On one of the forums this week a poster asked where Computer Forensics jobs are advertised. Really, this should be an easy question to answer but, in reality, for all our specialist markets (including computer forensics) the answer isn't quite so simple.
Unlike some recruiters who advertise the same/similar jobs endlessly (yawn) as a company we hardly ever advertise our open roles for a number of reasons:
We aint hot on riting and can't be bothered as we would rather be in a bar with a lager from 11.30 am. This is, of course, just a rather tame little joke (regular readers will know that most of my attempts at humour tend to be as amusing as a Liberal Democrat MP defending their current position on any given issue).
So, moving swiftly on to the serious points:
1, Advertising is hit and miss
Our Consultants and Researchers have worked in our sectors for a number of years and have large networks. This means that we tend to know who works where and based on our market knowledge we can then approach suitable people directly for specific roles. Advertising jobs is a terribly ineffective way of attracting the right applicants for all but the very lowest-level positions - it really is posting an advert and then keeping fingers-crossed for the right response!
The following example illustrates this point. When we first recruited forensics specialists for the Met Police a few years ago they had previously advertised their jobs in the Evening Standard. They then interviewed something like 25 people who all proved unsuitable. Excluding the cost of placing the advert, the cost of four people interviewing the unsuccessful candidates was a tremendous waste of time and money.
There is also the issue of where to advertise online in niche areas as there are just so many different sites.
Out of the generalist boards we use Jobsite for some of our roles and they certainly give us the best response plus, in my experience, they are a pleasure to deal with every time. Also, as sponsors of Portsmouth FC they are kindly entertaining me in their box for the visit of the Mighty Leeds United in January (thanks, Alex)!
Other sites produce a terrible response and are a real pain to deal with on a daily basis. Seriously, dinner with Gillian McKeith starts to look appealing compared to working with these guys! I forget which ones I have vowed never to use again but the thread below about Monster has taken on legendary status in our office (the 'hilarity' begins at the fourth response when the poster is rumbled):
2, Finding the very best people for the job
People who apply for jobs tend to be unhappy for some reason - sometimes due to less than perfect performance (although, of course, not always) whereas our Clients tend to want to employ people who are performing to an exceptional level. In his fantasic training courses, the outstanding and inspirational recruitment trainer Roy Ripper (his real name, honestly: http://www.royripper.com/about/) described this as 'finding the best people in the market rather than on the market'.
As recruiters the very essence of our existence is that we are supposed to find the very best people for any role. If we can't go beyond sifting advert response then employers may just as well advertise the roles themselves.
Although I constantly read from disillusioned jobseekers (presumably) that recruiters advertise jobs just to harvest CV's for most of us that is far from the case. Believe me when I say that I really don't want to waste lots of time filtering through unsuitable responses and providing the necessary feedback.
However, back to the question of Computer Forensics jobs. When we do advertise these roles in addition to our website it is either on Forensic Focus or Linkedin (where the number of job postings are rapidly increasing). I would also advise keeping an eye on the better generalist boards such as CWjobs or Jobsite as occasionally jobs are posted there that you won't find anywhere else. You can also sometimes find gems on the specialist financial sites or legal-orientated boards like the excellent: www.legaltechnology.com.
My advice is to always employ a balanced strategy. Check the job boards above, make enquiries through your own network and, most importantly of course, speak to your favourite specialist recruiter! For those of you who try to avoid recruiters and raised your eyebrows at that last line I suggest you think of it in the following way. Even if you choose not to be represented by a recruiter for specific vacancies why not take advantage of the free market intelligence a recruiter can provide in the form of trends, salary advice etc. In this market what is there to lose?
Finally, good luck the Mighty Leeds United tomorrow as they once more demonstrate their unique brand of 'total football' to the people of Burnley!