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International Staffing Perspectives: DORAN PARSONS, DELL, Talent Acquisition Manager – Bratislava, Slovak Republic

Posted on June 6, 2007
Filed Under Global Staffing Perspectives, Interviews, Recruitment Industry, Sourcing Techniques | Comments Off on International Staffing Perspectives: DORAN PARSONS, DELL, Talent Acquisition Manager – Bratislava, Slovak Republic

By Dave Mendoza, Master Cybersleuth, JobMachine Inc.

To Connect directly with Doran Parsons on LinkedIn, simply click here
and insert his email: Doran_Parsons @

This week I initiated a series of discussions to engage global perspectives among fellow colleagues in the staffing industry from each corner of the Earth, in the spirit of fostering best practices and understanding. As part of my continuing effort to research perspectives and identify fundamental patterns among recruiters, newspapers and other mediums, and the role of demographics, I have reached out to global staffing leaders and recruiters to inquire on their methods of recruitment, to examine their personal efforts to develop social networking relationships to foster talent pools, and to identify the types of job boards, blogs, user forums, Listservs, etc. particular and useful to their countries, regions and continents. Today another small step forward to initiate a series of inquiries in the hopes that together we can learn from each other.

Again, I thank each of my colleagues in advance for their willingness to confront the questions posed. Your contributions will assist in identifying patterns we can sort together as part of an ongoing discussion. I invite the staffing organizations of Corporate America and Multi-National companies to share in the dialogue.

(*** INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING? If you are an overseas staffing professional, and wish to be interviewed as part of this series to share your perspective, please email me at ldavemendoza @

International Staffing Perspectives:
DORAN PARSONS, DELL, Talent Acquisition Manager, Bratislava, Slovak Republic
Second In A Series

Doran serves as Talent Acquisition Manager on behalf of Dell’s Bratislava offices in the Solvak Republic – Dell’s largest office within EMEA. He oversees a recruitment team of 15, which is charged with hiring 2,200 people for the site. IN adition, Doran has assumed the additional role of “Recruitment Manager EMEA Emerging Markets” which incorporates all of the countries that Dell is establishing new operations in. Specifically, Doran assumes responsibility for the countries of Slovakia, Russia, CIS states, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Turkey, Israel, UAE, Saudi, all other Middle East and African countries, excluding South Africa and Morocco.

Doran began his career in an international recruitment firm which specialised in Emerging Markets. During his time in Search he was based in London, Bucharest and Warsaw. Doran later transitioned into an internal recruitment role the single greatest impact on his recruiting career. Moving to an internal recruitment role after leaving executive search. It was a bigger change of working style than I had imagined, but loved every minute of it.

His corporate recruitment career has been primarily working on behalf of technology firms. Doran has held recruitment management positions with Scient Corp, Sage and Ingersoll Rand. Doran has been based in London, New York, Munich and Dublin. He joined Dell in 2004 as Recruitment Manager for the Dublin office. In April 2006 he then transitioned to the Dell Bratislava Staffing Manager role, as Dell targeted Bratislava to become its largest office in EMEA, with over 2000 employees. Doran recently took on an additional role of Recruitment Manager for Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa.

How did you get into recruiting?

“I studied European business at university, and wanted to get into a role that might be sales related, and would allow me to have lots of international experience. Someone suggested International Executive Search to me. When I looked into it I was really interested, and my recruitment career took off from there.”

Do you direct source from competitor companies? If not, why not? (What re your three top specific ways to find talent)?

“We source the best fit candidate for any given role – if that means they come from competitor companies (as it often does) then so be it. However, we are attracting these candidates in a relatively passive manner, i.e. we’re using all advertising and referral channels available, and searching in online databases. We’re not directly approaching potential candidates in competitor companies for two reasons:

1), the negative impact on your employment brand that can have in small employment markets like Slovakia,

2), the myriad of laws in various European jurisdictions preventing this sort of approach.”

What job boards, online forums, blogs, etc are value in your search for talent within your region?

“The large international job boards (i.e. Monster and its affiliates) are invaluable to us, including their database search capabilities. We combine these with local specialist job boards, for example, dominates the online recruitment market in Slovakia with a huge majority share of the market. Forums and blogs usage for recruitment is still in its infancy in Central and Eastern Europe, although some of the technical discussion forums have proved useful for our more complicated IT Services hiring across EMEA.

What talent niche groups do you target and are these particular talent areas specialized and abundant within particular countries under your review?

“For our Bratislava site we have two main challenges –
1) Volume recruitment of fluent German speaking staff who perform phone based roles in Sales, Tech Support and Customer Care in German, as our site here supports the German, Austrian and Swiss markets.

2) Building a sustainable pipeline of finance professionals, as we are making Bratislava our key EMEA Business Center, and centralising as many finance teams here as possible. Bratislava has only 2% unemployment, in other words we are beyond full employment. With ever increasing foreign direct investment in Slovakia, this means we are in one of the most competitive recruitment markets in Europe. We’re fortunate that the universities are pumping out just enough fluent German speakers, and graduates with functional skills in finance and marketing to meet our demand. However, with each year competition for graduates is increasing, and retention of heavily trained employees will always be an issue for all multinationals in Bratislava. Dell has invested heavily in a university relations program which is not only designed to ensure our employment proposition reaches the relevant undergraduates, but also to suggest changes to curriculae which may better prepare students for the multinational working environment.”

How are US and European recruitment culture different? How are they similar?

“I’ve worked in New York and 6 European countries, and for both US and British companies, so I’ve had a chance to compare the recruitment cultures. I would say that in my experience the culture changes with the company rather than the geography.”

Is recruitment technology and sourcing utilized to the extent practiced in the USA? (What areas and how are they different)

“I think that the US is streets ahead of Europe in terms of using blogs, forums and networking sites, events and associations for sourcing purposes. The UK is probably leading Europe in utilizing these sourcing techniques, but there’s still a lot of development to come.”

What networking groups are available and influential within Europe as a whole and within your country in particular?

“Alumni groups and Chambers of Commerce are invaluable.”

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

“Dell has substantial in house trainings to develop command and influencing skills. For assessment and sourcing development we tend to rely on external suppliers for this sort of training.”

What inspires you to stay in recruiting?

“I personally find job satisfaction in feeling that I’m building something. Recruitment is a very tangible value add to business growth, its easy to see the contribution you are making to a growing business.”

Next Up ….Floris Van Steensel, Netherlands


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