Category Archives: Recruiting

Recruiting & Social Media

With industry layoffs and job cuts reportedly topping 2 million in 2008, career management is the buzzword for 2009. Referrals continue to be key in recruitment. But companies looking to extend searches beyond referrals are increasingly tapping social networking sites to fill positions. Sites like LinkedIn have made it much easier for hiring managers to see who you are, even if you’re not actively looking for a job. It is particularly useful if you’re looking for a technology expert, who are very active in social media. Social networking also enables passive candidates to catch the eye of recruiters, as well as to keep abreast of developments in their fields by sharing expertise with their peers.

Professional networking site LinkedIn reports that its rate of new membership doubled between August 2008 and November 2008. During that time, the site added a new user every second., an exclusive networking site for top-level financial executives, launched in September with 20,000 invited members. On the day Lehman Brothers went under, the site recorded a 60 percent increase in traffic.

While recruiters still use job boards such as, they prefer sites where they can target people from specific professional groups. Recruiters often google potential candidates and search for them on LinkedIn before initiating contact.

Some recruiters use social networking sites together with other applications, such as Jobvite, an on-demand recruitment application that enables an entire firm to participate in the hiring process. The application allows the company to notify employees when there is an open position. Employees can then share job invitations with their professional and social networks. Recruiters can further research candidates by looking up their profiles on LinkedIn.

Employees also use professional social networking sites to keep contacts up-to-date, particularly important if you quickly need to open your virtual rolodex to look for a new job. One such site is Plaxo, an online address book and social networking service. When contact information is edited by a user, the changes appear in the address books of all those who listed the account changer in their own books.

Focus in 2009: With pink slips expected to keep flying in 2009, job seekers will increasingly tap into social networking sites. The biggest areas of growth will be around highly targeted sites and vertical communities. MeettheBoss — which promotes peer-to-peer networking with secure video calling, instant messaging, e-mail and SMS between executive members — currently receives 300-plus applicants a day, although 66 percent are turned down in a bid to keep the site exclusive. So if you’ve been impacted (or think you may) – now is the time to spruce up that online persona, and step into the world of social media!

UPDATE: If you’re in the metro-Detroit area, check out Using LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter for business January 28th, 3pm at the Automation Alley Headquarters in Troy. – growing again!

At Billhighway, we’re committed to not participating in this economic slowdown, and are currently looking to fill several new positions among our development team, including: 1.) strong .net developers, 5+ years of experience; 2.) QA folks (junior and/or senior); and 3.) a certified Scrum Master.

Billhighway has 20ish employees and growing rapidly.  We create world-class financial software for membership-based communities, serving 100’s of thousands of customers throughout North America. Think of mashing up QuickBooks, PayPal & and you’d have a good basis for what we’re all about.  We employ the latest tools (VSTS, TFS) technologies (.NET, AJAX, SQL, SOA & grid-computing) and methodolgoies, such as Agile.

If you’re seeking a new challenge, or want to be part of a fast-paced, pure technology company – check us out:

How to Recruit Developers

Thought this was worth sharing..

Testing IT Professionals

There is an article up on Slashdot this morning discussing the subject of testing IT job candidates, which is worth a read for the person responsible for recruiting IT Pros in your shop.

An announomous reader writes “After having my university degrees, a couple of IT certifications, and over ten years of work experience in the industry, with verifiable employment, is it reasonable to ask me to take some test on a job interview? The same companies don’t ask other professionals (lawyer, accountant, sales, HR, etc.) to submit to any kind of in-house tests when they are hired. Why are IT professionals treated differently and in such a paternalistic way?”

Scott Wilson, of CIO Weblog says, it is too blanket a conversation to be having, although the matter is clearly an important one on both sides of the table. But the fact is that there are some jobs which you can reasonably test people on before they are hired, and others were only their experience and whatever Socratic dialogue you can come up with during the interview are worth much. The higher you go in the hierarchy, the less you can rely on tests. It’s reasonable to sit a tech support candidate down in front of a computer (an unplugged computer; always my favorite) and say, “Figure out what is wrong with this and fix it.” It’s more difficult to do with an IT manager who may be responsible for fixing a whole department.

The problem is that technology is broad and oddly enough, less codified in some ways than other professions where testing is the norm (medicine, law, accounting, etc). For a given problem in this field, there may be a dozen equally acceptable technical solutions, and more emerging each day as the state of the art advances. It’s extremely difficult for any test to judge multiple right answers, or to select among the gradations of right to find the ideal answer. Beyond that, while you can test knowledge in such a fashion, it’s very difficult to test the qualities that really matters in such a dynamic environment, such as adaptability and intelligence. You may bring in a candidate who has never worked on systems similar to yours before and he may fail every knowledge question on them that you can ask; yet he may be a better candidate than the one who knows the system inside and out, because he may be able to learn faster and adapt better… and if you think your systems are going to remain static for long, you must be new here. The ability to walk in cold on a new job and pick it all up from first or second principles is by far the most impressive and valuable skill in information technology today; it’s also the one that is least likely to be demonstrated in formal testing.