Doctor, doctor, gimme the news… Recruiter, recruiter, gimme some feedback!

Everyone has been to the doctor, right? Have you ever stopped to compare your Doctor to your Recruiter? You may be thinking, “She is no doctor! She did not attend years of school, take all those difficult Science classes, or work those long 12+ hour shifts.” And no, I didn’t. I have heard one of our senior recruiters make this comparison, and I can see a few similarities.

Doctors are like Recruiters"Tell me your history."

When you first meet your doctor, he/she may ask you a series of questions about your family history or lifestyle. Does anyone in your family suffer from heart disease? Do you smoke/drink? You, the patient, would be candid and truthful with your doctor so you can receive an accurate diagnosis. When you first meet a recruiter, they will ask a series of general questions. Are you currently working? Where all have you applied? For a recruiter to fit you with the right position, being truthful is key. For example, if you are interviewing multiple places, let us know. We certainly won't hold it against you – this actually reinforces that you are the great candidate we think you are.

"So, what brings you in today?"

Your doctor will ask you how you have been feeling; what symptoms have you had? If you want the right diagnosis, you will tell him!  Ultimately, recruiters want to help you get the right job. We want to know your thoughts on the jobs we are telling you about and why you are looking for a job. We want to know if you prefer a certain commute, what type of environment you like, if you will travel, etc. All of this helps us “diagnose” the right job for you.  

"Say AHHH"

Your doctor may run a few tests to give a formal diagnosis. Maybe they will take blood or order an X-ray. Afterwards, you anxiously await the results. As anxious as you might be, you wait for the doctor to call. You may follow-up after a few days if you haven't heard anything, but you know when the results are in, they will call. Waiting for interview feedback can make some people just as anxious. As recruiters, we will keep you informed as soon as we hear something. However, like the doctor's test results, it can take us days to get information back from the client on your resume or interview. This does not mean we forgot about you. We are often as anxious as you are to get the results, and when we have them we will let you know, good or bad.

Now, I am not saying in any way that I am a doctor or have the knowledge and skills to do what they do. I am just trying to show you that being honest, patient, and trusting with both your doctors and recruiters will help you feel better and find the right job.   

About the Author: 

Leah Arnold is a former technical sourcer for MATRIX Resources. She specializes in recruiting for Java, Business Intelligence and Web Development.

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Are Your Employees Getting Ready to Quit?

Are your employees getting ready to quit?  When did you last think that was possible?  My guess is that it has been a couple of years, because you figured there were no jobs out there.  The job market certainly hasn’t been good and it was risky for someone to leave a position for an unknown situation.

Well, I’m here to tell you that the tables are turning.  The market is picking up and we are seeing employees that have put up with salary/bonus cuts, reduced benefits, longer hours, constantly changing management and a stop to all new development/projects making the decision to move.   They now have choices.  I am not saying that we are back to the .com days (unfortunately!) where employees are readily jumping ship and salaries are rising like crazy, but I believe that there is going to be a lot of movement of talent in the next year.

An article in The Wall Street Journal from May 26, said that,

“in February, the number of employees voluntarily quitting surpassed the number being fired or discharged for the first time since October, 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Before February, the BLS had recorded more layoffs than resignations for 15 straight months, the first such streak since the bureau started tracking the data a decade ago.”

Later in the article, it gave this statistic, “in a poll conducted by human resources consultant Right Management at the end of 2009, 60% of workers said they intended to leave their jobs when the market got better.”  The article also talked about employees feeling disengaged and having less satisfaction in their jobs.  Now, this data is for all positions and on a national basis, but 60%?  That’s a lot.

At MATRIX, we always talk to our candidates about why they are leaving and ask them if they have discussed those issues with their manager – especially if the main issue is money.  We usually hear something like, " there is nothing they can do…they tell us all the time there is no money for anything…they have been laying everyone off, I can’t ask for anything."  They feel so beaten down and so sure that there is nothing their company can do that they are not even trying.

The article mentioned that, a job board for tech professionals, asked what a company could do to persuade them to stay and 57% said there is nothing the company could do, 42% said higher salary and 11% wanted a promotion.  Sounds like there is nothing you can do, right?  I don’t think so….

Candidates are being picky and patient in their job search - and I think they are looking beyond the money – contrary to what is mentioned above.  They are looking for growth opportunities, challenges, new technology, flexible work hours, reduced commute time, a strong peer group and a leadership team they can believe in.

You have competition now for your best talent, but you have the first right/opportunity to keep them and hopefully strengthen your relationship.   Will you wait for them to resign, or be proactive?  If you would offer something when they resign, why not move forward now and show that you are thinking about their best interests and showing them that they are important to the company?  Waiting for someone to resign and offering a counter is not a good idea….not for you, the employee, or the rest of the team that watches this happen.  It doesn’t have to be just about money, although that can be key if folks are making less now than two years ago.

HP recently reversed its 5% mandatory pay cut, and I have other clients that have given pay raises to those that excelled during this time (and who they were able to hire during the downturn at a lower salary).  Other choices might be telecommuting one day a week, increased benefits, extra days off (especially if they worked long hours to cover for laid off workers), or finally getting to do that training they have been asking for. Or maybe a lunch hosted by the company that thanks them for all that they have done and communicating what is coming up, what challenges are still there and how you are hoping they will stay with you and be successful together. If you didn’t handle things well, maybe you should admit it and tell/show how you are getting back on course.  Be careful, though, this had better be genuine….we all know the fake rah-rah when we hear it!

I wrote a previous blog about keeping your best talent, and I think now is a good time to look at your team, understand what motivates them and be a true leader.  Communicate and try to understand things from their side and hopefully meet their needs as best you can while you have the opportunity.

Replacing a top performer is expensive, time consuming, and risky. You and your team will be distracted with interviewing, training, and closely managing this new person.   It is certainly a lot more expensive to hire a new employee than to motivate and reward a current one.

So – think about it….what can you do?

About the Author: 

Chrissy Petri is an Account Manager for MATRIX Resources with 15+ years in the IT recruiting industry in Atlanta. She works with small, medium, and large companies to find IT talent from Help Desk to Programmers to Project Managers and Directors.

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"You can find that on our website. Please stop wasting my time."

Everyone knows they’ll be expected to answer a series of questions in a job interview.

It is equally important to be prepared to ask good questions. The interviewer will expect it, and I recommend having them outlined in advance so that nothing is forgotten or overlooked. And, it never hurts to show that you spent time thinking through this important meeting!

The interviewee is typically invited to ask questions near the end of the discussion. Following are some questions you may want to ask during your interview:

  • Why is this position open? (Due to growth? Or was the position vacated, and if so, why?)
  • What is your highest priority in the next six months, and how could I help?
  • Are there any challenges in particular awaiting the person who takes on this role?
  • What are the characteristics of your top people?
  • What are your personal satisfactions and disappointments since you have been with the company?

Notice that I said be prepared to ask good questions. With the amount of information now available at our fingertips, candidates are expected to do a certain amount of research before the interview. Asking questions that could easily be answered by visiting the company’s website or with a simple Google search can make you appear uninspired and unprepared.

Know before you go, and don’t ask:

  • What the company does.
  • The history of growth of the company.
  • Number of employees and locations, annual revenue, and whether they’re publicly or privately held.
  • If the company is public, you might want to know its current stock price, bond rating, and overall financial health.
  • If the company is private, check your local paper or Google for articles reporting impending layoffs, new product launches, or other potential signs of financial health.
  • The company’s top competitors and how they stack up in terms of product, market share, and strengths and weaknesses.

These are all things you should research in advance and incorporate your findings as appropriate in the interview to demonstrate your initiative and readiness.

Whatever you do, don’t be this person:

Adria Alpert Romm, a Human Resources executive for Discovery Communications, is quoted in the May 2009 edition of Real Simple Magazine in an article about how to find (and keep) a job. “I interviewed someone recently and he boasted how much he loved one of our shows. The problem was that the show was on a competing network! It was clear to me that he knew nothing about Discovery."

About the Author: 

Stephanie A. Lloyd is Strategist-in-Chief, Calibre Search Group, located in Atlanta, Georgia at the intersection of Talent Strategies + Social Media. With more than 15 years of experience in corporate recruiting and executive search, Stephanie works with hiring managers, HR executives, business owners, and recruiting firms on recruitment and retention strategy including how to better utilize social media for talent acquisition and employee communication. Stephanie is a regular contributor to Talent Net Live and The Matrix Wall, and she partners with Todd Schnick to produce the video blogging series He Said, She Said.

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Packing for a warm, sunny . . . Interview?


In four weeks, my hubby and I are traveling to Italy to celebrate our three-year wedding anniversary! The trip is jam-packed with activity as we spend over 10 days traveling from Rome, to Tuscany, then finally to Venice.

First things first though, "what am I going to wear?"

Packing for a TripLike most females, this is my main priority.  We’ll be in Italy 10 days and I won’t have a lot of room in my luggage to pack everything I’d like to wear, so I have to pick and choose wisely.  I researched the weather for Italy in May and typically it’s in the upper 60s to low 70s (perfect weather!), so I’m going to wear layers.  I know we’ll be walking around A LOT so instead of packing my cute heels, I’m sticking with flats and running shoes. It might not be the latest fashion trend, but I have learned from previous trips that heels are a bad idea.

Once I have my wardrobe figured out, the next item on my list is researching the places we’ll be visiting.  It’s very important to do your ‘homework’ before you go on a trip.  I bought an amazing book titled Rick Steves’ Italy 2010. This book is perfect for anyone traveling to Italy.  It tells you the in’s and out’s of the cities and where to eat and what to do.  It also tells you cool paths to take while walking the streets in Rome at night. Very romantic!

In addition, we also researched Trip Advisor on which hotels are best. We’re staying at nice hotels in both Rome and Venice, but I’m most excited about our hotel in Tuscany. It’s called Relais Viganle located in Radda in the Chianti region.  It looks beautiful!

Just like me, you might be planning for a fun get-away this summer, but did you know that these same principles can also be used when preparing for a job interview?

The same way you research and prepare for your trip, is the same way you prepare for an interview.

For example, again first things first, you need to find the right outfit’ or attire for your interview. It’s always better to be a little overdressed than underdressed. For men, a nice suit is always a good choice, and for women, a business suit is professional yet can be trendy with a cute pair of heels.

You should also research the company you’re interviewing with.  Do your homework! The same way you surf the web for local attractions or reviews of a vacation spot,  research the company online. Know their website inside and out. Are there press releases, or reviews of the company on the web? Also, are they active on social media sites? If so, see what they're saying to their customers.

Finally, it’s always a good idea to have a list of questions for the interviewer.  These questions will show them you have done your homework.  Make sure the questions pertain to the roles/responsibilities of the job you are interviewing for.  Some great interview questions can be found in this article.

I hope some of this information has been helpful whether you’re planning for a trip-of-a-lifetime or preparing for a job interview. I know our trip will be one we will never forget.


About the Author: 

Kelly Thielemann is a technical sourcer for MATRIX Resources. Kelly has over 7 years of recruiting experience specializing in Sharepoint, Data Warehouse, Business Intelligence and Web Development including Java and .NET. You can follow Kelly on Twitter at KellyITJobs.

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Using Twitter to Find a Job - A Real Life Example

In previous posts I have told you how you can build great relationships via Twitter. Also, Craig Fisher wrote about the "cool kids" that are using Twitter and other social media outlets to network. Now, I want to give you a real example of how Ben McCormack, a new MATRIX consultant, used Twitter to find a job. I spoke with Ben a few days ago, and asked him to walk me through the job-search process he used on Twitter.

Did you join Twitter intending to look for a job?

I joined twitter about 8 months ago to start following experts in the Microsoft .NET Silverlight space. I noticed there were many industry experts on Twitter so I figured it could be a great tool to gain knowledge of a specific subject. I started following a guy by the name of Joel Spolsky. One day, I noticed a tweet that they were hiring a Support Engineer in New York. So I responded to the tweet and actually got a job interview. Though, I didn't get that specific job, it made me realize that Twitter really can be a powerful tool in a job search.

How did you find your new job on Twitter?

Like I said, I wasn't actively "looking for a job." But, one day I noticed that one of your recruiters, Kelly Thielemann, started following me. I looked at her profile information and saw that she was a Technical Recruiter in the Atlanta area. I read through the information she was sharing on Twitter, and I liked it, so I decided to start following her. A few days later, she sent out a job that she was looking to fill. It sounded interesting to me so I went ahead and responded to her. From there, MATRIX took care of the rest.

How often did you check Twitter for updates?

I use a desktop application called TweetDeck to arrange and organize my Twitter account. I stayed of top of the information that was being shared daily - usually every evening. What I like about Twitter is you can be close enough to see what's going on, but you are not obligated to respond.

Do you think Twitter is a powerful tool in a job search?

Yes. Definitely. Again, you can keep a pulse on what is going on in and around the "technical community." My e-mail wasn't clogged with "suggested jobs" and I didn't have to browse through jobs on a career site.

Now, I know that Ben's story sounds easy. And, not everyone will be followed by a Technical Recruiter in the exact city where they are looking for a job.

So, you need to be proactive and, just as Ben did, follow experts that are in your field. Run searches using or to find specific people or conversations. You can also find numerous articles about using Twitter to find a job.

The point is, Twitter really does work in a job search.

About the Author: 

Adam Waid is the Director of Marketing at Mediacurrrent, an industry-leader in helping organizations architect custom Drupal websites. Adam is also a MATRIX Alumnus, where he worked closely with the Sales and Recruiting organizations to develop differentiation strategies, create content, and drive CRM and social media initiatives with a single goal in mind - build stronger, more meaningful relationships with our clients. Leveraging new technology, the latest social media trends, and a good mix of traditional marketing, Adam grows online communities.   Follow Adam on Twitter and Read his Social Media Blog.

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