Bubble Redux? Candidates Are Shopping for the Best Employers

You have to show respect for the candidate, warns Boaz Felsenstein, HR manager at Scopus Video Networks

It's like a redux of the bubble days. "The hi-tech sector has returned to a place where workers get to choose an employer, instead of the company choosing candidates. Authority manager who doesn't get that will have trouble recruiting quality manpower," warns human resources manager Boaz Felsenstein of Scopus Video Networks.

Speaking at a seminar held by the placement company CPS, Felsenstein spoke of patterns in hiring that shriek of the bubble era, at the turn of the millennium, before the tech crash on Wall Street. For instance, experts on Java are demanding pay levels that would make them among the top 10% of earners, he says. Instead of companies trolling for talent, good people interview companies to find the best deal, he relates.

During 2006, Felsenstein reveals, no less than 15% of Scopus' 270 workers jumped ship. Of them, 20% were management level, he says.

"That means we have a serious problem. The reason they quit is that we're back in the era of dot.com dreams," Felsenstein avers. "Today I wouldn't let a good person leave Scopus. I would try very hard to consider his financial demands. If he's sick of his job, I'd try to find him other work just to keep him on board, even if he's less suitable to the new job."

Because hi-tech is flourishing again, Felsenstein warns human resources managers - they are not at the center of things. It's the candidate who is. "Therefore, I advise any human resources manager: give the candidate respect," he says. "Don't make the candidate come to your office. Meet him where it's convenient for him. Or host him at the company cafeteria, engage in small talk, and if the CEO needs me at that moment ? say, 'Sorry, I'm meeting with a candidate right now.'"

Also, don't make the candidate sit there twiddling his thumbs waiting for you to free time, Felsenstein admonishes his colleagues. Respect for the candidate: that should be the motto of all hi-tech companies these days, he says.