9 Important Questions Answered by Millennium Search

9 Important Questions Answered by Millennium Search

 

We recently saw an article published on recruiter.com that suggested 9 questions a company should pose to an external recruiter before moving forward with them. There was varied response to the article from the recruiting community, but it made me wonder what Amish Shah, our CEO, might say in response to those questions.

I decided to ask him. Here is what Amish had to say about Millennium Search:

1. How long has their firm been in operation?

Millennium Search LLC was founded in September, 2003. Millennium Search is dedicated to the ethical, rapid and successful placement of top-tiered talent in the high-tech sector around the world. It is our mission to provide a match that will result in success and growth for both the client and the candidate.

2. What is the employee turnover level of the business?

Millennium Search has a low turnover rate because our internal hiring process is very in-depth and selective. To ensure we hire the right person, we assign an initial task to judge the applicant’s metrics, personality, passion and skill sets. We evaluate their client management experience, the specific type of recruiting experience they have and their overall approach. They are also tasked with the exercise of submitting a pipeline of candidates for sample roles within our specialty and hypothetically presenting them so that we can ascertain their performance as a recruiter. In addition to the opportunity to sell themselves to us, we target references in order to address concerns on weaker elements, confirm their strengths, determine their tech savvy, their level of independence and the methods that allow them to learn most effectively. This determines if and how we can set them up for success. It is a challenging process that effectively eliminates recruiters less likely to fit in and be a productive member of our Team.

3. What is the average experience level of the business? What is the experience level of your key contacts and the people who will be working with you?

We employ senior people with a minimum of 8-10 years experience. They need to have at least two solid years of industry experience within our niche.

4. What is the success rate of the business?

Around 75%. We are selective with the clients we work with because of our desire to keep our brand at a high level. Our focus is on early to mid-stage high-tech startups who add value to the marketplace by being revolutionary with strong backing and even stronger management. In addition to providing the right placements for this portfolio of clients, we continue to service their ongoing needs. We are very results oriented so we don’t promise anything we can’t deliver. Our rates can be beat but our results prove our worth.

5. Do you specialize in a specific sector?

We love and focus on the high tech industry, cutting edge technology and disruptive products. Our core base has evolved. It was initially almost exclusively in Silicon Valley. As the tech world migrated to Boston’s universities and research labs and continued along to emerging cities such as New York, Salt Lake City, Denver, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, Dallas, and Los Angeles, we have been along for the ride. And because it is an entrepreneurial world right now, our global clientele reflects this across early to mid-stage startups. We stay engaged with industry trends, know which cutting edge innovations are posed to take over and are as excited about them as the people creating them. That’s what we do, that’s why we do it and why our model works.

6. Who will be your point of contact?

Our recruiters are full desk. You will work with the recruiter directly throughout the entire search process, although our recruiters work together on various searches to ensure all Team networks are tapped for your roles.

7. What is your sourcing process?

Because of their varying backgrounds, all of our recruiters have a different style, and we embrace that. But the Team has the same tools available to them to source the top candidates for our clients’ roles. We have developed an internal database of our full Team’s network since our inception. We go beyond job boards to discover and engage passive candidates. We hired a marketing firm to develop our social media recruiting techniques and continue to build upon that arena every day. In the end, the type of search (i.e. contingency, exclusive, retainer), and the specific position the role requires has a lot to do with which sets of strategic techniques our recruiters employ.
What sets us apart from other companies is how we filter through potential candidates. Our recruiters have a lot of experience. And they have a variety of styles. Therefore, they all have different approaches to the questions they ask. But they are all following the same general process. A candidate’s online profiles and online activity are always reviewed in conjunction with their resume. Cross-referencing and building a more complete picture gives better insight into potential concerns. We delve into our network for insight on candidates traveling in their circles. Not only do we qualify; we look for red flags. The core qualifying questions are the same and a sales, tech or marketing candidate would then determine the type of focus more detailed questions will have. We find out who they’re already talking to and which companies they’d like to talk to. Most importantly, we listen to what the candidate considers to be their ideal situation. Candidates with an appetite for risk are matched with startup roles they can be excited about. Candidates with a big company comfort level are matched with more established corporations. This also supports our clients’ goals of long-term placement success.

8. Do we offer any form of guarantee whether it is official or what do we promise our clients?

We promise our clients results and we guarantee them. We can get the job done faster with higher efficiency than the competition. We back that up with a 90-day guarantee. If the placed candidate is terminated within 90 days for reasons other than staff reduction purposes, we will replace that person for free.

9. Can you tell me about your client base?

Take a look at our case studies. We work with companies focused on cloud, mobile, social, analytics, security, applications, gaming, and more in the high tech world, ranging from VC backed startups and emerging companies, up to Fortune 500 clients. Many of them are repeat clients, and have spoken high praise of Millennium Search. It is our track record of success that not only brings them to us, but keeps them coming back. Take a look here.

Do you have more questions about Millennium Search? We want to hear from you! Speak with us today about your company’s hiring needs.

The Systems Engineer: Recruiting for Pre-Sales Professional Roles

The Systems Engineer: Recruiting for Pre-Sales Professional Roles

Recruiting for Pre-Sales

As a recruiter in the tech domain, when I am tasked with recruiting for Pre-Sales person, what I’m looking for is a Systems Engineer. Systems Engineers are taking on the Pre-Sales role because their in-depth technology knowledge gives them a significant advantage. Having a Systems Engineer involved in the presentation lets the client know they are not getting another sales pitch. They’re getting someone who will come in and really be able to help them understand their needs on a technical level. It has become more than selling the box. It has become key to put it all together and make sure that the client understands exactly how it’s going to work, how it will eliminate their aches and pains, and how the contents of the box will be put in place to save them money.

A Techie with Personality: What is Today’s Systems Engineer?

Pre-Sales Engineers have always needed to have a sales personality. This personality type remains just as important for a Systems Engineer, making strong presentation skills and excellent customer communication necessary elements of a candidate. Gone are the days when engineers carried a reputation for lacking in communication, hidden behind the scenes, and never interacting with customers. These engineers are now expected to work the front line so the customer feels comfortable beyond the pitch. The client gains reassurance that they are getting a true solution because it is being delivered by the expert.

Today’s Startup Michelangelo

This recent evolution of the Pre-Sales role is particularly imperative for startups. Larger corporations established for a longer period of time can afford the luxury of having Sales, Account Manager, Pre-Sales, Post-Sales and Implementation roles on their staff. Startup companies can’t afford to hire a different person to suit each of these roles. Instead, they look for people who can wear many hats at many levels. A Systems Engineer may not have to close the deal, but they are tasked with convincing a client, on the technical level, that they’ve got their solution. Pre-Sales as we knew it has become a more demanding role as a result.

This new Michelangelo will have the customer interface with the technical knowledge of what needs to be done and how to solve problems. But not only that, they will be able to help clients understand how the box will be implemented and how it will all come together. On occasion, some companies are requesting a Systems Engineer who can handle Post-Sales tasks as well. They want someone who can do a proof of concept but also be skilled enough to assist with implementation, in the event there is a delay in getting their traditional Professional Services person on the job.

Finding a Well Rounded Systems Engineer: Qualities and Red Flags

In searching for that well rounded Systems Engineer to fill my clients’ needs, I am not using Pre-Sales as a keyword. It may be a term that shows up in resume histories and online profiles, but Technical Consultants or similar types still using the Pre-Sales term come across as dated. It says to me that they have the sales pitch down but they don’t have the technology. They can talk a good game, but are not as technical or hands-on as they should be for the needs of today’s leading startups and other innovative corporations.

Corporations sticking with their multiple role blueprint tend to look for someone with a stronger sales background because they’ have all of the other tech personnel in place to back them up. They may have three or four people coming into a customer meeting to talk about a solution whereas a startup will rely upon a Sales person and their Systems Engineer to accomplish everything. Today’s Systems Engineer won’t have much support so they have to be all-in-one, with core strength in technology.

In my Systems Engineer searches, the initial filter comes from a candidate’s knowledge of my client’s specific technology. What experience and knowledge do they have in my client’s arena? Do they have the exact skills within that domain that my client needs?

Of additional importance, especially in the startup environment is how hands-on the candidate has been with the actual product. Have they seen it? Have they touched it? Have they witnessed its implementation? Have they solved a problem with it? If instead, they can only talk about it, then for me that’s a red flag.

Equally, I am looking for the right personality fit. A strong Systems Engineer must be able to communicate well enough for the client to really grasp the concept presented. Can they do white boards? Do they know the right questions to ask and how to answer all of the others? In addition to presenting well, they have to have a strong, professional presence at very C levels. An introvert without exposure to customers isn’t going to make my cut, regardless of how perfect their hands-on technology knowledge may be.

Touch the Box

Finally, the story of how a candidate came to be a Systems Engineer is important to me. This comes from careful review of resumes, profiles and qualifying conversations. It provides me the insight I need to determine if they are the right fit for my clients’ roles. If the candidate has been there with the box from start to finish, seeing the deal all the way through by supporting their account managers and can go in and do a proof of concept, that’s what I’m looking for. So many candidates, especially those who have worked for larger companies, have never even touched the box, much less its contents. They’ve seen it on diagrams, they’ve drawn it out, but they’ve never touched it and have certainly never implemented it. These candidates fit very well into the old school Pre-Sales definition. Today’s roles will pass them by at light speed if they don’t get out and touch the box.

Suzzane Albert is a Senior Executive Recruiter for Millennium Search, serving the recruiting needs of the high tech industry since 1997.

Startups: Hire the Right Recruiter from the Start

Startups: Hire the Right Recruiter from the Start

Hire the Right Recruiter

Mid-level management and individual contributors are the lifeblood of an early to mid-stage startup. These employees are critical resources because they are the most hands on in developing the product. It is essential that they be in place as quickly as possible. If they aren’t, they are not creating, they are not doing, and your startup is not moving forward.

Avoid Subpar Recruiting

The case has been made for the value of a recruiter to a startup. The challenge is to hire the right recruiter to bring the best talent through your doors. It is not uncommon for me to be tasked with the role of “The Cleaner” by prospective clients who already have a recruiter or a variety of recruiters in place working on a search. They are coming to me because they are frustrated with the lack of quality candidates who do not fit the job’s profile. They look to me to clean up the mess, start fresh and get the role filled yesterday because time has been wasted. How can a startup avoid such an enormous waste of time and precious resources by selecting a higher caliber recruiter from the beginning?

You Get What You Pay For, If You Even Get It

There are recruiting firms out there playing in the startup space who focus on price point, which allows them to keep their fees low in an effort to do volume. When the focus is on volume, the quality suffers because volume generally requires the low hanging fruit approach. The job gets posted in a few places and there may be time for some superficial sourcing, but most results come from job boards. This means that primarily, they are left to sift through candidates who are likely out of a job or trying to make a move; Not normally the crème de la crème. Exceptional candidates can be found this way, but not normally. Quality really comes from how the candidates are recruited.

It requires superb sourcing skills to be effective, and knowing how to source is not effective unless the candidate can then be engaged. When you pay a low fee for recruiting results, it can feel as if the recruiter is throwing resumes against the wall to see if they stick. To meet their volume approach, they send a lot of resumes to you so that you will feel they are actively working on your search to get it filled. But if they are not good resumes and they are not good candidates, then you are wasting that fee payment, as cheap as it may be, by spinning your wheels as time passes you by. That is time that your startup cannot afford to miss.

Source Your Recruiter

Although getting a referral to a recruiter is always a good start, you still need to do your homework before entering into any agreement with them. Find out about their results. This tells you the most important information. What clients they have worked with? Talk to some of them to gauge their experience. Look at the recruiter’s recommendations. Check out their web presence. Are they an active thought leader? How big is their network? What is their background? Are they a seasoned executive or seasoned professional who has been doing recruiting for quite a long time? Do they have experience within your industry? Your research will help you evaluate their quality as a recruiter. Then, the only way that you can actually experience it is to give it a shot with an agreement that allows them to prove their value and for you to receive a great return on your investment.

What a Quality Recruiter Will Deliver

If you are actively engaged with your recruiter and provide them with a detailed profile for the role, you should expect them to deliver quality with swiftness. If you hire the right recruiter, they will be capable of honing in on the right profile once they get the attributes from you. They can then do the deep sourcing to find passive candidates and engage them as quickly as possible. They will then filter and deliver a short list to you in a very quick period of time. If you don’t have candidates to speak with within two to three weeks of starting a search who aren’t resonating with you relative to the profile, something is wrong with your recruiter’s process, experience, and abilities.

The Bottom Line

Startups are focused on the bottom line. It is vital for you to preserve cash, but if the several thousand dollars you save on a fee ultimately leaves you with sub-par candidates months into the process, the work isn’t getting done. Is it worth it? It is easy to take that chance initially, to rush into an agreement with the recruiting firm offering the best rate, and skip diligent research. Sadly, startup after startup seems to require a failed recruiting experience before learning these lessons. In my experience, once a startup experiences quality recruiting, they recognize the true value that fee provides.

Put the right recruiting team in place from the start. You can’t afford not to.

Sandy Bleich is Senior Partner at Millennium Search. She has seen success in both large corporate and startup environments, with over 25 years of experience as a technology executive. As a recruiter, clients and candidates have consistently recognized her as an excellent communicator and valued partner.

6 Resume Mistakes You Can’t Afford To Make

Resume Mistakes

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced in their March 2012 report that there are currently 5.3 million long-term unemployed people in the U.S. This figure is virtually unchanged from the previous month, meaning nearly 43% of the unemployed sector has been without a job for more than six months. That is a lot of competition when applying for a job.

To ensure that you make the cut, you need a carefully crafted resume, not one that ends up in the trash because of these six mistakes that are easy to make but imperative to avoid.

Typos

These scream inattention to detail. An employer doesn’t want someone who glosses over important details. If you can’t review your own resume for spelling errors and typos, how can they have confidence in your ability to intelligently represent the company in your reports, presentations and email communication?

The Never-Ending Story

Having a multi-paged resume is acceptable when you have lengthy job history that relates in each instance to the open position. However, you do not need to tell your life’s story within each job. Use a Twitter mindset to compress your most important qualities and contributions within your descriptions. A resume that looks like an essay is likely to be skipped rather than scanned.

Unrelated Experience

Don’t make it a challenge for employers to determine your relevant experience. Customize your resume for each application to leave out unnecessary details that don’t highlight skills for the job at hand.

Presumptuous References

It looks pretentious rather than courteous to provide your references up-front. Employers treat references in a variety of ways. Let them dictate how many they would like and how and when they want them.

Self Centered Focus

One of the biggest resume mistakes is one that is filled with all of the things you’ve done and how awesome you are is not as helpful to an employer as one that tells how very specific abilities you possess can make them awesome.

Unintentional Information

Consider what your personal email address says about you before listing it in your contact information. It may be witty to your circle of friends, but a potential employer might not take [email protected] seriously. Set up a no-nonsense address focused on your name and use it for all job-seeking opportunities. It will also help keep responses to your applications from getting lost in the shuffle when they go to a dedicated address.

Finally, your resume will be reviewed many times by potential employers and executive search firms. Make yourself stand out.

What other resume mistakes could make or break the candidate? Share your examples, horror stories and pet peeves.

Go Social, Resumes Are A Thing Of The Past

Go Social, Resumes Are A Thing Of The Past

Resumes Are A Thing Of The Past

Resumes are a thing of the past — and not the future. What’s important now and in the future is what you’re doing online. With the amount of competition in the job market, it is essential to use every tool available. By using LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Quora, you have the opportunity to gain an edge on your competition.

Resumes show what you have done, while your activity on social media sites show what you are doing. Not only does it show what you are doing, but it shows your expertise and passion for your industry.

Let’s take a look at some of the key takeaways:

Get Social!

LinkedIn

Today, 80 percent of companies use LinkedIn to find and screen potential candidates. LinkedIn offers an employer an in-depth look at an individual. With one click, a hiring manager or executive recruiter can see your skills, education and work experience. This can instantly qualify or disqualify you for a job. Top recruiters are looking though profiles every day to find the perfect person for each position.

Facebook

While still remaining a personal networking site, more and more recruiters are moving to Facebook. What you do on Facebook gives people an idea of your personality and professionalism. What’s more, apps like Branchout are enhancing Facebook’s stronghold as the best overall place for online professional networking.

Twitter

Instead of writing on a resume that you are an industry expert, show them with your tweets. Tweet about industry related topics and give your opinion.

Quora

If you are not on Quora, get on it! Quora is a Q&A website. Follow topics that you are interested in and give your opinions. If you are a PR person and there is a question about how would you handle a crisis, answer it thoughtfully. Good answers will grow your network, and potential employers will see you as knowledgeable in your field.

Get Creative!

Consider creating an infographic resume. Infographic resumes are visually appealing and allow employers to visualize a candidate’s career history, skills and education. It is important to understand that substance triumphs over style and the “info” should never be overtaken by the “graphic.”

Create an online portfolio. This way a potential employer or recruiter can see your work by clicking on a link. Create a video resume and upload it to YouTube; this will shows your creative side and is more interesting than just words on a page or screen.

Get Going!

Now more than ever, it is imperative for job seekers to reconsider their traditional paper resumes and build their professional online presences. If you are not using these tools, it shows employers you are behind the times.

Six Ways For Passive Candidates To Stay Active In Their Job Search

You have a job so you are set, right? Wrong! Given the uncertainties of today’s economy and job market, does anyone truly have 100% job security?

The goal is to become a passive job seeker. This is someone who is currently working and not necessarily looking for something new—but would consider a great opportunity if one comes along. Top recruiters are always looking for the best candidate to fill open positions, and often the perfect person already has a job.

Becoming a passive candidate also makes it easier to get a new job if you suddenly lose your current one.

Here are somethings to keep in mind for as a passive job seeker.

1. Keep your social media networks up-to-date.

Whether you are an IT person or a teacher, it is important that you stay current with your social media. This is how recruiters and employers are going to find you. That being said, keep your profiles and messages professional. There is nothing worse than a a recruiter or employer checking you out on Facebook and seeing all your pictures are of you partying.

The most important of these networks is LinkedIn. Keep your resume and contact information visible and current.

2. Position yourself as an industry expert.

Create an industry specific blog that is constantly updated, join and participate in industry specific LinkedIn groups and post interesting content on Twitter and Facebook. This make you look like you are an expert, and by doing research you will learn more about your industry. Employers like to hire experts, and recruiters are constantly looking for them as well.

3. Get involved in your industry’s top associations.

Join professional groups and organizations that are specific to your industry. If you are in public relations and you are not in PRSA, you should be. Joining these groups, staying active and becoming a leader looks will make you stand out from the crowd. You are also more likely to hear about “hidden” opportunities. And you will cultivate a great network for mutual referrals and recommendations.

You can find these groups by asking around, or use Meetup.com to search by industry-related keywords.

4. Always network!

Continue to network with your peers. Even if you are happy with the job you have, do not stop networking. Expand you network. Some of

In a world where who you know is sometimes better than what you know, networking remains the most important activity to engage in regularly.the best jobs are not advertised, and an employee referral may be the only way to get an interview.

There you have it! No one wants to face the day when they are suddenly out of a job, but if you follow these simple rules, you shouldn’t have to be without one for long. And who knows, you may even find something better.

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