Tech News

A Few Things A Recruiter Needs To Know – For A Reason

By: Tanner Bell

I was reading an article in Forbes this morning titled “Ten Things Recruiters ‘Need to Know’ — That Are None Of Their Business,” by Liz Ryan, and I had a few issues with what Liz Ryan had to say.  I know that every situation is unique and every industry is different but I wanted to write a quick message to give her a different point of view.  I work with a Denver based in IT recruiting firm and thought I could give her some insight “from the trenches.”

She was right when she said that it IS easy to become a recruiter and there are a lot of companies that don’t treat their recruiters well or give them training to ensure their success in the long term.  For the record we don’t respect those companies either because the pushy and rude recruiters that she speaks of give the recruiting industry a bad name. Unfortunately, these are the experiences shared the most.  Our company is dedicated to learning about the candidate to find the right fit for them.  We work equally hard to understand our clients’ needs, beyond just the technical skill sets, to be sure we’re doing everything we can to make the proper fit.  I wanted to address a few issues with her list of 10 questions “Unprofessional Recruiters Ask Candidates.”

“What are you earning now?

This may seem “rude or pushy” at face value but perhaps the reasoning behind the question is not fully explained to the candidate.  We deal with many clients that conduct salary reviews and will not pay a candidate more than X% over what they were making in their last position.  Other times it is to help us frame a cost of living difference, whether that be an increase or decrease   We have had candidates moving from Silicon Valley to the Mid-West and cannot understand why the salary is $80k instead of $130k.  We also ask this question to better understand our candidate and their unique needs.  If we unknowingly place a candidate in a position earning significantly less than their previous role, as recruiters, we may be presenting a candidate who is a flight risk for our client, or presenting a candidate with a position that really isn’t a good fit for him or her.

Furthermore, our clients expect us to know the candidates salary history and expectations.  Finally, and this is important: we do not share the specifics with the client unless we are required to and always with the candidate’s permission.  Yes, this is true.  We use the salary discussion to help us present the candidate in the best possible situation to create a win-win with the client.  We don’t tell the client the candidate’s salary history.

“What other companies are you interviewing with?”

First of all, the candidate doesn’t need to answer the question if they don’t feel comfortable doing so, but we ask this question for a couple possible reasons.  We want to be sure we are not presenting opportunities to candidates where they are already interviewing.  By asking about their interview activity, it also helps us understand how far along they are in the process.  If we find out they are having a final interview with a company, we may decide to hold off on submitting them to a client if they are likely to be off the market in a short period of time.  If they have a fair amount of interview activity, it also gives us the chance to let our clients know that timing is important if they are seriously considering the candidate.  And believe it or not, we regularly are able to give some helpful information to the candidate about other companies they are interviewing with.

“Can you send me your list of references right now?”

While the references do not need to be addressed in an initial screening, they should be asked for as soon as the client expresses interest.  Whether we are checking the references or it is done by the client, having them readily available is important.  We do not make reference calls until the proper time, but many hires have disappeared because of the lag in either gathering the references or getting the references to respond.  Additionally, each client has different requirements for reference checks, some want references completed very early in the interview process, others not until the time of an offer.
As in any industry, there are companies that are customer focused and provide superior service and others that don’t.  We find value and satisfaction in the work we do.  It is both client and candidate focused.  Even though recruiters often get a bad rap, and sometimes deservedly so, the reality is that we’ve found jobs for candidates that would have never found these opportunities on their own and they were grateful. It is also rewarding to act as their advocate with our clients so they are more than just another applicant or resume to review.  And we do this, I might add, without a fee to the candidate.  As recruiters, we can’t perform superior service without really understanding our clients or candidates.  As far as I know, you can’t really get to know anyone or understand any situation without asking questions and finding the right position is personal.  Our clients have tasked us to identify and qualify candidates for them, if we don’t do our job comprehensively, we haven’t served either the client or candidate well.  I don’t intend to defend all the questions in the article, but I do want to defend quality recruiters and the reputable work we do.  As the candidate, working with a recruiter isn’t any different than securing any other service or product you need.  You wouldn’t work with a contractor to remodel your home if they did shoddy work; you wouldn’t buy a car from an annoying and insincere salesman.   The same is true with recruiters, don’t work with a recruiter that isn’t providing the quality of service you are looking for.  Quantix is different, check us out.

I would love to know what you think on this topic.  Do you have any questions that did not make the list? How do you feel with these or the other questions on the list? Comment below.

Have you seen my feedback?

By: Jill Reynolds, President and CEO of Quantix, Inc.

This week, Quantix hosted a group of C-level candidates, yes, candidates.  These executives are members of a highly effective networking group exclusively for IT executive job seekers.  These are highly accomplished individuals and strategic thinkers.  They find themselves as job seeker for various reasons, but many have “success-ed” themselves into the job seeker role.   They may have completed a turnaround or have accomplished all they can in their current role and need to find their next challenge.  This dynamic group is now sitting on the other side of the desk in an interview.


There was plenty of discussion about the entire networking and interviewing process but the recurring theme was feedback, or rather the lack thereof.   They certainly see the value of feedback from a different perspective now.  They were surprised and frustrated by the sparse communication after an interview, even when they were well advanced in the process.  Whether an executive or mid-level candidate, this is frustrating and baffling for the candidate and one of a recruiter’s biggest challenges when all goes dark.  Timely feedback, whether positive, negative or only a “maybe”, sets the appropriate expectation with the candidate and the recruiter.  And, let’s face it, it’s just good manners. When this happens, it leaves me scratching my head.  If there was enough interest in the candidate to make time for an interview wouldn’t you think communicating the outcome or next steps would be a given?  Detailed feedback is a gem, but even a short email is better lets us know you’re still there.


From a candidate’s perspective, the lack of feedback tells them the employer is not interested.  Unfortunately, it also infers a lack of respect for the candidate and their time.  We’ve seen situations when after a long period of silence, the employer will finally express interest or extend an offer, but the candidate has become so irritated with the process they aren’t interested in moving forward. 


For the recruiter, silence from a client is wearisome. The majority of clients are responsive, but with the prevalence of VMS’s, getting feedback to the candidates can be even more challenging.   You’ve asked us to help you find a candidate, but help us help you.  If clients don’t move promptly through the interview process, a quality candidate is long gone and not easily replaced.  We understand there might be a stall in the process, but a simple “good, bad or I’m on the fence” provides a little something to pass along to the candidate. 


Below is a recent exchange between one of our recruiters and the candidate:


From: Quantix Recruiter
Sent: Thursday, May 05, 2016 9:48 AM
To: Candidate
Subject: FW: Manager of Technical Services at Company XYZ



I wanted to reach out and let you know we haven’t heard anything from Company XYZ regarding the Manager position.  Last we heard the hiring manager was reviewing resumes and nothing since.


If anything changes and we do hear something I will reach out and see if you are still interested.


Sent: Thursday, May 05, 2016 11:30 AM

To: Quantix Recruiter

Subject: RE: Manager of Technical Services at Company XYZ


Thanks, XXX. I appreciate the follow up. Most folks don’t bother—what a wonderful surprise. J


Hmmmm, very interesting the candidate found it a “wonderful surprise” to get any response at all, even when the response was to tell them there was no response.  Candidates, if you want a responsive recruiter, think Quantix.  We can’t always deliver an informed message, but we’re here.   Clients, we’re here to make the hiring process as efficient as possible, it’s a partnership and we’re here to help.

The Internet of Things – Smart Appliances 

By: Ian Hill, C-Level Technology Executive

What will the Internet of Things mean for you?  If you work in technology, it should mean you’re about to have a fascinating time for a few years as this boom is going to be fun.  And if you don’t work in technology, you’ll still get to play in a world where technology is able to help you even more than it does today.

So then, to the Internet of Things, or IoT.  We are surrounded by the things we have built to make our lives easier.  The ability to connect them to each other will make them even more useful, and will create another technology explosion, one perhaps even more significant than the mobile boom of the last eight or nine years.

Leave aside the security implications for now — that’s a different discussion and one I’ll address in another post.  For now, just consider the implications of interconnected Things.  Once you start to mull this over and join the dots, it becomes apparent just how exciting it is to be in technology today.  

Let’s consider Amazon’s Dash buttons.  If you’re not familiar with them, they’re wi-fi connected buttons that allow you to generate an instant re-order of your favorite products – Tide, Gillette razors, Bounty, Ziplock bags, Huggies diapers – the list is extensive.

This article suggests that they’re not particularly useful, but I think a point has been missed, and that is that Amazon is in a position to get the Dash to market quicker than Samsung can create an arrangement with Tide for their product. 

I’d go further and propose that these buttons are almost instantly obsolete.  In fact, some of the offerings on show at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2016) in Las Vegas are proving exactly that.

Consider Samsung and their washing machines.  Imagine Samsung launched a partnership with Proctor & Gamble for Tide (the most popular laundry detergent brand in the US).  You can see that the next generation of Samsung washing machines might have the functionality of the Dash button already built in.  The washing machine knows how many wash loads you’ve performed in a month, and whether they were small, medium or large loads, and can thus approximate the amount of Tide detergent you used.

It’s only a small jump to realizing that the washing machine itself could be connected to your home network (again, we’ll consider the security implications in a future discussion), the same way as your Dash button.  The difference being, you don’t even have to remember to hit the button (as daft as this sounds, and it certainly invokes memories of the state of humanity in the Wall-E movie, perhaps yet another more philosophical discussion).

Now let’s refine the idea;  Samsung don’t create relationship with Tide at all – this isn’t about a Coke vs Pepsi showdown.  Instead they partner with a company that has been a technology leader over the past twenty years.  Amazon.

Your Samsung washing machine interacts with your Amazon account like the Dash button.  But in your Account Preferences you have already told Amazon what your favorite detergent is, and your preferred unit of measure (e.g., 12 oz box, 24 oz box).  Of course Amazon already knows this today, or can at least make an educated guess based on your purchase history.  But in future you won’t have to press a button to place an order – you’ll simply use your washing machine and the IoT handles the rest.

In fact at CES 2016 Whirlpool announced last month a new “smart” washer and dryer range that do exactly this.  Their newest appliances have integration to Amazon’s Dash Replenishment feature, taking a first step via Whirlpool’s mobile app to fully automated re-ordering.  Perhaps early adoption will require a confirmation via your mobile device, but it’s becoming clearer that more automated houses, “smarter” houses, are becoming a reality.

The possibilities are going to be endless.

In the next part of this discussion, I’ll discuss the inevitable next step in this line of thought – the data implications.


How to Find Top IT Talent in a “Candidates” Market – Consider Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) as a Supplemental Hiring Strategy

By Patricia Kmezich, Director of Recruitment Process Outsourcing

Anyone trying to hire qualified IT resources, today, is well aware of the recruiting challenges facing corporate recruiters and IT Managers; virtually 0% IT unemployment, difficulty finding the technical skill sets needed, multiple job opportunities simultaneously, etc.

Internal corporate recruiters confront an additional layer of complexity since they are typically tasked with recruiting for a wide variety of positions needed within their organization.  It is quite natural that they will gravitate to the easier positions to fill or, perhaps, the positions that are not as complex in an ever-changing IT world.  The end result is that many recruiters will work on “low hanging fruit” (easier to fill positions) and this will lead to many IT openings not getting the laser focused attention that is required in this extremely competitive IT marketplace.

Image Credit:

Image Credit:

Many organizations, therefore, are turning to different recruiting strategies and Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) is a model that is gaining in popularity and generating new IT recruiting successes.  The RPO model can be structured to recruit for all positions in a company or just the IT openings can be “carved out” and moved to the RPO unit.  By only transitioning the IT positions, a company can “ease” into the RPO concept and not have such a dramatic impact on the internal recruiting department.  The corporate recruiters will then be freed up to completely focus on all non-IT types of hiring needs.

Simultaneously, the RPO unit will be required to concentrate on all open IT positions due to the contractual Service Level Agreements (SLA’s).  The dedicated recruiters are extremely experienced in searching for the highly technical IT skill sets and are required to continue the search until qualified candidates are identified for each open IT position.

In the event that the IT hiring needs are not being met within an organization, it would be worthwhile to consider a “blended” recruiting strategy – institute an RPO model for all IT positions while leveraging the internal corporate recruiters for all other open positions.

Please call Quantix Consulting, Inc. for assistance with your IT recruiting needs:  (720) 457-7409.

Turn Your iPhone Into A Game Boy With This April Fools Prank That Turned Into A Real Product

As seen on

By: Steven Tweedie

Soon you’ll be able to turn your iPhone 6 into a functioning Game Boy thanks to gaming hardware company Hyperkin.

When Hyperkin first teased the design for the device on Reddit, most thought it was an April Fools’ Day prank — and it was — but Hyperkin has since decided to create and sell the device, and it’s calling it the “Smart Boy.”

The Smart Boy will allow people to insert their iPhone 6 into the device, giving them access to physical controls such as an 8-way D pad and four buttons designed to mimic the A, B, select, and start buttons found on the original Game Boy.

The coolest feature? The Smart Boy will also work with original Game Boy and Game Boy Color game cartridges, which will slot into the back of the device.

Image Credit: Hyperkin/Business Insider

Image Credit: Hyperkin/Business Insider

“We wanted to create a retro device that can be easily adapted into any modern gamer’s arsenal of devices,” said Hyperkin’s product developer, Chris Gallizzi, in a press release.

The Smart Boy will also include its own battery to help extend playing time, and since the device uses the iPhone 6 Plus’ screen instead of its own, you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite Game Boy games with a backlit screen that features “noticeable upscaling” — so you won’t have to squint.

On the software side, the Smart Boy will talk to your iPhone through its own dedicated app that will take care of saving games and offer a cheat database.

It’s entirely possible that Nintendo could attempt to shut this project down — they have a history of pulling the plug on any infringing ideas. But, since the Smart Boy doesn’t feature any Nintendo branding and Nintendo’s hardware patents have expired, there’s a good chance it will survive.

The Smart Boy will launch with an “80s Grey” color, but Hyperkin says more colors could be available in the future. Android users will have to wait a little longer for their own version, but Gallizzi revealed that Hyperkin is “working on an open side-panel version for Android phones” in his original Reddit post.

There’s no release date yet for the Smart Boy, but you can follow Hyperkin on Twitter for the latest update to the project.

Genius! This Farmer Figured Out How To Use A Drone To Herd His Sheep Remotely

As seen on

By: Drew Prindle

You’ve probably seen some pretty crazy and unusual uses for drones before. In the past few years, tinkerers have built everything from pizza delivery drones to aerial lifeguard UAVs — but if you think you’ve seen it all, think again. Feast your eyes on Shep: the world’s first sheep herding drone.

Basically, Irish sheep farmer and drone enthusiast Paul Brennan has figured out that an RC quadcopter is incredibly effective for moving sheep from one field to another. Based on the footage in the video above, it appears that the drone’s buzzing scares the bejeezus out of the sheep, and whenever it comes near, the’ll quickly hightail it in the opposite direction. With the right flightpath, Brennan can easily route the herd wherever he wants it to go.

Image Credit: Digital Trends

Image Credit: Digital Trends

This particular setup requires a human pilot for guidance, but it doesn’t take a large stretch of the imagination to see how drones could one day be programmed to herd sheep autonomously. Farmers are already experimenting with using drones for things like monitoring crops and dispensing fertilizers/insecticides, so animal herding seems like a logical next step.

UAVs probably aren’t going to replace regular ol’ sheepdogs anytime soon, but in the future, aerial shepherding systems that use computer vision and sophisticated herd-moving software could prove more efficient than a pack of trained dogs. Armed with GPS, herding drones could even be dispatched from afar with the push of a button.

Forget delivery — drones are going to revolutionize agriculture and farming before anything else.

Five Amazing Things We’ve Been Promised ‘Within Five Years’

As seen on 

By: Mark Milian 

The head of Google’s self-driving car unit says his team is committed to getting autonomous vehicles on the road within five years. That’s a wildly ambitious goal, considering Google has a long list of technical, production, and—perhaps most difficult—regulatory roadblocks to overcome.

Five years may seem like an arbitrary time frame to promise delivery of a controversial, unproven product, but it turns out to be a sweet spot for technology predictions. In the past year or so, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and other tech executives have chosen five as the magic number of years for their big predictions to come to fruition.

Sometimes these estimates do come true: Mobile carriers in the U.S. are on track to deliver on President Obama’s five-year promise from 2011 to cover 98 percent of Americans with high-speed wireless Internet. Just don’t get your hopes too high. In 2001, Bill Gates told us we’d all be using Windows tablet PCs in five years. Another Microsoft exec, Nathan Myhrvold, predicted the five-year demise of Windows, starting in 1999. By next year, IBM should be bringing us mind-controlled computers. Good luck with that.

Why five? When you consider that there were no iPads or mass-market electric cars five years ago, it shows how much can be accomplished in a half-decade. A cynic might say it’s because nobody will remember a crazy prediction five years from now.

Five might be the favorite number among technologists (and, incidentally, Joseph Stalin), but it’s not the only measurement for prophecies. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman frequently and infamously predicted during the height of the Iraq War that “the next six months” would be critical to determining success or failure. More recently, an Italian neuroscientist says it’ll be possible to transplant a head onto someone else’s body within two years. Senator Harry Reid predicts the Washington Redskins will change their name “within the next three years.” A NASA astronomer thinks we’ll find evidence of aliens within 20 years. A group of scientists predicts that a volcano could make Japan “extinct” within 100 years—or maybe the entire planet will face mass extinction, according to another group. Those are cheery thoughts.

Image Credit: Bloomberg

Image Credit: Bloomberg

While this isn’t a comprehensive list—we haven’t forgotten about 5G, Star Wars holograms, a universal flu vaccine, or Myanmar’s first satellite launch, which will be no easy feat for one of Asia’s poorest countries—here are five of the most amazing (and horrifying) things we’re supposed to get within five years.

1. Google self-driving cars on the road

Chris Urmson, the director of Google’s self-driving car project, gave a presentation at TED Talks on Tuesday, where he said the company is aiming to get its vehicles on the road within five years. Urmson has a personal reason for picking that deadline: His 11-year-old son will be eligible to get his driver’s license in about four and a half years. “My team and I are committed to making sure that doesn’t happen,” he said.

Few people are as optimistic about the road to autonomous vehicles as Urmson. A director of General Motors’ self-driving car research lab at Carnegie Mellon University said they’ll be common within 15 years. An analyst at Morgan Stanley went with 2026. Musk, who’s not shy about making predictions, avoided nailing down a time frame for autonomous vehicles this week. The chief executive officer at Tesla Motors, which has been developing its own autopilot system, said on Tuesday that we’ll “take autonomous cars for granted” in a short period of time.

2. Netflix everywhere in the world

Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, told the audience at a UBS media conference in New York on Dec. 8 that the company would like its streaming service to “be completely global, available everywhere in the world” within five years. Netflix is currently available in 78 markets, mainly in the Western Hemisphere.

3. Zuckerberg’s vision for a mostly video Facebook

Smartphones are making it easier for people to shoot video, and the latest server tech is making it possible for Facebook to store and deliver more of it than ever before, Zuckerberg said in a public question-and-answer session on Nov. 6. “Now, most of Facebook is photos,” the CEO said. “Five years ago, most of Facebook was text, and if you fast-forward five years, probably most of it is going to be video.” If it turns out to be anything like the Ice Bucket Challenge of last summer, we’ll go back to Friendster.

4. Musk’s killer robot nightmare

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO started sounding the alarms about the risks of artificial intelligence last year. Musk joked at a Vanity Fair conference in October that an AI system designed to get rid of e-mail spam may determine that “the best way of getting rid of spam is getting rid of humans.” Then in November he penned a dystopian prediction on the website “The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five year timeframe. 10 years at most,” he wrote in a comment that has since been deleted. Musk, along with physicist Stephen Hawking and many researchers in the field, co-signed an open letter pushing for “maximizing the societal benefit of AI” to avoid a doomsday scenario.

5. Amazon drone delivery

Bezos announced’s delivery drone in December 2013, saying the company may start using them within five years, pending U.S. Federal Aviation Administration approval. That’s turned out to be a big “if,” and a year later, Amazon told the FAA it may move drone testing outside of the U.S. On Feb. 15 the government agency introduced a proposal to open the skies to unmanned flight. But the rules would prevent companies from flying the vehicles outside of the operator’s line of sight. That kind of eliminates the point of delivering packages via drone. Meanwhile, Alibaba has been flying drones over Beijing to deliver ginger tea.