As technology companies watch the debate in Congress on visas, one fact remains: They need skilled workers. Amid the debate, a top Seattle tech recruiter answers questions – from career advice to a prediction on future trends.

Updated March 5, 2014 –

U.S. technology companies need skilled workers, which they claim they can’t hire because there aren’t enough educated Americans. They say that’s why they want to increase the number of H1-B visas to recruit foreigners.

There are 85,000 available visas up for grabs when the filing season starts April 1, but that’s not enough to satisfy the requirements of tech firms.

But with high-skill immigration being rolled into the larger question of comprehensive reform, the issue remains at a stalemate in Congress.

Seattle tech recruiter

Amid all this, what does a Seattle tech recruiter think? “Our country needs to improve our immigration program so we can bring on more H1-Bs and allow them to become U.S. citizens,” says Jim Ange, CEO of ExecTap (

“They come here to our universities and then we have to send them home; this is a major loss to our countries IP,” he adds.

Launched in 2010, ExecTap has emerged as a top-notch boutique recruiting firm in competitive Seattle. That’s a noteworthy achievement considering Seattle ranks first in the nation in high-tech job growth, according to several published reports.

Seattle has nearly 130,000 tech workers and ranks in the top five for high-tech wages. But Seattle companies still need more skilled tech employees.

From an interview, here’s an edited excerpt of Mr. Ange’s answers:

Q: When and why did you launch ExecTap? A: In 2010, after years of using recruiting firms to help me find top talent which were mostly unsuccessful, I saw a hole in the market around the high-tech sector as many recruiters could not understand specifics around skill set and talents that are required in the variety of roles from CxO to a security engineer. I felt there was a need for a focused firm in this area that could understand the client’s needs and find the exact talent to fill the role.

Q: What is the ExecTap business philosophy and/or mission?

A: Philosophy: Trust, honesty, value with both the employee candidate and the employer.

Q: How many people are in your firm?

A: Three.

Q: How has tech changed in human resources?

A: They have more automated tools, more ways of gathering information on their employees so they have become much more powerful.

Q: What job descriptions do you fill the most?

A: Senior sales and sales-engineering roles, director of development, cloud and or SaaS related services and CxO levels. The sales roles are the hardest to fill due to there are very few truly talented sales execs and sales engineers in the market.

Q: In what part of tech are the most jobs? Why?

A: That’s easy, development due to most high tech companies require some level of coding ether building something new or fixing an existing tool that the company cannot get rid of. Good developers are king!

Q: Generally speaking, what traits or attributes make a successful tech applicant?

A: They write their resumes to fit the job description and if they don’t fit they don’t apply with honesty, transparency and interest.

Q: What mistakes should candidates avoid?

A: Don’t post your resume for a job that you’re not qualified for; you waste your time and the recruiters.

  • Have your LinkedIn profile and the resume match up.
  • Don’t talk about what you want to be when you grow up.
  • Don’t make your resume too long, use short sentences or bullets and then use that as a deeper conversation during the interview.
  • If you get the offer don’t be greedy and try to negotiate after you have already agreed to the general comp package.

Q: What do applicants do right?

A: Respond quickly; be direct, speak up and act interested; follow up via email or phone with a thank you; and be humble.

Q: In what should college students major for a successful tech career?

A: Computer sciences with a finance and or business degree. This is the make of any true entrepreneur, write code and be able to sell.

Q: Because technology is so dynamic with ever-changing developments, how can tech professionals stay current?

A: With the information age we have choices galore. I like:

  • Something local depending your city
  • Venture Beat
  • Tech Flash
  • Wall Street Journal
  • LinkedIn

Q: What trends do you see in technology’s future?

A: The Cloud and everything around it, this is a long term mass migration that is becoming the standard. (BI) Business intelligence and artificial intelligence and other tools that learn from your daily input; imagine having your own assistant that is taking care of all of your ongoing needs from booking your flight to ordering food with all verbal commands. We are just scratching the surface but this one will be here very soon.

Q: What’s your branding/value proposition? Why is ExecTap a leading firm?

A: We want to understand our clients business as if we were becoming an employee directly. Our objective is to become one with our clients in every possible way. Every role to us is very important as we know the levels we are fulfilling will affect the clients’ bottom line. Our goal is to keep this a small focused firm and have very satisfied customers.

Q: What else would you like to add?

A: This industry drives all other markets and thus why we haven’t seen a drop during the recession. We also must simplify the tax code and lower the business tax rate to compete with other countries. This will attract more companies to build their business here in the U.S., which will benefit our economy.

From the Coach’s Corner, here links to HR-tech tips:

“Technology is anything that wasn’t around when you were born.”
-Alan Kay


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.