Meet Tiffany Peery, Senior Technical Recruiter at Intel, Part 2

y Dave Mendoza, Master Cybersleuth, Affiliate Partner, JobMachine Inc.
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Part 1 of 2 Part Feature

Our continuing series on the rank and file and thought leaders who make us proud of our vocation.

Q&A Tiffany Peery, Senior Technical Recruiter, Intel

Six Degrees: How many applicants at your present employer do you estimate are hired from your corporate website as compared to how many are hired through referrals?

Tiffany: In my industry, if I had to break down the “Source of Hire” for each of my placements, I can safely say that perhaps 10% of the people that filled the job were those that just simply applied online to a posting. Perhaps 20% come through an employee referral, and the remaining placements must come from a pool of candidates that I personally generate on my own. I don’t take full credit for each of those hires though. Many come through my network of amazing recruiters! I don’t know where I’d be without LinkedIn, recruiting blogs and networks, and the talent that I’ve been fortunate enough to work with through the years. There are not many other careers where peers and competitors are so willing to offer up referrals, names, ideas, suggestions, tips, etc. I just got a call the other day from an outside recruiter, working at the competition. He wanted to do some benchmarking around Analog Design hires/talent. Most people wouldn’t bother making the call…but it seems as though us recruiters band together! I gladly shared with him information I was able to release and I think it satisfied his query. I definitely know that a great many hires come through networking! Wouldn’t ever pretend I could do the job without the help of my network.

Six Degrees: What is the source of the “Most Hires” collected from at your present employer? (In terms of Quantity #)

Tiffany: In terms of quantity, the vast majority of candidates in the pipeline do come from recruitment research. (I.e. patent databases, white papers, industry articles, etc.) 9 times out of 10, the person I’m looking for is not going to have a resume posted on a job board. They are going to be quite happy/content, at their present employer, well compensated because they are truly a top performer. That is the person I want! Granted, some positions will get filled by job board resumes (Monster, Careerbuilder); I’m certainly not trying to undermine their value. Each industry is so different though. I’m looking for design engineering and systems experts. I want the candidate that has 20+ patents, is considered an expert in the field and would come in and TEACH my guru’s a thing or two.

Six Degrees: What is the source of your “LOWEST COST OF HIRES” - (least amount of invested resources for the easiest hires, regardless of quality) at your present employer?

Tiffany: The “cheapest” candidate I can find is one that is already in my database. Someone that found our website, was qualified for one or more of our openings, and applied. All it takes me is a few minutes of Boolean searching! They may not have applied to the job that I would have matched them to, but none the less, I now have their resume. This is my candidate. Qualified, interested in my company, and ready to go. There are certainly plenty of untapped resources in each ATS we all may use. If we discount all the candidates that came to us, we are doing ourselves a huge disservice. Figure out who is ALREADY a part of your network and grab them first. THEN, when you can’t find a perfect fit, hit the streets, tap into your network, scope the job boards, etc. I still can’t figure out why some recruiters network so MUCH, and then do so little to leverage those networks. I think the one slogan that I brought with me from Intel to Freescale to Intel again was: LEVERAGE YOUR PERSONAL NETWORKS.

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

Tiffany: If I had to reduce my targeted skill sets to 3 words, here is what they would be: Analog, MEMS, and Sensors. I consider all three very “niche” skill sets. Some may say that the industry is populated with MANY, MANY great analog or MEMS design engineers. However, when you couple the Analog with Audio IC and power management design experience, there is a limited pool of industry experts. When you are looking for a MEMS designer…sure, you might find a lot of talented PhD’s with some great experience. BUT…do they also have experience with inertial sensors or automotive radar sensing technologies? Don’t get me wrong. I know we all have very tough to fill skill sets. I’ve never met a recruiting assignment that wasn’t a challenge…and it didn’t matter which industry I was supporting.

Six Degrees: What types of training in sourcing/recruitment are available to you and have you taken advantage of?
Tiffany: During my time at Intel, the company paid for the AIRS Diversity Recruitment training. I felt like a lot of the
information was common knowledge in the recruitment arena, but I definitely walked away with a few gems that still assist me in my work today.

I also regularly scour the internet for “free” recruitment trainings. Quite a few highly knowledgeable recruiters have taken the time to publish some of the best kept secrets. OK, they aren’t really secrets, but there are definitely some items I never would have thought about on my own.

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?

Tiffany: I have had exposure to so many different ATS’s and tracking systems. I’ve also worked with many internet/software tools that were developed to ease the search process. I can’t say that a single tool truly met all of my recruiting needs though. Right now at Freescale we use PeopleClick as our ATS. It certainly has its’ shortcomings though. It is miles ahead of PeopleSoft that I was using at Intel (not to mention about 5 other tracking tools that were created in house to help with managing this one function). I was helping with the design of Taleo over there…when I made the move to Freescale. I never truly got to test it out fully. I’ve also got access to Infogist…which if “tweaked” just right can produce some great search results.

Every tool that is evaluated and ultimately purchased is done so with the assumption that it will help on a global basis. Let’s face it. The industry (no matter which one) is not restricted to the US. All the tools we use are effective at supporting our Global requirements. We hire in Shanghai, India, Russia, several countries…but let’s not forget I also hire in Ridgeland, MS. J I’ve lost count of how many sites Freescale has at this point, but I definitely feel like we are working hart to support our clients “everywhere”!

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

Tiffany: Some people have short term memory issues. I have both short and long term memory issues. I vaguely recall some of the tools I first started with…RecruitMax, BrassRing, and let’s not forget a good old fashion Excel spreadsheet. I’m afraid I’ve only been at it for 8 years though. I think some of you recruiter “veterans” will agree that we’ve come a long way!

Six Degrees: How did your expectations of being a recruiter compare to the actual, first time you got on the phone or in the cubicle? To this day would you say people’s assumptions about our vocation differ from reality?

Tiffany: I was just plain scared. That was the perception and the reality all in one. I used to pray that I’d get a voicemail! That way, at least I knew if they called me back, they were likely interested in the position I was calling to sell them on. I’ve long since grown out of my fear though. I think once you fully immerse yourself in the technology you are supporting, you gain the ability to sell it, as if you yourself could do it. I’m no where near becoming a talented Analog IC designer, but I can definitely “talk the talk” now, and I think it helps in the “attract” phase of the recruitment cycle.

Six Degrees: Worst mistake, biggest goof, lousiest practice you thought would fly but didn’t…and how that was a learning experience?

Tiffany: Wow, that’s a hard thing to own. Hmmmm. I think the worst mistake I make is likely “Looking before leaping”. Coming to a conclusion before I’ve met with all involved parties. Getting so excited about the potential match/placement, that you don’t do your due diligence…and ultimately look like the idiot to both client and candidate in the end. I won’t go into specifics, let’s just say I’ve definitely learned some valuable lessons about patience and perseverance. The right thing to do will always be to understand the client need and the candidate need, and matching them up appropriately.

Six Degrees: How do you personally expect to facilitate change within our industry, and/or at your place of work? If you started that process, outline the problem, your solutions, and the vision.

Tiffany: There are definitely days I feel like I’m a force to be reckoned with! There are others when I feel like I should just crawl back in bed and call in sick! Each of us will hit roadblocks from time to time in our careers. A boss who just won’t listen, or feels the need to push you down at every corner. A client who refuses to accept your help, or acknowledge the key role you play in his organizations success. I definitely want to continue growing in my career. I know there are a lot of great things I have to offer the industry and the company I support. I want to ultimately grow into a role where I’m modeling the entire staffing organization for a company and am able to incorporate all the great ideas I’ve gathered throughout my career at the various corporations I’ve had the privilege of working with..

Six Degrees: “Best practice” you are most proud of developing (now or in the past) in your recruiting career?

Tiffany: I’m not sure this is a practice, but it’s absolutely something I live by. Passion. I truly have passion for recruiting. I don’t always encounter a whole lot of recruiters out there that share this same passion. The thrill of the chase and the sweetness of the success. The need to know my clients, know their goals and ultimately partner with them to meet those goals. I love the thrill of tapping into passive talent pools. Sure, a job board is easy..but the challenge of finding someone that is not looking is so much more fulfilling to me.

I recently got accused of being too concerned or caring too much about my clients. I refuse to accept that though. My clients are the ones funding the HR support function that I am a part of. My clients are the
ones driving the business and creating the products that make Freescale a 6 billion dollar company. When they win, I win. It’s that simple. If 100 of my hires in the year equate to a few hundred million dollars in product, well, to me, that’s something. And there isn’t a boss in the world that will convince me otherwise.
What are some of the frustrating aspects/obstacles to your day to day as a staffing professional and in general?

Tiffany: I get frustrated by people that just don’t understand or value the recruiting function. There is a lot more to recruiting and staffing and success in those areas than just thumbing through online applications and routing a resume to a manager. I feel like there is so much that we are capable of, that we aren’t given the opportunity to showcase. When unrealistic work loads are coupled with limited administrative support, and this becomes the rule, instead of the exception, I get frustrated. If someone would sit down and do the math… 30% agency fee x 15 hires = WAY TOO MUCH MONEY. One or two highly affordable resources could reduce that to 30% agency fee x 0 hires = zero!

I have definitely have had leaders with virtually zero staffing experience calling the shots for the staffing organization. That is a little scary to me…. I think people need to realize the true value add that strong recruiters provide an organization.

Six Degrees: What are the most common themes of strategic and/or tactical mishaps involving past or present HR/Staffing org?

Tiffany: I have always worked in a very “reactive” staffing environment. I think this is primarily due to limited budgets. I obviously understand the need to protect the bottom line, and not over staff a function. I think that when it comes time to make cuts, recruitment is always the first to take a hit. It forces us to respond only to the immediate needs/crisis, rather than be forward thinking and building a strategic pipeline of talented candidates. I’ve worked in Semiconductors long enough to see the Ups and Downs….it’s a never ending cycle. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watch recruiters be let go… only to be rehired back within 6-12 months. By the time you calculate the severance you’ve paid, the loss of IP out the door, the negative affects it has on the current team’s ability to effectively recruit, the cost of interviewing and rehiring… am I making my point yet? It seems this happens everywhere though. You’d think at some point, a CEO would sit back…evaluate this, and realize that you aren’t really saving yourself any money by doing this.

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?

Tiffany: My clients inspire me. The technology inspires me. Knowing that I’m a part of something great - that inspires me. Where my staffing leadership might fail from time to time, my clients always prevail. I truly work with some of the brightest in the business. I feel fortunate to rub elbows with these leaders on a daily basis. They are passionate about their work/products, and they inspire that passion in me. As long as I know I’m providing great value to my clients, I can handle just about anything else.

Six Degrees: What one thing do you find most ideal given the opportunity to develop/ implementing/ invent professionally that has yet to be done.

Tiffany: I would love to be involved in the design/creation of the ‘Perfect Applicant Tracking System”. I know it doesn’t exist….yet. Give me time.

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