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Meet Ronnie Bratcher: Part 2

Posted on May 8, 2009
Filed Under Interviews | 1 Comment

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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?

Ronnie: I will just stick with Microsoft, just speaking about the specific area I supported. We had huge amounts of applicants through the Corporate website. We utilized OFCCP procedures to manage the process. I would say 15% of the hires were referrals and 20% were through the website. Since I supported some really difficult to find technologies, I utilized other means for the rest of the hires.

Six Degrees: What is the source of the “Most Hires” collected from at your present employer?

Ronnie: I used many different types of sources to connect with candidates at Microsoft. I utilized Social Media tools, forums, Boolean operaters on several different engines, articles and blogs. Every search was different and presented a unique challenge.

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?

Ronnie: The referral program at Microsoft was excellent. Employees out in the field were very good about identifying talent and luring them towards Microsoft. Some of the openings were very niche and with the help of a solid referral program, we were able to fill some very hard to find openings with the referral system. I think investing or empowering your people to help build the team will always drive the cost of hiring down.

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

Ronnie: At Microsoft, I was responsible for finding SR Consultants/ Architects and above in the following technologies: Technologies recruited for: MOSS (Microsoft SharePoint Server), EPM (Project Server 2003/2007), SMS/SCCM/SCOM/MOM, C#, VB.NET, .NET Framework 3.0, .NET Compact Framework, Web Services, XML, ASP.NET, ADO.NET, Windows Forms, Visual Studio.NET, SQL Server, BizTalk Server, Host Integration Server, Project Server, Internet Information Services (IIS) Server, Windows 2000/2003 Server, SOA, WCF, WF, Microsoft Dynamics, ITIL/MOF, Security, ALM (Application Life Cycle Management Architects), Virtualization, Notes Compete and UC Voice- MCS/LCS.

I have experience in other technologies as well, name it, I probably have recruited and hired for it!

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

Ronnie: In Atlanta specifically, we have a strong network of recruiters who always get together be it a dinner, happy hour or a scheduled recruiting meeting. Everyone in our market is willing to share their knowledge and I feel this is some of the best training I have received. We have the Technology Association of Georgia Recruiting Society which serves as a training tool. Then on the national level you have conferences and the many webinars that are provided by a number of trainers. I have taken advantage of them all!

Six Degrees: What recruitment software tools do you use in your day to day recruitment?

Ronnie: I have used several homegrown and off the shelf ATS systems. I usually use what the client currently has. Of course all the online tools that a true recruiter uses, too many to mention here.

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

Ronnie: The Fax machine! Seriously, we would fax resumes to the client and receive contracts through fax. I also loved the hard copies of resumes that were stored in the back room in alphabetical order by skill set. Talk about productivity!

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?

Ronnie: I really did not know what to expect as a recruiter when I first started. While I was with Target, I was always recruiting but never realized it. Then when I started full time and finally got over the fear of the phone, things started rolling. Then it snowballed into what I have built into my tool belt as of today. I think people assume we have an easy job. They think we just get resumes out of thin air and poof, the magic happens. What they do not see is what we balance in a 24hr period. They do not see the value and detail we put into the recruiting process.

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

Ronnie: This is a good one, when I first started I took job orders over the phone from our clients. One day a client called and asked if we recruit Perl Developers. Of course I said yes, but I never heard of that. So, I asked him how do you spell “Perl” as I was thinking “Pearl”. The next thing I heard over the phone was click!! He freaking hung up on me. So the lesson I learned is to do research, learn what the client does, what technologies and can you truly help that customer out. Be honest, be truthful, do not set some expectation that you can recruit donkey’s that can say their ABC’s!

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

Ronnie: Back in 2002 I developed a simple tool to keep organized with my search and recruiting efforts and I use that model even today. I developed a spreadsheet in Excel and modify it for each client. Yea, Yea, I know you can do this with application tracking systems that are currently out there, but when the manager calls me for some type of status, this dashboard is right there in my face, ready to go. It’s a simple tool, but works for me and I have shared with others who go ah ha! I will use that! The other proud thing I can say is I drive quality submittals. I am very passionate about working with a candidate from end to end, I will stay with them until acceptance or denial. I am able to develop relationships and deliver what I promise to the candidate. I become their partner and able to not come across as some salesperson on the phone, even though that’s what we do right?

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

Ronnie: What frustrates me more than anything is when I meet a peer who just does not get it. What I mean by that is they do not take the time to invest in their training, are not willing to go outside the box, not willing to network etc. You have to do more than just log into some paid online job board and ATS to be in this business. You have to build a quality process for your client or company.

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?

Ronnie: What inspires me the most and continues to keep me in this profession is the sense when I am able to connect the candidate to the company and the match works for both parties. I have helped in someone’s career, like an agent, looking out for what is best for both ends. I feel everyone has a right to employment if they choose and I want to be that facilitator within that process.

Six Degrees: What one thing do you ideally hope to accomplish in 2009?

Ronnie: I want to accomplish building my brand nationally and really get across to the community the value I can bring to an organization or project. I would like to continue be in a Contract Recruiter who will help solve a staffing issue with a great return on their investment. On a personal side, continue to race my bike and be an awesome father to my child.

Six Degrees: Anything you want to plug?

Ronnie: Sure, me! Call or e-mail me to learn more about me. Let me know how I can help your organization. I love the recruiting process and delivering results.

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

Ronnie: Oh, I not going to be able to change the industry by myself. But we as an industry can continue to share ideas, assist each other in hard times, share information that can benefit us all. I think that is how we can change. We also need to show hiring managers the value we bring to the team. It’s just not about going on a job board and give me 100 resumes to look at. It’s about delivering quality by taking the time to research, question and source and recruit the targeted audience. Value and integrity will always win over quant


One Response to “Meet Ronnie Bratcher: Part 2”

  1. » Biobattery George Armstrong (ice hockey) on May 9th, 2009 7:22 am

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