Technology Candidate Sources

Following are the most common sources of candidates with the pros, cons, and issues incurred with each method. Hiring managers what to see passive candidates sourced directly from competitor companies. This is the value that skilled headhunting professionals bring to the recruitment and hiring process within the technology industry.

Contingency Recruiters

Most contingency recruiters often have 20 - 40 or more jobs to work on at any one time. Getting contingency job openings is easy for a recruiter. They do this so that they have better odds of a placement. If a job opening is considered easy, which few are in the semiconductor field, it may get worked on. Odds are probable that not much time will be invested. The majority of contingency recruiters will only scan their database and possibly post your job. Often, employers will see the same candidates they had already found on their own. While it may seem like there should be incentive to work on a requirement at a 20-25% fee, and the promise of additional business, most contingency recruiters have an endless supply of openings and only a handful of companies they focus on. Often, little or no effort is expended on any one job opening, and the positions that do get worked on, are the ones they consider the easiest. Very few dig deep enough to successfully generate highly desirable candidates. When there is no commitment from a company, there is a usually a matching commitment from the recruiter.

Job Postings and Listings

Candidates searching and replying to job postings represent a very small percentage of potential candidates for a job opening. An overwhelming majority of possible candidates are not looking at job sites and job postings. It is not always the case, but there are sometimes issues with candidates that come from job boards. Do they, or did they, have problems with their employer? Do they have issues with their current or past manager? Were they let go? There are sometimes legitimate reasons, but often there may be a problem. The relatively few superb candidates that do come from job postings have often applied to several companies, and they are in very high demand.  You are now competing with multiple other brand name companies for the same person, so your odds of converting this person to a new hire is extremely difficult.  Many human resources departments have given up on external job postings as a serious way to locate the cream of the crop in technical fields. They will post anyway, but they do not expect the candidates their hiring managers are looking for.

Resume Databases

The same reasoning that applies to job postings applies to resume databases as well. The senior and manager level candidates companies and hiring managers desire to interview and hire are usually not posting their resume. For the relatively few exceptional candidates who do post their resume, you are again competing with multiple employers. As many companies have realized after the heyday of online technical recruiting, resume databases and external job postings are often best left for non-technical or light industrial type positions. Also falling into the category of not being the best use of a company's time is attending job fairs.

IT / Technical Recruiters

Most technology, "IT Recruiters", lump every imaginable technology into information technology. An IT recruiter, not specialized solely in semiconductors and related technologies, will rarely get good results. They will not have the depth and breadth of knowledge and information regarding the semiconductor market, products, technology, employers, people, and relevant competitors to do the job well. If you want to hire a Network Engineer or System Administrator, IT Recruiters may work, but do not count on them to fill a semiconductor job.

Human Resources and Staffing

Human Resources is an invaluable resource utilized extensively by all successful companies. Companies that do not put people first, will have turnover and less productive employees. Unfortunately, HR is tasked with a multitude of important responsibilities, so they typically cannot devote the time necessary to directly source candidates from a competitor or other relevant companies, which is where the top candidates often come from. Also, most HR departments will not engage in direct sourcing methods due to issues of legality and the perceived impropriety of contacting people directly at competitor companies.

A Recruiter vs. a Headhunter

While there are similarities, there is a difference. A recruiter is a dynamic and skilled professional that offers invaluable services to an organization by performing duties such as job posting, resume database searching, agency organization, candidate on-boarding, resume and candidate screening, and possibly other essential human resources duties.

A headhunter does not rely on more modern means of locating highly desirable candidates. While they may use the internet, a headhunter digs much deeper into organizations to identify and establish relationships with candidates, often referred to as passive job seekers. They often cold call and utilize other innovative methods to identify these hard to locate people. As is the case with relatively few employers and hiring managers publicizing jobs, the overwhelming majority of the nearly 300,000 semiconductor professionals in the United States are not actively looking for a job or perusing job sites. Headhunters invest a significant amount of time identifying, attracting, and recruiting these people for companies.

So Where are the Candidates?

Not always, but the candidates that companies will find most attractive to interview and hire are usually working. While it may seem like everyone must be looking at job postings, posting resumes, perusing jobs on company websites, talking with employees about jobs, very few actually are. Many of the most desirable candidates have never been on a job board in their entire career, and most are fairly content with their current position, but are often open to a new opportunity when it is presented. To successfully fill a position with a high quality candidate, employers need to tap into the enormous supply of passive job seekers who are unaware of a company or job opening.

What is the Answer

Be prepared to wait a long time, try to get employee referrals, learn how to go without, promote internally, or pay to have it done. There is no easy way around it if the business need for a particular skill set or background is there, or a company is trying to grow. If the opportunity cost of not having this person is high, companies must engage a specialized resource that will devote the necessary time and attention. The answer for many has been MSO Technology.