Employer Branding Talent Acquisition Timebound

Secrets of the Internal Recruiter: David Cherry at McAfee

Today I had a chat with David Cherry, who is a senior international in-house recruiter for McAfee, and an old colleague of mine based in London. He shared very insightful tips for job seekers and his thoughts on the changing career industry, all kept very secret until now!

What do you do at McAfee David?

Currently I’m a Senior Recruitment Business Partner working in the internal Talent Acquisition Team for McAfee, my day is taken up recruiting (across various functions) throughout Southern and Central Europe and our Emerging Markets region. I am also heavily involved in social media using tools like Facebook and Twitter.

Tell us about your background

My first job was actually as a QA Engineer for a small software company – I’ve always been interested in technology and being 19 years old, building servers and programming modems was (at the time) the best thing ever! Unfortunately I was made redundant after 9 months, so I did what every does and uploaded my CV on to Monster’s database – this was how I ended up in recruitment and have been working in the industry now for over 10 years, always with a focus on technology,
To begin with I joined a small recruitment company in London and began focusing on networking and telecoms recruitment in the UK. Through the relationships I had built I had the opportunity to work for one of my clients (Ochre House) who provide outsourced recruitment and HR solutions, and one of their clients was McAfee, after 3.5 yrs working on site at McAfee I was given the opportunity to move in-house in to a permanent position.

What is the job market like in your region (EMEA)?

You can get so many different answers to this question depending on who you speak to. Personally I think the job market is increasing and gaining strength every day. At the same time businesses are being more cautious and only recruiting positions which are deemed as critical hires. There are a lot of jobs out there but unfortunately due to the downtown there are even more people looking for those jobs which increases the competition.

What’s it like recruiting across so many countries?

It’s the most interesting part of my job, I have recruited in at least 30 different countries in my career and whilst it does mean I am incredibly busy every day I really enjoy working with different people, making new contacts and learning about new countries and cultures.

What are McAfee typically looking for in a candidate?

There’s no silver bullet to this question and every manager and every client I have recruited for will look for something different but being passionate and motivated is a great starting point.

What are you 3 best tips for job seekers?


  • Be honest


  • Spell check your CV/resume


  • Be prepared for an interview / have your own questions


How important are CVs and cover letters nowadays?

CVs are crucial; this is the document that gets you in the door, the document that holds the key to speaking to someone or securing that interview!
Covering letters; myself I’m not as interested in these and would tend to go straight to the CV but I do like to see a covering email explaining why someone is applying, their current situation etc… Just not something that’s 5 pages long! The more effort a candidate puts in to their application the more effort you will find a company will put into their response.


Any horror stories?

Several I can think of, but none I can repeat!
I did interview someone a few weeks for a customer facing position; I asked a fairly straight forward question ‘What are your main strengths as a communicator?’ to which I got the reply ‘I’m not very good at communicating’ – Moral of the story think about your answers before speaking.

Success stories?

I’ve seen many in my current position, the best are when you’re involved in hiring someone at the beginning of their career and then over the next few years you’re able to interview them again and, in some case again. Before you know it they become a manager and you start working with them to help build their own team. 

What are the social media trends in the career industry?

Social media is gaining momentum all the time and there are a lot of different options for an employer to take advantage of. When thinking about a social media strategy you should start thinking about the finish line and what you want to achieve – you will then be able to choose the right media and platforms to suit your objectives.

Are recruiters, as brokers, threatened by LinkedIn?

I would say no, there will always be the need for someone to facilitate, technology and automation can be fantastic and can assist with the speed of a hire but there is a danger to removing the human element and this could just damage your brand as an employer.


What is your favourite social media tool?

Has to be Twitter – it’s one of the most responsive on the market today. You can get your message instantly to wider audience, it has the ability to snowball very quickly. You do, of course have to be careful what you tweet about – what goes on the internet, stays on the internet! You can, of course, follow me on Twitter.

What does David have in the pipeline?

I’m going to be at the Undercover Recruiter Meetup in London on the 15th September, I will be talking about CV writing, interview tips, job hunting, what are the good and bad things you can do to enhance your chance of success. 

What’s the one thing people can do to help you?

Candidates can help themselves by keeping their profile up to date on LinkedIn or any other online media they are using for job hunting. If it’s not there is a huge risk that a recruiter would just overlook the profile and move on to the next.
Also in my current role as an internal recruiter I would suggest to approach companies directly there is a big push, particularly with the larger organisation to reduce recruiting costs, which means reducing reliance on external recruitment companies.

Final words of wisdom?

What did you want to do when you were growing up? Are you doing it? If not, why?
David Cherry has over 10 years experience in recruitment focused on head hunting and executive search and works across both sales & technical positions in Europe. As part of the internal Talent Acquisition Team at McAfee, David started in a technical recruiting role responsible for engineering and technical support in the UK and Israel.
David is currently responsible for supporting the management team in Southern Europe, Central Europe and our Emerging Markets across all levels and functions, with the main focus on sales and sales related positions.
Connect with David on LinkedIn and be sure to follow him on Twitter [url=″>@DavidCherry4 

Talent Acquisition

How Professional is Your Recruiter? LinkedIn Will Tell You!

A LinkedIn profile is powerful, but LinkedIn itself can tell you a whole lot more than you think…. I loved a recent piece I read from Punk Rock HR’s Laurie Ruettimann on questions to ask a recruitment consultant. She includes things such as asking for a bio, asking the consultant to talk about their networking…

Employer Branding Talent Acquisition Workplace

5 Ways to Boost Your Twitter Profile

How important is Twitter to you? Chances are you have more followers on Twitter than any other social media network, mainly because it’s less personal and acceptable to follow complete strangers. I would venture to say Twitter is as important to you as your LinkedIn and Facebook accounts. Some tech recruiters even say they won’t…

Employer Branding Talent Acquisition Workplace

Who Needs a Bio and Why?

Most job seekers will use two documents in their job search; their resume and cover letter. That’s a good start, but how about professional bio as well? They are no longer just for authors, musicians and politicians. Anyone that has an online presence across social media and blogging (which is just about everyone nowadays) can…

Employer Branding Talent Acquisition Workplace

Career Burnout: Don’t Let it Happen to You

The first contact of the year came from the brother of a friend of mine. My friendship with my friend had started some years ago when he had returned from overseas and was trying to find an executive role in the UK. Now his brother needed help. These are bright guys – excellent academic backgrounds…

Employer Branding Talent Acquisition Workplace

5 Good Ways NOT to Network

I went to this networking event a few weeks ago featuring a good speaker named Andy Lopata. I hadn’t actually heard of him before but apparently he’s known as Mr Networker for those in the know. I liked what he went on about as it seemed very aligned my own thinking. The points outlined below…

Employer Branding Talent Acquisition Workplace

Do Candidates Need a Premium LinkedIn Account?

[/url” class=”aligncenter”/>
Linkedin have offered premium accounts to the greater public for some time now, these have been popular with salespeople and others for years. Congratulations to all you job seekers out there, the time has cometh for to get your credit cards out.
Cashing in on job seekers
LinkedIn recently announced their new Job Seeker
Premium Accounts, basically charging job seekers to use an enhanced version of LinkedIn. Have LinkedIn gone nasty and exploiting the people that need it most? Not really, they will still allow you to use it the basic version for free so no panic.
There is definitely an online trend to charge for services at the moment. LinkedIn are hopping on the same band wagon as The Ladders, CareerBuilder and other platforms aimed at job seekers. They have all noticed that there is no great shortage of cash out there, however definitely a shortage of jobs. This could very well be due to layoffs avec payoffs.
As long as the value you are getting from a paid account outweighs the cost, it could be worth considering paying a little to speed up your job search.
What are the benefits?
First off, you and your profile will be bumped up to the top of the pile when applying for a particular job. This is very much like a sponsored link on Google, your name will come up highlighted in the applicants list which is likely to get you some attention from the hiring manager (along with the other paying applicants of course).
You will also be able to send InMails straight to employers that aren’t in your network. This is particularly useful when you don’t have any contacts in common and it’s impossible to obtain emails for direct contact outside of LinkedIn.
On top of that, there’s the Profile Organizer feature which lets you track the contact you have with others, save favorites and even add your own notes to others profiles. A good old spreadsheet can probably do the same but this one is automated for you.
Finally, there are some webinars with Lindsey Pollak that act as video tutorials on how to use the new functions and how to search for jobs on Linkedin in general. Lindsey definitely knows her stuff so this could be useful.
What’s the damage?
Your brand new and shiny job seeker premium account comes in three versions; basic, job seeker and job seeker plus.


As you can tell from the image, they vary a bit on price, the only difference in service is the amount of ammunition you will have for each feature.
Basic: With this option you get five folders in your Profile Organizer and you get 100 profiles in your search results. You get 10 introductions to inside sources at companies.
Job Seeker: Here we get five InMails which you can use to contact any employer inside or outside your network. Your search results expand to 250 profiles, you get 10 folders for your Profile Organizer and you get 15 insider introductions.
Job Seeker Plus: The top of the line deal lets you send 10 InMails, 25 folders in your Profile Organizer and your search results of hiring mangers go up to 500 profiles.
Is it worth upgrading?
If you use LinkedIn daily and have hit a wall where you have run out of InMails, can’t seem to get yourself organized enough and think insider introductions will help you – go ahead and try it. As long as you get useful incremental results, stick with it until you get that new job. This is assuming that you have the money to spend, check your budget and ideally cut back on something else instead.
Personally I was never convinced of the ‘regular’ premium accounts, I can live through not having 500 people coming up in my search results (the more precise search, the better anyway). I don’t really see the need for InMails as I tend to get the proper emails of people, more often than not you can guess it.
I think it’s a shame there are no free trials for the job seeker premium account but I can understand why. Job seekers are not long-term customers for any business, as soon as they get a new job they no longer need the service. LinkedIn have decided to milk it from day one which is probably the right decision from a business perspective.
What do you think?
Do you use the premium account today and has it helped you at all? Are you going to try it out?

Talent Acquisition

When Should You Accept a LinkedIn Invitation from a Recruiter?

[/url” class=”aligncenter”/>
Being on Linkedin with your full professional profile including previous employments, buzz and keywords means you are likely to be found by people looking your skills. When I say people, nine times out of ten it will be a recruiter. In order for them to contact you over Linkedin, they will have to either send an InMail or get introduced by a third person. InMails are limited/costly and introductions take time, therefore the recruiter may just try to connect with you direct.
Sometimes you get a full introduction email stating why the person wants to link up with you. Sometimes you don’t at all, and you can only guess what the purpose is. Whatever the case may be, the big question is what to do with the invitation.
Should you accept?
The answer to this depends completely on your situation. If you are actively looking for a new position and everyone knows this, absolutely yes. If you are secretly looking for a new position and nobody knows about it, especially not your boss, the answer will be no.
Does accepting mean I am looking for a job?
Well, some people could interpret it that way. I would say it depends on the culture where you work. Some companies cultures are very open about people being headhunted, others are very secretive about it. If others are linking up to recruiters and get no grief for it, you will probably get away with it as well.
Even if you are working for a business where being headhunted is a taboo, there can of course be several legitimate reasons to linking up with a recruiter. You might be involved in internal recruitment for your business. You might have changed jobs recently and it’s only natural to link up to the recruiter. If this isn’t the case however, you linking to a recruiter will raise a few eyebrows. You linking up to five recruiters in one week will send a few warning signals to your manager.
But who will know?
By adding the recruiter to your network, you are telling the world that you are now linked up as it will appear on both your and the recruiter’s home feeds. All your connections will be able to see it and they will draw their own conclusions.
Can they now see my connection?
Depending on your privacy
settings, the recruiter will be able to see your first connections.

Some recruiters will be very gentle about this and ask you for permission to speak to contacts of yours. Others will just go for it and call everyone up in an instant. By selecting “not allowed”, you stop anyone from browsing your connections. Be aware that they will still come up in searches, there is no stopping that.

Trick o’ the trade
Accept invitations in bundles. Let’s say you have received four invitations, by accepting them all at the same time they will come up on your feed together. You would hope that your manager and other folks are too busy to check up every person you link up to and therefore you might just get away with linking up to a recruiter.
Another way of doing it is the old bad-news-on-Facebook method; do it when you assume nobody will be seeing it. This could be a Saturday or even a Sunday night; people will hopefully have better things to do than trawling Linkedin at these times in the week.
Bottom line
As with all things on Linkedin and social media, be aware of the consequences of your actions. You are sharing your activities with the world so if you link up to recruiters, be prepared to answer questions.
Do you accept recruiter invitations? If you are a recruiter, do you send unsolicited invitations? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Talent Acquisition Timebound

Employers want Jason Bourne, not Jason Alexander

[/url” class=”aligncenter”/>
Hello Mark, can you please tell us what you recruit for and what geography you cover?
Wyatt & Jaffe works worldwide… Having done searches in Sweden, United Kingdom, India, China, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. And the US.
Functionally, just about everything…with an emphasis on high-impact and C-level roles. Industry-wise: Technology, Financial Services, Consumer and Retail.
Notable clients?
Historically: Bank of America, GE Commercial Finance, Gateway, Ricoh, WaMu, Maxtor, First Data, CB Richard Ellis, Philips Semiconductor, Seagate.
What has been the key to your success?
Direct and honest communication. Trust created by saying and doing the truly difficult things, not just what gives everyone immediate pleasure. Understanding client needs and expanding on, rather than simply meeting, their stated objectives.
Why are some recruiters failing in this market?
Partly because they expect their clients to direct them. It’s like a physician asking the patient what drug to prescribe. Most search firms wind up behaving simply like vendors, not advisors.
And more importantly because, in my humble opinion, they take a sales approach to what is and should remain fundamentally a consulting business. Selling is advocating for me. Consulting is advocating for the client.
What are the trends you have spotted in your field?
In a troubled economy like this one, the best efforts of almost every search firm have been focused primarily on business development, marketing, packaging and promotion of their services. How would you like it if your attorney was too busy promoting his practice to give you reliable and expert representation?
Like anyone else in the profession, I’m also concerned about the commoditization of search. Treating the selection of key human capital as a mere business transaction doesn’t just damage our industry. It ultimately impacts the performance of corporations and the long-term effectiveness of their leaders.
Disintermediation is rampant now. Both CEOs and their HR chiefs would do well to “spare the consultant and spoil the executive team” by working with search principals directly, rather than through lower-level intermediaries. This is not simply a matter of personal taste or preference; it is critical to corporate health.
How much do you use social media to find clients and candidates?
We have also used a wide variety of digital and social media tools (in the old days it was called “research”) as a part of our overall process. But we have always believed, as we do now, that identifying candidates can only be done meaningfully within the context of a deep understanding of the client’s specific needs. There is no magic formula. Bottom line: If you’re the right person for one of our searches, we’ll find you whether you’re on LinkedIn or not.
How important are resumes and cover letters?
Resumes are terribly important. I can’t imagine a time when they won’t be.
Cover letters should be three things: short, concise and short (so important I mention it twice).
What are your best tips to jobseekers in a tough market?
Remember that it’s not you, it’s the economy. Try to stay calm. Take a deep breath and relax. Hyperventilating is never pretty, particularly during an interview. Prospective employers want Jason Bourne – not Jason Alexander. Show them you’re capable, confident and cool. No sobbing!
Work your contacts, but don’t work them over. Your network is a precious resource and should be treated as such. Now is the time to use it…but gently. Ask for a reference, not a job. When you don’t put your friends on the spot, they’re more inclined to help you.
Keep your wallet in your pocket. If someone offers to craft you a “killer resume”, put you in touch with the “hidden job market” or coach you to become a newer, more marketable you…just say “No.” Whether they’re asking for $3,000 or $300, it’s overpriced. Don’t take candy from strangers, either.
Are career coaches of any use to jobseekers?
Some people may benefit from the hand-holding, but I think that the fees they charge are outrageous and generally a very poor return on investment. When times get tough, the tough get pitched a bunch of crap.
Any other pearls of wisdom you would like to share?

Haven’t I already said too much?

Yes that is true. Thanks for your time Mark.
A 25-year veteran of executive search, Mark Jaffe has a reputation for seeing beyond the package and posture of highly accomplished business leaders. He is uncompromisingly direct and focused on his task – finding the perfect match for his client. Mark is one of the most frequently quoted talent brokers of the new economy and was named by BusinessWeek as one of the World’s 100 Most Influential Headhunters.
Wyatt & Jaffe, recognized as one of the 50 Leading Retained Search Firms in North America (Executive Recruiter News) and short-listed by the International Association of Corporate and Professional Recruitment (IACPR) as one of the top ten, is known for engaging high-impact executive talent that the marketplace perceives as unattainable. Wyatt & Jaffe works with a select list of financial services, high technology and consumer companies worldwide. The firm was founded in 1988. More information about Wyatt & Jaffe can be found at: