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Doug Munro, “Tales of a DC Defense Talent Expert”

Posted on June 19, 2011
Filed Under Interviews | 1 Comment


• Doug Munro, Staffing Director at Interferometrics
LinkedIn Profile
Facebook
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Corporate Website
• Office (703) 227-8415
• Cell: (202) 957-4620
Email Doug

Music: Depeche Mode, Sade, Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye, Coldplay
Books: Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets, Shutter Island, Black Hawk Down, The Road, The Da Vinci Code
Movies: The King’s Speech, Do the Right Thing, The Godfather Part II, The Godfather, Good Will Hunting
Television: The Wire, Fringe, Cougar Town, American Idol, and Modern Family

Q&A with Doug Munro

Six Degrees: How many applicants at your present employer do you estimate are hired from your corporate website as compared to how many are hired through referrals?

Doug:I’d say we are at roughly 10% employee referrals, 40% direct sourcing, 30% external job postings (job boards and niche sites), and 20% through our website. Among my goals are to increase the figures for employee referrals by engaging our folks and keeping them abreast of what we need and increase traffic to our site to bolster that figure.

Six Degrees: What is the source of the “Most Hires” collected from at your present employer? (In terms of Quantity #)

Doug:Direct sourcing accounts for the highest figure. Because of the very limited pool of qualified candidates with the requisite security clearances there is a constant need to ferret out talent.

Six Degrees: What is the source of your “LOWEST COST OF HIRES” – (least amount of invested resources for the easiest hires, regardless of quality) at your present employer?

Doug: I would say external job postings. I’m able to cross-reference postings on a multitude of sites to generate a steady flow with a minimal investment of resources. Integrating that with targeted efforts to drive traffic to our site builds a robust model; it creates a schema that works for me even when I’m not working, which is the essence of efficiency.

Six Degrees: What talent niche groups do you target and are these particular talent areas specialized under your review?

Doug:Currently the most significant group is Intelligence Analysts with very agency-specific backgrounds, but I also target highly-cleared Information Technology specialists in a broad range of disciplines: Software Engineering, Database Development and Administration, Systems and Network Engineering, and Systems Administration. One of the great things about working in such a clearance-centric recruiting environment is that I have had to recruit against a wide variety of positions, in and out of IT. I’m fortunate to be able to evaluate candidates with diverse skillsets.

Six Degrees: What types of training in sourcing/recruitment are available to you and have you taken advantage of?

Doug:In the last couple of positions training took a back seat to adding additional job boards and human resources, so I wasn’t able to do much in the way of formal training. Interferometrics, however, has an excellent benefits program in that regard so I’m currently evaluating a variety of courses, seminars, and certifications. I can’t wait to get started!

Six Degrees: What recruitment software tools do you use in your day to day recruitment activities & do they translate effectively within all of the different countries where you recruit?

Doug:There weren’t any tools in place when I arrived at Interferometrics. The first step has been to establish a proper foundation for recruiting: adding functionality to the website, fully utilizing the available targeted job boards, and beginning to forge a translatable company culture. Once that foundation is more fully realized we’ll start adding more tools to the mix. We recruit only within the United States, so translating our approach into different markets isn’t a factor.

Six Degrees: What tools (technology or old school file folder, for example) did you first encounter early in your recruitment career?

Doug:Contrary to those who know me who believe I was alive during the Lincoln administration, things weren’t significantly different when I started recruiting. Information was stored to a higher degree in hard copy form, which I don’t miss at all. One thing I do remember fondly is hand written thank you notes being utilized far more often. Something about someone taking the time to put pen to paper and mail a note still resonates with me.

Six Degrees: How did your expectations of being a recruiter compare to the actual, first time you got on the phone or in the cubicle? In your opinion, how do people’s assumptions about our vocation differ from reality?

Doug:I think I generally believed it was a pretty easy job: get on the phone, talk to people, give them jobs. I knew it was a little more complicated than that of course, but it was a shock to the system to learn how much went into effective recruiting: the sourcing, the learning curve on position requirements, candidate management, client management, compensation negotiation. I was amazed at how many elements there were and how much information I had to absorb.

Six Degrees: Worst mistake, biggest goof, lousiest practice you thought would fly but didn’t — and how that was a learning experience?

Doug:There have probably been hundreds of them, but I recall becoming acquainted with a very successful recruiter who was incredibly aggressive in his dealings with candidates. He would literally bully them into making choices that favored his clients. It clearly was working for him somehow, so I tried to incorporate some of that pushing into what I was doing…and it was a complete crash and burn. It didn’t suit my mentality and I was obviously projecting something insincere when I did it. I learned the importance of finding your own voice and staying true to it. Each of us has unique qualities that we bring to the job; while it’s important to always look for ways to improve it is imperative to stay true to who you are.

Six Degrees: How do you personally expect to facilitate change within our industry, and/or at your place of work? If you started that process, outline the problem, your solutions, and the vision.

Doug:In my current role I am focusing on employee engagement and company branding. The Federal marketplace is insanely competitive and as a Small Business we have to be able to differentiate ourselves in a positive way to attract and retain the best talent. It’s also very easy for our onsite personnel to identify more with their COTR’s and corporate partners than their own company. I’ve made it a point to involve our people in discussions on how we can develop an even more effective benefits package, shared with them insight into what the company is doing in a broader sense, and solicited their input as to how they envision the company developing. As I’ve recruited, I’ve gathered feedback from candidates on their impressions of the company and how various components resonate with them. Though we’re a 30 year old company, there is an opportunity to significantly impact its culture. My theme to both existing staff and those I’m recruiting is that we can actively create the kind of company we want to work for.

Six Degrees: “Best practice” you are most proud of developing (now or in the past) in your recruiting career?

Doug :I don’t believe I’ve reinvented the wheel on anything. I’ve tried to incorporate the best of what I’ve learned through experience and exposure to other recruiters’ practices into my methodologies. If there’s one thing I’ve found important it’s to try to incorporate something personal into every encounter. It’s important to relay technical detail in a conversation, but I look for a way to interject a personal experience into the communication. I think that it’s vital to connect in a personal fashion; we’re not selling cars, we’re selling what is a huge part of a person’s life and I think candidates are better able to connect to it if they can see their recruiter in human terms.

Six Degrees: What are some of the frustrating aspects/obstacles to your day to day as a staffing professional and in general?

Doug:That could be a very long list: finding the right people with the right skills to meet our technical requirements, working with our partners and the government to get those people through the system, managing the expectations of all parties in the process, getting all those disparate parties to respond in a timely and complete fashion…the list goes on, but if it was easy where would the fun be?

Six Degrees: What are the most common themes of strategic and/or tactical mishaps involving past or present HR/Staffing org?

Doug:I think in the best circumstances Recruiting and Human Resources work in parallel. As recruiters we’re trying to identify top performers and sell them on a position; HR serves to both protect the employee’s interests and make sure all of us are abiding by pertinent law and guidelines. I’ve seen instances where HR can lose sight of that imperative and not serve as effectively as an employee advocate but rather become more of an employer watchdog. We all represent the company, but the employees have to believe that they have someone internally looking out for their best interests above all else.

Six Degrees: Considering all of the frustrations you have experienced in your career as a recruiter, — what inspires you as you continue in your career?

Doug:It’s the people, Dave. Every day I get to meet dozens of people in person, on the phone, through the Internet…and all of those interactions have an impact on me. I learn something every day and what’s better than that? I’m also fortunate in that much of my work ends up, by extension, supporting mission-critical efforts that impact National Security. There’s definitely a satisfaction to that.

Six Degrees: What one thing do you ideally hope to accomplish in 2011? (OR) Six Degrees: What one thing do you find most ideal given the opportunity to develop/ implementing/ invent professionally that has yet to be done.

Doug:Aside from my immediate goal of helping grow Interferometrics, I’d like to become more engaged with the recruiting community at large. I’ve made strides in that area, but I’d like 2011 to a breakout year!

Six Degrees: Anything you want to plug?

Doug:I’d definitely like people to check out www.interf.com. We’re a very cool company and we have an extraordinary history; we’ve engineered some amazing scientific breakthroughs and have a long list of notable accomplishments. On a side note I’d like to plug a movie directed by an old friend of mine named Andrew Shortell. It’s a horror movie called Psych 9 and it’s being released here and in the UK. If you like the genre you’ll love it…you can learn more at www.psych9.com.

Six Degrees: How Are You Going To Change The Recruitment Industry?

Doug:I’m just going to keep pushing forward and trying to soak up all the amazing innovations and new insights that the industry is generating. I’ll apply my perspective and personalize everything I gather, but ultimately the journey is what excites me. It’s an enormous, collaborative community and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.

Comments

One Response to “Doug Munro, “Tales of a DC Defense Talent Expert””

  1. Hiring Sources | Mint Resumes on June 22nd, 2011 12:05 pm

    […] – Dave Mendoza of Six Degrees interviewing Doug Munro of Interferometrics […]