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Improve Your Technical Recruiting By Hiring A Veteran

November 11th, 2015

The goal of most corporate management is hiring the best technical candidates to achieve company goals. Therefore, as a technical recruiter I am always trying to recruit the best technology talent for my client’s staffing needs. This includes recruiting development, process, automation, manufacturing, application, software, construction and civil engineers. Additionally, a cutting-edge specialist in audio signal processing, developer in Java or even a senior tech can be highly valued by a company’s recruitment teams that are seeking to improve their future technology prospects.

This Veterans Day November 11, 2015, is a day to reflect upon those who served our country and preserved our freedom. It is also a chance to share why hiring a veteran can improve your technical recruiting prospects.

Key Facts About Veterans Day

Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary marking the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation in 1954 to change the name to Veterans Day as a way to honor those who served in all American wars. The day honors military veterans with parades and speeches across the nation. A national ceremony takes place at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.

Veterans Add Up To A Plentiful Talent Source

1.     19.3 million: The number of military veterans in the United States in 2014.

2.     1.7 million: veterans younger than 35.

3.     1.6 million: The number of female veterans in the United States in 2014.

4.     78.9%: non-Hispanic white

5.     11.4%: The percent of veterans in 2014 who were black.

6.     6.1%: The percent of veterans in 2014 who were Hispanic.

7.     Others: 1.5% Asian, 0.7 percent were American Indian or Alaska Native, 0.2 percent were Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander and 1.2 percent were some other race.

Veterans Are Highly Educated

27.2% of veterans 25 years and older with a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2014. In comparison, 30.3 percent of non-veterans had a bachelor’s degree or higher. Though this is a bit lower than non-vets, the wide range of both highly technical equipment currently used in the military combined with the diverse array of problems needed to be solved make veterans a wise choice for many technical recruitment requirements.

Veterans In America’s Workforce

As the most recent statistics indicate, there were 7 million veterans aged 18 to 64 years old in the labor force in 2014. Due to their wide range of military experiences, highly technical equipment now being used in the military and the extreme discipline required for military service, these vets are an integral part of the talent pool in general and technical recruitment in specific.  That is why you should seriously consider interviewing and hiring a veteran for your specific technical recruiting vacancies.  This will greatly improve your significantly improve both your professional and executive ranks now and in the future!

For more extensive statistics on the makeup of veterans please go to the U.S. Census link1


Employers added 271,000 jobs in October, Engineers Remain Scarce!

November 6th, 2015

2The Labor Department reported this morning that U.S. employers added jobs at their strongest pace this year last month. Nonfarm payrolls rose a seasonally adjusted 271,000 in October. Additionally, government revisions showed employers adding 12,000 more jobs in September and August than previously estimated.

The unemployment rate, which is obtained from a separate survey of U.S. households, fell slightly to 5.0% in October. This was its lowest reading since April 2008 and down from 5.1% the prior month. Many economists had predicted job growth would only rise by 183,000 in October, but they did correctly predict that the unemployment rate would fall to 5.0%. October’s vigorous employment growth and Labor Department revisions bring the average monthly job gains for the past three months to 187,000.

Wages Also Increasing Particularly Among Engineers

Wage growth showed signs of increasing. Average hourly earnings of private-sector workers rose last month by 9 cents to $25.20. From a year earlier, hourly wages have risen by 2.5%, up from the 2.0% average pace during the six-year expansion.

Anecdotally, our engineering recruitment division has found during the past 6 months that wage increases are particularly acute among engineers. As a result, it has been common for hiring companies to induce employment for their engineering talent vacancies with both: a) salary increases of over 10% and b) other perks (e.g. sign on bonuses)!

Employment Increases Centered on Professionals

Job growth in October was concentrated in the private sector, which added 268,000 jobs, while government payrolls grew by only 3,000.

Many of those jobs were in professional and business services, a sector that added 78,000 jobs in October, and a notable increase from an average of 52,000 per month over the prior 12 months. Administrative and support services accounted for 46,000 of the jobs added in this sector. The health-care sector continued its growth, adding 45,000 jobs in October to bring the total over the past year to 495,000.

Engineering Recruiting Particularly Robust

Both our engineering recruitment division and many other engineering recruiters we surveyed this morning have found that high quality engineers continue to be in high demand and short supply across many industries and job functions including mechanical, quality assurance, design, electronics, computer, architecture, construction, information technology (IT) and many other science and process related applications of engineers. This is confirmed by plentiful online advertisements for engineers on CareerBuilder, Indeed and other niche engineering job boards. Increasing technology projects in many fields have created many of these engineering vacancies. Unfortunately, engineering resumes are in short supply.

The surge in engineering recruitment over the past several months has caused stress for company management teams, internal technical and engineering recruiters and external services such as engineering and technical staffing firms. All have had to become more aggressive in their search for high quality engineers and technology professionals. As a result, one can no longer just place an advertisement and hope a lot of engineering talent will respond. Instead, new techniques need to be applied in the search for engineers to fill your engineering staffing vacancies.  Then when a good engineer is uncovered, one needs to provide substantial rewards to induce them to fill your employment vacancy.

What are your findings?

Improving Your Technical And Engineering Recruitment With The “Mirror” Question

October 28th, 2015

Engineering and technical jobs are the lifeblood of most engineering recruiting and technical recruiting firms. Technology and engineering breakthroughs are also the essence of what drives marketplace success for both startups and established companies. As a result, the entire technical and engineering talent recruitment process needs to be precisely planned. To that end, it is essential that top management get involved early on. This should begin with the technical or engineering job description. Then progress to the design of the job application procedure, including how a candidate is asked to submit their resume. Followed by oversight of the entire interview process. Lastly, what salary the candidate is offered and final employment specifics.

Upper Manage Needs To Be More Involved

Unfortunately, few companies invest the necessary time and resources to make the technical and engineering recruitment process function smoothly. If much time is spent, it is usually on researching either: a) recruitment advertisement options or b) salary and benefits. Other parts of the technical and engineering staffing process are often overlooked. For example, rarely is upper management involved in the strategic planning of the interviewing process. That is why many executive recruiters we have polled recently have found that technical and engineering talent vacancies are lasting longer in 2015 than at any time since 2001! This is not only the case in Chicago where are headquarters are based, but also for many of our clients worldwide!

Mirror Question Can Help Improve Recruitment Process

All the mistakes of the engineering recruitment or technical recruitment process cannot be cured with one suggestion. However, one technique can significantly improve your interview process. As I have shared in the past, open-ended questions tend to elicit a lot more information from technical and engineering candidates during the interview. One such question is the Mirror Question (click on #7 below). Let me demonstrate this by an example. Let’s say that: a) you are interviewing a candidate b) you ask this job candidate who their best friend is and c) the candidate’s response is Joe. Then you might ask them, “If I were to ask Joe what type of person you are, what would they tell me?” Do you see what I did?

My over twenty-five years of recruiting experience demonstrates that most candidates will try hard to “mirror” that person’s actual response (e.g. Joe’s response). You can also plug in a wide range of people into the mirror question including past employers and co-workers. Regardless of whom you plug in to this interview question, this job candidate’s answers will tend to a lot more truthful. This will help you save time and money during your interview process. So remember to employ the mirror question during your technical and engineering job interviews.

What technical and engineering recruiting tips have worked well for you?

To learn how Strategic Search Corporation can help you to improve either: 1) your technical recruiting process, please go to our technical recruitment informational page  or 2) your engineering recruiting process, please go our engineering recruitment informational page.


Technical Talent Recruitment Continues To Expand

October 2nd, 2015

3The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday morning that the U.S. economy had its second straight month of less than 200,000 jobs created at only 142,000 in September. These consecutive months ended a streak of 16 out of 17 months where 200,000 net, new jobs were created. Many economists expected payrolls to rise by 200,000 and the jobless rate to remain 5.1%.

The job-market slowdown appears to be driven by factors tied to weakness in the global economy rather than weakness within the U.S. Those factors include a strong dollar and an economic slowdown in China, which have hurt demand for U.S. exports and might be damaging business confidence.

Technical Engineering Recruitment Growing

On a bright note, the September jobs numbers marked the 60th consecutive month of job growth, which is an all-time record! The longest stretch on record. Additionally, the jobs gains occurred were across many sectors including:

  1. Professional & Technical Services, which rose by 31,000, jobs in September and has as risen 45,000 per month in 2015.
  2. Health Care employment rose by 34,000 jobs.
  3. Retail Trade added 24,000 jobs.
  4. Food Services and Drinking Places added 21,000 jobs as well as 349,000 over the year.

Within all sectors there has been a major increase in technical recruiting. As more industries push to automate, the need for increased technical staffing is paramount. This includes R&D (research & development), scientific, engineering, IT (Information Technology) and all sorts of technical talent from service to manufacturing fields. For example, software engineering hiring is at an all-time high. Other technology talent is also in high demand and short supply.

This has pushed companies seeking to recruit key technical talent to try new techniques to try to secure this scarce talent.

Technical Talent Recruiting Tool

One tool our technical recruitment staff recommends is our 6TH magical interview question, “Why did you join?” We recommend that your technical recruitment team ask this interview question for each job a candidate lists on their resume. This is a companion interview to our previously suggested technical recruitment interview question, “Why did you leave?”

This will help you gain even further insight into this job candidate’s mindset and prevent you from making an employment blunder. So remember to ask, “Why did you join” for each job a candidate held. This will help save you time and money during your technical talent search.

Please go to our 12 Commandments of Recruiting and click on #6 below my introductory video to view a short instructional video on this tool.

Can you recommend any other technical recruiting tools or techniques that have been helpful to you?

Data Storage Technology Startups Facing Engineering Recruiting Shortages

September 11th, 2015

Recently, the Wall Street Journal announced that private-equity, venture capital and angel investment firms are increasingly pouring money into data storage technology startup companies. For example, venture capitalists invested $6 billion into 96 startups selling storage-related hardware, software and services between 2010 and the first half of this year according to CB Insights.

Because it is estimated that companies will spend over $40 billion on storage hardware this year, data-storage technology startups like Tintri, Kaminario, Violin Memory Inc., SolidFire Inc., Tegile, Reduxio Systems Ltd. and Nimble Storage are positioned well to earn this huge cash inflow. This is on top of the technology giants like IBM, HP, Dell, EMC and NetApp which are already established in the data storage field.

Major Increase In Engineering Jobs

This surge in data storage investment has led to a major shortage of talented engineers. Though most of the technology advantages of data storage are rooted in software engineering, including such chores as optimizing performance and backing up data, engineering recruitment has ramped up across the board including hardware engineering, project engineering, design engineering and AI (artificial intelligence). Our firm’s engineering recruiters have witnessed this engineering recruitment surge firsthand over last 10 months as evidenced by an exponential increase in our engineering recruiting job orders

Demand Outstrips Supplies For Talented Engineers

Because demand has far outstripped supply for key engineers, job searches are taking engineering recruitment teams a lot longer. This is substantiated by Labor Department job opening statistics, which recently reached an all-time high of 5,400,000, which is the most since they began reporting them 15 years ago!

As a result, engineering job openings are going unfilled for longer periods of time. These engineering vacancies have squeezed existing engineering talent to produce more with less. This in turn has caused engineering departments to miss important project goals reducing company sales and profits.

Job Openings and Labor Turnover - July 2015 - jolts.pdf 2015-09-14 18-00-46

Technical Engineering Recruitment Solution

One solution our engineering recruitment division can offer is our 5th Commandment of Technical Recruiting the open-ended interview question, “why did you leave?” By including such open-ended engineering interview questions in your recruitment process and carefully listening to the candidate’s responses, you will gain a lot more information, streamline your engineering recruitment process, save a lot of time and money and reduce the probability of hiring the wrong engineering talent.

Please go to and click on #5 below for more details. The key point here is by asking “why did you leave?” you will uncover more about this engineer’s thinking process which in turn will help you to more quickly hire the right engineering talent for your job opening.

Please contact us for more details on streamlining your engineering recruitment process.







Longer Technical and Engineering Recruitment Periods Causing Company Losses

September 4th, 2015

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced Friday morning that nonfarm payrolls rose a seasonally adjusted 173,000. This monthly report was more significant than usual for several reasons:

  1. It marked the last jobs accounting before Labor Day, which is historically a special time for all workers.
  2. It was the 59th straight month of jobs creation.
  3. It was the last jobs report before Federal Reserve officials meet later this month to debate a potential interest-rate hike, which would be the first rate increase for the U.S. since 2006.
  4. Overall jobs creation fell well short of the 220,000 predicted by most economists.
  5. It ended a streak of 16 out of the last 17 months where 200,000 or more new jobs were created.

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Technical And Engineering Still Increasingly Scarce

Despite BLS citing declines in some areas, such as manufacturing and mining, demand for skilled technical and engineering talent continues to far exceed supply. This has caused problems for many engineering recruitment and technical recruitment teams. Recent statistics from the Labor Department confirm across-the-board talent shortages. But these are particularly acute for engineering and technical jobs.

Unfilled Technical And Engineering Jobs Lower Sales, Profits and Productivity!

Anecdotally, our engineering and technical recruiters have seen a major uptick in engineering and technical recruiting over the past 10 months. Leading technology companies are fueling this increased engineering and technical recruitment drive. Unfortunately, when key technical and engineering jobs go unfilled, this has greater impact on companies than other types of positions. As a result, sales, profits and productivity suffer more dramatically. These engineering and technical vacancies create a lot more stress on the existing engineering and technical talent. As a result, engineering and technical departments often miss important project goals, which in turn reduce company sales and profits.

Technical And Engineering Recruitment Solution

One solution both our engineering recruitment and technical recruiting divisions can offer you is our 4th Commandment of Technical Recruiting. To view this key recruiting tip, please click on #4 after visiting this link.

You may recall that in the past I have recommended open-ended questions to elicit more information during your engineering and technical recruiting process. This commandment focuses on the open-ended question, “what does that mean?”  You should include this as an integral part of your engineering and technical recruitment processes. By asking open-ended questions like this and carefully listening to the engineering or technical recruitment candidate’s responses, you will gain more information from your candidates. You will also streamline your recruiting process by more quickly “separating the wheat from the chaff” during technical and engineering interviews.

The two key points here are: 1) asking open-ended questions such as “what does that mean?” and 2) carefully listening. This will go miles in helping you hire the right engineering talent during this increasing engineering recruitment war.

To learn more on how Strategic Search Corporation can provide you the right solutions for both your engineering and technical recruiting needs.

What tools can you share that have helped your engineering or technical recruiting process?

Solving Technical Recruiting Shortages With LinkedIn

August 16th, 2015

The Labor Department recently announced that job openings rose to an all-time high at 5,400,000 nationwide. Many of these jobs are for technical candidates. This points to a lot more demand than supply in many recruitment categories including technical professionals. Please go to this site for the most recent government figures on job openings.

New Technologies Are Driving Technical Recruiting Shortages

As I shared at AI creating A lot of New, High Paying Jobs!” and Challenges In Filling Engineering Vacancies On The Rise” technology breakthroughs are fueling a technical recruiting war among hiring companies for key technology talent. Tech jobs are plentiful, but qualified technical talent is in very short supply.

Hiring Companies Are Scrambling For Ways To Better Recruit

As a result of shortages of key technical talent, hiring companies are revising their recruitment practices to include many other perks, beyond just increased salaries, to attract technical talent. Unfortunately, many of these companies have found that just increasing benefits and salaries alone will not yielded better technology staffing results.

LinkedIn Recruiting

Improved Technical Recruiting Results Via LinkedIn

Recently LinkedIn offered a webinar entitled, “How To Run LinkedIn Searches Like A Pro.” They shared advanced search techniques, tips for using InMail (their e-mail system) and a process for approaching recruiting. I instructed all my staff to attend.

As a result, our technical recruiting firm found many useful tools to improve our technical recruitment prowess. We have already successfully employed many of these techniques to uncover difficult-to-find technical job candidates for our clients in burgeoning technology areas such as AI (Artificial Intelligence) and machine vision systems.

Teaching These Techniques To Our Clients

We have received numerous testimonials from our clients who have asked us to teach them on the use of these LinkedIn advanced technical recruiting techniques. On a consulting basis our sessions have included: a) the slideshow presentation b) the audio presentation and c) our instruction on the 5 Boolean Operators {AND, OR, NOT, “ “ and ( ) } that are supported by LinkedIn.

These techniques have helped our clients and our firm to uncover the passive candidates who are not actively looking for a new job and are very difficult to reach.

To learn how Strategic Search Corporation can also help you to improve your technical recruitment process, please go to our technical recruiting informational page.

Challenges In Filling Engineering Vacancies On The Rise

August 7th, 2015

The Bureau of Labor Statistics BLS announced this morning that 215,000 new non-farm jobs were created last month. This was the 16th out of the last 17 months that the U.S. economy has added at least 200,00 net new jobs. This was also the 58th straight month of jobs creation!

BLS announced that the gains were across the board including: a) Professional & Technical Services adding 27,000 new jobs b) Health Care adding 28,000 c) Financial Activities adding 17,000 d) Retail Trade adding 36,000 e) Food Services & Drinking Places adding 29,000 and g) Transportation and Warehousing adding 14,000 new employees last month. The only major sector to fall was mining which lost 5,000 jobs. This was the 7th straight month employment declined in mining.

Major Uptick In Engineering Vacancies

Additionally, our engineering recruiters have seen a major uptick in engineering jobs in the last 8 months. Major technology firms are fueling this exponential advance in engineering recruitment.

Amazon is launching plans for drone delivery Intel and Micron Technologies have recently developed a new bread of memory chips. These chips will be up to 1,000 times faster than the NAND flash memory chips now used in most mobile devices


Demand Exceeds Supplies For Talented Engineers

Job searches are now baffling engineering recruitment teams due to significantly more demand than supply for talented engineers. This is why the Labor Department recently announced that job openings are at an all time high at 5,400,000 job openings This is the highest number of job openings they have ever been for the 15 years since they have calculated job openings.

The result is engineering job openings are going unfilled for longer periods of time. These engineering vacancies have put a squeeze on the existing engineering talent to do more with less. It has also caused engineering departments to miss important project goals and reduce company sales and profits.

Engineering Recruitment

Technical Engineering Recruitment Solutions

One solution our engineering recruitment division can offer is our 3rd Commandment of Technical Recruiting. This commandment suggests you must ask open-ended questions like, “what do you do?” as part of your more thorough engineering recruitment process. By asking open-ended questions and carefully listening to the engineering recruitment candidate’s responses, you will gain more information from your engineering candidates. You will also streamline your engineering recruitment process by saving time and money especially from not hiring the wrong engineering talent.

Please go to and click on #3 below for more details. The two key points here are: 1) asking open-ended questions such as “what do you do?” and 2) listening. This will go miles in helping you hire the right engineering talent during this increasing engineering recruitment war.

To learn why Strategic Search Corporation is the right solution to fill your engineering recruitment vacancies, please visit:

Employers Add 200,000+ Jobs 15 out of last 16 months: Open-ended Interview Questions Can Help!

July 2nd, 2015

The Labor Department reported Thursday morning that U.S. employers added 223,000 new employees to their payrolls in June. This was the 15th out of the last 16 months that they have added at least 200,000 net new jobs. As a result, the unemployment rate fell to 5.3%, which is its lowest level since April 2008.

Accordingly, certain professions have become very scarce due to tremendously high demand and extremely short supply. These include research and development (R&D), scientific, engineering, information technology (IT), technical and manufacturing talent from staff levels (e.g. food scientists, robotics engineers and artificial intelligence experts) up and including C-levels such as CTO (Chief Technology Officer) and CIO (Chief Information Officer) positions that our technical recruiting firm specializes in. Please go to for a more complete picture of our 6 niche areas.

open-ended interview questions

Therefore, it is ever more important to be very thorough in your engineering recruiting, scientific recruiting, R&D recruiting, IT recruiting, technical recruiting and manufacturing recruiting processes to ensure that you secure the optimum talent for your recruiting needs. This is the case because your firm is currently facing a war for talent for these key technical positions. This is confirmed by recent research that I outlined in last week’s article Jobs Open Longer: Hire Only One Executive Recruiter! that there are currently 5,400,000 vacant job openings according to the Labor Department. This is an all-time high. Therefore, you need to have a differential advantage versus your competition in order to secure the key technical talent you are seeking. To that end, one useful tool I can share is the magical interview question, What do you do?”

Recruitment research shows that open-ended interview questions tend to elicit more detailed and useful job candidate information. One of the best open-ended interview questions is, “what do you do?” Please use this question in conjunction with other interviewing questions including the ones I have shared at

The benefit of open-ended interview questions like this is they will help you gain more useful employment information from your job candidates during the interview recruitment process. So remember to periodically ask, “what do you do?” to every job candidate during your interviews.

What are your thoughts?

Jobs Open Longer: Hire Only One Executive Recruiter!

June 26th, 2015

Recent statistics from the Labor Department show a record number of job openings by U.S. employers. The reported 5,400,000 current jobs are the most since they started tracking them in 2000. Combined with two other recent studies, this explains why positions are taking longer to fill not only in the U.S., but also worldwide. This is particularly true for R&D, engineering, scientific, technical, IT and manufacturing positions that our technical recruiting firm specializes in. As a result, many companies have reported substantial decreases in productivity due to key positions being unfilled for longer periods of time.

STEVEN J. DAVISStephen Davis, an economist at the University of Chicago, reported recently that jobs are staying open 27.3 days. This is nearly double the 15.3 days it took companies to fill jobs in mid-2009! Furthermore, his research demonstrates that this increase is wide spread across many industries, regions and various sized companies!

Many R&D recruiters, engineering recruiters, scientific recruiters, technical recruiters, IT recruiters and manufacturing recruiters we have polled over the past six months confirm Dr. Davis’ findings. They have found that due to simple “supply and demand” there are more jobs and fewer candidates. For example, several industries, such as tech and financial services currently have about 2% unemployment rates.

A second report released on Thursday, June 18th by Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at career-research firm Glassdoor, found that the average interview process in the U.S. took 22.9 days in 2014 due to an exponential increase in background investigations currently done by employers. That is up from just 12.6 days in 2010.

Screenings and background checks in particular have grown to 42% of all U.S. job candidates. That is up from just 25% in 2010. For example, 23% of all job candidates in 2014 received some sort of skills evaluation compared with only 16% five years ago. Furthermore, 23% of received a drug test last year versus only 13% in 2010.

What can an employer do to combat this longer hiring process?

executive recruitmentMany of the executive recruiters that we polled suggested that hiring companies should adopt a process of “less is more.” Often when employers hire an engineering recruitment agency or a technical recruitment agency or IT jobs recruiter or executive search firm they falsely believe that the more management recruiters that they have working on their jobs, the faster they will fill their positions. Unfortunately, when you have a limited sampling frame of key technical talent for a given opening (e.g. nanotechnology or AI scientists) and you have multitudes of executive recruiting firms trying to recruit the same, small pool of talent, this will often alienate an otherwise eager scientist willing to make a jobs change.

Instead, especially with current job market conditions, 87% of those same executive recruitment firms we polled suggested it is much better to retain only one executive recruitment firm that you trust. This will lead to them providing you a lot more service, effort and perseverance in meeting your needs. This can go a long way towards more thoroughness, quality and efficiency with jobs staying vacant longer.

What are your findings?