Hiring? Hire a Recruiter!

This time last year, I talked about the costs associated with hiring and briefly touched on the benefits of going with an independent/3rd party recruiter. This year, I’d like to dig deeper into that topic and give you my take on the recruiter advantage.

Savings
While I already alluded to the cost savings associated with hiring a recruiter, it will also save you time and frustration – which are priceless. Many man-hours go into screening candidates – and it can be a very tedious process. If you’re main job is not to hire people, then you will likely find this process overwhelming.

Network
The network I’ve built over the years is worth everything. If recruiting is not your job, placing the opportunity on your website and hoping that the perfect candidate is going to apply is like fishing without bait. You need know what will attract the right person and you need to know where to look. Chances are, they already have a job.

Experience
I’ve been doing this a long time. Placing talent effectively is a skill that is developed over time.  You want to work with someone who is knowledgeable about your industry, has a good rapport with clients and can navigate the nuances of recruiting. That’s my colleagues and me at Kaczmar.

Working with recruiters, especially good ones, come at a price – upwards of 20 percent of a candidate’s salary. There are usually upfront costs associated with finding and placing talent. However, I look at this as quality over quantity. Would you rather buy a high-end product that’s going to last you for years or settle for the generic that’s going to leave you high and dry after a few months? You absolutely get what you pay for. And while people are not products, they are assets. As a recruiting firm, the caliber of talent we place is directly linked to our reputation. And after 20 years in the business, our reputation equals my success.

What has been your experience with recruiters? Love them? Hate them? Fire away in a comment below.

Looking to place high-tech sales talent? Contact us.

Tis The Season . . . to find a new job

Just because your office may be winding down for the holidays doesn’t mean your job hunt should. In fact, the holidays are a great time to ramp up your job search.

Here’s why:

Party Time: Although your crazy uncle’s holiday party may not always be the highlight of the season, he’s the most connected man in town. Be the first to arrive, wear your best suit and your biggest smile. Most conversations start with “what do you do?” Happy hunting!

Down Time: After you’ve finished wrapping gifts and partying with the best of them, you may actually have some down time. Instead of watching A Christmas Story for the 100th time, beef up your resume, peruse LinkedIn, contact your recruiter and if you feel really inspired, start preparing for your Killer Interview.

New Jobs in the New Year: With budgets approved and a solid hiring strategy in place for the New Year, many companies start their employee search in November and December. Schedules also open up during the holiday season, so getting face time with the executive team may be a reality. Don’t forget to get your power suit pressed for all of your interviews!

While everyone is sipping on egg nog and recovering from the holiday haze, you’ll be sending out thank you cards to your new connections from your crazy uncle’s holiday party and inviting them to connect on LinkedIn. With any luck, your efforts will be rewarded and you’ll start the New Year off with a bang as the newest hire at your dream job!

Share your holiday hire successes with us below!

Silicon Alley Gets Boost with Digital.NYC

Move over Silicon Valley; New York is upping the ante as a technology hotbed with Digital.NYC. With a little help from IBM, this citywide initiative is making The Big Apple a more attractive destination for startups to, well, start up. Not only is Digital.NYC fostering the city’s thriving tech community, it is opening up opportunities for high-tech talent in the Northeast.

Think of Digital.NYC as the Craigslist for the technology industry in New York City. From one online hub you can find events, jobs, courses and collaborative workspaces. Investors can quickly search for prospects among a sea of startups, and vice versa. Plus, gain access to resources that can empower you to start up yourself.

As NYC continues to solidify its status as the technology capital of the East Coast, it will be interesting to see how the industry will shape the city and its high-tech dwellers. In the meantime, I’m happy to see the East Side at the forefront of innovation and getting the recognition it deserves.

Are you an NYC-based techie? How are you seeing the industry landscape changing? Leave me a comment below.

Looking for a job in the New York City area? Check out our featured positions and apply if you see something you like.

What Type of Employee Are You?

I saw a great post on Linkedin recently about the four types of employees you find in (almost) every workplace. It’s a great exercise for supervisors to assess their current teams. But I think it’s an exercise that employees could benefit from as well. Here’s how you can determine if you are a star, student, land mine or not yet gone:

Start by asking yourself what you do for your company that contributes to its success. Are your sales numbers off the charts? Are you a master at building client relationships? If you don’t have a clear idea of what your strengths are, ask a close colleague what they think.

Then, evaluate how you fit in. Do you and your colleagues share similar interests? Do you believe in the same core values as your company? Think big picture. You don’t have to be the most popular guy or gal around the water cooler to align with the culture of the company.

Take some time to reflect.

The Good
Star: If your contribution and cultural responses are an emphatic “yes,” you’re likely a shining star. You lead by example, take pride in your work and are an asset to your team.

Student: If your contributions seem minimal but are growing steadily, you’re likely an apt student. A star has probably taken you under their wing and is cultivating your potential. This is a good position to be in. You can only go up from here.

The Bad
Land Mine: You’re a model employee – on paper. You meet your quota but that’s as far as it goes. Your passion – if you ever had it – is gone. You know it; something is missing. If this is the case, you’re in land mine territory. If it’s a temporary rough patch (i.e. a challenging project, personal hardships) you have the potential to jump into bonafide star status. If it’s more than that (i.e. change in company policy, leadership or direction you wholeheartedly don’t agree with) then it may be time to move on to another organization that shares your priorities.

Not Yet Gone: You’re delivering subpar results and time isn’t making it any better. The sad truth is, your employer probably wants to give you the boot but is hoping you resign before a replacement is found. Look inside yourself and find out why you’ve strayed. Maybe you’ve just lost interest in your career. Or, you may feel like an outsider within your organization. There was a reason you were hired in the first place. So let those qualities shine once again with a new employer.

New Hires
If you’re a hiring manager, just because a candidate isn’t a star, doesn’t mean they are unhirable. Think about your company’s needs and don’t rule out a rising star who would make a great addition to the team.

What do you think? Are you a star, student, land mine or not yet gone? Share your comments with us below.

Where the Jobs Are: More High-Tech Trends

Last month, we talked about some buzz worthy technologies including big data, cloud, business intelligence and mobility. This month, we’re continuing our tech talk with some more high-tech sectors that are seeing tremendous growth. Here’s what you need to know:

Marketing Automation
Marketing automation is huge. More and more companies are gaining momentum and fighting tooth and nail for a piece of the pie. Stand-alone technologies such as Marketo and HubSpot have become commonplace within overworked marketing departments. Even large marketing logistics providers are offering solutions that automate the process.

The idea here is to do more with less. Moving campaign management to a single dashboard takes the busy work out of the equation, allowing teams to be more streamlined and strategic. Marketing automation also allows for more targeted communication and performance tracking.

Life Sciences
Life sciences can be applied to anything from pharmaceuticals to the food industry. And you don’t necessarily have to be a traditional scientist to break into this field. From management to sales and technology, there is a wealth of opportunities.

In Massachusetts, the industry is exploding. A 2013 report by the Boston Foundation found the state’s life sciences industry growing at a faster pace than any other­ industry. And with GE moving their Healthcare Life Sciences headquarters to the Commonwealth early next year, more jobs are expected to follow.

Security
With networks being hacked and databases expanding faster than ever before, IT security professionals are in high demand. In fact, the industry is growing at a rate of 24 percent every year, according to Forbes.

The need expands beyond software and computing firms. Think of industries like healthcare and financial, where sensitive data is constantly being collected. IT executive Shan Fowler tells TechRepublic that security is important to “every company, regardless of industry…because technology touches every aspect of an organization.”

Looking for a sales position in any of the industries we talked about? Check out our featured positions or contact us.

Where the Jobs are: Top High-Tech Trends

Big data. Cloud. Business intelligence. Mobility. These buzzwords are not only trending among technophiles, but with employers too. These industries are experiencing rapid growth and employers are jumping at the chance to fill vacant spots with qualified candidates. Here’s what you need to know:

Big Data
As databases fill up with more and more information, high-tech companies are scrambling for ways to compile, process and store this valuable data. Different leaders offer different solutions: IBM has FlashSystems, Microsoft has StorSimple, Oracle has its own solution, and the list goes on. As the storage wars continue among competitors, data scientists are reaping the benefits. Gartner estimates that by next year, there will be more than 4 million positions up for grabs.

Cloud Computing
For the past few years, we’ve seen the demand for cloud architects steadily rise. Big data is partly responsible for this trend. With cloud computing, companies can manage their entire network remotely, cutting down on hardware and operating costs. High-tech heavy hitters like SAP, IBM and Cisco are leading the way – providing solutions many firms are adopting in a race to virtualize their IT environments.

Mobility
From mobile developers to IT professionals, Mashable ranked mobility as one of the hottest tech jobs on the market this year. With more business being conducted on the go, mobile technology is a must. Whether we’re talking laptops, smart phones or tablets, all the moving pieces must be secure and run smoothly. As devices are upgraded and new applications are released, companies are often playing catch up to stay current, furthering the need for mobile technology experts.

Business Analytics
With all this stored data, companies want a smart way to crunch the numbers. Business analytics, often used interchangeably with business intelligence or BI, uses information like demographics, sales figures and buying habits to develop insights that can be used to improve processes, drive revenue, even fight crime and disease. So, who are these analytics experts? Stacy Blanchard from Accenture Analytics tells InformationWeek that “they’re typically statisticians who are deep into data modeling, they’re close to the technology, and know the right algorithms to use with the data available.”

Don’t have a STEM background? Not a problem. Matt McGraw, CEO of high-tech recruiting agency TheLions, told Mashable “sales development is perhaps the best opportunity for non-engineers to get into startups with a $100,000 career track.”

Next month we’ll continue our deep dive with more industry trends, including marketing automation solutions, life sciences and security. For now, check out what’s trending in IT.

I’m Not Old: 5 Tips for the Seasoned Candidate

When asked about her age, a friend of mine always replies, “I feel young so my actual age is irrelevant.” If only you could put that as your birth date on a job application. The fact is, as much as we’d like to think people don’t judge candidates based on age, we know that many times employers do. Here are some smart ways to fight ageism in the workforce:

You are experienced. Walk into that interview with your head held high.
This isn’t your first rodeo. You know how to sell a prospect; what gets a contract signed and what gets you in the door. You can lead others and mentor a younger team that will relish your experience and learn from it.

Technology is your friend.
LinkedIn – utilize it. Mastering this tool debunks the theory that only young folks know how to use social media. LinkedIn is the ideal place to showcase your impressive experience. Reach out to previous employers and peers to write recommendations on your behalf. You can build a vast network because you’ve been in the workforce for years. With a comprehensive profile, you’ll garner the attention you deserve.

Time is on your side.
Most likely, your children are grown or nearly there so your personal demands are lighter than younger professionals. Not that you want to work all the time, but knowing you are available can be a big bonus for a potential employer.

You’re efficient.
You know how to do your job; you’ve been doing it for years. You get to work on time and stay until the job is done. Being older doesn’t mean you are slower, just smarter than those who are less experienced and most likely less efficient. You can get your job done quickly because you know what works and what doesn’t.

You’re happy.
You know what makes you happy. You don’t need your employer to provide cocktail hours, counseling or field days at the workplace. You’ve already found happiness in your work, your home life and other things that fill your days.

Now stop feeling like a dinosaur and embrace who you really are – a knowledgeable, seasoned professional!

Good Help is Hard to Keep: 3 Ways to Make Them Stay

Turnover is notoriously high in IT. With 42 percent of technology professionals jumping ship, it’s no wonder employers are scrambling to find stable candidates. Here are three tips employers can use to hold on to their talent:

Start Early

According to a CareerBuilder webinar, retention today begins before a candidate is hired; it actually starts when a candidates researches your company, and goes through the application and interview process. About 43 percent of professionals say a job description didn’t match the position.

To get in front of these obstacles, be transparent about the company, the job, requirements and expectations.

Gain Insight

For your current employees, pick their brain. Scott Hebner, VP of social business at IBM says this year “we’ll begin to see organizations tapping social and behavioral data to better understand what is important to employees, what motivates them, why they stay with an organization.” This goes beyond the standard employee survey.

Establish an employment engagement strategy if you don’t already have one. Meet with employees individually and as a group on a regular basis. This will help you understand problems before they arise and create a culture where feedback is welcome.

Take Action

According to this Deloitte report, the main reason employees quit is because of their direct boss. Secondary reasons include better pay, opportunities for growth and being recognized for their efforts, according to CareerBuilder. So, as an employer, what can you do about it?

Let’s start with something simple: praise. Signs of appreciation – from verbal recognition to earning rewards for a job well done – can motivate employees and help with retention.

Professional development is also important. When employees are not challenged or learning something new, they become disengaged with their current role and start looking elsewhere to fill this void. Even when a promotion is not an option, there are creative ways to keep employees enthusiastic. Giving your people access to industry conferences, relevant courses and the ability to work on different projects can be what makes them stick around.

Finally, we land on the topic of money. 88 percent of workers say increasing salaries is the best way to boost retention. You may have to pony up the dough to keep your top performers happily working for you. If your budget doesn’t allow for bonuses and/or raises, talk to your employees and find out if there are other perks that would compensate for the lack of pay. Perhaps beefing up your benefits package or offering flexible schedules would suffice. In the end, if your compensation package is not competitive, you may just have to take the loss.

Do you think employee retention is an issue? How do you keep talent in-house? Share your comments below.

Tech Trends Candidates and Employers Need to Know

Good news for you techies. There is no shortage of jobs in technology. It is one of the few fields where unemployment is in decline and salaries are steadily increasing. In fact, tech consultant pay has hit an all-time high.

Right now, the areas in which we’re seeing the most demand are security, advanced manufacturing, cyber-physical systems, marketing automation, business intelligence, ERP and analytics.

Silicon Valley is not the only place you can find these jobs. The East Coast is teeming with high-tech jobs right now. My home state of Pennsylvania is a hotbed for healthcare IT while three other major East Coast cities ranked in the top 10 for tech startups.

With a larger pool of openings, it’s a job seeker’s market. What does that mean for hiring managers? You’re going to need to put in more effort to find “the one.” The right candidate isn’t going to walk through the door, you’ll need to go out and find him or her. With so few tech professionals out of work, you’ll likely have to incentivize someone to leave their current company. Recruiters can help you comb through their network and social media to find the perfect hire quickly.

While the going is good for IT now, will it stay that way? Dice claims lots of talented professionals have been rendered immobile due to a housing market that has yet to pick up. And according to Beyond.com, universities are experiencing a shortage of STEM grads, which means fewer qualified candidates to go around.

What are your thoughts about the current state of the industry? Leave us a comment below.

Having trouble finding high-tech sales talent? We can help.

From Fired to Hired: 5 Tips for the Recently Unemployed

So you got fired. While it’s natural to feel like a failure, don’t. There are plenty of successful people who have been in your shoes – Oprah, Walt Disney; even Steve Jobs was fired from his own company!

During her commencement speech at Wake Forest University, Jill Abramson, the recently ousted executive editor of the New York Times, recalled something her father used to say. “It meant more…to see us deal with a setback and try to bounce back, than watch how we handled our success.” Makes sense.

What matters now is how you overcome this hurdle. With the right approach, you can end up in a better position than before. Here’s how you can start turning things around.

Make Nice

However tempting, don’t burn any bridges. You want the reputation that precedes you to be a positive one. Keep the lines of communication open with colleagues. You never know when you’ll work with them again.

Get Praise

Line up your references; you’re going to need them. Round up at least three good ones. If possible, make one of those from your most recent employer – even if they weren’t your direct supervisor. This should help dispel any negativity surrounding your recent dismissal.

Work On Yourself

This is a good moment to reflect. Are there things you can do to make yourself a better professional? Whether it’s taking a class, achieving a new certification or refining your presentation skills, now is the time to do it. Who knows? It could pave the way to your next job.

Look Good On Paper

And online. And in person. Polish your resume and social media profiles. You don’t have to start explaining employment gaps just yet. Be ready for interviews. Dust off that power suit and practice running through typical interview questions – including why you left your last job.

Get Out

Hit the pavement. Let it be known that you’re looking. Don’t be ashamed. Leverage social media. Reach out to former colleagues, classmates, clients and recruiters – anyone who can help you find a job. Try to meet in person. Network over coffee, lunch or happy hour. Remember, your next job offer will come from someone, not some job board.

Looking for a recruiter to help you land a new high-tech sales role? Contact us.