Kevin Flannery picked the right “hot spot” to announce his latest venture on Tuesday.
Wireless-Jobs.com is a web site established to match companies wanting to jump on the hottest trends in wireless (Wi-Fi and next generation networks) and network engineers who have either lost jobs or are looking for new ones.
“Wireless and jobs ins a very popular search term,” said Flannery, who researched the idea of the niche web site for two years. This isn’t “Hot Jobs”. It has a specific focus — the wireless industry, which Flannery knows well.
Flannery, founder of Wireless Management Solutions which helps telephone and wireless companies install and maintain networks, trotted off to New Orleans for the annual Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association Show to announce Wireless-Jobs.com.
“W-Fi is going to be great,” he said by phone while walking the trade show floor. “Everyone is going wireless.”
Wi-Fi is hot. He wants to help companies find employees who know how to install Wi-Fi, make sure it works, and maintain it.
He believes Wireless-Jobs.com will be the marketplace to match experienced engineers and employers.
Wi-Fi, or high-speed wireless networking basked on the 802.11 standard, is being embraced by companies across the nation to provide access to networks. IBM and major PC manufacturers are incorporating wireless chips in new laptops, and Intel just introduced a new line of wireless products. More and more retail outlets and even some communities are setting up “hot spots” where public access to the wireless Internet is made available.
But in the rush to embrace Wi-Fi and to upgrade standard cellular networks, telecom and tower companies are having problems finding trained workers to do the job. After two years of financial battering on Wall Street, many firms have cut workforces, and they are in no hurry to add headcount, Flannery said. They need “flexible staffing” — subcontractors if not full time.
Another problem is at tower companies and cellular companies that have slashed workforces yet still need to update and maintain networks. “Every six months or so, some sort of new upgrade is required,” he explained. “With Wi-Fi and 2.5G and 3G networks, all the carriers need help,” Flannery added, referring to the next-generation cellular networks which provide multimedia services and high-speed data access.
Into the breach steps Wireless-Jobs.com.
“People posting for jobs can do so free of charge. Companies pay us for access to the candidates and to post jobs,” Flannery said.
To add value to his site and to differentiate from other job sites, Flannery said his new company will screen individuals.
“We have 200 or so questions we ask people,” he said. “Some of them are trick questions. We will find out if they are really qualified as they say they are or if they are feeding us a lot of bull.”
Flannery has plenty of wireless experience himself, having worked as a engineer and manager in wireless for some 20 years. He worked for BellSouth Mobility (now Cingular) for four years before launching Wireless Management Services in 1999.
If clients want them to, Flannery said the new company will do initial screening interviews and provide other services.
And if a company doesn’t want to add full-time employees, Flannery said he will offer up the services provided by Wireless Management Solutions.
“I keep a note on my desk that says Cingular plans to spend $3.8 billion on capital investments this year,” he said,
Wireless-Jobs.com already has four people and is being financed by Flannery.