5 more things we've learned from 26 years in recruitment

In part 2 of the list of things we’ve learned from 26 years in semiconductor recruitment, we take a look at some of the lessons we learned the hard way.

Lauren Percy · 10 Jun 2019

In part 2 of the list of things we’ve learned from 26 years in semiconductor recruitment, we take a look at some of the lessons we learned the hard way:


6. Feedback is key

When you’ve been doing something for a long time you can begin to develop a bit of tunnel vision and lose sight of what’s actually at stake for you, your candidate, and your client.  For your candidate, it’s a matter of gaining or changing employment, and a myriad of factors that follow. How much will they be paid? What are the benefits? How’s the commute? For your client, it’s about finding the right people to help them meet crucial production deadlines. And for you, it’s a direct reflection on your work performance and track record.

With these factors considered, it’s in your best interest to leave your echo chamber and seek feedback from job seekers and hiring managers alike. From listening to our clients and candidates, we’ve learned it’s best to provide interviewees with a map of interview locations as well as a firm expectation of projected pay rates. This helps prevent a misunderstanding of role level and helps to keep people from getting lost on the way to their interview!


7. Negotiate with the hiring manager

Off the back of number 6 comes negotiation with the hiring manager. This is when you provide feedback to your client and establish the terms of employment on behalf of your candidates. While the hiring manager will have expert knowledge of the job responsibilities, maybe they are a bit out of touch with the current job market and have unrealistic expectations of a suitable pay rate. This is where you can help.

Don’t work from the basic template job description. Make the effort to find out what’s really involved in the job you’re recruiting for. Have an open dialogue with the hiring managers and ask about the top performers on their team, the top performing qualities, the absolutely necessary candidate qualities, and the things you expect your candidates to ask you. The relationship between recruiter and client works best when this relationship is a partnership.


8. Quality over quantity

When faced with a high-volume hiring req and a tight deadline, it’s easy to fall into the trap of resorting to a ‘’butts in seats’’ or a ‘’throw bodies at it’’ approach.  Desperation can lead to glossing over the incompatibilities between the candidate, the job, and the company culture. It’s like settling for Mr. or Mrs. Right Now, instead of waiting for ‘the one’ and ultimately having to fork out more of your time for messy off-boarding and re-entering the hiring market.

So, what can you do to solve a large problem in a short time? Start at the beginning of the hiring process! Tailor jobs to attract the right people, not the most people. Detail what candidates can expect to learn and achieve in the role and what is expected of their existing work history. Make the hiring requirements crystal clear to allow candidates to self-select out of the process. Ultimately this means less time wasted for candidates, clients, and recruiters.


9. Aptitude tests

It’s easy to get dazzled by a well-presented resume and a slick-talking applicant. You may come across resumes and interviewees that talk the talk, but it’s important to find the ones that can also walk the walk. Running tech-screens and mechanical aptitude tests not only help you further understand the technical knowledge of a candidate, but help the candidate adjust their expectations for the role they are applying for.

However, it’s still true that people can flourish within a testing environment and totally flop in the field (remember #3 from our previous list?). With that in mind, combine the aptitude scores of your candidates with their interview performance and work history for a complete view of projected performance.


10. Stay in touch

After 26 years in recruitment, you may find yourself with less of a talent pool and more of a talent ocean. While best practice dictates a constant refresh of your candidate database, it’s not always practical to dedicate a huge chunk of your time every day to ensure the integrity of the information you have at hand. However, combing through the data on a regular basis can turn a big task into a small one.

It’s always worth revisiting your contact lists to see who has had a change in circumstance and may now be looking for a new job. One of our biggest mistakes in the past was overlooking a handful of experienced engineers that we hadn’t contacted in over 3 years. When we finally got around to it, 6 of them had entered retirement! Make sure to do your housekeeping!

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In part 2 of the list of things we’ve learned from 26 years in semiconductor recruitment, we take a look at some of the lessons we learned the hard way.
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