"Recruiting in a slowing technology
The last eight
months have shown an increase in the number of technology companies
downsizing their workforce. Although it is clear that a portion
of the technology sector is under going restructuring due to profit
shortfalls, it is unclear as to what impact these budgetary cuts
will have on these company's future recruiting strategies.
For the recent college graduate with a professional
degree in science or engineering this economic down turn may be
an opportunity in disguise. Technology companies are looking for
their next generation workforce at entry-level salaries saving them
considerable labor costs.
Entry-level professionals should look beyond the
signing bonuses and incentive packages to the core value of their
future employers. Prospective employees should ask very specific
questions, such as:
What has been the recent financial history of
What are its future projections for growth and
how will that impact me?
Who can I contact that's inside the company to
provide me with information on how this company manages its employees?
Most "New Age" employers have many diverse employee
associations and networks, which could provide some valuable information
and answer many of these important questions. IBM has taken a lead
role in diversity recruiting at all levels of the education system.
IBM understands the importance of having a well
trained diversified workforce and how that directly insures their
continued success. Ted Childs, IBM Vice President of Workforce Diversity
has over 25 years experience and his diversity team is ensuring
that IBM meets their goals. You can read more about Ted Childs,
IBM's diversity team, and their successes on page 12.
From a company recruiter's standpoint the pressure
is on to fill open positions with a qualified diverse workforce.
The next generation is waking up to find there are a wide variety
of jobs in the engineering and science fields for college graduates
and technically skilled individuals.
College recruiters are aggressively scouring the
country attending science and engineering conferences and career
fairs hoping to fill these open positions. Many companies are co-sponsoring
events during these conferences to raise awareness of their company's
commitment to diversity.
Some are becoming full sponsors of various events,
locking in important functions as sole sponsor to spotlight their
company's commitment to diversity and to support the students.
Most students that attend the conferences are very
aware of the sponsors and praise them for their commitments. The
organizations are also responding to the needs of the companies
and providing more time to access the students who they need to
Most career fairs have interviewing areas for the
recruiters and also have developed ways of insuring that all the
students that attend visit all the booths. Some career fair organizers
use a "passport" for the students to take around to the career fair
booths and have each company representative sign them.
At the end of the career fair a drawing is held
and the students who successfully completed their passports and
turned them in are eligible to win donated prizes. The prizes are
normally very nice prizes ranging from electronics items such as
digital cameras and palm pilots to actual desktop computers and
I only hope that these companies can continue to
sponsor events in these tough economic times. The next two fiscal
quarters will determine which direction a number of technology companies
take and their level of recruiting support.