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Staffing 360 covers the world of IT consulting and enterprise-wide staffing from all angles. We write about trends, opinions, and ideas on VMS, MSP, pending legislation, industry news, the job search, and much more. 

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Happy Thanksgiving


describe the imageHappy Thanksgiving!

It’s that time of year again – when we collectively take a moment to slow down, reflect on our lives, and give thanks.  In 1621, Pilgrims at Plimoth Plantation in Massachusetts celebrated a bountiful harvest and the assistance of the Native Americans who helped them learn to farm the land in their first difficult year.  The feast lasted 3 days and was repeated in 1623 to acknowledge the end of a long drought which has again threatened their crops.

During the American Revolution, the Continental Congress designated certain days of thanksgiving during the year, and in 1789 George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving proclamation by the government, with successive presidents following.

In 1817, New York became the first of several states to officially adopt an annual Thanksgiving holiday, and in 1827, editor and writer Sarah Josepha Hale launched a campaign to establish Thanksgiving as a national holiday.  It took 36 years, but she finally succeeded and in 1863 Abraham Lincoln established it as a national holiday.

It is easy to see why it quickly became so popular, and in some ways hard to fathom that it took so long to make it a national holiday.  There is something very simple and wholly satisfying about stopping to count your blessings, to give thanks for what you have instead of thinking about what you don’t.  Moving forward, looking ahead, wanting more and better for our self and our family is a natural human reaction.  Taking stock and giving thanks are too – we just need to remind ourselves to do so.

So this year, as in years past, I am thankful for my wife Maria, my daughter Andrea, my extended family, friends, and colleagues.  The richness of our lives is not measured in material possessions but in the people one knows and who enrich our lives each and every day.  We must all take a moment to also be thankful that we live in a free nation that, while far from perfect (what is?), affords us the opportunity to protest peacefully and change things for the better through our election process.  Finally, we should all give a special thank you to the men and women in our military, emergency services, hospitals and nursing homes who keep us and our loved ones safe and healthy, and who are giving up their holiday, so that we may more fully enjoy ours. 

Tomorrow, wherever and however you celebrate the holiday, enjoy and give thanks!   Happy Thanksgiving!

Jerry Brenholz
CEO and President
ATR International, Inc.



ATR International Awarded 2014 Supplier of the Year


nmsdc, award winnersATR International was awarded the "2014 Class IV Regional Supplier of the Year” award at the annual conference and business opportunity fair hosted by the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) in Orlando, FL on November 5th. This four day event attracts more than 6,000 corporate CEOs, procurement executives and supplier diversity professionals from top multinational companies, as well as leading Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native American business owners and international organizations.

The annual Supplier of the Year awards presented by the NMSDC is the most prestigious supplier diversity event in the US. This was ATR’s first year in contention, having been nominated by Wells Fargo. This annual award recognizes ATR’s outstanding efforts and accomplishments as a certified Minority Business Enterprise. According to the panel of judges, ATR’s submission, which included growth rates, client letters of recommendation, charity efforts, a volunteer time off program for employees, and concerted efforts to support the supplier diversity community, was scored the highest in the western region.

“ATR is proud to be recognized by a leading organization like the NMSDC,” said President and CEO Jerry Brenholz. “Our goal as a certified MBE is to provide staffing services for our clients with an unmatched level of service and quality. We do this while also supporting the communities around us through our supplier diversity initiatives and our volunteer time off (VTO) program.”  

About ATR International, Inc.
ATR International is a leader in IT and enterprise-wide staffing services. The company recruits, screens, and places thousands of IT and other employment categories of critical talent for technology-based organizations across the country.

All the Advice a Job Seeker Could Ever Need, All in One Place!


We launched Staffing 360 several years ago and we’ve published nearly 300 columns since we started. In that time we’ve covered a broad range of topics and amassed a bit of a library of information. We’ve written quite a bit about the job search, what to do on the job to make yourself standout, and provided some IT specific information. Whether you’re a contractor looking for your next position or are currently on assignment, we think you’ll find these posts helpful.  Let us know if they are and good luck!

When You’re Looking for a Job

7 Tips for a Discreet Job Search

8 Basics for a Successful Job Search

How To Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

Volunteering May Help You Land Your Next Job

The Job Search: When Experience Isn't Enough

7 Things That Are Unacceptable During Your Job Search

When You’re Interviewing

9 Questions You Should Ask an Interviewer

Getting Job References Right

Be Prepared: The Interview Checklist

After the Job Interview

The Job Interview: Why Didn’t They Call You Back and What To Do

When You’re Already on the Job

Sleep and Productivity

How To Get Promoted At Work

5 Ways To Be Memorable At Work

Are You An Indispensable Employee?

10 Tips for Getting Ahead at Work

The Importance of Proper Grammar in the Workplace

IT Specific Information

IT Trends to Watch in 2014

Finding an IT Job - Don't Send a Resume

LinkedIn and Your Search for an IT Job

The Truth About Salary and IT Workers

Finding an IT Job – Should you consider temporary employment?

6 Must Do's for Converting an IT Contract Job into a Regular Job 



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NMSDC National Conference and Supplier of the Year Awards



I have been attending the NMSDC Annual Opportunity Fair in Orlando, FL this week, along with some of my ATR team members. As always, the conference was wonderful! – a great chance to meet with other MBE organizations and connect with supplier diversity program managers from Fortune 500 and other global multinational companies. There were interesting keynote speakers and great workshops too. If you haven’t been to one before, start planning for next year!

Last night the conference closed with an Awards Banquet, where the NMSDC announced their national Supplier of the Year Awards, recognizing companies for their work in and commitment to the diversity business community. After winning our regional Supplier of the Year award last spring, we were thrilled to be nominated as one of the four in the running for the Class IV national award, representing the entire Western Region. We want to congratulate World Wide Technology, Inc., the winner in the Class IV category!

The awards are just one of the ways that the conference reinforces the value of diversity and the importance of working together to strengthen our economy on many levels. It’s an honor to be in the company of all the nominees and winners (listed below for your FYI) and a true testament to the difference that the hard work and dedication of many individuals creates in ensuring that our workplaces reflect the diversity of our world and the communities we live in. We want to thank the NMSDC and our local council the WRSDC and congratulate everyone! 

Class 1 (Annual Sales Less Than $1M)
a-Tech Resourcing, LLC (Bradenton, FL)
Bridgeforth World & Associates (Chicago, IL)
commVerge Marketing (Milford, CT)
Enterprise Publisher, Inc. (Henderson, NV) WINNER

Class II (Annual Sales Between $1M and $10M)
D and B Painting Company, Inc. (Oakland, CA)
The Harmon Group, LLC dba Mercury P&F (Detroit, MI)
Progressive Marketing and Management (Columbus, OH)
The Royster Group Inc. (Atlanta, GA) WINNER

Class III (Annual Sales Between $10M and $50M)
ChemicoMays, LLC (Southfield, MI) WINNER
IW Group, Inc. (West Hollywood, CA)
Metcon, Inc. (Pembroke, NC)
Mitchell & Titus, LLP (New York, NY)

Class IV (Annual Sales Greater Than $50M)
ATR International, Inc. (Sunnyvale, CA)
CIC Construction Group SE (San Juan, Puerto Rico)
Tronex International, Inc. (Mount Olive, NJ)
World Wide Technology, Inc. (Maryland Heights, MO) WINNER


Jerry Brenholz
CEO and President
ATR International, Inc.

Should Your IT Department Be Trying To Save Money?


IT Department saveWhatever business you’re in, your IT department, whether it’s one person or 100, is an integral part of your success. From retail to manufacturing to professional services, IT is the backbone of a company. Without it no business succeeds, and when it doesn’t go right, the consequences range from inconvenient to incredibly serious. Just ask any one of the retail companies who’ve suffered security breaches in the recent past. Regardless of what your core business is, IT can make or break you.

All businesses are also concerned with cost; everyone wants to save money, and the IT department can be a tempting target. Software, hardware, infrastructure, personnel – it all adds up. But be careful and judicious when you start looking for ways to cut IT costs, especially when it comes to personnel and offshoring labor, a popular option. A recent Staffing Talk article makes some good points about the consequences of using cheaper offshore IT labor, specifically in India. It points out three potential problems with doing so:

  1. Remote IT staff are less effective because they are farther away from your core business
  2. Cheap resources have higher turnover rates
  3. Core staff members waste time communicating with and training offshore staff

I would expand on the author’s focus to include “cheap” labor in any country, including here in the U.S. For me, the article proves the old adages “you get what you pay for” and “buyer beware.” Anytime something is significantly cheaper than what you are currently paying, it behooves you to understand how those savings are being achieved, and what negatives may be involved. The reasons above are what I would call “soft” reasons offshore labor may not be the bargain that it seems. You also definitely want to be sure that savings aren’t being achieved because laws and regulations are being skirted, environmental consequences ignored, or workers’ rights disregarded.

The real point is to avoid sacrificing quality for cost savings. Several years ago I wrote a column for Staffing 360 that made this point as well (I’m Too Poor to Buy Cheap). It’s not necessarily India, offshoring, or outsourcing that has inherent problems and can only deliver bad results. It’s about understanding the potential pitfalls of any business model and guarding against them. It’s about recognizing where you simply cannot afford to sacrifice quality for cost. It’s about making sure that you partner with stable, reputable companies that know what they’re doing, all the time and in all geographies. 

When it comes to IT, don’t underestimate its critical role in your business and its importance to your overall success. Staffing Talk’s article gives Target’s security breach as an example of what can happen when your core business and your IT function are disengaged because of geographical distance. Don’t make the same mistake. 

I’m not suggesting unchecked spending or bloated IT budgets, I’m a business owner too. I’m not railing against offshore or outsourced talent. I’m advocating for smart cost cutting and point out that IT can be a tricky space and to truly balance the IT needs of your organization with reasonable costs requires attention and continued vigilance. Understanding Indian and other overseas IT labor markets is key since this can help you mitigate certain risks like high turnover. Understanding some of the challenges in working with remote staff can ensure that you put processes in place to avoid disconnection between one area of your company and another. 

The lesson here isn’t as narrow as “don’t use cheap Indian IT labor.” It’s bigger than that. The best lesson to learn is to appreciate the integral part that IT plays in your business, possibly a mission critical role, and to make spending decisions with this in mind. Don’t skimp – save, and save wisely. There are plenty of examples out there of people who forgot this and paid a far greater price – both in terms of money and reputation.

Jerry Brenholz
CEO and President
ATR International, Inc.

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Does A Gap In Your Resume Put You At A Disadvantage?


resume gap

This is a post written by guest blogger Rachel McDonald - a professional and experienced writer with deep interest in issues about career, education and travel. She shares her knowledge by writing articles for a variety of leading blogs.

Whether it's due to a competitive job market, prolonged illness, or the decision to stay at home and raise children, many job seekers find themselves jumping back into the workforce with an employment gap to contend with. Gaps in a candidate's work history may be a red flag for employers, but there are many ways to deal with this issue for job seekers and recruiters alike.

Tips for Job Seekers

The average unemployed American job hunts for 34 weeks before finding a new position, while over one third of job seekers in the UK are unemployed for over 12 months. As the weeks turn into months, it can render that carefully crafted resume obsolete. If it has been several months since your last job ended, it's important to address this or your resume will get overlooked by employers. You can reduce the attention paid to your employment gap by keeping these tips in mind.  

  • Address the issue head-on. You should already be writing individualized cover letters for each employer, which gives you the chance to include a brief explanation of your employment gap. Keep it brief and to the point.
  • If you get to the interview stage, this also provides you with the opportunity to explain your gap in employment. Recruiters can be more understanding if you take ownership of this gap and can provide proof that your skills have not been rendered obsolete during this time.
  • Provide additional focus on skills and training on your resume if your experience is lacking. Although the job search itself may feel like a full-time job, spend some time volunteering or taking a professional course to keep your skills sharp. This shows employers that you're willing to take initiative.
  • If you've taken on temp jobs to make ends meet while looking for a full-time position, include this on your resume as well. A retail job may not fit neatly into your work history, but it shows that you were still a part of the work force during this gap.

Above all, honesty is the best policy when explaining a gap in employment.

Tips for Recruiters

Recruiters are often told to look at gaps in employment as an automatic red flag. When presented with a functional resume or one that only provides dates of employment in years, it's natural to view the candidate with some degree of scepticism. Long or frequent gaps may render a candidate unsuitable for the position, but if the gap is explained in the cover letter or resume it can be well worth asking for more information. If a candidate seems like a good fit aside from the employment gap, try using these tips.

  • Conduct a telephone interview first. Ask for an explanation for the employment gap straight away before investing more time in an onsite interview.
  • Evaluate whether or not the candidate has used their gap time in a constructive manner. Did they spend it volunteering or taking a course to upgrade their skill set?
  • Be on the lookout for additional red flags. You may be willing to overlook a four-month gap in employment, but if the resume is riddled with spelling errors and there's no cover letter, it's probably not worth time to follow up.

Gaps in employment are inevitable in a fluctuating economic climate. Recruiters may approach employment gaps with some degree of understanding, provided that all other conditions of eligibility are met. It's up to the job seeker to prove this, making a well-written cover letter more important than ever.


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The Must-Have NMSDC Conference Guide for Corporate Professionals


“To succeed in today’s business environment, we must all be committed to supporting and fostering the benefits of a diverse supply chain. As a long-time certified MBE, we make every effort to find and utilize fellow MBE vendors to meet all of our business needs. In addition, ATR International is committed to building relationships within the supplier diversity community in an effort to learn from others and to share what we know.”

This message from our president and CEO, Jerry Brenholz, opens our latest eBook, The Essential Conference Attendance Guide for the Supplier Diversity Professional.  To me, it perfectly captures the spirit of our company and the purpose of my role as Corporate Outreach Manager.  As readers of Staffing 360 know, I try to share information that my friends and colleagues will find helpful, and I’m so grateful in return for what I learn from them. 

I recently published a couple of posts with tips on how to get the most out of attendance at the upcoming NMSDC Annual Conference and Opportunity Fair. The eBook is a more robust piece that includes what I shared but covers much more including:

  1. The benefits of attendance. Understand and demonstrate the benefits and ROI of conference attendance to senior management and others.
  2. How to optimize your experience. What you can do before, during and after the conference to maximize your participation and achieve your conference goals effectively and efficiently.
  3. Criteria to help you identify the best suppliers. Learn how you can quickly and accurately begin to evaluate whether they meet your program’s requirements.

I have found that MBE events are the best place to establish and nurture relationships with other professionals in the business community but there are things you can do to make the events even better. I hope that you find it useful to have all this great information in one place and I look forward to seeing you at the conference!

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Angelique Solorio
Corporate Outreach Manager
ATR International

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You Don't Need A Resume If You're Looking For An IT Job


no resumeYou are a busy IT professional. You may be happy in your current position or you may not, but either way, it is likely that the thought of what else lies out there for you professionally has crossed your mind. Could I make more money? Find a great place to work that is closer to home? Or perhaps in a new state? A position with more responsibility?

Aside from the fact that it takes time to search for openings (and we’re all short on that!), the thought that probably stops you in your tracks is “Oh no, I have to update my resume.”  The phone rings, your next meeting starts, and another week or month goes by.  Well here’s some good news – you don’t need a resume to start. You just need to get in touch with a good IT recruiter! 

Seriously, a relatively short phone conversation can start you on the path. A good IT recruiter knows the industry well, the trends and hot jobs. They know what the salary market is in your area and what employers are offering for benefit packages, for all job categories and types.  They know their clients, the companies that you want to work for, and they have a deep understanding of what skills and experience those companies are looking for. They know the difference between software engineers and mobile application designers, and between what a project manager, quality assurance manager and DBA do. And they know who is hiring; where the jobs are.

Once a good recruiter talks with you, they’ll know about you as well. They’ll know what your specific talents are and how you’ve used them in your career up to this point. They’ll understand what technologies and programs you’ve worked with. Most importantly, they’ll know something about you personally. What your aspirations are, what your dream job looks like and what you’re specifically looking for in your next role. They’ll actually know more about you then they would if you only submitted a resume, no matter how up-to-date it is. And you’ll have invested only 20 or 30 minutes in the process. Most likely much less time than it would have taken you to update your resume.

Once they know all this, it’s a matter of matching you to the right opening. Here’s another spot where you save time while getting results. The recruiter does the searching! They can easily determine if there’s an open position that matches your skills and interests and if it’s a good fit culturally for you. They’ll spend the time to find opportunities that are right for you.

Even more than that, they will think of you for positions that you might not have applied to yourself. It might be that you don’t know that your skills are eminently transferable to that job or industry. Or it could be that you are undervaluing yourself and don’t have a full appreciation of your worth in the market. They might discuss applying for a manager level or supervisory role that you might have shied away from. And if there is nothing that is a good fit at that moment, you just sit back and wait. They’ll keep you in mind and as soon as the right opportunity comes along, your phone will ring!

Of course eventually, you will have to send them your resume, but at that point it will be because there’s a good opportunity, worth pursuing. Plus, your recruiter can help you update your resume. We have lots of experience in this area and can share tips and best practices in general, as well as helping you tailor it to the specific job opening we’re recommending you for.

So if you are nearing the end of your latest assignment and wondering what you’ll do next, or if you’ve been in a good job for many years and are wondering what else is out there, contact a good IT recruiter. No resume needed. A simple conversation could be the start of the next exciting chapter in your career!

Wendy Sun
VP of Recruiting
ATR International, Inc.

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How Corporate Attendees Can Make The Most Out Of The NMSDC Conference


NMSDC 2014 ConferenceThe time is approaching for the NMSDC to host its Annual Conference and Business Opportunity Fair. This year, it will be taking place in beautiful Orlando, FL, the Theme Park Capital of the World, November 2nd-5th. Looks like many of the tourists traveling around this time will include corporate supplier diversity leaders and procurement professionals from numerous multinational corporations seeking top minority owned companies that are looking to do business with them.

I wanted to share a few tips based on some of the things we’ve learned through the years.  We’re an MBE that has both exhibited and attended, and we bring the same perspective as those who are trying to meet you.  Whether you’ve been tasked with manning your company’s booth for the first time or are a seasoned attendee returning, we hope you’ll find them helpful.

For the many  that sponsor this event as corporate members, I know that the level of attendee traffic is far from an issue.  In fact, I am sure that there will be more people in attendance than you can probably meet!  You want to meet quality connections in order to identify the diverse suppliers that can deliver the goods and services that your organization needs in order to reflect the demographics of the community in which you serve, and it can be challenging to do this with so many in attendance

In order to be as strategic as possible, before, during and after the conference, here are a few ideas:

Before the Conference

  1. Do a little research.  As you receive information on what companies are exhibiting at the conference, research which sell what your company purchases.  Your goal is to identify suppliers that will spark an interest from your procurement department and can become a valuable supplier.  Consider reaching out to some you may be interested in to set up a meeting.  It doesn’t have to be as formal as “coffee at 10:30,” although it could be.  Simply letting them know you’d be interested in speaking with them if they stopped by your booth is enough.  Or make a list of those whose booth you want to visit to get more information during a brief break from your own duties.
  2. Check with your colleagues.  Maybe everyone in your program is attending but probably not.  Tap into your colleagues’ networks.  They may know someone at a promising company that you don’t, especially if they cover a different region or sector than you do.  This is just another way to make sure your time at the conference is wisely spent meeting people and companies that have been pre-screened, if you will, and are at least likely to meet your requirements.  If you’re not attending but someone from your department is, then help them out and set them up with your contacts.  Facilitating an introduction between a great potential supplier and your colleague could lead to a great success story!
  3. Promote your own attendance.  Whether it’s a post on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter (or all of them), you can let people know that you are attending.  This will alert your contacts and others that may want to get to know you and your program better and can prompt them to reach out to you.  Your contacts should include companies that you are keeping in the pipeline; companies that you might not have a need for at the moment, but could in the future.  It’s important to have this pipeline and the conference provides the opportunity to connect with them in person not just online, and further develop those existing relationships.

At the Conference

  1. Stay Energized – Fuel up!  It’s going to be a long day at your booth and you’ll need to be “on” all day.  You can count on spending hours meeting new people, telling them about your program, hearing about their company, and most of it you’ll do standing up!  The rest of the conference can be a whirlwind of activity as well with back to back meetings, workshops you may be speaking at, etc.  Don’t skip meals and bring a few simple snacks.  Take short breaks; walk around, even step outside for a breath of fresh air.  Most of all wear comfortable shoes!  Do what’s needed to keep your energy level up.
  2. Recognize all the opportunities to meet MBEs.  You exhibition booth is certainly the primary way that you will connect with MBEs in attendance but don’t overlook other ways.  Workshops, keynote speeches, Meals and break times, etc. – all offer the potential to meet your next great supplier! If you are not speaking at a workshop yourself or do not have any meetings, attendance will also give you the chance to learn from other corporate programs about what’s working for them.  Take advantage!
  3. Keep an open mind.  It can be challenging to be fully engaged every minute and tempting at times to think to yourself, “This is the millionth person I’ve seen today trying to sell me [blank].” I share this not to assume or be negative but because, I’ve actually had someone say to me “Another staffing firm and roll their eyes with laughter.”  Yes, it sets the bar with an opportunity to share what makes us different from the previous firms, but doesn’t necessarily offer a warm welcome.  I have staffed our booth before, so I also know how easy it is to feel this way, but please don’t.  Although you may meet multiple people offering the same product or service, there is no guarantee that the first ones you meet will be the best or right for your company.  Be discriminate, but not dismissive.  Thinking that talking to “enough” MBEs will result in finding “good” MBEs is a mistake that diminishes the ROI of your conference attendance.
  4. Stay organized.  Anything you can do at the conference instead of waiting until you get back is a time saver.  Whether it’s making notes on business cards or separating those you meet into categories like “fills a current need” or “potential future supplier,” it will make you more efficient when you’re back in the office.  Use electronic devices to help whenever possible but make sure they’re really time savers.  Sometimes a classic tool like pen and paper can be more efficient in the hustle of a conference.

After the Conference

  1. Deal with all the requests.  Your inbox, LinkedIn, and Facebook will likely be flooded with requests after the conference.  This is good in one sense but can also be daunting.  Just like meeting people in person, you can’t do business with all of them and it doesn’t make sense to connect with everyone just for the sake of it.  Potential suppliers that you want to connect with will be easy to answer; others may take more thought.  You’ll find some helpful tips on connecting with people in our previous post, LinkedIn Tips for Corporate Supplier Diversity Professionals.  Respond appropriately to all requests but be discriminate. 
  2. Be honest.  The idea of giving feedback – positive, constructive criticism – can be a touchy subject but it’s vital to the development of great diverse suppliers.  Sometimes an MBE is not a good fit with your firm because of what they sell but other times it is because they are not “ready” to work with your company.  Maybe they need to improve and strengthen some business, quality control or financial processes.  National and local NMSD councils can help them with this; there are programs and assistance available to address areas that need improvement.  You can help them develop into a stronger company by being honest when you respond and letting them know that they need to make some changes before they can be considered. I think suppliers would agree that we don’t want to waste your time or ours.

The time and money to attend the conference is an investment; ensure your time is productive. Do everything you can to get the most out of it.  Think beyond the suppliers you know you need today and keep an open mind as to who you might need in the future, or who you know in the corporate world who may be able to use them.  You might be able to help both an MBE and a diversity colleague with a timely reference or introduction.  I hope some of these ideas help you to have a more successful conference experience.  What are some of you are already doing?  Please share your tips with a comment below.  

I look forward to meeting many of you in November and hope you’ll look for me throughout the event or at our booth at 914. Wishing you all a successful conference!

Angelique Solorio
Corporate Outreach Manager
ATR International

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Improve Supplier Diversity Program


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How To Get The Most From Your IT Staffing Firm


IT Staffing FirmFinding good people to work at your company is a challenge. It’s time consuming and takes a lot of effort and for most business people hiring is just one of their job responsibilities, and not always a core competency. This is why companies turn to external partners to help. You always want to ensure you’re getting the best and talent management is so critical you really want a successful partnership with your staffing supplier. We asked our “experts,” our IT recruiters and others on our staff, for their advice on how to do it.

"Be detailed about your requirements"

This is the first, most basic and arguably the most important thing you can do in the process.  Your job description should be detailed and tailored specifically to the position. The clearer the role and responsibilities are, the better the sourcing can be, leading to the most qualified candidates for you to choose from. Matthew Smith told us “this is especially important when it comes to the technology your team uses.” We understand that you’re busy and using templates and boilerplate job descriptions is a time saver but as Technical Recruiter Dan Friedland points out “the more specific the information you provide early on, the fewer questions there will be later on.” 

Don’t just tell us about the hard skills the candidate will need, soft skills matter too, sometimes even more! What’s the personality of a successful candidate for you?  What’s the culture of your firm or department? Lucille Aviles explains, “knowing this upfront is critical to a recruiter and will absolutely help ensure that the candidate resumes that are sent to you will be a pool of good potential matches, not just a lot of resumes.” Talent sourer Megan Connolly says, “Details, details, details for the job descriptions. Every little piece counts towards finding that perfect candidate.” The more nuance you can communicate, the better. It really pays off.  Caution though: be specific but not superfluous. Don’t load it with nice-to-have but not necessary skills that weed out qualified candidates needlessly.

This is especially important in niche areas like IT and Engineering where you’re looking for highly skilled people and have very specific requirements. Account Executive Janice Yoshimoto advised that “working with knowledgeable industry recruiters is the first step, but giving us the most detail regarding the prospective job is the best way to ensure a better fit with our applicants.”

"Be prompt and specific with feedback"

Simply put – timely feedback on submittals and interviews is incredibly valuable. Everyone we asked expressed this view.  Mansi Shukla explains “prompt feedback on a candidate’s resume speeds up the recruiting process and helps the recruiters to find the best talent.” Account Executive Fran Garfinkel reminds clients “as your account manager it is my personal responsibility to make sure your needs are being met. Please take advantage of that!” The more knowledge we accumulate about your company and your needs specifically, the better we’ll be able to do our job. Dana Cheifer adds “it's important for hiring managers to spend time with us to explain why they have the need and give more details about the position than what’s in the job description.”

It’s an upfront investment that pays off over the long term and as Anju Batra pointed out, “providing feedback on candidates quickly is critical because the market is moving fast and good candidates don’t last long!” 

Provide as much support and feedback to the recruiters working for you as possible. Sourcing candidates for positions is much harder when you don’t really know what you’re supposed to be looking for. Be honest and clear. Concrete feedback on resumes and after interviews helps your recruiters understand more about what you want and don’t want. Van Nguyen told Staffing 360 that “knowing what was missing from a candidate’s repertoire will help you get better, more on target candidates in the future.” It really can be as simple as that.

"Be open to the possibilities"

“Know what you are looking for but keep an open mind” said Technical Recruiter Jaymeson Zarling and others echoed this sentiment. Krista Jensen hopes clients will “have a healthy balance between knowing exactly what you are looking for and being open minded to potentially unexpected opportunities.” The longer you’ve been in the business, the more you know this is true. Skills and experience matter up to a point but other qualities are often better predictors of success. 

Beethoven Sabar says to “look for candidates who are creative, passionate and hardworking.”  Our recruiters also think that attitude is one of the most important skills. You can teach someone to code or how to a programmer, but it’s nearly impossible to teach a good attitude – and as Lynn Bautista tells us, “a good attitude is what separates a star from the pack. With a good attitude comes respect for others, discipline, loyalty, and other behaviors that make good performers.”

Ben Brown tells clients “don’t judge harshly or hastily purely based on work history, consider giving a promising enthusiastic candidate the chance to learn and grow in a new industry/career” and other recruiters agreed. Giving candidates a chance, Ben added, “can lead to some of the best and most long lasting employment relationships.” Francesca Opulencia explains “someone might not completely qualify for a job position but look for a candidate’s potential, consider their ability to learn. With a little training, they might just be amazing!”

Technical recruiter Dana Cookson reminds clients that “nothing in life is perfect” and passes along this advice from Confucius, “Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” Adriana Pegueros adds “flexibility and realistic thinking will provide you the best opportunities to find the perfect addition to your team.”

"Be ready to act"

“Jump on great candidates immediately! They do not last in the job market long and hesitating will result in losing out on a solid employee.”

Michele Olech said it but this was a common sentiment among our team. Whatever feelings may linger from the recession need to be set aside for good. It’s over, and for the most part finding good candidates in our market is a challenge. Laurence Friedman also points out that “money does matter! A good candidate deserves a good rate.” Of course as Kerrey Perham says, “you should never hire someone simply to fill a space. Be picky and make sure they are the right fit.” But remember Anila Isaly’s advice as well; “make sure the person is a good fit but when you see quality IT talent and personality in front of you, make your decision and move on to your next project!” Finding good people is hard enough, don’t make it harder on yourself by inaction. 

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