Dan Contreras is an expert IT recruiter that has been in the business for over a decade. During that time the advent of Social Media, online communities and networking in cyberspace has exploded. Being a Social Media and online community addict I have seen how both have assisted many find their dream job. Even I have used Social Media and a few online communities to build relationships and make contacts to land job interviews. Clearly, recruiters discovered the value of Social Media and online communities when sourcing candidates for opportunities, so I grilled Dan about the convergence of Social Media and job recruiting.
1. How many years have you been a technical recruiter?
Almost 11 years.
2. Which recruiting agencies have you worked with and for how long at each company?
I started my recruiting career at Volt Services in Redmond in 1999. I left there in February 2004 and went to Excell Data. I was at Excell Data until September 2007.
3. While at Volt Services what expertise areas did you recruit and did you recruit for a specific product?
I specialized in recruiting for Software Testers and Developers for contract roles at Microsoft. I didn’t support any specific product at that time, but after I recruited for Microsoft, I moved into a “Northwest Recruiting” team which focused on Puget Sound area IT clients like RealNetworks, Expedia, Accenture and Premera Healthcare.
4. While at Excell Data what expertise areas did you recruit and did you recruit for a specific product?
When I joined Excell, my first two clients I recruited for were Ford Motor Company in Detroit and Kaiser Permanente in Portland. I moved from my focus area of SW development design and local IT giants, to COBOL, Citrix and Oracle SME’s.
5. While at (in-house at Microsoft) what expertise areas did you recruit and did you recruit for a specific product?
When I joined Microsoft, I spent my first two years as the Primary Staffing Consultant for Microsoft Surface, the multi-touch platform that allows groups of people to engage simultaneously on a 360-degree tabletop interface. I helped recruit UX Designers, Interaction Designers, Electrical Engineers, Mechanical Engineers, Optical Engineers, Hardware Testers, Product Managers, Brand Managers and HW Design Verification Engineers. Currently, I am supporting the Manufacturing, Supply Chain, Information & Services (MSCIS) organization. I specifically support the Sourcing & Planning and Reliability & Packaging Business groups. My focus today is Component Sourcing Managers, Supply Chain Planners, Global Supply Chain Managers, Reliability Test Engineers, Failure Analysis Engineers and Business Intelligence Developers.
6. Do you leverage Social Media?
7. Do you use Social Media to locate candidates?
I use LinkedIn primarily, for reviewing candidate referrals and recommendations. For Twitter, I message out about Microsoft news as it pertains to MSCIS, XBOX, Kinect, Bing, Windows Phone 7 and other related areas. I sometimes use Facebook to provide myself as a contact for my Facebook friends and their friend’s friend networks and so on and so on. Facebook friends are very social and trusting. If they have specific questions about Microsoft, they know how to find me.
8. Amplify job opportunities?
Yes, being a part of the Interactive Entertainment Business group at Microsoft, all job postings are automatically uploaded to LinkedIn. If I have a niche career opportunity, I will send some details out to my LinkedIn network and/or Tweet about a specific area of focus that I’m hiring for.
9. How else do you utilize Social Media?
I like sharing what’s going on within my client group or something IEB specific, like XBOX updates or information about game releases, some followers might find that interesting. For example, MSCIS is the end-to-end supply chain operations that support a broad portfolio of Microsoft SW, HW and Services. This includes gaming, packaged software, PC Hardware, music, mobility, XBOX Live, Zune Marketplace and MicrosoftStore.com. Sharing news, updates and experiences from the team helps me provide a story about how my client group operates, what’s important to them and simply, what’s going on in their world.
10. Do you leverage online communities as a technical recruiter?
Not much. I do follow a few specific ‘recruiting’ industry blogs and recruiting groups for best practices in recruiting, hiring, HR news, compensation analysis and stuff like that.
11. Do you use those communities to identify candidates?
One of my former colleagues set up a specific community about 3 years ago called Reliability Engineering on a Global Scale. It was created for engineers to gather to discuss topics related to reliability engineering, hardware and component engineering. The group is nearing 1,000 members now and has been a good outlet to share engineering opportunities with its members. I’ve also joined a few other niche-engineering communities in supply chain on LinkedIn, but that’s about it.
12. Amplify job opportunities?
Yes, I have the ability to share jobs on the Reliability Engineering on a Global Scale group page, but I haven’t recently advertised on there.
This is just part one of three posts. The second article about Social Media and job recruiting continues with the line of questioning above. The third post is a deeper dive focusing entirely on how a seasoned recruiter leverages LinkedIn.