Tag Archives: IT recruiting agency

Submit Your Resume to An IT Recruiter or Client?

You see an IT job posting for a company that you’re very interested in working for – then you see the same position posted by various IT recruiting companies.   Who do you submit your resume to and do you submit to mulitple IT recruiters.  The answer might surprise you.  Submit your resume to the technical recruiter at the IT recruiting firm that is most reputable and/or you have a relationship with.  Here’s why:

1)  Submitting directly to the client could go into an HR black hole.  Remember that not HR are trained to recruit on IT jobs.  Therefore, even if they receive your resume, they may not know whether your a fit for the position.

2)  Once you submit your resume directly to the client, you’re “their property.”  Therefore, if IT recruiters Boston try to submit you thereafter, the company could reject it (then never even contact you).

3)  The IT staffing company may have a relationship with the direct hiring manager.  Therefore, by working through the IT recruiting agency, your resume may not only go directly to the source, the IT recruiter may be able to pursuade the IT manager to speak or meet with you based on their relationship.

Therefore, working directly with IT recruiting agencies is your best chance of landing that next information technology opportunity.

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.

Review: Technology Made Simple for the Technical Recruiter

Technical Recruiters will find “Technology Made Simple for the Technical Recruiter: A Technical Skills Primer” by Obi Ogbanufe helpful for developing recruiting strategies and tech skills. AVID Staffing Firm employs IT Recruiting techniques covered by Ogbanufe in her book. Details she delves into include basic programming terms, networking tips, & operating system/network vocab. She even instructs on the art of knowing when a prospective candidate seems to be claiming levels of experience above what’s  present in their work background.

IT Staffing Agencies like AVID Technical Resources will do well to take note of Ogbanufe’s insight and advice. Her experience and familiarity with the topic can be of value to any technical recruiter looking to brush up on a rookie skillset, or polish a seasoned technical career. In an industry that changes at lightning speed, keeping on top of acronyms is key for technical recruiters, and they’ll find the latest and most thorough information in this book. Pick up a copy of ” Technology Made Simple for the Technical Recruiter: A Technical Skills Primer” today, and get smarter!

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!

Fake It Till You Make It—Poor Advice?

A component of setting goals is having the confidence to achieve them.  A number of people rely on the old saying “fake it till you make it”, but is this proper advice when your goals and responsibilities as an IT recruiter involve others?  You do not want to mislead people into believing you are fully capable of taking on responsibilities when you are not prepared.  Rather than “fake it till you make it”, here is some advice to help guide you to achieving your goals.

Be Honest

When you do not know the appropriate procedures or answer to someone’s question never make up an answer.  If you provide a wrong answer, not only will you embarrass yourself when you have to follow up with the correct advice, you will also lose the trust of the other party.  Some IT staffing representatives fear prospective clients will sever ties when they do not have all the answers, but what clients respect more is someone who takes the time and effort to research their concerns and address them in a timely manner.

Ask Questions, Write Down Answers

Asking questions is strongly encouraged, especially when you are a new hire.  Managers become alarmed when you do not ask questions because it is a sign you are going off your own instinct.  Until you feel comfortable doing things your own way, follow procedure.

Technical recruiters conduct a majority of their work over the phone.  Having a training manual handy will help you when a client asks you an unexpected question on the call.  If you do not have the answer at your finger tips, ask the client if you can put them on hold while you find out the answer for them.  When you ask questions, write down the answer as a guide to help you the next time you encounter this problem.

Follow Up

IT recruiters work with a number of clients, so it is important to not let any clients slip through the cracks.  Nothing is more frustrating than waiting on an unreliable person who never gets back to you.  Maintain your work and always follow up, even if it is just to say hello and see how things are going.


Once you feel you have the hang of things at your IT recruiting agency, ask your supervisor to share a review with you.  This review will reflect your accomplishments and what you need to work on.  You are your own worst critic, let someone else point out your achievements and soon you will make it without having to fake it!

Common Mistakes in the IT Recruiting Industry

You may be a technical recruiter or you may be seeking IT jobs.  Wherever you stand, if you feel like you are pitching without reeling in any buyers, it’s time to reevaluate your strategy.  Take a step back and focus on what is working and pinpoint your weaknesses.  Here are some common mistakes in the IT staffing world:

The Sloppy Grammar and Poor Spelling Candidate

Coming across a resume that is filled with grammatical errors and typos is an eye sore for IT recruiters.  Typically, technical recruiters will toss your resume aside and find someone who knows how to communicate their skills in writing.  Clean up your resume so your experiences, skills, and achievements are clear.

Flip Side: The Sloppy Grammar and Poor Spelling Candidate

            Most candidates will not trust an IT staffing representative that sends emails with typos and grammatical errors.  Job seekers may see this as a sign that the staffers do not take their work seriously… and IT recruiters work is finding the right person for a position which directly involves the job seekers!

The Vague or Convoluted Candidate

If an IT job seeker lacks communication skills, he cannot properly explain his skills, experiences, and how they pertain to the position.  At the same time, do not downplay or fail to mention experience and skills as these are key components that sift candidates from the applicant pool.  Keep it concise, but with the right amount of information.

Flip Side: The Vague or Convoluted IT Recruiter

Just as the candidate should be clear with his resume, IT staffing firms should properly articulate the skills, tasks, and qualifications of each role they are filling.  A candidate might feel the IT headhunter  is being condescending in his tone or choice of words.  At the same time, the IT staffing representative should avoid being too laid back, using slang or being overly wordy.  Choosing simplicity with an upbeat attitude and enough detail is best for both parties.

Coming on too Strong

Having a candidate that wants to be your best buddy when you are a technical recruiter is flattering…until it starts to affect your work.  Your IT staffing representative is there to provide assistance and answer any questions you might have.  Building a relationship with your recruiter is essential to fulfilling your needs, but try to keep it on a friendly, yet professional level.

Flip Side: Coming on too Strong—IT Recruiter

When your inbox and voice mail are cluttered with messages from your recruiter about open positions, it can become overwhelming and an annoyance—especially when you are not qualified for these openings.  If your recruiter is coming on too strong or pressuring you into positions that do not fit your skill level or interests, it’s time to be honest.  Tell them what you specifically want and if they do not follow your wishes, it might be time to move on with another IT recruiting agency.

The Disappearing Candidate

When your recruiter contacts you, be sure to provide a prompt response.  Never leave questions open or ignore your recruiter, even if you are not interested in the position or have possibly found employment. Provide updates and express your opinion so they do not waste their time and annoy you in the process.  Also, make sure it’s a two sided relationship.

Flip Side: The Disappearing IT Recruiter

            Imagine the frustration and disappointment when an IT staffing representative contacts you about a position you are interested in, builds up anticipation, and then never contacts you again.  This is one of the reasons recruiting gets a bad rep.  Always keep in touch with your candidates.  If an upcoming position has budget constraints or is canceled, inform your clients and keep them in mind for other positions.  Return phone calls and all messages, never leave a candidate in the dark!

For more tips on working with recruiters, visit AVID’s Working with a Technical Recruiter page!

Organize the Night Before an IT Job Interview

Take 1: It is 8:45 am on a Monday morning.  Your interview is at 9:15 am.  One slight problem… your printer is jammed and you cannot print the latest copy of your resume.  You were going to research the IT recruiting company before you left.  You rip the pages from the printer and trip out the door to your car.  On your commute you realize you do not know the name of the IT recruiter. You quickly jot down two questions on the back of your crinkled resume.  Flustered, you enter the lobby of the IT staffing agency with one minute to spare.  At 9:15 am, you hang your head and enter the IT job interview.

Don’t let this be you!  In the world of IT staffing, we live by Murphy’s Law: Anything that can go wrong will go wrong!

Quite the pessimistic view, but if you are in this position you’ll wish you had been better prepared.    Our AVID technical recruiters make it a point to ensure that you do not find yourself in this situation.  AVID IT recruiters  take the time to reach out to you and provide tips from tweaking your resume to interview prepping.

Here are just some key tips for your interview:

–          Always wear a suit and iron the night before: You never get a second chance to make a first impression!  Even if you are overdressed for the IT recruiting firm’s environment, you’ll still look good and you will feel it, too.  Having a back up outfit doesn’t hurt either.

–          Research the night before and write down your questions:  You will look prepared and have you questions answered.  Make note of recent press releases, the hiring staff will see your interest in the IT recruiting company.

–          Know your resume:  Always make sure your resume is up to date and includes all relevant experience.  Be prepared to answer questions about employment gaps or responsibilities.

–          Take the commute:  Research your commute to your interview at least a day in advance. Take the drive, take the train, or walk it the day before and be sure to time it.  Leave yourself enough time to arrive 15 minutes early for the interview.

Take 2: It is 8:00 pm on Sunday night.  You are prepping for the interview with the technical recruiting firm.  You are ironing your suit and a back up outfit just in case.  You research the IT recruiting agency, their technical recruiters, and latest press releases, writing down questions and thoughts.  You are flipping through your notes, reviewing your resume and remembering all of your interview tips.  You pack your bag the night before.  You’ve done the commute and spare yourself an extra fifteen minutes to arrive early.  Next morning, you arrive fifteen minutes prior to your interview as expected with a clear mind, no worries.  You walk in, looking sharp and present your values and experiences.  Your technical recruiter calls you the next day with good news!

For more tips, visit our interview tips page!

What Salary Should You Ask For As An IT Recruiter

The big question that many prospective IT recruiters are faced with after their final interview with an IT staffing company is what salary should they demand.  Since the key to most IT recruiting companies is their commission plans, the appropriate salaries can vary.  Therefore, technical recruiters must take a number of factors into consideration:

  • Commission Plan:  This is the most critical piece of any compensation plan.   IT recruiters Boston who are confident in their work ethic and ability will want an aggressive commission plan.  This in turn, would translate into a lower salary (as ideal as it would be, you can’t have both).  If you’re an aggressive technical recruiter, then you’ll want an aggressive plan.  If you value work/life/balance, then find an IT recruiting firm who is heavier on the front end (salary).
  • Additional bonuses and/or stock:  Does the IT recruiting agency provide any additional bonuses or incentives?  Annual bonus?  Stock sharing plan?  Additional vacation time?  These are all things that IT recruiters need to know before deciding on a fair and equitable salary.
  • Insurance plan & other company contributions:  In today’s age, health insurance rates are through the roof.  Therefore, take a look at what out-of-pocket expenses you might incur with your plan.  What percentages of your health insurance will the IT staffing firm pay?  Would the money be withheld pre or post-tax?  Is there a 401k match?  A disability or life insurance plan?  All these factors will have an effect your salary requirements.
  • Vacation policy:  Holidays are scarce in the IT recruiting industry as technical staffing firms must be open if there is a chance any of their IT consultants are working.  Therefore, knowing you may only receive 5-6 holidays, dig into your vacation time.  IT recruiters Boston work hard; therefore it’s critical to have some time off to rest and recharge the battery.
  • Volume of requirements:  Outside of compensation, this is the most critical factor to success for technical recruiters.  Simply put, does the IT recruiter have enough qualified job orders to make money?  Dig into req volume; fill ratios and other metrics that will help you gauge the realistic opportunity for you to fill positions.
  • Company growth & opportunity:  Unless your career aspiration is to be a life-long technical recruiter, you’re going to want to know about the potential to move upwards within the IT recruiting firm.  Is there an opportunity to run the IT staffing branch?  A regional role?  Training other IT recruiters Boston?  Dig into the potentials, and then ask for real-life examples of people who have been promoted into these roles.
  • Personal experience:  Of course your own personal experience and past IT recruiting production numbers are a huge component that will help drive your salary requirements.  Your past annual revenue numbers can drive your market value up or down based on productivity.
  • Personal bills & expenses:  Figure out the amount of money you will need to live comfortably.  This should be your bottom line in terms of salary.  Next calculate how much you would ideally like the IT staffing agency to pay you.  Make sure that is not unrealistic and competitive.  You may not be sure what you are worth or what salary the hiring managers are willing to pay.
  • Competitor Comps:  If you can find salaries and hourly rates of the job you are interested in, you can compare them with other IT recruiting companies Boston.  This will allow you to find an average salary range for the IT recruiting position based on the current economic climate.

Counter-offers in the IT Recruiting Industry

It’s counterintuitive, but counter-offers are almost always counterproductive for your career.

Sure, it’s an ego boost, but a backhanded one, when you think about it, no?  If you were so valuable to the technical recruiting company all along, how come you had to quit to get your IT staffing company to realize it?

The simple answer is that most IT recruiting companies don’t have to be proactive in this labor market. They can coast because the demand for talent isn’t that hot and there are lots of unemployed IT professionals out there.  There’s no need to spend extra money unless the company is forced to do it.  That must be the case because they’ve made you a counter-offer.  It looks like you’re in the driver’s seat now.

But you’re not.  You just think you are.

If you take a counter-offer, and then kick back, it’s likely that you’ll be kicked out.

The reason that most IT recruiting firms make counter-offers is so that they – rather than you – are in control of the timetable for transition.  When someone resigns, the general rule is a two week notice period (a month or longer for those in IT staffing management roles.) That means the IT recruiting agency has to scramble to find a replacement for the role you’ve been filling.  Chances are that it’s going to take longer than that to find a candidate who’s going to be a good fit.

That’s why they’ll give you more to stay around.  While you’re basking in the satisfaction of receiving more money and/or a better title, your boss may well be reviewing resumes and taking his or her time to interview replacements. When they  find that particular candidate, you’ll be history.  It’s a nasty surprise for the unaware.

You might think that being eliminated would be the worst thing that can happen if you take a counter-offer, but you’d be wrong.  The worst thing is that you stay, and are – from now on – untrustworthy…disloyal…or an extortionist.  It depends on the way your boss views your actions.

The end result is, no matter how you behave in the future, you’ll always be regarded with suspicion.  You’ve already shown that you’re ready to leave, so management will be waiting for you to do it again.  You’ll be at the bottom of the list for promotions and good assignments.  Training?  Why would a company invest in someone whose longevity is questionable?

You’ll also be subject to some of the office blacklisting.  No matter how discreetly the counter-offer situation is handled, there’s always the possibility that news will leak out.  Don’t be surprised if you’re increasingly cut off from the other IT recruiters in the office.

Therefore, before you grab a counter-offer, it’s important to think about what’s being offered and what actually brought you to the point of leaving in the first place.  A counter-offer is almost always about money.  However, the reasons people leave are almost never about money alone.

The reasons people leave are money and something else. Where’s the something else in the counter-offer?

What if the new job doesn’t work out?  What if it’s no better than the job you’re leaving?  Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know.

It’s just as likely to be a good change as a bad change.  At first, it may be hard to tell which was the safe alternative and which was the sorry one.  Over time, you’ll get some perspective.  And, even if it’s not for the better, for the first months, at least it’s different.

You’ll have the opportunity to look back at your old situation and decide whether it was really as hard as you thought while you were there.  Your former employer gets the same opportunity, assuming that you handled your exit gracefully.

A respectful refusal to a counter-offer can leave the door open for an eventual return.  All parties can benefit from a hiatus.  I’ve heard from lots of folks who’ve left employers and then come back. These days, it’s very acceptable to leave and return later with a higher profile.

The skills and experiences you gain with another company can make you more valuable than if you had stayed.  Plus, you have a better negotiating position, knowing what the culture and environment of your former company were.  You may be able to bargain for better working conditions or a more favorable reporting structure in addition to the compensation and title you want.

But first you have to handle your exit properly. It’s a delicate process to extract yourself with your reputation and relationships intact when a counter-offer is on the table.  And regardless of whether you intend to return, you do want to preserve the company’s respect for you.

Don’t get caught up in a discussion of where you’re going and what makes this opportunity so much better than your current job.  Politely refuse to discuss it by saying that you want to focus on an orderly transition.  Keep saying it, if you have to, until you make your point.

Technical Recruiter Compensation in the IT Staffing Industry

The IT staffing industry is extremely competitive and growing quickly.  There are many different compensation packages when looking at IT recruiting.  Some technical recruiters are paid a base salary and commission, others on a draw or some even pure commission.

Base Salary and Commission:  You won’t find IT recruiting companies offering high base salaries and aggressive commission plans.  You can’t have both.  Therefore, if you’re looking for stability and just want to punch in and punch out, then search for an IT staffing company who weighs the compensation heavily on the base salary.  If you’re confident in your work ethic and/or are looking for the “big picture” opportunity to make money, then you’ll want to find an IT recruiting firm who has an aggressive commission structure.  There is no right or wrong, more of a matter of personal choice aligning with the vision of that technical recruiting firm.

Draw:  A draw is one of the few scenarios that can be a win/win for both IT recruiters Boston and IT recruiting companies.  The IT staffing firm typically pays more on the front end, while the technical recruiter repays part, or all, of it back before collecting any additional commission payout.

Pure Commission:  This is typically the riskiest compensation plan, yet could be the most lucrative.  In a pure commission scenario, overhead costs for the IT recruiting agency are very low.  Because of this, the IT recruiters have the opportunity to take home a large slice of every placement.  This scenario works well for any IT recruiters who don’t need a salary to live off of (maybe their spouse or family is helping pay the bills) and/or one who is confident he or she can come right in and make IT job placements and subsequently bring in immediate commissions.

Whatever your situation, make sure you not only find the right compensation plan that is right for you, but the right IT recruiting agency.  There are many IT staffing firms out there – do your due diligence and find one that aligns with your goals, vision and work ethic.