Inside Staffing – Candidate Control and Salary

Know When to Hold ‘Em

This article was inspired by a conversation I had with a staffing firm.  Let me just say that we were in the process of extending an offer to a submitted candidate only to hear that their salary increased from the time of submission. We made it work, but the situation presented itself again, with the same firm.

All us recruiters know, we’re not working with widgets. We get it, but there’s an art to making all this happen. When it all comes together, it’s awesome.  When it goes south, it can get really bad. It can even tarnish the reputation of the recruiter and the firm if you can’t handle salary correctly.

Know When to Fold ‘Em

A firm knows the budget of their client. Part of determining if the request is a legitimate one, worth the firm’s time, is making sure salary for the role has been determined.  When screening candidates for the role the staffing firm knows what budget they’re dealing with and what candidates are in range and which ones are not. Those outside the range should be discarded and not considered for the role. It doesn’t do much good to submit a person if they are way out of salary range. Keep in mind there may be wiggle room, but use caution and discretion.

Presenting the opportunity to the candidate is simple, but expectations need to be very clear. “When we met, you said you were looking for a salary of ‘x’. I have an opportunity at Company ABC as a ‘Insert Title Here’. I’d like to submit you over to the company with salary expectations of ‘X-ish’. ”  Again, this all comes down to the initial meeting where salary expectations are set. It is very uncool to have this change in the middle or end of a deal. Lock it down up front and you’ll save everyone’s time. “Is this good with you? Is there any other financial considerations we need to let the client know about – stock, options, obligations to your current employer like tuition reimbursement or relocation obligations, etc. We want to le the client to be completely aware of all the details.” This should really ensure there’s no communication issues on this delicate subject. If the candidate replies to your salary inquiry, remember you’ve already met with them once during the initial meeting, with “well it depends on the job”, be sure lock this down again. This may include sending official job description and reiterating that you aren’t sending them to to be a CIO under the guise of the duties equal to a Sr Manager in an Enterprise environment with 3000 staff.

Know When to Walk Away, Know When to Run

Good firms will actually know when to pull the plug if the deal seems to go south. Should a candidate reconsider the salary, maybe they believe the position should really pay more than what is proposed, the candidate should withdraw from the process if the difference is considerably higher. However, the firm should be the party responsible for having this discussion with the candidate and make the ultimate call. What could end up happening is that the firm looks like they’re playing a game with the client.

All the aforementioned details, if they go bad, is what we call “losing candidate control”.  Put your firm above the candidate. Your business depends on it. You can always find a different candidate, but don’t let them tarnish your reputation. Reputation is much harder to develop and it’s the integrity that business ethics relies upon.

Don’t let the candidate play games. You can have honest conversations with candidates you represent IF you have mutual rapport between each other. It takes two to tango. Firms that meet face to face with their candidates and are honest and have candid conversations with each other will provide a level of trust and openness that will prevent catastrophes down the road. This does not mean that it’s kumbaya, unicorns and rainbows, but it will facilitate a healthy, honest, discussion.


Recruiter – Twenty Four Seven

I served in the military some time ago. I was definitely fit, motivated, and disciplined. As part of the military, you’re always ‘on-call’. Though it was more 6am to 5pm job, you really are considered to work around the clock. We often figured out our hourly pay based on that 24×7 schedule. It’s not really like that, but you get the picture.

Fast forward a few years when that soldier has worked in the private sector for over a decade. You start to get a feel for the different careers, staff and management level duties and responsibilities. Many roles have their set hours. Sure, people work longer, put in over-time, have to meet deadlines and put in 50+ hour weeks, but the work schedule is typically set. Accountants go to work, adjust the books, make entries, etc. Project managers map out timelines, coordinate with teams, etc. At night they all go home – unplugging from the day. Some may work from home, but again, you disconnect and most people do.

What about the recruiter?
Continue reading Recruiter – Twenty Four Seven

Inside Staffing – Human Resources – Keepers of the Gate

Often times the staffing world butts heads with corporate human resources. Often depicting them (HR) as the mighty gate keepers preventing the firm from working with a hiring manager and ultimately making money.

Before fleshing this out, it’s important to understand the roles and motivations of those involved when dealing with a job vacancy.

The Firm

No, not the Grisham novel, the IT staffing firm. The sole purpose of the firm is to place a candidate at a company and charge the company an hourly rate while paying the candidate for doing the job. The account executive wants to deal with the people that make the final hiring decision and are holding the money.

Human Resources

HR will be typically be responsible for posting the job, gathering the applicants, phone screening the applicants, partaking in the face-to-face interview, construct an offer, extend an offer and on board the hire. Some will say this is a key responsibility of the HR rep and ultimately save the company the expense of hiring a firm. The HR rep will feel it’s their job. If a firm does this, then what’s the value of the HR rep. When I refer to HR rep it’s typically not a corporate recruiter, necessarily, but can be.

The Hiring Manager

The hiring manager is the ultimate decision maker and needs a person for the vacancy in a timely manner. While they collaborate with the HR rep, they know what they’re looking for – experience, skills, industry lingo, and have more weight in the hire or not hire decision. They also have the budget ok to make the hire, hence they hold the purse.

You can make the above relationships work, but there has to be mutual respect among all parties.


Is using a firm to staff the vacancy a viable option?
Continue reading Inside Staffing – Human Resources – Keepers of the Gate

Inside Staffing – Visiting a Staffing Firm

You’re going to use a staffing firm to help you with your job search. What do you need to know? How should you prepare?

Staffing firms can be great resources for those that need help with a job search. They know a ton of people in the industry and work with some reputable companies in your region as well as across the nation. They know companies that are awesome that you will never know about by just living in an area. It’s part of their job.

A good recruiter will tell you what to bring in with you and it’s typically the following:

  • Copies of your most recent resume
  • Information for your I9 – state ID, passport, permanent resident card, birth certificate, etc
  • References

Did I miss any?

A good recruiter will also tell you what to expect when you come in by setting the agenda up front, you’ll:

  1. be greeted by our admin.
  2. complete an application and fill out paperwork to include I9 and W2.
  3. be given a couple skills evaluations – and should list them based on your experience.

Continuing on with the spiel… Continue reading Inside Staffing – Visiting a Staffing Firm

Inside Staffing – Fielding A Client’s Request

Here we outline how a staffing firm fields a request from a client.

This article may seem to address a new sales exec. Either way, it’s part of knowing about the staffing industry.

Some staffing firms call them job orders, orders, requisitions, positions, leads, etc. It’s what happens when a sales, or account executive, person finally encounters a client that has need of the firm’s services. This could be achieved from a cold call or as a result of their previous 100+ calls to the company.

Standards range from firm to firm as to what actually constitutes a viable request from a client. Some staffing/temporary firms will have a set of criteria that needs to be met before the order is worthy of the team’s valuable time. There are some firms that merely know the client is looking for help with a particular skill set and that is enough for them to consider it an active request. Mileage varies. The more info you have, the quicker and easier it is to facilitate a great experience for everyone – firm, candidate, and client.
Continue reading Inside Staffing – Fielding A Client’s Request

Inside Staffing – Sales or Client Side

Some IT staffing firms are setup where there is a dedicated recruiter and a dedicated sales person. This is usually firms that do contract work. Some firms that run direct placement/permanent placement (perm)/FTE staffing will do full cycle – recruit their own candidates and market their own candidates. The articles in the  series typically address the contract side, aka split desk arrangement.

But what is expected of the sales person?

Continue reading Inside Staffing – Sales or Client Side

Inside Staffing – The Candidate Experience

Look on Linkedin, check hash tag #jobs on Twitter, or check on popular job sites and you’re bound to come across a job opportunity posted by a staffing firm. Ninety plus percent will not list the client (this is to prevent competitors going after your clients), the client being the company that needs a qualified candidate. You go ahead and apply, but never really know what happens after that. Continue reading Inside Staffing – The Candidate Experience

Interviewing Candidates with Multiple Managers

I’m a recruiter. I not only work with candidates/applicants, but I also work with hiring managers in order to determine their needs. Part of gathering details is to establish a screening process. Part of that process is the job interview. How many people do you want to be involved in the interview process? How do you want organize the interview teams? How long should they last? Who are those individuals that you want involved? Good questions, right? Here is one that really needs to be driven home… Continue reading Interviewing Candidates with Multiple Managers

IT Staffing – Becoming an IT Recruiter

A series that provides some insight on how the IT staffing industry operates. The series is used to help educate IT professionals – candidates, as well as hiring managers, so they better understand the processes and methods of how an IT staffing firm functions. These are my experiences and I reserve the right to say that your experience may vary.

I was in between jobs when I decided to apply for a job in information technology. The ad was posted on the internet and it wasn’t until later that I realized it was a staffing firm. Seriously, I thought the job I applied to was at the company that called me. It was not. The ad was a job posting put up by the staffing firm on behalf of a recruitment plan for their client. Looking back now, I guess you could say I was a bit on the naive side. Continue reading IT Staffing – Becoming an IT Recruiter

GSMI Social Recruiting Strategies Conference 2012

I traveled to San Francisco last week to attend the Social Recruiting Strategies Conference held by GSMI. The question most people ask me, especially my boss is, “did you find it valuable?”

The short, yes, yes I did.

Sure there were some social networking kool aid being served, but it was backed up by details and metrics. Anyone attending could find something beneficial.

Talks from the following speakers (not all inclusive by any means) included:

I apologize for not listing all of the speakers which also included folks from Pfizer, UPS (yes the brown can do for you), Intuit, and Verizon.

Topics ranged from measuring your social media efforts in the recruitment space to using video in your recruitment efforts be they interviews, job descriptions or day-in-the-life.

Many new tools were brought to my attention. Many of the tools I come across, be it Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, whatever, comes from folks that talk about what they use. It may be from Twitter, a podcast, or word of mouth. Some tools that were mentioned can help you determine when your followers check twitter which provides you optimum times to spread your message. Other tools, like, can provide some unique tools that tie into your Linkedin features.

The conference lasted a couple days and covered quite a good amount of information, too much to actually spell out here. I hope to incorporate some of the tactics and strategies into my own personal brand – rewriting my Linkedin profile to be more SEO-based, use this blog more to better define my name, tweak twitter with the same profile info, etc. Become more of a goto contact for IT jobs. Then it won’t matter where I work.

In the end, it was a good place to meet good people like Brad the Blackhawk pilot who does recruiting, the aforementioned Jason, Craig and Jen. Others include Matt from Jobvite, everyone met from Work4Labs – Kurt, Ken, and Andrew. Alissa from Verizon, Gail from Intuit, Todd and many more I should mention. Don’t be offended I didn’t. I know we’re connected.