Should Xtra Effort revisit the recruiting needs for software developers?

Xtra Effort’s current service offering is recruiting Sales, Sales Engineers, and Professional Services people. However, back in February 2001, Xtra Effort was created to help IT departments and software companies hire software developers. 

The rational for change was the 2002 recession’s adverse impact on software developer hiring activity, and the increase in offshore development limited our target market for local permanent placement.  Demand for developers did not match the demand for customer facing roles, at least for full time, permanent placement hiring requirements.

In 2003 Xtra Effort received hiring requirements for Sales and Sales Engineers and we were enthusiastic to create standardized and repeatable best practices for recruiting within these disciplines.   Examples of Xtra Effort best practices include our questions related to a candidate’s channel emphasis versus direct sales, $1m deals versus $100k deals, infrastructure sales versus line of business application software, inside sales versus field, length and complexity of POC’s, travel tolerance, etc. It has been exciting to learn and apply new techniques to help candidates and clients. Client and candidate feedback has been positive.

2010 has seen an increase in demand for software developers among Xtra Effort clients.  Thus far, we have introduced our partners to these clients.

Although offshore development will remain a strategy for software engineering leaders, it does not make sense for earlier stage product development, especially when specifications are less “baked” and the development process is highly iterative.  Local architects and developers who interact with product managers and can code from a whiteboard discussion will remain in demand, particularly if they have open source and SaaS architecture development experience.

 Venture funds are investing in social media companies and B2C related web technology firms. These companies do not hire field personnel, but do hire software developers.

Xtra Effort could hire a recruiter dedicated to servicing the Northeast area software developer hiring needs (permanent only) of existing and new clients.  Our clients would benefit from having a recruiting firm that is already knowledgeable with their unique value proposition, culture, hiring procedures, key managers, etc.; and candidates would similarly benefit.

We have access to our original “legacy” candidates with Java and .net development experience. More importantly, Xtra Effort’s favorable industry exposure would help us recognize and attract software developers with open source and web development skills.  Our clients would appreciate our documentation about a candidate’s ability to work in large teams versus small, work without specifications, integrate or deploy what they develop, and explore the viability of new technologies. Xtra Effort would also document and sort candidates by such industry/functional experience such as banking, CRM, manufacturing, security, cloud computing, SOA, MDM, insurance, data quality, healthcare, clinical trials, data storage, product development, compliance, business intelligence, portal, search, ecommerce, content management, etc.

Our current core crew would remain dedicated to satisfying Sales, Sales Engineering, and PS hiring needs – nationally. 

Our next steps would be to:

1) Validate the need with existing clients

2) Identify 495 North area recruiter candidates with software development recruiting experience at a contingency based firm      

We welcome your thoughts on the accuracy of our observations and the desirability of an expanded service offering, and any introductions to qualified software developer recruiters.

Thank you.

Mark

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