Guilty by Association

Guilty-By-Association-Fitted-HatProfessional Associations and organizations are a great source of passive candidates.  These groups focus on an industry or a discipline, and allow people with similar interests to network together.  The group’s focus can be technical or functional (G&A).  The larger ones have local chapters throughout the nation.

Functional (G&A) Examples:

  • AAA (American Accounting Association) – For Accountants, Finance Specialists, Controllers, etc.
  • AMA (American Marketing Association) – Dedicated to serving the educational and professional needs of marketing executives
  • CSCMP (Council for Supply Chain Management Professionals) – Worldwide professional association dedicated to the advancement and dissemination of research and knowledge on supply chain management
  • SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management) – Largest organization for HR professionals including HR Generalists, HR Managers, HR Diversity, HR Business Partners, Compensation, Benefits, Employee Relations, and University Relations

Technical Examples:

  • ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) – Known for Mechanical Engineering, but also collaboration, knowledge sharing and skill development across all engineering disciplines, standards, and certifications
  • IACSIT (International Association of Computer Science and information) – For Computer Science and Information Technology
  • INCOSE (International Council on Systems Engineering) – Dedicating to the advancement of systems engineering
  • IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) – The largest engineering association in the world with a focus in Electrical and IT/Systems Engineering Continue reading

How to Win the War for Talent

A step-by-step guide by Mark Tortorici.  Every few years or so, it happens.  Someone declares a “War for Talent”, battle lines are drawn, and then candidate poaching begins.  Now while some of this is a little sensationalist, it is also very true.  Any company, who wants to not only attract the best & brightest, but also the best personality & culture fit, must set themselves apart.  Since there are a bazillion different companies all vying for the same types of candidates, the landscape can get cluttered.

So let’s talk about who, what, where, why and how:

Who: If you are a marketer, engineering manager, sales executive, recruiter, ceo, or owner, you need to examine your brand, products, services, culture, and future direction.  If they are not as good as the company down the street, then something needs to change.

What: Sure, your company may be the greatest thing since sliced bread, but that doesn’t mean you can rest on those laurels:

  • Your company could be the latest exciting entry within the industry, but what makes it different from the competitors who have been doing the same thing successfully?
  • Your company thinks they can revolutionize the automotive industry with their robotics hardware.  Are they different enough to get the attention of the candidates that you are trying to attract?
  • Your company could be founded by 2 Stanford Ph.D.’s who are planning on changing the world with their idea.  It sounds a little harsh for me to say, but so what?  There are a TON of up and coming companies in EVERY industry that are trying to make their mark on the world. Continue reading

Sourcing is like an Onion…you must peel it back

We live in a world of automation.  We want to speed things up.  Or at least that’s what we want when we’re doing mundane things that are wasting our time.  It comes down to 2 things: FRUSTRATE or AUTOMATE.  FRUSTRATE: sitting in traffic going 3 MPH and watching squirrels walk faster than you.  AUTOMATE: adding a 360-degree jet-propulsion system to your car and flying over everyone.  FRUSTRATE: using a sourcing method that is cool…but takes too many steps for it to be worthwhile.  AUTOMATE: cutting out the extra steps, getting to the specific information you want, and easily repeating the process.  digital onion

For instance, it’s no big secret that there are many different coding user groups and exchanges on the internet.  And if you source/recruit for the world of computer science, then you should already be aware of the potential use of these sites.  As sourcers, you should always remember the basics because they will help you.

Now take a site like Snipplr or Google Code, which everyone knows about.  They are sites for developers; with tools, code, discussions, and other technical resources.  Whenever you approach ANY site, the first things that should go through your mind are:

  1. What is this site’s purpose?
  2. Who uses it?
  3. What user information is available?
  4. Can I search for users while still focusing on specifics?
  5. Can I speed up my search process while still maintaining the integrity of my search?
  6. Can I search this site from another source? Continue reading

How to Source without Saying a Word

Let’s face it. Some people just don’t want attention. It’s hard to believe that. Especially in this over-hyped, over-socialized, and over-advertised world we live in.  But there are candidates on Linkedin, Twitter, websites, and job boards who don’t feel the need to cram tons of information about their experience in one place.

Other engineers do not put certain words on their resume because to their peers, the inference is common knowledge.

In fact, some candidates go out of their way to be shy, coy, or minimalistic about their experience. But some of these candidates could be very good. They might just not want to advertise to the world’s recruiters about who they are and what they do. So how do we find them? How do you find a C++ or C engineer without saying “C++”? How do you find a ruby developer without saying “Ruby” or “rails”? How do you find an accountant with Fixed Assets experience without saying “Fixed assets”? Continue reading

To Source, or Not to Source…


“To Source, or not to Source…that is the question:
Whether ’tis Nobler for recruiters and sourcers to suffer
The Postings and Campaigns of outrageous Recruitment life cycles,
Or to take up Sourcing against a sea of difficult Reqs,
And by sourcing fill them: to close, to fill
No more; and by close, to say we hire”

So I may have altered the soliloquy from Hamlet by a few words here and there, but there is a good reason.  For all the recruiters and sourcers out there who contact candidates, you probably have more than one req you’re working on.  In fact, if you work for a mid-size technology company, a recruiting agency, an RPO firm, or a start-up then you probably have anywhere from 5 to 25 open requisitions.  These can range from entry-level engineers all the to software engineering team lead.  All of these reqs need attention from you, but it may not be feasible to give each of them equal attention.  There’s only one of you!  So what do you do? Continue reading

Big Data….Big Deal??? – Sourcing Data Services


Funny Anchorman jokes aside, the reason for the picture here is because so many people talk about Big Data to the point that it’s a little over-used. So why am I talking about it? Well, because technology corporations still need engineers who are constantly solving data aggregation issues that are ever increasing. And because of this, sourcers and recruiters need to understand what to look for in the engineer’s experience besides the words “Big Data” (which really makes me cringe when non-technical people throw out that word to me and assume they have instant street cred….or tech cred, as the case may be). Continue reading

Beyond the Pale (Sourcing Beyond Linkedin)

As a sourcer, if you are only using one tool to find candidates, then you are severely limiting your possibilities. Don’t get me wrong, Linkedin is a great sourcing tool, but it should be used in conjunction with many others. I listen to many corporate staffing managers talk about their push to get more candidates from passive sourcing. But when you delve deeper, you find out that sourcers and recruiters are still spending 90-95 percent of their time on Linkedin. Continue reading

Why Recruiters Need to Step Up their Sourcing Game

The Problem

So this is something that I think (and hope) everyone should be doing in their power to accept, change, and implement. The landscape of recruiting today is light-years removed from the free-wheelin’ early 90’s, where many “old school” recruiters could take on the world with their phone, a rolodex, and maybe a Hotjobs account (with an accompanying action figure).

That time has passed, if it ever should have even existed before in the first place. The top 2 complaints that engineering candidates have about recruiters are:

  1. They never follow up with candidates about steps in the hiring process
  2. They try to sell candidates a job that they know nothing about

And as you might have guessed, your hiring managers will NOT be happy if they hear about those complaints.


As recruiters, we have to master several different skills/abilities in order to be a “good recruiter”. Someone who is an aggressive telemarketer or door-to-door salesman will not cut it. You might get your foot in the door, but without technical, sourcing, and company knowledge, you will get the door slam in your face.

The “Old School” Solution

If we go with the “traditional” definition of the recruiter’s skills, they are (or should be):

  • Sherlock Holmes-level interviewing skills
  • Candidate management down to the smallest details
  • Being the face of the company (and/or culture)
  • Selling the best aspects of the job and sometimes having to clarify (or spin) the negative ones

The main problem lies with the lack of job understanding and technical knowledge. Sure, you can sell. But the “selling ice to Eskimos” approach only goes so far. People will catch on pretty quickly that you are buzzwording their resume to match your job. The fact is, that candidates have many choices when dealing with companies, and they do not have to deal with just you. Continue reading

Recruiting a Candidate with Ruby (not slippers)

These days, everybody is looking for candidates with Ruby programming experience.  But if you are a Recruiter or Sourcer who doesn’t understand what Ruby is and the many different places it can be used, you might end up selling the wrong job to the wrong person.  You also may ask the wrong questions about the things that the candidate will be working on in their job.  As a recruiter, nothing is worse that not understanding the job you are recruiting for.  The days of “I am a great recruiter and I can recruit for anything even if I don’t understand it” are long over.


Ruby is based off of Perl, Eiffel, and Lisp.  The Ruby programming language is a very versatile object oriented language that can be used for:

  • Stand alone applications like those written in C, Java, C++, etc.
  • Test automation frameworks like Perl Frameworks, Junit Frameworks, Python Frameworks, etc.
  • Web application frameworks similar to PHP, ASP.NET, Java Server Pages, Python pages, Perl pages, Cold Fusion, etc.
  • Shell commands similar to bash, korn shell, bourne, etc.

There are other uses besides these, but these are the most common ones that we see companies implementing.  Now inevitably when you talk about one technology topic, you end up talking about others.  So here is a more in-depth explanation of the list of things that Ruby can be used in: Continue reading

Mobile Recruiting & Sourcing!

We are creatures that communicate via mobile constantly.  It only stands to reason that a sourcer or recruiter must be just as connected as their audience in order to identify, engage, and attract the right talent.

Micro-blogging (blogging via Twitter, IM status, Facebook status, Linkedin status, etc.) is one of the main communication methods that a lot of people use.  Because of the avalanche of information out there, certain mobile apps can be beneficial in the mobile recruiting / sourcing space:

mobile app logos

Foursquare,, Circle, Intro, Sonar, and Twitter: Of course these are just more ways for us to talk about what we’re doing and share via social media, but the recruiting/sourcing possibilities are just too good to pass up.  Especially when used around a group of people containing a high concentration of potential candidates.  Good examples include tech talks, conferences, restaurants, etc.  For an easy illustration of this, I have enlisted the help of my friend, Plugged-In Pete: Continue reading