Inside Look into Running a Tech Recruiting Firm
An Interview with Tatiana Becker, Founder NIAH Recruiting.
1) How did you get started with tech recruiting?
After being laid off from my job as Director of HR at a startup, I reached out to my network of development leaders that were CTOs and VPs of Engineering around NYC. I started servicing a few clients, and then grew from there.
2) How did you get your first client or customer or job?
Cold phone call!
3) How do you market your business?
Most of our marketing is word of mouth. Engineering leaders are generally pretty well networked with their peers, so when we do a good job for them, they provide referrals.
4) What does your usual day look like?
Much of my day I spend reviewing recruiters’ submissions and serving as the final step in the funnel to quality control before submitting to our client. I also do a lot of following up. When someone is looking for a job, the worst thing is to hear nothing, to be ghosted. I want to make sure everyone gets an expedient answer, even if it’s not the word we wanted to hear.
5) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
Not all clients are best served by us. If they don’t have a sense of urgency around the hire, it’s probably not the right time for us to get involved.
6) Do you have a product/ program/ service you want to promote and what are the details?
We are a boutique recruiting agency that helps find and procure technical talent for startups at all stages. We help both companies and job seekers alike, and are happy to start with a consolatory call to help a client or candidate talk through their course of action.
7) How can a recruiter help me with my job search?
We have strong relationships with our companies, and are able to get each candidate reviewed. When a candidate applies on their own, a resume may go into a “black hole” and may not hear a yay or nay. From there, we are with the candidate at each step of the way, even helping with the awkward step of salary negotiation. We will make sure they get a fair rate without “offer shopping”, which is always a major turn off for employers.
8) Why might a company use a recruiting agency for their search?
Some of our clients use us because they are incredibly small and don’t have internal recruiting staff. Others are quite large and have full recruiting departments, but they’re having trouble finding the type of niche talent they seek for certain roles. Those types of candidates are often not in the active job market – they are relatively happily employed – so it takes finding those types of people, lots of follow ups, and lots of listening to see if the new opportunity may better fit the candidate’s need than their current role. This is very time and labor intensive, and often internal recruiting departments are overwhelmed with inbound applicants.
These companies are all missing out on critical revenue with each week that passes, and we find that if we’re able to bring down the time to hire by even just a few weeks, we more than pay for our fee.
9) Do all of your recruiters work at home?
Yes, or from a local coffee shop. Our recruiters are all over the country: I’m in LA, and we have people in Seattle, Portland, and NYC.
10) What do you like about working from home?
I have the best commute ever. I’m very self-directed, so I don’t need (or want!) a boss hovering over my shoulder. It’s not for everyone, but then again, working from an office is not for everyone either.
11) What tools do you use to run a virtual staff?
We are all in our Skype chatroom all day long, so that we can quickly communicate on candidates.
We use CATS as our “ATS” or Applicant Tracking System, to keep track of candidates and their progress with companies. CATS interfaces with Slack, so we can all see each others’ activity.
Staff log their hours with Toggl. We use Spectrum VOIP for our calling, so that we have a central office phone number, professional voice mail, etc.
12) What are your thoughts on giving back to the community.
We believe strongly in diversity, and that’s not only represented on our team, but in the types of clients and candidates with whom we work.
If you’re looking for a professional recruiter, give us a call! 646-979-9699 Ext. 101
Feel free to connect with Tatiana on LinkedIn as well.