TCW: Dawn, thanks for taking time to share a little about yourself and the high tech recruiting space. First, tell us a little about yourself and who you work for.
DD: Have you ever seen the movie Private Benjamin? Well, let’s just say that I’m not a Goldie Hawn look-a-like (more like Nemo in the ocean. There are a lot of sharks and other dangerous animals to watch out for when you’re attempting to sail the big seas and make a real difference. Now, I work for a few clients that I select and assist them with developing unique and successful recruiting plans. I may train their internal staff or they may engage me to assist them with some of their more critical needs.
TCW: How long have you been actively involved in the recruiting industry. And, how has it changed over the past decade?
DD: I’ve been in the recruiting industry for 24 years. Today, recruiting fundamentally employs many of the same techniques it did 10-20 years ago. 20+ years ago we were relegated to sending out smoke signals when the weather was right (just kidding of course). We did have the telephone and the mail but that was about it. The changes today obviously involve technology, and more ethical issues than those I witnessed when I first started recruiting. More importantly, there’s a mind-set change on the both the client and recruiter sides. I have seen too many companies (and recruiters) holding their info too close without either willing to reveal the most important aspects of making a good match. Let’s face it, one’s career is no game. Neither is filling a critical position a game for the company who needs talent. Why hide what is truly important? Recruiters and companies too often try to make it this way – mainly because of ‘fear’. When you take this element out, meaningful discussion can take place and both sides can decide quickly whether it’s the right fit. That’s part of what I do.
TCW: It seems like job posting services (like Monster and CareerBuilder) have really changed the playing field. Now, anyone can use the Internet to find talent. But, is that the best way to get a job? Can you provide some practical advice on using the internet to find a new job? Is it the primary way to get a job or just part of an overall strategy?
DD: At the risk of sounding technology averse, the larger job boards are great for some types of positions. In my experience (my opinion only), to find a candidate who directly applies via these job boards is a small percentage as compared to the actual number of candidates who apply. I believe the larger job boards are great for non-professional, entry-level management up to mid-level management positions. Occasionally a company or candidate might be fortunate enough to find the right fit through these job boards for a higher level position.
On the other hand, utilizing every method to find a job is best from the career-seeker perspective, however it might not be very cost effective for the employer. There is also the aspect of full-time vs contract/consulting gigs. There are job-boards that cater more specifically to either, and sometimes both. The best way to get a job—and the best way for an employer to find the best candidate—is through networking. Networking can mean lots of things – local contacts, former employees/co-workers, local/regional professional organizations and seminars/conferences, social networking, i.e. Linkedin, Facebook, on-line niche websites (such as The Content Wrangler Community), to name a few. Sometimes it just requires picking up the phone and calling someone to whom you’ve been referred and stating your case—whether you’re looking for your next career opportunity or looking for talent. State your situation as honestly and succinctly as possible. Most people appreciate the real story without all the BS. Employers and candidates will get farther quicker by using this simple methodology. Bottom line, the internet is just part of an overall strategy, but should NOT be ignored.
TCW: What types of job opportunities do you know of today that might be of interest to my audience?
DD: Thanks for asking! Since the web content/e-business/e-commerce arena is continually emerging and being re-defined, I have been fortunate to acquire a client who is growing and expanding their staff. We are currently looking for a Web Operations Manager and a VP of Business Management for their online services company. Both are leadership positions which I’ve posted on The Content Wrangler help-wanted forum.
TCW: What’s the best way for a top-level manager to seek out new opportunities? Do you have any advice?
DD: Using some of the methods I stated in the your earlier question apply. There are some other technology-driven sites which may or may not list relevant positions, but may offer companies that a top-level manager might want to explore for future opportunities. Some other places to look include alumni sites from previous employers (AOL, Accenture to name a few), graduate school postings, and regional job-seeker groups for high level and C-level execs. These methods may not have the perfect fit, but networking within these groups as well as the ones listed above while developing meaningful exchange will hasten a successful conclusion. There are always the search firms that specialize in industry-specific arenas, and many times, contract or consulting opportunities can lead to a full-time opportunity as well.
TCW: Thanks so much for helping us get to know you a little better. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
DD: In summary, I would advise employers and career-seekers not to close any door unless it appears to be unethical or just plain stupid. It is a full-time job to look for a job. Be open to new ideas, new methodologies, new ways to calculate compensation and don’t get hung up on job titles. Having a CEO job title won’t make anyone happy unless one is fulfilled in their work and being fairly compensated for that effort. In addition, be willing to help someone who contacts you for help -whether they’re looking for a new position or seeking talent. You will have to use some common sense to whom you respond. Isn’t it nice we have all these great avenues in which to seek assistance! Wouldn’t you say it’s a lot better than sending smoke signals?
TCW: Yes, indeed. Thanks again, Dawn. We really appreciate your time. If you’d like to contact Dawn Dasburg, HR Consultant, contact Elite HR Solutions at (919) 562-7086.