Monthly Archives: August 2012

Power Hiring in Technical Recruiting

Technical recruiters on top of their game understand that placing technical candidates within any industry isn’t just about matching a skill-set to an IT job description. There’s a lot more to consistently producing winning candidates who clinch IT jobs than pure background & skills. The IT recruiters who understand the issue of fit will be the one who comes out ahead in most cases.  Technical recruiters who consults mentors who have been in the staffing industry longer than themselves will find that they can learn from techniques developed by veterans of the industry — a practice known as benchmarking. Top performing IT recruiters Boston who have developed strong benchmarking strategies have a track record of success stemming from their ability to continually replicate the process of making strong information technology candidate recommendations that result in strong hires.

What are the secrets to identifying a high performer? A technical recruiter will have limited access to a candidate — perhaps communicating by phone & email, & sometimes in person, but for limited periods of time. With only a small window of time available to assess a candidate’s strength’s, weaknesses, personality, culture fit & potential red flags, a technical recruiter has to have an arsenal of pointed questions. An ineffective question is wasted time, so IT recruiters need to constantly analyze what each question they pose during screening reveals to them about the technical candidate. If even one question IT headhunters tends to ask an IT candidate doesn’t have a solid answer to this question, the question should be discarded. Time is of the essence, so a question that fails to bring new information to light takes up time both a candidate & IT recruiting companies can’t afford to lose. An efficient interviewing process is one example of a benchmarking strategy, but the best way to learn more is to network directly with IT staffing companies with high placement rates. Contact successful technical recruiters on Linkedin, or at tech networking events & ask them for their thoughts. The quickest route to achievement is to benefit from other’s trial & error, & resulting sucesses.

All IT Staffing Companies Are Not Created Equal

If you’re an information technology professional, you know that there are a countless number of IT recruiting firms to choose from when you’re in need help of your next assignment.  Therefore, when searching for the best technical recruiting agency to partner with, consider some of the following as not all IT staffing companies are created equal:

1)  How long has the IT recruiting firm been in business?
– Was the company created after the recent economic recession or did they make it through the downturn?   Unfortunately, or fortunately, recessions typically weed out the weaker technical staffing companies and only the strong survive.

2)  How many IT recruiters and/or IT staffing offices does the company have?
– This would be a good indication of the size of the IT staffing agency, and potentially the attention that you’ll receive.

3)  Google the IT staffing firms and find out what clients and prospective IT job seekers have written about them.  In the information technology age, there are a number of ways to get feedback.

4)  Do the IT staffing comanies have a vertical industry niche that matches your background or a strong footprint with local companies that you’re interested in working for?

IT Recruiters Should Prep Candidates For Counter Offers

Counter offers can be heartbreaking for IT recruiters.  After putting in countless hours into their IT search, meeting with prospective candidates, coordinating IT job interviews and helping streamline a new hire, having a candidate back out of a placement due to a counter offer can be very deflating.   To help ensure prospective candidates don’t blindside your technical recruiters, we suggest IT recruiting companies do the following:

1)  Provide training:  Teach your IT recruiters Boston how to properly roll out an offer.  Create a checklist that technical recruiters need ask a candidate when attempting to get their committment for a new IT job opportunity.

2) Be thorough:  When going through a “lock down” checklist, be as thorough as possible.  If they’re working, find out what their motivation is to leave?  Is it the commute?  People they work with?  Opportunity?  Financial stability of the company?  If the answer is yes to any of these questions, then even after a strong counter offer, the candidate’s situation will likely not change.

3)  Prep your candidates:  Every time IT headhunters roll out an offer to a candidate who is currently employed, be sure to prep them for a counter offer from their current client.

4)  Ask hypothetical questions:  IT recruiting agencies should make sure their technical recruiters ask hypothetical questions when preparing their candidates for counter IT job offers.  Examples of some hypothetical questions would be:  “What would you do if your company countered?”  “Is there anything your current company could do to keep you if you gave your notice?”  “Is there any financial number that would keep you from leaving?”

While prepping candidates for counter offers won’t guarantee the IT job seeker won’t turn down your opportunity after the fact, it certainly does help minimize the risk for technical recruiting companies.

IT Staffing Agencies vs Human Resources

For IT recruiting companies, human resources is a department that often sparks feuds and a source of friction.  However, in some cases, HR is actually a critical ally for IT staffing firms and various independent technical recruiters.  Here are two scenarious that provide positive and negative repercussions when HR and IT staffing companies collide:

Positive:  In many companies, all contract and permanent IT hiring is channeled through human resources.  Therefore, from the perspective of IT recruiting firms, getting to know the key HR figures is a key component to success for technical staffing agencies.  Furthermore, instead of getting to know every line manager, from the Help Desk to Applications Development, IT recruiters can focus their effort on building relationships with just a handful of key personnel in the Human Resources department to secure all open IT jobs.

Negative:  Some HR departments look at IT recruiting agencies as competition and fear their job may be on the line if they outsource too many high-tech positions to technical recruiting companies.  Therefore, it’s

Additionally, some HR departments are in an internal power struggle with the various IT managers and staff to get everything centralized.  Therefore, when IT staffing agencies circumvent HR and get information technology needs directly from hiring managers, this undermines everything they’re trying to do from a process persective.

Therefore, while HR and technical recruiters can work well with one another, and ultimately need one another, there can be friction in many situations.  IT recruiters Boston never know until they contact each new client as every company is different.

IT Recruiters Are Like Sports Agents

Ok, it’s a bit of a stretch, but you can draw a parallel between IT recruiters and sports agents.  Here are a three similarities between technical recruiters and movie/sports agents:

1)  Technical recruiters Boston represent their clients:  Whether an IT job seeker or a movie or sport star, you’re being represented by someone with a keen interest in helping you.

2)  IT recruiters Boston will promarket you to various technical job opportunities:  Whether your an Oracle DBA or a Java Developer, your IT recruiter will market you to their clients much like an agent markets their movie stars.

3)  IT staffing companies will help coordinate an IT job interview:  Similar to agents setting their clients up for casting calls or tryouts, IT recruiters MA will help get that ever-important first job interview.

Therefore, don’t rely upon sending resumes or searching for opportunities on your own.  Utilize a technical recruiter, or an agent, to help you land the opportunity of your dreams!

How IT staffing Companies Find Candidates

The majority of IT recruiting firms pay to access the top resume and IT job boards such as Monster, CareerBuilder, Dice and Net Temps.  The better IT staffing companies also have robust databases full of information technology resumes (any database over 100,000 resumes is typically considered pretty strong).

However, the best technical recruiters and IT recruiting agencies find candidates that aren’t plastered all over the job boards.  They find the passive IT job seeker.  To do this, IT recruiters Boston use the following techniques:

1)  Referrals:  Any strong IT recruiter will ask for a referral on every call to help build their pipeline of candidates.

2)  Linkedin:  This site has become a critical tool for IT recruiters MA.

3)  Networking Groups:  A great place to meet high tech professionals – especially with niche/specialty skill sets.

4)  Google and other search engines:  AIRS provides some great training for technical recruiters MA to put together string searches that will yield quality candidates who have their resume on various sites outside of the traditional technical job boards.

5)  Posting jobs:  Technical recruiters Boston will post jobs on as many niche/industry websites as they can find.

IT Recruiters or Technical Recruiters?

Is there really a difference between calling high-tech headhunters IT recruiters or techncial recruiters?  Not really.  IT obviously stands for information technology recruiting while technical staffing could also include engineering or other technical industries.  Either way, if you’re an information technology professional searching Google for IT staffing companies, it’s best to put IT recruiters into your search string versus technical recruiters (if you’re searching for a specific location, then obviously put the city name such as IT recruiters Boston or IT staffing agencies Boston).  If you’re an engineering professional, then it’s actually best to put engineering recruiters rather than technical recruiters.

Therefore, whether you’re a client looking for IT staffing resources or an IT professional looking for help with your IT job search, then just be sure to use the appropriate key words when you do a search.  This will help make your search, and the IT staffing firms that you call, as accurate as possible.

Just some advice from one of the leading IT staffing agencies in the US!

IT Job Interview No-No’s

What to do and what to say in an IT job interview are both age-old questions.  Take it from these IT recruiters, and adhere to the following list of no-no’s with any technical job interview:

1) Don’t be late:  While there’s no excuse for being late for an IT job interview (give yourself 2 extra hours to make it to an IT recruiting firm or client company), sometimes there are extreme traffic or public transportation delays out of your control.  If you’re faced with being late, contact your technical recruiters or interviewer immediately to let him or her know you’re running late.

2)  Don’t dress casually:  Even if you know the client is business casual or even less formal, first impressions are critical to any technical job placement.  Therefore, always play it safe and wear a suit (unless your IT headhunters or hiring manager tells you otherwise).

3)  Don’t  call the IT recruiters or interviewers by the wrong name:  Trick of the trade, ask for business cards after you sit down and place them in front of you based on where the technical recruiters or hiring managers are sitting.

4)  Don’t bad mouth a past employer or boss:  This not only makes you look bitter, it makes the technical recruiter or hiring manager question the real reason why you left your last position.  Also, it’s a small world, there’s always a chance the IT recruiters Boston or client knows that person (or worse is related!).

5)  Don’t leave the interview without asking what the next steps are:  While this isn’t a tragic error, our IT recruiters MA included this “don’t” to stress the importance of leaving with a follow up/timeline.  Try to close the deal while you have the opportunity to sit in front of the IT staffing agency or client company!

Can Facebook Help Your IT Job Search?

Everyone’s favorite social networking site, Facebook, plans to launch its own job board later this summer. The board will aggregate IT job postings from third-party sites and make them searchable to Facebook users. Considering the massive reach of the site, 955 million monthly active users, of which more than half are daily users, 552 million, the idea may seem like a dream for all IT recruiters, IT job seekers, employers or IT recruiting companies. Two debates are raised however on the effectiveness and appropriateness of Facebook as a professional IT job seeking and technical recruiting tool.

One fundamental question for Facebook’s potential new job board is how to publish open positions to its multitude of users. The site exists to promote social networking and while it may be one aspect of this, IT job searching is not the main reason people visit Facebook. If IT jobs were to solely take the form of ads on the side of the page, they could likely be ignored as most other ads on Facebook are. Another proposed idea is to include job postings directly in newsfeeds, using information in a user’s profile and timeline activity to match particular interests or skills. Considering the way we use Facebook, newsfeed job postings may be annoying and overlooked. Maybe Facebook should call up one of Boston’s top IT staffing firms and have our web designers and programmers create the solution.

As AVID IT recruiters Boston can tell you, matching the perfect candidates with our IT job openings is tough work. Considering my own carefully maintained Facebook profile and those of my many friends, it seems the information published by Facebook users may not provide the best source for matching technical jobs. Facebook profiles most often do not include extensive information about one’s professional experience, interests, or skills. Listing a workplace or position is not even a profile requirement.  Take a look at Facebook’s professionally minded step-sister, LinkedIn, on the other hand. LinkedIn by design is a means to display your information technology career information in detail and invite employers and IT recruiters MA to view it and reach out. A Facebook profile showcases very different aspects of one’s life – 1000s of pictures from college and your recent family trip, life updates and that great song you just listened to, rather than your project details at work.

There’s always the risk too of showcasing the wrong personal life details with the wrong professional contacts. People have failed interviews and lost jobs for precisely this reason. If Facebook users were to alter their profiles to make them more professional in nature and appealing to IT recruiting firms, by deleting those photos of you and your college roommates at the bar in matching pumpkin Halloween costumes (guilty) and adding complete professional resume details (boring) wouldn’t we lose the appeal and charm of our most beloved and addicting work distraction (just kidding, boss)?

LinkedIn was built as a professional networking site, allowing users to make connections with people they are not necessarily friends with, or may not even know personally, but who may provide insight into a desired career. We understand Facebook as a place for friends to connect and share socially with each other (even those 200 “friends” you’ve barely, or never, met but you still convince yourself it’s not creepy to look through every picture from their last trip to the beach.) While all IT job seekers should be using LinkedIn to connect with other IT professionals who offer networking opportunities and career advice, do you really want to “friend” your IT recruiter on Facebook?

IT Recruiters Monopolize the IT Job Market

There are so many IT recruiting companies Boston to choose from it can be overwhelming.  Due to the sheer volume of technical recruiters, it seems like virtually every information technology position from a client company has at least one IT recruiting agency working on it.  Therefore, knowing IT recruiting firms Massachusetts have a virtual monopoly on the local IT job market, prospective candidates should utilize IT staffing services.

When considering what IT headhunters to contact, see our blog posted on July 27, 2012.  You can start by simply doing a Google search for IT recruiters Boston or find a list of IT recruiting firms Boston on the Massachusetts Staffing Association website.  Given there are so many IT recruiters to choose from, be sure to find a technical staffing company that fits your needs and who you feel comfortable with.