5 Great Benefits & Perks to Attract and Retain Employees

Filed under: Best Practices, Hiring Strategies, Offers / CounterOffers, Redfish Speaks, Talent Acquisition

5 Great Benefits & Perks to Attract and Retain Employees

By: Jon Piggins

Director of Business Development, Redfish Technology


In today’s tight labor market, competition for top talent continues to heat up. We’ve seen some of our clients increase their hiring rates by offering benefits & perks beyond what’s now becoming standard, things like; unlimited vacation, “make your own hours”, 100% paid health/dental/vision coverage. Here are some of the best perks we’ve seen recently.


Vacation reimbursement: “Unlimited” vacation is great…if you use it. Turns out that many employees are so busy that they never wind up taking advantage of the benefit and the company winds up with stressed out, tired workers. One company we work with decided to solve the problem by creating “vacation reimbursement”, $3,000/yr per employee, can’t take it as cash & have to use it each year or you lose it.


Student loan paydowns: With 44.7 million borrowers owing more than $1.5 Trillion in student loans, the U.S. is drowning in school loans. Not just a financial burden, student loan debt can be stressful & limiting. We’ve had a few clients begin to offer monthly contributions to their employee’s loan payments, either by subsidizing the amount they had to pay or by matching payments (up to a limit) therefore helping to pay off the loan(s) sooner (sometime 7-10 years sooner).


529 accounts for employee’s children: Think of a 529 account like a “Roth IRA” for college. Contributions are invested & when it’s time to pay for college (tuition, room & board, books…) the money can be withdrawn without penalty or taxation. It’s a nice additional way to help employees beyond the traditional health savings & retirement plans most companies offer.


New baby fund: Have a baby, get $4,000. That’s what Bay Area based client of ours decided to start doing (diapers are expensive!). Seriously though, as wonderful as having a child can be, it’s expensive & stressful. Getting a nice chunk of change & a good break for maternity/paternity leave is a great perk for your workers.


Housecleaning & Laundry Services: Put in a 60 hour work week & then have to deal with cleaning chores and laundry…no thanks. We have a longtime client in LA who provides weekly laundry and twice monthly house cleaning services for their approx. 100 employees. Simply bring in your clothes in a big nylon bag on Monday, it gets picked up at the office & comes back on Wednesday cleaned and folded.


The great thing about these benefits is that they’re done in good spirit…yes they’re self-serving for a company in helping to attract & retain talent and increase productivity, but they’re also considerate towards employees with the goal of reducing their stress & burden and helping to make their lives a little easier.

5 Reasons Why Backdoor References Aren’t Always Helpful

Filed under: Best Practices, Redfish Speaks

5 Reasons Why Backdoor References Aren’t Always Helpful

By Leah O’Flynn, Chief Revenue Officer

Redfish Technology


At first glance backdoor references can seem strategic but there are some unintended consequences to consider in today’s marketplace. Our client’s increasingly ask for our opinion on doing them and we usually respond with what we’ve seen in the past. As a rule of thumb, be respectful of the candidate and start the relationship off with trusting that he or she can provide a solid number of folks to speak about his or her ability to do the job. Oftentimes our client’s assume it’s a good way to vet a skillset but there are more effective ways to evaluate a person other than a backdoor reference….


1.) In general, candidates are already pretty protective of the references that he or she offers up to a hiring manager. You run the risk of your potential hire getting put off if he or she finds out that their next manager went around their back. It makes for a rocky start to a professional relationship.


2.) We’ve had a situation where a manager within the candidate’s current company didn’t want to lose the employee. He gave a negative review and ended up offering the candidate a counter offer as a tactic to get ahead of the new offer & retain the employee.


3.) A backdoor reference can jeopardize the candidate’s current employment. Their employer was unaware that he or she was looking and is now privy to that information. A reference that would have been good is now skewed due to the circumstances.


4.) You reach out to someone who may have previously managed the candidate but you have no context around their working relationship or environment. It’s not a fair conversation to have with this said person. Also, that person isn’t familiar with the person now. References should represent the past and the present to help paint a more complete portrait.


5.) It could be a situation where the candidate left the company on good terms but the company never got over it because it was in the middle of a big project. The review isn’t reflection of the candidate’s working ability but rather disappointment of losing a good employee.


For more advice & insight into the world of recruiting, contact us HERE

Top Quick and Easy Tips on interviewing well in today’s competitive market

Filed under: Interview, Redfish Speaks

Top Quick and Easy Tips on interviewing well in today’s competitive market

By Jon Piggins, Director of Business Development


Smile: a smile is magic, it improves your mood & the mood of those around you. If you’re not a naturally “smiley” person, consciously practice doing it more & in front of a mirror so that it becomes more natural. In general be mindful of your facial expression while you are listening – smiling is a good default but some people tend to look away and it becomes obvious when they aren’t actively listening. Even if you’re nervous, or feel like the interview isn’t going well, think of something that makes you happy & brings a smile to your face…it makes a big (and positive) impression!

Err on the side of being more formal than not: It’s perfectly acceptable to ask your recruiter or HR what type of attire you should wear for your interview. Even if the office is a board shorts & tank tops kind of place, business casual (on the conservative side) will never get you in trouble.

Do your research: Know enough about the job description and company that you could explain both clearly to someone at a dinner party. Look up the Linkedin profiles of the people you’ll be interviewing with and note any shared connections or commonalities, perhaps you & the hiring manager went to the same college or grew up in the same state. Doing your homework will make you feel more comfortable and will showcase your level of interest & preparation.

Have questions prepared: See above…when researching a company & it’s people, prepare 3-5 relevant questions. It will reinforce your level of interest and it also helps you to maintain some control in the process…and it’s an easy way to buy yourself some time if you get flustered or feel like you’re doing all the talking. Ask a thoughtful, open ended question, and relax (and listen!). Wrap up the interview by asking how you compare to other candidates in the mix? Also, ask if they have any concerns about them as a candidate? Also, ask for the job if you want it!

Get the names & email addresses for EVERYONE you meet, connect with them on Linkedin & send them each a “Thank You” email. It’s also fine to send one thank you to the group of people you met with, just make sure to include everyone…even the person who greeted you at the front desk. You never know who might be involved in the hiring process & it shows proper respect to everyone who might be your future co-workers.



Team Redfish supporting Idaho children diagnosed with cancer and their families @ the Share Your Heart Ball

Filed under: Redfish Speaks

Team Redfish supporting Idaho children diagnosed with cancer and their families @ the Share Your Heart Ball


What an amazing night…not a dry eye in the house when we got to hear the stories of the kids, parents, siblings & caregivers dealing with the diagnosis of pediatric cancer. All paddles were raised @ the @redfishtech table to make donations…including 13yr old Claribele Reeves who gave $100 of her own savings to contribute. Thank you @camprainbowgold !

“Experience the magic of what happens when people come together to create emotionally empowering experiences for Idaho children diagnosed with cancer and their families. Camp Rainbow Gold is an oncology camp, a sibling camp and a family camp. It’s a teen support group and a college scholarship program. Camp Rainbow Gold is a celebration of life.

In one night we come together to celebrate our heroes – the families, the doctors and nurses, the volunteers and the friends who stand alongside Idaho’s children diagnosed with cancer.

All proceeds supports Camp Rainbow Gold’s annual programs and helps keep every program free for the families we serve.


External Recruiting Resources and Services – You Have Options!

Filed under: Redfish Speaks

External Recruiting Resources and Services – You Have Options!


By: Jon Piggins, Director of Business Development @ http://www.redfishtech.com



External Recruiting Resources and Services


Many companies are not aware of the options they have when considering the use of external recruiting services. They often assume all recruiting firms are the same, providing contingency searches for a % of a candidate’s salary upon a successful placement.


A good recruiting firm should offer you options and even customize their solution. Have a number of hires to build our a sales team? Recognize the benefit your recruiting partner will realize from multiple placements and negotiate a flat fee per placement to help with budgeting & costs. Need to replace a VP? Engage with your recruiting partner on a retained search to ensure confidentiality & exclusivity. Is there seasonality to your hiring plans or do you need the flexibility of scaling your recruiting efforts (up or down)? Take advantage of the hourly services of a dedicated recruiter (or team of recruiters) and adjust your hours & spend as needed. Need to fill a specific role quickly? Sign on to work with your recruiting firm in a low risk contingency basis, where you only pay if a successful placement is made.


As you can see, rather than a question of whether or not to use a 3rd party recruiter, you should be asking how you should best utilize external recruiting help for your specific needs. Here are the services Redfish provides for our clients. We also create customized offerings and combine our services for our clients…again, it’s all about how, not if we can help.


Redfish Technology’s Recruiting Service Offerings:


When? You need a challenging role filled quickly – one that requires true “headhunting”, finding people who are not actively looking.
– Simple, one-time payment based on a % of the 1st years’ starting salary.
– Can serve as a productive compliment to your recruiting efforts, or act as the Recruiting function for your company.
– Low risk, no expense until a successful placement is made.
– Full cycle recruiting, from sourcing candidates to managing the interview process, collection of references, and the negotiation of offers.
– 30 Day guarantee, should a candidate resign or be terminated within that time, with the exception of downsizing or lay-off, Redfish will replace them at no additional cost.
– Immediate results, recruiters are paid to fill positions as quickly as possible…their income depends on it.
– Leverage our network and recruiting tools, including Linkedin job postings, at no additional cost.
– Access to entire team of Redfish recruiters’ network of candidates.
– Dedicated Redfish recruiter assigned to your account. You’ll get the benefits of our entire team working on your role(s), with the efficiency of working with a single point of contact dedicated to your company.


HOURLY (Recruiting as a Service)
When? You have multiple hires across departments, or anticipate that your hiring needs will vary throughout the year.
– Reduce & control your recruiting expenses: flat hourly rate for multiple placements vs a % of salary or retainer for each placement made by an agency.
– Outsource your recruiting function at a fraction of the cost.
– No infrastructure expense for ATS or other internal recruiting tools.
– A quick way to get help when you need to make multiple hires.
– Scale as needed, we can adjust our hours (and your spend) based on your changing needs.
– Full cycle recruiting, from sourcing to managing the interview process, collection of references, and the negotiation of offers.
– Leverage our national network & recruiting tools, including Linkedin job postings, at no additional cost.
– Full cycle recruiting services are included and tailored to match your processes & procedures.
– Dedicated Redfish recruiter assigned to your account. You’ll get the benefits of our entire team working on your role(s), with the efficiency of working with a single point of contact dedicated to your company.


When? You have less than 10 hires for the same/similar position or department over the next 6 to 12 months.
– Flat monthly fee, receive a discount with a 6 or 12 month commitment, and control/fix your recruiting expense.
– You need opportunistic resumes sent your way throughout the year. Redfish will always pitch your company to relevant candidates and introduce them to you as potential “opportunistic hires”.
– 30 Day guarantee, should a candidate resign or be terminated within that time, with the exception of downsizing or lay-off, Redfish will replace them at no additional cost.
– Full cycle recruiting, from sourcing to managing the interview process, collection of references, and the negotiation of offers.
– Fees are often lower than retained or contingency.


When? You are looking to make a very senior, high profile or confidential hire.
– Fixed fee per placement based on a mutually agreed upon median pay rate for a specific role (1/3rd up front, 1/3rd 30 days in, 1/3rd 30 days after placement).
– Redfish plays an important role in high profile or confidential retained searches, maintaining discretion and navigating delicate situations and negotiations.
– Extended 90 day guarantee, should a candidate resign or be terminated within that time, with the exception of downsizing or lay-off, Redfish will replace them at no additional cost.
– Final 1/3rd of payment is waived if a successful placement is not made within 90 days.
– Exclusive 1st right of refusal on all candidates submitted for your roles.
– Priority & exclusivity, as Redfish limits retained service for a maximum of 4 clients at any given time.
– Full cycle recruiting, from sourcing to managing the interview process, collection of references, and the negotiation of offers.

Build a Successful Team Without Breaking the Bank

Filed under: Redfish Speaks


Build a Successful Team Without Breaking the Bank


  • Identify the needs. Take a look at a 1, 3, and 5 year plan as best as can be estimated and list out the roles that you can anticipate needing.
  • Triage: The art of prioritization.  One of my favorite reminders to myself throughout my work week is that there is a difference between urgent and important.  Urgent things tend to get attention, but sometimes it is at the expense of important things.  For example, a ringing phone is urgent, now.  We need to answer it, and if it goes much longer, the caller is going to hang up.  So we stop our work and we answer it even though it may not have been the top of our list of important items.    Finishing a presentation for a client or investor may have been a better use of your time but you sacrificed it for the ringing phone.  Same is true for hiring.  Identify which roles are the most important to fill (sometimes a role is urgent AND important) and focus on filling those first.
  • Big Picture: Just because you’ve prioritized, doesn’t mean you’re wearing blinders.  You’ve taken the time to identify your needs and preference of hiring order, but the world isn’t always equally so organized.  If a resume comes across your desk that fits a hire you had targeted for next quarter, don’t discount it solely due to your preconceived schedule.  Sometimes the best candidate is available a little early, and if you can be opportunistic in your hiring, you can grab great talent when it’s available.  We’ve all been in the situation where waiting a month or a quarter costs us 3-4 more months of searching and interviewing rather than bringing someone up to speed.  Let’s avoid that if possible!
  • Working with recruiters. Recruiting can be expensive so be smart.  It goes without saying that you should always mine your own networks first – not only do you save a recruiting fee, but you also often times have a built in reference for the candidate.  However, if  you do decide to use a recruiter, here are some tips:
  • Find a recruiter you like, trust and that has a track record of performance
  • Give them the big hiring picture and the immediate priorities
  • Give them clear guidelines and feedback – this saves everyone time and money
  • Decide what type of recruiting arrangement works best for your needs (contingency, mutually committed, or retained) and then build a relationship with your recruiter. Having recruited for almost 25 years, I can promise you that relationships matter here as much as they do everywhere else.  If a hiring manager is committed, respectful and responsive, recruiters will move them to the IMPORTANT  file- even if others seem more urgent…


Rob Reeves is the CEO of Redfish Technology (www.redfishtech.com) and has recruited in the Technology and Clean Energy sectors for over 2 decades.  He lives in Sun Valley, Idaho with his wife and two kids.

To Accept, or Not to Accept a Counteroffer…that is the question.

Filed under: Redfish Speaks

By: Jon Piggins, Director of Business Development



Early on in my recruiting career, I was working with a Denver based cloud services company in helping them find Sales Engineering talent. We found someone our client thought was great; nice blend of technical & sales skills, well known in the tech community, strong references, solid numbers & performance history. He said he was making the move to expand the depth of his professional experience.  Our client decided to make the move to bring him on board.


Our candidate was so excited to receive the offer letter that he printed it, signed it & took pictures of the executed letter on the trunk of his car. A start date two weeks out was agreed upon & he said all he needed to do was head back to the office of his current company to give notice and let his colleagues know he’d appreciated the time they’d spent together. I cautioned him about the possibility his bosses may try to entice him to stay with an attractive counteroffer. He said he didn’t see that happening, we’d helped him get a nice bump in his base & variable pay and he was making the move for more than money. Things had gotten stale at his old company & he was excited for a new challenge.


A couple days went by and I got a text from the candidate…”would my client come up $10k in their offer? “His current employer did indeed throw an aggressive counter offer at him. We walked through all of the potential pitfalls & how it would look to his new employer, but he was insistent…”I don’t want to leave $10,000 on the table, plus they were giving him a bump in title.” I presented his request, and as expected, my client said no and withdrew their offer. The candidate said it was their loss & felt like he’d essentially negotiated himself what was close to a $50,000 raise from where he’d been before.


A few weeks passed & I got a call…from the candidate…saying that his company had let him go. They had been interviewing his potential replacement(s), at a pay level lower that he’d been at before and hired someone to take his place. He pleaded to see if I could help him find some way to re-secure a position with our client. I tried my best, but the bridge had been burned & there was no way we’d be able to revive what was once a promising opportunity.


This is a cautionary tale & one I’ve seen play out more than once over the years. It’s important to consider  the potential of a counter offer BEFORE you begin to entertain making a move. There may be things you or your company can do to remedy the problems or challenges that are motivating you to look at leaving and, if you decide that leaving is the right choice, a counter offer is something you should leave behind as well.



Some Risks That May Come Along With Accepting a Counteroffer


Think about it…What type of company do you work for if you have to threaten to resign before they give you what you are worth?

From where is the money for the counteroffer coming? Is it your next raise early?

Your company may immediately start looking for a new person at a lower salary price.

You have now made your employer aware that you are unhappy. From this day on, your loyalty may be in question.

When promotion time comes around, your employer will remember who was loyal, and who wasn’t.

When times get tough, your employer will begin cutbacks with you.

The same circumstances that now cause you to consider a change will repeat themselves in the future, even if you accept a counteroffer.

Once word gets out, the relationship that you now enjoy with your co-workers will change. You may lose the personal satisfaction of peer groups.



Sample Letter of Resignation


Here is a simple template you can use to let your employer know that you’ve decided to move along in your career. A letter in writing, thanking your previous employer and stating your departure is standard  professional courtesy.


(City, State, Zip)


Dear (Employer Name):

This is to inform you that I have accepted a position with another company. I want to
express my gratitude for a rewarding professional association during my employment
with (Company Name).


This decision was not an easy one and involved many hours of thoughtful consideration,
particularly with respect to my own plans for my future. I am confident, however, that
this new position represents a positive move towards fulfilling my career goals. I hope
you will respect my position in this matter.


My thoughts now are to work as hard as possible to wrap up my projects here and turn
over my responsibilities as smoothly as possible. However, I would like to join my new
employer as soon as possible. Therefore, my last day of report will be two weeks from
today, (date).






Contact Us!

We would love to hear from you! Please fill out this form and we will get in touch with you shortly.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

What a Recruiter Looks For When Reading Your Resume

Filed under: Job Search, Redfish Speaks, Resume


Jon Piggins, IT Recruiter

Jon Piggins – IT Recruiter, Sales & Marketing

What a Recruiter Looks For When Reading Your Resume

By Jon Piggins, Executive Recruiter, IT Sales & Marketing


While I do not look through all of the 3M resumes that Google receives every year, my day often starts with resume review. I search our company database, various job boards, LinkedIn, etc; and just one search may bring back hundreds of resumes. For example, this morning 293 new or updated resumes came up, and out of those I only downloaded three.


Pundits say that your resume gets between 6 and 15 seconds of attention. So what I am and other recruiters looking for in those precious seconds? Read more »

Use Social Media to Make Yourself More Attractive in the Job Market. Part 2

Filed under: Job Search, Redfish Speaks, Social Media

Use Social Media to Make Yourself More Attractive in the Job Market

Part 2

Leah O'Flynn, Tech Recruiter

Leah O’Flynn, Tech Recruiter

By Leah O’Flynn Executive Recruiter & Team Manager, Tech Talent Division


Part one of this article focused on where you should spend your time making an online presence. Now that you know where to be, how do you make the most of your online presence?


Make the most of your social media in the job market –


As a recruiter, I look at social media pages to connect with people with the experience and skills I seek. Also, I use it to get an idea of who you are, what your personality is and if you will fit into a particular corporate culture. Employers and recruiters will find your profile more attractive if you follow some of this advice: Read more »

Beating the Tech Talent Crunch: Ways to Shore Up the Talent Gap

Filed under: Best Practices, Employer, Recruiter / Recruiting, Redfish Speaks, Talent Acquisition, Talent Retention

Beating the Tech Talent Crunch

Tech Talent Crunch

Ways to Shore Up the Talent Gap


The tech talent shortage has been compounding for some years, to the point we are hearing about the return of the candidate king. Sectors across various technology industries, engineering, and finance are experiencing difficulty acquiring and retaining much needed talent. Big talent gaps exist in software development and data science/analytics, and all across the science, engineering fields as well.


So what can you do to find the skilled talent you need? Read more »