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IT Recruiting Industry – An IT Leader's Perspective

I was an IT Leader for over 15 years and tried a large number of recruiters and staffing agencies to find people for my teams. I was never impressed, I never came across anyone with any real IT experience, and most knew very little about technology in general, except for the buzzwords that were needed to match on people's resumes. At the end of the day, I felt that the only "value" received was a stack of resumes, and for the fees we were paying, I was expecting more.

This frustration really hit home when I was part of a hiring team focus on a new CIO search. The company I was working for decided to engage an Executive Search firm on a retained basis. That's when I got to see what a true value-added search firm consisted of. The retained search firm flew in to meet with the team and got a deep and detailed understanding of the company, department, position, and culture. They developed a scorecard for the CIO position, which identified the core competencies needed for someone to be successful in the role. The core competencies included the technical skills required, but also the soft skills that would be necessary for success. They also included the short, medium, and long-term expectations of the person in the position. They provided training and coaching on standardized interview practices; how to identify A-player candidates; how and when to sell the opportunity to the candidates; how to present an offer that the candidate would find appealing; how to retain our new CIO long term; among other areas.

After about 3-4 weeks, they returned with three qualified individuals that were all ideally suited for the position. After interviewing them, I wanted to hire all three.

Why was hiring for an IT individual contributor so much more difficult? The contingent search firms we always used for those roles would give us resumes of candidates, some of which were good, but many that were not. Then, we had to deal with phone screens, technical evaluations, in-person interviews, reference checks, etc. We wasted a lot of time speaking with people that were not qualified or just not a good fit for the roles. That was a time we could have been using to bring technology solutions to the organization.

What I realized is that most IT recruiting firms don't have the expertise to vet technical candidates. They can ask candidates if they know a particular technology, but they can't honestly speak with candidates at their technological level and determine what each candidate brings to the table. Most are order takers that can match key words on resumes. Why would you retain an IT search firm to do a candidate search if they don't know anything about technology? You wouldn't, and that's why we were stuck with an Industry that provides very little value to its customers.

Now, what if there was an IT Search firm that consisted of IT professionals whose sole responsibility was to find and vet technical resources for IT Leaders?

What if the retained searches that they offered provided the same value as a C-Suite search, but priced competitively with the majority of contingent search firms in the industry?

Two words for you: Perspective Talent

Check us out at

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