Is good recruiting that hard?

Lately I have found myself looking for a career opportunity (ok, a job), and I am astounded at how poorly high technology firms recruit new employees. They seem to assume that employees will flock to them and they need do nothing more than post an opening on a job board. Most do not acknowledge resume submissions in any way whatsoever. Given the current job market they can get away with it, but that will not always be the case.

I currently live in Waterloo, Canada, a small community of high technology companies, mostly spun off from the University of Waterloo. There is a ready supply of cheap labor in graduating students, which these companies avail themselves of. It becomes a bit more difficult when hiring more senior folks – though they recruit in similar fashion. They post a job on a board. You fill out a complex profile that requires you to re-enter everything that is already carefully crafted in your resume. Then you wait. Even the tried and true method of networking doesn’t help much.

I’ve got a fair bit of specific domain expertise in different areas but I’ve been told by at least one local company that “we can hire a student to do the same job for much less”. Of course the student would have no real world experience but that did not seem to be a concern.

I found out yesterday from the local technology advocacy organization, Communitech, that there are apparently 1,000 job openings in my town (population 102,300) and the HR people just can’t find people to fill them. Yet I know many folks who can’t find a position. One person suggested that it was not lack of candidates, but lack of inexpensive candidates, something that I have seen personally. Regardless of that, it seems that there ought to be a way to get these people together.

And if you’re looking for somebody with Marketing, Product Management, Business Development, Sales, and Development background, with success in opening new vertical markets, please feel free to contact me…