By Mark Knowlton

TechScreen first launched in 2016 as a way to give IT recruiters a more reliable means of engaging with hiring managers and candidates. We are proud of our track record of helping clients qualify IT candidates and requisitions over the last 5 years, but today’s extraordinary times are artificially impacting employment levels among recruiters.

We recently rolled out a formal training program: TechScreen Certified, a 12-module course intended to help recruiters understand complex technical concepts in a way that helps them use the information to more effectively qualify candidates and requirements.

We are about to release a…

By Mark Knowlton

IT staffing firms have no shortage of challenges in trying to deliver services to their clients. Buyers often look at staffing firms like they are commodities because of their sheer numbers and the fact that the industry does see a fair amount of turnover.

New hires are pressured for immediate production, hitting their KPIs and getting to their weekly GM targets as quickly as possible. Figuring out technology typically happens on-the-job because most staffing firms have fewer than 50 employees and don’t have formal Training departments. Keeping up with technical terms is not the biggest challenge…

A majority of IT staffing sales people are not paying for themselves

By Mark Knowlton

The expression ‘you get what you pay for’ seems widely applicable, unless you ask someone who buys IT contract services.

IT Staffing firms often hear gripes from clients regarding the fees or contract mark-ups they are required to pay. The analysis usually goes no deeper than “You bill me $100 an hour and I heard the guy you gave me is getting paid $72. You are making $28 an hour off me??!!

The buyers of IT contract services often feel like they are getting gouged by aggressive mark-ups, but the painful truth is that IT Staffing firms…

By Mark Knowlton

TA executives often need more solutions that their budgets can cover.

They must balance the need for using technology to meet business demand with picking the right blend of tools that don’t break their budget. If it were ONLY that simple.

There are almost too many choices among HR Tech tools, but picking the right solution is far from a binary choice. Choosing the ideal SaaS tool that executes critical tasks may be only solving a temporary or intermittent problem, but you are asked to pay for it for entire year in almost every case.

SaaS is…

By Mark Knowlton

It’s nice when your expectations are exceeded, but it is truly rare when they go beyond your most wildly optimistic ambitions.

I was checking in on clients last Friday and I caught one who had a real issue. He said he was frustrated by the process one of his customers insisted upon, one that involved an intense coding exercise that shot down at least 30 candidates in the span of a month.

Our client’s customer has brand name recognition on par with Coke and Ford, so making headway with this account was a huge thing. Mike (our…

May 20, 2020

From the time we launched our initial Beta for TechScreen in June of 2015, we were confident that were introducing an unparalleled tool that empowers IT recruiters to perform a meaningful screen on the front end of the hiring process. We just had a pilot customer put up results that surpassed expectations.

Our client is a 30 year-old software firm that offers mid- and back-office software systems for buy-side investment firms, which collectively have $25 Trillion under management. This client has an extremely high quality bar and employs a model that has them cultivate and develop younger…

Staffing sales people need TechScreen as much — or more — than recruiters.

When I started TechScreen in 2015, it was meant to scale the process I had been using to screen IT candidates dating back to the late ’90s. Learning how to ask detailed technical questions to developers took a very long time, but I saw the value in being able to determine which candidates were worth the time of hiring managers by grilling them on technical merit.

This applied to whether I worked for an agency or was consulting to software companies. I was motivated to help agency and corporate recruiters by giving them the ability to ask detailed technical questions…

TechScreen was originally built to help recruiters do a more effective job in screening IT talent, which it does. However, time has revealed that screening isn’t the most impactful element our tool offers.

The biggest impact we offer is the fact we help you influence the hiring manager’s decision-making process. It doesn’t matter if you work for a staffing firm or in corporate recruiting; you won’t fill a seat until a manager reads a resume. That is, of course, you have some means of convincing a manager to see your candidate that wasn’t based exclusively on reading a resume.


Speaking to a developer can be daunting for a recruiter. This is especially true for a junior recruiter, but self-confidence is not a surrogate for detailed knowledge even when you are talking about a veteran recruiter.

There are plenty of recruiters who kid themselves into giving themselves more credit than they deserve for being “technical”, but there are ways you can size up if a veteran candidate “gets it” or if they are a hack.

Recruiters are not engineers, but there is no reason you can’t cultivate your own gut-level sense of confidence to know if your candidate is really…

Artificial Intelligence is easily the hottest term in HR Tech. All the categories — Sourcing, ATS, HCM, assessments, video interviewing — are feverishly looking for ways to inject AI and machine learning into all of their products. There is a great benefit to automating a lot of the tedious, time-consuming tasks on the plate of recruiters.

Sourcing and matching candidates to positions can consume vast amounts of time, so using AI to do the heavy lifting makes a lot of sense. However, people don’t get hired until a manager makes a decision. …


Elevating Recruiter Engagement

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