From the Corporate Goo to the Job Market Zoo (to You)

Posted on November 18, 2013. Filed under: Career Management, Job Market Trends, Job Search Tips, Recruiting | Tags: , , , |


Fact or Fiction? Hiring Is About Finding the Best Talent

Spend a few minutes on social media wading through career and job search advice, and you are bound to see lots of pronouncements about how companies are “determined” to find the best talent, that there is a “severe” shortage of top talent, and that companies are “investing” more resources than ever in finding this top talent.

For the most part, they actually believe what they say.

After all, the recruiting industry is booming, thanks to the investments companies are making in hiring recruiters. And candidates are more desperate than ever to get the attention of a recruiter because  a recruiter “has jobs” for them.

So what’s the problem?

Most of what companies have invested in to find this “top” talent does just about everything but find top talent.

As a technical career management firm, we have been fortunate to build a large database of internal and external technical recruiters in our network. We have spent a great deal of time getting to know what motivates them so that we can better advise our clients. We also have partnered with another firm to provide a recruiter strategy service that helps advise candidates on the best way to approach recruiters, launch a campaign, and find the “good” ones because as in most fields, including ours, they are not all created equal. And working professionals can spend a lot of time and frustration wading through them.

Here’s what we have discovered:

Hiring is really most often about meeting corporate metrics…because it isn’t what we say, it is what we do.

By and large, recruiters are just professionals like you and me, not some type of employment superheroes with their fingers on the pulse of all things “hiring.” Generally, they either are (1) internal recruiters who are part of a large HR department or (2) executive recruiters who most likely work for a recruiting firm, which is a mini (or a not-so-mini) corporate startup of its own. There are various studies out there regarding how much a recruiter makes (one that has a good breakdown but is a couple of years old is as follows:, but generally it is wide ranging, anywhere from $30-40K for entry-level internal recruiters to about $125K for more experienced and external recruiters. The average pay for an external recruiter seems to come in around $75K, but of course, there are a few outliers making much, much more, as in any field. Internal recruiters generally seem to make less unless they are recruiting managers.

Internal recruiters are, well, internal, so they are wrapped up in the corporate mindset they operate in, and external recruiters, although generally considered more “sales-like” because they have to compete for their contracts, often have a hard time balancing meeting quotas while maneuvering through the muck and mire of the internal HR dogma of the companies they recruit for.

Obviously, though, whether they are internal or external, the recruiter’s job is to find this “top” talent for their companies.

Sounds pretty simple, right? It is until you realize that this top talent is supposed to materialize quickly and that hiring must take place within the confines of the often self-imposed governance these companies adhere to.

In a recent post on the site Recruiting Blogs, where a spat began regarding the merits of internal vs. external recruiters, some interesting insights about the profession in general came out of the comments section:

“I got tired of shmoozing for job orders and feeling like a used car sales girl when I convinced and pushed my client to hire some mediocre candidate just so I could close a deal. ”

“[M]ost of the work that 3PRs [external recruiters] do…is often performed by poorly trained newbies who dial for dollars, find candidates off boards and RPOs, and try to get 20% fees from clients too ignorant or desperate to know there are *much less expensive and quite effective alternatives available and as long as there are clients who are looking for excellence on the cheap, these second- or third-raters will stay in business.”

“I think you know there are plenty of recruiters form BOTH sides that are only trying to fill positions rather then putting the best people in the right positions.”

“An organization with people first in mind – many say they are, but very few walk their talk, unless by ‘people’ they mean ‘the people at the very top’.”

The takeaway for the job seeker?

Somewhere along the way, “some” companies and recruiters got the impression that they always had the upper hand in the process, and as a result, they got sloppy in how they handle their hiring practices.

Not surprisingly, then, they don’t have strong policies and procedures in place to hire the “best” talent, and hiring really becomes more about fulfilling metrics and putting butts in seats, hopefully fairly decent ones but maybe not always the “best” ones.

I mean it all makes sense if you think about it. Internal and external recruiters alike proudly brag that they spend 6 seconds or less looking at a person’s resume and that they care more about the quality of a person’s LinkedIn profile photo than about spending more than 6 seconds reading through a candidate’s materials. (Yet they seem to have lots of opinions about resumes…you know, this document they “hate” and don’t read.)

I get it. They see hundreds, thousands of resumes. Who has the time?

Oh, I don’t know…maybe a person whose entire job it is to find the best talent out there?

Recruiters are stuck in the corporate goo, and somehow that is supposed to bode well for you.

Let’s face it. To say your job is to hire the best talent and then brag about how little time you spend vetting candidates but somehow manage to do the best job for the client, aka the employer, is, well, gooey at best. Instead they just whine and wail about how they have to sift through so many resumes. Internal or external…that’s the same backward thinking that so many accuse corporate of, isn’t it?

And I won’t even get started on how they bristle when you try to bring talent to them…that’s a whole other post, I’m afraid.

But you can only blame recruiters for so much. After all, they are just trying to please the companies who write their checks…and those companies say one thing but really mean another. “Find us top talent.” But what they really mean is “find someone fast.”

So, is hiring about finding the best talent? Fact or fiction?

Answer: Fact. It is meant to be “about” that. BUT the way things are done right now, most companies can’t be sure their own recruiting practices haven’t brushed aside that talent in an effort to turn hiring into a fast food commodity run by government-like rules and regulations.

So, what should professionals do?

Be vigilant with your career management even when you “aren’t looking to make a move right now.” Be documenting and preparing briefs on project performance, gather testimonials and recommendations, and learn some tricks from content marketing. And maybe most important of all, learn how to attract recruiters to you BEFORE you need them. (For more tips, check out my post “Still Falling for the Two Biggest Career Motivators?“)

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“Brain Day” Facilitator

Posted on October 17, 2013. Filed under: CIO, Recruiting, Resumes, Technology | Tags: , , , , , |

I was recently asked by the Career Thought Leaders (CTL) to facilitate the Virtual Brain Day Event covering the Eastern US.

Brain Day is an event for career services professionals to brainstorm about the now, the new, and the next in the careers field. This includes discussions about the resume, LinkedIn profile, cover letter, executive bio, marketing documents, recruitment, hiring, the job search, and much more. It is being held on Friday, November 1st.

These discussions, which are being held all over the world in addition to virtual events in various time zones, will help to identify emerging trends, establish performance standards, and foster best practices.

I encourage you to check out the details and get engaged at –

Here’s a link to the registration page on the CTL site – Career Brainstorming Day November 1, 2013.

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#IT Candidates Highlighted

Posted on September 30, 2013. Filed under: Recruiting | Tags: , , , , |

Technical job searchOne of our goals here at ITtechExec is to offer a value-added service to our customization of a complete messaging portfolio for our IT/technical clients. We want to do that by reaching out across our well-developed network of technical recruiters, HR personnel, and career services leaders to highlight the prestigious backgrounds of our clients.

Many recruiters and employers come to us looking for specific skills sets, and it is our aim to match our clients up with those needs.

Therefore, toward that effort, we will be starting a new segment to our blog that highlights some of our clients each week. We will be sharing this post across all of our network.

Anyone interested in an introduction to one of these clients should contact Stephen at directly.

Sales & Ops Exec leads explosive growth/turnarounds for service biz, builds winning teams/pragmatic solutions (in Philly/Central NJ)

  • Transforms sales organization and team culture
  • Streamlines sales processes and uses technology to increase sales productivity
  • Directs M&A, divestitures, new business unit incubation, market entry/exit, and product/service development strategy
  • Reverses historical flat or negative performance into sustained and highly profitable top-line sales growth
  • Harvard Business School Strategic Leadership Executive Program Graduate

IT Director optimizes performance for project management, operations, governance, applications, etc. (in Northeast TX)

  • 20+ years of experience in technology operations leadership
  • Large-scale project management and program management background
  • Data center and server consolidation projects
  • Compliance, IT service delivery, security, and governance programs
  • Manufacturing, supply chain, inventory management, and forecasting technologies
  • Technology M&A integrations, offshoring, PMO development, and Big  Data/BI reporting solutions

Click here for full profile.

EMEA Technology Director, concept to delivery of innovative tech products/solutions with Executive MBA (in the Netherlands)

  • Multi-cultural schooling and professional experience
  • Fluent in 3 languages
  • Fosters business transformation, technology optimization, cost savings, and revenue growth
  • 17+ years of excellence in product development and delivery execution
  • Leads breakthrough new products and programs

Software Engineering Manager, tech product innovation in applications, embedded software, real-time IP (in IL)

  • BSEE from #1 ranked undergraduate engineering school
  • 13+ years of engineering management experience
  • Creates a sense of urgency to drive and empower teams
  • Develops a clear vision and sets a clear objective to get all resources aligned on the same path
  • Designs common solution architecture for cutting-edge new products
  • Leads development using traditional and iterative/Agile methodologies

Click here for more details.

Healthcare Equipment/Medical Device Sales Executive with 13+ years of healthcare industry experience (in VT)

  • Led growth of capital medical equipment and consumables manufacturer from $25M to $168M over past 7 years
  • Launched new premium products that gained market value through pre-assembled, sterilized, and FDA validated offering with full regulatory compliance documentation
  • Collaborated with medical device manufacturers to develop new products and applications for 3D scanning and tracking devices
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