Recruiting In 3D

Maybe Size Doesn’t Matter

I spent the vast majority of my career thus far, working in small to mid-size companies. I always carried a bit of trepidation about working for multi-national conglomerates, so I stayed in my comfort zone. In retrospect, this wasn’t unlike how I chose where I was going to go to college back in the day. I was hesitant to go to a huge school and sit in a lecture hall with 500 strangers, mainly since I came from a smaller high school. Something about being lost in a sea of bodies was particularly offsetting to me, and this carried into my career.

Living in a Small Pond

Working in small companies, I had the chance to know my co-workers on a more personal level. It was also more comfortable to build relationships and move things through the decision tree process. If I needed to prod something along in Tech for a recruiting effort, going to the CTO and sitting down for coffee was as easy as me typing on this keyboard. In essence, the access was always there.

If I had technical issues, I’d parade myself down one floor to the support team and get the help of people whom I’d most likely sourced and hired into the company. One could liken it to the FastPass at Disney parks – straight to the front of the line. The same can be said for any system and procedural issues, whether that is a busted CRM, a benefits data snafu, or just getting office supplies, it was all at my fingertips.

The flip side of this, of course, is that with visibility comes accountability. There’s nowhere to hide in a small company when you mess up. You have to own it because there isn’t anyone else to pin it on. It seems trivial, and in most cases, I felt that was a good thing because it kept me on my game.

Moving to a Large Pond

When I finally decided to make a move to one of the world’s largest companies, I’ll admit I was a little scared. Would I get lost in the sea of endless employees? How would I distinguish myself from every other sourcer in the same role? I became a “level” instead of “Pete, the guy who does the tech recruiting.”

Most importantly, I was afraid I would find out that I wasn’t nearly as good at what I did for a living as I thought. Maybe I’d been in a safe space for too long. Regardless of my fears, it was time to take the plunge and see where this led me.

What I found was that accountability still matters. Relationships, while harder to build at depth with so many people, still matter in doing your job. There’s a level of self-sustainability that comes with being in a large company. You’re expected to find answers, seek help, and navigate things a bit more on your own, which is a refreshing reminder of how to rely on yourself instead of others. You have a bit more hands-on influence on your career path and opportunities, based on the size of the organization.

And while your employee number may resemble something that looks more like Pi than an area code, you start to realize the things you can do when you’re empowered to do so. For a sourcer, this is one of the better puzzles to have to solve.

So, if you’re in a state of doubt, thinking “should I” or “shouldn’t I,” take the leap, so you don’t keep guessing at the outcome. You’re more capable than you think. And if all else fails, you can always migrate back to the small pond.

*This article first appeared on SourceCon*

Sin City: Hacking Candidate Conferences


Under normal circumstances, I would not find myself within several hundred miles of Lasvegas Vegas at the beginning of August. I guess I’m a creature of habit and prefer Sin City at the start of the NCAA Tournament. That, and 110 degrees being OK because it is a “dry heat” is about as rewarding as being a member of the “clean plate club” as a kid. At the end of the day, you still ate that food, and 110 is still 110.

When I was invited by my friend and colleague Kathleen Smith (CMO of ClearedJobs.net) to come out and cover the BSides Las Vegas (BSides) security conference, I was happy to take it on. After all, I’ve hired security people before and I’m admittedly a little curious to know how they do what they do. That curiosity is just good recruiting behavior.

But I did have some reservations. I knew I’d be in way over my head with this crowd. I was sure they’d KNOW I was a recruiter. I’d be tossed out like a busted 13-side dice at a D&D marathon. And then for good measure, they’d hack the hell out of me.

I’ve never been so happy to be wrong before.

Read More

Counteroffers In The Candidate-Driven Market

In what has shifted to a very clear candidate-driven market, candidates have more opportunity for choice among the offers they are fielding. At a quick glance, this is great news for those who have been slogging through a difficult last few years. Since the recession took hold, the market has been largely employer-driven, giving companies the opportunity to be selective about who they bring on board.

A deeper look uncovers a much more unwelcome trend. As with any candidate-driven market, the incidence of candidates accepting counteroffers and/or reneging on offers tends to increase. This is detrimental to both the company hiring and the candidate who experiencing second thoughts. On the company side, there are costs associated with advertising and recruiting for a position. In addition, there is the cost of time spent on interviewing. The interviewing cycle takes time away from completing company initiatives. For those companies, this process needs to begin all over again. Read More

What does your resume say about you?

I get to look through a lot of resumes in my line of work. I know, I know, you are jealous. Who wouldn’t want to look through thousands of resumes every day? Especially when they are filled with people who are qualified, or those who couldn’t hold a job for more than 6 seconds (they just got fired again, right now!) or those with outlandish position histories? You know who you are, Mr. Fireworks Explosive Packer, and Miss Chimpanzee Trainer! (True stories) And while the vast majority of resumes fall into the “serviceable, and good enough to get a job” category, I’m noticing that more and more companies and recruiters want detail in the resumes of their applicants. I am in this bucket, trust me. They are looking for people who have the ability to sell themselves on paper, and distinguish themselves with hard facts, data and numbers. Read More

How Recruiters Can Pay It Forward

Ask a recruiter why they do what they do, and you’re likely to get a wide variety of answers. Among them may be:

  • “I sort of just fell into recruitment”
  • “I’m an extrovert, this was a good fit”
  • “I didn’t want to do sales”
  • “I like helping people”

The fact is, most of us got into this business because deep down we love helping people, just as much if not more than making money. Yes this is true. Fortunately, we’ve picked a profession that allows for both. Career choice FTW! Read More

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