appear too picky – During an interview, you should always, always ask questions. Before going to the interview, you should spend some time researching the company and getting an understanding of who they are, what they do and where they are heading. Even if you are applying for a job as the night janitor, knowing this information is a great way to really impress the interviewer. Ask questions about the corporate culture, about what the interviewer likes about the company and what happened to the person who had the job last. These types of questions show that you are interested in that particular job and that you are interviewing the company as well.
  4. My skills do not need to be updated – This is one that I've heard many, many times. People who have been out of work for more than 3 months, but less than a year, are the ones who are the most likely to believe that their skills do not need to be updated. Depending on the industry, this probably isn't true. Even if it is, there are so many applicants for every open position, any job seeker is going to be competing against people that are hungrier, younger, more desperate for the job and who either still have a job or who have been out of work for less time. A hiring manger is going to prefer someone who is more current, so look for ways to update your skills while you are out of work.
  5. This is the way I was taught and the way I've always done it. I do not need to change – Out of all these myths, this one is probably the most harmful. I've heard people who have been in the workforce for 20 years or more say this and it never fails to surprise me. The fact is that the way that jobs are found today is completely different from how it was even just a decade ago. Now, it's all about social media presence, marketing, functional resumes and networking. A neatly typed, two page resume that chronologically lists every job you've ever had, complete with an objective statement and a list of references screams, “Hopelessly out-of-date”. I've even talked with people who argued with the career counselor they hired about these issues and actively resisted change, claiming that the career adviser was in the wrong.
Change is scary and it can be very difficult to spot the areas where you could use some work. I think we all have blinders on when it comes to objectively spotting our own weaknesses. If any of these myths sound familiar to you, they might be areas where you could stand some improvement.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

New Job Listings!

Entry Level International HR Assistant    - $32,000 (West Los Angeles)

This is a position that "WILL" take you places.  We are searching for someone with 1-2 years HR generalist background that can work in an international HR department and assist in the hiring of hospitality personnel worldwide.  You must have solid MSW, Excel, and PowerPoint skills to assist with presentations, drafting correspondence, memos and emails, maintain files and personnel records, coordinate "award programs" for employees, handle flight and hotel bookings, and assist with special projects as requested.  This is an opportunity of a life time for a recent college grad with either internships in HR or 1+ years experience in a large HR department.

Executive Assistant to President of Fortune 500 Firm - 75,000 (Downtown)

You must be an EA who likes making their executive shine.  You will be the voice and face of this office.  You will work with some of the most influential corporate heads of our time.  You will be responsible for international board meetings, extensive and complex travel itineraries, expense reports, special projects including advanced PowerPoint presentations.  This is not a job that requires a 24/7 executive assistant.  It is a great work/life balance opportunity, but you will have to be sharper, more experienced, have excellent job tenure and references.  You are an extension of the President and will be required to be "tops" in your field.  Excellent benefits and bonus.

Real Estate Administrative Assistant - $55-65,000 (Santa Monica)

Do you consider yourself an "analytical" person at heart?  Can you assess reports and automatically see areas that are weak and strong....if so, this is a perfect position for you.  You will work as part of a large team in a commercial real estate company.  You will analyze reports, summarize data, book all travel, handle expense reports, type correspondence, presentations on PowerPoint, Excel spreadsheets for report summaries, as well as special projects as requested.  Excellent benefits, paid o/t, pension plan and profit sharing and great views of the ocean.  

Receptionist - $40 - 45,000 (West LA)

If you always have a smile in your voice, if you always like meeting and greeting the public, if you always arrive a work 5 minutes earlier than you have to, if you always like learning new things and meeting new people, this is the career opportunity for you.  The last receptionist just moved up in the company....and the one before her....and the one before her.  This is a position with no limit on where you can go in the firm - marketing, accounting, asset management, property management, HR, sales, you name it, and you can get there if you want it.  You need to have 2+ years working in a high volume corporate environment as a receptionist.  you should have MSW, Excel and Outlook skills as well.  This is a "personality" position - have a good one before you apply.

Entry Level Accountant - $35 - 40,000  (Century City)

If you are a recent college grad with a degree in accounting or finance and want an exciting opportunity, try entertainment management.  Our client is looking to add to their ever expanding offices.  You need just a minimal amount of experience in accounting, either a part time or summer job during school or accounting internships.  They will train you to climb the ladder and even sponsor you for your CPA license if you love the work and the environment.  This is a great opportunity for any entry level accountants.

Convention Temps - $10.00 hourly

We need numerous temps for upcoming conventions and special events.  If you have previous convention experience in registration or other areas, please call us to schedule an appointment.  If you are in between careers and could use some extra $$, call us too.  You must have great customer service skills and be able to stand for 3-4 hours at a time.  It is a fun way to meet new people, see never seen before consumer goods, work in some of the best convention arenas and hotels in So CA.  We are always looking for new people so refer your friends and family too.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Brand New Job Listings!


Our client is a well-known Beverly Hills real estate developer who is looking for a receptionist/admin assistant interested in real estate, philanthropy, gaming, and art. You will answer phones, roll calls, assist with special projects, arrange meetings, keep busy calendars, draft correspondence, reconcile credit cards, and assist with heavy travel arrangements. You must have solid MS Word, Excel, Outlook and some PowerPoint, be customer service driven, pay attention to the smallest details, and want a great, solid position with benefits, paid vacation and fabulous perks.


Accountants needed for rapidly growing premier accounting firm. You can start your career as an accountant, whether you are interested in audit, tax, consulting or business management. This firm will mentor and pay a portion of your $$$ to obtain your CPA license.

We are looking for several 0 - 2 year entry level accountants with degrees in Accounting or Finance from reputable colleges, 1+ year of either internships or paid experience in accounting. You will need Excel, MSW, QuickBooks, or a similar accounting software. We will give you the experience and reputation you need to be successful in the accounting world.

We are also looking for 3 - 5 year accountants is search of a stable home with lots of growth potential. We need accountants that can "think outside the box," love working with all types of clients - from entertainment, to manufacturing, to real estate, to sports teams - we have a great client roster and are able to continue to flourish because of the talent we hire at this level. You need a degree in Accounting or Finance and 3+ years working in a public accounting firm. We will also assist you in obtaining your CPA license. If you already are a CPA, we will pay you more.

We offer full benefits, a work/life balance, beautiful offices and lots of room for growth.
Please forward your resume and salary history. We are ready to hire immediately.


Prestigious Business Management firm in Century City is seeking a music publishing licensing manager and royalty administrator to join our Music Services Department. This position requires a detail oriented individual with a management background in the music publishing industry. This position reports to the Manager of Music Services.

• Handle and process requests - negotiating terms and preparing licenses
• Copyrighting and registering compositions
• Confirming, setting up and tracking publisher and songwriter splits
• Royalty Processing and income tracking
• Maintenance of song files and documentation
• Supervise, train and manage staff of at least three

• At least three - five years management experience in music publishing field
• Knowledge of Counterpoint Music Maestro software preferred
• Proficient with both Microsoft emphases in Excel.
• Experience in handling licensing and royalties
• Must be organized, detail oriented, and be able to work in a team environment.
• Good communication skills on the phone and via e-mail are essential.

STAFF ACCOUNTANT for hip branding/promotions company - $55K-$65K

This company is growing rapidly and is looking for a QuickBook expert to handle their project accounting needs. You will be responsible for:

Accounts Payable - Entries, Payments (high volume)
Bank reconciliations
Filing of all financial transaction paperwork
Some Human Resource and office management duties including but not limited to new employee insurance enrollment and vacation tracking.
Ensure all accounting data is processed timely, reconciliations are current, receivable and payable ageing are within target, vendors and employees are paid accurately, taxes (US, state, and local) are filed and paid timely, audits are conducted efficiently
Process expense reports for employees
Invoicing and collecting A/R

Requirements: At least 5 years of experience in a bookkeeper position Excellent knowledge and experience with Quickbooks Pro Ability to create and manage spreadsheets in Microsoft XL, including filtering and sorting Excellent references will be required for final consideration.  Knowledge of Google docs preferred.

Change the World

Change the World: Treat the Interview as a Sales Call

July 08, 2013  
Most employment interviews are a waste of time. Candidates think they’re about correctly answering the interviewer’s questions and interviewers think they’re designed to figure out if the candidate meets the requirements listed in the job description. They’re not.
Google just found out after exhaustive research that brainteasers don’t predict on-the-job performance. (To be a bit cynical here, this is not new news. I read about this classic problem in the mid-1990s doing research for my first book.) The bigger news at Google is that they found that very few of their hiring managers have a good track record using the interview for predicting on-the-job success. Google’s revelation is not uncommon.
Given that the common and traditional interview is flawed, including the vaunted behavioral interview (see below), what is a job-seeker, hiring manager, recruiter or anyone on the interviewing team to do? I suggest all parties take a page from any well-trained sales department and convert the employment interview into a discovery call. Here’’s blog describing this core activity. In essence, the idea is to use the sales call to find out the customer’s needs and then craft a solution that demonstrates your product is a perfect fit. Whatever side of the desk you're on, this is what interviewing should be about.
During the interview the buyer and seller roles often switch, so conducting parallel discovery can become a bit unnerving – similar to dating. Regardless, here are the basic steps.
The Discovery Process for the Job-seeker
Step 1: Find out what's being sold. Don’t assume the person interviewing you is competent. If the interviewer is either box-checking skills, asking pointless questions, or asking brainteasers, begin your discovery right away. This starts by asking questions at the beginning of the interview to uncover real job needs. Here are some questions that will get you started:
  • What’s the focus of the job?
  • What are some big problems or issues the person will face right away?
  • How will performance be measured?
  • Are there any team related challenges?
  • Why is the position open?
Step 2: Prove you're the solution. Once you have some understanding of the job, you’ll then need to describe some past accomplishment that demonstrates you’re capable of doing the work required. Use the SAFW two-minute response to form your answers. This involves providing a 1-2 minute overview of a major past accomplishment with just enough details to naturally prompt the interviewer to ask some clarifying follow-up questions. You’ll need to do this for at least 2-3 of the most important aspects of the job during the interview in order to “win the sale.”
Step 3: At the end of the interview ask for the order, or at least find out the next steps. Something like, “Based on what we’ve discussed, do you think my background is a good fit for the position? (Pause) What are the next steps in the process?” If you are a good fit for the job, the interviewer will be specific about the next steps. A vague response is not a good sign.
The Discovery Process for the Interviewer
Step 1: Be different. Don’t ask behavioral questions since all candidates have practiced answering these. (Here’s Google’s multi-million answers.)
Step 2: Figure out what you're selling. Start by making sure everyone on the hiring team is familiar with the performance-based job description listing the top 4-5 performance objectives required for on-the-job success. Interviewing accuracy is dramatically improved when everyone knows what they’re evaluating.
Step 3: Early in the interview find out why the candidate is looking for another job, most likely it’s something involving economic need or lack of sufficient career growth. You’ll use the balance of the interview to determine if your position meets these needs. This will be essential for negotiating the offer, especially if the person is a passive candidate and/or has multiple opportunities.
Step 4: Validate what you're buying. Use The Most Important Interview Question of All Timeand the associated fact-finding questions to find out if the candidate is competent and motivated to do the actual work required. This involves describing one of the performance objectives and then asking the candidate to describe a comparable accomplishment. You’ll need to do this for the 3-4 most important performance objectives to make an accurate assessment. From this you’ll be able to determine if the gap between what you’re offering and what the candidate has done is a career move, a lateral transfer or something below or beyond the candidate’s current abilities.
Step 5: Determine thinking skills. Rather than using brainteasers to figure out thinking and problem-solving ability, ask about a real problem the person in the role is likely to face. (This is the second half of the two-question Performance-based Interview.) The purpose is to get into a back-and-forth dialogue to determine if the candidate’s approach to solving the problem is appropriate. Focus on the process of getting the answer, not the answer itself. Then Anchor the question by getting an example of what the person has done that's most comparable to the problem being discussed. (See Anchor and Visualize questioning pattern.)
Step 6: If the candidate is someone you’d like to consider, describe the opportunity gap and present your job as a true career move. Then find out the candidate’s interest in further discussion. (Here's the complete explanation behind the selling process involved in negotiating offers.)
Whether you’re on the hiring or job-seeking side it’s important to recognize that an interview is a sales call. While figuring out who’s the buyer and seller is a function of supply and demand, meeting the performance objectives for the job is what’s being bought and sold. Unfortunately, too many companies, job-seekers and interviewers lose sight of the core purpose of the interview. You won’t, if you put yourself in the shoes of a top sales rep on a 100% commission plan, and are always fully prepared.
Lou Adler (@LouA) is the creator of Performance-based Hiring and the author of the Amazon Top 10 business best-seller, Hire With Your Head (Wiley, 2007). His new book, The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired, (Workbench, 2013) has just been published. Feel free to joinLou's new LinkedIn group or 'like' us on Facebook to discuss all types of hiring issues.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Brand New Jobs!!!


Assistant needed for Executive of small production studio. We are seeking an agent assistant or someone with similar background to work for one of the top executives of an active A-list production studio. You must know the players in the motion picture industry, have 2 - 4 years experience working in a similar role, hopefully with agency experience. MSW, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, heavy travel coordination, both domestic and international, keeping multiple calendars for business as personal, heavy gate keeping, rolling calls, and a true passion for keeping an executive organized, focused on their responsibilities and keeping one step ahead of their needs at all times. College degree preferred. Position starts immediately. $40,000 - 45,000, full medical benefits, major studio location.


Assistant for celebrity in an in-home office (Wilshire Corridor). You will be responsible for keeping heavy social calendars, the running of three homes, including setting up households before arrival, repairs, working with domestic staff, vendors, managers, agents, attorneys, family, etc. This is not a position for the faint of heart and we need someone with 10 -15 years similar experience. The hours are manageable, some travel required, 24-hour access but seldom needed. Personal errands, assistance with planning parties and events, gift buying and working with security to maintain safety at all times. $75,000 - $85,000 + benefits.


Burbank marketing and design agency. This will start as a $15.00 - $18.00 temp position. the company is rapidly growing and if you like them and they like you, you are assured of an excellent future. You will manage A/R, A/P contact with studios, perform job cost/project and other P&L reporting, audit creative staff hours and enter for payroll. This is an excellent opportunity for someone with 1 - 2 years experience in a similar accounting role and a recent BA/BS in Business Administration/Accounting/Finance. $15.00 - $18.00 an hour. Full benefits provided when position goes full time.


Work for one of the busiest entertainment management firms in LA. You will assist the HR Director with bimonthly payroll using ADP and manage all employees' time using Workforce. Must have solid multi state payroll of 100+ employees, benefit administration, PTO knowledge, hiring, training, etc. This maybe a 32-35 hour work week so it could be perfect for someone looking for a little more balance in their lives. Prefer college degree but solid experience is fine too. Excellent opportunity for the right fit. Full benefits, including a HSP, 401(k), bonuses and lots of incentives.  Century City location.

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT (Music Publishing) - $42K-$45K

Must have 2+ years music publishing background, major label preferred but will see consider Indie label candidates as well. You should know contract negotiations, client relation skills, good aptitude for figures and a college degree is preferred.


Thriving music management firm. You must have 1 - 3 years royalty accounting experience, Datafaction, MSW, and Excel.  If you have the qualifications, you can start tomorrow.

Monday, May 13, 2013

20 Best Interview Questions of All Time

The 20 best interview questions of all time

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QuestionsAnd the reasons behind them…

The fact is most interviewers decide within 5 minutes of meeting whether the candidate in front of them is worth pursuing.  Often, then, the interview process that follows is an elongated charade with no particular purpose.  However, along the way many intuitive questions are asked of prospective employees and the shrewd recruiter is armed with posers designed to identify the candidate’s skills and emotions, tricking and cajoling along the way.
Here are my top 20 interview questions which, if asked in one sitting, would certainly identfy a fake from a flyer:
1.  What circumstance brings you here today?
One of the best opening questions ever, where candidates reveal problems with their current employer, potential insubordination, and both positive or negative character traits.
2.  Which three people (famous or otherwise) would you most like to invite to a dinner party?
Offers insight into the candidate’s personality.  Some go for safe options, whilst others may be more risky or exhibit signs of humour or quirkiness.
3.  What felt unfair to you in your last job?
A great way of finding out what makes someone tick and what they stand for
Great white shark4.  What’s your favourite animal and why?
Sub-consciously most people consider an animal they believe most accurately personifies them.  This is a good question to identify personality traits.
5.  What type of work environment do you prefer?
There is little point hiring people who do not fit the company’s culture.  This question identifies the candidate’s likely fit, aside from the ability to do the job.
6.  My partner and I are planning a holiday, where would you recommend?
This question allows you to speak about a topic outside of the job role, breaking down barriers and exploring the candidate’s ‘non-interview’ personality.
7.  What are you most passionate about?
The answer doesn’t really matter but the way they answer does.  The best candidates respond very quickly, sit forward slightly and are usually very animated.  Never hire anyone without a passion for something.
8.  What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in your life and how have you overcome it?
The candidate is forced to open up and be honest, whilst allowing the interviewer an opportunity to explore how the candidate handles challenges.
9.  Which famous person would you most like to see play you in a film?
The answer to this question will be a great insight into the candidate’s confidence as well as providing a great exploratory topic of conversation.
Risk10.  What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
Studies indicate that people who take risks are generally more successful than those who do not.  But too many mavericks in one organisation can be disruptive…Discussion on this can be very revealing.
11.  Describe someone outside your field of interest who inspires you and why?
This question identifies motivations and affords personality insights.
12.  When I call your old boss what will they say about you?
Other than asserting the point that you will be taking references, this question asks the candidate to think about how they feel they are perceived by their previous (or current) employer, testing their ability to think on the spot and align the answer to the job they are interviewing for.
13.  Why are you interested in this job?
Is the candidate interested in your job or any job?  Have they researched the company and understood what’s been mentioned throughout the interview?
14.  If you could be anyone else who would it be?
Provides the opportunity for further analysis of personality traits and creativity.
15.  What are the biggest strengths you would bring to this organisation?
Aligned with question 13, the answer affords the interviewer the chance to gauge the candidate’s perception of how their skills and personality would help drive the company forward, whilst testing their ability to assert themselves.
Angry16.  What makes you angry?
Helps understand personality traits and motivations.
17.  What are the first 5 things you’d do if you got this position?
Tests what the candidate has understood from the interview and how they perceive their skills and personality would add value to the company and role.  Confident individuals are likely to look at the company culture as well as the job function itself.
18.  If you inherited an acre of land what would you do with it?
This question helps explore the candidate’s personality and creativity.
19.  Why do giraffes have such long necks?
The factual truth behind this question (there’s conjecture over whether it’s for food or fighting advantages) is incidental, as it is a great way to explore the candidate’s creativity – or natural history knowledge! 
20.  What accomplishment in your life are you most proud of?
Everyone has an achievement of some kind (if they haven’t, don’t employ them!) so this question identifies motivational traits and passion.  It is also a great way to end the interview on a positive note.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Brand New Job Listings!

2 Entertainment Executive Assistants - Los Angeles, CA $75,000 - $80,000

Our client is in search of two outstanding EA's that can do it all and do it right. You will be working for a team of executives that travel day and night, never have a phone not ringing and never have a schedule that is not changing. This position is not for the faint of heart - you have to be fast, forward thinking and love running the lives of others. You will be responsible for:

- Maintaining calendar for executives
- Managing a heavy volume of incoming phone calls
- Scheduling meetings
- Managing the flow of incoming and outgoing material
- Coordinate travel arrangements,domestic and international
- Processing expense reports,
- Heavy client servicing

We would like our candidates to have the following qualifications:

- BA/BS Degree
- 5+ Years as an executive assistant supporting a "C Suite" executive
- Entertainment Industry experience
- Special Event experience
- Team-player
- Maintain confidential information
- Knows how to prioritize
- Strong writing skills
- Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook

Senior Accountant for Private Equity Firm, West Los Angeles $75,000+ DOE + bonus

Our client is rapidly expanding and in search of a solid Senior Accountant. You will be rewarded with great pay, outstanding bonuses, and blue chip benefits. You will need to have the following skill set:

- Financial reporting – monthly, quarterly and annual reporting package preparation
- Maintain accuracy of general ledger
- Airplane accounting
- Monthly reconciliation of parent and subsidiary books
- Preparation of monthly billing
- Assist with preparation of audited financial statements
- Prepare quarterly Debt Covenant calculation
- Prepare quarterly Fee share calculation
- Update Access database and Quarterly Revenue accruals
- Assist with Budget to actual analysis
- File quarterly Commercial Rent Tax Returns
- File quarterly MA Health Care Filing
- City of LA Business Property Statement preparation
- Foreign Tax Withholding calculation
- Assist with partnership tax filings
- Write up accounting procedures and guidelines
- Renew business license and ensure compliance with local tax jurisdictions
- Cash flow projections


- Bachelor degree in Accounting (CPA / MBA / Big 4 combination preferred)
- 3+ years of public or corporate accounting experience (mix preferred)
- Strong analytical and communication skills
- High level knowledge of Excel and Access
- Prior experience with large ERP financial systems (Great Plains preferred)
- Asset management experience is a plus


Our client is looking for a District manager with 8+ years experience in a similar role. You will develop and effectively implement all aspects of the company
goals, constantly seeking new and innovative methods for increasing sales and enhancing the corporate image. You will show a high degree of personal sales
performance and the ability to manage a “profit center”.

Areas of Responsibility

People Development

· District Manager is responsible for personnel development through recruiting selection and training based on the fundamentals of “MANAGEMENT BY EXCELLENCE”.
· Keep at least three active candidates per market for all direct reports in hiring process at all times.
· Physically meet with at least one recruited candidate a quarter.
· Implement and manage field-training programs.
· Conduct quarterly reviews of “direct reports”.

Growth / Profit

· District manager is a profit center manager who is expected to meet their pre-determined profit contribution goals.
· Implement and achieve a growth plan in conjunction with Regional or Division Manager.
· Provide sales leadership by personally selling new customers weekly to achieve company goals.
· Protect the profit margins of the District through price management and regular customer visitation.
· Review customer base and introduce new allied products.
· Team sell with Branch Managers and Territory Manages where applicable.

· Conduct regular district meetings for training and sales improvements.
· Responsible for directing and motivating his people to achieve sales goals.
· Aggressively take action to achieve planned contribution.

Planning / Administrative Responsibilities

· Must be able to demonstrate proficiency in technology – Excel, SAP, Word for customer analysis.
· District manager is responsible for administering all company policies and procedures within his district.
· District manager works closely with the Regional manager in the Company’s annual budgeting and planning process.
· Communicate itinerary and activity reports on schedule.
· Follow up on all promotions and price changes.
· Monitor all inspection reports for due dates.
· Follow company procedure for checking messages.

Customer Relations

· Represents the Company in a professional manner.
· Regular visitation of key customers to build loyalty utilizing key account book.
· Follow up on all problem calls as necessary.
· Establishes a relationship with key customers so that the customer is satisfied with the company’s products and services.
· Implement an aggressive customer protection plan.
· Develop a personal relationship with decision makers in key accounts.

Service Commitment

· Coordinate sales and service calls.
· Follow up on service calls to determine if Job Standards are met.
· Adopt a “No Matter What” attitude toward protection of the customer base.
· Support National Accounts in their effort to expand the customer base and provide good customer service.

Manage and Expense Control

· Manage receivables, product inventory, inventory turns and equipment inventory through audits.
· Monitor vehicle maintenance and expenses.
· Monitor equipment and parts inventories in warehouses and trucks.
· Review equipment payout in all accounts.
· Review and submit all equipment requisitions to Regional or Division office for approval.
· Review all expense reports for approval.

Safety Responsibility

· Manage company vehicle policies.
· Follow and reinforce company safety procedures.
· Control vehicle expenses through proper maintenance and defensive driving.
· DOT and Defensive driving standards within the District must be kept current.

Portfolio Accountant for West Side Finance Firm ($65,000+ DOE+ Bonuses)

You will be responsible for all aspects of day-to-day accounting for multiple Capital Market and Private Equity Funds. Major responsibilities include, addressing client requests,preparing valuations, statement of cash flows and IRR returns, reviewing management fee calculations, reviewing financial statements, and planning and executing capital calls and distributions. The candidate will serve as a liaison between Accounting team, Portfolio teams, Custodians, Administrators, Auditors, and Third-party vendors.


- Prepare valuations, statements of cash flows and IRR returns for all Funds
- Review financial statements
- Plan and execute capital calls and distributions (prepare and review of letters and schedules, tracking, confirmations)
- Weekly update for the Portfolio team on cash balances
- Manage audit and tax engagements / addressing audit and tax requests
- Address client requests
- Clear items from the asset reconciliation
- Address requests from the Portfolio team
- Process private transaction closes (funding of new investments)
- Commence portfolio accounting for new Funds
- Collect underlying K-1s and provide to Tax auditors
- Update back-office team on investment activity
- Manage and serviceaccount credit facilities
- Prepare portfolio review materials
- Work on special projects
- Assist with coverage of other funds and projects as needed
- Liaise between the back-office, custodian, and portfolio groups


- Minimum of 3-5+ years of related experience in asset management/ fund accounting
- Bachelor’s degree in accounting
- Strong MS Office skills
- Detail-oriented with the ability to synthesize multiple sources of information
- Strong analysis and decision-making skills
- Strong interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills
- Strong ability to prioritize, organize, and manage time
- Ability to manage multiple projects and work well under pressure
- Independent, self-starter with strong organizational skills
- Ability to work cooperatively and collaboratively with all levels of employees and management

Entertainment Legal Assistant Floater, Century City, CA ($16.00 - $20.00 hourly)

Work for one of the best entertainment law firms in the country. Our client is looking for an assistant with entertainment background, not legal experience, to work as a floater in their firm. This is a long-term temporary assignment that may go perm. it is an opportunity to learn and get paid. If you want legal
experience and want to learn from the best, this is an excellent opportunity,


- 3+ years entertainment assistant experience
- Strong typing skills
- Advanced knowledge of MSW, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook
- Some college is preferred