I got a huge question and this I am sure will have a great deal of opinions, however we are a systems integrator for the federal government and recruit IT people for DOD/DOE sites and bases.  We focus on the SE US however are gaining contracts in Ohio and the Midwest. 

  1. Is it important to open offices there to interview people in person or just do it over the phone?
  2. Currently, we do a mix depending on the candidate's location and proximity to our home office in Charlotte?

I am interested in your opinion as opening another office is no small venture, however will it increase our recruiting capacity for projects won if we were closer to the base we are serving?

 

Thanks for the feedback!!

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We have  a strict proccess that we utilize for every search, which includes phone interviews in addition to an in person or green (skype) interview.

 

 

That is an interesting question, is face-to-face interviewing needed. I do international retained searches, so it would take a great deal of my time and expense for my clients for me to travel, so I have a series of phone interview test I use along with video conferencing. Every major city in the world had a video conference center, or at least an internet cafe. So you can do personal interviews anywhere without being there, or at least reduce the number you have to see in person. I hope this helps.

Best,

Ed

Jason, I thnik a lot of the comments here were geared towards- would a recruiting company need to open up an office near to your new project locations.

Since your company is a System Integrator and you are hiring directly for your organization, I would suggest a face-to-face interview as part of the process.  The market for SI-ers is extremely hot right now with everyone hiring, including many of the big names.  I would imagine you would find it difficult to hire someone who also had offers from IBM, Accenture, etc. if they never even met anyone from your company.

As to if you should open a local office or just fly canddiates out to meet you for a final interview as most of the big names do, that depends which would be most cost-efficient and effective.

You might consider an executive suite arrangement with the use of an office as needed. These situations enable you to pay a small monthly charge with office use charged only when you use it. Time on site for face to face interviews then a scheduled trip to the location as needed. They provide great offices, phones,Internet and a local number answering service. Might give you a base of operation at the site without having to open a full office.
Ty - How do candidates feel about using a questionnaire like ZuZu?  I was not aware of that service, looked at it and it appears to have a great deal of potential benefit.  But when looking for people, do you find that some people do not follow through with the process and you might be missing out on the best fits?  I look at the job search process as a whole, from posting resumes, people being sent questionnaires, etc. and wonder if the person that picks up the phone and actually calls does not have a better advantage over a recruiter who might have it all simply automated.  Thoughts?

Cody - thanks and yes that is an important factor to consider.  Our major focus is on how to ensure that we do not lose candidates in the local areas of the bases we support just since we do not have a physical presence.  With the amount of people, opening an office would probably be the most cost effective.

 

Sandra - your suite arrangement could be the perfect answer given the need.  The need is urgent for sometime when placing the team together but once work begins, it is all done onsite with little need for a formal office by the vendor.  We will investigate that, thanks for the idea.

Regus has a great office program and you can use conference centers in any city they have an office. I have used them many times.

Regus Centers

Jason-  Great points. I agree that adding additional hoops for candidates to jump through can not only slow down the process, but can cause us recruiters to lose out on quality candidates. But we have found that typically candidates don't mind answering a few interview questions online. Here's how I use questionnaires on my desk: 

  • I attach a questionnaire to a job posting and have all applicants answer a series of questions when they submit their resume. Typically I'll select multiple choice, written, and audio answers for this process (with high volume positions, video can be an issue b/c some candidates won't have a webcam). Then I just login to the site and review the candidates that scored the highest on the questions.
  • For temp positions, I'll run a keyword search in our ATS and email all "qualified" candidates a questionnaire. Candidates answer the questions and upload their most up-to-date resume. Then all we have to do is call the top 10 or so. 
  • At my agency, we have started using these brandable questionnaires as a presentation tool for our clients. So if I interview a candidate that I'm excited about, I'll have them complete a questionnaire incorporating video (either at home or while they are in the office).  Then I send that along to a client along with a resume. Most of our clients love it, and many have started giving us the questions to ask in advance.

While these things do add an additional step in the hiring process, we have found them to definitely be a net benefit. And it only takes candidates a few minutes. Hope this helps, Jason!

 

Jason Monastra said:

Ty - How do candidates feel about using a questionnaire like ZuZu?  I was not aware of that service, looked at it and it appears to have a great deal of potential benefit.  But when looking for people, do you find that some people do not follow through with the process and you might be missing out on the best fits?  I look at the job search process as a whole, from posting resumes, people being sent questionnaires, etc. and wonder if the person that picks up the phone and actually calls does not have a better advantage over a recruiter who might have it all simply automated.  Thoughts?
Ty, thanks that helps a great deal and would be a solid factor in seperating yourself from other vendors.  It shows your due diligenece and extra steps in making the clients' side of the process easier.

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