Friday, December 11, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Hello, my name is Bonnie, and I am unemployed. It sounds like an admittance statement at a support group for the jobless, doesn’t it?
To some, this admittance may evoke a shameful reality or an overwhelming feeling of failure. And yet, to others, it elicits a sense of relief and an impetus to try something new or escape from the dissatisfaction of the status quo. When the world hands you lemons, make some lemonade, right!?
But I have to wonder how those lemonade makers got into a life of drudgery in the first place. Did they settle for below-average compensation? Did they choose the wrong company? Or, was it because they fell into the wrong career path altogether?
I have friends who have turned down good jobs in which they have great experience, in the hopes that their ‘dream job’ will come around the corner. And yet, they continue to search as their bank accounts dwindle, looking back with regret because they turned down a job during a recession.
Personally, I find myself stuck in a ‘seller’s market’ where competition is tough, and the ‘perfect’ job opening is hard to come by (let alone define). My grandmother, who grew up in the Great Depression, calls me weekly with worry over my jobless state. And my bank account too is dwindling day by day.
As I pursue my next employment opportunity, I can’t help but question whether I am looking for a job (a way to make ends meet) or am I truly paving a road by which my life’s happiness is dictated?
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Let me give you an example.
Company A is looking for a "Patent Attorney who understands Computational Biology". They need this person to come in and help the company develop a patent strategy for their new biotech business. So, they spend two years, countless hours interviewing and a retained agency fee of $50K to find the 5 Patent Attorneys in the US who have Biology degrees. Make an offer and by the time this person is up to speed they missed their window and spend years playing catch-up. (Semi-true story,btw.....)
Company B is competing w/ Company A and needs to find the same person. They decide to outsource the work to the best law firm in town. Working closely with their internal engineering team the firm is able to develop and implement a strategy in 6 months. By moving fast Company B not only gets working on this problem first, but they also seize the market and are able to gain the upper hand against Company A.
Company A is thinking about recruiting and hiring as a "job" based problem, Company B recognizes that they need to hire some people but they can also supplement that core team with temps, vendors and contractors to get the work done quickly.
How do you hire for your organization? Are you filling jobs or do you staff the work? If you aren't thinking about this, my guess is that you are filling jobs and not thinking about the strategic implications of talent management. If you are a recruiter you should be working with your clients to make sure they are not only "filling jobs" but managing their talent in the most strategic way possible. Showing your clients how to "Win the Talent Wars" will be a "win-win" and help you build the type of relationships that every recruiter needs to be successful.
Like I said, this idea comes from Bruce Tulgan. Great read and great stuff if you haven't read any of his stuff I'd recommend it!
Until next time!
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
1) Be honest - I know right, do I really have to write this? YES. Don't tell the recruiter that you are making $200K if you are making $50K. Don't tell them you have never applied for a job at the company before even though you've now been interviewed for every job except Chief Bottle Washer. Your recruiter is your partner in your job search. Be open and honest with them, and trust me it will pay off. If you tell a recruiter EXACTLY what you are making now and explain what type of comp package you'll need to make a switch........they'll get it for you....and if they can't, it's not b/c they didn't try as hard as possible. The thing to remember about recruiters, we like to hire people and get deals done. So, be honest and upfront with your recruiter as it will help them help you!
2) Communication is a two way street - If you are wondering what's up with your application email or call your recruiter. Again, rocket science here but most people miss this one. Recruiters are busy, and in some cases they are ridiculously busy (ask me some time how may calls I do in a week). I figure, after meetings and other "non-candidate" related things, I probably spend 20 hours a week talking to people. It's really hard to talk to everyone as frequently as they'd like. So, don't be shy, I think I can speak for every recruiter on the planet when I say we appreciate the anxious candidate and know that if you are engaged with us you are probably excited about the opportunity. One last thing on this, send email and leave a voicemail. If we are on the phone all day (it happens) I may not get your message for several hours but I can usually email you back pretty quick.
3) Leave a message if you call - You'd be amazed how many people call me but never leave a message. I've been either on the phone or in meetings while the same candidate will call 5 or 6 times without leaving a message. Um, seriously it's REALLY annoying. If you left message and then follow up with an email you'll get a much faster response than just calling and calling and hoping we pick up.
4) Explain your timeline (in detail) - Not really looking around? Need a new job tomorrow? Going off to hike Europe for 8 weeks? The more your recruiter knows about your timeline the better job they can do for you. Recruiters are trained to push people through the process as fast as possible so we are always thinking "Go, go go!" If that doesn't work for you, tell your recruiter! Nothing more frustrating than sending a few emails and voice mails for a candidate only to get a call back 3 weeks later saying "sorry, I was on vacation".....um, thanks.
5) Ask us questions, LOTS of questions - Our job is to get you a job, so ask as many questions as you can possibly think of about the opportunity. You should be able to ask us anything, if we don't know the answer, we'll find it. I'm always amazed at some of the questions I get and really appreciate when someone stumps me. Questions about the role? Ask. Questions about the company? Ask. Compensation? Career path? If it's something you are curious about, ask....if your recruiter doesn't know ask them to find out for you. Really, it's our job.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Can't believe it's been a month since my last blog, wow, guess it's been a busy summer! Yikes!! I promise to post more consistently in the coming weeks/months!
Anyway, I just finished re-reading "Smart and Gets Things Done" by Joel Spolsky. You can find a link to Joe's blog and this book here. If you recruit for a living or manage a team of engineers you really HAVE to have read this book. I was wondering, has "Smart and Gets Things Done" been so over-recommended that no one reads it anymore? I've read it several times, but it strikes me as the kind of book that any recruiter worth their salt should read over and over again. So, I did a little research and Amazon has it ranked as number 94,865 on their site for books. Honestly, I found it pretty shocking as this is one of the few "must read" books on recruiting technical talent that I've ever come across. I'm hoping this ranking is because most people who recruit either have a copy already (doubtful) or they buy it used (maybe?)
Regardless, it got me thinking that I should do a quick blog that covers a few of the points that Joel talks about that really ring true and can help anyone who's looking to build a team, especially in the current economy. Hey, maybe I can even push "Smart and Gets Things Done" to number 9300 or something on Amazon.....riiiiight.
So, here goes! A few insights and thoughts that you can use to hire programmers or most any type of person.........(quotes from the book in bold)
The real trouble with using a lot of mediocre programmers instead of a couple of good ones is that no matter how long they work, they never produce something as good as what the great programmers can produce (page 11)
Can anyone argue with this? A bunch of mediocre programmers will create mediocre products, end of discussion. I'd argue that you could say mediocre salespeople would generate mediocre results, mediocre marketing people create mediocre campaigns...and on and on it goes. Even mediocre recruiters hire mediocre people! You could have the best idea but with a mediocre team it's unlikely to be enough. It's that simple, if you don't you'll be destined to a team of B players doing B work. The only way to succeed in business is to hire a great team.
The best people in every field, are quite simply never on the market (page 20)
THIS is the best quote from the book in my opinion. How many times have YOU put your resume on a job board? Zero? That's right, great people don't look for jobs. Jobs find them. Networking, employee referrals, alumni groups, etc are the only way to find great people. If you are a small or medium sized company that's using standard recruiting methods and job boards...good luck to you my friend. If you can't figure out how to attract/hire/retain great people then you will be playing catch up to those organizations who are magnets for the great employees you covet. Take the time to invest in your organization - facilities, benefits, technology, etc etc and figure out how to attract the best people in your industry. They won't be on the market, you won't find them on the job boards so you'd better be thinking of innovative ways to attract employees
To top programmers, the most maddening thing about recruiters is their almost morbid fascination with keywords and buzzwords (page 79)
I'm a recruiter and this drives me crazy...so I can only imagine how it would make me feel if I was actually an engineer. Great engineers look at programming languages as tools. They LEARN new things if needed and are constantly improving. If you are looking for a great engineer to do some Python work but won't hire the best Perl programmer in the world...you're missing out on a great opportunity. Hire the person, not the keyword. I can tell you that as a recruiter, I pretty much toss out the keyword section on the resumes I read. If you tell me you are an expert HTML, Java, C, Assembly and Cobol programmer.....um, ok, you MIGHT be but I have my doubts. My advice, skip the keyword section on your resume and only talk to recruiters who know what they are talking about.....and if you are a recruiter, spend some time understanding technology so you don't become just another add-no-value-keyword recruiter.
If you do have to say no to someone, do it quickly and respectfully....It's just common decency to let them move on to the next opportunity (page 119)
Couldn't agree more. This is hard, I mean REALLY hard to do if you are a recruiter. First, it stinks. No one likes to be the bearer of bad news. Second, you've got a million other things to do so this slides to the bottom of the list. As I write this, I know that I've told a few folks this week that they weren't a fit for my organization. They've gotten word, but I owe them a longer chat.... The worst thing you can do is become a black hole for your candidates, give them word as quick as you can. Voicemail, email, whatever you have to do just make sure you don't blow them off and further perpetuate the "recruiters never get back to me"
Ok, those are just a few of my quick thoughts on "Smart and Gets Things Done" by Joel Spolsky. Again, I highly recommend you give this book a read. It's a really short and easy read, maybe a day or two. Most of what this book says is great, I don't agree with 100% of Joel's conclusions, but that's what makes hiring and recruiting great as you can do lots of different things and still get great results.
You can learn more about Joel and his work at www.joelonsoftware.com or follow him on Twitter (@spolsky)
You can learn more about Joel and his work at www.joelonsoftware.com or follow him on Twitter (@spolsky)
Finally, Joel if you read this, we've never met but I would love to chat sometime and pick your brain on recruiting!