Monthly Archives: May 2011

Finding Good IT Recruiters

The IT recruiting industry is very competitive – as a result there are hundreds of IT staffing companies Boston all hunting for open technical positions.  Given the sheer volume of technical recruiting firms, you can only imagine how many IT recruiters there are to choose from.

Like any other service industry, first look for referrals from people you trust.  Find out whether someone you know has had a positive experience working with an IT recruiter, then ask for the person’s contact name and number.  Next, find out for yourself.  Speak with the technical recruiter on the phone.  Gauge their personality, aggressiveness, information technology job knowledge, ask about their client base, how long they’ve been in the IT recruiting Boston industry, how long they’ve been a technical recruiter at this company in which they’re currently employed.  Future questions or tests:  Do technical recruiters return your calls or emails?  Do they contact you with IT job opportunities?  Do they have resume suggestions, search advice or do they provide any value-add whatsoever?

Additionally, don’t limit your conversation to just one IT headhunter.  The most IT recruiters Boston you can speak with, the better your odds of finding that exceptional professional who excels at his or her job.  Lastly, look for feedback and/or reviews online.  In today’s technological age, you can uncover information on virtually any professional.  Find out what other prospective IT job candidates have said about these IT recruiters.  Read their experiences.

Looking for a new IT job is tedious work and not always very easy to do on your own.  Having technical recruiters working at different IT staffing agencies will help you get started, but don’t forget to look for positions on your own as well.  If you find an opportunity that interests you, try contacting the IT recruiters you have spoken with and see if they have any connections at the company.

In the end, the more IT recruiters know about you the easier it will be for them to find a new position for you.  They might not have a position right away, just remember to be patient and keep you job search activity at a high level.

How Most IT Recruiting Offices are Set Up

All of the IT recruiting companies Boston that I have worked for, and all of the IT staffing offices that I’ve been in, have all been set up the same way.  First, there is a general “pit” in the middle of the office.  This is where the IT recruiters Boston will sit.  The openness allows for easy communication – verbal instant messaging you might call it.

A typical day in the IT recruiting world is anything but typical.  Technical recruiters might be talking to prospective candidates one minute, setting up an interview the next.  Soon after, they may have the opportunity to roll out an offer or break the news that the candidate did not get the job they interviewed for.  IT recruiters may have to call one of their current IT contractors with feedback on their job performance or they may have to release them from their assignment.

Because there are so many nuances to the IT recruiting role, so many different scenarios that may arise day in and day out, the open floor also provides another purpose.  It allows other IT recruiters MA to hear virtually all other conversations.  This proves very beneficial for technical recruiters as it allows them to absorb as many techniques and IT recruiting scenarios as possible.

In some IT staffing offices, there are offices surrounding the “pit” housing salespeople and account managers.  The offices allow them with a bit more privacy, mainly so their IT managers don’t hear all of the background chatter.  When cold calling a client, every second of the conversation counts.  You don’t want to lose credibility if the background noise gives the client the impression you’re in a call center.

In other technical staffing locations, the technical recruiters and IT staffing salespeople sit in the pit together.  Just as it’s critical for technical recruiters to hear their peer’s conversations, it’s equally as critical for the salespeople.  The conversations can be a teaching tool and/or just another opportunity for others to absorb new techniques and styles.

Another benefit of having technical recruiters and IT staffing Boston salespeople sit together on the floor is simply communication.  With any successful placement, the recruiter and salesperson must communicate effectively.  An open pit allows for the two sides with this ability – more verbal instant messaging.

Is Cold Calling a Dying Art with IT Staffing Salespeople?

When I first started in the IT recruiting industry fourteen years ago, there were no resume databases, no job boards, no social media and no professional networking websites.  In fact, email was something still pretty new that we didn’t utilize on a daily basis.  As an IT staffing salesperson, I was set up with a phone and call sheets.  Smile and dial, cold call until your fingers got tired or your mouth went dry.

While it’s still critical to get an IT manager on the phone to build a relationship, IT staffing salespeople rely far more heavily on email.  Whether it’s right or wrong, good or bad, email is pushing the art of cold calling into extinction.

Regardless of your career, if you stop practicing, you get rusty.  Cold calling is no different.  The more you cold call, the better you’re able to hone your skills.  The more you cold call, the better you’re able to rebut objections, nudge a client into taking the time to meet with you or even convince an IT manager to give you a chance to fill his/her open hiring need.

While cold calling might be a dying art with salespeople in the technical recruiting industry, it’s still a constant in the world of technical recruiters.  Regardless of whether an IT recruiter initiates contact with a prospective candidate via email, it is virtually impossible, or more accurately, virtually scary to think of a technical recruiter never speaking with a candidate live before sending his or her resume to a client.  There are so many nuances to a typical IT recruitment.  There are so many questions that could only be answered in a live conversation in which the technical recruiter can analyze a candidate’s response.  The slightest hesitations, changes in pitch or tone can tip off any astute IT recruiters who are used to picking up on subtle signs that ultimately lead to the truth.

IT Experiences vs. IT Certifications

The question our IT recruiters often get from prospective candidates is whether it’s better to have the technical experience or IT certifications.  While there is no black and white answer, the truth is that it all depends upon the client (and more specifically the IT manager him or herself).

Having said that, from this technical recruiters perspective, and shared by most IT recruiters Boston in the IT staffing industry, experience typically outweighs certifications.  However, it’s difficult to generalize an answer as it depends upon the information technology professional’s level of experience, and just as important, what specific technologies he or she knows.

Certifications don’t amount to much if a candidate has a strong background with a specific technology that is in demand.  Strong Sharepoint or .NET Developers can write their own ticket right now – with our without Microsoft certifications.  Generally speaking, IT certifications do not mean the candidate is an expert with that technology. However, with all things being equal, IT certifications could put you over the top if it’s between you and another candidate with the same background.

Therefore, if you truly want to play it safe, focus on gaining experience with the hottest technologies on the market, then go out and get your certifications.  This will only increase your value as an IT consultant and make you more marketable to IT recruiters and IT recruiting agencies.  

How To Find The IT Recruiting Job That is Right For You

There are so numerous IT recruiting  jobs out there.  The problem for many IT recruiters is that they may not know they’re value or level of experience in comparison to other technical recruiters.  Therefore, here are a few ways to navigate the IT recruitment industry and find the right job for you.

Try taking on new projects within your current IT staffing company. This will allow you to venture into other parts of the recruiting industry without having to switch careers.  During these projects you may meet new people within the company and learn about the kinds of tasks they do in their technical recruiting job.

Read blogs that pertain to the IT recruitment industry.  Many IT recruiting companies have blogs that are saturated with industry information and technical chatter.  Learn about other recruiting professionals and what they are doing for a living.  You can research the companies they work for and the opportunities they have access to.  This will allow you to see what IT recruiters MA are up to and what you can potentially do in the future.

If there is something you think might interest you, try presenting a project to your boss that will allow you to try out them out.  Trying out new roles will help you decide whether it is the right thing for you.

Also contact one of the many IT staffing firms local to you.  Build a relationship with a handful of headunters (based on their credibility, responsiveness and other factors that separate them from the thousands of recruiters out there).  Research local IT recruiting agencies.  Find which specialize in information technology, then read the reviews about each company.  Narrow your search to the best of the best as this is your career you’re putting in their hands.

In the end, the more you try out and explore other roles or companies, the more you’ll be able to identify what it is you want to do within the information technology recruiting industry…..and what company you want to work for.  Activity is king, sitting back and doing nothing will get you nowhere.

Respect In The IT Recruiting Industry

Like in any other industry, respect is extremely important in IT staffing. All prospective candidates should be treated with respect.  In return, all IT recruiters should be treated with the same.   Having said that, respect should be earned and not taken for granted.

First and foremost, you must present yourself as a reputable technical recruiter.  Simple callbacks, resume advice, interview tips and just simple common courtesy should be the approach for all IT recruiters.  These characteristics alone with set you apart from other IT staffing firms and IT recruiters Boston.

Candidates should always look to improve themselves.  Technical recruiters will respect your desire to get better.  Asking for feedback after each interview is a great way to strengthen your IT job search skills.  Take constructive criticism, for as hard as it can be to hear, it will only better your abilities.

These are just a few things that will help build respect in the IT recruitment industry.  Respect will not only prove you to be a valued employee, it will help you gain credibility with your peers.

Checklist of Preparation Tips before an IT job interview

Job seekers put in countless hours applying for IT jobs and contacting IT recruiters.  High activity typically translates into multiple interviews.  The focus then becomes the face to face meeting with the client company.

First, take a close read through our Interview Tips.  Always remember that you never get a second chance to make a first impression.  Therefore, do everything you can to put your best foot forward the minute you walk through that client’s door or the lobby of the IT staffing company representing you.

Do the research.  When you interview for a company, have a background of what they do.  Find their competitors in their industry.  Show the interviewers that you are familiar with their company – this will let him/her know that you at least have some level of initiative…and interest in working for the company.

Think about why you want to apply for this position.  Some hiring managers will even ask why this position interests you.  Even if you are not completely interested in the position, make sure you have a response ready for this question.

Know your strengths and weaknesses.  Cliché question, but it’s one of the interview questions often asked by IT recruiters Boston and client companies alike.  Take your skills and experiences and show the technical recruiters or hiring managers why you are interested in the IT job and why you want to work there.

Most importantly, ask the hiring manager questions.  Questions can range from topics surrounding the IT job description to the company culture.  Having questions prepared will once again show the interviewers that you have a strong interest in the IT job opportunity as well as the company.

So do your homework and prepare before every interview. This will ensure you’re putting your best foot forward and will help separate yourself from other IT job seekers applying for the job.

The Importance of Building Relationships With IT Recruiters

Prospective candidates usually come to an IT staffing agency to help finding an IT job. Some are desperately looking and others already know the drill. Many will apply to the technical job opportunities available on the IT recruiting company’s website while some will just submit their resume directly to their IT recruiters and hope for the best.

While both could help you land a new technical position, take the time to build a relationship with multiple IT recruiters Boston. Pick up the phone and talk with a technical recruiter at various IT staffing agencies. Getting to know them personally will better your chance of landing that perfect IT job. Keep your name at the tip of the IT headhunter’s tongue; stay in contact to make sure your resume sits atop of their pile. Show the IT recruiter that you’re not just a name or are just technical skills on paper; show them that you’re a living person with a family. Build the relationship so they know who you are and you know who they are.

Stay in touch throughout the IT job hunt. Let them know about other companies you have applied to so they do not submit you to the same place. They may also be able to expedite the review of your resume if the IT recruiter has close ties with any of those companies.

Also stay in touch with the technical recruiters after the placement. A common mistake that IT job seekers make is losing touch with IT recruiters Boston after they land a new position. But do not let this happen. You never know when a stronger opportunity will become available or when you’ll find yourself looking or even suddenly out of work. You should look at the IT recruiter/candidate relationship as something long term and beneficial for both sides.

Therefore, build a relationship with IT recruiters. It will benefit you from start to finish. IT jobs are competitive and if you have someone that will stand behind you, technical recruiters can help overcome your competition.

Don’t be Afraid to Fail

Think of a time you achieved a task on the first try.  Now think of an activity where it took you numerous tries until you had it right.  Chances are the latter has made you more driven.  You felt gratified when you perfected the last step.  Your determination paid off.

If you are actively seeking employment or have in the past, you can relate to the difficulty of trying to secure a position in a highly competitive market.  You apply to IT jobs with what you think is your best resume and you interview with tips picked up along the way.  But why does it appear your effort is going unnoticed?  It feels as though your inbox is cluttered with rejection letters and calls if the company or IT recruiters respond at all.

After applying for an IT job, you know the most painful step in job hunting is the waiting period to hear feedback.  If you receive good news, congratulations!  If a technical recruiter informs you that have not been selected to move forward in your candidacy, do not let hurt your confidence.  Take this opportunity to look for another position that is more geared toward your skill level and experience.  When you engage in direct contact with an IT recruiter or hiring manager, do not be afraid to ask for feedback.  It could be someone was just more qualified for the position.  Do not let this rejection stop you from restarting your search, but use it to make your candidacy stronger.

AVID Boston IT recruiters can lead you to the correct path.  Our IT staffing firm has worked with a number of prestigious companies and they know what the hiring managers are seeking when they review resumes or conduct interviews.

When you do not land the job of your dreams, here are some tips on starting over.  Keep in mind that you do not need to always need to start from scratch!

The Resume: Your Time to Shine

Your resume is a time for you to brag about your strong qualities, experiences, and achievements in the information technology industry.  Tell your prospective employer about your goals and objectives.  Keep the resume update to date, neat, and consistent. Bullets are encouraged to highlight your main accomplishments while keeping your resume brief.  Choose keywords that are specifically geared toward your desired role.

For more resume tips, visit AVID’s resume writing tips.

The Hunt: Making Your Next Move

Tailor your resume for each position to which you apply, then find a target and take aim.  While job boards are great for finding IT jobs, do not limit yourself by only applying to postings.  Having a public profile on sites such as CareerBuilder, Monster, and LinkedIn allows technical recruiters to come to you.  IT staffing agencies will often reach out to candidates with open positions and help organize the candidate’s resume to help score an interview.  If you do not make it to the interview stage, at least your resume is now on file and do not hesitate to ask about other open positions the technical recruiter might be managing.

For a list of open IT jobs, visit AVID’s job search.

The Interview: Getting to Know You

This is your chance to make a lasting impression.  If you have worked with IT recruiters Boston, they have most likely provided you with tips to win over your audience.  Be sure to answer all questions effectively and ask your questions.  Explain your relevant experiences and relate your skills to the position.  Show confidence and maintain eye contact when speaking, but do not speak too fast or too much.  After your interview, be sure to follow up with a thank you via your IT staffing representative or email reiterating your interest and qualifications for the job.   The more you interview the easier it is to network and prepare you for your dream job!

Organize the Night Before an IT Job Interview

Take 1: It is 8:45 am on a Monday morning.  Your interview is at 9:15 am.  One slight problem… your printer is jammed and you cannot print the latest copy of your resume.  You were going to research the IT recruiting company before you left.  You rip the pages from the printer and trip out the door to your car.  On your commute you realize you do not know the name of the IT recruiter. You quickly jot down two questions on the back of your crinkled resume.  Flustered, you enter the lobby of the IT staffing agency with one minute to spare.  At 9:15 am, you hang your head and enter the IT job interview.

Don’t let this be you!  In the world of IT staffing, we live by Murphy’s Law: Anything that can go wrong will go wrong!

Quite the pessimistic view, but if you are in this position you’ll wish you had been better prepared.    Our AVID technical recruiters make it a point to ensure that you do not find yourself in this situation.  AVID IT recruiters  take the time to reach out to you and provide tips from tweaking your resume to interview prepping.

Here are just some key tips for your interview:

–          Always wear a suit and iron the night before: You never get a second chance to make a first impression!  Even if you are overdressed for the IT recruiting firm’s environment, you’ll still look good and you will feel it, too.  Having a back up outfit doesn’t hurt either.

–          Research the night before and write down your questions:  You will look prepared and have you questions answered.  Make note of recent press releases, the hiring staff will see your interest in the IT recruiting company.

–          Know your resume:  Always make sure your resume is up to date and includes all relevant experience.  Be prepared to answer questions about employment gaps or responsibilities.

–          Take the commute:  Research your commute to your interview at least a day in advance. Take the drive, take the train, or walk it the day before and be sure to time it.  Leave yourself enough time to arrive 15 minutes early for the interview.

Take 2: It is 8:00 pm on Sunday night.  You are prepping for the interview with the technical recruiting firm.  You are ironing your suit and a back up outfit just in case.  You research the IT recruiting agency, their technical recruiters, and latest press releases, writing down questions and thoughts.  You are flipping through your notes, reviewing your resume and remembering all of your interview tips.  You pack your bag the night before.  You’ve done the commute and spare yourself an extra fifteen minutes to arrive early.  Next morning, you arrive fifteen minutes prior to your interview as expected with a clear mind, no worries.  You walk in, looking sharp and present your values and experiences.  Your technical recruiter calls you the next day with good news!

For more tips, visit our interview tips page!