Diversity: Finders Aren’t Always Keepers

There’s a lot to be said about diversity (or lack there of) in the tech space. It’s one of the busiest buzz words industry wide, every company wants to “increase” representation, every company wants to find creative ways to attract diverse talent to their organization, it goes on and on…

But who’s talking about retention?

Who’s talking about how to prepare a male dominant industry to not just work with but be inclusive of women?

Who’s talking about how to prepare diverse talent what to expect and how to thrive in an environment where they may be “different”?

And for God’s sake, who’s explaining WHY diversity is so important?

Some companies are better than others when it comes to communicating reasons for wanting or needing to hire more diverse talent, some just tell their recruiters to move the needle for the organization and leave it at that. Some companies even go as far to establish metrics for hiring diverse talent.

Does this mean that organizations are being asked to look at diverse talent with a different lens than they would non diverse talent? Perhaps.

Does this mean they’re always going to hire the right person for the job? Maybe, maybe not.

At the end of the day, companies are trying to do whatever they can to inspire more women and diverse talent to join the workforce and ultimately, their teams.

This is wonderful and long overdue!

But what is the longterm strategy behind hiring a more diverse workforce? There’s gotta be way more to this!

I’m not just talking about how you find talent, I’m talking about how you keep talent.

How do you keep HR violations (i.e. racial and sexual harassment) to a minimum? How do you teach teams to be more inclusive? How do you prepare these teams to have difficult discussions with their peers and empower them or remind them that it’s okay to use their voice to speak up. Or how to teach different genders, races and ethicities to always treat each other with respect and act professionally?

There’s a number of required trainings that companies roll out each year for compliance purposes. For example: sexual harassment is one we’re all familiar with and now diversity and inclusion are part of it as well. But do those trainings actually prevent sexual harassment from happening in the workplace? Certainly not. Side note: I would actually love to see data on whether these trainings even lower the number of cases filed over the course of a year.

So do we expect a 1-2 hour per year inclusiveness training to be enough to teach entire organizations how to work together? If that’s the only plan anyone can come up with, we’re screwed. Talent will end up jumping from company to company, hoping to find a culture warm and welcoming enough that they can see longevity and call it home. 

As a whole, the industry and every company in it has to make a constant effort for this to be a longterm commitment and make a true impact. It’s something that will take years, maybe decades to get it right. The only alternative is running around for the next 10+ years using buzz words that hold little value and warrant a disappointing return.

Blanket Style Recruiting


Happy New Year! It’s 2018, we are living the future.

Alright, now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about something that doesn’t really work well for hiring talent in the tech industry. Blanket style recruiting, yep- that’s it.

So many organizations have their recruiting departments designed in a way that was originally set up to hire talent for different industries of various skillsets (i.e. banking, insurance, retail, etc) but not necessarily to build teams of software engineers. I will say that this approach will get talent in the door, but as the market grows- it is not a sustainable or the most efficient way to manage hiring in tech.

As the industry has evolved, there’s been few changes to the way many companies strategize hiring, source and attract talent from organizational perspectives (this is just from a 10,000ft view).

With that being said the best recruiting set up for business groups in the tech industry has to be customized. There is no secret sauce to this of course, but it does require being able to understand what budget is allowed for recruiting (so partnering closely with your finance team is really important!), understanding your attrition rates (partner closely with your HR team), what the market analysis says on the trending cost of paying for the talent you’ll be hiring in (partner with your compensation & benefits team) and of course working very closely with your hiring managers and please, please, please do what you can to understand the teams you’re hiring for and what they do- this makes a HUGE difference when chatting with candidates.

Being a recruiter, you are the face of hiring for your team, you are the first impression (so handle your candidates with care!), you are a project manager (to the extreme!), you drive strategy and ultimately see it through. However, recruiting is a shared responsibility, and ultimately in no single individuals control. Everyone in your business group must learn to wear the hat of a recruiter. This means educating your teams on processes, what to expect, where you can use their help and when to get out of the way!

A little bit of a cliff hanger ending on this post, but there will be more to come on a similar topic: Changing how talent is viewed. We live in a world where it’s not just about where you went to school anymore, what GPA you had, etc. it’s largely about your network, passion for a specific skillset or product & real life experience (this can include a hobby). 

Stay tuned!


Conference Me In


It’s easy to hide behind a computer. With the technology we have today, it’s not uncommon to take the it virtual and turn conversations into emails. In fact, due to convenience it’s preferred! Why put the effort into taking a shower, putting on some pressed clothes and heading into the office in the morning when you can do everything almost just as effectively from your home via email, phone, messenger, etc.? Notice I said almost. And as we all know, almost doesn’t always get you to your desired end result.

Most tasks can be completed via email or phone call, but there are some things that really shouldn’t be. When you are tasked with building relationships, this can be a dangerous route to take. Taking the time to meet with someone in person and create a real relationship will 9 times out of 10 always supersede the relationships developed over emails or phone calls. The reasons are simple, you’re not just an icon on a messenger service and you’re not just a voice on the other end of the line, you’re using your interpersonal skills to build a physical (not virtual) relationship. So basically, it’s real.

The tech industry is full of introverts, not everybody- but a good portion of the population. One thing that I’ve found is that when it’s business, most introverts don’t mind meeting one on one. Yet recruiters often don’t have time to meet with candidates and extroversion is almost in the job requirements for this kind of role. With the increasing demand for talent in the tech space, recruiters turn to phone calls or worse- turn phone calls into templated emails to quickly reply to candidates with a general response.
When you’re talking about recruiting talent, it’s likely an invitation to come to your office or meet for a cup of coffee would be accepted . Some folks aren’t interested in attending large events but it’s worth the time to take the effort to meet with them outside of this kind of social setting, instead in an environment they’re more comfortable. Hiring managers on the other hand, they naturallyshould be a bit easier to connect with in a social environment versus one on one – especially if they are managing other people on their team. The challenge here lies with getting time on their calendar- but again, this time too is well worth it, so it’s necessary to hunt them down (future posts to come on ways to do this).

Sure, it may create more work or inconvenience but you’re able to gather a much better understanding of content, understand the context of a conversation, see the body language/ facial expressions of the person who is speaking which explains a hell of a lot more than what you can get from a phone call or email. When conferences are in person, attendees are at the very least more inclined to participate in engaging behaviors versus ghosting on the line. These meetings are also usually limited to the number of people it actually takes to get something done versus the cluster meetings that everyone gets invited to for updates that don’t matter to them so they end up checking email or multitasking and leaving with few key takeaways. Also when a meeting is in person, you get more reliable RSVP’s and less people that are “fashionably late”.

The last note I’ll leave you with is that while in person meetings are extremely valuable and more productive, the length of time that you reserve is also just as important. Do you need to meet for 15, 20, 30 or 60 minutes? Don’t let a calendar’s automated setting make you conform to the length of time you choose to pull people away from their desk to meet with you. If you need 10 minutes, don’t schedule a 30 minute meeting- simple as that! Sure, in person meetings do create a more engaged conversation, but don’t drag it out to 30 minutes without any other purpose than it being the default setting on your Outlook or Google Calendar. Time is valuable and your candidates, colleagues and clients will appreciate it being respected as so.



Recruiter Bots

Robot 2

AI is taking over!

We live in an age of technology where the question is never if but when. We’ve seen the dot-com bubble erupt and lead to creating social media platforms and web services. We’ve seen Apple nearly go bankrupt only to make a comeback and be considered one of the most innovative tech companies in the world. Anything is possible!

Technology has influenced the way that we live our every day lives. We have entire ecosystems that are built around the web. Even Facebook and Google have become so integrated into society that they are no longer just proper nouns but verbs.

The way that we attract talent to join an organization has even changed. It has become far more intricate than simply having a successful company with a strong brand to get highly technical people to join your team. So when it comes to recruiting, naturally it’ll only be a matter of time until big data and AI take over and many tasks become automated. This shift will be what separates the highly skilled recruiters from highly paid admins.

There is far more to recruiting than dealing with awful tools that (still) aren’t quite intuitive enough to make the hiring process run smooth. Honing in on those skills is what will be key as we incorporate more technology into the recruiting world. Recruiters are often know to be extreme extroverts (of course, there’s always exceptions to the rule) but also fantastic marketing and sales people. We use those skills on a daily basis to communicate with our clients and candidates. We are also great match makers!

As conflicting as it may sound, it’s inevitable that AI will bring recruiting back to a personal experience. It will give time back to recruiters that is spent on low value tasks. Recruiters will have more time to spend building relationships which will result a better candidate experience. When recruiters are able to take the time to listen, understand, build strong relationships with both clients and candidates, there’s no doubt there will be more offers, offer accepts and could even correlate to increased retention rates. Talk about connecting the dots!

So bring it on AI, we’re ready for you!

Coffee Run

coffeehustle500x1000If you’re a coffee lover (like me), one of the best things about being a recruiter is meeting up for a cup of joe. And the best part about Seattle is that there is a roastery on just about every corner. With that being said, not every spot is great for networking or sitting down and catching up with an old friend. While the hole-in-the-wall’s tend to have some of the best coffee, they can sometimes be less inviting or conducive to a conversational environment usually due to a lack of space.

In this blog, I’ll also include some of my favorite coffee recommendations and whether it may be better to grab to-go or to sit down/enjoy it with company.

Wake up, drink coffee & make dreams come true.

People often ask me why I chose recruiting as a career. More specifically “why technical recruiting?”

When I was in college, I was interviewing for a job to be a teller at a bank. I was in a room full of 20 other candidates competing for the role, it was my first (and so far, only) group interview. The process lasted about two hours and everyone took turns answering questions, trying to be as thoughtful and unique as possible to leave a good impression on one of the 8 hiring managers sitting in front of us. Two days later, I got the a call from a branch manager inviting me to join the team.

From that day on, I was always curious what answers hiring managers were looking for during an interview. What factors go into selecting the right candidate? What kind of answers were they looking for when asking those very scripted questions?

After I graduated from ASU, I applied for a recruiting position at a private subprime lending company in Phoenix. A recruiter reached out to me, asked a series of questions about my background, compensation information and then scheduled me for an interview. When I went in for the interview I met with several people on the team and after being there for 4 hours, was offered the job on the spot and completed the drug screen on site and submitted the background investigation forms. This process was very different from my last experience. Which led me to be even more curious to figure out the method behind this madness.

I can’t say I fell in love with recruiting on day one. There were several days, weeks and months that I thought about quitting. I became a slave to a process I didn’t understand. Cold calls, dead-end conversations, sitting in a small cube in a cold office, attached to my headset 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. I soon learned that I was in a position where I was trying to control the least controllable and most unpredictable variable on the planet: people.

So what changed?

Along the way, I realized that there was more to recruiting than the endless cold calls. There was more impact that a recruiter could make to an organization than simply taking orders, sourcing a ton of resumes and shoving as many qualified candidates as I could into a pipeline while the requisitions continued to pile up. I began to strategize my approach, change the way I sourced, networked with candidates and negotiated the offers I delivered. I learned how to prioritize my work load, became an expert in the field by educating myself on the technologies my teams were using, understood the goals they needed to achieve, developed a relationship with my hiring managers. I stopped viewing recruiting as a “service group” and evolved the relationship into a true recruiting partnership.

The value a recruiter can bring to an organization is often overlooked. A single hire can bring in upwards of $250,000 in revenue per year in the tech industry.

What gig could be better than waking up, drinking coffee and making people’s dreams come true?

And that’s just where it all begins.