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Meet Ryan Phillips – How Does She Do It? Part 2

Posted on September 17, 2008
Filed Under Interviews, | Comments Off on Meet Ryan Phillips – How Does She Do It? Part 2

By Dave Mendoza, Affiliate Partner, JobMachine Profile
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Part one was originally published on
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?

RYAN: I think that referrals always make better candidates and are far more likely to have an offer extended than someone from the streets; however even more desired are those passive candidates that are not looking and never even stopped to think that a competitor would seek to hire them.

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

RYAN: The volume of hires I think come in through applicants; however those are for lower level positions mainly. I think the volume of hires in higher level positions come from retained searchers like myself and contract recruiters as we are not using tranditional sourcing methods to fill these positions.

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?

RYAN: Internal applicants or referrals from current employees

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

RYAN: I only work on engineering positions and mainly system level engineers to work on different tools and parts of the Core Operating system. This could be BIOS level, device driver level or OS level engineers.

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

RYAN: Well, I try to attend ERE online seminars when they come through to me. I also read many recruiting Blogs and Web pages devoted to the latest and greatest discoveries for recruiters. Today, in fact, I read about how people are using Facebook for recruitment. I have been using Facebook myself already; however I was not aware of the full capability for searching.

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?

RYAN: I use technology Blog sites such as as well as networking sites like LinkedIn and Facebook; however there are also tons of sites that are devoted to specific technologies that I often visit for recruiting those specific types of engineers.

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

RYAN: I think I originally signed up on while in college to just mainly keep in touch with friends from High School and college; however I never guess I could find viable candidates there. I recently recruited an engineer from that site and was shocked to learn how much easier it was to get in touch with them quickly. Also, you do not have to pay for MySpace as you do for Sites like Plaxo and LinkedIn, so connecting is free.

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?

RYAN: I remember people telling me that Technical Recruiting was so hard and I was crazy to want to be in that area. I found that it is actually much easier and more precise than business, marketing or even financial arenas for me. I can easily read about a technology by finding information about it on Google instantly and then am able to identify where to find those candidates based on targeting engineers from the companies that make those products first. It’s a much easier way to source. Obviously you aren’t going to find the guy that makes the software for routers at Oracle much like you probably would not find a guy who has worked on a data warehouse product development team at Cisco.

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

RYAN: Can I only name one? There have been many as I am still learning everyday. I think my worst issue in the past has been not closing candidates properly for the counter offer. When you are doing passive candidate searches, this is really important as when they answer the phone and you offer them a potential opportunity and they aren’t actively looking, usually the first thing on their mind is ….hmm maybe I should see if I can get more $$. I have tried to ensure several times this would not happen; however we all know people lie.

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.

RYAN: My biggest compliment has been from the engineers that have interviewed for me or that I have actually placed. They have helped me build my network. Every time I have a new position I immediately send them to those people as it almost always returns at least one resume. The best part is that many of these folks have actually become friends that I spend time with and they will always return to ask me to help if they are ever looking for another position. I think it is very important to add human touch in recruiting.

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

RYAN: I think the most important thing in recruiting is to really understand the position you are recruiting for before trying to match anyone to that requirement. I strive hard to research technologies to ensure that when I get that engineer on the phone, whom is the perfect match, that they know that I understand why they are important in the development of said technology.

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

RYAN: It really bothers me when feedback on a candidate is vague and I am unable to give the candidate anything to understand why they were not chosen for that particular role. I try to give engineers tools to help further their career in the future. One of these tools is getting Brainbench certified. I have found that engineers with recent Brainbench certifications are more readily accepted as applicants than others.

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

RYAN: I think the worst thing in any staffing company is not having managers held accountable for feedback. When a hiring manager says that they have a “critical” role to fill and need resumes yesterday, they should be held accountable to respond with feedback in a legitimate timeframe. Sales and account managers need to have more courage to walk away from a client that refuses to abide by this standard. If a role is considered “critical” and thus needs to be filled right away, then the hiring manager should commit to both timely feedback as well as making room on their daily planner for interviewing both by phone and in-person. Too many people are afraid of losing a client rather than filling a job. It is difficult to fill a job if the feedback from a manager is not immediate. This leaves too much time for a candidate to become disinterested because they no longer feel important or even possibly find another opportunity. Once this happens then you are back to looking again for another candidate which can turn into a bad vicious cycle and working harder not smarter. Especially in a situation where a hiring manager is looking for a rare skill-set, this should be addressed prior to identification of any candidate.

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?

RYAN: The candidates inspire me. I get so excited sometimes to talk to some of these people as they are excited about what they do and so open to telling me how they do it. This is what makes the day so much more interesting.

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

RYAN: I hope to find a way to become even more efficient


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