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.

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.

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.

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.

New Year, New Trends

As we say goodbye to 2014, we look ahead to the New Year and its anticipated innovations. In 2014 we saw the rise of marketing automation and big data. While I anticipate similar trends next year, there are three that stick out.

With the recent Sony hack, I predict that security will be top of mind for companies and governmental organizations. Whether being attacked for political or financial gain, the vulnerabilities are the same. Cyber security firms will likely have a busy 2015, equipping against and monitoring for impending attacks. Organizations will also need to step up their internal processes, educating their employees so they don’t inadvertently put their company’s systems at risk. It’s not a matter of if there will be future hacks, it’s when.

Technology giants are not going at it alone. More and more are partnering to create innovations. Apple and IBM announced they are joining forces to make intuitive enterprise software apps. IBM also teamed up with Cisco recently to offer VersaStack, an integrated infrastructure bundle that pairs IBM storage with Cisco servers. I expect more collaborations such as these to be announced in the coming months.

Fitbits were a popular gift item this holiday season which leads to the rise of wearable technology next year. Apple Watch is sure to stir frenzy when it is released in early 2015. And more devices from other competitors are sure to follow. But these devices will heavily depend on apps so the marriage of mobile and wearables is one that will be strengthened as their popularity rises.

What continues to hold true is that with these trends and emerging technologies, companies will be investing in people. So if you are looking for a new career path or the next step in your career, being aware of the trends and the companies that lead will keep you ahead of the pack!

I’m looking forward to seeing how these trends play out in 2015. What do you think we’ll see next year?

Happy New Year!

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.

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.

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.

Hiring Can Cost You

How Hiring Can Cost You

Hiring a new employee? Get ready to pay the price. A report published by the Center for American Progress shows that companies typically spend up to one-fifth of an employee’s salary to find a replacement. These costs can include lost productivity, training, recruiting, background checks, overtime for workers picking up the slack – the list goes on and on.

In addition to the frustration and time suck of sifting through countless resumes and meeting with candidates, you want to be sure you make the right hiring decision so that you don’t have to go through the whole process again. That’s why working with a recruiter is so valuable.

We narrow down the list of candidates so that you only meet the cream of the crop. This fills your vacant position faster and reduces turnover by getting the right person in the door.

A couple of things to look for if you’re in the market for a recruiter:

– Experience: Simply put, the more years they’ve got under their belt, the better candidate pool they’ll be able to round up.

– Industry expertise: You will have better luck nailing down the right candidate if the recruiter is specialized in your field.

– Success stories: You want to know the recruiter is effective and can show the results to back up their claims.

In the market for high-tech sales talent? Let us know.