Tom Sweeney

It's a coming of age tale….

Posts Tagged ‘Candidates’

If it wasn’t for the last minute: Nothing would get done…

Posted by sweens on June 8, 2009

Well here I am again looking to screen candidates against tough Government skills grids at the last minute.  I find myself reminiscing of being back in University and staying up all night trying to finish my 50 page paper the night before it was due.  At the time, that was common practice for me.  I have always enjoyed and thrived while working under pressure – perhaps which is why I like refereeing so much!

 But this is still a stressful adventure.  I came into today, one day behind my deadline with two positions left to fill.  Coming in on the weekend did not really help lighten the work load, but luckily I got one position filled today, and have the other one about fifty percent done.  And really I have to thank the candidates who have given me the time of day to help me complete my work.

 Who knew finding Documentation Specialists would be so hard?

 I certainly did not, but am learning the hard way.  I think I more or less just wanted to say ‘thank you’ to everyone who has worked with my today although none of you are likely to read this.  I should be able to complete my project within the deadline – but like most projects – the last minute is sure to turn up some challenges…

Am I the only one who works this way???

Posted in Recruitment | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Junior or Senior candidates: I’ll take senior…

Posted by sweens on June 3, 2009

When it comes to recruiting a role, most clients are dividing the level of experience they are looking for into three categories:

  1. Junior
  2. Intermediate
  3. Senior

When it comes to recruiting roles of different experience levels, a different challenge presents itself with each level you are searching for.  Me personally, I would rather take on the senior role over the junior role.  I would prefer the most difficult position a client is trying to fill over an entry level position any day.

The reason for this is not that there is a higher commission on the senior role, but rather that I find it extremely difficult to search and evaluate resumes for junior level candidates.  I do not know how many times a client has said “find me someone right out of school and I will take them”, but if I had a nickel for every time I heard that – I would probably have enough to make a quick run to Starbucks.

While the idea of finding someone right out or school seems easy, I have found it to be rather difficult for a few reasons.  Firstly, someone fresh out of school likely does not have a lot of technologies listed on their resume so they are less likely to turn up in searches.  Secondly, I do not think they have gotten used to the process of finding a job – posting CVs, using search firms, etc – so any online profile they may have is minimal and not easy to find.  Lastly, it is hard to evaluate their skill set when they are coming directly from school and to weigh them against other candidates usually becomes a personality fit rather then a focus on their technical skills.

Perhaps this is only my view, but this type of search takes me out of my ‘comfort zone’ and leaves trying to find different ways to track down these people.  Usually my greatest success has come from posting the position on job boards that new grads pay attention to like:

–         Facebook
–         Kijiji
–         CraigsList 

Does anyone else have this problem, or am I in my own world?

Posted in Recruitment | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Senior candidates: Use with caution…

Posted by sweens on May 15, 2009

Well I have suggested it a few times in previous blogs that senior resources would start to feel the pressure of the recession and would begin to start considering lower paying – lower positions – within an organization and I am beginning to see it.

For whatever reason, I saw a flurry of positions this week where some of them where junior to intermediate (2 – 5 years experience). My rates were indicative of the experience required and I had numerous applications from senior level resources. Sure enough they told me what they were expecting in terms of a per diem – way above what I could offer them – but once I told them what my rate was – 90% of the candidates were willing to accept that.

Is that good?

Yes and no. As I have mentioned before, it is good for the client(s) as they can get a senior resource without having to pay for them. But it is also bad as these candidates will likely be the first to leave should a higher paying opportunity come around.

So I suggest it again – use with caution….

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Equilibrium: Apparently it applies to more then grade 10 science class…

Posted by sweens on March 23, 2009

Today I had a coffee with a professional who has a similar profession to my own.  During our coffee chat it was pointed out to me that there is a sense of equilibrium that exists within the recruitment world and the labour market.  This relationship is as follows:


The labour market always has either too many jobs with too few resources or too few jobs for too many resources (supply and demand). 


I thought this was an interesting way to look at the recruitment world because it is an accurate statement.  If the labour market were ever to balance out – where we would have an equal number of jobs to resources – there would be no need for the recruitment industry.  So what can we say when the industry is on either side of this equilibrium?


It seems to be common knowledge that when you are in the recruitment industry and the economy is booming and people are hiring – the times are great.  Money is to be made and it has been described as shooting fish in a barrel.  Smaller recruitment companies are formed and there is a lot of competition.


When times are bad, those smaller companies tend to fold or down-size and the whole industry is affected.  When the number of placements drops there is less to go around for everyone in the industry so things obviously decrease in size.  The larger companies can often look at this situation in a positive manner because smaller companies are more likely to fold during this time and offer them less competition during a recession and once the market comes out of the recession.


All in all, the recruitment industry is heavily reliant on the economy and depends on the fact that employers can not satisfy their own staffing needs, either due to too many or too few candidates.    

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Who is the client???

Posted by sweens on January 26, 2009

I am sure people often wonder when they are working with a recruiter why they can not be told who the client is right off the bat.  And there are several reasons for this so let me briefly mention a few.




Recruiters often keep the client secret to protect their clients from competitors.  While it often is not an individuals intention to reveal the client to competing agencies, this can quite simply happen through a harmless conversation about what other opportunities your presently working on.




The client is kept secret in many case not because there is a lack of trust but rather because if the recruiter told everyone who their client was, the candidates that were screened out would more then likely go and apply directly to the client.  Clients for recruiting agencies often engage their services because they are swamped by a high  volume of resumes and only want to see qualified candidates, or they lack the process to effectively source and screen all the applications they find.  If we turned more traffic to our clients own processes, we would likely not be doing them any favours.




Often times a candidate thinks that if they apply on their own, it will increase their odds of getting hired into the client.  And let me be the first to say that this is normally very far from the truth.  First of all, client hiring practices are generally slower then an agencies because the agency deals with hiring mangers rather then going through the HR process.  Secondly, the agency will no longer be able to represent you as you have now put yourself into their system and the client can stake ownership on your application.  Thirdly, you will have ruined your relationship with the recruiter.



I think ruining your relationship with the recruiter is one of the most detrimental aspects of any relationship between a recruiter and any candidate.  Often times I have personally felt that when I told someone who my client was and then they applied on their own – that they broke the trust I had in them.  I personally look at this situation as my candidate would not have been turned on to that opportunity without my help and then they have turned around and ruined any chance I have of working with them and my client. 


While not every opportunity works out for every candidate that is represented, agencies often work with industry leading clients on multiple positions.  While your current opportunity might not have worked out for you, your recruiter might be able to work with you and that client again in the near future.  Breaking that trust and relationship will likely lead to a recruiter passing over your resume next time they are searching for a similar position. 

Posted in Recruitment, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »