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How can I attract Senior Database Administrator candidates? Expand / Collapse
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Posted Thursday, July 26, 2012 11:32 AM


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derek.colley (7/26/2012)
My advice would be to hire a company to find a DBA for you.


Sorry Abel but this is god-awful advice. I recently got involved in a round of recruitment for a new DBA and the companies (agencies) we contacted just could not come up with the goods. When I asked around at the UK User Group in Manchester a few weeks ago, everyone agreed, agencies just aren't the right way to find a good DBA.



I'd disagree. In the US, they are hit and miss, but they do hit. Not sure it's better/worse than you doing it alone.

Use agencies/recruiters, just don't use them exclusively.







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Post #1336018
Posted Thursday, July 26, 2012 11:41 AM


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Steve Jones - SSC Editor (7/26/2012)
derek.colley (7/26/2012)
My advice would be to hire a company to find a DBA for you.


Sorry Abel but this is god-awful advice. I recently got involved in a round of recruitment for a new DBA and the companies (agencies) we contacted just could not come up with the goods. When I asked around at the UK User Group in Manchester a few weeks ago, everyone agreed, agencies just aren't the right way to find a good DBA.



I'd disagree. In the US, they are hit and miss, but they do hit. Not sure it's better/worse than you doing it alone.

Use agencies/recruiters, just don't use them exclusively.


I'll second Steve on this one. I've had recruiters get me into jobs that weren't even DBA work but were listed as such and interviewed as such (which was weird), but I've also had them get me great jobs.

I've also seen it from the hiring side. The recruiter that got me my current job has provided 6 great team-mates at this place, and 1 complete disaster. The "complete disaster" (a) didn't get very much done, and (b) all of it had to be scrapped and re-done from spec by others, and (c) had ethics issues, and (d) was divisive in the team (tried to create conflicts and blame others, that kind of thing). If that person had been the first one brought on by that recruiter, I can't imagine the company would have ever used that recruiter again, and would probably feel about him the way you seem to feel about recruiters in general. BUT, every other person sent to us to interview by that recruiter has been top-notch, so he's definitely worth working with. (After "the disaster" was fired, we informed the recruiter. That agency won't ever work with "the disaster" again, because their rep matters a lot to them, and he hurt it.)

So, they can be good, and they can be bad, and even the best recruiters can have an off-day and let an unqualified person through or pick the wrong opportunity for a good person. But my experiences with them have been mostly good.


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Post #1336027
Posted Friday, July 27, 2012 3:15 PM


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Thanks for the advice and comments so far, I'm very grateful.

For those who asked for more information, I apologize for that glaring omission on my part. The job information can be found at the following link.

http://www.pcrecruiter.net/pcrbin/direct.asp?r=l5NdZ4fcNKlJhPwSQqANySryUAJuQ07hlX2UOYMmGqj0rNMJ%2f0m7fDg%2bWLdMdIly%2btqW

Post #1336802
Posted Friday, July 27, 2012 3:26 PM


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Jeff Moden (7/25/2012)
bclyde-1080677 (7/25/2012)
I have a few full-time DBA positions open on my team, one of which is for a Sr. DBA. We have had a hard time finding qualified candidates to fill the position and I need the help sooner than later. The salary and compensation package is very good and the ability to advance, in one's career and skills, is great, but we just don't have that many applicants. What am I doing wrong, or what more can I do?


I suspect it's simply due to a lack of information. For example, you ask what you're doing wrong above but give us no idea of what you've actually done nor any clue as to where we can see the job description to see if we can help. In the post you made just prior to this one on another thread, you told folks to check the SQL Jobs forum on this site for a great job. Which of the dozens posted there might it be?

If you want to attract good people, you've got to be a wee bit more forthcoming with information about the job. You also have to trust me that if your the one trying to hire a good DBA in Atlanta for only 75-85K, you'll probably end up waiting for quite a while.


Guilty as charged. You can't get much help when you post for advice but don't give any details. I added my company's job posting in a link above, but the job posting here in the SQL Jobs forum is the only one under the heading "SQL Server DBA". It is the Senior Database Administrator for Melaleuca in Idaho Falls, ID.

And no, this is not for a job in Atlanta, and for a true Sr. SQL DBA we will gladly pay more than what you mentioned.
Post #1336806
Posted Friday, July 27, 2012 3:46 PM
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GSquared (7/26/2012)
Steve Jones - SSC Editor (7/26/2012)
derek.colley (7/26/2012)
My advice would be to hire a company to find a DBA for you.


Sorry Abel but this is god-awful advice. I recently got involved in a round of recruitment for a new DBA and the companies (agencies) we contacted just could not come up with the goods. When I asked around at the UK User Group in Manchester a few weeks ago, everyone agreed, agencies just aren't the right way to find a good DBA.



I'd disagree. In the US, they are hit and miss, but they do hit. Not sure it's better/worse than you doing it alone.

Use agencies/recruiters, just don't use them exclusively.


I'll second Steve on this one. I've had recruiters get me into jobs that weren't even DBA work but were listed as such and interviewed as such (which was weird), but I've also had them get me great jobs.

I've also seen it from the hiring side. The recruiter that got me my current job has provided 6 great team-mates at this place, and 1 complete disaster. The "complete disaster" (a) didn't get very much done, and (b) all of it had to be scrapped and re-done from spec by others, and (c) had ethics issues, and (d) was divisive in the team (tried to create conflicts and blame others, that kind of thing). If that person had been the first one brought on by that recruiter, I can't imagine the company would have ever used that recruiter again, and would probably feel about him the way you seem to feel about recruiters in general. BUT, every other person sent to us to interview by that recruiter has been top-notch, so he's definitely worth working with. (After "the disaster" was fired, we informed the recruiter. That agency won't ever work with "the disaster" again, because their rep matters a lot to them, and he hurt it.)

So, they can be good, and they can be bad, and even the best recruiters can have an off-day and let an unqualified person through or pick the wrong opportunity for a good person. But my experiences with them have been mostly good.



I can't imagine you are going to find many candidates with that level of experience in an area with such a small population, or candidates who are willing to relocate there. You should probably consider candidates who would like to work remotely.

The job description is pretty unfocused. Several sections are repeated entirely. If I was looking for a job, it would have turned me off by the end of the first paragraph.

Identify a few critical things you must have and put them right up front, instead of having a 50 line laundry list. Take the rest of the nice to have stuff and put it at the end.

You really need to give some clue about the potential salary range; "Pay Rate $0.00" is no going to attract many candidates.

There is a requirement to "Relocate to Idaho Falls, ID", but no mention of relocation expenses, so that will be a big turn off.







Post #1336813
Posted Friday, July 27, 2012 3:52 PM


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bclyde-1080677 (7/27/2012)
Jeff Moden (7/25/2012)
bclyde-1080677 (7/25/2012)
I have a few full-time DBA positions open on my team, one of which is for a Sr. DBA. We have had a hard time finding qualified candidates to fill the position and I need the help sooner than later. The salary and compensation package is very good and the ability to advance, in one's career and skills, is great, but we just don't have that many applicants. What am I doing wrong, or what more can I do?


I suspect it's simply due to a lack of information. For example, you ask what you're doing wrong above but give us no idea of what you've actually done nor any clue as to where we can see the job description to see if we can help. In the post you made just prior to this one on another thread, you told folks to check the SQL Jobs forum on this site for a great job. Which of the dozens posted there might it be?

If you want to attract good people, you've got to be a wee bit more forthcoming with information about the job. You also have to trust me that if your the one trying to hire a good DBA in Atlanta for only 75-85K, you'll probably end up waiting for quite a while.


Guilty as charged. You can't get much help when you post for advice but don't give any details. I added my company's job posting in a link above, but the job posting here in the SQL Jobs forum is the only one under the heading "SQL Server DBA". It is the Senior Database Administrator for Melaleuca in Idaho Falls, ID.

And no, this is not for a job in Atlanta, and for a true Sr. SQL DBA we will gladly pay more than what you mentioned.


Whose definition of true Sr. SQL DBA? I consider myself a true Sr SQL DBA (Hybrid actually, Admin/Developer) but I unfortunately don't have production experience with clusters or replication. I have worked in a clustered environment, and I have set up replication in lab/POC environment to see if it would meet our needs. Most environments I have worked, as well, I had very little interaction at the OS level. In a past position I did install and configure Windows NT 4.0 (tells you how long ago), but that responsibility went away as network/os work was centralized from database/application development work.

I have setup database mirroring in a SQL Server 2008 EE environment. Was most enlightening and actually fun to accomplish. Actually selected it over windows clustering for HA as it offered several advantages: during failover the mirror become available much quicker, SQL Server 2008 EE allows page level errors to be corrected automatically, redundent copy of data immediately available (good if the never will crash SAN should decide to crash).

Built intregration processes between systems (both in-house and vendor hosted) using SSIS, some of which required some moderately complex processing.




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Post #1336816
Posted Friday, July 27, 2012 3:52 PM


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derek.colley (7/26/2012)
My advice would be to hire a company to find a DBA for you.


Sorry Abel but this is god-awful advice. I recently got involved in a round of recruitment for a new DBA and the companies (agencies) we contacted just could not come up with the goods. When I asked around at the UK User Group in Manchester a few weeks ago, everyone agreed, agencies just aren't the right way to find a good DBA.

What you need to do is leverage the existing talent in your team to write an award-winning job description, and price it up appropriately - don't be cheap, aim between the mid-range and top pay for the sector. I don't know where you're based, but in London a DBA will earn £35-£50k and a senior DBA £45-£65k. If I were recruiting a senior DBA in London I would pitch the job at £50k and I'd expect to be negotiating upwards with the candidate. Evangelists will earn even more through consultancy. Contract rates fluctuate between £280-£400 per day.

The job description will need to be very specific in the areas in which you wish the applicant to be competent, but broad enough to cover multiple subject areas. It's certainly not a good idea to go Googling for a standard job spec.

Bad example:

* The applicant must be competent with SSRS, SSAS, SSIS.

Good example:

* The applicant must have knowledge and experience building SSIS workflows, creating DTS / SSIS packages, and deploying these to a production environment. In addition, the candidate must have experience in designing and building OLAP cubes, an excellent knowledge of data warehousing, and experience in creating custom reports in Visual Studio. Ideally the candidate will hold a Microsoft BI-related professional qualification.



+1




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Post #1336817
Posted Friday, July 27, 2012 3:56 PM


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I'd probably consider relocation, but only under two circumstances right now: 1) unemployed with no opportunities locally, 2) my youngest has graduated high school (4 more years).

I have great job right now, though I'd be willing to work part-time (15-20 hours per week, flexible - nights/weekends) doing remote DBA/Development work.

Could always use some extra cash.



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Post #1336821
Posted Friday, July 27, 2012 3:58 PM


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If I may....
That's not a job for one. That's a job for 4 people, or at least it reads that way. I'd be very cautious applying for that.

Just a few extracts...

Provide technical expertise in database design, development, and administration as well as integration with other technologies


So you want an architect, developer and DBA all in one. That's going to turn a lot of people off straight away. I can fill one of those well and two poorly, at best.

Develop, approve, and monitor detailed designs, specifications, and standards.

Architecture job.

Ensure continuous 24 x 7 x 365 database operation.


By myself?

Solid knowledge of ETL processes and techniques using SSIS


Make that architect, database developer, DBA and ETL developer.

It looks like no one proof-read that ad, it's duplicated half way down. There's also very strange English in several places (Experience monitoring and fine-tuning system performance and optimizing SQL code.). "Experienced in" would read better.

My suggestion (and feel free to ignore me), go through that and decide what you absolutely must have and what's nice to have. Then revise the ad and break down the absolute musts from the nice to haves, make it clear what's optional.

p.s.
Good math skills (add, subtract, multiply, and divide).

No calculators?



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Post #1336822
Posted Friday, July 27, 2012 3:59 PM


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Michael Valentine Jones (7/27/2012)
GSquared (7/26/2012)
Steve Jones - SSC Editor (7/26/2012)
derek.colley (7/26/2012)
My advice would be to hire a company to find a DBA for you.


Sorry Abel but this is god-awful advice. I recently got involved in a round of recruitment for a new DBA and the companies (agencies) we contacted just could not come up with the goods. When I asked around at the UK User Group in Manchester a few weeks ago, everyone agreed, agencies just aren't the right way to find a good DBA.



I'd disagree. In the US, they are hit and miss, but they do hit. Not sure it's better/worse than you doing it alone.

Use agencies/recruiters, just don't use them exclusively.


I'll second Steve on this one. I've had recruiters get me into jobs that weren't even DBA work but were listed as such and interviewed as such (which was weird), but I've also had them get me great jobs.

I've also seen it from the hiring side. The recruiter that got me my current job has provided 6 great team-mates at this place, and 1 complete disaster. The "complete disaster" (a) didn't get very much done, and (b) all of it had to be scrapped and re-done from spec by others, and (c) had ethics issues, and (d) was divisive in the team (tried to create conflicts and blame others, that kind of thing). If that person had been the first one brought on by that recruiter, I can't imagine the company would have ever used that recruiter again, and would probably feel about him the way you seem to feel about recruiters in general. BUT, every other person sent to us to interview by that recruiter has been top-notch, so he's definitely worth working with. (After "the disaster" was fired, we informed the recruiter. That agency won't ever work with "the disaster" again, because their rep matters a lot to them, and he hurt it.)

So, they can be good, and they can be bad, and even the best recruiters can have an off-day and let an unqualified person through or pick the wrong opportunity for a good person. But my experiences with them have been mostly good.



I can't imagine you are going to find many candidates with that level of experience in an area with such a small population, or candidates who are willing to relocate there. You should probably consider candidates who would like to work remotely.

The job description is pretty unfocused. Several sections are repeated entirely. If I was looking for a job, it would have turned me off by the end of the first paragraph.

Identify a few critical things you must have and put them right up front, instead of having a 50 line laundry list. Take the rest of the nice to have stuff and put it at the end.

You really need to give some clue about the potential salary range; "Pay Rate $0.00" is no going to attract many candidates.

There is a requirement to "Relocate to Idaho Falls, ID", but no mention of relocation expenses, so that will be a big turn off.









I think the bolded items are very important. I would strongly consider the telecommute option. You can get people to travel there on occasion for important meetings if you allow them to telecommute.




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