Meet Marcus Zack Ronaldi: Corporate Sourcer, Marathon Runner & Community Do-Gooder

By Dave Mendoza

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Marcus has spent the last year doing in house sourcing for all sorts of sales positions for the WebEx division of Cisco systems targeting both active and passive candidates. His methods for finding candidates include a mix tbetween Active (Traditional job boards/postings & Boolean searches) and Passive (calling directly into those in target roles and target companies).

His most recent focus at WebEx was the sourcing of sales people with a background in either Saas or Unified Communications for Webex (a Cisco Company) for a number of positions in California, Virginia, New England, Michigan, Pennsylvania or Washington.

While with Google Marcus supported the Tech Ops team with Google. Tech Ops provides the technical infrastructure and tools to support the Online Sales and Operations department (AdWords and AdSense primarily, but also Gmail, Orkut, Picasa, and others). Current teams include Analytics, Spam, CS Tech, Tools Specialists, Online Tools, Data Reporting, Automated Operations, API, and LookOut.

Over the last ten years he has worked in High Tech, Staffing and Event Planning. Most of Marcus' high tech experience has come in the ISP/CLEC field as either a Project or Account Manager.

Marcus has an impressive who's Who list of former clients within the corporate staffing arena, i.e, Visa, Wells Fargo, FHLB, PG&E, McKesson, CNET, Gamespy, eBay and PayPal.

Q&A WIth Marcus Ronaldi

Six Degrees: Tell us of your home world.

Marcus: I have been in the Bay Area since 1997. Came out here for a job and stayed for the weather.

Marcus: Outside of recruiting, I run quite a bit. Just finished my seventh half marathon. Last year raised money for both the Leukemia and lymphoma society and the Parkinson's Institute. I play kickball and enjoy doing the pub quiz. I organize Happy Hours for a group in San Francisco called SF 30 Something.

Six Degrees: How many years have you been in the staffing industry?

Marcus: I have five years of recruiting experience with about half being in an agency environment and the other half being in house. Right now I am working on a few contingent searches.

Six Degrees: How did you get started as a recruiter?

Marcus: My first direct staffing experience came as part of the outreach team on the TSA project. This was followed by two different agencies. Moved in house to Google and this was followed by being a sales sourcer with the WebEx division of Cisco.

Six Degrees: What single event had the most impact on your sourcing/recruiting career?

Marcus: I would have to say that the rise of social networks had the biggest impact on my day to day sourcing career.

Six Degrees: Do you have a mentor to whom you attribute your overall outlook on recruitment, capabilities, and/or model your career after?

Marcus: I would have to say Michael Smith who was my manager when I was sourcing for the WebEx division of Cisco. He had me do sourcing training for the entire team which improved my presentation skills and made me learn what I was doing in a way that I could explain it to someone without a strong sourcing background.

Six Degrees: Tell us about your current position and how it has been effected by the recession.

Marcus: I am currently making the transition from being an in-house sourcer and recruiter to a free lance independent sourcer and recruiter. My contract with Cisco ended (where I was a member of a large team) and the market for in house sourcing has dried up quite a bit but I am able to leverage my extensive network for these contingent roles.

Six Degrees: What recent general news story or industry trend do you feel will have an impact on your work in the future? Why?

Marcus: I think any of the general news about the economy and the job market is going to have an extensive impact on the role of the staffing industry. I do think one area of growth will be the staffing for large government projects (like the TSA from a few years ago)

Six Degrees: What is your next career goal? What do you need to do to get there?

Marcus: Right now I am in the process of establishing myself as a free lance sourcer and recruiter. To be successful I will need to work the phones on both the candidate and client side of the equation.


Six Degrees: What is the source of your "LOWEST COST OF HIRES" at your present employer?

Marcus: I would have to say referrals from my network provide me with the Lowest Cost of Hires. With tools such as Twitter, Facebook and Tiny URL it is easy to let your network what you are looking for. What I will do is take the URL from the public job description and then shorten the URL using tiny URL. Then I write up a short status update with what I am looking for and I copy the shortened URL to make it easy for my network to check out the job description. I have gotten some great passive candidates through my network using these steps. For this to be effective you need to put effort into building your network. Some of the best connections I have made came from networking events that I did not expect.

In addition, I will do quite a bit of direct sourcing of passive candidates by doing a bit of research and calling them directly at work. One thing I notice is that during a tougher job market, people are more apt to take your call and if they are not directly interested they know someone who is actively looking. Many of my best placements have come through direct targeting of passive candidates.

Six Degrees: What talent niche groups do you target and are these particular talent areas specialized under your review?

Marcus: Most of my recruiting and sourcing experience has been with technical sales people, software engineers, product managers and system administrators mostly focused in the Bay Area but I have done searches all over the country.

With sales people, clients are looking for consistent top performers. This group is not frequently found on job boards. They also do not respond to job postings. Calling directly (after doing some research) is the best way to reach this crowd. If you are shy about making direct calls to candidates, you are greatly limiting the pool of candidates that you can work with.

With technical roles they are many niche boards and user groups that allow for the free posting of jobs. Attending a user group meeting is a good way to network with those with that skill set.

Six Degrees: What types of training in sourcing/recruitment are available to you and have you taken advantage of?

Marcus: Over the last few years I have taken several of Shally Steckerl's training courses.

A few months ago I was at the recruiting road show in San Jose where several sourcers were demonstrating some new techniques to search twitter feeds. I noticed the Google Browser window had a line giving the option to do the search in the other search engines.

Thinking I had missed a great new feature I went home and check but there was nothing. Turns out it was a browser plugin (because as we all know, the different search engines index different websites.

Six Degrees: What recruitment software tools do you use in your day to day recruitment activities & do they translate effectively within all of the different countries where you recruit?

Marcus: I am a big fan of Talenthook which I used at Cisco, Google and at Agencies. As most of my recruiting has been in the United States it has been effective. I also use LinkedIn extensively. Anything that saves time and reduces the amount of duplicate resumes is well worth it.

Six Degrees: What tools (technology or old school file folder, for example) did you first encounter early in your recruitment career?

Marcus: The first agency I worked at put quite a bit of focus on integrating search into their in house ATS. It has a big impact on my preference for searching from a single application compared to logging into several different websites and databases at the same time.
Six Degrees: Worst mistake, biggest goof, lousiest practice you thought would fly but didn’t…and how that was a learning experience?

Marcus: I was working on a direct hire role where I quickly found a candidate they liked, he sailed through the interview process but when the offer was presented, it was far less than the candidate was expecting. He ended up turning down the offer and I had to start again.

Looking though my notes the candidate was vague about his salary requirements and the client was also vague about what they were looking to pay. Getting a comp range from a client when working on a position and then comp requirements from the candidate early in the recruiting process will save time for everybody.

Getting the details upfront from both the client and the candidate on other issues such as willingness to sponsor a visa, ideas on telecommuting, career path can save a tremendous amount of heartache late in the process.

Six Degrees: Considering all of the frustrations you have experienced in your career as a recruiter, -- what inspires you as you continue in your career?

Marcus: Recruiters have a big impact on the identity of the people they place. When you meet someone for the first time one of the first questions is what do you do and we provide the answer to the fundamental question. This answer has an impact on how they pay their rent/mortgage, their kid's college education and where they spend a large percentage of their waking hours.

Six Degrees: Anything you want to plug?

Marcus: If you are looking for someone with a strong sourcing background and an extensive network for either splits or projects contact me directly at

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Excellent interview and a great person to add to my network - thanks for the lead.
Great interview !!!


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