Monthly Archives: November 2011

IT Recruiting Phone Etiquette

It is the end of a long work week and a technical recruiter has been glued to the phone.  After a much needed lunch break, he returns to his desk.  When his phone rings, he answers unenthused with an exaggerated yawn while snacking on chips.

Is this how IT recruiting companies typically manage their phone calls and portray the IT staffing company image?  Here are some tips for IT recruiters who may need a friendly reminder of proper phone etiquette.

Pay Attention

Phone calls with hiring managers and potential candidates may extend beyond the typical length of conversation, but have patience.  Never interrupt a speaker and remain calm while listening to what they have to say.  If the conversation becomes side tracked, direct it back to the point.

While multitasking is encouraged at IT staffing firms, do not be tempted to play with your cell phone or carry on a conversation with a coworker even if you are using the mute button.  The mute button should be used sparingly and never to speak poorly of the end speaker.  One quick slip up puts you at risk of offending the client and embarrassing yourself.


Because physical expressions are lost in pure verbal communication, focus on your tone of voice.  Answer the phone in a friendly manner while introducing your name and maintaining a sincere, positive attitude.  Never treat a call as if it were a burden, you never know who could be on the other end or listening.

When you are in a hurry, apologize in advance and try to listen to the caller’s main points.  If you must place a person on hold, ask for permission or notify the caller first.  Then, follow up in a quiet area when you have more time to speak.

Technical recruiters should avoid yawning on the phone as it can be misconstrued as the recruiter is bored with the conversation.  Try to avoid eating while on the phone as this is a distraction and irritating for the caller to hear chewing in their ear.  When you must yawn or eat, use the mute button.


If people from five cubicles away are complaining about an IT recruiter speaking too loudly, imagine how the person on the phone feels.  Speaking too softly or mumbling can be just as bad as yelling during a conversation.  Annunciate your words and speak slowly at an appropriate volume. Be sure the listener can hear you as well.  If on your cell phone, tell the caller in the event of lost service or bad connection.

It can be easy to forget proper phone etiquette, especially after a long day.  When you find yourself or others are beginning to slip up, coach your way through it!

IT Recruiters Prepare for the Winter

The trees have lost their vibrant colors and look skeletal in the park.  There is a bitter cold frost brewing in the air.  With the first week of December upon us, IT recruiting companies are aware of the winter pangs.  How can technical recruiters bear the dipping temperatures as winter approaches?  Read on for some helpful tips!


Winter is the perfect opportunity to splurge on high quality wool pea coats or down jackets.  Dress up the coats and jackets with hats, scarves, and gloves for extra warmth.  Invest in water proof snow boots to combat the impending blizzards.  Try to dress in layers so you will be comfortable both outside and inside the IT recruiting office.


The winter is an excellent time to utilize public transportation, especially if you are weary of driving in less than desirable circumstances or wish to avoid shoveling.  If you must use your car, make sure it is up to winter driving standards. Check your car to ensure it is prepared for the winter and ice with snow tires, proper brakes, and plenty of gas, antifreeze, and windshield wiper fluid.  Pack an emergency bag in your trunk in the event of a roadside emergency.

Stay Active

Exercise has been proven to boost one’s mood, so do not use the dark and dreary cold as an excuse to be lazy or catch the winter blues.  Invite a fellow IT recruiter for a weekend ski or snowboarding trip.  Get your daily dose of vitamin D by walking with a technical recruiter during lunch when the sun is at its peak of the day.   Take outdoor activities such as running and biking indoors to the gym.  If you choose to continue  fitness outside, dress appropriately for the dark and temperature.

There are plenty of other ways for technical recruiting agencies to stay warm during the winter.  Grab coffee or tea with candidates and hiring managers or bake for the IT staffing office.  Remember, when you feel the winter blues sneaking up on you remind yourself spring will be here before you know it!

Are IT Recruiters too Tech Savy?

For a technical recruiter, imagine a day without your phone.  Then, picture your day without electricity at IT staffing companies.  Would you be able to survive the full work day?  Are technical recruiters simply taking these things for granted or are IT recruiting companies too dependent on technology?

There are benefits to the convenience of technological advances as they save society time, money, and provide a constant means of contact.  But as it continues to progress, are IT staffing agencies beginning to experience more faults than anticipated?

Lack of Formal Communication

If an IT recruiter or candidate is struggling to have a conversation in person or on the phone, they may rely too heavily on email and texting.  A solid relationship cannot be based solely upon text messages and email exchange.  This form of communication neglects tone and expression which convey character and personality.  Also, this method of contact provides users the options to put off responses or ignore communication all together.


Do you check your phone during meetings, IT job interviews, and conversations with potential candidates or hiring managers?  You might be capable of multitasking, but in this instance you are paying more attention to one party than the other.  Even devices that are supposed to help you such as a GPS could distract you from safety.  Next time you are on the phone, minimize your windows or put down your cell phone and thoroughly listen.  If you are meeting in public, pay full attention to the speaker and react appropriately to what they have to say.

Too Many Excuses

Miss a call?  I did not have service.  Miss an email?  It did not go to my inbox or went to my spam.  I just received your message, sorry for the delay and is it too late?  IT recruiting agencies have heard all the excuses with technology to blame.  Technology is not one hundred percent reliable even with a back up in place.  Often when it fails, there is a significant amount of catch up work to follow.  In the event of a disaster such as a data failure, is it really worth it?

The Wheels Stop Turning

When you have a device doing more than half the work for you, you are not forced to think.  Your logic and reasoning skills will soon dwindle as you look to technology to provide you the answer.  Also, you will lose a sense of creativity because the machine will give you a solution.  You will no longer need to experience events or new places as others’ opinions may persuade you.

Not all technology is not necessarily a bad thing.  While it may help our community, it can also backfire so use it wisely!

IT Recruiting: Social Media Hindering Chances of Employment?

Most of us do not think twice when using Twitter to update statuses or post new profile pictures on Facebook.  We routinely monitor our activity to keep pages clean and work friendly.  But as a candidate, is your page being used against you?  Technical recruiters, do you ensure not to discriminate when filling positions?  IT recruiters and applicants need to be weary of these potential hardships social media imposes on candidacy.

Unintended Discrimination

Upon reviewing a resume, a technical recruiter notices the applicant is an alumnus of his college.  Immediately, the IT recruiter feels a connection and is favorable of this candidate.  He opens a new tab and looks at the candidate’s Facebook and LinkedIn to view his contacts and friends.  The IT headhunter begins to create judgments and puts the applicant’s resume aside.

Before reaching out to this candidate about his background and experience, this recruiter was biased by a mutual connection.  This relationship moved the candidate forward among his peers, but the recruiter did not like his circle of friends so it also backfired.  While this seems to be an immature approach at weeding out applicants, it happens more often than one would think.  To be safe, IT headhunters should avoid the temptation of judging and favoritism when researching potential new hires.

Too Personal

A hiring manager searches a candidate on Google and discovers the candidate’s Twitter.  He notices the candidate tweets at least twice per hour about controversial and personal matters that some may find offensive.  The hiring manager crosses him off his list.

When a candidate is running his mouth, exposing confidential information, or sharing too personal information, hiring managers may reconsider their choice or snub the applicant all together.  You may be a different person on the internet than in the office, but you could miss the opportunity to prove yourself by this slip up.  As difficult as it may be to make all information private, be mindful of your actions and share your objectionable opinions with only those who choose to subscribe to your tweets.

Overlook Most Qualified

An IT staffing rep decides to utilize social networking sites over LinkedIn and the typical Monster.  He posts his open IT jobs on sites such as Facebook and Twitter.  He has an overwhelming response, but none seem to be the right fit.

By limiting himself to just social networking sites, the recruiter could be missing the most qualified candidates.  Rather than just using these sites, he could expand his candidate pool by including them within his resources.

New social media sites are popping up daily and seem to be a trend that will not be dying down any time soon.  Using them as a means to expand your network is a way to help speed along the hiring process, but do not forget that sometimes the traditional method can be just as effective, if not better!

Thanksgiving Travel Tips for IT Recruiters

What is there to not enjoy about Thanksgiving?  This holiday grants technical recruiters a day off from the IT staffing office to spend time with family and friends while enjoying plenty of food, parades, and football.  While travel conditions are not ideal as traffic congestion reaches its peak, here are some tips for the IT recruiter to not only enjoy his holiday, but also survive the journey to reach his Thanksgiving destination.

Car Planning

A majority of Thanksgiving travelers opt to drive when traveling.  Try to plan ahead by taking into account at least two hours of traffic if you must leave on Wednesday.  Leaving on Tuesday night and returning on Friday is bound to save you time as most travelers leave Wednesday and return on Sunday after a long weekend.

Living in New England, IT recruiters Boston cannot predict perfect weather conditions so ensure your wind shield wipers perform correctly and replace if necessary.  Check tire air pressure, oil, and the engine.  To save a few dollars, fill your gas tank early.  Worst case scenario, print back up directions in case your GPS is not cooperating to save a potential head ache later.

Air Line Planning

Avoid the long lines at the airport by checking in online and packing only essential items in a carryon bag.  Airline fees can add up for additional baggage, so consider shipping items if necessary.  Finally, plan to leave extra early to ensure you arrive at the airport on time and do not miss your flight.  Planes tend to be full so changing your flight may delay your trip further.

Staying at Home

If you are not the one doing the traveling, take a breather and rest a little easy.  Offer to help those who will be your guests with travel arrangements and make their visit as pleasant as possible.  Start preparing the meal early and use your IT recruiting skills to gather help so Thursday will not be as stressful.  Lastly, enjoy the leftovers and some Black Friday shopping!

Remember, not all IT recruiting companies and candidates have the Friday after Thanksgiving off.  IT headhunters should be ready and willing to make or take calls and concerns from their IT consultants.

IT Staffing Agencies Favorites: Friend or Foe?

Most IT staffing firms have the office favorite that strives beyond the required work to win over not only other technical recruiters, but also their clients, candidates, and hiring managers.  Their work is superior to the standards of IT recruiting companies and consistently accepts and meets challenges with outstanding value, feedback, and performance.  Are these workers inspirational or toxic to IT recruiting company morale?


By having an IT staffing rep set the bar for performance, one will have an understanding of the realistic expectations from managers.  If one experiences difficulty achieving his goals, he may be less intimidated to reach out to the office favorite for suggestions or tips rather than his supervisor.  These outstanding performers have the ability to make advancements during their career and can offer mentoring to employees who need extra help or push.  Also, by observing how the office favorite is treated among his peers, other employees will work to meet their potential.


Workers may become apathetic in terms of improving their skills and output if they consistently hear how one employee is carrying the team.  Because they are less likely to be acknowledged for their effort, they may become unenthusiastic and lose a drive for improvement.  Worse, these unmotivated employees may resent the office favorite for making them feel and appear incompetent by comparison.

For the Future

Rather thin pinpointing an exceptional employee, managers should recognize all outstanding work.  If a technical recruiter significantly improves one quarter, acknowledge and commend him for his hard work.  When an IT recruiter makes an effort to advance, but fails to meet his goal, provide feedback and areas to tweak in order to make progress.  Only mentioning mistakes and poor performance is bound to bring down the atmosphere of IT staffing companies.  Remember that teamwork is a group effort, so all responsibilities apply to IT headhunters, not just the superstars!

IT Recruiting: Did You Blab through Your Interview?

During your last IT job interview did the timeframe go from the anticipated one hour to two or three hours?  You may leave thinking you won the hiring managers over, but think again.  If you were doing most of the talking and managers seem disinterested, this is generally not a good sign.  Some IT candidates might speak more when they are nervous or have so much experience on their resume they do not know where to begin.  Here are some suggestions for maintaining confidence and control while not spilling too much detail during any upcoming interviews for IT jobs.

Prepare Your Questions and Answers

Look up typical interview questions and prepare your answers along with relevant examples.  When you have finished, practice by having a mock interview with a family member, friend, or IT recruiter and, if necessary, time your responses.  You do not want to provide too much detail to the point where you bore the hiring manager or technical recruiter, but you also do not want to leave out any important experience.  Ask for honest feedback and weed out any unrelated material by sticking to the point.

Take a Breath

In order to qualify for a position, you must communicate why your experience and skills are ideal for the role.  Almost everyone becomes nervous when they are put on the spot and rushing through their speech is a common occurrence.  Rather than flying through your spiel, annunciate each word and pause to check for the attention of IT recruiters and hiring managers.  This pause will also indicate you have made a point and allow them to comment or ask for further detail.

Look for the Signs

If the hiring managers appear to be bored, wrap up your response and wait for the next question.  When a manager stops taking notes, move the interview on to the next stage for new material. Checking the clock could indicate they are short on time, so get to the point!

Other Advice

Speaking too much during an interview may indicate to IT staffing companies and hiring managers that you are easily distracted or may talk too much on the job.  Also, by not letting managers or technical recruiters get a word in you are being disrespectful and frustrating which most coworkers cannot handle in the IT staffing office.  Interviews only provide a glimpse of who you are as an employee and your experiences so make use of the time with valid, relevant points.

The One Upper IT Recruiter

We have all had the pleasure of meeting someone who feels the need to one up your situation, whether a positive or negative experience, with one of their own.  This technical recruiter or candidate might not mean to trump you with their IT recruiting anecdote or hardship, but soon enough your original point has vanished and you are discussing their life.  You might be the offender and not realize it!  In either situation, read on for ways to manage this common conversation killer at IT staffing companies.

The Offender

Upon hearing the miseries or accomplishments of fellow technical recruiters, does your mind immediately go to an experience of your own?  Do you become so excited that you feel you must follow up with a story of your own?  If so, ask yourself if your story brings any value to the others at IT staffing firms.

You may be trying to lighten the mood or have candidates feel better about their situation, but most people prefer and appreciate a solid listener in conversations.  Be empathetic or congratulate other IT recruiters. If you must tell a story of your own, make sure there is a smooth transition or it at least offers a valuable lesson and does not take positive attention from the original storyteller.

The Victim

Nearly everyone encounters this type of person and whether they are aware they do it or not, bite your tongue and have patience.  Trying to counter their trump with one of your own is stooping to their level.  Find humor in their situation and try to maintain an upbeat attitude.  If you absolutely cannot handle or stand the one upper, then remove yourself from the situation and avoid this person at the IT recruiting company.  It will save you the aggravation and keep you in a positive mood!

IT Staffing: Is a Small Company for You?

As candidates seek new career opportunities, they have the opportunity to choose from large corporations or small businesses.   While most are easily swayed by the aura of a prominent brand name, they may not realize the benefits they pass up from snubbing the smaller corportations.  Here are some reason IT contractors should consider working with the little guys.

Part of the Team

Smaller companies tend to be teams working together to reach a common objective.  Each IT headhunter plays a crucial role toward the process of achieving that goal through teamwork and an individual strive.  Working side by side, technical recruiters are bound to develop more personal relationships than the standard IT recruiting connection.  Also, because employees in a small IT staffing company work in such a tight knit group, workers have the opportunity to voice suggestions and provide honest feedback to management.

Tangible Results

The efforts of a technical recruiter are more likely to be noticed at small technical recruiting companies than at a larger corporation.  He will have the opportunity to see how his work contributes to a project and its final output.  IT headhunters can also help to implement new policies if the company is flexible and standards are not already in place.

Learning Experience

Most emerging companies perform on the trial and error process.  IT recruiters must be ready to step outside of their comfort zone, make mistakes, and take on additional responsibilities.  The benefits to employees are they are exposed and cross trained to different departments and forced to find a drive for inner creativity.

Is it the Right Atmosphere for You?

As an IT contractor, are you ready to on the risk?  Not all emerging businesses are guaranteed successes, but if the company thrives, you will be taken along for the ride.  Likewise, if it fails, you will experience the downfall and disappointment.  Are you ready for additional responsibility?  The words “not my job” are rarely used at small companies.  You must be willing to take on more than your fair share of work to succeed at the company.  Finally, if you are not willing to work in a team, emerging corporations are not the place for you.

Not everyone is cut out to work in a small company, but part of finding out is being involved in the experience!

IT Recruiters Learn to Recover from Mistakes

If you are human, chances are you have made a mistake.  Some oversights can be easily mended and forgotten, but what about ones that have lingering effects?  How do technical recruiters handle an error that not only affects their work, but also others within IT staffing firms?  Here are some tips for IT headhunters who wish to remain responsible and confident while recovering from a serious mistake.

Take Control

When you notice a mistake at an IT recruiting firm, do not wait for others to confront you nor play the blame game.  Rather than looking for someone to attribute the guilt and shame, stick to the facts and confront those who will be affected by your actions using “I” statements.  Think of reasons why the mistake occurred and how it could have been prevented to piece together a solution.  Notify others at the IT staffing firm with an outline of the issues along with a plan.  They may be able to help you find a resolution.

Fix the Problem                                                                                                                      

The sooner you approach the problem, the faster it will be resolved, so do not procrastinate.  Consider all outcomes as you devise a plan.  After you have developed a strategy for the solution, implement it.  Do not be afraid to ask fellow IT recruiting reps for help along the way, too. Fixing the problem is a learning experience because you will know what not to do in the future.  The mistake has already occurred, so the worst should be over.


When all is settled, reevaluate the situation.  You should learn from your experience, whether it be what to do or not to do and how to prevent a mistake such as this in the IT staffing industry and technical recruiting firms.  Try not to beat yourself up too much about it either.  Everyone is human and has mistakes from time to time, but what matters most is how you overcome the challenge.