Turning a Corner? A CIO’s Job Search

For those of you that read my blog regularly know that I have been out of work since September. I have been looking but there have been very few opportunities since the October financial meltdown. In fact, it has been dead. I liken it to being in sailboat with no wind-aimlessly drifting in a void.

That is until this week. There have been at least a dozen job postings for senior level IT people in the New York area. What has happened in the last few weeks? Is the economy turning a corner? Are firms beginning to hire? Who knows?

I got two interesting phone calls this week. One was from a recruiter, “Hello. I have a client that is looking to expand IT operations into the northeast. What do they need to accomplish this task?” Now you must be chuckling to yourself. Is this recruiter serious? Before I could even begin to answer this question, I had to ask for more details. Any good executive would. Of course, the recruiter could not provide much in the way of any useful details. In fact, I gave her a list of questions to ask her client. I said before you begin calling executives you should have a clearer understanding of what exactly the client is trying to accomplish. The talent pool in the NYC arena is large but you have to know what to ask. If not you would embarrass yourself and your client.

The second phone call was from a HR person. We all know HR people are more clueless than anyone on the face of the planet. So any HR person that calls me I am always weary. This was no exception. “We have a small IT shop and we had to let some people go, which caused service levels to deteriorate and now business is suffering and we need to bring service levels back up to acceptable standards. Where should we focus our efforts?”

I asked both the recruiter and HR person that if their client/company wants help to answer these questions and help guide them I am more than willing to come in even on a consultant basis to help. Of course I got the “We are just in an exploration phase and not ready to bring people in at this time” answer.

Am I disappointed? No. I am actually happy to see that the job market is starting to have a pulse. Even though it seems to be a very slight pulse it is a pulse none-the-less. Things are not totally dead and maybe things will continue to improve for everyone. So I am still keeping my fingers crossed….

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What Are Headhunters Looking For When Recruiting CIOs?

Article appears in the June 4th edition of CIO UK. Great steps any CIO should take to make themselves more visible to recruiters.

What are headhunters looking for? – In-Depth – CIO UK Magazine

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Today Was Not A Good Day – But It Is Friday

I am not sure if this is good or bad. But I do feel a bit disappointed today.

I got three phone calls from three different recruiters for three different positions.

The first was for a director of infrastructure. The position came to me through an IT organization I belong to. I was a little suspect of the recruiter but decided to send my resume in. To my surprise I got a phone call immediately there after. He wanted me to “tweak” my resume, send back to him and follow up. I did and the next day I followed up. I called and emailed but no response. I was able to get him on the phone. He did not remember me or the position. I spent a few minutes explaining everything again. He said he will send my resume in a follow up with me in a fee days. It has been a few days, I called and left messages and email but no response.

I got another call from a recruiter that I had linked with this week. He said he got a position that was right for me and sent me the job description. It was great. Everything I was looking for: good location, good salary, good description that fit my background. The recruiter will follow up with me the next day. I was a little weary based on my previous experience but I wanted to not come across desperate. So I waited and to my surprise I got a phone call the next day. The message was short but I felt something was wrong. So I called back. The firm wants a “hands on” person–very hands on; Cisco engineer, windows admin, dba, dmz, CIO experience — literally a jack of all trades. The job description and my research on the firm hinted that this was a large firm. Not a good idea to have one guy doing everything. I told the recruiter that I was hands on but with the sophistication of enterprise architecture, my skill set is not at that level anymore. I am more management with an understanding of how things work in an enterprise environment. The recruiter apologized for not having all the facts about the position. He will keep me in mind for other positions.

Last, I got another call for a VP of technology. The recruiter called me and asked how me how many people did I support in my last or any position. I told him the amount and said this position required someone who had supported 500+ users. It would have been easy for me to lie but my professionalism took over. Yet another position which I was not right for. I don’t understand if you support 50 or 5000 people it is the not quantity but the quality of the support you provide.

So I did not get an interview this week but I was called 3 times from recruiters. Are things picking up? If so great, I can wait for the right position to come along.