I worked at Red Oak Staffing full-time (More than a year)
The front line people - operations support, account manager and recruiters are quite honestly great people. All really supportive and genuine people who really care about each other and their success as a team.
On the negative side, the problem lies with management. Horrible management style from the top down with no real communication at all. Management continually preaches transparency but management is not transparent with the front lines. There is a misrepresentation of commissions called ASF (account service fees not commissions). If you interview you'll be told that ASF is like commissions but slightly different but if you do decide to work there, you find out ASF is absolutely not commissions. Industry standard at an agency is usually base + commissions, so dig deep in this area during an interview about the differences and judge for yourself. You're not paid in real time on ASF but when a client company pays their invoice. Some companies pay real time, some quarterly so just beware of the policy here. There are countless accounting mistakes, lots of complaints from consultants about paycheck errors, well known internally as recruiters had to deal with angry consultants on a constant basis about paycheck errors. The errors happen with internal employee checks too but that's probably just life. We're still recruiting off job boards like Monster, Dice, Craigslist for tech talent as primary which is fine. Most of the industry has at least one LinkedIn Recruiter account but recruiters are told that the job boards are where the talent lies so they don't subscribe to LinkedIn Recruiter accounts. How do we help other companies recruit if their recruiting toolbox is already beyond what you have? Red Oak Technologies is still using an internal software that was created by the owner, a .net program so it has the look and feel of the old Windows Office native applications not the typical web app fell everywhere else. There is a developer that was hired in 2015 to add functionality to the software. The newest feature in 2016 we were told that will be added to the software is something called "resume parsing". In a nutshell this allows the software to upload information from the resume into the proper fields so you don't have to data enter (yes I said DATA ENTER) resumes manually. Basically if you have a resume, you have to search to see if the candidate is in the system, if it's not then data enter and tie the resume to that candidate by copy and paste. It wouldn't be bad if you had all day to data enter but you also have KPIs to meet of amount of candidates to call / email and transactions to close (think of the meme "I ain't got time for that"). So many data entry mistakes are made so it is hard to find candidates in the system. No plug ins or integrations with social media or anything. What year is this??? If you're interviewing ask if you could see the system in action and compare it with systems you had used in the past.
There is micromanagement to an extreme. Everyone is an adult there and pretty accountable. Even the most accountable employees are made to feel they are being watched every second of the day. It's like that icky feeling in a retail store when someone is following you around. Sales account managers are given cell phones and asked to have it on 24/7 so the owner knows where you are 24/7. If you're in the bathroom you will literally be asked why you took 18 minutes in the bathroom. I've been told if you're shopping or go home during lunch you're questioned about it. It's joked internally that it's ankle bracelet. Find any former Red Oak sales people on LinkedIn and ask about this well known fact of the owner randomly peeking at the FIND MY IPhone app. Everyone is all for tracking during work hours and all but if you're asked to be in the office at 8am and then chastised and public and berated in front of your peers by management for being late at 8:01 regardless of traffic or whatever your excuse is, it seems extreme to be asked to keep your phones on at all times 24/7. There is no work from home policy. There is a new office open in Denver Tech Center Colorado and they were told that extreme snow unfortunately isn't an excuse for being late or working from home but they'll look at it from a case by case basis, which you're guilted regardless of how many feet of snow falls. This has gotten better the last few weeks I'm told. Although they're having trouble hiring sales people, they've had to relax the flexibility of working from home to attract more people so maybe there is some changes there. They have one large Cupertino fruit company client that is approximately 90% revenue and like any good company trying to expand with more paying clients. An employment agency that is masking as an IT engineering consulting firm with specialization to avoid being bulked into the staffing catagory and win SOW (statement of work) contracts. Ask deeper about their recruiting processes and if they employ any engineers for specialization or if they recruit as they go and ask why they're charging a specialty premium if they're just scraping job boards for engineers like every other employment agency.
Advice to Management
Stop promising things that you have no intentions of following through with. You're not given the tools to succeed as a recruiter. With an ever changing environment there is no additional training to keep employee skills sharp and on the forefront of the competition. The micromanagement is a passive aggressive style of micromanagement. There is an illusion of choice in the air with a false sense of latitude given to employees.
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