Bill martineau's Blog (74)

Are you keeping your eyes wide open?

We all know that the economy currently has some challenges (that’s putting it mildly), and that it will continue to impact companies staffing decisions for sometime to come. Typically, this puts people into what I refer to as a defensive career posture where they are simply making sure that if negative events (RIF, outsourcing, etc.) happen at their company they aren’t the people involved. But unless you're like the guy I spoke with this morning at Wachovia Bank who is hoping to make it the six… Continue

Added by bill martineau on October 8, 2008 at 1:49pm — No Comments

Timeline for placements - Picking up steam

Well as any recruiter knows as the markets remain in flux the more work there is for us. Whether it be recruiting candidates whose companies just announced layoff, mergers or a buyout from the Fed or talking with companies that need to fill their vacant position quickly before they have it pulled from the budget.

So of course speed and timing in the placement process is of the essence, and that means candidates and companies who hesitate will lose out on getting the next job or… Continue

Added by bill martineau on September 30, 2008 at 9:55am — No Comments

Youthful indescretions?

It’s funny how the view of managers can be similar to those of parents and to the decisions of the children. In checking a reference on a recent recruit (only 3 years in the business on now looking for job number 3) I was speaking with his first manager. He went on about how talented the candidate was his value to the organization and of course how he completely screwed up by leaving (simply for money).

So there you have the stereotypical idea among managers when their Jr. to Mid… Continue

Added by bill martineau on September 24, 2008 at 10:15am — No Comments

Yes we need a work sample

The concept of getting work samples from potential employees is not new, and in certain industries it’s absolutely the only way to go (artist’s portfolio, etc.). However, in the IT field there seems to be a new wave of companies that are not just asking for, but requiring candidates to submit work samples even prior to any interview process beginning.

This may seem logical and even reasonable to some but in the IT world issues surrounding proprietary work as well as intellectual… Continue

Added by bill martineau on September 19, 2008 at 3:32pm — No Comments

How did you do?

We all want feedback from the candidate in an attempt to ascertain how they did during the interview, but from what I’ve seen in my twenty years of recruiting most candidates have an inability to truly separate how they feel about the job opportunity (interest level) from how they did on the interview (performance). So they are the wrong person to ask how they performed.

Let’s face it almost every candidate walks away from an interview interested in the job and wants to communicate… Continue

Added by bill martineau on September 17, 2008 at 9:07am — No Comments

Changing workplace attitudes? I'll say!

Employee attitudes always change and evolve, but typically it lines up with the direction of upper management or as specific managers and/or co-workers come and go. However I had a unique (if not bizarre) view into the IT marketplace thanks to a friend of mine recently.

At lunch last week he had just announced his imminent departure from his fortune 500 employer as they were going through some “downsizing”. As everyone began to pass along their sympathies he said (and I quote) “I’m… Continue

Added by bill martineau on September 12, 2008 at 8:25am — 1 Comment

Helping your recruiter manage your job search

Unfortunately many more candidates today are actively pursuing jobs because their positions were eliminated, so assisting candidates to manage their job search is critical. However, we can always use your help and that typically means passing on lots of information about your current search status to the recruiter in your first conversation.

When I’m speaking with any candidate, but particularly those that have active searches the information I want to know, in order,… Continue

Added by bill martineau on September 9, 2008 at 5:51pm — No Comments

Well on my way to learning ASP.Net MVC

OK that’s not true. Actually it’s a complete lie, but I did attend a .Net developers user group meeting and received 90 minutes of free training, and while it wont’ help me it would have certainly be beneficial to many developers whose future career opportunities are defined by continued growth and knowledge in their field.

Unfortunately out of the hundreds of people that could have benefited a mere 35 people showed up. This is completely illogical as there is no membership fee, no… Continue

Added by bill martineau on September 4, 2008 at 11:40am — No Comments

Hiring decisions: Tools vs. Talent

As hiring goes we all understand that trends come and go. Clients want more (or less) business knowledge this year compared to last, desire for specific technical skills wax and wane based on choices made at the highest levels of the organization & of course the dynamics of team fit & personality are always in the mix. However, what historically has been the most critical component to any interview were the core skills and abilities of candidates (depth and breadth of knowledge,… Continue

Added by bill martineau on September 2, 2008 at 4:21pm — 1 Comment

Interviewing your next boss

The 90’s have come and gone, but most people are now keenly aware that candidates interview their potential companies now as much as the companies interview them, and from where I stand the next evolution in the interview process will be candidate’s beginning to truly interview their future boss.

Let’s face it you can like the company and your co-workers, but there is no bigger influence on your day to day happiness, and impact on your career progression than that of the person to… Continue

Added by bill martineau on August 26, 2008 at 9:39am — No Comments

Network of Value?

I don’t know what’s more difficult; trying to help the unemployed IT pro’s out there find quality jobs that align well with their career direction or telling them that I can’t help them because they enlisted the help of there spouse, friend or neighbor, and have had their resume forwarded around to many of the potential jobs before I ever spoke with them.

I know that every self proclaimed job search expert will tell you that “networking” is the best way to get a job, but what they… Continue

Added by bill martineau on August 21, 2008 at 10:02am — 6 Comments

What's the story?

We all see those rambling job descriptions (you know the ones) that some of our clients send us, and some of us even perpetuate the crime further by copying them word for word and posting them to the internet as an advertisements.

This is so wrong I’m not sure where to begin, but let’s start with the fact that an ad is a public promotion of some product or service, and while technically that’s what happened I don’t think it provides much promotional value to the position since it… Continue

Added by bill martineau on August 19, 2008 at 6:21pm — No Comments

Unemployment woes: decisions, decisions, decisions

As the economy has continued to worsen more and more IT pros have been hit by the reduction in force, downsizing or outsourcing bug that has again stricken corporate America.

On the positive side we see many opportunities out there and short stints on the unemployment line for most candidates as long as they are flexible to the shifting market (dollars & relocation are the biggies).

However, with such high activity comes a problem once you finally receive an offer. How… Continue

Added by bill martineau on August 7, 2008 at 9:16am — No Comments

Offers...what they are about may be changing soon

Over the last five to ten years many candidates have become very savvy when it comes to salary negotiations, and they understand that when a recruiter is talking with the company that it’s not just about the raw salary dollars, but the advantages of the overall package including everything from benefits, 401k contribution, vacation/PTO and even potential bonuses. However, after reading our last blog on… Continue

Added by bill martineau on August 5, 2008 at 10:08am — 2 Comments

Is fear keeping you from getting the next job?

In reading several blogs and news articles I came upon something from the Brazen Careerist about how most Sr. Managers (75% that is) are OK with their employee’s job hunting while still working for them, and part of the reasoning is that they would do the same.

Now of course this makes perfect sense because as we all know the old adage is “it’s… Continue

Added by bill martineau on July 29, 2008 at 11:31am — No Comments

Contingencies on an offer aren’t a joke

I heard a mortgage horror story the other day from a friend as he was buying a new house and selling his town home. He had arranged to have back to back closings to make it easy, but as it came time to close on the sale of his house the buyer was a no show…it seems that he had just lost his job and now was not in a position to qualify for the loan, much less make the payments. He very quickly was put in the position where he was being pressed to make a decision on signing his closing papers… Continue

Added by bill martineau on July 18, 2008 at 10:50am — 2 Comments

Advice and counsel starts with the self awareness of candidates

When trying to help candidates get the best job most recruiters are prepared to delve into their career hopes and dream and help them divine a path for them to accomplish those goals. However, during just such a conversation the other day it came to me that not only this particular candidate, but most candidates, lack the fundamental knowledge to start the conversation. In fact, most don’t spend any time at all thinking about their careers.

So where are you in your career? Do you… Continue

Added by bill martineau on July 15, 2008 at 2:40pm — 3 Comments

Time is precious

In recruiting, time is of the utmost importance. It is what I tell my clients and my candidates that I won’t waste, and that I’ll respect their time throughout the process as we move to making a placement. However, it seems that both candidates and client companies forget this when it’s time for a telephone screen. Recently I’ve had a rash of no calls from clients and missed calls by candidate requiring us to reschedule it for some later date and not only causing a delay in the process, but… Continue

Added by bill martineau on July 8, 2008 at 9:48am — 1 Comment

Xobni = inbox control and utilization (for Outlook users)

I don’t know about you, but I’m not a huge hype guy when it comes to new tools for my PC, but a friend of mine in sales at Microsoft mentioned this product (it’s free here) as a tool that a few of the sales reps there are using to help with their contact and connection management with MS Outlook.

I’ve only been using it for a couple of days, but I’ve gotten a lot of value from it as I am able to quickly pull up email histories with clients and… Continue

Added by bill martineau on June 25, 2008 at 6:32pm — 5 Comments

Company job sites: Good, Bad or indifferent

Most HR pro’s will tell you that the best way for you to get into their company is to apply via the company website. While this is the best way to be entered into their bottom-less pit of a database it is not (contrary to popular belief) the best way to get a job with that company. Just ask this candidate.

Understand that I have nothing against HR/Recruiters, in fact, some companies have… Continue

Added by bill martineau on June 12, 2008 at 11:06am — 2 Comments


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