Friday, December 22, 2006

Recruiting Process, Methodology, Systems and Technologies

I am not sure if you can see the illustration I have uploaded of the various steps in my firm's search process, but I guess the point here is we actually have a process. In fact, what may seem rather seamless to most (and seamful to a small number of others, darn!), are in fact a number of well detailed methodologies and systems for connecting the top performers with my elite clients. Some of these are interviewing style or the proper progression for asking for information from a candidate. Others are technological in nature. I want to outline some of these mechanisms, so you know. And as they say in my business, it's better to know than not to know.

First, we have a synthesis of a number of recruiting methodologies. The standard around which all other methodologies are measured is the Morgan Methodology. It's creator was one of the first people that actually standardized how the day of a typical recruiter should go, and how much time should be spent on each function. A hallmark of this system is the motto "It's not personal, it's just business", when dealing with candidates (and I suppose dealing with clients as well). I believe this gets translated by some recruiters into the idea that people are just numbers. So if you ever got blown off (or turned off) by a recruiter before, maybe that's the reason. But to be good in this business, you have to have good relationships with those you work for. And although the client company pays our fee, make no mistake about it, we work for the candidate as well -- especially in this job market. I don't know if it's achieved the level of "methodology" yet, but there is a new school of thought lead by people like Greg Doersching who leverage technology so relationships can be strengthened. I hope that my firm is taking that to the next level by building lifelong relationships with all the people that are involved in the process (on the client side and on the candidate side). More on this in a different post, perhaps.

Second, we have a unique recruiting-oriented database that allows for access anywhere in the world, via an ASP (if you don't know, this stands for "application service provider" aka "on-demand software") model. We can access our information anywhere in the world there is a browser. One thing we have been working on for years is tracking network and computer security companies throughout the world, but especially in the US (we are tracking almost 600 now). This doesn't just mean we know the company name. This means we know the top execs (as well as the front line superior Sales/SE/PM performers) with contact information. Funny thing is, if you are a top performer or a C-level executive in the network or computer security realm and you contact us, we most likely will have been watching you (in a good way, hopefully in a non-stalker way). Incidentally, we happen to be using the software that 3/4 of all "Big Billers" uses. This outsourced function is an important fact, because our core-competency is not database maintenance -- it's finding awesome people for awesome opportunities. But this isn't the only thing we have outsourced.

Third, we have an email newsletter that goes out containing all the open positions we are recruiting on. It goes out infrequently, but this is also completely outsourced as well. We like for candidates to know what opportunities exist. We don't like the idea of anyone associating our name with spam. So the particular company we use has a very easy way to unsubscribe. This list of subscribers is maintained by the email newsletter company, and separate from our database.

Forth, we have an online appointment scheduler (again, an ASP). It allows any candidate to look at my schedule and pick the time that would be best for them to talk to me, and immediately schedule a meeting with me on their own, without an assistant coordinating. If we didn't have this, we would have to propose to each candidate a time to speak and then we would have to hold that time slot open while we were waiting on their response. This isn't efficient or effective.

Lastly (well for this online entry at least), we have a number of sophisticated networking and research tools for finding passive candidates. We don't have Monster, CareerBuilder or Hotjobs. These boards yield a plethora of active candidates to sort through -- most not exceptional -- and this take us away from true recruiting. We are recruiters, we should recruit. Whoa, what a concept! I believe this is one reason why our candidates are exceptional. True recruiting: we find the passive candidate, we sell them on the idea of keeping our eyes open for the right thing, we actually listen to what they are really looking for and why they would be looking (again, what are we thinking?!), and then contact them when we think we have an option that might be a fit.

This isn't the only technology we use to leverage our time. For example there's the software we use that monitors our clients (as well as other industry websites) to let us know when a new position has been posted, even if the hiring manager forgets to pick up the phone to tell us. We call them. Then we call you.

My Recruiting Firm: Network and Computer Security Sales

My firm is a search and placement firm specializing in computer and network security 1. Sales, 2. Sales Engineering (SE) and 3. Product Management (PM). But here's the real deal: the only reason any of these three are a focus is because that is where the market has pushed us. These are what companies are in need of, so these are the areas we recruit. Company need (or at least perceived need) drives our efforts.

When someone asks me, "what is the market like these days?", I can answer from my own perspective, which is the market of candidates by companies; not the market for security products or solutions by businesses or individuals. Keeping this in mind, I can say that the need for people who know what they are doing in the security Sales, SE and PM realms is very high, and in my opinion will get tighter -- and I suspect this is the same for a number of technological niches. Although it's a candidate-centric market now, it's about to become a candidate-scarce market. And this is why I will have a job for the foreseeable future (yay).

If you are worth your salt in the security realm, the world should be your oyster. If it isn't, lets talk. If you are representing a company not seeing the kinds of people you should be seeing, let's talk. After I have talked to both of you, I'll create an introduction. :-)