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Scott Brown
Top 10% Recruitment

Principal at

Member Since October 2013

Oakland, CA, 9461

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Hi, I'm Scott. I am a recruitment expert and small business hiring consultant with over 14 years industry experience. I started my business in 2009 as a pure recruiter, but have morphed it into a consultancy on internal hiring. I love small business and I love what I do, as it really sits well with my passion for the people side of any business. On top of that I am a blogger / writer and speaker on hiring within small businesses.

Reputation

Branding

Can hiring Influence your branding?

Hiring seems so innocuous to some. It’s simply putting a new person on as staff and integrating them into the business and environment, without much else happening externally, right? It would certainly seem that way, yet how we hire can affect how we are perceived in the marketplace, almost certainly influencing brand recognition.There are two key areas that influence this, and these two are p...

Recruitment

Top 10 hiring mistakes - #1 - not a plan in sight

Here it is: the Number 1 hiring mistake...and potentially the one causing the most issues for any business. Going for a bushwalk into an area you have not been before without a map and proper preparations is akin to trying to blow up jelly with dynamite: it’s pointless and potentially dangerous. The most skilled bushwalkers have a map, compass, provisions and equipment to prepare them for any...

Recruitment

Top 10 hiring mistakes – #2 – assuming the offer is the end of the process

After going through an exhaustive hiring process, where many resumes were received, a number of interviews completed and reference checks done perfectly, we reach the point where the decision has been made, the candidate has been chosen and the offer of employment is on the table. We can now put our feet up and wait for the inevitable signing on the dotted line and the confirmation we have a ne...

Recruitment

Top 10 hiring mistakes – #3 – position description failures

At the time when you want to put your role to market, your aim is to attract the best candidates, right? Getting something simple like the wording of the position description could be the difference by being handed several great candidates, or showered in dross. In my 15 years of recruitment I have seen every type of position description – from the 5 brief lines one to the 10 page thesis. I...

Recruitment

Top 10 hiring mistakes - #4 - on-boarding stuff-ups

Let’s get these statistics out there straight away: candidates / new employees who do not have an effective on-boarding process to go through with their employer are 22% more likely to leave within 6 weeks of starting (from a study by the US-based The Wynhurst Group). If, then, the role is more senior, that figure leads into 50% failure in the first 18 months. Additionally, the cost to an empl...

Recruitment

Top 10 hiring mistakes - #5 - an over-reliance on seek

Once we are in a position to put the role to market, typically the path is taken where the most common and (let’s be honest) overused methods are generally used. Trouble is, so does everyone else, and our little ad is swamped by many, many others, ending up lost. The problem lies in complacency in the way employers advertise roles or how they find candidates. This complacency means that the e...

Recruitment

Top 10 hiring mistakes - #6 - hiring ourselves

  How many times have we seen decisions made during a hiring process based on a simple case of distinct similarities? How many times have business owners / Directors / Hiring Managers hired someone who is a carbon copy of themselves? Surprisingly (or perhaps not so) it happens far more often that we would care to admit. Inexperienced employers fall into the same trap of hiring candidates who...

Recruitment

Top 10 hiring mistakes - #7 - poor reference checks - or lack thereof

In the countdown of the Top 10 Hiring Mistakes, we land at number 7 - Poor Reference Checks...or lack thereof. Because, what I find interesting in speaking with businesses about their hiring process is this: Reference checks are often an afterthought and poorly done - if done at all. Good decisions are made when all information is available. A quality decision is when all this information is in...

Human Resources

Top 10 hiring mistakes - #8 - awful interviewing

Providing you have completed a solid process to this point, you are ready to interview. The interview is generally the first time you have ever laid eyes on the candidate for your role and presents the best opportunity to verify they are indeed good for the role. Questions It is here that you will really start to determine if the person sitting in front of you is employee material – which is...

Recruitment

It's halloween...what can hirers learn from today?

Halloween is a great time for kids and a chance to let the ‘spooky side’ have a play, usually with kids dressing up going from house to house looking for treats, which they happily consume in a matter of seconds afterwards. But what can kids trick or treating teach us about hiring? Surprisingly a lot! Firstly, a bit of background: My son is 10, he has the Autism-based condition called Asper...

Scott Brown answered this question

Do you find marketing enjoyable or is it a necessary evil?

Some...actually a lot...of marketing I love. Networking, conducting seminars and generally speaking on topics I love to speak on, content marketing, that sort of stuff is exciting for me. However, my dark, dark recruitment days had me doing cold calling - the unsolicited phone calls to businesses without any reference or relationship. This was a horrid way to sell and put me off marketing in general for a long time. It wasn't until I realised that cold calling was a poor method of marketing and frankly best done away with, that the methods mentioned above became much more prominent.

Bottom line I realised that do what you love doing - marketing wise. All this hoo-haa about stepping out of your comfort zone is crazy. If you show your excitement while you market, you will come across as far more engaging, genuine and believable. And that, above all else, will get you the wins.

Scott Brown answered this question

How to start in networking and infrastructure as a student?

Hi Danh,

Best advice is to build a career path, with the goal of getting into network / infrastructure. I would look at a HelpDesk 1 role for starters, as it will be a great entry point into any sized organisation. Move then into Level 2 and 3. Once you hit Level 3 (even 2 can allow this), you usually start to specialise...and this is where you really push for N/W / Infrastructure areas. Most senior support roles morph into a Systems Administrator or Network Administrator - and that is your ticket into it fully. Usually, if you stick at it, it can take only a couple of years to get there.

As far as study, your BIS will get you into a support role. From there, ensure you get qualifications specific to the networking area you are after. As an example, if you want to be more of a data / voice expert, get your CCNA / CCIE (Cisco qualifications). If you are more into Windows, get your MCITP. Wanting to get into virtualisation or cloud, look at qualifications around VMWare (VMCP) or Hyper-V. If you want to be more of a storage expert, ensure you look at courses through the main storage companies like EMC. Regardless, as you progress, you will need to keep on top of the changes in infra / N/w and these courses will help.

Bottom line is that there are clear paths for networking / infrastructure roles, and you will get there if you are determined to do so. Hope this information helps and please feel free to contact me if you need any more.

Good luck!

Scott.

Recruitment

Top 10 hiring mistakes - #9 - panic hiring

The moment when a staff member leaves or an influx of new work hits a business is usually the time it reduces to panic stations in an attempt to replace or cater. It is this panic, though, that breeds poor hiring decisions, as they are based on nothing but a simple concept of “they will do”.   “They Will Do” is code for simplistic and pretty much baseless decisions – they look good, s...

Scott Brown answered this question

John Belchamber
John Belchamber, Owner & Senior Consultant at Invoke Results

Leadership

What Is The Biggest Challenge You Face With People In Business?

Whilst I don't have employees myself, I have worked with plenty of businesses who do. The major challenge that comes up time and time again is keeping a cohesive culture. James' 5 points are excellent and all pertain to keeping a positive, engaged and productive culture. The challenge is when employees move or growth happens, and new employees are required. How do they maintain that culture that has been fostered over a period of time and ensure that new employees are able to integrate well into it? It's not as easy as you would initially think.

Recruitment

Top 10 Hiring Mistakes - #10 - Hiring on Skills Only

As a hiring adviser to many businesses, one of the most common questions I get asked is what is the biggest mistakes you can make when hiring. To be perfectly honest, there are many mistakes that can happen during any process and it is because of this, as well as them being relatively unknown, that prompted me to look at the Top 10 hiring mistakes These are problems that can be easily dealt with,...

Scott Brown answered this question

Micha Wotton
Micha Wotton, Head of Development at SavvySME

Recruitment

How much do recruiters typically charge?

During my career as an IT recruiter (and as the initial scope of my business subsequently - moved into internal hiring consulting now), some agencies are bound to charge nominal, non-negotiable fees for all recruitment activity. Averages sit in the 12-18% of annual salary (base  plus superannuation). If you are determined to go down the agency path, my advice would be to shop around. Fortunately, it's a market skewed to the client currently, so you could get yourself a great deal...but only with the smaller, boutique firms, as they will be more accommodating on negotiating fees. There are ways and means of doing that negotiation to make it even more mutually beneficial, but I could be here for days going through them! Suffice to say: shop around.

John makes some great points, particularly on the impact of bad hires...but I will challenge one of them. The research I have done suggests that a bad hire's cost can be anywhere from 30% of the annual salary to over 5 times, depending on the role, customer interaction and propensity of business development. Regardless of the actual figure, though the point remains - it's a major risk.

Branding

Can hiring Influence your branding?

Hiring seems so innocuous to some. It’s simply putting a new person on as staff and integrating them into the business and environment, without much else happening externally, right? It would certainly seem that way, yet how we hire can affect how we are perceived in the marketplace, almost certainly influencing brand recognition.There are two key areas that influence this, and these two are p...

Recruitment

Top 10 hiring mistakes - #1 - not a plan in sight

Here it is: the Number 1 hiring mistake...and potentially the one causing the most issues for any business. Going for a bushwalk into an area you have not been before without a map and proper preparations is akin to trying to blow up jelly with dynamite: it’s pointless and potentially dangerous. The most skilled bushwalkers have a map, compass, provisions and equipment to prepare them for any...

Recruitment

Top 10 hiring mistakes – #2 – assuming the offer is the end of the process

After going through an exhaustive hiring process, where many resumes were received, a number of interviews completed and reference checks done perfectly, we reach the point where the decision has been made, the candidate has been chosen and the offer of employment is on the table. We can now put our feet up and wait for the inevitable signing on the dotted line and the confirmation we have a ne...

Recruitment

Top 10 hiring mistakes – #3 – position description failures

At the time when you want to put your role to market, your aim is to attract the best candidates, right? Getting something simple like the wording of the position description could be the difference by being handed several great candidates, or showered in dross. In my 15 years of recruitment I have seen every type of position description – from the 5 brief lines one to the 10 page thesis. I...

Recruitment

Top 10 hiring mistakes - #4 - on-boarding stuff-ups

Let’s get these statistics out there straight away: candidates / new employees who do not have an effective on-boarding process to go through with their employer are 22% more likely to leave within 6 weeks of starting (from a study by the US-based The Wynhurst Group). If, then, the role is more senior, that figure leads into 50% failure in the first 18 months. Additionally, the cost to an empl...

Recruitment

Top 10 hiring mistakes - #5 - an over-reliance on seek

Once we are in a position to put the role to market, typically the path is taken where the most common and (let’s be honest) overused methods are generally used. Trouble is, so does everyone else, and our little ad is swamped by many, many others, ending up lost. The problem lies in complacency in the way employers advertise roles or how they find candidates. This complacency means that the e...

Recruitment

Top 10 hiring mistakes - #6 - hiring ourselves

  How many times have we seen decisions made during a hiring process based on a simple case of distinct similarities? How many times have business owners / Directors / Hiring Managers hired someone who is a carbon copy of themselves? Surprisingly (or perhaps not so) it happens far more often that we would care to admit. Inexperienced employers fall into the same trap of hiring candidates who...

Recruitment

Top 10 hiring mistakes - #7 - poor reference checks - or lack thereof

In the countdown of the Top 10 Hiring Mistakes, we land at number 7 - Poor Reference Checks...or lack thereof. Because, what I find interesting in speaking with businesses about their hiring process is this: Reference checks are often an afterthought and poorly done - if done at all. Good decisions are made when all information is available. A quality decision is when all this information is in...

Human Resources

Top 10 hiring mistakes - #8 - awful interviewing

Providing you have completed a solid process to this point, you are ready to interview. The interview is generally the first time you have ever laid eyes on the candidate for your role and presents the best opportunity to verify they are indeed good for the role. Questions It is here that you will really start to determine if the person sitting in front of you is employee material – which is...

Recruitment

It's halloween...what can hirers learn from today?

Halloween is a great time for kids and a chance to let the ‘spooky side’ have a play, usually with kids dressing up going from house to house looking for treats, which they happily consume in a matter of seconds afterwards. But what can kids trick or treating teach us about hiring? Surprisingly a lot! Firstly, a bit of background: My son is 10, he has the Autism-based condition called Asper...

Recruitment

Top 10 hiring mistakes - #9 - panic hiring

The moment when a staff member leaves or an influx of new work hits a business is usually the time it reduces to panic stations in an attempt to replace or cater. It is this panic, though, that breeds poor hiring decisions, as they are based on nothing but a simple concept of “they will do”.   “They Will Do” is code for simplistic and pretty much baseless decisions – they look good, s...

Recruitment

Top 10 Hiring Mistakes - #10 - Hiring on Skills Only

As a hiring adviser to many businesses, one of the most common questions I get asked is what is the biggest mistakes you can make when hiring. To be perfectly honest, there are many mistakes that can happen during any process and it is because of this, as well as them being relatively unknown, that prompted me to look at the Top 10 hiring mistakes These are problems that can be easily dealt with,...

Scott Brown answered this question

Do you find marketing enjoyable or is it a necessary evil?

Some...actually a lot...of marketing I love. Networking, conducting seminars and generally speaking on topics I love to speak on, content marketing, that sort of stuff is exciting for me. However, my dark, dark recruitment days had me doing cold calling - the unsolicited phone calls to businesses without any reference or relationship. This was a horrid way to sell and put me off marketing in general for a long time. It wasn't until I realised that cold calling was a poor method of marketing and frankly best done away with, that the methods mentioned above became much more prominent.

Bottom line I realised that do what you love doing - marketing wise. All this hoo-haa about stepping out of your comfort zone is crazy. If you show your excitement while you market, you will come across as far more engaging, genuine and believable. And that, above all else, will get you the wins.

Scott Brown answered this question

How to start in networking and infrastructure as a student?

Hi Danh,

Best advice is to build a career path, with the goal of getting into network / infrastructure. I would look at a HelpDesk 1 role for starters, as it will be a great entry point into any sized organisation. Move then into Level 2 and 3. Once you hit Level 3 (even 2 can allow this), you usually start to specialise...and this is where you really push for N/W / Infrastructure areas. Most senior support roles morph into a Systems Administrator or Network Administrator - and that is your ticket into it fully. Usually, if you stick at it, it can take only a couple of years to get there.

As far as study, your BIS will get you into a support role. From there, ensure you get qualifications specific to the networking area you are after. As an example, if you want to be more of a data / voice expert, get your CCNA / CCIE (Cisco qualifications). If you are more into Windows, get your MCITP. Wanting to get into virtualisation or cloud, look at qualifications around VMWare (VMCP) or Hyper-V. If you want to be more of a storage expert, ensure you look at courses through the main storage companies like EMC. Regardless, as you progress, you will need to keep on top of the changes in infra / N/w and these courses will help.

Bottom line is that there are clear paths for networking / infrastructure roles, and you will get there if you are determined to do so. Hope this information helps and please feel free to contact me if you need any more.

Good luck!

Scott.

Scott Brown answered this question

John Belchamber
John Belchamber, Owner & Senior Consultant at Invoke Results

Leadership

What Is The Biggest Challenge You Face With People In Business?

Whilst I don't have employees myself, I have worked with plenty of businesses who do. The major challenge that comes up time and time again is keeping a cohesive culture. James' 5 points are excellent and all pertain to keeping a positive, engaged and productive culture. The challenge is when employees move or growth happens, and new employees are required. How do they maintain that culture that has been fostered over a period of time and ensure that new employees are able to integrate well into it? It's not as easy as you would initially think.

Scott Brown answered this question

Micha Wotton
Micha Wotton, Head of Development at SavvySME

Recruitment

How much do recruiters typically charge?

During my career as an IT recruiter (and as the initial scope of my business subsequently - moved into internal hiring consulting now), some agencies are bound to charge nominal, non-negotiable fees for all recruitment activity. Averages sit in the 12-18% of annual salary (base  plus superannuation). If you are determined to go down the agency path, my advice would be to shop around. Fortunately, it's a market skewed to the client currently, so you could get yourself a great deal...but only with the smaller, boutique firms, as they will be more accommodating on negotiating fees. There are ways and means of doing that negotiation to make it even more mutually beneficial, but I could be here for days going through them! Suffice to say: shop around.

John makes some great points, particularly on the impact of bad hires...but I will challenge one of them. The research I have done suggests that a bad hire's cost can be anywhere from 30% of the annual salary to over 5 times, depending on the role, customer interaction and propensity of business development. Regardless of the actual figure, though the point remains - it's a major risk.

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