: Russ Reid Company
: Marketing and communications company
: Pasadena, CA
: Washington DC, Portland OR
Number of IT Employees
: Russ Reid Company is the preferred fundraising partner of over 200 growth-oriented non-profit organizations across the United States and Canada. In 2006, Russ Reid Company acquired over one million donors and generated approximately $1.5 million per day on behalf of its clients. The company has a proven track record of acquiring high value donors using all available media, including direct mail, print, television, radio, online, catalog and more. In addition to full-service direct response fundraising expertise, Russ Reid Company assists clients in securing federal funding from the U.S. government through congressional appropriations. The Russ Reid Company is a part of Omnicom Group Inc., a leading global advertising, marketing and corporate communications company.
: Kelly K Borbon, VP Information Services, has been at the Russ Reid Company for 18 years in a variety of positions, with a decade in IT.
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:This is a leverage year for the company, which means we need to maximize the return we get from our IT areas. We have invested in some "above the curve" staff to help lead us in this area. We are looking for at least one programmer with great ".Net" skills, and a help desk guy who understands the practical theory behind what they do AND who have excellent customer service skills.
Given all the news about the talent crunch, have you or are you finding it more difficult to find qualified IT professionals?
Yes, it is very difficult to find application developers with the communication and collaboration skills we require. As I inferred above, help desk guys who not only can "tinker" to find a problem out but understand enough about IT theory (7 layers etc) to quickly troubleshoot a problem. And they need to be nice people with great relational skills.
What are your primary recruiting strategies?
We've been most successful with recruiters; mostly because the Internet has caused "quantity not quality" to occur.
What is the hiring process?
We're pretty picky. First the resumes are screened for the correct skill set; then a phone interview further limits the pool. The candidates meet with technical as well as business interviewers; so we are determining soft skill and tech skill capabilities.
What should candidates know before they interview at Russ Reid?
They better understand what we do and have an interest in it.
What makes for an outstanding potential hire?
If they have all the skills required, and have a passion for helping make the world a better place, they stand an excellent chance at a career here.
What are red flags you look for when reviewing resumes, doing interviews?
Bad eye contact, two many positions held for less than 9 months, bad hygiene, not answering the questions asked.
What kind of non-IT skills do your IT team members need, if any?
It is very important to me that our employees are active learners " they should be always hungry to learn and grow. They need to be willing to be part of a dynamic team " no solo cowboys here, and they need to be tolerant and helpful to other employees.
How important is the cover letter in job queries?
I rarely look at them.
Is the IT organization looking for certified skills, is that a must have or is there any other qualification that is a must have?
Certification is an indication of the active learner I referenced earlier. It is more important on the network side of IT.
Does the organization hire 'newbies' and invest in training and how well does that work, and if not, why not?
When we have the leisure time to invest, we love to bring inexperience people on board and give them a chance to learn and show us what their potential is.