Author Archives: Jody Dugan

  1. What Body Part are You?  Components of an Organization

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     Sometimes I think we confuse ourselves, striving to emulate our superiors, or presenting ourselves in the same manner as our peers, to ensure a thriving company culture. I believe this mindset, where we should all be functioning with the same style (and sometimes approach), couldn’t be further from the truth.

    A machine requires multiple, uniquely individual components to function at its desired capacity. The human body, being a complex machine, consists of smaller interconnected machines (heart, eyes, lungs, etc.), each having its own purpose. Yet, functioning in a symbiotic relationship to each other.

    Although each body part has their own predetermined function, the designated systems and components are not absolute, rigid, and inflexible as in a man-made machine. Despite the inconsistencies, the body has the awesome capability of maintaining homeostasis.

    Like the human body, an organization is one body that is made up of smaller systems (departments) and components (employees). It is essential for the success of organizations to identify positive characteristics of each employee, permitting them to utilize these gifts and talents. In other words, recognizing what body part they represent. As new situations arise, duties are certainly interchangeable but there are typically predominant roles and defined parts in any structure.

    The merging of the “body parts” together to create one body results in a highly functioning operational system that gives the company its completeness.  An innovative machine that purr’s like a kitten.

    So, what body part are you?

    The spine who provides the backbone and support for the organization?

    The lips (being the most sensitive of all body parts) providing a delicate sense of respect and recognition for the team and a calm, welcoming atmosphere for the guests?

    The thumb (full of optimism and reassurance for others, tending to have the innate skill to give a “thumbs up” when people need encouragement)?

    The eyes, visualizing new ideas and distinct views for the company?

    The right brain, displaying creativity? This person is great for marketing!

    With all of the moving parts of the body doing their job, the organization is able to succeed in its mission in optimally meeting its goals. No part is better than the other… they are all so critical for the success of the company as a whole.




  2. 12 Tips to Bring Out the Inner HeadHunter in You

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    The historic act of headhunting is quite disturbing, yet fascinating. The literal practice of taking and preserving a person’s head after killing them, has advanced from ancient times to the 21st century.  Figuratively, the aggressive nature of the word has carried over to the modern day recruiting industry.  In our culture, today a headhunter relates to third-party recruiters, talent acquisition managers, and search firms who seek and find “trophy” candidates.

    To successfully acquire top-notch talent, there are 12 tips to bring out the inner headhunter in you:

    Attracting your future trophy – Have a clear plan and be visible.

    1. Offer an attractive (yet not too complex) website with search engine optimization and key words that increase your site’s visibility when candidates search for opportunities.

    2. Have clear and concise job descriptions that attract the right candidates to your postings.  Ensure your verbiage is direct and geared toward the position at hand.  There should be “weed out” details to deter unqualified applicants.  Advertise and post your job on job boards and social media sites, as well as, your website.

    3. Connecting and networking with others in the industry is key to locating the best talent.  You can achieve this through social media sites, conferences, referrals, and blogs.

    4. Reach out to passive candidates and cold call. Cold calling is far from dead. Most of the A- players are not actively looking, but “always interested in hearing about what’s out there.” A cold lead can very well move quickly to a warm or hot lead if you have something enticing and that piques their interest.

    Are they trophy material? – Keep them or (politely) leave them.

    5. A thorough pre-screen is essential to determine if the candidate can be an ace in the hole. Ask “weed out” questions that are specific to the qualifications of the position.

    6. Verify data on the resume, confirming places and dates of employment (including month and year).  It is imperative that the resume accurately reflects their past employment and education.

    7. Obtain an overall picture of their accomplishments and goals.  The top dogs will be able to clearly list their achievements and plans for the future.

    8. Assess their demeanor during the interview.  Are they relaxed and pleased to hear from you?  Or are they nervous, irritated, rigid and inflexible?  Good leaders display a genuine, easy-going positive energy and traits such as confidence, clarity, honesty, respect, and passion.

    9. Perform professional reference checks, from past supervisors, that offer both objective and subjective responses.  You want glowing references, a diamond that shines!

    Preparation in receiving your trophy – Develop a relationship.

    10. Evaluate and assess the candidates for accountability during the interview process.  Do they return your calls?  Are they active in the process?  Do they posses strong communication skills and follow-up?  The strong players know to reach out to you after the interview and to send “Thank You” letters to their interviewers.

    11. It is important that you also display respect by communicating and following through with the candidates.  Be the bridge that keeps the lines of communication open between all parties involved.  Encourage your candidates and make them feel important, respected, and wanted.  Let them know that you are their advocate and that you care.

    12. Coach and guide the candidates through the interview process to the offer phase.  Provide them with interview tips on verbal and non-verbal behavior, interview questioning, attire, etc. and ensure they have researched the company they are pursuing. Make yourself available to answer any questions they may have and be sure to be active in the offer/negotiation phase to close successfully.

    Once your candidates are hired, it crucial that you stay connected to them. You have developed a relationship through this process. Moving forward, their performance will dictate the success of your career.

    Luckily, headhunting in our society lacks the barbaric method seen throughout history. Yet, the concept still touches home. The assertive Talent Acquisition Managers, who remain focused in their efforts to locate and draw in the leading edge candidates, continue to add to their successes as they acquire yet another trophy for their collection.

    -Jody Dugan, President of Dugan Staffing Solutions, Inc.

  3. Don’t Forget Your “Thank You” Letter

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    When you interview for a Restaurant Manager, or Chef, position, most likely, the interviewers are meeting with numerous candidates to find the “right fit” for their job opening.  There are specific skills they are looking for, in the ideal candidate, that are tailored for the job at hand.  However, all interviewers are looking for a candidate who possesses these basic leader character traits: Accountability, Respect, and someone who is Personable.

    The hospitality industry is highly competitive and you don’t want to be another number.  It is crucial to make yourself stand out from the other candidates.  There are various ways that you can accomplish this.  One means in particular, and I cannot emphasize it enough, is to write a respectful, yet simple, “Thank You” letter as an interview follow-up.  This (often neglected) letter speaks volumes when it comes to the standard attributes all employers are looking for to reach their hiring decision.

    The letter can be delivered via snail mail.  However, in today’s technological day and age, it is acceptable to send it via an E-mail.   Either way, timing is key.  It is imperative that you send the letter within a day of your interview, preferably the same day.  This will reinforce your high level of interest, while proving that you possess the fundamental characteristics of a true leader.

    The “Thank You” letter, or note, should not be lengthy.  It should be short and to the point.  Start off by simply thanking the interviewer(s) for their consideration and time for the specific job.

    Then, briefly state why you believe you are the best candidate for the position, mentioning your proven track record of past successes and skills in particular that match you to the job. This should be no more than a couple of sentences.

    Finally, reiterate your gratitude and provide your contact information.  Here is an example:

    I would like to again thank you for your taking time out of your day today to meet me and for your consideration.  I am very excited about this position and hope to hear from you soon.


    Jody Dugan


    Often unidentified as a key element in the interview process by candidates, a “Thank You” letter is essential in illustrating that you possess the necessary skills and traits to be the leader all companies desire. It may be the one thing that holds the key to the door in which the offer is behind.

  4. Dear No Call/ No Show,

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    Dear No Call/ No Show,

    After our discussion of the management position at hand, you expressed a genuine interest in meeting with my client. You confirmed this professional meeting and were provided with interview coaching, as well as interview details including the phone number.

    So, here is where my struggle comes in. You confirmed this interview for a leadership role. Then, you didn’t show up at the scheduled time, nor did you provide my client or myself the respect of a simple courtesy call.

    A true leader leads by example. As a “professional” and a “leader” in the industry, it is imperative to show accountability and regard for others. How can we expect our Indians to follow suit when their Chief doesn’t even show up for the most important part of the interview process? First impressions are lasting, whether positive or negative.

    Ok, so life happens. Things get in the way. Unexpected occurrences present themselves. I get it! My clients get it. We are not emotionless machines. In such situations, we have no issue rescheduling when the management candidate calls. It shows a mutual respect for our valuable time and efforts.

    The hospitality industry is extensive, but it is extremely tight knit and composed of transitional positions. We are very well connected and when someone is a “No Call/ No Show” for an interview, it puts a foul taste in our mouths. At that point, some companies/people may make the executive decision to blacklist you. That list doesn’t stop there. It carries on with people as they transition into different companies and roles throughout their career. I have seen this self-inflicted demise of leaders. Those former Chiefs are now Indians.

    The choice is simple, and it is all yours. Man-up (or woman-up) and call if you can’t make an interview or sit down and take direction from the true leaders.


    Hospitality Management Recruiter