Schenectady tech firm's new biz: Finding hires for other companies

Software company Jahnel Group's success recruiting for internal positions sparked a new arm of the business that helps find talent for other tech companies.

Michael Young, director of recruiting at Jahnel Group, said the Schenectady-based company started an external recruiting service just about a year ago. To date, the service has placed over 70 engineers in jobs at companies like Disney, Death Wish Coffee, WB Games New York, and Helios Life Enterprises.

The recruiting division began as an offshoot of Jahnel Group's own internal recruiting efforts. The software firm, which made the Inc. 5000's Fastest Growing Companies list again this year for the seventh time, posted 158% growth over the last three years.

"We ended up having a lot of success through one of the most competitive job markets, honestly, the technical world has seen," Young said."We tripled in size in those three and a half or so years. And a little over a year ago, our clients actually started to reach out to us and were like, 'Hey, we've noticed your growth, could you help us recruit?'"

The Jahnel Group's recruiting arm is different from other recruiting services because of its network, Young said. The company consists of 130 software developers with broad-ranging connections.

"Combining that with my and my team's technical backgrounds, we really have the ability to know where to look for that talent," he said. "We use a phrase here: 'It's like nerds hiring nerds.' So I'm able to really try to understand both from a candidate and client perspective that technical fit. And my goal is to create long-term relationships."

The Jahnel Group has worked with with 15 clients to find talent. Roles can range from software developers to system administrators and system engineers, all the way up to the C-suite level.

The company also uses virtual assistants from the Philippines to scale the division's capabilities, Young said. They assist with tasks like reviewing candidate profiles, candidate outreach, research on specific positions, creating job descriptions, and in some cases, preliminary interviews.

So far, over 200,000 candidates have been reviewed and 2,000 interviews have been conducted.

Young said tech hiring has picked up again since last year, when U.S. tech companies saw a wave of layoffs from some of the industry's biggest names.

"The market is cyclical. And before that, the tech world was so competitive, so many open jobs, not enough talent. It just regulated a bit and I think we're seeing the uptick now," he said. "We've certainly seen from an open roles perspective a large increase recently."

As the division grows, Young said the company wants to do more recruiting with Capital Region businesses.

"Take a city like Schenectady. The businesses there have done a lot to work together to really grow the Capital Region and to revitalize, if you will, the downtown of Schenectady," Young said. "I'm trying to do the same thing. I want to work with other local companies, really start to provide this service for technical talent to companies and hopefully allow them to continue to grow fast as well."

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