Thursday, January 16, 2014

Working with Recruiters to Find a Job

It is common to work with a recruiter or search firm to find your next job. Keep in mind that many published sources have indicated that only about 10% of job hunters find a new position using search firms. As a result, using recruiters as a resource should consume no more than 10% of your time.

Keep these facts in mind so you optimize your use of a search firm as a productive job search resource:

Recruiters work for employers, not job hunters
A recruiter’s job is to find the best talent for the position their client employer is seeking to fill based on the employer's requirements. They work to find talented individuals who have done the job already for a prior employer, or people ready to move up to the next level in their same career path. While they help individuals whom they are able to place, it is not their primary responsibility to provide assistance or guidance for job seekers.

Different Types of Recruiters
  • Contingency recruiting companies are paid only when their client company hires a candidate they submit. For each position, employers may offer multiple recruiting companies the opportunity to work on the same job posting. They only pay a fee to the recruiter who actually finds the right talent, and the process can be a very competitive. Contingency recruiting is the most common type.
  • Retained Search recruiting companies are paid by a company to take on an exclusive role in a given search. They typically receive an up-front retainer fee. The remainder of the fee is paid on an installment basis as the search progresses. This is often used for high level executive searches.
  • Corporate Recruiters are usually company employees seeking to fill internal positions.

Recruiters have limited time (like everyone)
Recruiters are likely to be very responsive to people they see as strong potential candidates for their clients' job orders. They are likely to be much less responsive to individuals who are not perceived as potential candidates. In addition, most recruiters don't have the time to respond to the many unsolicited resumes or phone calls that they receive virtually every week.

Recruiters help job hunters get the best compensation
Typically, recruiting fees are based as a percentage of a new hire's first year base salary. Therefore, the more you earn, the more they earn. Often recruiters have inside information about what the company is willing to pay, and are able to obtain the highest salary that the company is willing to offer for the position.

Working with a recruiter can be a great benefit in your job hunt, but only if you understand their role in the hiring process. Budget your time appropriately when working with recruiters to maximize your efforts and results.

David Schuchman

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Overcome Systems Integration Challenges

Difficulties with the integration of systems is a challenging obstacle organizations face when planning growth. Sometimes systems you need to integrate reside on different operating systems, use different database solutions and computer languages, and may be legacy systems that a vendor no longer supports. So how can you ensure a successful systems integration project?

Agree on business needs
Integrating different systems almost always involves addressing the needs of multiple departments. It’s crucial to build consensus among all departments as to what are the core business needs, and identify the priorities of those needs. Without clarity around the requirements and priorities, the solution can become a messy process that leads to project overrun.

Analyze and review all technical requirements
Identify the installation and integration requirements each system has to run smoothly and properly. This will include operating environment, input data and format, output data and format, reporting, error handling, and operator intervention. In addition to identifying each specific requirement, identify the differences of those between the integrating systems. Where you identify differences, create a specific plan making each point compatible and reliable.

Document everything
Embrace detail. Information that does not seem important at the beginning may prove critical further down the line. You will need to refer back to the documentation as issues and new requirements arise.

Access skills needed to perform the integration
Take stock of the skills, backgrounds and timely availability of the in-house resources already accessible to you. Then, determine the skills and availability that you need to complete your project. If there are gaps between those two reviews, consider bringing in new hire staff, external contractors or technicians from the product vendor. In addition, plan time to train or hire staff that will provide needed post implementation operational support.

Expect the unexpected
As the systems integration project progresses, people may uncover new needs or unplanned issues. Review each new need and issue against the agreed business needs and priorities before changing the project scope. Update the documentation when you agree on a scope change. Plan to separately perform the deferred new needs to post implementation.

Agreeing in advance to the goals and priorities for any systems integration project, along with proper planning, are the keys to its successful implementation and acceptance.

David Schuchman