December 08, 2000, 1:53 PM —
RACHEL MCKEE AND Kara Gray are founding partners in Preferred Solutions, a 3-year-
old recruiting company in Las Vegas, NV., that specializes in IT recruitment for
InfoWorld: How important is it for you to know the culture of the companies you're
Gray: It's actually very important for a couple of reasons. We have to make sure
the candidate sits well with the people they're working with. And we want to make sure
[the company] is comfortable with the people we're bringing to the table.
InfoWorld: What's the most fertile recruiting ground?
Gray: I don't think we've found the most fertile ground. There's no one place.
Going to Monster.com isn't going to do it. Placing an ad isn't going to do it. These
star candidates aren't typically out looking in newspapers or looking on the Internet.
In the majority of cases, it's networking.
InfoWorld: How important is it to make personal contact with IT recruits?
McKee: Our presentation is probably our most useful tool. What that means is
getting on the phone and actually talking to the person or sending an e-mail.
Gray: We do it in a way so they don't feel pressure. We say, 'Here we are.' I
rarely find anybody who is turned off. They are usually interested in sharing
information about themselves or someone they know.
InfoWorld: How do you nudge the dot-com start-ups you work with to raise salaries
if they aren't competitive?
McKee: They're not always aware. That's part of our comparison analysis. If they're
not up to par, we let them know. We also let them know that if they don't [improve]
their compensation program they may not find or attract the best candidate.
InfoWorld: With the exception of straight salary and stock options, do dot-coms
have a little more flexibility in offering fewer benefits than traditional companies?
McKee: There's no standard. I think mostly what people are looking for is stock,
but health benefits can vary on a wide scale. People are taking a risk when they come
[to a dot-com], so if they have to pay for their own health insurance out of their
pocket just to get shares, they'll do that.
InfoWorld: How important is the legendary 'relaxed' dot-com working environment to
potential IT recruits?
Gray: Most of the people nowadays -- especially the technical people -- are in
jeans and T-shirts and sandals. I would expect that these smaller companies have no
problem with that.