In my over 30 years as a technical and engineering recruiter I have encountered more than my share of staffing problems. However, one search assignment stands out as an instructive recruiting lesson on both: a) what to do? And b) what not to do?
The tenants of this technical recruitment case study apply not only to technical and engineering jobs, but also any permanent, management or professional talent vacancies regardless of the industries involved. This educational example is derived from a recent technical recruiting assignment for a major food technology company near Cincinnati, Ohio. I will be sharing the good, the bad and the ugly in three installments over the next three weeks. Names and other key information will be withheld to protect my client.
Recent Data Shows There is A War For Key Technical Talent!
As the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 151,000 in August, which was the 71st straight month of jobs creation! As a result, the unemployment rate remained steady at 4.9 percent,
Included in today’s Labor Department’s statistics was employment in professional and technical services rose 20,000 jobs last month. This coincided with what our technical recruitment and engineering recruitment teams have uncovered during the past six months, namely demand has far exceeded supply for key R&D (Research and Development), scientific, engineering, technical, IT (Information Technology) and manufacturing talent. So much so that often multiple recruiters are often stumbling over the same scare technical talent during a search assignment!
Major Red Flag: Previously Using 12 Other Recruitment Agencies For The Same Recruiting Assignment!
The client was seeking a combination of a Senior Scientist and Lab Director for their R&D (Research and Development) laboratory. They contacted me based upon both my worldwide reputation and client referrals as an expert in R&D (Research and Development), scientific, and technical recruiting.
The talent search, fast company growth and long list of clients they served were all very enticing to me. As a result, I saw the potential to exponentially increase my firm’s list of outstanding recruitment clients as a result of referrals and testimonials from them after the successful filling of their technology job vacancy.
However, what was never brought to my attention by the client before accepting this difficult technical recruiting assignment was they had unsuccessfully used 12 other recruiting firms during the six months prior! If this information was shared beforehand, I doubt that I would have taken on this recruitment assignment. This is the case because more recruitment resources are not always better. Quality is always recommended over quantity in all industries especially technical recruiting!
My experience and the feedback of many other technical and engineering recruiters I polled for this is article is when multiple recruiters approach the same scarce technology talent, the tendency is for that technical candidate to loose interest and not cooperate at all! This can lead to the most successful technical candidates not even considering interviewing despite how enticing the technical job description is!
Despite The Problems, This Was A Major Learning Experience For Us And Other Technical Recruitment Teams!
However, because we did take on this technical recruitment assignment, we uncovered a lot of recruiting lessons that we can share not only today, but also over the next two weeks of installments. As a result, we not only improved our recruiting prowess, but also we can help you avoid similar recruitment errors in the future.
Next week in the second part of this three part series, I will share critical recruitment strategies I used to get control over an out of control recruiting process.
Please share your comments and findings below and I will reply.