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Scuttlebutt: Getting the truth about private companies

By Laurence J. Stybel

You have been approached about a job with a privately-held company. Is this a great opportunity, or the assignment from hell?

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Naturally, you'd never take the job without performing due diligence. The problem is that it is often difficult to find good information about private companies. One has to rely on such "soft" data as "reputation." When information can make the difference between a terrible mistake and a sound decision, consider using the Scuttlebutt technique.

In our business, we coach executives who are considering seats on boards of directors. A board-level executive needs to know, "Is this company worth my time, attention and credibility?"

We have found that the Scuttlebutt technique is a powerful way to quickly gather reliable information about a company that -- for all intents and purposes -- makes no significant information about itself public. Scuttlebutt can reveal tremendous opportunities and it can reveal profound pitfalls. With a little bending and shaping, you can use Scuttlebutt to dig up the truth about a private company no matter what level job you're considering...

Learn More!

You've just read a short selection of one of nine books that comprise Fearless Job Hunting!

Scuttlebutt: Getting the truth about private companies
is now an enhanced section of
Ask The Headhunter

Fearless Job Hunting

Book Five: Get The Right Employer's
Full Attention

Myth-Busting Answers For Fearless Job Hunters:

  • Introduction: Don't walk blind on the job hunt
  • Do I have to "kiss ass" to win a job?
  • How can I make up for lack of required experience?
  • How to pick worthy companies
  • Is this a Mickey Mouse operation?
  • Age discrimination or age anxiety?
  • How do I deal with an undeserved nasty reference?
  • Scuttlebutt: Get the truth about private companies

PLUS: 5 How to Say It tips
PLUS: 5 sidebars packed with advice to give you the insider's edge!

Book Five: Get The Right
Employer's Full Attention


"Nick Corcodilos is the brutally honest, forthright and insightful headhunter who serves up tough love to job seekers while taking job boards and others to the woodshed."  U.S. News & World Report


For more on this topic, please see Can A Start-Up Launch Your Career?

Laurence J. Stybel is the co-founder of boardoptions.com. Boardoptions.com helps companies build educated, competent boards and helps senior executives position themselves to be effective contributors at the board level. Larry is a former member of the Board of Directors of the New England Chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors. He serves on the board of a venture capital firm and two technology companies. Larry's partner, Maryanne Peabody, has designed an educational program for new board members for NACD. She is on the Board of Directors of the New England Chapter of The NACD and serves on the boards of two other organizations. Larry and Maryanne can be contacted at (617) 371-2990.


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