The Life of a Tech Recruiter in Silicon Valley

My art. My Passion. My obsession.

First couple of days at Facebook have been amazing. The free Samsung S4 and retina MacBook Pro certainly doesn’t hurt. :)

Will post more details soon.

It’s never easy transitioning to a new job when you already work for a company that you believe in with an awesome team that you love. Storm8 has been an amazing experience, and I’m grateful to have worked with such extraordinary people. However a new opportunity has crossed my path that got me really excited, and I couldn’t refuse. 

On Monday June 3rd I’ll be joining the worlds largest social network, recruiting for their product engineering team. Stay tuned for my new adventures at Facebook!

It’s never easy transitioning to a new job when you already work for a company that you believe in with an awesome team that you love. Storm8 has been an amazing experience, and I’m grateful to have worked with such extraordinary people. However a new opportunity has crossed my path that got me really excited, and I couldn’t refuse.

On Monday June 3rd I’ll be joining the worlds largest social network, recruiting for their product engineering team. Stay tuned for my new adventures at Facebook!

Anonymous asked: Hey, it's always been my dream to work in Silicon Valley. I'm currently debating between Columbia and Brown for computer science, and I was wondering what you, as a recruiter, thought of both?

Both are great schools and you really can’t go wrong with either one. It really just depends on your preference. Let’s keep in touch. Feel free to contact me when you start looking for opportunities here in the bay area. :)

Cheers,
Richard

I’ve been on hiatus for a while, and this little guy is the reason why…

Say hello to my beautiful baby boy Jacob Tyler Kim! There’s really no words that can express how amazing being a father is, nor are there words that can justly describe how tiring it is either! I really thought I was ready for fatherhood but clearly I misjudged how much work it would be. However it’s absolutely worth it for this little guy. If any of you working men/husbands out there are hesitant about having children because of your career goals and aspirations then I highly suggest you make like Sheryl Sandberg and just “lean in” to fatherhood. No accomplishment, promotion, or income can even come close to seeing your child smile at you after pooping their diaper. That’s real talk. :)

Excellent article on leadership by Dave Kerpen. Couldn’t agree more with these 11 simple concepts…

"Being likeable will help you in your job, business, relationships, and life. I interviewed dozens of successful business leaders for my last book, to determine what made them so likeable and their companies so successful. All of the concepts are simple, and yet, perhaps in the name of revenues or the bottom line, we often lose sight of the simple things - things that not only make us human, but can actually help us become more successful. Below are the eleven most important principles to integrate to become a better leader:

1. Listening

"When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen." - Ernest Hemingway

Listening is the foundation of any good relationship. Great leaders listen to what their customers and prospects want and need, and they listen to the challenges those customers face. They listen to colleagues and are open to new ideas. They listen to shareholders, investors, and competitors. Here’s why the best CEO’s listen more.

2. Storytelling

"Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today." -Robert McAfee Brown

After listening, leaders need to tell great stories in order to sell their products, but more important, in order to sell their ideas. Storytelling is what captivates people and drives them to take action. Whether you’re telling a story to one prospect over lunch, a boardroom full of people, or thousands of people through an online video - storytelling wins customers.

3. Authenticity

"I had no idea that being your authentic self could make me as rich as I’ve become. If I had, I’d have done it a lot earlier." -Oprah Winfrey

Great leaders are who they say they are, and they have integrity beyond compare. Vulnerability and humility are hallmarks of the authentic leader and create a positive, attractive energy. Customers, employees, and media all want to help an authentic person to succeed. There used to be a divide between one’s public self and private self, but the social internet has blurred that line. Tomorrow’s leaders are transparent about who they are online, merging their personal and professional lives together.

4. Transparency

"As a small businessperson, you have no greater leverage than the truth." -John Whittier

There is nowhere to hide anymore, and businesspeople who attempt to keep secrets will eventually be exposed. Openness and honesty lead to happier staff and customers and colleagues. More important, transparency makes it a lot easier to sleep at night - unworried about what you said to whom, a happier leader is a more productive one.

5. Team Playing

"Individuals play the game, but teams beat the odds." -SEAL Team Saying

No matter how small your organization, you interact with others every day. Letting others shine, encouraging innovative ideas, practicing humility, and following other rules for working in teams will help you become a more likeable leader. You’ll need a culture of success within your organization, one that includes out-of-the-box thinking.

6. Responsiveness

"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it." -Charles Swindoll

The best leaders are responsive to their customers, staff, investors, and prospects. Every stakeholder today is a potential viral sparkplug, for better or for worse, and the winning leader is one who recognizes this and insists upon a culture of responsiveness. Whether the communication is email, voice mail, a note or a a tweet, responding shows you care and gives your customers and colleagues a say, allowing them to make a positive impact on the organization.

7. Adaptability

"When you’re finished changing, you’re finished." -Ben Franklin

There has never been a faster-changing marketplace than the one we live in today. Leaders must be flexible in managing changing opportunities and challenges and nimble enough to pivot at the right moment. Stubbornness is no longer desirable to most organizations. Instead, humility and the willingness to adapt mark a great leader.

8. Passion

"The only way to do great work is to love the work you do." -Steve Jobs

Those who love what they do don’t have to work a day in their lives. People who are able to bring passion to their business have a remarkable advantage, as that passion is contagious to customers and colleagues alike. Finding and increasing your passion will absolutely affect your bottom line.

9. Surprise and Delight

"A true leader always keeps an element of surprise up his sleeve, which others cannot grasp but which keeps his public excited and breathless." -Charles de Gaulle

Most people like surprises in their day-to-day lives. Likeable leaders underpromise and overdeliver, assuring that customers and staff are surprised in a positive way. There are a plethora of ways to surprise without spending extra money - a smile, We all like to be delighted — surprise and delight create incredible word-of-mouth marketing opportunities.

10. Simplicity

"Less isn’t more; just enough is more." -Milton Glaser

The world is more complex than ever before, and yet what customers often respond to best is simplicity — in design, form, and function. Taking complex projects, challenges, and ideas and distilling them to their simplest components allows customers, staff, and other stakeholders to better understand and buy into your vision. We humans all crave simplicity, and so today’s leader must be focused and deliver simplicity.

11. Gratefulness

"I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder." -Gilbert Chesterton

Likeable leaders are ever grateful for the people who contribute to their opportunities and success. Being appreciative and saying thank you to mentors, customers, colleagues, and other stakeholders keeps leaders humble, appreciated, and well received. It also makes you feel great! Donor’s Choose studied the value of a hand-written thank-you note, and actually found donors were 38% more likely to give a 2nd time if they got a hand-written note!

The Golden Rule: Above all else, treat others as you’d like to be treated

By showing others the same courtesy you expect from them, you will gain more respect from coworkers, customers, and business partners. Holding others in high regard demonstrates your company’s likeability and motivates others to work with you. This seems so simple, as do so many of these principles — and yet many people, too concerned with making money or getting by, fail to truly adopt these key concepts.

Which of these principles are most important to you — what makes you likeable?”

Excellent article on leadership by Dave Kerpen. Couldn’t agree more with these 11 simple concepts…

"Being likeable will help you in your job, business, relationships, and life. I interviewed dozens of successful business leaders for my last book, to determine what made them so likeable and their companies so successful. All of the concepts are simple, and yet, perhaps in the name of revenues or the bottom line, we often lose sight of the simple things - things that not only make us human, but can actually help us become more successful. Below are the eleven most important principles to integrate to become a better leader:

1. Listening

"When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen." - Ernest Hemingway

Listening is the foundation of any good relationship. Great leaders listen to what their customers and prospects want and need, and they listen to the challenges those customers face. They listen to colleagues and are open to new ideas. They listen to shareholders, investors, and competitors. Here’s why the best CEO’s listen more.

2. Storytelling

"Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today." -Robert McAfee Brown

After listening, leaders need to tell great stories in order to sell their products, but more important, in order to sell their ideas. Storytelling is what captivates people and drives them to take action. Whether you’re telling a story to one prospect over lunch, a boardroom full of people, or thousands of people through an online video - storytelling wins customers.

3. Authenticity

"I had no idea that being your authentic self could make me as rich as I’ve become. If I had, I’d have done it a lot earlier." -Oprah Winfrey

Great leaders are who they say they are, and they have integrity beyond compare. Vulnerability and humility are hallmarks of the authentic leader and create a positive, attractive energy. Customers, employees, and media all want to help an authentic person to succeed. There used to be a divide between one’s public self and private self, but the social internet has blurred that line. Tomorrow’s leaders are transparent about who they are online, merging their personal and professional lives together.

4. Transparency

"As a small businessperson, you have no greater leverage than the truth." -John Whittier

There is nowhere to hide anymore, and businesspeople who attempt to keep secrets will eventually be exposed. Openness and honesty lead to happier staff and customers and colleagues. More important, transparency makes it a lot easier to sleep at night - unworried about what you said to whom, a happier leader is a more productive one.

5. Team Playing

"Individuals play the game, but teams beat the odds." -SEAL Team Saying

No matter how small your organization, you interact with others every day. Letting others shine, encouraging innovative ideas, practicing humility, and following other rules for working in teams will help you become a more likeable leader. You’ll need a culture of success within your organization, one that includes out-of-the-box thinking.

6. Responsiveness

"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it." -Charles Swindoll

The best leaders are responsive to their customers, staff, investors, and prospects. Every stakeholder today is a potential viral sparkplug, for better or for worse, and the winning leader is one who recognizes this and insists upon a culture of responsiveness. Whether the communication is email, voice mail, a note or a a tweet, responding shows you care and gives your customers and colleagues a say, allowing them to make a positive impact on the organization.

7. Adaptability

"When you’re finished changing, you’re finished." -Ben Franklin

There has never been a faster-changing marketplace than the one we live in today. Leaders must be flexible in managing changing opportunities and challenges and nimble enough to pivot at the right moment. Stubbornness is no longer desirable to most organizations. Instead, humility and the willingness to adapt mark a great leader.

8. Passion

"The only way to do great work is to love the work you do." -Steve Jobs

Those who love what they do don’t have to work a day in their lives. People who are able to bring passion to their business have a remarkable advantage, as that passion is contagious to customers and colleagues alike. Finding and increasing your passion will absolutely affect your bottom line.

9. Surprise and Delight

"A true leader always keeps an element of surprise up his sleeve, which others cannot grasp but which keeps his public excited and breathless." -Charles de Gaulle

Most people like surprises in their day-to-day lives. Likeable leaders underpromise and overdeliver, assuring that customers and staff are surprised in a positive way. There are a plethora of ways to surprise without spending extra money - a smile, We all like to be delighted — surprise and delight create incredible word-of-mouth marketing opportunities.

10. Simplicity

"Less isn’t more; just enough is more." -Milton Glaser

The world is more complex than ever before, and yet what customers often respond to best is simplicity — in design, form, and function. Taking complex projects, challenges, and ideas and distilling them to their simplest components allows customers, staff, and other stakeholders to better understand and buy into your vision. We humans all crave simplicity, and so today’s leader must be focused and deliver simplicity.

11. Gratefulness

"I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder." -Gilbert Chesterton

Likeable leaders are ever grateful for the people who contribute to their opportunities and success. Being appreciative and saying thank you to mentors, customers, colleagues, and other stakeholders keeps leaders humble, appreciated, and well received. It also makes you feel great! Donor’s Choose studied the value of a hand-written thank-you note, and actually found donors were 38% more likely to give a 2nd time if they got a hand-written note!

The Golden Rule: Above all else, treat others as you’d like to be treated

By showing others the same courtesy you expect from them, you will gain more respect from coworkers, customers, and business partners. Holding others in high regard demonstrates your company’s likeability and motivates others to work with you. This seems so simple, as do so many of these principles — and yet many people, too concerned with making money or getting by, fail to truly adopt these key concepts.

Which of these principles are most important to you — what makes you likeable?”

The first week of the new year is nearly over, and as I write this post reflecting upon all the events and accomplishments from last year, I must say 2012 will be pretty tough to beat.

In 2012 we hired 100+ people, more than doubling our employee base, and 30+ of those hires were the brightest engineers around the country. There is no doubt in my mind that hiring elite engineers is the #1 top priority for the vast majority of tech companies here in the bay area, and with that comes a battle so fierce it’s hard to imagine this “war for talent” getting any more grueling than it already is. But it’s inevitable, so you better be well prepared. One of the keys to understanding your recruiting needs is by looking at the numbers. Data moves everything in the world we live in today, and it is key to unlocking the full potential of your recruiting team and process. The more data you can capture the better, but that’s the tricky part.

Here is a high level overview of what we were able to accomplish last year. Our technical recruiters conducted 1500+ engineering phone interviews. That turned into 1100+ tech interviews, 300+ on-site interviews, and the end results were 30+ engineering hires. These numbers can reveal little golf nuggets if we use some simple arithmetic.

• ~73% of our eng candidates pass our recruiter phone screen onto a technical screen
• ~27% of our eng candidates pass our tech screen onto an on-site interview
• ~10% of our eng candidates pass our on-site interview and end up joining Storm8

Only ~2% of the engineering candidates we interview from recruiter phone screen actually get hired. This tells us a couple of things:

1) Our recruiting team needs to be much more selective at the top of the funnel so that we can increase the pass rate % from the tech screen to on-site interview stage. We could add a couple more black and white technical questions during the initial recruiter phone screen to really ensure that our candidates that are passing our screen have the basic principles down to a tee.

2) We could also make our initial tech screen more thorough so that when we do bring candidates on-site they have a higher probability of doing well and receiving an offer.

3) We could inject the numbers and hire more recruiters/sourcers and play the numbers game. This doesn’t really improve the process but it would likely lead to more hires.

The more data points you can capture in your recruiting process the better. Imagine if you could track each candidate’s progress in your pipeline by the number of years of experience they have, schools they graduated from, degrees they possess, previous employers they had, competitions they participated in, overall GPA’s they achieved, etc. You’d probably discover many diamonds in the rough.

One day I’m going to start my own company and create the ultimate ATS that provides this type of analysis, but for now I guess Jobvite and excel charts will have to do. Happy recruiting! 2013 is going to be huge…

Jack's: Let's reconsider our "users"

jacks:

us·er
/ˈyo͞ozər/

Noun
1. A person who uses or operates something, esp. a computer or other machine.
2. A person who takes illegal drugs; a drug user.

Synonyms
consumer

During a Square Board meeting, our newest Director Howard Schultz, pulled me aside and asked a simple question.

“Why…

I just stumbled on this blog post by Jack Dorsey (I know I’m late to the party) and found it rather thought provoking. It’s definitely worth a read and certainly applicable to the recruiting industry as well. Is the word “candidate” and “customer” synonymous for your organization’s recruiting function?

One of our engineering managers sent this video to me by Simon Sinek titled “How great leaders inspire action”. I agree with a lot of what he says, and to my pleasant suprise the “why, how, what” structure is in line with the message we communicate to prospective candidates. To summarize:

We believe that smart phone devices will completely overtake the mobile market, and that those who own a cell phone today will likely convert to a smart phone tomorrow. Because we are passionate gamers who love games, we want to connect mobile users by creating the best social games available on these devices. In order for us to create the best games we need to hire the best talent. We are a building the #1 mobile gaming company in the world. Want to join us?

I left out a lot of details but this is the heart of the message, and quite frankly not everyone is going to be interested and that’s okay. We want the people that DO believe in what we’re doing and those that want to make a huge impact in helping us get there.

The video is definitely worth a watch. I really liked this quote in particular:

"Because there are leaders and there are those who lead. Leaders hold a position of power or authority, but those who lead inspire us. Whether they are individuals or organizations, we follow those who lead not because we have to, but because we want to. We follow those who lead not for them, but for ourselves, and it’s those who start with ‘why’ who have the ability to inspire those around them, or find others who inspire them"

Once again the Storm8 Summer Party was a huge success! Perhaps even too successful. ;)

This year we held our party at the Infusion lounge in San Francisco. Great music, delicious food, various bar tending stations, excellent music, top shelf open bar, and most importantly fantastic people. Needless to say EVERYONE had a blast. Can’t wait for this year’s holiday party. :)

Cheers!

Something all recruiters can agree on. :)
Something all recruiters can agree on. :)