18 Feb How to Explain IT Staffing to your Mom
We all know that Moms are the smartest women in the world! When I was growing up, my mom was a genius (and still is). When it comes to getting that little extra piece of wisdom, I pick up the phone or shoot an email over to mom because she’s got all the answers. Here’s a picture of her:
Oh, and by the way, if you get a chance, please connect with her on LinkedIn because she’d love to build her network: www.linkedin.com/in/kayeobrien
So, getting back to the point here…there’s one thing that she just never understood back in the day: what the heck is IT Staffing and what do I do exactly? Of course she gets it now because she’s kind of in the field. But when I was a recruiter, a sales rep, a manager, or even when I ran an IT Staffing and Solutions company, she had no clue. The fact is that most moms really don’t know what IT Staffing is and what our jobs entail.
To better explain things to all the Moms out there, we’ve put together this little snippet that you can cut and paste into your next email to Mom; or just print it out and read it to her if you’d like. You might even be able to change the title and hand it over to any other relatives that don’t quite understand what you do or what IT Staffing is all about.
Dear Nana, Aunt Suzie, Uncle Chris, Grandpa, etc,
It was great to see you over the holidays – thank you for all the great presents! I wore that new sweater you got me last week since it was so cold. This weather really blows, doesn’t it? I think it hit 30 below wind-chill last Thursday – my nostrils froze shut when I was walking to visit a friend in the city! I also spent that Target gift card on a new iPhone jacket. I’m hoping that this one will protect my phone a little better since I’m on my 3rd phone in the last 12 months.
On another note, every time I see you, you ask me what I do for a living. Now, I’ve described this number of times, and you need to know that it’s not so easy explaining it in normal conversation. So, I thought I would write it down and send it to you in an email. Fun, right? My job and profession is hard to articulate completely, but what I do is actually pretty straightforward. Here’s my best shot:
(This part is for the Recruiters)
My title is technical recruiter. In its simplest form, my job is to look at resumes of people that work on computers (it’s not worth digging into the specifics since Moms don’t know what Java or Oracle means…in the technical sense) to see if their experience will fit the open employment positions that our clients are looking to fill. I’ll use an analogy that might help – your scrabble buddy Harold is a temporary receptionist and works likes 4 weeks at a time with various companies, right? Well, the only difference is that I don’t recruit people like Harold; I recruit more technical people that are working on “mission critical” projects. So, my version of Harold, call him “Murali”, is working temporarily at different companies like Harold, only in the computer department.
If I do a really good job, I can make great commission checks because I’m able to put a lot of candidates like Murali in jobs at these various companies. My job is very stressful right now because everybody wants the same candidates with the same computer skills. Follow?
(This part is for the Sales Reps)
My title is Account Manager/Business Development Manager. My job is to call a bunch of important people working in big companies who don’t know who I am. If they answer their phone or reply to my email, I ask them if they are looking for candidates to work on their computers. If they say they need people and have open positions, I promise them that I can find candidates for their jobs (and hope I can live up to that promise). If I do a good job of convincing them that I can find great candidates for their jobs, they send me a job description. Once they send me a job description, I give it to my friends (I call them “recruiters”), and ask them to give me resumes ASAP. I’ll use an analogy that might help – your scrabble buddy “Harold” is a temporary receptionist and works like 4 weeks at a time at various companies, right? The only difference is that I don’t talk to the managers of departments that need people like Harold; I talk to managers of departments where technical people are needed to work on “mission critical” projects. So, my version of Harold, call him “Murali”, is working temporarily at different companies like Harold but in the computer department.
I can make a lot of cash if these big companies give me lots of open positions to fill AND the companies hire the people from the resumes I give them. The more people I have working in these companies at any one time, the more money I make. Follow?
So, basically IT Staffing is a business where my company gets paid to find and hire computer professionals for other companies. They more or less are renting our computer people for a period of time; like one week or 3 years at a stretch. Using easy math, if we pay the computer professional $50/hour, we want to charge the company like $75/hour to rent them. Then, we make $25 for our company (not worth going into load factors at this part of the discussion). My work friends and I slice up the $25, with the owners taking about 90% of the cut.
Mom, I hope this makes sense and clears things up a little. I’m sure I’ll be telling you again at some point what I do and what IT Staffing is all about, but this should help until it comes up again. Oh, and can you please pass this along to Uncle Jeff? He’s always asking me too.
(Your name here)
Kevin O’Brien is a Co-Founder and Partner at echogravity. Kevin’s credentials include being a top recruiter for a international Big 8 consulting firm, top business development rep for a global consulting and staffing firm, and consulting with over 100 companies across North America.