Open post

Why it’s a candidate’s market

by Kris Minkel, Recruiting Manager

You have the idea. A vision and know what you want to do but you need to find the talent to get there?  We know that unemployment rates are very low – the Seattle unemployment rate is hovering under 3% and the IT unemployment rate is under 2%.  Why is that?

A key reason: Lack of qualified resources

The lack of qualified resources means the same people are contacted for the same positions over and over again.  I have a friend who works in IT and was in the market for work.  When I asked him for his perspective on what he saw and heard from recruiters he said that he was contacted for positions not relevant to his experience, for roles out of state and all over, and that he was bombarded by emails from recruiters asking him to provide personal information over email such as the last four of his SSN, date of birth, and other sensitive, personal information.  Clearly, this type of engagement leads to a terrible candidate experience and gives recruiters a bad name.

As recruiters we need to be better.  Besides that, we need to remember that the market is very tight with plenty of openings and candidates who “don’t meet the bar” or “aren’t a team fit”.

But back to why this is a candidate’s market. What do candidates go through when looking for work?

Imagine being a seasoned Software Developer looking for a new opportunity. The most common ways people look for work is via:

  1. People they know or are connected to
  2. Applying to companies directly
  3. Connecting with recruiters on LinkedIn
  4. Posting a resume to job boards

But then what?

For most people it turns into an episode of the TV show Shark Tank.  For those who are unfamiliar, Shark Tank is a show where people walk in with a business idea and present it to five seasoned entrepreneurs.  The goal is to sell a percentage of your equity in your business to a “Shark” to gain cash and the services of the “Shark” to be a mentor to help your business elevate.

Now let’s look at the scenario from a candidate’s perspective. With the hot market in the Seattle area and the number of openings, candidates are often working with multiple recruiters, on lots of openings, with multiple companies competing for their talents. They are at different stages in the interview process for full-time positions (usually longer recruiting cycles) and contract positions (usually shorter recruiting cycles). Candidates aren’t always transparent about where they are at with the various processes and often companies may make a hiring decision earlier in the process if they discover a candidate who meets their needs.

So what can we do to as recruiters and hiring managers to fix the gap and help ease the process?


  • Do not spam candidates with email opportunities unrelated to their search.
  • Establish relationships with candidates and be a resource for them. Help them with interview advice and put them in a position to be successful.
  • Treat people like people. Understand that your offer might not work out but in IT people usually look for work every two years; so don’t burn a bridge because they may turn into your next hiring manager.

Hiring Managers:

  • Understand that the market is hot. The days of a three week interview process are over.
  • At home assessments are great! Having a potential candidate take an at home assessment is a great tool but use it to streamline the process.
  • Your culture is very important. Know that the candidate should be sold on why they should work for you. Just because an offer is extended it doesn’t mean it will be accepted.

These are just a few of the items that have helped in my five plus years of IT recruiting. Working together and establishing relationships on both sides of the fence are very important. It is a relationship driven business and the more we come together the more we can achieve.

Open post New Year New Career

What to Consider When Considering a New Career in the New Year

New Year New Career

New year, new resolutions, should a career change be one?

New Year’s is that time when we reflect on who we have been, who we want to be, and what we can do to move a little bit closer to our ideal self. It’s time for self-realization and assessment of where we are professionally and personally.

For most heading into the New Year, there is generally more of an open-mindedness towards keeping career options open, or at least networking to gain an understanding of the current job market and one’s value within it. What fewer people seem to do is to deeply consider what it is that they both like and dislike about their current role. This is important because without a solid and fundamental understanding of where we are in relation to where we want to be, and without getting in contact with those basic human elements that are responsible for our motivations, we are bound to repeat our same patterns, even if they are not optimal.

In this New Year, ask yourself why you have stayed where you are for so long, what would you change about your current situation, and why it is that you are considering change other than the arbitrary start of a new calendar year? Hopefully, you will arrive at the conclusion that you have stayed in your current role for good reason. While there is a time to consider a career change, don’t do so expecting an impossible perfection from a future role when your current one is great. On the other hand, don’t fall into the trap of convincing yourself that your mediocre role is great without seeking answers to hard questions.

For a start, consider some basics: do you have the title that you want, is there a path in your current company towards that title if you don’t have it, what is the timeline to get there? Are you even title sensitive? Is your company as flat or as structured as you would like it to be? Is your company culture one that is strong, one that you have an affinity for, and one that is inclusive?

Is your company hiring people that are easy to work with? Do you have the freedom and autonomy that you would prefer to have? Are you comfortable that the impact you are making is substantial enough? Are you providing products or services that bring you immense pride? Are the products cutting edge enough for you? Is there a stability that you are experiencing that is difficult to sacrifice even if the perfect opportunity presented itself? There is a whole myriad of concrete and common reasons behind strong positive or negative feelings towards your current role, or even the ennui that paralyzes you into quasi-satisfaction.

If your recruiting consultant is a good recruiting consultant, they should be able to direct you. They should not hesitate to listen and tell you when you actually are in a good situation, and they should be aggressive enough to help you find a step closer to towards an ideal change should your current situation not be satisfactory. If you aren’t asked basic motivational questions, you risk a fate of being in a role where you are unaware of whether or not it is the best fit for you at best, and you risk moving to a situation that is ultimately less satisfactory at worst.

Thoughts on WTIA’s FullConTech 2015

Seattle is on a roll. With the number of construction cranes in the air, and vehicles on the road, it would be hard to miss that something is up with Seattle. Championship football team? Check. Amazing (summer) weather? Check. Leading technology center of the world? Check. Check. Check.

Quardev recently had the opportunity to attend the WTIA’s FullConTech conference, held at the Washington State Convention Center. At this inaugural event, members of the high-tech community, along with representatives from industry, government, and other regional stakeholders gathered to address the Seattle regions continued challenges in its effort to keep up with the demand in the technology space.

Seattle sports icon Lenny Wilkens kicked things off as the keynote speaker. Drawing on a lifetime of teamwork, Coach Wilkens fired up the attendees for the day at hand with inspiring stories. Members of the Quardev team attended the offered panel discussions with a primary theme being “attracting top talent” to the PNW. Compelling panel members and moderators from the region answered questions and provided first-hand anecdotes how their companies are meeting the tech talent challenges.

It’s clear that traditional career paths are not as common – particularly in the technology sector. A couple of the key points for each perspective:

  • Employers are looking at personality, non-cognitive skills, and IQ of candidates, which seem to have the best correlation to success on the job.
  • Candidates are looking for a sense of ownership, inspiration, and work/life balance.

Companies who can screen for a good culture/skills mix and then give these bright people reign and purpose have a winning recipe for success.

There was much more and we at Quardev look to stay inspired ourselves and in turn share that with our clients and employees. Great event!

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