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Which markets and which technology areas have the biggest demand?
The major metropolitans: Chicago is tight. The Bay Area is very tight. New England is tightening up. Tampa, believe it or not, is a very tough market to recruit on. As far as [technology], anything related to the data center is incredibly hot: virtualization, unified communication. Cisco RNS, anything around security. Anything related to data center is in such unbelievable demand. The folks in those skill sets, a year ago if you got them an offer, they couldn't sign fast enough. Today, you give them an offer and they have multiple offers in hand and they play them against each other. It's almost like bidding on a deal today.
Are VARs looking for entry-level positions or more senior-level positions?
A lot of times, they don't come to us with entry level because they don't want to pay the fee. It's the mid and higher level. The lower level they can fill through word of mouth. That's not to say we don't get help desk type role but our bread and butter is the mid to high end.
What are some other trends you see in the job market today?
Salaries are going up. The battle for impactful players has become more intense. The founders of this company have been at this 12 to 13 years and they tell me this is the tightest labor market they've ever seen. Even more so than the dot-com days.
Is it just technical talent or are VARs looking to you to fill other roles too?
It's sales, marketing, operations. Anything related to that VAR. We're seeing a lot of uptick in the requests for executives, the sales management-type roles. Companies see the growth and they need the right person to drive it.
There's been an increase in M&A activity among VARs the last couple of years. What impact has that had on hiring and on technical employees looking for jobs?
What we see from M&A is that engineers that were working for a small to midsize firm are being swallowed up by big firms. But they want to be more than a number. They proactively approach us and say 'Hey, if something pops up….' They want to be sure to stay where they are recognized for their value.
What advice do you have for VARs looking to bring on additional, strong technical or sales staff?
Have a clear, concise vision of what you're looking for. Act quickly. Good talent is not staying on the market. If you go three or four days without sending an update to a candidate, you'll probably lose that candidate. When you make an offer, don't lowball them. The market has shifted. It's a candidate market. Come with your best offer off the bat. Do the soft things like communicate with the candidate. Make them feel part of your team. After you e-mail the offer, call them and tell them you're looking forward to start building that relationship.
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