A Two Day Hiring Solution

I reached out last Friday to one of our oldest clients, a high-tech testing firm specializing in the outsourced testing of software.  I asked, as I do, what open positions they might have available.

I received a reply on Monday, wherein it was revealed that a particular type of tester was required for a four-week testing contract involving the use of JMeter in an http and RESTful environment.  The need was immediate, and would start no later than ten days out, possibly as soon as tomorrow.  We’d searched, last month, for the same client and a similar skillset.  That particular testing contract never came through, so we had dropped the earlier search and closed it out.

But we still had the list of sourced candidates from that search.

So I sent an email to the 44 members of that list, asking if they (all testers, all with exposure to using JMeter in a software environment) might be interested?

I received one reply, from a candidate with extensive testing experience, but who had used JMeter five years ago and no more recently than that.  Hmm. This is a RED FLAG.

After a brief phone conversation and some back-and-forth emails with the candidate, I sent his resume along with an extensive cover letter to the hiring manager at our software testing firm, explaining that the candidate was immediately available, had the requisite JMeter experience but that it had been five years since he’d last touched the technology. This is known as giving the bad news right up front. It’s an honesty thing. It MUST be done.

My hiring manager replied back quickly on Tuesday morning (the next day), indicating a phone conversation was required immediately. Seems that their client with the testing needs had accelerated their timeframe and was pushing for an immediate start. 

In today’s world of technology and software development, everything has sped up.  It’s like hopping from one ice floe to another in a sea of boiling water.  If you linger too long, the floe melts beneath your feet and you drown.

I reached out to the candidate to see if he was available for an immediate phone interview with my hiring manager.  He replied that he had TWO other interviews that afternoon, both first interviews, but could sneak in a phone conversation with my client at 3 PM in the afternoon.

Let’s take a moment to examine this scenario for a moment.  On Friday, I received notice from one of our most treasured clients that a need existed for a particular type of tester using JMeter in an http / RESTful environment.  I had fired off 44 emails to potential candidates in our database, all with previous experience in these technologies. 

ONE replied. 

He had the experience and the immediacy of availability, but his experience was five years old, which is almost always a death knell in the IT world.  If you aren’t current, having used the technology within a year, you’re dead.  That’s just the way it is.

I also had a highly motivated hiring manager, quick to reply, fast to make decisions, demanding an immediate interview despite the five year gap in technology.  I agreed to this because my thought process was that it would provide me fodder for the NEXT candidate, since this candidate’s experience was clearly out of date and had a high probability of failure, despite the urgency.

Frequently, the very first candidate presentation to a hiring manager is a learning experience for both the hiring manager and for me.  The manager learns that what she THOUGHT she wanted wasn’t true after all, and the first candidate usually demonstrates that very clearly. It gives the hiring manager the opportunity to revamp the job description, tweak it, and then present the modified description to me. 

This often means that we start a brand new search, since the changed description is significantly different from the original, but more accurate for the position skill set.

It’s like baking cookies, and you sometimes throw away the first batch, modify the recipe, and then do it again, the RIGHT way.

Tuesday evening, about 5 PM and well after the 3 PM phone interview, I got a phone call from the hiring manager.  I asked him how he was doing, and his voice was upbeat and excited.  He said he was doing great and that he’d had a wonderful conversation with the candidate and wanted to move forward.

Being a GREAT recruiter, I said “Well, hold on a second.  I am not trying to talk myself out of a placement, but did I mention in my cover letter that he had not touched the JMeter technology in five years?”

My hiring manager answered that, indeed, I had, but that the candidate’s extensive testing experience were enough to bring him on board.  “In fact,” continued my hiring manager.  “Might he start work tomorrow morning (Wednesday) at 9 AM?”

“Sure,” I replied. “Let me get his paperwork finished and make sure it’s okay with him.”

So I did, and my candidate agreed, and, as of this writing (Wednesday morning), my candidate is actually onsite at my client’s workplace, hard at work. 

How do I know this?  I received this email just moments ago:

Lou, thanks for the hard work.  Much appreciated. [Redacted] is here and already hard at work. Much thanks, [Redacted]”

Total time from request to hire: Two business days. 

Do they all move this quickly?  Nope.  But the best candidates get snapped up in a number of days, not weeks.  If your hiring process is weeks long, please consider that you may not be getting the best available candidates for your open positions.  The only candidates that can wait around for weeks are the ones that nobody else is in a hurry to snap up.

Interested in working with Talent Recruiters, Inc.?  Please contact Lou directly at Lou@TalentRecruiters.net and mention this article for a 20% discount on your first placement! Visit the website at: http://www.TalentRecruiters.net

Lou Berger

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