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571 New local job ALERTs in the last 30 Days
Total Number of Companies Covered 4012
36 New local job ALERTs in the past day

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when you do it… everything gets easier

“We need to celebrate the candidate in the recruitment process”

http://www.hrmagazine.co.uk/hro/news/1073271/its-type-recruitment-autodesks-head-emea-talent-acquisition

After I circulated this article to the people working with me at zenPeak, it only took a few minutes for the excited comments to come back to me.

The zenPeak approach is to “Internalize Candidates”  It’s a fundamental part of our process and when you do it… everything gets easier.

Simple!

 

The #1 Job Interview Question (and by the way… it’s very hard to answer!)

Are you ready for the #1 question you are likely to be asked?

OK here it is…

??? Tell Me About Yourself ???

The #1 question is not easy to answer UNLESS you are prepared so PRACTICE in front of the mirror over and over until your answer lasts about 20 – 30 seconds at the most, you sound natural and confident. PRACTICE.

??? Tell Me About Yourself ???

YOU

>>>> You need to give up some personal information. Something about YOU. If you don’t, the interviewer will think you can’t fit into the company, or that you are cold, secretive or not someone they want to have around. We suggest you share basic info. that is already on your resume such as (1) where you live now and (2) where you are from originally which is easy to figure out by looking at your high school location and finally (3) something personal related to family (spouse, children, parents, siblings. If you resist this question and say something dumb like “You’re not supposed to ask me that question”, the interview is most likely over. You do want to fit in right? But the strategy is to move on very quickly, without a beat. Don’t engage the Interviewer in follow-up personal answers. Move on to…

YOUR PASSION

>>>> Are you passionate about what you do AT WORK Yes? Great. No… hmmm maybe consider a new career. Get excited about your career, the things you have done that are connected to WHAT I CAN DO FOR YOU. Let the Interviewer start to see that you’re passionate about what you do AT WORK and it is right on target to what they need. Don’t talk about hobbies, trips, your favourite music etc. ONLY AT WORK PASSION. That’s why you are there. Now just as quick move on to…

the OPPORTUNITY

>>>> “and, I am very excited about the opportunity to _ _ _ here”

This final part should be EXACTLY AS QUOTED ABOVE. It brings back the answer to why you are sitting there. The most likely follow up question in the interview will be about the opportunity, the job and hopefully your passion for it!

You have showed that YOU are going to fit in, and that you are a good trustworthy person by sharing a bit about yourself. You talked with PASSION about your work and then you expressed interest and excitement in the OPPORTUNITY. Don’t worry if you think it will sound prepared – it won’t. It will sound professional and poised; much better than stumbling for words, or going on and on about things the interviewer isn’t interested in.

you passion opportunity

 

Haven’t got the interview yet? resume style and content does make a difference!

One of the most frustrating parts of a job search is dealing with all the advice you get about resumes. The best approach is a resume that gets you the interview, and helps you get the job! If we have one piece of advice it would be… Don’t make the person reading your resume, work hard to figure you out.

If you have a (numeric) results-oriented, functional style resume you are showcasing… WHAT I CAN DO FOR YOU and not just everything that you have done.

Don’t make the person reviewing your resume work hard to figure you out.

So now you have a great resume and you got the interview AND you are ready for the #1 Job Interview Question!

 

 

The #1 Job Interview Question (and by the way… it’s very hard to answer!)

Are you ready for the #1 question you are likely to be asked?

OK here it is…

??? Tell Me About Yourself ???

The #1 question is not easy to answer UNLESS you are prepared so PRACTICE in front of the mirror over and over until your answer lasts about 20 – 30 seconds at the most, you sound natural and confident. PRACTICE.

??? Tell Me About Yourself ???

YOU

>>>> You need to give up some personal information. Something about YOU. If you don’t, the interviewer will think you can’t fit into the company, or that you are cold, secretive or not someone they want to have around. We suggest you share basic info. that is already on your resume such as (1) where you live now and (2) where you are from originally which is easy to figure out by looking at your high school location and finally (3) something personal related to family (spouse, children, parents, siblings. If you resist this question and say something dumb like “You’re not supposed to ask me that question”, the interview is most likely over. You do want to fit in right? But the strategy is to move on very quickly, without a beat. Don’t engage the Interviewer in follow-up personal answers. Move on to…

YOUR PASSION

>>>> Are you passionate about what you do AT WORK Yes? Great. No… hmmm maybe consider a new career. Get excited about your career, the things you have done that are connected to WHAT I CAN DO FOR YOU. Let the Interviewer start to see that you’re passionate about what you do AT WORK and it is right on target to what they need. Don’t talk about hobbies, trips, your favourite music etc. ONLY AT WORK PASSION. That’s why you are there. Now just as quick move on to…

the OPPORTUNITY

>>>> “and, I am very excited about the opportunity to _ _ _ here”

This final part should be EXACTLY AS QUOTED ABOVE. It brings back the answer to why you are sitting there. The most likely follow up question in the interview will be about the opportunity, the job and hopefully your passion for it!

You have showed that YOU are going to fit in, and that you are a good trustworthy person by sharing a bit about yourself. You talked with PASSION about your work and then you expressed interest and excitement in the OPPORTUNITY. Don’t worry if you think it will sound prepared – it won’t. It will sound professional and poised; much better than stumbling for words, or going on and on about things the interviewer isn’t interested in.

you passion opportunity

 

Haven’t got the interview yet? resume style and content does make a difference!

One of the most frustrating parts of a job search is dealing with all the advice you get about resumes. The best approach is a resume that gets you the interview, and helps you get the job! If we have one piece of advice it would be… Don’t make the person reading your resume, work hard to figure you out.

If you have a (numeric) results-oriented, functional style resume you are showcasing… WHAT I CAN DO FOR YOU and not just everything that you have done.

Don’t make the person reviewing your resume work hard to figure you out.

So now you have a great resume and you got the interview AND you are ready for the #1 Job Interview Question!

 

 

The #1 Job Interview Question (and by the way… it’s very hard to answer!)

Are you ready for the #1 question you are likely to be asked?

OK here it is…

??? Tell Me About Yourself ???

The #1 question is not easy to answer UNLESS you are prepared so PRACTICE in front of the mirror over and over until your answer lasts about 20 – 30 seconds at the most, you sound natural and confident. PRACTICE.

??? Tell Me About Yourself ???

YOU

>>>> You need to give up some personal information. Something about YOU. If you don’t, the interviewer will think you can’t fit into the company, or that you are cold, secretive or not someone they want to have around. We suggest you share basic info. that is already on your resume such as (1) where you live now and (2) where you are from originally which is easy to figure out by looking at your high school location and finally (3) something personal related to family (spouse, children, parents, siblings. If you resist this question and say something dumb like “You’re not supposed to ask me that question”, the interview is most likely over. You do want to fit in right? But the strategy is to move on very quickly, without a beat. Don’t engage the Interviewer in follow-up personal answers. Move on to…

YOUR PASSION

>>>> Are you passionate about what you do AT WORK Yes? Great. No… hmmm maybe consider a new career. Get excited about your career, the things you have done that are connected to WHAT I CAN DO FOR YOU. Let the Interviewer start to see that you’re passionate about what you do AT WORK and it is right on target to what they need. Don’t talk about hobbies, trips, your favourite music etc. ONLY AT WORK PASSION. That’s why you are there. Now just as quick move on to…

the OPPORTUNITY

>>>> “and, I am very excited about the opportunity to _ _ _ here”

This final part should be EXACTLY AS QUOTED ABOVE. It brings back the answer to why you are sitting there. The most likely follow up question in the interview will be about the opportunity, the job and hopefully your passion for it!

You have showed that YOU are going to fit in, and that you are a good trustworthy person by sharing a bit about yourself. You talked with PASSION about your work and then you expressed interest and excitement in the OPPORTUNITY. Don’t worry if you think it will sound prepared – it won’t. It will sound professional and poised; much better than stumbling for words, or going on and on about things the interviewer isn’t interested in.

you passion opportunity

 

Haven’t got the interview yet? resume style and content does make a difference!

One of the most frustrating parts of a job search is dealing with all the advice you get about resumes. The best approach is a resume that gets you the interview, and helps you get the job! If we have one piece of advice it would be… Don’t make the person reading your resume, work hard to figure you out.

If you have a (numeric) results-oriented, functional style resume you are showcasing… WHAT I CAN DO FOR YOU and not just everything that you have done.

Don’t make the person reviewing your resume work hard to figure you out.

So now you have a great resume and you got the interview AND you are ready for the #1 Job Interview Question!

 

 

the top 3 ways to spot a resume liar

over 53% of people lie on their resumes!

The resume. Fact or Fiction?

Here are the top 3 ways to discover if the person you are considering to hire is a resume liar.

These 3 ways are part of the process we use in recruiting.

Let’s go through a few of the steps we use.

EQ Testing & Assessment

Stress management, assertiveness skills, empathy, and political/social acumen are critical success factors that have a direct impact on the bottom line. These can be assessed in an Emotional Intelligence (EQ in the workplace) test profile. We use an online profile that was selected for measuring many competencies including integrity & trust. This same profile showcases how good someone is at promoting themselves & performing in an interview.

We conduct these EQ profiles on Candidates just before the first face to face interview with the Client. Each profile suggests that for a certain position, the Candidate can be low risk, medium risk or high risk. Although its not the sole factor in making a hiring decision, we don’t present high risk Candidates to our Clients.

  • testing confirms the Candidate’s motivation, attitude & compliance
  • testing identifies individuals who put their own needs ahead of the company’s interests
  • testing helps match the Candidate EQ to the competencies required for the specific job
  • testing determines if the individual will be great in the interview (but perhaps not great in the job)

There are still other ways to spot a resume liar.

Reference Checks

Maybe you don’t have access or training for EQ testing and assessment.

If you are trying to collect resumes and do the hiring yourself, DON’T MISS THIS STEP and don’t accept excuses from the job applicant for not delivering contact info. for references. “out of town”, “can’t get the telephone number”, “no longer at the company” – are these excuses?

You can discover a resume liar by doing a thorough reference check. We conduct scheduled & structured 20-30 minute telephone interviews.

  • we schedule formal structured reference interviews
  • we only use work references where the job Candidate directly worked for & reported to the reference OR the reference reported directly to the Candidate
  • no friends
  • no family
  • no co-workers
  • we use the results of the EQ profile to focus on issues or concerns
  • we verify the data provided; income, duration, responsibilities, results, capabilities, licenses, competencies

The Face to Face Interview

Some people are great in interviews. This doesn’t mean they will be good at their work.

They promote themselves well, and can show interest and excitement during an interview – but they could turn out to be duds at the job.

Integrity and trust are critical in every job. Do you want to hire a liar?

The face to face interview is an opportunity to get past first impressions, and dig into the facts about their past performance. Hopefully you are looking at a good functional-style resume which focuses on “What I Can Do For You” not absolutely everything I have done.

Its interview time. You have a resume in front of you, and sitting across from you is your job Candidate – What do you do to Spot a Resume Liar?

The face to face interview is a chance to match up the requirements for peak performance with specific questions that will verify competency, experience… essentially check out all the “claims” of a good resume. Ask the questions & make notes (you will need them for the reference checks)

  • read the resume in advance
  • be prepared with questions about anything you want related to the job and job performance
  • ask specific questions about “claims” on and off the resume, collect more information; income, commissions, bonuses, title, responsibilities, scope of work, duration, gaps in work (it is not unusual to find obvious “mistakes”)
  • ask questions and drill on experience & competency

The zenPeak system makes a difference

How does the up-front & high-value zenPeak system ensure that the Candidate will succeed in their new job at a Client company?

Candidates use (numeric) results-oriented functional style resumes that showcase “What They Can Do for You”. We remove soft language and showcase their transferable skills and experience.  This makes your evaluation of Candidates easier, as you don’t have to work hard to figure the Candidate out, and each resume looks similar in structure.

The interview process begins with the very first contact and includes motivation, compliance, attitude and a host of other factors that contribute to peak performance. In addition, the interview coaching we do, carries expectations and standards that we expect for interactions with our Clients; smart Candidates learn from this and apply it in their career management.

How do we make sure they will work well in the organization, matching the management and operational style of the Client company?

Our testing and assessment is based on the science of axiology, and was selected as the best system to determine integrity, trust and workplace peak performance. Each role has a benchmark score that helps us determine if the Candidate will be low risk, or not. The zeroriskHR assessment also identifies if a Candidate will likely be great in the job, but may not be the best at selling themselves in the initial interview. This is how the testing helps the Candidate even though they don’t see the results.

… and there is lots more; from reference interviews usually delivered before the first face to face with the Client, easy to understand profiles and success stories designed for time-constrained Decision-Makers like you.

Find out how the zenPeak system can save you a lot of money on recruiting costs and help you build a better organization with peak performers.  Call the CEO Frank Abrams at 416 733-3001

How can we have such low fees… and still be awesome?

We have low fees by using a system that is efficient, up-front and high-value.

We can’t imagine working for weeks on a recruiting assignment on speculation;  rushing to send in the resumes of Candidates we may not have even met or fully screened, because the focus is on getting the placement, not recruiting a peak performer to help you grow a great business.

At zenPeak we recruit peak performers and the good news is… our fees are lower than any Executive Search Co. or Recruiter we have heard of!

Not only that – our system is front-loaded and high-compliance, so Clients don’t waste their time on reviewing all those unscreened resumes.

Here is one of our secrets… because we don’t work on assignments we don’t get paid for, and we are super efficient (while still high-compliance), our fees are low – that’s value (the businessperson’s perspective).

Call us if you are looking to hire really good people. If you are tired of being disappointed with the people you hire, or paying  ridiculous high fees to Recruiters, then…. consider a different approach where we do the work and you save time and money.

Frank Abrams 416 733-3001

Telephone Marketing – The High Road

We don`t need a study or focus group to tell us that traditional telephone marketing can be  offensive, and that canned scripts don`t work very well.

Hiring low paid offshore workers is short-sighted as the people these telephone marketers are calling, may be sitting at home grumbling about not having a job, because some offshore worker took it.

Also, having zero knowledge about the local marketplace (weather, geography, politics etc.) but being ready to HARD SELL is a strategy from 20 years ago and  before the era of Do Not Call lists. Recent News In Canada, Consumers and Customers usually have a deep history, or call it baggage,  with the major telcos who are the major users of telemarketers. Its no surprise that these offshore workers lose their cool after hearing hours of complaints and pushback every day.

———————————–

zenPeak Telephone Marketing is for mainstream Canadian business to business only.

Our Telephone Marketing approach to business to business telephone marketing is simple. Have a compelling reason for the call and present it to a business prospect with respect. Learn about the offer and the company you are representing, before calling a business prospect,  and let the Client connect with an interested business prospect to go into details. This approach works in Canada, when the call originates in Canada and is made from a well-trained, confident, local person.

To reduce turnover, we pay marketers well, and on salary not commission, and only let them work a few hours a day so they are fresh and able to easily cope with the natural resistance and disinterest of some prospects. Coaching & training marketers on a daily basis helps them feel at ease and become better at what they do.

2010 – a good year but sad too

In 2010 we were busy…

… with training new marketing and search associates, working on some great new job opportunities, working on the oppcourse to Get Working NOW!, planning the new “Marketing Services by zenPeak Recruiters”, plus plus plus!

Personally its been a very good year. The business is growing the way I want it to. I faced up to some challenges and made decisions that I am comfortable with.  I have added more staff and am still looking for a Search Associate, a Marketing Associate both well-paid part-time, work from home positions.

I’ve been learning like crazy this year both personally & professionally – and when you are well into your 50s I think this is a good thing. Finally I know this isn’t a good thing to share to job seekers, but I made a personal decision to never work for anyone else again in my life, and to turn down all offers outside my own business interests. I have a lot to accomplish and its all about the journey!

Sadly, one of my oldest friends, Jack Goldhar passed away suddenly at the end of October. He was single and had devoted 30 years of his life to caring for his severely ill Mom Helen (died 2 years ago), and in the past 2 years his Dad Sam (died in 2010) . Within 6 months of his Dad’s passing, Jack dropped dead. I always say “We like people for their qualities, but we love them for their quirks”  We loved Jack and yes, he was plenty quirky. I still can’t believe he is gone.

I made some new friends at the dog park this year… Wayne, Linda, Charlie, MaryAnn. They often get some of my fresh homemade munchies; bagels, blueberry buns or muffins, and they are usually very happy. My trip to the dog park is my daily midday break for an hour. Many Clients and Candidates have gotten use to hearing a bark in the background if they call me. I do business 24/7 so I always take calls 🙂

and…I’m looking forward to 2011! How about you?

Good Vibrations for the right Candidate

Just got a new position to work on and its very exciting for someone truly entrepreneurial and flexible and loves change and excitement! The company is growing like crazy with a hot new health and wellness technology and equipment business. ISO certified with a solid ownership team w. decades of business experience.

Please have a look at the position description here and let us know if you know someone who is a good fit!

http://zenpeak.com/sales-manager-opportunity-health-company/

Know someone looking for work?

Here are some of the exciting career opportunities we are working on for Clients

Please share these links with someone qualified who is looking for a job opportunity in these areas:

zenPeak contact
Frank Abrams
(416) 733-3001
email: fabrams@zenpeak.com

Marketing Associate & Executive Assistant

Financial Advisor & Planner

Mortgage Agent

Sales Manager – Communications Solutions and Services

Public Relations Account Manager

Commercial Insurance Lines Sales

Sales Positions (multiple companies throughout Toronto GTA)

Staying Positive During a Long Job Search

helpguide.org

helpguide.org was setup by Robert & Jeanne Segal after their daughter Morgan committed suicide in 1999. The story is here.

It is an amazing resource for healthy living with a strong emphasis on mental health. They offer information and  links to help people cope.

For example,…

Staying positive during a long job search

A long job search can wear on your attitude and outlook, especially if you’re unemployed. If it’s taking you longer than anticipated to find work, the following tips can help you stay focused and upbeat.

  • Keep a regular daily routine. When you no longer have a job to report to every day, you can easily lose motivation. Treat your job search like a regular job, with a daily “start” and “end” time. Following a set schedule will help you be more efficient and productive while you’re unemployed.
  • Create a job search plan. Avoid getting overwhelmed by breaking big goals into small, manageable steps. Instead of trying to do everything at once, set priorities. If you’re not having luck in your job search, take some time to rethink your goals.
  • List your positives. Make a list of all the things you like about yourself, including skills, personality traits, accomplishments, and successes. Write down projects you’re proud of, situations where you excelled, and things you’re good at. Revisit this list often to remind yourself of your strengths.
  • Volunteer. Unemployment and job loss can wear on your self-esteem and make you feel useless. Volunteering helps you maintain a sense of value and purpose. And helping others is an instantaneous mood booster. Volunteering can also provide career experience, social support, and networking opportunities.
  • Focus on the things you can control. You can’t control how quickly a potential employer calls you back or whether or not they decide to hire you. Rather than wasting your precious energy on things that are out of your hands, turn your attention to things you can control during your unemployment,, such as writing a great cover letter and resume tailored to the company you want to work for and setting up meetings with your networking contacts.

4 Success Habits (Mr. Gray’s speech page 6 paraphrased)

I read this 9 page speech by Mr. Gray as part of Bob Proctor’s bonus materials on a success website. I don’t think the speech is well-written but the truth about achieving success is painfully clear. I am paraphrasing a small part of it, and invite you to email me for the full text.  As an added piece of inspiration, Tony Robbins audio clip about Sylvester Stallone and the making of Rocky is at the bottom.

If you are on a job hunt, or growing a business, I believe Mr. Gray provides great advice…

Reminder to Self:

4 Success Habits – (paraphrased from pg. 6 of Mr. Gray’s speech)

persuading/calling/contacting/working

It’s easier to persuade someone to a particular course of action, than to find someone who already wants to do it. So if you lack contacts interested in what you do, then you have unconsciously formed the habit of limiting your contacts to people who already want what you offer. Contacting people who need what you offer, (regardless of their “wants”) is the path to success; and they may also be a source of referrals.

If you don’t call on people who are able to do what you want, but may be unwilling to listen, then you have unconsciously formed the habit of limiting yourself to calling on people who are willing to listen, but may be unable to do what you want. What’s the worst that can happen, and does that involve my pride and ego?

Successful people form the habit of calling on people determined to help them see why its in their best interest to take action. If you don’t do that when calling on people, then you have unconsciously formed the habit of calling on people when you are in a state of mind, willing to let them convince you of their reasons for not taking action.

Working habits according to Mr. Gray take care of themselves if the other 3 habits are looked after. I think they take work too as I can procrastinate with the best of them. Follow ups and persistence need work. I try and make a mental note of how you feel when you are working hard, and getting things done. I know I feel better.

Speaking of mental notes I find that making a mental note of how you feel the instant after hanging up from a telephone call is very helpful. People respond positively to talking with someone who knows their stuff and believes in what they do, even if they disagree or are not interested.

These are the success habits according to Mr. Gray, and they are driven by long term purpose in life.

To get Mr. Gray’s complete speech please email me. Click on the picture to hear Tony Robbins talk about Sylvester Stallone and Rocky.

Rocky with his dog
Rocky with his dog

Dreier hung out on the clothesline for 20 years

In a weird case of both fraud and impersonation, Marc Dreier’s ponzi scheming ran into the suspicions of some Bay St. types in Toronto, who wisely alerted police. Today, his world of 121 foot yachts, a luxurious Manhattan lifestyle, and his 250 person law firm has reached its final collapse, as he was sent up for 20.

Lawyer Arrested

Dreier used investors’ money to subsidize the money-losing firm, to pay off some of the victims of the scam and to buy luxuries for himself, including a 121- foot yacht, vacation homes in the Hamptons on New York’s Long Island and a $39 million contemporary-art collection. The judge said he was surprised that Dreier’s letter showed an “understanding” of his crimes. Letters that victims wrote to the judge depicted Dreier as “arrogant, condescending and cruel” – Bloomberg

If he had taken the zeroriskHR profile, I wonder what his scores would have been on empathy towards others and adherence to rules.

We know that statistically, a good fit to a benchmark score, will contribute to peak performance.

Peak Performers will love the new Scotiabank Executive Compensation scheme!

Peak Performers will love the new Scotiabank Executive Compensation scheme!

According to the Financial Post of May 20 2009, under the new compensation plan, investment bankers at ScotiaCapital will win in the long run if all stakeholders, including the bank and its shareholders, also win in the long run.

The Financial Post outlines the details, and asserts that there may be a rush for the exits if other Bay St. firm don’t head down the same path as ScotiaCapital.

While the world’s big financial institutions cope with stress tests (the Federal Reserve Stress Test guide is here) zenPeak has another thought…

Why not test staff for how they respond to stress with a comprehensive Emotional Intelligence profile from zenPeak?

It’s a proven methodology to discover the EQ and get some awareness on how someone will perform in their job. Take a look at the core competencies that bring peak performance on Bay St.!

salespersoncompetencies1

One alleged Fraudster returns to the US, the other goes missing!

boots

With his cowboy boots stuffed with cash, platinum, a fake passport in his own alias name and swiss bearer notes, the dimwit alleged mortgage ponzi schemer Christopher Warren took a cab from Toronto airport to the US border.  Huffington Post reported that as Warren was on his whirlwind adventure, he showed flight crews a stash of gold.

I’m not sure these were the boots Warren was wearing (they are gorgeous huh?) when he got busted at the border, but  “Court documents alleged they defrauded investors and mortgage companies of $100 million since 2006. The fraudulent deals involved 500 homes and condominiums in California, Florida, Nevada, Illinois, Colorado and Arizona”   ——-

News today that Venezuela seized Stanford Bank , reminded me that Allen Stanford is missing after allegedly scheming 8 Billion out of  50,000 customers. Huffington Post reports that Stanford’s damage could match the Madoff ponzi scandal, and lists the “most shocking” allegations…

  1. Stanford posted identical returns two years in a row, in 1995 and 1996, indicating the fraud has been going on for at least 13 years.
  2. Stanford and CFO James Davis have “wholly failed” to cooperate with the SEC investigation.
  3. There was no army of analysts combing through Stanford’s multi-billion-dollar portfolio. Rather, the only research conducted on companies in which he was investing came from Stanford himself, and CFO James Davis.
  4. Stanford told at least one client that the SEC was freezing CDs, a blatant impossibility.
  5. Stanford lost money from the Madoff ponzi scheme, “despite the bank’s public assurances to the contrary.” One analyst puts the loss at $400,000.
  6. Despite repeated calls from the SEC to Stanford’s Antigua-based accounting firm, the accountants never answered their phones.
  7. And as if the SEC couldn’t put it any clearer, Stanford’s public statements about its investments “are false.”

Bloomberg reports that Michael Zarich, a senior investment officer with Antigua- based Stanford International Bank, in a sworn deposition, described how “Stanford told investors the program had positive returns for periods in which clients actually lost money. The firm claimed a return of 18.04 percent in 2000 when actual investors lost as much as 7.5 percent, according to the complaint. In 2008 client pitch books, Stanford presented hypothetical data under the heading “Historical Performance” alongside the audited 2005 through 2008 figures, the complaint said.”

– Frank Abrams is the founder of  zenPeak Inc.,  helping companies find and retain peak performers.

$140 million gone in 60 minutes

On a February morning this year, MF Global detected an unauthorized open position in wheat futures, placed by one of its brokers, Evan Brent Dooley.  Within an hour the company crystallized a $140 million dollar loss. How they executed these liquidating trades was not elegant or savvy, which may have contributed to the loss. They were trying to cover as fast as possible, so as not to carry an open speculative position on the books – so any clumsiness is understandable.

One failure at MF Global was not having order entry systems to prevent the buildup of large unauthorized positions, by locking out the broker, or requiring approval by management.  What if the problem was fat fingers or a computer glitch, or even a stuck computer key on a keyboard?!

But just as importantly, in an industry where orders are given by voice, and even hand signal,  knowing WHO you empower in your company to transact those trades is paramount. In such a high risk and high-trust environment, like in a hospital surgical theater or in a nuclear missile silo, banks and brokerages need to have a complete toolkit to mitigate these catastrophic risks.

The solution is a combination of internal watchdog systems that use trading patterns, fuzzy logic and neural networks to instantly detect problems in real-time, along with a program of independent testing and assessment to evaluate whether or not the firm’s current or prospective employees, are potentially the next front-page news rogue trader.

I was an employee at MF Global at the time of this incident, and could chronicle the significant damage this event, and the operational reaction, did to the company’s brokers ability to carry on normal business. I won’t get into it because my interest is not in the blame game. My interest is in testing and assessing people to ensure peak work performance in high-risk and high-trust jobs.