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Archive: February - 2014 (4)

  • You're Not the Only One Hiring

    Article by Elliott Hardaway, Lead Recruiter in Workbridge Associates DC

    According to a recent Dice.com survey, overall 2013 unemployment rates for the United States have decreased from 7.7 percent to 7.0 percent. However, tech workers are twice as likely to remain employed and the overall unemployment rate hovered at around 3.5 percent for the year.

    When it comes to companies filling open positions, it has to start with attracting talented job seekers with the right job posting or description, unique benefits/perks, and an appealing office culture. As the interview process begins, it can be very difficult to keep candidates interested. If the hiring process drags out beyond two weeks, competition will set in and interest will start to fade. Once you’ve reached a decision, it’s important to make sure your ideal candidate is prepared and ready to jump on board.

    The first step is putting together an enticing job description, one that will attract not only a large crowd of applicants, but also the right applicants suited for the job. No one wants to read a ten-page description, so make sure it’s informative without going overboard. It’s important to mention both specific and appealing benefits and perks that come with the job- such as vacation, bonus, 401K, metro accessible location, and healthcare. Candidates also want to hear a bit about the office culture so they can get a visual of what day-to-day life would be like for them. Including an example or two of projects they could be involved in will help to give the candidate a more detailed description of what the job and requirements entail. This is huge, as most engineers are looking due to boredom and lack of growth, so knowing what technologies and exciting projects are on the horizon could be the difference in a candidate applying or not.

    Another effective way of finding the right applicants is to work smart and utilize your network. Whether that be through a local meetup, as Liz in Workbridge Boston previously mentioned, or just simply asking around, it’s critical to help complement what can be a difficult search. Networking is a sure-fire way of reaching candidates that may be very passive in their search, and with so many Meetup groups out there, you can choose the one that best correlates to the job you are trying to fill.

    Once you’ve started filtering through resumes and begun the interview process, it can be difficult to keep candidates interested. You should first inform any potential job seekers of the interview process, so you can manage their expectations, especially if you plan on having more than one round of interviews. It’s extremely important to keep an open line of communication and not allow more than two days, if at all possible, between interviews.  This is a good way to lose candidates, as job searches are all about timing.  Following up with prospective candidates, even it’s just a simple e-mail to let he or she know you haven’t forgotten them, can go a long way in maintaining interest.  Keeping your staff in the loop on your decision-making will also assist in moving the process along, as they will in turn keep you accountable for some of the responsibilities mentioned prior.

    So, you’ve found the perfect applicant and want to congratulate them and offer them the job; what’s next? Before you hand over that offer, you need to make sure you understand the candidate’s priorities. This will allow you and your team to alleviate any concerns or questions they may have about working at your company, and more importantly, on your team. Once you have a good understanding of their “hot buttons”, make the best offer you can so as to avoid negotiations. Going low or “low-balling” will only sour the relationship you’re trying to build. You may end up getting them to accept the offer, but they will remember the struggle involved, leading to a less smooth transition. Providing them with a deadline of when you need an answer is helpful in understanding their interest and overall search, so generally between 24 to 48 hours is sufficient. If you’re concerned that you may not be the best opportunity available to the candidate, don’t be afraid to adjust your company’s hiring process to get the job filled. Going to get coffee one-on-one with them, or simply making an extra call to ensure they understand the offer will definitely help separate you from the competition.

    To avoid positions staying open for too long, make sure to invest the proper measures to make a great hire. Don’t fall into the trap many hiring managers have made in being too stubborn in their ability to hire, and waste your allotted budget by waiting too long to fill your job. Time is money, and there’s also no need to add stress to your existing team because you won’t buckle down and an extra set of hands. Using these tips should help prevent you from missing out on the best talent. If you’re going to commit to building your team with the right people, then commit. Remember that 3.5% statistic? It’s do-or-die out there.

  • Tech Hiring Trends for 2014

    Article by Workbridge Boston.

    The tech industry is an ever-changing world that recruiters, hiring managers, and job seekers alike need to stay on top of. With the start of a new year, we are seeing new trends in salaries, best places to work, and hiring demands. With a little bit of research and some help from my fellow recruiters, I give you the hiring trends of 2014.

    Salaries in the Boston Tech Market will Rise in 2014

    The West Coast is known for paying higher salaries (about $20k higher) than the East. At of the end of 2013, Boston companies were still not able to compete with these numbers. We're going to see this shift in 2014 as the Boston tech market explodes. The competition between companies for technical talent in Boston is at an all-time high. Historically, the West Coast and New York have been known for being the tech hotbeds, but Boston is heating up as well, resulting in increased demand, only without the supply. Companies are being forced to pay more, much more, to keep their talent, the main reason why almost every candidate in the Boston area has received a counter offer after accepting a new position.

    Project over Prestige

    There used to be a time when large corporations were the answer to job hunting. Companies like EMC and Akamai were the place to be when it came to technology, but that isn’t the case anymore. 2014 is the year of the startup. The majority of the talent pool in Boston is looking to leave their mammoth corporations for more exciting and cutting-edge projects, and the large corporations are left wondering why they no longer have the pull that they used to.

    Working at a startup allows candidates to break free of the chains that large corporations restrain them with. Although startups will never be able to compete with the salaries that larger corporations can offer, they can incentivize with a reward system based off of skills rather dollar signs. Candidates are drawn to innovation and an atmosphere that focuses on recognition of accomplishments. This is something unmatched by corporate culture.

    Hot Hiring Trends

    For my team, 2014 is the year of DevOps and Big Data. As the amount of internet users increases, companies need to meet this high demand. Big data is the solution to this problem because it facilitates the capture, management, and processing of data. In response to this increased demand, companies need to figure out a way to scale their infrastructure. Enter, DevOps, the integration of software development and IT operations, which evolved from this growing demand. If you want to learn more about DevOps, check out this post by Tim Lockwood in our New York office.

    On the Microsoft side of the market, C# programmers still run the show but the need to have experience with web development using ASP.NET MVC, JavaScript libraries, and Entity Framework. Also, SQL has become increasingly more important. This year has shed some light on the use of single-page applications with JavaScript libraries and the importance of hiring a candidate that can interpret and rewrite scripts with a complete understanding of the project, rather than simply manipulating scripts to make the processes work. 

    In the open source world, the UI experience has become increasingly important. The new year is giving way to new and emerging JavaScript frameworks, stressing the importance of the development of mobile applications. There is a high demand for Open Source and UI talent, but right now there just aren't enough of them to meet the demand in the Boston market. 

    So what does this tell us? The technical themes of 2014 are Big Data, large corporations feeling the threat of small and innovative startups, and candidates broadening their technical skills. 2014, it’s going to be a great year.

  • Not Just a MeetUp

    Article by Liz Polom, Marketing Specialist for Workbridge Boston

    If you haven’t heard of MeetUp.com yet, well, say hello to your new networking accelerator. MeetUp serves to “revitalize local community and help people around the world self-organize.” With over 15 million members spanning over 140,000 groups, there is nearly a group for any person with any interest. If you love the outdoors, are looking to meet new people, or are a huge Star Wars fan, chances are, there’s a meetup for you. If there isn’t an existing group that’s perfectly tuned to your passions, no need to fear, the site allows you to create your own!

    It isn’t just about hobbies and lifestyles though, MeetUp is becoming the place to be for working professionals, job seekers, and industry leaders. If you attend a meetup today (and you should), you’re walking into a multi-faceted event. Meetups are now about recruiting opportunities, advertising, brand outreach, learning, and most importantly, networking.

    Here in Boston, meetups focusing on technology make up some of the largest groups: Boston New Technology, Boston PHP, and my personal favorite Tech in Motion! I’m a little biased because I’m a co-organizer of Tech in Motion: Boston, but love that all of these Meetups are bringing the tech community together through networking, a key tool for starting a job search or when looking to hire someone new.

    I asked one of the Lead Recruiters in the Workbridge Boston office, Matt Rogers, about the relevance of networking, and he gave me this spot-on advice - “Networking is so important because a resume will only take you so far, people aren’t hiring a piece of paper, they’re hiring for your personality; and it’s a great way for candidates to meet a hiring manager before submitting their resume.”

    Groups are utilizing the MeetUp format as a learning tool. Tech in Motion’s events are always focused on a specific tech topic. Whether we’re hosting a panel, speaker series, or a simple Demos and Drinks event, our attendees are always learning. Workbridge Recruiter Anneika Kerr says she loves “being able to meet new people in the tech community,” and really enjoys “learning more about the technologies, such as Xamarin and Azure, that our developers are using on a daily basis.”

    As the Marketing Specialist for Workbridge, I love that we host Tech in Motion: Boston. What originally started as an event series to give back to the local tech community became a wonderful melting-pot for networking and tech talks.  They are a great way for our recruiters to learn more about what’s going on in the tech world, and get out there to network with potential job seekers. We plan events that we would want to attend, that have a lot going on, and we always have recruiters on site to give career and resume advice. Attendees have the opportunity to meet with one another, check out various products up close, and of course, listen to industry pros give their insight on the latest tech trends.  

    Lou Adler, author of The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired suggests that “recruiters should employ a 20/20/60 recruiting strategy. The idea is to only spend 20% of their time posting jobs, 20% looking for resumes and 60% networking. This allows companies to find the best people available, not just the best people who are applying to their job postings.”

    No matter your interest, meetups are great excuse to get out and start networking. LinkedIn is great, but meeting face-to-face is even better. What are you waiting for? Start RSVPing today!

  • Bitcoins: What's All the Fuss About?

    Article by Andrew Kolkhorst, Lead Recruiter in Workbridge New York

    Bitcoins have been the talk of the town recently, but it seems to be that no one knows what they truly are or where they come from. Do they magically appear? Can they be traded? Who invented them?

    Bitcoins are “mined” by using very powerful computers that can process large amounts of data. Their sole purpose is to search for certain algorithms of code that contain bitcoins. As more and more bitcoins are mined, these algorithms become longer and more complex. These super computers are being created, upgraded, and bought at an extremely rapid rate. A Swedish Company named Knc Miner recently came out with a new model called the Neptune which so far has accounted for $28 million in sales, and it does not even have a release date yet (Business Insider).

    So far bitcoins have had a rather tumultuous trading life and have surged up to an $800 high in November. While the bitcoin market is very volatile, the theory amongst many now is that this is not the time to sell, no matter how high the price. See, as more bitcoins enter the market, the more difficult it is to physically “mine” them. There is not an unlimited supply. This is a commodity that will run out like many others.

    A trend that has become popular in many tech companies is distributing equity instead of cash. This allows companies to keep a low operating budget while retaining strong employees. While equity is something that can disappear if a company fails, bitcoins seem to be around for the long haul. Which brings up the question, is being paid by bitcoin more valuable than equity? It is going to be a gamble either way until bitcoins are accepted as a method of payment globally, and until then, you should hold them as an investment. If you are financially stable and can afford to make long term investments, then bitcoins are a smart move, however, if you need cash to pay rent, I suggest passing.

    When negotiating your pay in bitcoins, you need to treat as them as any other commodity. Let’s use gold as an example. The price on gold fluctuates many times on any given day, the same as the price of a bitcoin would. Therefore, you need to think of this bitcoin investment as long term, and you should diversify yourself in other markets. If you are being paid solely in bitcoins (or gold) you do not want to have all your eggs in one basket.

    The world we live in today is becoming more technology-driven and paper money is becoming more of a hassle now that we have services such as PayPal and Venmo. The days of living in a purely digital world are fast-approaching, and there is a very good chance that bitcoin is here for the long haul. 

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