Monthly Archives: April 2012

Review:”Technical Recruiting Success for IT Firms”

AVID Technical Resources reviews “Technical Recruiting Success for IT Firms” by Dawson.  In the book, Dawson speaks from his high level of success in technical recruiting, and his perspective as a technical staffing consultant. His recruiting techniques involve IT staffing secrets he has identified and developed over time. His check lists offer ways to run through a list of tips, and apply them to each IT candidate, leading to higher placement rates and higher chances of turning technical candidates into working technical contractors.

One challenge a technical hiring manager may face is difficulties maintaining exclusivity. In the competitive IT recruiting industry, other IT staffing agencies may seek to interfere with a headhunter’s exclusive job coverage. Dawson reveals techniques for protecting those exclusive relationships, and turning them into solid placements for good IT professionals. He also covers the art of negotiating rates, a key factor for a technical candidate’s contentment and likelihood of staying in a role on a long-term contract. He closes with tips on managing references, and interview strategies. Pick up this book for a thorough look at a technical recruiters’ task list!

Review: “Trend Watch List Extended – Your World In Their Hands – Converging Trends Driving Your Talent Strategy”

Talent professionals employed in the technical recruiting industry will find Vanderbilt’s book on important employment trends helpful for placing technical candidates in IT jobs that offer a great skill & culture match to the employer. “Trend Watch List Extended – Your World In Their Hands – Converging Trends Driving Your Talent Strategy” discusses how technical headhunters at AVID Technical Resources and other technical staffing firms can best capitalize on the IT recruities strategies that maximize the broader trends being reflected in the job market as a whole.

According to Vanderbilt, workforce strategies centered around changes in the job markets are some of the most key areas that technical staffers can focus in on to increase their performance levels. Vanderbilt terms the intense competition for job placement capital the “staffing war”. She reveals the tactics top IT staffing agencies will need to acquired to acquire and maintain a competitive edge. Recruiting companies that want to stay abreast of the latest technical recruiting trends will want to grab a copy of this book.

Review: “Secrets from a Body Broker: A Hiring Handbook for Managers, Recruiters, and Job Seekers”

Technical recruiters will find Rey’s book, Secrets from a Body Broker: A Hiring Handbook for Managers, Recruiters, and Job Seekers, packed with valuable tips for personnel management. She starts by revealing two secrets – Secret #1 is “Discrimination is the cornerstone of each and every hiring decision. This is because hiring decisions are personal decisions made by people, and people will discriminate, even at the most subconscious of levels”. Secret #2, she tells us, is “A large percentage of managers who are in charge of hiring have little or no formal training in interviewing and hiring process”. The takeaway for technical recruiters is that hiring decisions may not be based purely on technical credentials.

A technical recruiter specializing in headhunting may see a technical candidates’ resume as an ideal match for an open IT job he or she is trying to place, but the hiring manager may feel differently. Whether the IT position is a remote job, requires an in-person interview, or a series of phone interviews, fit matters. A technical hiring manager wants not just the skill-set, but also someone he or she can respect and work well with. Even for a remote IT job, communication between a hiring manager and technical candidate via email may still play a key part in the project completion process. A hiring manager’s priorities will be affected by bias — as Rey notes in secret number 1, and discrimination for some small imperfection in a technical recruiter’s mind, such as sub-par communication skills may be crucial for a hiring manager’s comfort levels when working with a technical candidate. For this reason, a marginally less-qualified technical candidate may be selected over a standout from a skill perspective, because there is more to the big picture in a role than simply qualifications.

It may seem frustrating to an IT staffer that predicting the success of candidates that seem qualified can seem as chancey as betting, but at the end of the day, that’s the game of the technical staffing industry, and IT recruiters just have to keep their batting averages as high as possible.

Review: “Managing Engineers and Technical Employees: How to Attract, Motivate, and Retain Excellent People”

In Managing Engineers and Technical Employees: How to Attract, Motivate, and Retain Excellent People, Soat discusses techniques technical recruiters can use for attracting strong technical candidates. Outstanding technical professionals seek desirable work environments. The takeaway for the technical headhunter seeking ideal candidates for top IT job openings is to determine what factors technical candidates most often consider to make a given job environment attractive. Using that ammo, a technical hiring manager can execute a smoother recruiting process, from phone screen to successful placement in a technical job. One of those key factors, Soat identifies, is not surprisingly, compensation.

A technical manager’s salary expectations will be specific and within a range, non-negotiable, so IT staffing firms that collect that piece of information accurately up front from a technical candidate will be in the best position to consider viable job matches. On the same note, technical company benefits packages will factor heavily into a technical candidate’s decision-making process. Lastly, Soat advises, top-tier technical talent seeks reputation. Technical candidates want to work for a company that not only has an excellent reputation from a work atmosphere standpoint, but also from a products and services perspective. Technical recruiters and IT staffing firms that know how to assess companies according to this criteria will have a better chance of knowing which IT positions to match top technical candidates with for a lasting fit. IT recruiting in the technical staffing industry is a matter of understanding what technical candidates are looking for, and what the firms that hire them want. Put those two pieces together, and you’ve got a win for technical candidates and hiring managers alike!

Review: “Invaluable Knowledge: Securing Your Company’s Technical Expertise”

Technical recruiters looking to step up their game will want to be sure to read Rothwell’s Invaluable Knowledge: Securing Your Company’s Technical Expertise, a guide to talent management strategies. Technical professionals in the recruitment industry will find the strategies useful for the day-to-day operations of a competitive IT staffing firm. According to Rothwell, the technical knowledge areas involve focus on very specific technical skill sets, so replacing a previously held role — a scenario technical recruiters routinely encounter — can present a challenge. He identifies this phenomenon as the need for “invaluable knowledge”, and discusses how to retain, train for, and transfer this type of invaluable knowledge so that it doesn’t get lost as IT role responsibilities change hands.

The specialist in technical skills is part of the talent cycle, starting with the hiring process, through the training experience, and finally, to the execution of the technical role requirements. The current technical professional filling a given role should fill the position with the expectation that the position will eventually be transferred to someone else, and document and communicate elements of the role accordingly. That way, a technical candidate who takes over when the prior role-holder moves up the career ladder will have a better. Doing so involves developing practical repeatable processes. As any recruiter in a technical staffing agency knows, the existence of repeatable processes is a key factor in successful transfer of responsibility. Talent strategy plays a central role in an IT staffing firms’ approach to technical recruiting, so recruitment specialists will find this book’s advice to be valuable knowledge. Filling IT jobs can have its complexities, and this book helps simplify them. Boston recruiters working in technical staffing companies can take note — as can technical recruiters in any territory.

Review:”Technical Screening – SQL Server Developer”

Obi Ogbanufe’s Technical Screening – SQL Server Developer helps technical recruiters develop a more efficient technical screening process for vetting candidates. The book discusses how to compare a technical candidate’s skills and background to the technical role requirements, and use cues in a candidates’ technical resume to best determine a match. One challenge Ogbanufe identifies for the technical recruiter is the issue of appearing confrontational when asking screening questions that ultimately determine whether or not the recruiter will get an interview with the employer. The nature of these types of questions is that they weed out the weaker links from the stronger ones, so offending a candidate accidentally by touching on a candidate’s technical limitations during the screening process is an easy mistake to make. The trick to preventing stepped-on feelings in technical candidates during the screening process is a technical recruiters’ savvy and diplomacy when delivering the questions. This book enumerates strategies and tactics to make conversations with the best technical candidates, as well as the not-so-best go smoothly. Technical Staffing Agencies can take cues from these concepts to make interviewing technical candidates a breeze.

The book also tackles the issue of efficiency. The IT Staffing Firm that can land more technical candidates in less time without sacraficing quality in the skills of the candidates submitted will make better use of company time than less-efficient IT Staffing Agencies. Technical Staffing Firms know that time is money, so time well spent means happy technical recruiters and technical hiring managers. If technical headhunting is a game of minutes, Ogbanufe shows how to best track those minutes to add up to hours that count. Technical recruiting companies will find tips in this book on understanding the job description of the SQL Server Developer more fully in order to best understand the type of technical candidate best suited to filling the role, and a guide to the technical terms most common in job descriptions for these roles. Finally, the book delves into the art  and science of building relationships with these technical candidates, and keeping the communication lines open. That’s something that anyone in technical recruitment will find valuable!

Review: “Hiring The Best Knowledge Workers, Techies & Nerds: The Secrets & Science Of Hiring Technical People”

Technical recruiters are in the business of  hiring for technical jobs. Their area of expertise is finding the best technical candidate for an open job position, and building relationships with the best techies on the market leads to success in the technical staffing industry. IT firms specialize in the “secrets & science” of hiring top technical candidates, and Weinberg’s book focuses on just that topic. According to him, technical people are great problem solvers. Determining which technical candidates are the best is an art that involves skills in job-description writing, candidate-sourcing, mixed-media ad creation, and more.

He covers how to review resumes efficiently and in a profitable way. He also delves into interview techniques that allow technical recruiters to interview a diverse technical candidate pool in a courteous and respectful way. The type of questions technical staffing firm reps ask technical candidates is a big factor in achieving the interview balance; another key part of the equation is how the questions are phrased. Phone screening the technical candidate is a key skill the IT staffing recruiter needs to get a handle on.  So is the reference check. He closes with tips on extending an offer. This book has everything recruiters at IT staffing agencies need to close the deal for their best technical candidates.

Review: “The Google Resume: How to Prepare for a Career and Land a Job at Apple, Microsoft, Google, or any Top Tech Company”

Technical recruiters know that a technical candidates’ resume speaks volumes.  Thus the ability to separate power resumes from weaker ones is key. IT recruiters who are familiar with The Google Resume will be doing themselves  favor when is comes to identifying strong technical resumes (and the candidates behind the resume). Gayle McDowell instructs technical candidates on the type of job experience, educational background and extra-curriculars that makes a candidate top tech material. Recruiters at IT staffing agencies can use the same information to identify the type of winning technical resumes that grab the attention of the best technical corporate employers, like Apple or Google.

IT recruiting companies looking to hone their technical staffing skills will find this book useful. McDowell’s advice is more than opinion.  As a former member of Google’s hiring committee, he’s not bluffing when he claims to know what top tech firms demand in a technical candidate.  The book’s behind-the-scenes look at tech companies gives technical recruiters a better idea of how to make a good fit between a technical candidate and employer based on knowledge of various tech firm’s corporate environment. Reading this book will make the technical recruiters at any IT staffing firm more competitive, and more successful at what they do: finding the right IT consultants.

Review: “Smart and Gets Things Done: Joel Spolsky’s Concise Guide to Finding the Best Technical Talent”

In the Concise Guide to Finding the Best Technical Talent, Joel Spolsky details the steps that go into interviewing top technical talent, and into finding that quality of technical candidates in the first place. He goes into the technical hiring process, how to extract information from tech-savvy candidates on their potential technical efficiency levels. He reveals that top-tier software developers are ten times more productive than average ones– a fact that IT recruiters with great connections to good IT jobs should take careful note of. Recruiting companies and IT Staffing Firms would do well to train all of their technical recruiters in this knowledge. Speaking from his technical experience working for years at Microsoft, he instructs in how to hire great technical programmers.

Aside from the IT staffing and technical interviewing side of the business, technical hiring managers deal with, technical recruiters work in professional environments with a strong team element, and Spolsky offers valuable advice recruiting firms can use to build a stronger, more cohesive work environment. He speaks to problem-solving for recruiting teams that aren’t delivering up to potential, keeping technical recruiters up-to-date with the latest phone screen techniques, and tips on sorting technical resumes. One chapter IT recruiters won’t want to miss is “The Guerrilla Guide to Interviewing”! If your passion is technical recruiting, you’re new to the industry, or work for an IT staffing firm, pick up a copy today and treat yourself to Spolsky’s technical expertise.

Review: “Breakthrough Technical Recruiting”

Ford’s Breakthrough Technical Recruiting offers IT Recruiters & Technical Hiring Managers advice for navigating the IT headhunting process. Ford speaks with authority from his own years of supervisors’ experience as a former recruiter, armed with technical recruiting strategies that led to high placement rates. Finding and identifying highly qualified technical candidates is a challenge Ford is familiar with and can provide perspective on across a variety of industries. His IT staffing secrets are priceless for the IT headhunter looking to step things up a notch, or for IT recruiting companies in the Boston area and beyond. His lucrative tips will serve IT staffing firms well.

Ford delves into interviewing strategies for technical recruiters that will help cut through the fluff and determine which IT candidate interview answers reveal stellar potential or a second or third-place contender. As every technical recruiter knows, generating viable leads is a cornerstone aspect of the IT staffing industry. IT recruiting companies need well-developed telemarketing tactics, and this book provides insight into this side of the business. Recruiting firms will find this book a valuable source of IT staffing information that will serve IT headhunters well over time.