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Mark Gilbert
Mark Gilbert
Mark has been involved in EDA recruiting for over 18 years. He is Founder and President of EDA Careers, but started his career in EDA as executive Vice President at EDA Jobs. Mark was also VP of Marketing and Business Development in the beginning of the Internet revolution and has been a … More »

Hiring Has Slowed And The Pendulum Has Shifted…Companies Need To Consider The Candidate Hiring Process More…Heading to ARM…

October 20th, 2017 by Mark Gilbert

I need to get a few things off my chest but first, let me state the obvious.  I have made so many terrific relationships in my nearly 20 years as a recruiter, focused solely on EDA/Semi.  During that time, I have worked with hundreds of companies, talking to and helping so many C-level executives find the right new person that will help take their company forward, and have placed more people in our EDA world than I could possibly count. Recently things have changed and by calling attention to it, I hope more companies will consider the following when engaging a recruiter and interviewing candidates.

Let me start by making one point perfectly clear; I am on the company side when it comes to the actual hiring.  Every company has and deserves the right to hire the candidate with the proper qualifications and cultural fit, and I always strive to help them do exactly that. If the candidate is deemed to be “not the right fit”, they should understandably not make an offer and let everyone know. What I am talking about in this article is more than that …I am NOT talking about the right of the company to pick the right candidate, the best candidate; I am talking about the methodology for interviewing and the respect for that process.

I can honestly say that this has been the strangest year for both me and my candidates. From companies showing a total lack of consideration for the hiring process, to the way some communicate, it has been surprising and even shocking. Companies too often forget that candidates are people with hopes, dreams and expectations…this is their lives and when applying (if they are good), they hope to get the proper respect and consideration. After all, companies (meaning the decision makers and hiring managers) forget that they were once these very same people, interviewing for their future.  Decision makers at these companies should remember back to when they were hopeful candidates and show the same respect they would have liked, for the process. Just to be clear, I am not saying “hire them”, I am saying “respect them and inform them timely of the next steps…simply keep them in the loop”.  It is common decency, something every hiring manager would expect if they were on the other side, interviewing and hoping.

We all understand that there are deadlines and other obligations that can slow or stall the process, but that should not negate anyone from informing the candidate and recruiter… that takes two minutes. After all, think about it…How hard is it to reach out and inform the candidate and if applicable, the recruiter, that they need a few more days, a week, several weeks, and keep them in the loop? That is a common sense courtesy and should always be part of the process.  As long as delays, setbacks, or whatever are communicated, everyone is informed and on the same page.  Simply saying we are busy discounts your intention and is a disservice to those interviewing.  Everyone is busy, including the candidate interviewing, who might be giving up their lunch or afternoon or whenever, or the recruiter who has spent weeks maybe months diligently searching to find the company the right candidate…we/they are all busy as well and all our time should be respected equally.

The recent lack of respect I have experienced, for the time and effort involved in the process, (shown to both the candidate and in this case, me as the contracted recruiter), is simply unnecessary and further, insensitive.  If some of the hiring managers put on the other shoe for just a moment, I think they would be more respectful of the process and more diligent in maintaining an open line of communication; after all, this candidate is hopefully the next member of your team and the recruiter is doing the job you asked them to do. Also, the recruiters business is to follow through on what you ASKED THEM TO DO…and keep the process moving forward.  The size of the company should be inconsequential, we all need to respect each other’s efforts.

My work is paid for by the companies…they ask for my help to fill certain positions.  I engage with them in good faith, spending considerable dollars and time, and we all know that time is money.  This means that I have a reasonable right for them to review my submissions, react to my submissions, and interview in good faith the candidates they like, with the ultimate goal of hiring their next team member. That process and conclusion calls for everyone working together.  What has always set me aside from other recruiters is my methodology and sensitivity to both sides during the process.  It is essential for me to make sure both sides are satisfied and comfortable with each step of the process, and that takes constant engagement. My job is to do the proper follow-up from beginning on, and understand the needs from both sides by engaging them throughout, keeping the entire process on track and helping them to address and overcome concerns. This is the best way to obtain a positive result or conversely, tell each side that the fit is not right and it is time to move on.  That can only happen if all sides communicate in a timely fashion. To lose a candidate because someone says they are TOO BUSY is almost sinful.

Bottom line, I have been shocked by the complete lack of follow through and disrespect for the process shown by some, a few companies and have heard exactly the same from several other recruiters. From stringing candidates along, to cancelling interviews and worse, to simply ignoring either the submission or the follow up…this has to change as we are–and we deserve–better than that, and by we, I mean the candidates and the recruiters being engaged.   I have been doing this for 20 years exclusively in EDA. I have built fantastic relationships with so many folks in EDA and that is clearly evident when I walk the halls at DAC or other shows or from the number of emails and comments I receive. My reputation is stellar and I am so often told that I am the best in the business and honestly, I like to think I am.  😉  I/we deserve the same respect we give and always show the companies and their team.

Thank goodness, the vast majority of the companies I work with care about the candidates they are considering and do not waste their time, as well as care about the work recruiters do, I do.  It is the few that are simply clueless and think “their time” is all that matters that makes the spirit of the process problematic and downright frustrating.  That is simply not right as we are ALL WORKING HARD and we must all respect each other’s efforts during the process, and someone needed to draw attention to the issue as it is so easily rectified.

Even though business seems robust, hiring has certainly slowed. We are seeing a clear pendulum swing to more candidates looking than companies hiring. It is much harder to extract candidates these days.  The need for stellar candidates still drives the market and keeps us/me in business.  Companies’ needs are more exacting, which also limits the number of qualified candidates for those hard to fill positions and ultimately the hiring thereof.  Now more than ever, the information in your resume is so critical.  Finding the right fit still remains the battle, and makes the need for specialists like us ever more pressing,

ARM looks quite promising as I have a lot of scheduled appointments and companies that have fortunately expressed a desire to work together, as they realize it is still incredibly difficult to find the right candidates.  My chest feels so much lighter now and my trademarked White Jacket should fit better….hope to connect with a lot of old friends, clients and candidates while in the Valley or at ARM…say hi when you see me.

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Category: EDA Careers

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