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Jon Gundersgaard Revisted: Three Decades of Staffing Wisdom

Posted on April 26, 2010
Filed Under Diversity, Interviews | 3 Comments

Jon Gundersgaard
Sr. Technical Recruiter at Seagate Technology
Twitter Profile
• Community Volunteering: I have spent a lot of time at Inner Light Ministries which is an Omni Faith outreach ministry and am active in a men’s group. I am part of a Vipassana meditation group. I am part of a Multiple Sclerosis support group.
• Office/Cell Number : (831) 9-319/831 332-265
• Personal Email:

PART ONE: Meet Jon Gundersgaard: 30 Years of Corp Staffing Expertise, Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis

The interview with Jon attracted an overwhelming response. His life story is one of challenges and hope, and a real passion for our industry. In continuing with our efforts to spotlight his contributions, we continue with the second installment of our initial discussion and share his insight of over three decades of expertise. Jon is one special person, endeared by many privileged to have worked with him and to have been in his circles. His input initiated the Disability Candidate Experience Survey, and for that and so many other reasons we thank him for inspiring all of us.

Q&A with Jon Gundersgaard: PART 2

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?

JON: If you mean how many are hired who simply apply by themselves it is not a large number. About 35% of our hires are referrals. The rest come from various sources. Technical people need to be found and do not usually come to a website. We have used job boards in the past but they are becoming less productive. LinkedIn is becoming a major source and we are working to expand our tool kit so we can go find more top candidates.

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

JON: Employee referrals is the most in the U. S. but I do not know exact numbers.

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?

JON: People who just apply would be the lowest cost because there is no cost but the quality is not high. Employee referrals is the next lowest cost at about $1500. LinkedIn is the most effective for passive candidates at about 2-3K per hire. I have found some top managerial and technical people on LinkedIn.

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

JON: We look for engineers and technical professionals from the disk drive industry.

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

JON: We do not have any formal sourcing training. We get a lot of training on use of our internal systems and I get training anywhere I can which includes numerous Webinars from many different sources. We are planning to have more formal training in the near future.

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?

JON: LinkedIn which I have used internationally and we have made hires is APAC and EMEA as well as the U. S. We have a corporate account and I have posted jobs, used groups and sent thousands of emails to passive candidates. We have used Google, Yahoo and Bing. We have posted on numerous niche boards for specific skills. We use specific boards for APAC and for EMEA.

Six Degrees: What tools did you first encounter early in your recruitment career?

JON: Since my first recruiting was 30 years ago I do know how much would be relevant today. We ran lots of newspaper ads, screened candidates and hand carried resume’s to managers to discuss candidate skills. I kept a folder for every job and filled it with hard copy resume’s of top candidates.

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?

JON: I thought more people would be really excited about the job opportunities I had to offer. I did not realize how much I would have to sell the job and the company and how much I would have to know about the job itself.

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.

JON: I expect to facilitate chance at my place of work by bringing state of the art social media sourcing tools into our organization and build processes which allow recruiters and sourcers from anywhere in the world to support hiring managers anywhere in the world.

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

JON: The best practice that I adopted was the use of LinkedIn for recruiting. It was very new
at the time though almost everyone uses it now.

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

JON: The greatest frustration is communicating with managers around the world to get exact descriptions of what they want in a candidate. It is also frustrating to learn to use all of the new sourcing tools available. I always feel like a rookie with social media.

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

JON: Probably changing directions too often. Many places come up with great ideas but then move on to other great ideas and do not implement.

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?

JON: I really like the satisfaction of finding the right person for a job and the right job for a candidate.

Six Degrees: What one thing do you ideally hope to accomplish in 2008?

JON: Nothing in 2008 since it is over. In 2010 I hope to become a skilled international sourcer. I also hope to become a very skilled social media recruiter who can do a lot more than I can today.

Six Degrees: Anything you want to plug?

JON: Just the company I work for. Seagate is a great place to work.


3 Responses to “Jon Gundersgaard Revisted: Three Decades of Staffing Wisdom”

  1. Brian Kevin Johnston on April 27th, 2010 9:32 am

    Thoroghly enJOYed this interview series with Jon! I LOVE it when you read about recruiters who LOVE there job, and have passion/fulfillment in there careers! Best, Brian-

  2. Brad Cook on April 29th, 2010 6:31 pm

    Great interview series Dave. Great insight Jon into how your world has changed over the years. I really enjoyed reading your recruiting life story. May all your goals and aspirations come to fruition. Regards Brad

  3. Emily on May 6th, 2010 12:05 pm

    The irony of this economic downturn is that there are more people than ever on the job market. As an executive recruiter, your job is to find them, assess them, and then sell them on your client’s opportunity. And for the most part, you’re very good at those last two parts. You know a solid candidate when you see one, and you’re very good at selling them on your client’s opportunity. Your strength is in building relationships, assessing professional and personal qualities, and helping companies meet their organizational needs.

    You’re a people person.

    But finding those people is often time-consuming and tedious. It’s even harder in an economic downturn, when the unemployment rolls are flooded with people — some qualified, some not — looking for work. Separating the wheat from the chaff – fighting the temptation to settle for the most available as opposed to the most qualified — gets harder in times like these.

    Frankly, it can be a waste of your time. Why spend time making cold calls to passive candidates and weeding through tons of unemployed job seekers when you could be closing searches and developing new clients.

    So consider outsourcing this phase of the process to a company that specializes in research. These firms, also called research recruiting firms, executive search research firms, candidate sourcing firms or name generation firms, know your time is better spent meeting candidates and working with clients.