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* As First Published on RecruitingBlogs.com
Director of Sourcing and Operations
Bluespeed Technology, Inc.
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• BlueSpeed, Company Website
Meet RecruitingBlogs.com Regular, Eric Gilson, an ACIR, Advanced Certified Internet Recruiter whose personal motto, “Helping the Fast eat the Slow since 2001” caught my eye along with his insightful, daily chat contributions.
Eric directs all sourcing activities for Bluespeed Technology including industry research, cold-calls, power searches, job posting management and internal database management.
He oversees all operational functions for the firm including vendor evaluation and selection, training of new employees and “taking out the trash on Fridays.” His primary candidate focus is Lean Manufacturing of Qualified Professionals, and to that end, he is immersing himself further in his expertise area by seeking a Green Belt certification/Six Sigma.
RBC regulars may not be aware of this, but aside from being an avid outdoorsman, Eric was once an Executive Chef at Deschutes Brewery & Public Ale House for over 6 years (1994 – 2000). He managed a 25 member kitchen staff with over 2 Million dollars in annual sales. Never one to be second best, Eric was likewise recognized as Winner of the 1999 National Brewpub of the Year Award from Brewpub Magazine for quality of food and atmosphere. He organized the ‘Chef of the Sagebrush Classic’, one of the Northwest’s premier culinary and golf event featuring international celebrity chefs.
Basically you can come to Eric for his expertise on field dressing elk, cooking it, and targeting passive Lean Manufacturing candidates. We have ourselves a bona fide, one-stop machine in Eric Gilson.
Six Degrees: Tell us of your home world.
Eric: I live in what Business 2.0 claims to be one of the top 5 places to telecommute in the US, Bend, OR. My girlfriend and I share a home with one dog and 4 cats on the Westside of Bend. I have lived in the area since 1993 when I visited for what was supposed to be a 3 week vacation during summer break from the University of Minnesota. I never returned. I still have that unused return plane ticket somewhere.
I very much enjoy the outdoors. From Fly-Fishing to Archery Hunting, nothing makes me feel more alive than spending time in the Great Outdoors. I spent a year as a Fly-Fishing Guide on the Deschutes River. I would still be doing it if it had paid my bills!
Six Degrees: How many years have you been in the staffing industry?
Eric: I started recruiting in early 2001, just as everything was starting to take a nosedive. I learned enough in those first 6 months of running my own recruiting desk that there had to be a better way. And with the slowing economy that 9-11 helped to exaggerate, we knew that we had better figure out a better way or we weren’t going to make it. So began the process of segmenting roles in the recruiting process.
Six Degrees: How did you get started as a recruiter?
Eric: A colleague from a previous employer went to work for a small firm in Sun Valley. After seeing what type of person it takes to be a successful recruiter, he decided that he would start his own firm and hire a couple of people that he knew who could do this work. I was a Fly-Fishing guide at the time, and it fishing season was closed, so I gave it a shot.
That was 8 years ago, and I have only looked back once. (The Steelhead counts were very large in 2003) I now handle all of the Sourcing and Operational functions within Bluespeed, focusing my development in these key areas. I have worked across many different verticals and horizontals but am now very niched in IT and Management Consulting Firms. We are looking to help build the next Big 4.
Six Degrees: What single event had the most impact on your sourcing/recruiting career?
Eric: 2001! When things slowed, it was apparent that I had better become very good at my job or I wouldn’t have one in this industry.
Do you have a mentor to whom you attribute your overall outlook on recruitment, capabilities, and/or model your career after?
Eric: I have worked very closely with Kendall Messner of Bluespeed to develop Processes, Best Practices, and Customer Experiences that my mother is proud of.
Six Degrees: Tell us about your position, responsibilities, size of your staffing organization:
Eric: As the Director of Sourcing and Operations for Bluespeed Technology, I am responsible for:
• Candidate and/or Name Sourcing
• Industry Research
• Process Development
• Newsletter Creation
• Technical Operations
• Vendor Relations
• Development of Reports
• Taking out the trash
Six Degrees: (A) What other companies’ recruiting operations do you admire or have heard are best-practice examples?
Krista Bradford – The Good Search
Rachelle Williams – APQC
Chris Murdoch – Yahoo, Inc.
(B) In what aspects are they superior?
Kaye/Bassman – Implementation of the empowerment model. Creating sense of Ownership
Krista Bradford – Best Practices align so well with ours. We seem to have re-invented the same wheel.
Rachelle Williams – Because she is hot and likes Sushi.
Chris Murdoch – Great attitude on the business and work
Six Degrees: What recent general news story or industry trend do you feel will have an impact on your work in the future? Why?
Eric: We are very diversified across many industries. I believe that the Healthcare arena will go through major changes due to the new Obama administration and suggest that everyone read Tom Daschle’s book, What We Can Do About the Health-care Crisis to get an idea of where that industry is going and how it will affect other industries. This isn’t just Hospitals. This will affect Payer, Providers and all of their vendors.
Six Degrees: What is the source of the “Most Hires” collected from at your present employer? (In terms of Quantity #)
Eric: Word of mouth. We like to play the 6 degrees from Kevin Bacon game.
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?
Eric: Our lowest cost per hires involves professionals who come back to us based on experiences they or someone they know has had with Bluespeed Technology. Whether they are Hiring Mangers or Most Placeable Candidates, returning customers cost us very little.
Six Degrees: What talent niche groups do you target and are these particular talent areas specialized under your review?
Eric: Alumni of Big4 Consulting Firms
Six Degrees: What types of training in sourcing/recruitment are available to you and have you taken advantage of?
Eric: The amount of training available in this industry is astoundingly vast. I have completed AIRS Certified and Advanced Certified training. I spend 3-4 hours each week watching videos or attending Webinars from the likes of Scott Love, Shally Streckle, and others. Lately, I have been spending time on sites such as Recruitingblogs.com and MagicMethod.ning.com
Additionally, reading is key. I just finished the Encore Effect from Mark Sanborn and am now reading Jeffrey Gitomer’s Colorful Little Books. Next on the shelf is You Inc. by Harry Beckwith.
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?
Eric: I use Gopher from Blackdog Recruiting Software. It is an ATS that was designed and built by a recruiter. It has many compelling attributes including the ability to use it in an ASP environment. It is very customizable and integrates fully with my Outlook Application allowing it to automatically record and save all email correspondences as well ad build and manage email campaigns. It does acknowledge and Country Code, but it cannot translate from French, Spanish Chinese or Greek.
Six Degrees: What tools (technology or old school file folder, for example) did you first encounter early in your recruitment career?
ANSWER: Monster and the Telephone.
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?
Eric: At first, I couldn’t believe that anyone would pay us for what we were doing. I had no idea how difficult this job was. The more I learned about the job, the more I realized WHY people would pay us. There are lots of people keeping tabs on the top performers in every industry. If you don’t have a couple of these individuals or firms working for you, then you’re losing to the competition. It was very comforting to realize that this job is very important and very deserving of every penny made while doing it properly.
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.
Eric: You are getting into some proprietary information here Dave. I’ll let you know after launch, but think ‘A-la-carte’…….
Six Degrees: “Best practice” you are most proud of developing (now or in the past) in your recruiting career?
Eric: The Triple Filtered Process of evaluating candidates prior to introducing them to our client. It allows each individual in the process to pay close attention to developing and using specific skills within our “Search and Employ Process”. Segmentation of duties.
Six Degrees: What are some of the frustrating aspects/obstacles to your day to day as a staffing professional and in general?
Eric: Untruthful Candidates and Untruthful Hiring Managers
Six Degrees: What are the most common themes of strategic and/or tactical mishaps involving past or present HR/Staffing org?
Eric: A general lack of understanding from Corporate America of the value Third Party Recruiters bring to the Hiring table.
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?
Eric: The challenge and pursuit of excellence gets me into the office everyday. There is always something to learn, someone to meet. This career offers many different paths of success and forces one to grow beyond their wildest dreams.
Six Degrees: What one thing do you ideally hope to accomplish in 2009?
Eric: In the coming year, I would like to build out a Sourcing Practice to provide Internet Sourcing Solutions that are tailored made for individual external clients. The Resume Machine!!!
Six Degrees: Anything you want to plug?
Eric: Visit our company website, www.bluespeed.net
Six Degrees: How Are You Going To Change The Recruitment Industry?
Eric: Educate Internal Hiring Teams on how to get the best out of their relationships with Third Party Recruiters.