Monthly Archives: August 2011

Trying too Hard in the IT Staffing Industry

IT recruiters must have amicable personalities when working with different clients and candidates.  Adapting to meet one’s needs and personality is necessary when conducting business, but it is important to remain professional while respecting oneself.  Here are some tips to stay friendly without trying too hard.

Overly Flexible

Whether you are new to IT recruiting companies or a veteran, it is important to refrain from being the doormat.  It may be hard to say no in fear you will be disliked, but always take care of yourself before you help others.  Those who choose to take on more work than they can handle are the ones who cannot say no and feel their time is not as valuable as their peers’.  Set boundaries and limits early on as it may be difficult to set matters straight while progressing within IT recruiting agencies.

Too Personal

Nothing is more uncomfortable than overbearing technical recruiters who want every intimate detail of your life.  Being friendly is encouraged, but try to maintain a business oriented relationship.  Clients might not be willing to share a relationship beyond business and a technical recruiter should abide by their wishes.

Talking too much and always butting into others’ private matters is a severe offense.  Rather than prying for details, let the other party open to an IT recruiter before trying to start a conversation about their weekend or significant other.  Likewise, limit yourself from spilling all the details of your personal life to your candidate.  It might make you seem like an inviting person, but could also creep out the client and come off as a braggart.

Too Pushy

When a contractor is uneasy about a commitment, pushing them will only make them feel more uncomfortable.  IT headhunters will then become upset if the contractor backs out of his contract.  Rather than persuading the candidate to make an ill fated choice, allow him to time to think it over and make decisions with his best wishes while providing support if he has questions or concerns.

Jeopardizing the technical recruiting company and your reputation to close one deal is not worth the risks.  Keep working conditions comfortable by staying consistent and professional.  The contractor may refer you to others, providing you the opportunity build your network.

The Deadbeat Technical Recruiter

You remember your first interaction with IT recruiting companies, an unexpected phone call offering a world of IT jobs and opportunities.  You eagerly engage in a phone conversation, followed by an in-person interview with your IT recruiter.  After much prepping, you land a role and then your recruiter disappears.

Stay Connected

Technical recruiters are supposed to be available for their candidates.  The relationship does not stop after the client accepts a position.  Be sure to maintain contact through the duration of the contract, and if appropriate, help the contractor take on additional roles after positions end.

The candidates of IT recruiters are a reflection of their work.  If the candidates are unhappy or have concerns about their roles, it is the recruiter’s responsibility to promptly address these issues in a professional manner.  Leaving loose ends with contractors is a poor reflection on not only recruiters, but also IT staffing firms.

Procrastination is Contagious

It might be tempting put off assignments and bask in the glory of “free time”, but this free time is typically borrowed time at technical recruiting companies.  When a recruiter procrastinates, there is generally someone waiting on the other end.  Holding up others drastically reduces efficiency levels and increases stress levels.

A recruiter’s lax work ethic can be contagious and affect other’s output.  Others within the IT recruiting firm will observe how the recruiter may get by with doing less work or have tasks done for him and follow suit.   Some may do the opposite and dismiss all projects related to the lazy IT headhunter, eliminating potential networking.

Self-Motivated Success

The key to technical recruiting is self-driven success.  If a recruiter feels he is not being challenged, he may resort to laziness.  Rather, he should be productive by setting goals, making changes to his routine, and rewarding himself for his accomplishments.  When the lazy recruiter begins to work with other lazy co-workers, he may become frustrated and reconsider his actions and priorities!

IT Recruiters Learn to Say No

Most technical recruiters avoid the two letter word like the plague.  Whether it is fear of burning bridges, appearing rude and causing conflict, or losing opportunities, saying no is one of the most difficult aspects of technical recruiting.  Before stretching oneself too thin, here are some suggestions so one does not feel guilty when he must turn down others.

Taking Care of Yourself

When working at IT staffing firms, recruiters want to be accommodating for others.  Revising schedules is one thing, but nixing plans and time with family is on another level.  When others’ work begins to affect personal lives and responsibilities, it is time to respect and enforce limits.

At IT recruiting agencies, one must maintain a list of projects in order of priority to have a better idea if he can take on more work before giving a direct no.  Also, ask for an estimated amount of time the project or request would entail.  If the recruiter cannot provide help, at least he will have other priorities as reasoning and can direct the requester in the right direction.

Ways to Say No

Ask Me Later

If a recruiter is feeling overwhelmed, asking the person to follow up later is a way of saying no for now, but possibly in the future.  IT staffing representatives should use this rebuttal if and only if they are uncertain if they can and will provide assistance.  The last thing anyone wants is to be strung along.

I can’t help you with this, but ____ might be able to…

When something is not one’s responsibility or he does not have time, pass the job off to the right person within the technical recruiting agencies.  It might sound bad to volunteer someone else for a task, but chances are the other person can provide more accurate information or do a better job if they are not busy.  Be respectful when doing so and the other party should understand.

Simply No

Often people let emotions and fear of conflict control their actions.  Explaining oneself too much can be unnecessary when a simple no is needed.  Put feelings aside and stay firm with an answer.  IT headhunters will be more in control of their responsibilities if they do not load up with tasks accepted in guilt.

No one wants to let others down and always saying yes seems like the way to go, but not following through is much worse than saying no.  Do not be the person who constantly forgets, runs late, makes mistakes, and has no personal time.  Work toward establishing personal goals first and then extend a helping hand.

What Workspace Says About Technical Recruiters

Take a glimpse at the desks of IT recruiters.  Is there paperwork and clutter filling every inch, or is it neatly organized with all files properly labeled and in order?  Some believe workspace does not reflect the quality of one’s work, while others feel there is a direct correlation.  Next time a technical recruiter sits at his desk, he should use these cues to see which vibes he is sending others.

Come on over!

Choosing to adorn a desk with pictures of friends, family, or hobbies, candy dishes, and plants are excellent conversation pieces.  These items show one wishes to personalize his space, make his work environment more comfortable and thus improve his mood and productivity.  An IT recruiter can also network with those who share his interests.  When a candy tray is refilled or a new picture hung, take note of those who stop by more often to have a quick chat.

I’m strictly business…

IT recruiting agencies who do not decorate their workspace are viewed as serious workers.  They prefer to keep business and personal lives separate and focus on work in the office.  If their work area is organized, they might have more time on their hands or think more clearly in these conditions.

Multitasker versus Disaster

Everyone has experienced or seen a messy cubicle.  There are food wrappers, crumpled papers, and documents littered everywhere.  At first glance, one might think these IT headhunters are slobs and can hardly function in these conditions.  Disorganization and messiness are generally red flags that a person’s thoughts are not in order.  Co-workers may fear projects with this person or not trust them handling their material.

However, consider that these messy employees may be a multitaskers who prefers to keep all projects open and in view.  They could have a systematic approach to dealing with multiple tasks, which is not clear to the outside viewer.  These messy desk dwellers just might be the most productive employees in IT staffing firms.

These characteristics will not always apply to all or any employees within IT staffing agencies.  Whether messy, organized, or personalized, it is important to maintain a profession work space.  Keep work areas tidy for hygiene purposes and non-distracting or offensive in respect to neighbors.  Before decorating, always check with management to see what is considered acceptable.

Strong Work Ethic at IT Jobs

Technical recruiters must engage in strong work ethic in order to be successful.  While there are a number of values honored at IT recruiting firms, there are some that are of higher ranks.  Honesty and commitment are a given and listed below are crucial criteria in the IT staffing industry.


IT recruiters present themselves professionally which includes being respectful to all levels of employees and maintaining a positive, upbeat attitude.  They typically arrive early and prepare for meetings with appropriate dress and organized material.  No matter how comfortable or disengaged a recruiter feels, he will speak and conduct business enthusiastically and in an appropriate manner. Recruiters address all questions and concerns of their clients and provide timely feedback so there are no surprises or unanticipated disappointments.


Technical recruiting agencies expect employees to be responsible and confident for their actions and work.  Recruiters are self-motivated, flexible, and open minded as new projects are constantly arising.  They must maintain contact with their clients and stay committed through projects and assignments.  When faced with challenges, IT staffing representatives are encouraged to be creative and think outside the box.

A recruiter will own up to his mistakes and actively seek solutions.  He will openly accept criticism and ways to improve his technique.  If the IT recruiter completes his tasks, he will reach out to his manager before work needs to be assigned.

Team Oriented

Though technical recruiting firms seem to be self-driven, it is team goals that help the corporation succeed.  Recruiters who meet their goals and focus on improving the company are more valuable than a recruiter who consistently thrives and soars above his peers.  While the star technical recruiter will receive his glory, it is those who make an overall difference within the company that will truly stand out.


Mirroring the Hiring Manager in the IT Staffing Industry

An IT headhunter enters an interview and prepares to do the skill he has learned in a number of classes, articles, and books…mirroring the hiring manager.  The manager enters the room running behind schedule and forgets to extend a handshake.  He immediately begins complaining about traffic, weather, and whatever is on his mind.  The manager stretches back in his chair and exerts a boisterous yawn before he gets down to business (and checks his phone).  The technical recruiter panics, he was not prepared for this.

Staying Professional and Positive

While this example may be over the top, candidates and IT recruiters should focus on making the best first impression.  Rather than fall into the trap of negativity, you can state your own opinion if you do or do not agree, but always follow up with a positive response.  If the hiring manager forgets to extend a handshake, take initiative and impress him by offering your hand first.  No matter how laid back a manager may seem, maintain professionalism, as this may be a test of your censors and limits.

Be Honest

You do not need to agree with everything the hiring manager says.  You should also never exaggerate your skills for the IT job.  Conflict and lies are the last things IT staffing firms want during an interview or business meeting.  But expressing your honest opinion can open the floor for discussion and conversation.  You will display your true personality and management may admire your confidence.

Look for Connections

Here is where it’s completely acceptable to mirror from the manager.  When you research the interviewer or employer, you have the opportunity to view their interests.  Look for any connections on sites such as LinkedIn.  Use these connections to your advantage.  Do not be afraid to mention them in your meeting, because it will show you did your homework.

Be Responsive

Post meetings, managers look for those who are most responsive.  Follow up with thank you note in a timely manner.  If you have any further questions, address them in the message.  Reiterate your interest in the position if you feel it is a true match for your skills and interests.  Thank the hiring managers or technical recruiters for their time.

You can tell if an interview is going well through non verbal communication.  Look for physical cues, such as smiles and eye contact.  If the interviewer has a bad tone or attitude, do not follow suit.  Even if an interview does not go as smooth as planned, you can save your reputation and first impression by staying positive and ending on a happy note.

IT Staffing Relationship vs. Human Resources

Take One:  It’s 4:30 pm on a Friday and there is not a soul in the office.  You have a question regarding your pay from a week ago.  You call human resources and the call is answered by four rings followed by a generic mailbox.  You leave a message, and a week later a representative you have never seen or spoken to follows up.

Take Two: You send an email to your technical recruiter about your pay from the prior week.  Almost immediately, you receive a friendly response, along with genuine conversation asking how your daughter’s recital went and what your plans are for the weekend.

While they share similarities with human resources, technical staffing firms pride themselves on their client relationships.  IT recruiters do more than just filling positions.  They maintain contact throughout the lifetime of their candidates’ roles, including the hiring process, during the contracts, as well as after positions end.

More Specialized Experience

Most recruiting agencies have experience filling IT jobs, so they know what the hiring company seeks.  The agency understands which skills are crucial and how much experience will be required for a certain role.  They can weed out unqualified candidates and choose the best.  This allows human resources to focus on their internal roles.

Job Openings

Most human resource departments post positions on the company’s job board and wait for the resumes to pile up.  Technical recruiters are proactive because they not only post their positions.  They also reach out to candidates within their database and on sites such as and CareerBuilder.  By expanding their applicant pool, they have a better chance to find a solid fit for the role.


IT recruiting companies maintain a database of current, prospective, and past clients for upcoming positions.  When a recruiter works with a contractor and has a positive experience, he is more likely to recommend him for another job.  When a role with human resources ends, it is pretty much over.  Technical staffing agencies also network with hiring managers, so they understand who would be most compatible for the required skill set.

IT staffing firms are a component of human resources, which allows others within HR to focus on their goals.  Without human resources, there is no recruiting, because the relationships are all about the client.

Asking For More Challenges in the IT Staffing Industry

It is noon and an IT recruiter has finished his tasks for the day.  What should he do next?  If he finds he’s twiddling his thumbs at work, or is not being challenged, it might be time to ask his manager for more responsibilities.  Some technical recruiters avoid new tasks and duties because they do not want to appear bored or lack work.  Here are some reasons IT headhunters should consider varying their workload.


Proactive employees are always looking for ways to improve themselves, as well as the company.  Managers seek out these recruiters, as they are valuable assets to the future of technical staffing agencies.  If you know of an existing issue and have a valid solution, bring it to your manager’s attention.  IT recruiters who share a drive for more work and improvement are usually the ones considered for upward mobility.

Improve Skills

Adding more responsibility will increase your value as you are exposed to new departments and skills within technical recruiting agencies.  Learning new traits and multitasking can help improve your existing tasks while also embellishing your resume.  Before your take on new roles, discuss your strengths and weaknesses with your manager for a smooth transition.

Build Network

Working in different areas allows you to expand your network as you mingle with levels of IT recruiting management.  Use these relationships to help identify a potential career path and connect on LinkedIn. If appropriate, ask for a recommendation.

Checks and Balances

Find out how much free time you have to work with.  Test out the new tasks and see if you actually like it.   Before you consider taking on new duties, evaluate your current position.  Are you finishing projects ahead of schedule or just meeting deadlines?  Is there room for improvement in your work?  If so, address these issues before you pile up your plate.

Have a Good IT Recruiting Experience? Tell me about it…

Every technical recruiter knows word of mouth is the most powerful way of achieving fame in the IT staffing industry.  When you have an outstanding experience you typically tell friends or family, but what if your feedback could influence others?  Consumers are now utilizing social media platforms such as Yelp, Facebook, and Twitter to sing their praises.


When technical recruiters work face to face with clients or over the phone, it might be difficult for the client to provide honest feedback.  Sites such as Google and Yelp allow the client to bluntly review their experience with IT recruiting firms without embarrassing or hurting anyone’s feelings.  The reviews are also a tangible piece of evaluation for technical staffing agencies, allowing them to acknowledge strengths and address weaknesses.

Take Pride

IT recruiters know they are doing a good job when consultants are buzzing about them.  These positive reviews will help drive traffic to sites of the IT staffing agencies.  Prospective clients may request to work with specific IT headhunters.  Try to not get upset if you do not have many reviews, as you should focus on quality versus quantity.

Address Problem

Yelp allows businesses to address customers’ complaints and concerns directly on its site.  The customer can then follow up with how the problem was fixed.  Technical recruiting firms can also use the site as a form of constructive feedback and pinpoint where they will need to refocus.

The best type of promotion is FREE so IT staffing firms should take advantage of this buzz marketing while they have this opportunity!

Making the Most of Your IT Recruiting Internship

The best way to subsidize a college career is with real world experience in the IT staffing world.  An internship provides skills and knowledge within the information technology industry that one cannot learn in a classroom without having to commit to a full time IT job.  They also allow students and prospective technical recruiters the opportunity to challenge themselves and discover a potential career path.  Here are some tips for making the most of an internship for IT headhunters.

Being Professional

Just because a technical recruiting internship is not a full time position does not mean it shouldn’t be treated like one.  Interns should anticipate arriving on time daily, maintaining an upbeat attitude, and eagerly accepting any task that is at hand.  Be respectful to others and try to mirror other employees’ dress and work demeanor.  Remember outside of the office interns still represent the IT staffing firms so be mindful of actions.

Work Ethic

Some interns feel because their position is temporary that they only need to complete assigned work.  Technical recruiting firms seek interns who meet and exceed expectations whenever possible.  When an assignment is complete, an intern should maintain focus and ask for additional challenges.  Setting goals and working on multiple projects provides more exposure which will spruce up the intern’s resume and provide discussion for future interviews.

IT recruiting companies would rather see their intern succeed than struggle, so never sacrifice quality for quantity.  Take notes and ask questions if directions are not clear. Hard work and thinking outside of the box sets others apart, but never trump others to make it to the top.

Ending an Internship

The best part of internships is the networking within technical staffing agencies.  Connect with IT recruiters on LinkedIn.  Do not be afraid to ask for recommendations.  If possible, make a portfolio of the accomplished work or a book of achievements.  Stay in touch with a manager and view them as a mentor for the future.

An internship might not guarantee a full time perm position, but it is a step in the right direction!