IT Recruiting Redux

February 25, 2009

I got a few good responses from some recruiters I know to my post earlier in the month. I encourage them to comment publicly, but they’ve asked me not to attribute their comments for now.

Regarding the “hassle” of phone calls, one recruiter out of Roanoke had this to say:

The main thing that a good staffing company should do before ever placing someone at Vision Point Systems, would be to learn as much as they can about your business and what you want. And what your concerns are. And what you can’t stand. They can do this anyway, whether it is reading your blog, or meeting with you in person, or seeing your work environment… If you do decide to turn to a company to help with your staffing needs, I would recommend picking one and sticking with it. That would cut down on the time you have to spend on the phone with different recruiters, it would create only one point of contact and eliminate a lot of repetitive conversations. Working with only one company would also probably give you benefits on cost, and you can set expectations with a company on how you would like to be contacted. We work exclusively with companies and we always discount the rates for exclusive clients.

Granted. I can appreciate the truth that a partnership in this arena will lead to less hassle and the ability for me to objectively say to new contacts “We’ve already got a partner”. My problem is that I don’t yet have  a partner and I can’t shake the feeling of sharks circling around me waiting for me to jump.

On good developers being hard to find, another recruiter out of Richmond had this to say:

…you mentioned a few times that even in these turbulent times good software developers are still hard to find.  True.  That’s because most of them are still employed and if they’re not, they have built a decent network (recruiters included) around them.  Therefore they don’t stay unemployed for long.  In watching and meeting and networking, etc. in these economic times its becoming more apparent that good TECHNICAL talent is still a sought after commodity.  So a good portion of the talent recruited is just that… recruited.  They may not be actively looking, but maybe they are a contact that has been in our pipeline and they are just waiting for the right fit.

I’ll take this as a good reminder that networking is as important in staff development as it is with business development. I suppose my view is that I would rather be the one doing the direct network development with potential recruits. This can be through participating the Software Developers Forum, forming direct relationships with universities, social networking (we’re on facebook) or just better overall marketing. Vision Point Systems can do a better job at this, and this is one of my goals going forward.

The other rebuttal I received was on the culture point – that bringing on people as contract-to-hire could lead to cultural exclusion. I concede that I as the employer can control that to a great extent, but I think there would always be a distinction in the individual’s mind.

Since that last post, we’ve hired two new people, a developer and a business analyst, both through traditional means. We’re still hiring now for another developer position. You can be sure I’ll keep posting updates on this topic.

I still invite other recruiters to make their case.

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