Ooqio Spotlight: Analyzing The Seattle Tech Market with Seattle Search Group

Seattle is booming—and that means the tech industry is more competitive than ever. For a glimpse into the state of the marketplace, we turned to John Herd, owner of staffing and recruiting firm Seattle Search Group for this week’s Ooqio Spotlight.

john-herdThere are many recruiting firms in the Seattle area. How do you set yourself apart?

First and foremost, our recruiters are highly experienced and have solid long-term relationships with people in their network. We don’t have a single membership to a job board. We’re not just scanning online job sites and pulling candidates off of it. We’re figuring out exactly how to meet our clients’ needs, identifying a person that will be a great fit for those needs, and approaching that person. I’ve been doing this for 20 years and it’s all about relationships

What are your favorite tools for staying on top of the best talent?

The telephone! We use our database and LinkedIn, but more than anything the telephone and email. We want those real conversations with our candidates, whether that’s a phone call, going to coffee, or going to lunch. Getting face-to-face time with them is the most important.

Seattle search group

How would you describe the current tech marketplace in Seattle?

The market is extremely hot and it looks like it’s going to stay that way for a while. I don’t see a slowdown happening anytime soon. There are dozens of cranes all over the city right now and it’s amazing how much is going on. Everyone is moving into the city, and it’s changed a lot.

Cloud computing is growing in a huge way, and everything is growing around that. The growth in technology spills over into real estate, construction, finance for that real estate, mortgage/escrow/title services, and so on.

Your firm specializes in direct hire, but also places candidates in temporary and contract-to-hire positions. Talk a little about why a candidate might seek out temporary work.

Short term contracts can be a great opportunity to get into a company. Companies can move around budgets a bit more easily for temporary gigs; for example, a full time role would come from the HR department’s budget, but for a temporary position they might be able to use the accounting department’s budget until they get the green light from HR.

A good candidate should be open to both direct hire and temp-to-perm. What’s right for you right now depends where you’re at in your life. If you’re looking to take some time off, maybe spend time with your kids for example, temporary can be great. But you have to protect your resume; if you’re going to be jumping from contract to contract for two or three years, you might get typecast by companies in the future. That’s definitely something to consider.

What are you looking forward to in Seattle in 2017?

I expect to see more of the same. We’re growing at a fast pace here in Seattle. It’s kind of out of control—in a good way! I imagine it’s going to stay that way, and we’re going to build out some great companies here.

As a company, we look forward to continued growth. Last year we added Portland Search Group to our roster, and we hope to build out offices in Denver and Southern California as well.

Seattle Search Group is a team of leading Seattle recruiters who specialize in recruiting and staffing for accounting, finance and technology on a direct hire, contract to hire, and temporary basis. For more information, visit SeattleSearchGroup.com.

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