Just a Few Questions

June 29, 2011

If this were “Jeopardy!” the correct response would be “What is a PCA?” We had to call it something. It is the big, scary thing many people never check out. These are handled best in a conversation but can also be done as written exchange.

Our biggest battle is just getting someone’s attention long enough to show that the only interest we ever have is whether or not we might be able to bring some kind of value now or years from now. I thought we should put this out there so people can see what we’ll talk about even before we talk about it.

We ALWAYS have ‘hot jobs’ and great clients just like doctors always have pills but we don’t go into a conversation assuming anyone needs medicine.

So, if we are calling you or “InMailing” or emailing you for the first time it is probably for this and we are happy to answer your questions first. Here’s the PCA.


     Thank you for interacting with S e a r c h P a r t n e r. We specialize exclusively in the search for, and direct placement of, cleared technology professionals in the DC/Baltimore/N.VA. area. Most of our business is engaged (retained) so it is essential that we know the best people in our field as opposed to the ‘active’ people.

     One more reminder…We’ll be just as happy as you are if you never need to leave the company you are with now. A majority of people who complete this exercise are not planning any change at this time and it does not signal us that you are ready to do anything more than get to know us.

     Note that this form is for our internal use unless otherwise discussed with you. Please send whatever level of responses you are comfortable with. We are looking forward to possibly representing your interests even if that means confirmation you are already perfectly placed.

1)      Describe in detail what you would be doing in your ideal next position. What technology would you work with? Who would you report to? What types of projects would you be working on? Does it differ from what you do now? The more detail you provide the better for us to understand your career aspirations.       

2)      When were you happiest in your career and why?    

3)      Where are you willing to work?  How far are you willing to travel to and from work?  Is there any reason to even discuss relocation?     

4)      What is your total compensation package?  Please include base, bonus, incentives, stock, etc, and list each separately. Bear in mind this may need to be substantiated at some point. What kind of package do you expect in your next move?      

5)      Please tell us what you can about your security clearance. We are not fishing for info we should not have but we have found people usually can tell us about polys, badges and ability to work ‘on site’.      

6)       What could possibly motivate a decision to leave your current job? If you have not yet made that decision what factors would influence it. 

7)      Describe your search activity, if any, over the past 12 months. Please include any information about interviews and/or offers you have had as well as the types of positions you have evaluated. Who has your resume? If it is available publicly we need to know that now.      



2 Responses to “Just a Few Questions”

  1. Keoughan, Tom Says:

    Hey Dave,

    How’s this working for you? Not criticizing, just curious.

    If I received it my response would likely be “Hmm, fill out a questionnaire with personal information for some guy I’ve never even spoken to. Delete.”

    That would be my reaction but what are you finding in the real world? It surely differs from whatever goes on in my head.

    Tom Keoughan

    • Dave Staats Says:

      Oh absolutely! I’d never do that either. We never start right there and sometimes have a few calls beforehand. Especially dealing with people who work where they do, this often gets done after weeks or months of vetting and ‘get to know you’ calls. It’s not meant to replace the phone call either. Just an alternative for people who find typing easier than talking.
      This model has been working for 10 or 15 years depending on when I’d ‘declare’ that it began since it was gradual. I should explain that ,if I had said it better, my premise was not ‘Here’s our form.’ but rather “Here’s what happens if you get back to us whether on this form or discussed on the phone.”
      Finally, even though it is a 3 day weekend… I am not going to try to figure out what is in your head 🙂

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