Recruiting as a Career: The Transferable Skills of Recruiting

As we noted in our previous post on recruiting as a career, there are a variety of backgrounds that apply well to a recruiting role at Rivi. The reverse is also true: The skills you acquire in a role at recruiting are transferable to many other careers as well. These skills run the gamut, from strategic and tactical implementation to execution.

One of the most fundamental skills you learn is time management, which is particularly useful if you’re just starting out in your career. To succeed here, you need to make sure you’re doing right things at right time with right people; you learn to put the effort where it should be, not necessarily where you want it to be. This is critical delivering the best experience to clients and candidates alike. Conversely, if you work at a big company, chances are you’re not expected to deliver on the daily, so it can be easier to get distracted by tasks that may not be of critical importance.

Unsurprisingly for this industry, you do learn how to sell to an extent--but here, it’s more about positioning (which is really more valuable on the whole). You need to think on your feet and be strategic, so you learn to use analogies to position various things with clients and candidates, as well as use examples from tangential industry to explain how a company is doing something. There are very few roles and careers in the business world that do not require you to know how to pitch, whether it’s a point of view, a new idea/initiative, or generally to convince others to support your desired direction.

A recruiting role at Rivi will also teach you the art of professional services, including how to be a good partner to your client and the rest of the recruiting team. We tend to be different from other service placement firms; it’s not every person for themselves. We work with teams, so you learn to work with different personalities and different styles. Additionally, you’re constantly interacting with a bunch of companies and talent, which gives you even more experience across the spectrum of working styles.

Another skill you pick up is the ability to truly influence a business and a person’s career path. By constantly listening and learning, you can influence how a client thinks about a role, or how a person thinks about a company (and the available position)--even how a company goes to market. Similarly, your insight and advice around career management can influence a person’s direction in their career.

An offshoot of that is that you learn what some the best companies in tech do to succeed. This teaches you by observation what a good CEO does; project management, and how it’s done well; and how to be introspective and objective. In the larger scheme of things, being able to ask yourself “Am I really doing this right?”--and answer in the affirmative--leads to your own success.

Sam Wholley is a Partner and leads executive searches at Riviera.

AlleyWatch - The Six Cs of Attracting Talent

When you're trying to attract new talent, there are probably a few selling points you have in mind right off the bat. One is most certainly compensation, and the others might be a great valuation and a cool company culture. But did you know there are actually six main factors to consider when hiring? Rivi Founding Partner Michael Morell calls them the six C's and has laid them out in detail in this recent Alley Watch article.

(AlleyWatch) - The Six C's of Attracting Talent

When it comes to attracting the top tech talent, a lot of people keep talking about the same things. Namely, big exits and company valuation. But in truth, this is only one element. People consider several other elements beyond just these classifications. They think about how they’re getting to work, they think about the people they’re going to work for, and they think about the job they’ll be doing. We break it down into the Six Cs:

Read the full article here...

AlleyWatch - How to Hire an Engineer When You Don’t Speak Tech: Top 5 Areas of Confusion in Engineering Recruiting

Even if your company isn't a tech company per se, chances are you're going to need an engineer at some point. Making a tech hire when you don't speak the language presents its own set of challenges, and there are certain basic skills you need to learn in order to be successful. Rivi Partner Sam Wholley gives his crash course in tech hiring in this recent AlleyWatch article.

(AlleyWatch) - How to Hire an Engineer When You Don’t Speak Tech: Top 5 Areas of Confusion in Engineering Recruiting

Let’s face it: nearly every company needs to fill technical roles these days. But the fact is, many people involved in hiring for these highly-specific roles–from recruiters and hiring managers to CEOs and members of the Board–don’t have a technical background. This can be a challenge when you are trying to fill those roles.

At the technical recruiting firm where I work, not everyone comes in with a technical background but, as a technical recruiter, there are certain basic elements you need to know to search for, and speak with, the right candidate. We equip our team with a crash course in engineering functions to help them ask better questions, speak more articulately to talent and clients, and to provide them with an overall better understanding of the roles that they’re filling—a more efficient and deliberate recruiting marketplace helps everyone.

Part of that course includes the top five areas that every technical recruiter must be able to discern, but which many people with non-technical backgrounds often find confusing. Having just a little bit of knowledge around these areas will help anyone with a non-technical background have more effective conversations with those that do “talk tech.”

Read the full article here...

CNBC - Brain Drain in Silicon Valley

Partner Iain Grant caught up with CNBC to discuss the perceived "brain drain" in Silicon Valley as Twitter and other tech companies who are trying to stem the tide with more and more sweeteners for top talent.

Fortune - How to Choose the Right Tech Recruiter

If you're a developer with a litany of hot coding languages in your tool belt (and on your LinkedIn profile), chances are you're getting hit up by recruiters left and right for new opportunities. For those who are on the market for a new role, sorting through all the clutter can be a nightmare--how do you know what's truly legit? That's where having a real live human recruiter comes in handy--someone you can trust and who knows what they're doing. Rivi Founding Partner Ali Behnam gave some advice on how to find this person in a recent Fortune article.

(Fortune) - How to Choose the Right Tech Recruiter

Your best bet is a referral from someone you know.

Dear Annie: How do I go about finding a recruiter who will help me change jobs? I’ve been unhappy with my current company for a while now, and I’d like to negotiate for a better deal than I have here. I have 11 years of experience as a software developer, and for the past year or two I’ve gone out of my way to get familiar with languages — Scala, Apple Xcode, Ruby on Rails — that I know are “hot” right now.

Like every other developer I know, I’m getting 50 spams a day from “recruiters” who claim to have job offers and, while some of them might be legit, it’s hard to tell, so I’m just deleting them. I tried contacting a couple of recruiting firms, but so far no one has gotten back to me. Any suggestions on locating a human being who will work with me on finding my next job? — Silicon Alleycat

Read the full article here...

Recruiting as a Career: A Fitting Background

When most people think of recruiting, they think sales. So it’s natural to assume that someone with a sales background would fit right in as a recruiter. While this isn’t patently untrue, the fact is that recruiting at Rivi is about a lot more than selling a job to a person or a person to a candidate. It’s execution, delivery, communication, human interaction, technical expertise--and a whole lot of organization.

In this business, you still have to define requirements, manage scope, have weekly status calls, and juggle multiple clients--all with their different challenges. That may seem daunting, but really it means that people from a variety of backgrounds are able to find a fitting career as a recruiter. At Rivi, we have several former engineers and product developers on our team--as a firm specializing in product and engineering hires, that’s probably no surprise. But walk around our offices, and you’ll also find former communications specialists, hiring managers, IT consultants and, yes, salespeople.

The key is a passion for the job. If you get excited about the chance to meet CEOs and execs of world class companies every few weeks, and the opportunity to help them solve a talent problem, then chances are you’ll fit right into our world of recruiting. Also, if you’ve ever been on the other side of the table--as someone who has worked at or hired for a technology startup--that experience and ability to relate translates into a valuable skill for this career.

This business is fast-paced and changing, helps you stay sharp and learn technology at top levels, and work with coolest companies in the world. And we’re only just beginning. We intend to reinvent the antiquated world of recruiting, just as the world changed for travel agents, and is changing for real estate agents. Anyone who’s excited for this change--and the challenges--will enjoy the ride.