Why Having the Right Recruiter is Like Having a Friend on Your Side

Posted on 24. Mar, 2016 by

Blog Photo - Ian Stewart 03.24.16Ian Stewart is a very happy Senior Front End Engineer, who was contacted about his current role at NUIX by Juno’s Sarah Herrmann and Jesse Brooks. We’re grateful to Ian for reflecting on his experience working with us!


How did you connect with Sarah and Jesse?

Jesse messaged me on LinkedIn. His message was down to earth, up front, and was not pushy. He gave me specifics about the position that were directly relevant to my experience, evidence he both understood the technical requirements and had carefully read my profile. I had enough information to think, “This could be a great fit,” before our first conversation. With as many messages as I receive, his personal touch and attention to detail made all the difference.


On LinkedIn, you’ve described the experience of working with Sarah as follows: “Working with Sarah, I went on to find not only the ideal technology and product, but also the ideal team culture and working environment.” Could you elaborate on that a bit? How did you discover that NUIX was the right place for you?

Right off the bat, Sarah gave me details about their culture. Flat leadership structure, casual atmosphere, driven to excellence. I knew ahead of time this was a culture I could be a part of. But before I met with NUIX, I was surprised to interview with Sarah at Juno. I quickly realized she was equally interested in ensuring I was a fit for NUIX. I was impressed at her effort to place the right candidate for both parties and not just fill a seat.

What enabled Sarah to play this role so well was her close relationship to NUIX. She was genuinely interested in the best for both me and for NUIX. This increased my confidence in the company and interest in the position before I even met them.

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What kind of questions did Sarah and Jesse ask you regarding company culture and fit? How did they assess what you needed?

Sarah and Jesse asked me about the culture at my previous employer and exactly what type of environment I was looking for. In turn, Sarah and Jesse described the job, the role, and the team in detail. They mentioned the personality of the hiring manager, the office dress code, and their leadership structure. They focused on me as a whole person and NUIX as a whole team.


What are the biggest concerns for front end engineers trying to find a job? Are any of those concerns particular to the Philadelphia region?

Front end engineers are most fulfilled when they use the very latest front end technologies. Javascript, its frameworks, and its best practices evolve dramatically year after year, so staying ahead of the curve is an important career consideration. Secondly, front end engineers love good design and thrive on solid usability. There’s nothing more painful than working with poorly-thought-out design because we empathize with the user’s experience. Finally, front end engineers need a challenge. We love to build elegant solutions to complex user interfaces. To my knowledge, these motivations are shared by front end engineers worldwide. Fortunately, all of these interests line up perfectly with forward-thinking companies interested in premium user experiences, companies that can be found in Philadelphia if you look.


Tech is not huge in Philly just yet; how did this affect your job process?

If this is true, I would argue that it won’t be that way much longer. Tech is rapidly accelerating here; from my experience, there are more front end positions than qualified candidates in the Philadelphia area. That could be due to many factors, but the supply of fresh tech university graduates, low cost of doing business, and a city government enthusiastic about startups and open source is drawing many businesses here. Professionals are drawn by opportunity and an amazing city culture. It’s no longer for granted that New York City can offer a better value proposition or career path.

That being said, you still need to find the right company, so you have to know what you’re looking for and what questions to ask. Jesse explained in detail exactly what kind of engineering NUIX was focusing on from his first message. That he knew what he was talking about and could connect his role with my experience was a huge help to me in finding the right job at the right time.


What has your experience been working with other recruiters?

Most recruiters mean well, but in my experience an exceptional recruiter is hard to find. Some recruiters seem more interested in making any placement than in making the right placement, so they may try to convince a candidate to make a choice that isn’t in his or her best interests. Other recruiters demonstrate little to no effort or research, opting to shotgun copy-pasted job descriptions based on broad keyword searches. Sarah and Jesse not only avoided these issues, but set the bar for level of effort, personalization, and insight.


You mentioned that your job search took one month. Is that an average amount of time to find a job in Philly?

In most cases, two months would be comfortable to find an ideal placement. On a tight timeline, such as if a startup employer went out of business, the process could take as little as one month. In Philly, there are enough tech jobs that finding a job isn’t a challenge, but as with anything, it takes persistence and insight to find the best role. I found Jesse and Sarah to be both persistent and insightful, saving a great deal of time on my side. My placement at NUIX happened in under one month, and it was better than I expected to find after a much longer job hunt.


How do you feel about using recruiters? Do they make the process smoother?

In general, I would rather work directly with a company than a recruiter. However, after Juno, I would rather work with a recruiter, but only the right recruiter. Having the right recruiter is like having a friend on your side. They go to bat for you, they help with negotiations, and if one conversation doesn’t work out, rather than dropping you they work to find another. Juno showed me that the right recruiter is genuinely interested in your success.


Anything else you would like to add about Sarah and Jesse?

During each interaction with them I had a strong feeling of mutual respect, that I was a person and not a paycheck. They were doing their best to help me as a person, and by putting their client first, they arrived at an arrangement that worked for everyone. That is a successful business practice. That is the only type of recruiter I want to work with.

Sarah Herrmann and Jesse Brooks work in Juno’s IT Division, placing engineers, developers, and data and support analysts at technology firms in the Philly Metropolitan area.