Monthly Archives: September 2011

Technical Recruiters Warn LinkedIn Don’ts: Part I

IT recruiters use sites such as LinkedIn, Monster, and CareerBuilder on a daily basis.  From searching for prospective candidates to building their networks, these sites provide technical recruiting companies the opportunity to follow trends and updates in the information technology industry.  If you are actively seeking IT jobs and have an account on these sites, be weary of these common mistakes.

Your Profile Picture

LinkedIn is not Facebook nor is it Twitter, so never mix up the two.  Profile pictures should be professional headshots, not full body, a picture of your children, nor a vacation photo of you and your spouse.  If you do not have a professional headshot, be sure to use an up to date photo of yourself with a neutral background.

Keep it Objective

While you can add someone you met last weekend on Facebook, the IT staffing industry strongly discourages you from doing so on LinkedIn.  Leave connecting for those you share a direct relationship with.  The purpose of connecting is not to have the most connections in your network.  Rather, it is the quality of those relationships that is important.  When a technical recruiter requests to add someone to their network, they should personalize the message to explain why they wish to connect.  IT recruiting firms should only request recommendations from those who can provide an accurate review of their skills and performance.

Maintain Your Profile

Your profile should be up to date with an accurate description of your tasks and responsibilities.  Use keywords in your title and maintain a public profile so it appears on Google searches.  Add relevant groups that reflect your career goals and ideal IT job.  Never post a status that makes others feel uncomfortable.  Rule of thumb: if you would not say it in the IT recruiting office, do not post it.

Check in for Technical Recruiters Warn LinkedIn Don’ts: Part II for a realistic perspective of why you should be mindful of your LinkedIn behavior!

IT Staffing Woes: The Language Barrier

Working in the IT recruiting industry, technical recruiters are bound to face the near inevitable.  You discover resumes of the most talented candidates with the near perfect background and experience and reach for the phone.  You begin to explain why you are calling, talking about a potential IT job, when the person on the other end begins to speak, but you cannot understand them.  What do you do?

Be Patient

If it’s hard for IT recruiters to understand the candidate, chances are, candidates are having difficulty understanding the recruiters as well.  Speak slowly and clearly by carefully enunciating words.  It’s also important to avoid mumbling and rushing through sentences.  After prospective candidates have spoken, IT headhunters should reiterate what they have heard.  It might seem rude or annoying during the first few times, but it is best if both parties know the game plan.

Be Specific

Avoid colloquial phrases and abbreviations whenever possible, as this might add to the confusion.  Be mindful of cultural differences and time zones as well.  When technical recruiting companies plan to meet with clients or schedule phone calls, send an appointment reminder and meeting agenda if necessary.

Follow Up

The key to communicating when there is a language barrier is not just following up, but having multiple sources of contact within IT staffing agencies.  Sending a follow up email to recap your discussion and plans may just be important as the initial communication.  If there is any misunderstanding, the client or the technical recruiter can address it immediately.  Also, some candidates might prefer to be contacted through email versus phone or vice versa.

At first it might troublesome for an IT recruiter to discuss business when there is an impediment such as language and accents.  The more you do it, the easier it should become!  With the advances in technology and a degree of patience, hardships such as communication will eventually be eliminated.

The Doormat IT Recruiter

IT recruiting companies recognize technical recruiters who exceed expectations and consistently achieve goals.  These recruiters are hardworking, putting forth their best effort to fill IT jobs and eagerly accepting new challenges.  In the background, there is the doormat recruiter who is picking up the slack of his peers and always lending an ear.  He fears being disliked and is willing to sacrifice his work in hopes it will bring him closer to his co-workers.

Be Assertive

IT recruiters who cannot say no send the message that their time is not nearly as valuable as their co-workers’.  If a recruiter needs assistance, it is acceptable to extend help to an extent.  Do not allow the additional workload to become routine.  If the technical recruiter is too busy to offer assistance, do not be afraid to give a firm no or direct him to someone else within the IT recruiting agency.

Call People Out

If someone is constantly asking for favors or running late, do not be afraid to bring this to their attention.  Would this person return the favor?  Would they put up with tardiness if they were on the other end?  Technical recruiting companies run on tight, busy schedules so when something comes up, it generally causes a snowball effect and wastes others’ time.  Try to be flexible, but remind the person of their actions and your own responsibilities.

If a person becomes defensive when you cannot accommodate their request, politely ask them why it is necessary.  Rebuttals such as it will take two seconds, I forgot, or I just changed it are not legit reasons.  Respect your responsibilities, stick to the facts, and remind the offender that your time is just as valuable as theirs.

Stay Calm and Responsible

People pleasers can take a severe hit in the self esteem department.  Co-workers may feel the need to assign guilt or blame to doormats because they will take it.  Do not give into rude people as they seek to hurt others.  You cannot control another person’s actions, but you can choose to remain calm and not welcome negative thoughts and attitudes.

Claim Your Achievements

Own your achievements at IT recruiting firms.  If you choose to let others overshadow you, you will never be recognized for your success.  It might be difficult to engage in conversations you wish to avoid, but preparing and doing so will help build confidence.  State your opinion and be yourself.  You do not always need to agree and often people who stick to their opinions are most respected among their peers.

The goal is to have mutual respect for yourself as well as others!

IT Staffing Firms: The Best Friend of Candidates and Companies

Saves Time and Patience

IT recruiting companies save hiring companies the time and effort in researching applicants for IT jobs.  Without the hassle of sifting through resumes and weeding out candidates, human resources can refocus their attention to other areas.  Recruiters also help the company and applicants negotiate rates and contracts which might be sensitive topics for both parties.

Working with technical recruiters provides candidates with a direct contact for honest feedback and thorough interviewing schedule.  Applicants may feel more confident working with IT staffing companies because recruiters can offer tips and suggestions while also providing a source to hiring manages.  If an interview does not go well or a job is not a good fit, the recruiter can also make suggestions and recommend an applicant for other positions.

Saves Money

Because human resources will not need to concern themselves with the hiring process, the company can spend the allocated budget on other divisions within business.  Companies will not incur overhead expenses related to contacting prospective candidates such as technology and benefits to support IT contractors or technical staffing firms.  If the hiring company is successful with IT recruiting agencies, they will continue to utilize their services and save money long term.

Better Results

IT recruiters are specialized to seek out the most qualified candidates for their open positions.  They have been trained to ask all the right questions while finding those with the most relevant experience.  Human resources generally works alongside departments to find the best fit, but both HR and IT segments may be too busy to focus on the key criteria while conducting interviews.  Rather than rushing through the interviewing process, IT staffing agencies can help to refine the candidate pool by screening candidates and find the best fit.

IT recruiting may not be for everyone.  Some companies prefer to keep their staffing in house and not all candidates wish to work with a recruiter.  If you are new to the job market or a hiring company seeking alternative staffing methods, consider the opportunity to work with a recruiter!

IT Recruiting Cues: Choosing Your References

Do Not Sell Yourself Short

Chances are you have a number of skills, but when you choose only supervisors who witnessed your multitasking ability or worked with you on desktop maintenance you miss the chance to have others boast about your performance.  Prove to technical recruiters that you are qualified by spicing up your reference sheet with contacts who have witnessed all your strengths.

Consider the Questions

The point of the recommendation is to confirm you have the experience, knowledge, and skill to perform IT jobs. Research questions employers and IT recruiting firms tend to ask and consider who would provide the best response.  Never list contacts from positions that ended on bad terms and if you feel hesitant about certain references, do not include them as it might hurt your chances with IT staffing companies.

Ask for Permission

After you have narrowed your selection, contact your references and ask for permission to use them for a recommendation.  Not only are you asking for authorization to use their contact information, but you are also providing a heads up that you are actively seeking employment and that hiring managers or IT recruiting agencies will be contacting them in the future.

Keep References Informed

Keep in touch with your references so when you do reach out to them, it does not seem random.  If possible, provide them with a copy of your latest resume.  Connect with previous employers, co-workers, and IT recruiters on LinkedIn to keep them abreast of new positions or industries of interest.  See if you share a connection to the hiring company that may be able to provide a recommendation for you.  When you increase your network you open yourself up to more opportunities!

Stay Confidential

Keep references confidential and only provide them when interviewers or IT staffing firms request them.  You have been granted permission to use this contact information, but do not abuse it by including it with every resume you send to technical recruiting companies.  Finally, thank your references for their time.  Their kind words could land you the job!

IT Staffing Companies Take On Boston

IT recruiters Boston not only share the benefit of working with different clients and building networks, but they also have the city at their fingertips.  Technical recruiting companies should take advantage of what the city has to offer.  Here are some suggestions to have fun outside the offices of IT staffing agencies.


One of the perks of working in one of the oldest cities in the country is all of the historical landmarks and sites scattered throughout Boston.  Educate yourself with a walk along the Freedom Trail or visit a museum.  If you are not into the do-it yourself routine, take a guided tour such as the Boston Duck Tours.  Invite fellow technical recruiters to share the experience and build a bond outside IT recruiting firms.

Be Active

There are a number of ways to be physically active in Boston without wearing down your wallet.  The Frog Pond in the Boston Commons has public skating during the winter as well as a wading pool in the summer.  Take a stroll through the public garden as the flowers begin to blossom and sail or kayak the Charles River if you want to be more in touch with nature.

Retail Therapy

Faneuil Hall and Newbury Street are among the many hot spots for shoppers in Boston.  During a lunch trip away from IT recruiting companies, peruse the vast shops of Downtown Crossings. Walk through Haymarket to find numerous street vendors offering fresh produce at steal prices.

Fine Dining

Boston’s dining experiences are unlike any other.  Coordinate an IT recruiting lunch or dinner for co-workers to show your appreciation and to discuss your non-work related lives.  If you are short on time, there are plenty of small shops, from bakeries in the North End to ice cream shops scattered throughout Boston, you will not be disappointed.

Other Fun

There are plenty of other things to do in Boston.  Catch a Red Sox game or enjoy free concerts at the Hatchshell.  If the weather is not so good, see if the Celtics or Bruins are playing for last minute tickets or share drafts friends.  If you are more of a night owl, explore Boston’s diverse nightlife and find your niche.

The city does not need to be just your place of work, explore what you have been missing and share ideas and tips with another technical recruiter.

Too Personal in the IT Staffing Industry

Technical recruiters spend a majority of their day on the phone or meeting with potential candidates.  They are around people constantly and typically spend more hours in the office than they do at home.  When you work side by side with peers for at least forty hours a week your personal life is bound to come up, but what is too personal and how much should you share?

Burden with Information

Potential candidates may have a life story of why they are not working or wish to change IT jobs.  As a technical recruiter, lend an ear to their needs, but do not get caught up in their personal lives.  The same goes for an IT headhunter working with a client.  The relationship should remain objective and professional with a degree of comfort.

Talking too Much

IT recruiting companies are always buzzing with chatter, but when an IT recruiter is focusing more on their social life than work load it may affect others.  People who talk too much or too loud about irrelevant matters are an office distraction.  Rather than providing the constant attention and approval they seek, focus on your role and goals.  If the incessant gossip and talk begins to affect your performance, speak up before it becomes an issue.

Prying for Privacy

Technical recruiting agencies need basic information when working with clients such as their expectations, experiences, and desired roles.  If a recruiter begins to cross a comfort zone and push for more information than a client is willing to provide, it is best for the recruiter to explain why they need it.  If the client is still hesitant, the recruiter should abide by his wishes.  Privacy and trust are what makes for successful IT staffing firms and by respecting limits, you may win over more candidates.

Bad Impression

Prying for too much detail or divulging in details of your personal life puts a recruiter on a pedestal for judgment.  Technical recruiting companies want to come across as personal, but they should be weary of crossing the line from personal to unprofessional.  Rather than adding a candidate on Facebook, search their credentials on LinkedIn.  No matter how comfortable a recruiter feels with his candidates, he should respect privacy in order to maintain a good impression.

Naming a Company in the IT Staffing Industry

What’s in a name?  That which we call an IT recruiting company by any other name would work just as hard.  So the art of technical recruiting is not as elegant or dramatic as a Shakespearean play, but this borrowed line has a point.  What goes into naming technical recruiting agencies to identify them as IT recruiting companies, but that they also deliver a competitive edge?


Making a final decision on the name of an IT staffing company does not happen overnight.  Often, it is a long process ranging from weeks to even months.  Always research what your name means and ask others for their opinion.  Be sure that your name is not already trademarked and that it does not translate to something offense if you choose to expand your business internationally.  If necessary, seek professional resources or ask fellow technical recruiters for input.


Once you have created a list of desired names, narrow the selection to names that are both relevant and not obscure.  Trying too hard or being overly trendy could backfire as consumers will not understand what product or service you offer.  Likewise, a simple name can also be overshadowed by its competitors.  Avoid unusual spelling which can cause confusion and mispronunciation, losing a sense of the company’s identity.    Choose a name that both relates to your IT recruiters while also catching an eye.

Avoid Location

Unless IT staffing agencies plan on permanently focusing business in one location, drop any geographic tags to the company.  If you do use a name with a city and expand beyond its borders, the company could become confusing to consumers.  By avoiding names with geographic terms, you will not limit yourself to one region and maintain a standard business procedure.

Go with Your Gut

If you have strong feelings toward a certain name, go with your intuition.  You do not want to have remorse over a name that could define your values and business.  With your number one choice backed by your passion, go with it. You could regret not going with your number choice because one person did not agree so trust your instinct.

Willing to Change

Not all names are a perfect fit so do not be afraid to change it if you must.  Changing the name of IT staffing companies is an opportunity to rebrand the company, drive productivity, and get a fresh start.  One of the worst things you can do is stick with an unfitting name in fear of regret.

Five Interview Rules in the IT Recruiting Industry

1.       Prepare

When candidates work with technical recruiting companies, they help guide you through the interview process and increase your chances of landing IT jobs.  If you are unfamiliar with recruiting, draft a series of questions for IT recruiters to have a better understanding.

Research the company and hiring managers conducting the interview on your own time.  Take note of the company’s industry and news such as recent mergers or acquisitions.  Think of questions to ask during the interview, even if you do not have any.  Bring copies of your resume and references to the interview just in case.

2.       Look and Be the Part

After you have completed your research, choose two outfits.  Be sure that each outfit is neatly pressed and interview appropriate.  Do not worry if you are over dressed because it is better to look professional than sloppy or too casual.  During the interview, avoid talking too much about irrelevant information, but do speak enough to cover all questions and your related experience.  Think through your responses and answer with confidence.  Stay positive despite sensitive topics and never speak ill of a former employer or poor experiences with other IT recruiting companies.

3.       Non-verbal Communication

Non-verbal communication is just as important as the conversation.  During an interview remain focused and maintain eye contact.  Avoid distractions such as a cell phone by turning it off or leaving it in your car.  Try to ignore nervous habits and fidgeting.

4.       Be Honest

When an interviewer asks you a question and you are unsure of how to respond or do not have an answer, be honest.  Think through your response or explain you do not have experience in a certain area.  It is better to be upfront than caught in a lie later which will embarrass not only yourself, but also your IT recruiter.

5.       Follow Up

One of the most important aspects of interviewing is thanking the interviewer for his time.  Follow up with a personalized thank you to each interviewer and reiterate your interest in the position.  Try to send your thank you within twenty-four hours of the interview.  Do not forget to acknowledge the IT staffing firms and technical recruiters you work with!

The Foul Mouthed Technical Recruiter

What is a candidate’s first thought when he steps into an IT recruiting company and technical recruiters are tossing swears back and forth?  Is he impressed?  Does he join in?  While it might all seem in good banter to causally throw out a few expletives, one must keep in mind the consequences of his actions while working with technical recruiting companies.

Beats Stress

Swearing at IT recruiting firms might seem like a way to vent, but there are more professional ways to de-stress.  Instead of rattling off a few curses, take a breath or remove yourself from work.  Refocus your frustration to improve on your weak areas.

Seems Laid Back

Cursing during your conversation with an IT recruiter will be more casual, but this could back fire.  When you start using unprofessional language with technical recruiting agencies, they will reconsider you for their IT jobs.  Recruiters do not want their candidates to make poor impressions regarding their work.

More Persuasive

IT recruiters can seem more persuasive if they throw in a few swears in their spiel.  Remove swears and you have the same content.  There is no need to inflate dialogue with words that have no meaning.  Instead, enhance your vocabulary while impressing others.  Not only will you sound more intelligent, your language will be more tasteful, too.

Boosts Team Morale

Most IT staffing firms have some sort of rally or team pep talks to encourage IT headhunters to achieve their goals.  Adding swears can make these talks seem more serious and passionate, but in reality it sounds trashy.  Keep it professional and remember team objectives.

While a swearing taboo sounds outdated, it is the most professional way to conduct business.  IT professionals want to work with the most skilled, confident, and trustworthy recruiters, win clients over with your class, manners, and skill!