Tech Trends: Tech Talent Wars

Filed under: High Tech / IT / Software, Industry Info, Jobs/Employment, Tech Trends

Tech Trends

Tech Talent Wars

Despite gloomy overall employment numbers, we continue to hear about the demand for technology talent. The talent war is in full force in places like Silicon Valley and New York City. Wired.com recently published an article showing the talent tug of war between top Silicon Valley tech companies like Google, LinkedIn and Facebook; there is a steady stream of migration between the big names. The article cites the competition for top sales people and engineers as “extraordinary”.

Silicon Valley has been experiencing strong tech sector job growth. The computer and electronic products manufacturing sector are approximately 70,000 jobs under the dot-com boom levels; but the smaller information sector (Internet service providers, web portals and data processors) exceeded the dot-com job level in May, with about 48,000 jobs. Tech hiring has extended beyond engineering to sales and marketing. Read more »

Hiring the Right Candidate: Set Bait, Cut Bait

Filed under: Best Practices, Employer, Interview, Talent Acquisition

Shannon Tinker

Shannon Tinker

Hiring the Right Candidate:
Set Bait, Cut Bait

By Shannon Tinker

While staffing industry pros are acutely aware of the ins and outs of finding and closing candidates, I’d bet the rest of the world doesn’t spend much time contemplating the hiring process. In fact, during a candidate rich market, employers may land their dream candidate by skipping a bunch of hiring “steps,” including “the close.” But what happens when the market shifts?

An improving job market isn’t all roses and smiley faces. Simple supply and demand dictates, and unfortunately a flourishing job market also, lead to losing more candidates to competing opportunities. While tragic, some losses are unavoidable. Yet, other times a quick re-read of the “Closing Candidates 101” handbook may give you the upper hand.

Closing the right candidate really requires little or no sales ability whatsoever and is remarkably simple. Really. Read more »

How to Hire the Best Candidate: Get Out of Your Own Way

Filed under: Employer, Hiring Strategies, Interview, Talent Acquisition

Shannon Tinker

Shannon Tinker

How to Hire the Best Candidate: Get Out of Your Own Way

By Shannon Tinker

Last month, I offered some pre-resume reviewing steps for preserving time and sanity during the hiring process.  Hiring isn’t rocket science.  You get approval, decide what you want and need and then go about finding “It.”  What’s surprising is what happens when you do find “It.”  Managers make tough decisions daily, yet when faced with a viable candidate they don’t always make their move.

Even veteran managers accumulate reasons for why they shouldn’t extend a job offer to the right candidate. I’m not suggesting that you should jump on any candidate with Java on his resume and a pulse.  (This isn’t 1999!)  But it is interesting and heartbreaking when “best practices” and fear get in the way of hiring your next star employee. Read more »

Things to Know Before Reviewing Your First Resume

Filed under: Best Practices, Employer, Hiring Strategies

Shannon Tinker

Shannon Tinker

Things to Know Before Reviewing Your First Resume

By Shannon Tinker

Hallelujah!  You’ve been given the green light to add employees to your team and not a moment too soon.  Your team has been in the trenches since the economy’s infamous downturn and despite your efforts, your hiring budget has remained nonexistent.  Your new hiring breakthrough is exciting and it’s tempting to start the candidate search ASAP.  Evaluating some key elements before jumping into the candidate pool with both feet can ensure a successful search, and minimize the level of frustration for you and your team. Read more »

Make Your Offer Bullet-Proof; Close the Candidate from the Get-Go

Filed under: Best Practices, Employer, Hiring Strategies, Human Resources / Capital, Talent Acquisition

Make Your Offer Bullet-Proof; Close the Candidate from the Get-Go

The cost of hiring is significant. It starts with the effort undertaken by the hiring manager, HR and participating staff. Much time is invested from studying the department’s need and formulating the requirements, to advertising, recruiting and interviewing. Once you find the right candidate, you are almost there. But it’s not over yet.

Despite the high unemployment rate, it is not a slam dunk. Many good candidates are receiving multiple offers, and many applicants are still employed and need to be certain that your company is the right move for them at this time. You need to sell the company and the opportunity. You need to close the candidate. Read more »

IT Staffing Issues Affecting Deployment of Emerging Technology

Filed under: High Tech / IT / Software, Industry Info, Jobs/Employment

IT Staffing Issues Affecting Deployment of Emerging Technology

By Robert Teal, CCP, CBP

There is growing evidence that shortages in qualified IT staffs are impairing the ability of some organizations to implement new and emerging technologies and thus hamper growth and productivity.

In the July 13, 2010 edition of CIO Update, interviews conducted by the Robert Half Technology firm found that 64% of corporate CIO’s surveyed indicated that shortfalls in IT staff levels affected their organizations’ abilities to deploy “innovative or emerging technologies.” Read more »

Recruiting on a Diet

Filed under: Best Practices, Candidate / Job Seeker, Employer, Salary

Recruiting on a Diet

Rob Reeves

Rob Reeves

About once a year I’m good for a cleanse. You know those things you’ve done or heard of friends doing that have you drinking water with some crazy concoction in it and basically not eating from anywhere between 7 and 9 days? This supposedly allows you to rid your body of toxins and clean yourself out. It’s usually my wife’s idea and I go along grudgingly. I’ve no idea whether it works or not, but I do know that while doing it, I’m hungry and irritable and spend most of my time trying to be civil to the people around me.

Read more »

Thoughtful Interview Preparation – Getting Your Dream Job

Filed under: Candidate / Job Seeker, Career Building, Interview

Thoughtful Interview Preparation  – Originally published in the Find Your Dream Job Newsletter, Issue 2.

Getting Your Dream Job 

You’ve identified an opportunity that you are excited about and well-qualified for. You’ve polished and targeted your resume, and crafted your cover letter. Great news: You are invited for an interview! Now it is time to really gear up. Preparation is key – whether you haven’t interviewed in a decade or if you’ve had ten recent interviews.

 Whether you end up in a conversational style Q&A or are engaged in a competency based (behavioral) interview approach, spend time in advance thinking about answers to some potential questions in advance so that you are prepared to answer them naturally and informatively.

Know your Audience: Research the company and the people. Read about them online, ask your recruiter to share insights into the company culture and strengths, network with current and former employees, read the bios of the people you will be meeting with and upper management. Be prepared to identify what about this company attracted you to them, show that you are someone who will be dedicated and invested in this company.

Know the Industry: Who are the company’s competitors, who are their customers and suppliers? What are the key business missions, messaging, and the recent benchmarks? What are the recent trends, challenges and opportunities in the industry? Be prepared to show your knowledge of the industry players/issues and how your experience and skill set is pertinent to the company’s business.

Know the Position: Re-read the job description and be very clear on the duties. What examples can you offer of your experience in success at accomplishing these responsibilities? What are the most relevant highlights of your track record? Be prepared to elaborate on how your experience and skill set will contribute to the company’s success.

Know your Take Away: Why are you the right person for the job? Why should they hire you instead of other candidates?  How can you fit in and contribute immediately? Be prepared to communicate your take away message on why you are the right person for the job.

Here are some examples to help you in your interview preparation.

Ability and Career Initiative questions:

  • How would your boss describe you?
  • What is your reputation at work?
  • What professional accomplishments are you most proud of and why?
  • What is the most important thing you contribute to any organization?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5/10 years?
  • Name three things you like and dislike about your current/last position.
  • Why do you want to leave/did you leave your last position?
  • Why is your current organization a better place for you having worked there?
  • Why would this position be a good move in your career development?
  • What have you done in your current/last position to improve your company’s bottom-line?

You want to paint a picture of yourself as a qualified, capable person, ready, willing and enthusiastic about contributing to the company’s mission. If you are looking for a new position because the last/current one was negative, or if you’ve been unemployed for a while, formulate your response carefully. Never share dirty laundry and don’t waste time on negatives. Focus on the proactive and the positive aspects of your interest in the opportunity you are interviewing for and what you can bring to the table. Show career pride and initiative.

Competency-based questions:

  • Tell me about a situation in which you had a miscommunication with a customer/colleague/boss and how you handled it.
  • Describe a time when you didn’t accomplish a professional goal and how you rectified the situation?
  • What was the biggest professional challenge you faced in your last position and how did you overcome it?
  • Can you describe an example of when you worked with a colleague or group to solve a problem?

You will definitely need to have real-life examples ready. Be prepared to explain how you resolved the situation favorably, what you learned, and how that experience could be applied to the work environment of your potential employer. You want to demonstrate your ability to work well with others, accomplish the mission, be accountable and proactive, and problem-solve.

Real-life Work Scenario:

You may have a real work problem laid before you, and be asked to describe how you would proceed. While this is a little harder to prepare for in advance, you should be thinking about the aspects of the role and draw from your past experience. This is similar to preparing for competency based questions.

New-Age questions:

  • If you were an animal, what animal would you be?
  • If you were a fruit, what kind of fruit would you be?

The interviewer is looking for a correct answer of an animal that is efficient, proactive, social, organized, and a fruit that mixes harmoniously in a fruit salad medley. Hopefully no one is ruled out because they say cat (sleeps a lot) or an avocado (doesn’t mix well in a fruit salad). Perhaps the true point is to see how you might react and if you have a sense of humor.

Gauging Interest and Engagedness:

  • What did you like on our website?  What attracted you to our organization?
  • What questions do you have for me/about the company/role?
  • How could our company do better?

There is no wrong answer to these questions except to not have an answer. This is your opportunity to find out more about the company/management culture, goals, strengths, etc. And importantly, this is your chance to show your serious intent and enthusiasm for the company. If you have no more questions, take this time to express that the conversation has touched on all the points you wanted to explore more and that you appreciate the manager’s candor and time; leave them with the impression of satisfaction as opposed to disinterest.

Formulate your responses using the STAR approach:

When formulating your response, maximize the opportunity to demonstrate your professional success. Situation. Task. Action. Results.

For example, if you are asked what you have done in your current position to improve your company’s bottom-line, “As the International Channel Manager (situation) of a company trying to gain market share in international markets (task), I spearheaded and drove an International Distributor meeting with focus sessions on marketing and sales strategies and tools, introduction to add-on products, as well as software localization and OEM technology and coordination (action). The result was 2 additional language versions of the software being produced, strengthened communications and renewed marketing and sales motivation with a 20% increase in International channel sales and a strengthened relationship with our channel partners (results).

On the humorous side, YouTube videos:

The Interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRX0AQKFtwU

ABC’s The Middle Mike Heck on an interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_H-jNCaEvI

Do you have any funny interview questions or anecdotes? Please share them with us.

What is my return on investment when using a head hunter?

Filed under: Best Practices, Employer, Hiring Strategies, Recruiter / Recruiting

 

What is my return on investment when using a head hunter?

That is a good question!

How do you quantify the time and manpower employed to locate top talent with the best company fit?

If you are in a smaller company, you probably have to invest you own time, time that you are not working on your business objectives, or you may have an administrative or junior colleague trying to understand the experience and skills you need and balance their own job duties.

If you are in a larger company, you may even have an HR or internal recruiter. What is often missing is the ability to access top talent, across industry segments, whether from competitors or partners. One way to put a number on it is to ask yourself what you could have accomplished during the time you were looking for the right person, and how much time you spent with a potential candidate who didn’t meet your hiring objectives.

Redfish Tech is a nation-wide recruiter. We specialize in High Tech and Renewable and Alternate Energy sectors.

We have 15 years of experience and extensive networks in these industries. We can pull talent from all across the continent, and locate the right person quickly. We qualify candidates in terms of both experience and skills, and as regards company cultural fit.

We partner with companies to streamline the process and get the right person within your time frame so that you can focus your time and energy on your core competencies. Redfish has access to top talent who may not be actively looking for a job, and we often are the first to know when experienced people have started looking for their next opportunity to contribute to a new company.

We partner with you and put our extensive recruiting experience to work for you.  We undertake the advertising, perform background checks, keep you informed as to job market conditions, and offer salary and benefit recommendations based on industry trends.

We work on a retained or contingency basis, depending on the needs of your company and the difficulty of filling the position. A partnership with Redfish gives you a greater competitive edge and improved bottom line. Now that is worth taking to the bank.