Talent At Work: Recruitment and Career Blog

IT recruiters combine personnel skills with tech sector knowledge

Posted on June 6th, by Henry Goldbeck in HR Management, Job Search, Recruitment. 3 comments

julia mackenzie goldbeck recruiting

julia mackenzie goldbeck recruiting

Photograph by: Rebecca Blissett , For  Postmedia News

 Julia MacKenzie is an IT recruiter who created her own job  with Goldbeck Recruiting Inc. after she convinced its owner to open an IT  Recruiting Division.

As the information technology field continues to grow, competition for  candidates to fill key IT positions is heating up, says Julia MacKenzie, an IT  recruiter with Goldbeck Recruiting in Vancouver.


MacKenzie initially worked in advertising in Toronto, then spent five years  working in the United Kingdom for GDS International, a company specializing in  staging business-to-business events.


“I arranged a lot of pharmaceutical events, partnering buyers with  manufacturers and service providers and helping to facilitate strategic  alliances and private meetings between major players,” she says.


MacKenzie completed an 18-month stint in Malaysia to kick-start the company’s  Australasian office, then settled in Vancouver, closer to family members, and  found herself embarking on a new career.


“I was trying to leverage what I already knew, creating partnerships with  senior personnel at various companies. But the Canadian market doesn’t have the  same level of B2B events as they stage in Europe,” she says. “I thought that IT  recruiting would be an interesting avenue to explore. Then I met Henry Goldbeck,  the president of Goldbeck Recruiting. He had just hired a recruiter in the  financial sector and wasn’t looking to hire, but I guess I must have dazzled  him. He hired me two days later and we launched the IT recruitment division soon  after in 2010.”


Clients in the sector range from wireless companies and software development  firms to Internet service providers.


IT recruiters require a good basic knowledge of the field, she says,  including relevant programming languages, computer platforms and other technical  information. Understanding the difference between the recruiting needs of a web  development company, a video gaming company and a telecommunications firm is  essential.


MacKenzie’s position pays both salary and a commission based on the  compensation of the person hired. “I handle placements at any level, but I’ve  become know in Vancouver for developing a niche in C-level placements,” she  says. Those placements include chief executive officers (CEOs), chief technology  officers (CTOs), and chief information officers (CIOs).


Discretion plays an important part in the recruitment field, MacKenzie says.  She doesn’t consider herself a poacher or headhunter; instead, she approaches IT  professionals about positions that may appeal to someone they know. “If they  tell me they’re looking to make a move, we can continue the discussion,” she  says. “But never during working hours and never at the person’s current  workplace.”


The most difficult part of the job for MacKenzie is eventually relinquishing  control of “the deal.”


“I come from a sales background where I had a lot of control in overcoming  the objection of a sales prospect,” she says. “However, if I’m presenting  someone with an IT candidate, I’m not there to overcome an objection for them. I  have to stand back and let the candidates overcome objections themselves. Once  you fill the technical requirements of the position, you have to trust them to  be savvy during the interview process.”


It’s also challenging to meet the needs of clients who want their candidates  to possess a knowledge of all the major programming languages, every database  and every server. “Some clients ask for the stars,” she says. “And the demands  are often more difficult to meet at the junior levels than at the senior  levels.”


The best part of the job is building relationships. “I really enjoy the  client side,” says MacKenzie. “I have built a great network of executives, with  some of those relationships becoming friendships.”


Neil Patte, publisher of The Directory of Canadian Recruiters, has reported  on the Canadian recruiting field since 1993 and says that domestic recruiting is  showing continued resilience.


“The number of recruiting firms has held in Canada through the past few  years,” says Patte. “We’re currently listing almost 4,000 recruiters and IT  recruiters represent more than 800 of them. While the recent recession might  have diminished billings somewhat, the companies are all still there and the  ones that were stars before the recession are still stars afterward.”

© Copyright  (c)   Postmedia News

By Peter Kenter, For Postmedia  NewsMay 31, 2012

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Henry E. Goldbeck, President of Goldbeck Recruiting Inc, is a Certified Personnel Consultant (CPC) and founded Goldbeck Recruiting in 1997. Since then, Henry has built the company's reputation as a leading headhunter and recruitment agency in sales, marketing, operations, engineering, and executive level positions across a variety of industries.

3 thoughts on “IT recruiters combine personnel skills with tech sector knowledge

  1. Interesting, just wondering, are you finding many new companies coming into recruiting area, or mainly just the existing ones ?

  2. Hi Ian, depending on the industry, it could be a very competitive market. Dominating recruitment markets continue to be engineering and IT.

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