Recruiters Still Bullish on Wireless


Recruiters Still Bullish on Wireless
Although the telecom industry is consolidating and layoffs are prevalent among the big carriers and manufacturers, wireless recruiters say that it is still a great time to be working in the wireless industry. MVNOs, mobile entertainment startups and niche infrastructure firms are all searching for seasoned wireless executives.

Not surprisingly, some of the in-demand positions are for those that have that rare combination of technical expertise and sales acumen. "Infrastructure companies are looking for sales people with product information. They don't just want people that can sell," says Jack Bourque, president of Wireless Careers. "Sales people are not necessarily technical people. Someone with a strong combination of both is a person that is more likely to be fast-tracked."

On the technical side, companies are also searching for people with expertise in areas such as in-building applications, real-time location functionality, video monitoring and surveillance and security, Bourque says.

The converging of the media, mobile and entertainment is also driving job growth and providing some opportunities for executives to leverage their expertise across the different industries. Chip Cossitt, a partner with Warren and Morris Ltd., says that his firm often uses its connections in the cable industry to find executives that now fit well in wireless. "We can bridge the gap," Cossitt says. Warren and Morris has been instrumental in placing a lot of the executives at entertainment-focused MVNOs. "We a play big role in staffing the successful MVNOs," Cossitt says.

Over the past year we've seen many wireless carrier executives leave their operator jobs for small startups. In fact, wireless operators have lost many talented and creative executives lately--particularly in the entertainment and content area (see related story below).

Cossitt says that this trend isn't surprising since many wireless executives become frustrated with the staid carrier work environment. These executives find it very easy to take their expertise and move to a smaller, niche player that can use their reputation and connections to gain leverage in the market. Cossitt says that many executives leave operators because they want to "spread their wings." There are many positions with small startups that are "fun and exciting for these people," Cossitt says.

When it comes to matching the person with the appropriate firm, wireless recruiters say that sometimes it takes more than just having the right skill set and resume. In fact, often recruiters often spend a great deal of time aligning the personality of the employee with the employers. "Companies are cautious, they add people but they need the right people and they are taking a longer time to evaluate and make the right decisions on employees," Bourque says.

If you're interested in exploring new opportunities in wireless, check out the FierceMarkets Job Fair on May 23. -Sue