Headhunters in tech from left to right: Jared Furtado and Jana Rich
Towerhill associates/Rich Talent groupHeadhunters help big companies like Dropbox, Uber, and Plaid hire visionaries for top roles and the process is much more involved than simply scanning resumes.
Headhunters have to have multiple conversations with senior people at the company, dissect job descriptions, and more as they try to find the right fit.
Two top tech headhunters share common mistakes they see, like companies that use language that causes them to miss out on up-and-comers with fresh perspectives who can rise to the challenge, or descriptions that are too vague.
Sometimes companies will get bogged down with a long wish list and it's up to the headhunter to cut through the weeds to figure out what's really important.
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Headhunters discreetly keep Silicon Valley companies competitive by finding top talent to fill C-suite positions, taking meetings with high-level movers and shakers in the hopes of placing them in new, lucrative positions.
The process of finding a suitable executive for a hot tech firm is different from how recruiters fill engineering, sales, or product roles: through job sites and scanned resumes, according to cofounder of boutique headhunting firm Towerhill Associates, Jared Furtado.
The most sought-after execs don't upload their resumes to job sites or update their LinkedIns, says Furtado, whose firm has worked with the likes of Uber, Dropbox, and Plaid. That's where headhunters come in.
"You want to keep a search exclusive-feeling: You don't want to just have it blasted out," Furtado said. "That's why job postings, they can be good — because you can certainly get that out there that this company is hiring — but then from a job seeker standpoint, it loses that high-touch feeling. It stops feeling exclusive. And top tier candidates aren't spending their time looking at job postings."
Furtado and cofounder of Rich Talent Group, Jana Rich, laid out the typical process: Client companies will come to a firm to fill a high-level placement — a CTO, or a VP of data science, for instance — and a headhunter will have multiple conversations with members of the executive team to discover the most important attributes a candidate should have. From there, a headhunter will scan through their personal database of potential candidates and ask externally for referrals from colleagues who are in the industry.
Most headhunting firms are paid one of two ways: On contingency or on retainer. Contingency means that firms are paid based on whether or not they find a candidate, whereas firms on retainer are paid a yearly fee.
The real asset of a headhunter is their network: knowing the cream-of-the-crop will help them fill open positions. Towerhill Associates has a database of hundreds of thousands of names it has collected since its inception in 2008 and Furtado himself has placed execs at big-name companies and pre-seed startups alike. Rich Talent Group serves more than 80 high-profile clients like Asana, Airbnb, and Facebook and has placed the CEO of Evite, the president of Uber, and the head of communications at Coinbase, among others.
Furtado and Rich both said there are plenty of bumps along the way when it comes to the hiring process, though, and highlighted three key mistakes that companies tend to make:
Headhunters have to cut through long wish-lists, vague boilerplate language, and unclear or unattainable goals
Companies often come to headhunting firms with a too-long laundry list of must-haves, or use language in their job descriptions that ends up eliminating up-and-coming female or minority candidates right off the bat, says Rich, who has been in the headhunting business since 1996. This can force the company to miss out on diverse voices in their boardrooms or executive suites.
"For example, 'they have to have lead a team of X number of people,' which can really exclude a lot of women, and people of color," Rich said. "So [I'll be] really pushing on them like, 'Okay, this might be the first time this individual has led a 100 person team. But are you open to that?'"
Furtado and Rich both said that companies too-often use boilerplate candidate character descriptions that they haven't quite defined themselves, like "strategic" or "hands-on."
"Even the concept of strategic, what does that mean?" Rich said. "Let's really unpack, what does that even mean? Does that mean they're smart? Does that mean they can think about new business models? And why? When you say strategic, what are examples of projects you have to work on? Because strategic can mean radically different things depending on what it is we're actually talking about."
Vague language makes the process of finding the perfect candidate to lead the company difficult, which is why headhunters often have multiple discussions with current high-level people. Getting a fuller, more concrete understanding of the role helps them pluck the right candidates to interview.
Rich asks questions like: "What are the actual reasons and motivations around why they're seeking to fill this role? And what are the metrics for success going to look like? What are they must-haves versus the nice-to-haves?"
She also often asks client companies why a certain position exists, and what role it plays in the company's overall success: "Our work with them is to try to get the criteria as specific as possible."
Sometimes Rich and Furtado will connect with a company after it has already tried and failed to work with another firm or find someone to fill the role internally. When a firm struggles to fill critical, executive-level positions, headhunters have to help them refine their goals.
"You kind of have to play, detective. What happened?" Furtado said. "If you interviewed 30 candidates for an executive position, that's a lot. Where were the expectations? Maybe the type of skill set you're thinking for, not one person has that. Maybe you have to break this up into two roles."
Rich said the role of a headhunter often requires thinking outside the box and ahead of the client company to find the right fit. Part of the reason companies will use headhunters is to get an outsider's view of what the company can benefit from: Headhunters collect anywhere from 10 to 15 new prospective executives everyday, and are often at the forefront of finding exceptional talent.
"One thing I love," Rich said, "Is that companies will say, 'I wouldn't have found that if it weren't for you and your team.'"
PORTLAND, Ore., Oct. 28, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Liaison, an award-winning public relations firm specializing in 3D technology, today announces the addition of virtual production technologies creator, Ncam, to its agency roster. Drawing on 20+ years of experience in emerging tech, Liaison will design strategic marketing, public relations and social media campaigns aimed at positioning Ncam as the industry-leading real-time camera tracking solution for film, broadcast and live events.
“We are at a pivotal moment in the mainstreaming of virtual production technologies,” said Ncam CEO Nic Hatch. “From film and TV to sports, esports and news, the COVID-19 pandemic has compelled a drastic shift toward real-time workflows and we want to come out on top.”
Ncam builds powerful real-time tracking tools that allow companies to visualize live XR graphics and CGI environments directly in-camera and integrates seamlessly with game engines and Mandalorian-style LED walls. Since 2012, Ncam tools have been used on everything from Star Wars to the Super Bowl, setting a new standard for what’s possible in broadcast and film. As industries increasingly embrace real-time workflows, Ncam has continued to innovate, most recently with the release of its Ncam Reality suite.
“Companies thrive when they make strategic messaging a guiding force,” said Heidi Lowell, founder and president of Liaison. “At this critical moment, where the leaders of a new virtual production goldrush are being decided, our multi-channel communications strategy will be key in shaping the identity of Ncam and how they reach new customers.”
Highly skilled at breaking down complex tech for the masses, Liaison will help Ncam encourage the broader adoption of virtual production techniques by lifting the confusion around how to get started. This will come in the form of educational features, Q&As, social campaigns, customer success stories and more. To further its use, Liaison will also highlight the affordability and accessibility of Ncam solutions, which allow teams of all sizes to collaborate more freely and make better decisions in the moment.
About LiaisonFounded in 1998, Liaison represents a “who’s who” of the 3D tech and production world. One of the first 3D PR firms, Liaison helps clients capitalize on the most interesting aspects of 3D, providing an easier path to stories that stick. Liaison focuses on films, games, broadcast, VR/AR, emerging tech, animation and architecture. Current/former clients include NVIDIA, Wacom, Chaos Group, Digital Domain, Rokoko, TurboSquid, Foundry and Allegorithmic.
About NcamNcam are the creators of Ncam Reality, the most advanced real-time camera tracker in the world. From Star Wars to the Super Bowl, Ncam Reality is used throughout the broadcast, film and live events industries by some of the biggest brands in the world to visualize photorealistic graphics in real-time. Customers include: Amazon, CNN, Disney, ESPN, Netflix, the NFL and Sky TV.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Two days after touching down on asteroid Bennu, NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission team received on Thursday, Oct. 22, images that confirm the spacecraft has collected more than enough material to meet one of its main mission requirements – acquiring at least 2 ounces (60 grams) of the asteroid's surface material.
The spacecraft captured images of the sample collector head as it moved through several different positions. In reviewing these images, the OSIRIS-REx team noticed both that the head appeared to be full of asteroid particles, and that some of these particles appeared to be escaping slowly from the sample collector, called the Touch-And-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism (TAGSAM) head. They suspect bits of material are passing through small gaps where a mylar flap – the collector's "lid" – is slightly wedged open by larger rocks.
"Bennu continues to surprise us with great science and also throwing a few curveballs," said Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA's associate administrator for science at the agency's headquarters in Washington. "And although we may have to move more quickly to stow the sample, it's not a bad problem to have. We are so excited to see what appears to be an abundant sample that will inspire science for decades beyond this historic moment."
The team believes it has collected a sufficient sample and is on a path to stow the sample as quickly as possible. They came to this conclusion after comparing images of the empty collector head with Oct. 22 images of the TAGSAM head after the sample collection event.
The images also show that any movement to the spacecraft and the TAGSAM instrument may lead to further sample loss. To preserve the remaining material, the mission team decided to forego the Sample Mass Measurement activity originally scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 24, and canceled a braking burn scheduled for Friday to minimize any acceleration to the spacecraft.
From here, the OSIRIS-Rex team will focus on stowing the sample in the Sample Return Capsule (SRC), where any loose material will be kept safe during the spacecraft's journey back to Earth.
"We are working to keep up with our own success here, and my job is to safely return as large a sample of Bennu as possible," said Dante Lauretta, OSIRIS-REx principal investigator at the University of Arizona in Tucson, who leads the science team and the mission's science observation planning and data processing. "The loss of mass is of concern to me, so I'm strongly encouraging the team to stow this precious sample as quickly as possible."
The TAGSAM head performed the sampling event in optimal conditions. Newly available analyses show that the collector head was flush with Bennu's surface when it made contact and when the nitrogen gas bottle was fired to stir surface material. It also penetrated several centimeters into the asteroid's surface material. All data so far suggest that the collector head is holding much more than 2 ounces of regolith.
OSIRIS-REx remains in good health, and the mission team is finalizing a timeline for sample storage. An update will be provided once a decision is made on the sample storage timing and procedures.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, provides overall mission management, systems engineering and the safety and mission assurance for OSIRIS-REx. Lockheed Martin Space in Denver built the spacecraft and is providing flight operations. Goddard and KinetX Aerospace of Tempe, Arizona, are responsible for navigating the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. OSIRIS-REx is the third mission in NASA's New Frontiers Program, which is managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for the agency's Science Mission Directorate in Washington.
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