Temp vs Search

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Temp Staffing vs Search Services

Bersin where do employees come from

I frequently find that people confuse my services with those of a staffing agency.

Staffing agencies offer the services of individual contributors (mostly) on a temporary basis.  The agency is the employer of record and they “rent out” the services of the individual to their clients, usually on an hourly basis and usually for 1.65 times what they actually pay the employee. They are the ones who choose whom to send you and you rarely do any interviewing of the people who will be working for you.

I offer the services of a retained recruiter so that the person I find for you, usually manager-level or above or hard-to-find professional, can be hired directly by you.

A retained search firm identifies your competitor companies and the people doing the job you need to have done.  We then contact each one and sell them on the opportunity to work for you, gather resumes and referrals.  A fully retained search firm then sorts through the interested candidates, interviewing (perhaps in person), picks the ones they think would be the best and submits them to you. They then support the interviewing and salary negotiation.

A Search Services company can do all that a retained search firm does, or just those pieces you need or want to delegate.

It may be a subtle difference, but you have much more control with the Search Services model.

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Networking and your professional development

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Tweet: “Your career, and therefore your livelihood, depends upon two things: people and information.”

(Thanks to my colleague Judson Walsh at Career Path Strategies for this clarity) I have said that you can sell your knowledge, your time, or your strength. But that being said, you still need information and people. Your professional development is dependent on who knows you and what you know.


The job seeker needs between 40 and 50 hours a week for a number of weeks to find a new job. One of the tasks is face-to-face networking, and that does not include interviewing. It’s been said that if you simply send out a resume to an online job posting you need to send it to at least 200 companies and even then will only have a 2% chance of getting a phone screen.

If you do a targeted job search, in which you use the power of personal face-to-face networking, then you only need to meet with 30 people, one from each company, to begin with. A face-to-face coffee date can take about two hours. If you could do more than four of these in a day, you are younger and stronger than I am. So if you’re meeting 30 people it will take you 60 hours divided by four or 15 days or more. This is of course way too much if you are currently working. But do you even take time once a week to meet with colleagues, friends, mentors, related career acquaintances?

Networking is not begging for a job.

It’s not asking for anything. It’s finding out how you can be of help. And, in return for that, you get information and are liked more by the people you meet with.

What information would be useful for you in your current job? Who has that information? Who needs that information? Have you discovered a new way to find employees? Or use your ATS system? Or sort through the piles of resumes you have to go through in order to find the right person for your team? Or do you simply need to find a knitting mentor? Even in this day and age of Google and YouTube, real people helping real people is a much more satisfying way to learn new things.

Networking with an eye towards your next job, way before you need it, is the smart career development move. You can find out what’s new and interesting to you. You can be known by people in the companies, or departments, you might be interested in working in, or find out if you’re interested in that company at all. Jobs don’t last forever but friendships can. Who are your career friends?

How do you keep track of the people in your network? We used to use Christmas card lists, long, long ago. Then PDAs came on the market (remember those?), then cell phones, and CRM software programs. I especially like Contactually.com and I can get you a discount if you want it. This one puts people in “buckets” with a time frame on each so that you can keep in touch regularly. What do you use?

I also like to use LinkedIn> connections> keep in touch. It allows me to say Happy Birthday, Congratulations on your work anniversary or on your new job with practically no effort at all. Are you using this feature?

Full out posting on Pulse or in the LinkedIn groups or on your company website or your own personal blog can seem overwhelming, but it is a way to develop more connections, your personal brand, and gain the respect of your peers. Setting aside 15 minutes a week to do this can go a long way towards being known by the people in the departments and companies you are interested in, including the one you currently work for.

Do you have any questions about this? Please do email me at connie@hamptonexecutivesearch.com I’d also love your comments on this blog at www.hamptonexecutivesearch.com/

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New to the industry PostDocs: What do they need to know?

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You have openings in your R&D team that require a PhD.  You would be fine with recent PostDocs, if only…..

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We know that the current recruiting methods are not really very good.  Lots of information is lost between the needs of the department, the hiring manager’s articulation of them, the HR person’s written job description and the hopes of the potential candidates, especially those looking for their first job after academia.

I’ve been in this business long enough that we went from the time of finding people from academia (with nine papers in something obscure) for R&D spots to now when hiring managers and HR people really would prefer someone with at least 2-3 years of industry under their belts.

Of course this frightens the newly graduated and may eliminate the very people who can take a company to its next big product.

So why is this?

What I have heard from hiring managers is that the pace of work in industry is simply much faster than academia and does not allow for the exploration of all of the possibilities of a lead molecule or protein.  They say that it takes some experience and time for a newly minted PhD to realize that the clinical, product and marketing endpoints are much more important than knowing “everything” about a molecule or protein.

Is this all that it is?  What else makes the “veteran” of a few years in another company “better than” the fresh from school PhD?

Are you hoping to get some inside information from the other company?  Process expertise?  Simply less “wetness behind the ears”?

What advice would you give the person currently prepping for their PhD defense and looking for their first industry job?

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Hiring Tip #31: Consistency in the questions

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Hiring Tip #30: When to mention salary ranges

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Hiring Tip #29: How do you pre-screen?

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Hiring Tip #28: Do you depend on the resume?

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Hiring Tip #27: Use LinkedIn and the resume

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After the resumes make it into the “maybe” pile, do you check LinkedIn or Google for these people?  Does their LinkedIn Profile support their resume?  Do they have any recommendations for positions similar to the one you are looking to fill?  What else do they say about themselves that did not fit in the one or two page resume?  Can you tell if they would fit your culture or not?  


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Hiring Tip #26: The cost to lose an employee

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Slide26How much does it cost to lose an employee?  How much to replace them?

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Hiring Tip #25: How you treat your candidates

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Slide25 How do you treat your candidates?

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