Monthly Archives: November 2010

Non-Competition Agreements in the IT Staffing Industry

Non-competition agreements are a common requirement in the technical recruiting industry in order to protect the interests of the IT staffing companies.  However, do some go too far and actually prohibit IT recruiters from making a living?  The answer lies in the details of each and every situation.  Let’s explore the perspective from both sides:

From the perspective of IT recruiting companies:

Technical staffing firms have the right to protect their interests and proprietary information.  Even if the IT staffing salesperson fostered the relationships for the technical recruiting firm, they still used the company’s means to contact them (phone, computer).  In addition, they were also compensated for doing so (whether hourly or salary, bonuses or commissions) and likely even reimbursed for any expenses incurred with developing the bond with the IT manager (meals, gas, mileage).

The IT staffing agency likely provided back office support (payroll, invoices) as well as additional help throughout the business relationship (management advice, IT recruiting support, etc).  Therefore, to say that the employee has the right to take this business with them after they leave isn’t entirely fair.

From the perspective of technical recruiters and/or IT staffing salespeople:

Although the IT recruitment company may have provided the employee the resources to help identify, then foster the business relationships, the technical recruiters or IT staffing salespeople were the ones who put in the hard work to earn the business of the client.  Subsequently, most hiring managers would work with the IT recruiter again no matter where they went.  Therefore, hiring managers typically have an allegiance with the employee, not the IT staffing company.

To summarize the non-competition agreement debate, based on the perspectives described above, both sides have valid points and a strong points of view. However, the answer lies with how each employee handles their departure.  First, whether he or she is honest with where they’re going to work in their next job.  Second, whether the technical recruiter or IT staffing salesperson turns around and contacts each of their existing clients immediately after they leave.  Third, whether he or she bad mouths their former employer and finally whether the IT recruiter or staffing salesperson attempts to lure other employees with them.

4G Technology & How it Will Help IT Recruiters

Mobile services companies have been updating their internet capabilities allowing any phones associated with their plans to use 4G technologies.  Although many older mobile phones may not have 4G capabilities, the new technologies may allow cell phone companies like AT&T and Verizon to offer a high speed network that will allow you to access internet at faster speeds.

So what does this mean for technical recruiters? Start preparing yourself for the change.  Anyone in the IT recruiting industry will need to start learning more about the 4G network how it works and how to make sure cellular phones are working properly with the new network.  The fast speed will allow IT recruiters Boston to browse their phones as if it were a computer.  This will allow them acess to many resume databases (like Monster, Dice and CareerBuilder) and/or company CRM’s from the palm of their hands.

There will be more opportunities in high-tech companies that develop and produce cellular phones like Samsung and HTC.  Although some of these companies have already ventured into 4G, with the mobile competition heating up and the holidays around the corner, they will be in need of more high-tech employees.

So if you are currently an IT job seeker, start researching on the 4G technology as it will give you one more skill to add to your resume that will be very useful in this technological era.

Staying Too Connected to the World?

No matter where you go, there is always a device that will immediately notify you about what is going on.  Recently, there was a debate over alcohol caffeinated drinks being legal.  My university emailed the students warning them about these drinks and the consequences of not using them properly. After that, our school news wrote a blog about the issues pertaining to Four Loko’s specifically.

If that wasn’t enough, text messages were being sent and class discussions revolved around the topic of whether or not this drink should be illegal.  Within a couple of days Four Loko’s had received so much press whether it was virtual, print, or word of mouth.

It’s the small things like this that make you think about how connected you really are.  If someone really wanted to reach you, there would be so many ways in which they can succeed.  Information technology has not only advanced exponentially, but we as a generation have adapted and embraced it so quickly.

From my days as an intern with an IT recruiting firm Boston, I could see firsthand how critical information technology is to the technical recruiters and IT staffing salespeople.  Seeing how much the IT recruiting agency relied on technology, and how much easier it made their jobs, was certainly eye opening for me.  Therefore, I started thinking more about the pros and cons of advancing technologies.

If you’re a candidate looking for a technical position, you can be notified about a new IT jobs in multiple ways to ensure you don’t miss out on the opportunity.  IT Staffing agencies also have many mediums in which to inform both clients and prospective candidates about their services.  If you don’t immediately see the posting on the IT recruiting firm’s website, then you can get an email or text sent directly to your phone.

But is there a way to get away from all this connectivity? Not everyone wants to be connected to the world all time.  Should we be able to turn it off? If you look at the younger generation, they have adapted even faster to new technologies and cannot seem to function without it.

The iPad vs. Notebooks

Like most people, the iPad has certainly grabbed my attention.  I recently moved out of Boston, MA and now face a 30-minute commute to work.  Because I utilize public transportation, I have a half hour of down time each way.  This gives me an opportunity to catch up on some work, or in this case, even write a blog entry for our IT recruiting firm’s website.

Now I just need to find the right technology to maximize my time.  I started researching the iPad and various lightweight notebooks about two weeks ago.  I began reading technical reviews online and began asking some of our technical specialists and IT recruiters their feedback and exposure to each.  I explained that my first priority is finding something lightweight.  My second is speed, with third being memory.  Since I’m not a gamer, and will spending most of the time working online or utilize Microsoft Office, there aren’t many additional features that I really need as an owner of an IT staffing agency.  Having said that, this already narrowed my search considerably.


I first researched the iPad.  It doesn’t get much lighter at 1.5 lbs.  Apple has loaded the machine with almost all apps known to mankind.  Additional features include Bluetooth, WiFi, optional 3G wireless, 10 hours of battery life, typical MAC creative features that include vibrant pictures, photo frame, moving rentals and excellent gaming options.

On the flip side, the iPad does not come with Microsoft Office (although apparently there’s a software than you can download which will at least let you read MS Office docs).  Additionally, since there is no physical keyboard, just a touch screen (that is quite small), it may definitely take some getting used to.   The iPad also does not have a disc drive to download software, listen to CD’s or watch DVD’s.  However, in today’s information technology age where you can download the software, as well as music and even movies, you don’t lose all that much.

The consensus from all of the IT recruiters Boston who we polled is the iPad is amazing if you want something very small and light just to do some reading, net browsing and hold pictures/videos.  It won’t replace most of the functionality of a laptop.  Therefore if you’re looking for a notebook (for typical laptop use), this probably isn’t your best option.

Toshiba Protege R500

Next, I spoke to a number of high-tech professionals and researched all of the lightest notebooks on the market.  I narrowed my choice down to the Toshiba Protege R500.

Still light, weighing in at about 2.5 lbs, the Protege has a 12-inch display (obviously much larger than the iPad).  The battery life doesn’t last very long (5 hours) in comparison to the iPad’s, but it certainly ranks well versus many of the other laptops on the market.  The speed and memory are average, but can be upgraded if needed.

Some knocks on this desktop are the lack of a WebCam and mobile broadband antenna, as well as the fact that the machine has a tendency to heat up quite a bit (which also launching a fairly loud fan to cool the system down).

To summarize, the iPad is the lightest machine, but not having Microsoft Office or even a physical keyboard (especially for someone in the IT recruiting industry who types constantly), is a big turnoff.  Since the lightest of the notebooks is still only about a pound heavier than the iPad, but includes all of the necessary features, the decision is an easy one.  Apple will have to wait to get my business.

Sixth Sense

Everyone wants technology to be at his or her fingertips.  So many wireless companies have made it easier by offering smart phones. These cellular phones can access the internet, take high quality pictures, and play video games. It is like having a mini computer right in your pocket.

Could life be any easier? Well apparently it can.  Over at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, they are developing new software that will allow you to project a screen with a mini projector connected to your cellular phone or any other device.  You will be able to look up products and compare them automatically while shopping in a retail store.  Don’t feel like pulling out your phone to call a friend? No problem, you can just dial their number on your hand.

Sixth Sense is software that others will be able to manipulate for their own use.  So what does that mean for consumers? We will be able to surf quicker, research products and compare prices.  It would be like having an invisible smart phone.  At this point in time it is still in testing, but you definitely be on the lookout for any new updates in this.

From a business perspective, our IT recruiting firm (AVID Technical Resources) would greatly benefit from such a technology.  Our technical recruiters Boston and IT staffing salespeople could bring up documents, proposals or even notes while outside of the office visiting clients or prospective IT job seekers.  Outside of the IT staffing industry, other businesses are surely to see the value as well.

For better or for worse, information technology is fueling our ever-changing world, making our lives more efficient every day.  It’s up to each of us to stay on top of these trends.

Web Series vs TV shows

In a technology oriented world most of us are spending it online.  Our IT recruiters Boston can do all of their sourcing…. from the comfort of their own homes as the IT job boards and even our database is a web-based ATS system.  Outside of the IT staffing world, more and more people are relying on their computers to get their news, organize their days and even unwind.  Television shows, which was once only watched on a TV is now being watched on a computer.  This of course becomes more convenient for consumers to watch them when they have free time on the weekends.

Networks are now rethinking making new television shows and making web series instead.  These shows would be much shorter in length and cheaper.  But what does that mean for viewers? There will be less TV shows and probably more reruns appearing on your TV.

A lot of consumers do watch more shows on their computers but sometimes you want to watch it on your TV.  So will having an Apple or Google TV become more common? What about the satellite and cable companies?

I posed this question to a number of our technical recruiters Boston.  The overall feedback was pretty similar.  Having these web series might give us more options, but you can’t just replace television. Besides, when is the last time a family got together and huddled around a computer?

Complexity of Business in the IT Staffing Industry

The IT staffing is a very demanding industry.  When clients need to utilize an IT recruiting agency’s services, it’s typically because they need a highly technical resource as soon as possible.  Therefore, it’s imperative that IT recruiters are always proactive with candidate searches so their response time is immediate.

To ensure technical recruiting companies are able to meet these tough demands, their IT recruiters are typically on the phone and sourcing candidates all day long (often inviting the local resources in to meet with them throughout each week).  This proactive approach ensures much of the screening has been completed by the time the IT recruiting company receives a call from their client.

However, given the complex nature of the technology industry and the numerous skill sets on both the infrastructure and applications development side, IT staffing firms obviously cannot have the entire pre-screening checklist completed before they get the call from their client in every instance.  IT recruiters understand the demands of the IT staffing industry, therefore when the time calls to buckle down and work late, they’re typically up for the challenge.  It’s not uncommon for IT recruiters to work 12-hour days.

Another complexity of the technical recruiting business is the nature of our industry.  For better or for worse, IT recruiters are dealing with what is probably the most unpredictable product out there:  People.  No matter how well a technical recruiter screens or how well they treat each prospective candidate, there is no guarantee a person will show up to work each day and do the job asked of them.  Therefore, to eliminate any chance of providing an unreliable, unprofessional or non-qualified contractor to clients, the screening process is extremely thorough.  This typically includes checking two technical references from a current and/or former manager.  Additionally, IT recruiting firms typically provide background and/or drug testing at their own expense.

Advanced Search Results

IT recruiters are constantly searching for candidates on various IT job boards like Monster, CareerBuilder, Dice and Hot Jobs.  The resume search starts with key words, then ends with a phone call to the prospective candidate.  Therefore, as the job seeker, especially in the information technology industry, it’s critical that you put as many key words and technologies on your resume as possible.  This could make the difference with getting that first call, then subsequently that next job.

Google recently came out with a new feature that predicts what you’re typing as well as give you a preview of the search results.  This will allow technical recruiters to conduct searches even faster as it gives them the ability to quickly glance the search results as they continue to type additional key words. So what does that mean for candidates? Well for one thing, they will find more information on you and within a shorter time period.

The aforementioned IT job boards (Monster, CareerBuilder, Dice and Hot Jobs) will soon catch on to this fast and efficient advanced search technology.  Linkedin and other networking sites will likely blend their services and ultimately embrace this technology as well.

Use Facebook as a Tool for Job Searching!

As a college student and IT recruiting intern, I have noticed that there are many small businesses that start utilize social media sites as their main source to find internal resources.  Now many of you may be thinking why would I look for a job on Facebook when I can go on Monster and CareerBuilder.  The answer to that is, sometimes it is easier to hire from the network you have already established on Facebook.  You know them on a personal level and usually you can get a recommendation from another person on your network.  On the IT job boards you usually have people applying from many different states with likely no connection to you or your technical position.

IT recruiters are reporting that a number of prospective candidates are joining groups and becoming fans of pages for companies they like or want to possibly work for one day.  These companies in turn are using their fans and customers to get a better view into their consumer base.  Many of these businesses also hold contests for internships or even just have their video/print ad featured nationally on an advertising campaign.

By participating in groups and fan pages, you are allowing these companies to see the potential you have as an employee before they hire you.

How to Keep Yourself From Burning Out

Working in the IT recruiting industry can take a lot from you.  Depending on the technical staffing firm that you’re working for, you may have to work late for days without many breaks.  Like many IT recruiters before you, there is always the chance that you will become exhausted and produce sub par work.

So how do you prevent burn out? First, make sure to leave early at least one night during the week.  Use this time to do something that you enjoy…preferably something relaxing.  Second, if you have more work than there are hours in the day, try to do some from the comfort of your own home.  At IT staffing agencies, much of the work can be done from virtually anywhere with an internet connection.  Therefore, relax on your couch and search resume databases while enjoying your favorite show or listening to relaxing music.  Just because you’re doing work, doesn’t mean you have to be sitting in an uncomfortable chair or at a desk.

In addition, there are also many things that company leadership can do.  Let your technical recruiters out early every now and then (especially if you can wrap the occasion around an award or acknowledge hard work).  Bring in lunch or order pizzas at night for those IT recruiters who are staying late and going above and beyond.  Lastly, provide a healthy office environment – be positive and offer praise when necessary.