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Business Observer Friday, Feb. 20, 2015 7 years ago

Stop searching

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Brian Murphy's IT security consulting firm focuses on finding talent with a will to learn.
by: Traci McMillan Correspondent

ReliaQuest CEO Brian Murphy believes companies need to stop searching for the perfect candidate, what he calls a “unicorn.” The technical world moves too fast to find the perfect person with the exact expertise you need, he says.

Instead of keeping a job position open for six to eight months, Murphy prefers to fill the role by hiring someone who is 50% of the way there. “Cut down the time to hire and invest in training them,” he says. “When you talk about hiring, you have to talk about training in the same conversation.” Murphy believes developing people is the only way to grow.

Growth is not an unfamiliar area for Murphy. ReliaQuest's year-over-year revenue growth is 75%. The company currently has 60 employees and 23 open positions.

Murphy says the biggest misconception about recruiting is that the talent isn't available. “The talent is already there, it depends on where you're looking,” he insists. Companies need to stop limiting where they're looking for talent, instead of losing technical job candidates through strict search filters.

When recruiters are hoping to “filter out the noise,” they tend to only accept resumes that contain certain attributes. The problem with that strategy is that you lose the intangibles that aren't found on a piece of paper, Murphy says.

Recruiters also run into the problem of missing a huge talent pool in Tampa — those with military backgrounds. Murphy says there are amazingly talented technical people at MacDill Air Force Base that oftentimes companies forget about. “A lot of companies shy away from hiring out of the military because the job descriptions and acronyms don't match up one-to-one,” he says.

For example, you might have a candidate that has the title of “25 Bravo,” an information technology specialist. This person could have run a large enterprise network for the last six years, and could quickly learn something like cyber security, Murphy says. But without understanding military backgrounds, a recruiter wouldn't have ever considered the candidate.

It's one of the reasons why Murphy never throws out resumes. “If they're 20% of the way, call them,” he says.

- Traci McMillan Beach

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