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Recruiting for IT Talent? Q&A with a 20-year HR Veteran

Affinity | Diane Mason | June 6, 2019

diane mason affinity - Recruiting for IT Talent?   Q&A with a 20-year HR Veteran

Diane Mason, a 20-year HR veteran and Partner at Affinity, an IT recruitment and consulting organization shares 4 things she learned about hiring top performers and strategies for working with recruiters to yield the best results:

1. Find a Recruiter who can Work with Your Internal Processes

This can be a real barrier to using external recruitment vendor. No wonder business leaders get push back from HR on using external hiring resources; it’s because they are often measured on the cost per hire!  That’s okay, however there may be other important measures for them to be measured on such as; the quality of hire, cost of an open vacancy, turnover costs etc. Sometimes, the best candidates are not applying to job postings – they are too busy working! If HR and hiring processes are a barrier to using external recruitment, try changing the measures or the selecting a partner who can work with them, not against them.  Pick a search executive firm that helps make the overall process easier and better.


2. The Importance of Looking beyond the Words on the Resume

In my HR role, I did not want a resume/posting matching service.  I needed help with the difficult, time consuming part of finding talent; understanding a person’s story behind the words on their resume.  It’s important to spend the time to understand their journey, why they did what they did, how did they go about achieving their goals, their behaviours and values. Have you ever asked your recruiting partner how they do that?

3. Speed Does not Guarantee Quality

As an HR leader, I found putting many recruitment agencies on one job rarely gave me better quality candidates faster. It just diminished the time I could spend with each recruiter and I didn’t give them the proper information they needed. The large agencies often use a call centre recruiting style, having several people spending on average 10-15 minutes on a call with potential candidates to be the first to show you a resume. Not only is this not a good candidate experience, this is not going to get you the top candidate. It is certainly not going to save you time by reviewing the wrong candidate – unless there is luck involved.  Try selecting one good partner and give them the opportunity to conduct a proper search.

4. You will Yield Better Results when Your Recruiter has a Better Understanding of Your Business

IT vendors who are helping you build your internal systems will spend time with your teams to have a better understanding of your needs, so do the same with recruitment vendors. You can have an external recruiter fill job requisitions for you by matching resumes to a job posting, or you can partner with them and let them into your business to understand it so they can deliver better service. Some examples of what that may look like are; inviting them to an employee meeting, a company event, a department lunch and learn or even meet the leaders the roles will report to.


Diane Mason - Recruiting for IT Talent?   Q&A with a 20-year HR VeteranDiane Mason, Partner, Affinity Group

For the last 20 years, Diane held HR leadership roles for a variety of Fortune 500 and start up companies such as; Loblaws, PC Financial and Centric Health and she detested dealing with Recruitment Firms who did not provide quality service. It can lead to costly turnover, confusion within the company culture, negative impact on revenue, and time becomes consumed with people issues.  It is easy to hire the wrong person when you are desperate to find talent in a labour market where unemployment is less than 4%.

NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Recruiting for IT Talent?   Q&A with a 20-year HR Veteran The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit:

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