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Category: Success Stories (59)

  • 5 Reasons to Hire a Veteran

    Military veterans are a great talent pool to dip into, and companies are noticing. In fact, this blog by the U.S. Department of Labor points out that the unemployment rate for veterans is constantly below the unemployment rate of non-veterans. Are you thinking about hiring a veteran at your company? Having worked with quite a few veterans to place them at tech jobs, Jennifer Talwar, Practice Manager at Workbridge Silicon Valley, gives you five great reasons below why your next employee should be a veteran.

    1. Ability to work on a team

    Being able to work well on a team is one of the first things that can get someone hired. You can have an amazing resume with all the "hot skills listed," but as soon as you are on an onsite interview and not able to demonstrate that you are a team player, the interview is over. "From my experience, all the veterans that I have worked with have those key teamwork skills that hiring managers are looking for," says Jennifer.

    2. Pride in their work

    More than the average candidate, veterans always have a strong sense of pride in their work and their personal brand. They want to be known as experts in their field and want to be highly respected in their skillset, so they put in the time and hard work to accomplish that.

    3. Reliable

    Compared to the average candidate, veterans are some of the most reliable candidates to work with. They are always prepared and are very efficient with time management and respect other people's time because they know it is important.

     Are you a veteran looking for a job? Apply to a job in Silicon Valley or a city near you!

    4. Versatile

    Working with many different types of people in a fast paced environment, especially in the tech industry, is normal. Veterans have the experience and skills to be cross-functional when it comes to situations. They work well under high pressure and can make quick decisions when needed.

    5. Perspective on the bigger picture

    Having a perspective on the bigger picture is important in an employee because it shows maturity. Veterans tend to have a higher-level outlook because they understand what is in their control and what isn't. They also know how to control their own environment and how to let go of the things that are outside of their control. This type of mentality is very important for the workplace and results in a calm and confident attitude.

    According to Joseph Kernan, NS2 Serves Chairman and Vice Admiral (Ret.), U.S. Navy, in an article from the Business Journal, "Hiring a veteran not only provides your company with a devoted employee who has the potential to become a highly productive member of the team, but you're also giving a deserving veteran a fresh start in post-military life and a chance at a fulfillinig career." Looking to hire a veteran? Contact Workbridge here so we can help find you the right talent for the job.

    Ready to start your tech job search? Here are some resources to help guide you to a job you'll love:

  • Region Spotlight: Tech Opportunities in Orange County and San Diego Aplenty

    Article by Cory Eustice, Division Manager of Workbridge Orange County

    As the world becomes more accessible through technology, it allows more people to communicate with one another, have access to resources they may not have had before, and ultimately allow for greater opportunities. In addition, through technology the location of where you need to be in order to succeed in the tech industry has exceeded borders. No longer do you need to be located in Silicon Valley to start the company of your dreams or pursue your dream of working in the tech industry. You could pick any location to start your company, and while some may give you more access than others, this blog specifically spotlights both Orange County and San Diego.

    I have been a technology recruiter in Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego for more than six years and the landscape has changed dramatically in that time. When I began in 2009, Orange County had been decimated by the financial crisis, San Diego was dominated by a few Goliaths (Carefusion, Qualcomm, Sony) and Los Angeles was at the beginning of becoming what is now referenced as “Silicon Beach” – though it really has nothing to do with silicon at all but rather web apps, mobile apps, and software applications. Since then, the LA tech community has bled down to Orange County in the form of Oculus, Kareo, and SendGrid to name a few. You can make the argument that these three companies are just as successful or more successful as those in LA and San Francisco, showing success can now be accomplished anywhere. In the same time, the San Diego tech community has exploded into a landscape of more goliaths like Intuit, Tereadata, and Illumina while also being driven by highly funded start-ups that are changing things like payment processing and human life sciences.

    Considering a move to OC or San Diego and on the market? We can help!

    The volume of companies may still exist in areas like the Bay and LA, but with rising home costs and overall cost of living, why spend your money there when you can spend your money on other things, or save it? Technology has made being successful accessible to anyone in any place. When you are looking for your dream job, or where to raise your family, you can choose a metropolitan area or you can choose to live in an expansive location like what’s offered in Orange County and San Diego for the same price if not cheaper.

    Technology has given us the ability to ‘set-up shop’ wherever we’d like and in Orange County and San Diego there are plenty of co-working spaces, tech-hubs, incubators and accelerators popping up to make this possibility a reality. Whether you are looking to get into the tech industry as a startup founder or to join an established company, I can guarantee that your options are endless in this region of Southern California. Contrary to what everyone, ‘in the know’, says, you can live somewhere in California that is not the bay area, and still get everything you want out of your life in tech!

  • 4 Desirable Traits of Open Source Job Seekers

    Article written by Jaime Vizzuett, Practice Manager of Workbridge Orange County

    As many know, the tech market is a candidate’s market.  There are very few exceptional engineers with a solid background, and a lot of job opportunities - with the Open Source market being no different. People hire people because of a particular skillset, whether it’s an architect or a junior candidate, regardless of the industry. As Practice Manager at Workbridge Associates Orange County, specializing in placing candidates with Open Source Technology backgrounds, I’ve found that in addition to a particular skillset, hiring managers desire a candidate who displays selective traits, especially in the Open Source market.

    Before getting into these traits, it is important to understand that companies which use Open Source technologies are most likely startups. This doesn’t mean that every company that uses Open Source technologies falls in the same category, but there is definitely a trend. That being said, I spoke with a few of my managers from Corporate to Startup companies and asked them what they look for in a potential employee or contract employee.

    The following are the top four traits hiring managers are looking for in tech job seekers with an Open Source background.

    1. Jack Of All Trades, Master of One

    You can do a little of everything, but if you aren’t great at something, then find out what you’re most interested in and hone those skills. One of my hiring managers mentioned, “It’s always nice to see a wide variety of skills on a candidate's resume, but I also expect them to know the fundamental basics of whatever they have on their resume.”  There is no problem with having a variety of skill sets, or being a “full-stack” engineer, just make sure to focus on one skill, and be great at it. Bottom-line is no one wants to hire an engineer that is a, “Jack of all trades, and a master of none.”

    Join Companies Who Hire on These Traits

    2. Be Trendy

    You will hear it over and over again, but keeping up with the newest technology is crucial in any market, and especially in Open Source. The Open Source market is always going to have a floodgate of new technologies, whether it’s Angular.js or a new version of Symfony. Every company wants someone with the trendy new technology that very few engineers have, so being ahead of the curve will set you apart. Having newer technologies in your arsenal could really make the difference between simply getting an interview and getting the job.

    3. Get Social

    Github should be every engineer’s best friend. This is not necessarily a trait, but more like a “nice-to-have”, as one of my hiring managers put it. This is especially crucial for junior Open-Source developers trying to land the job, simply because sometimes Github may be the only example of work that a hiring manager has to look at. Whether it’s through Github, a forum, or social media – having some type of social presence that shows you are passionate and invested in technology is a plus. As the Director of Software Development at a company I work with put it, “I’d rather bring in a junior engineer who shows initiative, passion and hunger to learn more, and Github helps me depict that.”

    4. Know Who You Are And What You Want

    Hopefully you are looking to find a company that is going to challenge you and allow you to continue to expand your skillset, but also one that fits what you look for culturally. As a hiring manager, building a culture is all contingent on the people they onboard, which is why the face to face interview is the most important interview of the process. The onsite interview really allows both the candidate and company to figure out if they are a fit for each other. Neither every candidate nor every company is necessarily going to mesh perfectly, but they should mesh enough to be able to spend most of their time together.

    While technology is always advancing, hiring managers will continue to look for these traits in open source job seekers. Companies will always be looking for the next best talent that can take them to the next level and if you’re a job seeker, I hope the points I mentioned will be taken into consideration as you progress through your career.

  • Are You Putting Yourself in the Best Position to Hire Technologists?

    Article By John Howard, Practice Manager in Workbridge DC

    The Current Landscape

    It’s no secret that the hiring landscape for software, web, and IT technologists is tough.  A cursory search of newspapers from cities across the US indicate companies’ need for a variety of information technology professionals; anyone keeping up with the news is aware of the monthly BLS reports indicating the US economy has consistently added jobs, and numerous sources cite tech unemployment in the neighborhood of 3% (while the national average just dipped below 6%).  The most obvious litmus test, however, is done on a day-to-day basis by software, IT, and HR managers trying to hire technologists.  The reality is that the majority of resumes that find their way to the hiring manager’s inbox are never going to receive a phone call or an email, not because there are so many qualified applicants that only the best are contacted, but because of the opposite:  the majority of job ad response are either grossly under- or overqualified, not local to the area or looking for remote / telecommute work, are from offshore or onshore tech consultancies promising numerous perfectly qualified candidates, or so far removed from anything the job description represents that one’s left wondering if the applicant read the description at all. 

    While there are number of important factors to hiring in any market condition, to keep things simple here are three key components to effective hiring.

    Take Ownership

    In his recent book Zero to One, PayPal and Palantir founder Peter Thiel makes the case that hiring is one of the most important aspects to the success of any team or company, so don’t leave it up to someone else to do it for you. While this certainly isn’t an original idea, it’s a point that is often completely overlooked when it comes to staffing.  It is certainly far easier to relinquish responsibility of the majority of the hiring process to HR or recruiters (internal or external) instead of taking ownership of filling your own openings, but unfortunately it’s not nearly as effective.  At the same time this doesn’t mean there is not immense value in partnerships and/or delegating aspects of the hiring process to various vested personnel (members / leads of your team, HR, recruiters, managers).  Ultimately however, it comes down to the hiring manager allocating time in the daily or weekly schedule for phone and in-person interviews, checking out the local Meetup  and user group scene for organic networking, and generally investing his or her time and energy to get the position filled with the right person(s).

    Succeed in Securing New Talent Today

    Prepare

    Every manager, team, company has a process they’re comfortable with or at least use in order to determine whether or not they are going to hire candidate x.  In a competitive market it’s often the process that is blamed if an applicant goes with another offer, but in fact most companies are fairly similar when it comes to determining who they’re going to hire; the issues often occur in the timing.  Whether you want to see a candidate’s contribution to the tech community,  have 1, 2, or 3 rounds of interviews, or any similarly structured hiring process, the important thing to remember is that if you’re interested in a particular candidate, so are anywhere from 1 – 10 other companies. What is your plan to get the candidate interested in the work and your company or team? 

    This goes back to the ownership piece; it’s up to the hiring manager to work with his or her tech and hiring teams in order to ensure a smooth and speedy process. Instead of waiting until the interview goes well to schedule the next round, attempt to schedule two rounds simultaneously (i.e. when you schedule the first phone call plan for the in-person interview pending a successful screen).  If an important member of the process cannot be involved in the candidate’s in-person interview, have the two connect via web conference.  Schedule a lunch or a coffee with an interested candidate if the process is going to be elongated for any reason.  In short, one should be thinking of the next step and what may cause a successful hire not to happen.

    Be Realistic 

    Ultimately everyone wants to hire the same person:  someone with a well-rounded tech background and who specializes in one or two areas, who communicates well and is a great team-player, doesn’t need a lot of hand-holding, is quick and inquisitive, and whose tech prowess will raise the quality of the team, all for a price that won’t break the bank or alienate any existing team members – someone like this or on the better side of the bell curve than this. Yep, that’s the one. The reality is that every company and hiring manager is looking for that person, or a lot of those persons. Understanding where you can sacrifice x or y without sacrificing the underlying quality of the hire creates a hiring advantage. Educating the other members of your team or hiring committee means everyone is on the same page and can act accordingly.

    If you’ve had to hire, you know it’s rarely this simple – often it seems that a million things need to happen, fires to put out, signatures to track down, and an incredible amount of luck in order to land one good IT applicant.  But if you can prioritize the things that matter most, be flexible on the others and treat hiring as your crucial responsibility to building a good team or company, you’ll create more success in hiring.

  • How Company Brands Define the Type of Talent Attracted

    Article by Cory Eustice, Division Manager of Workbridge Orange County

    “One interaction at a time.”

    Everything that you do in business can be defined by this phrase, and one of the most important things that a business can achieve through interactions is their “hiring brand”. Your hiring brand is an extension of yourself and your business, and it can either open doors to potential employees for you or it can shut them out before you even have the chance to interact with them.

    Building a hiring brand starts with having a clear and defined vision of what you want it to represent. Your brand could be as simple as a personal reputation, or as large as the representation of your entire organization. Do you want to be known as the company that constantly has open roles, but is a resume black hole? Or do you want to be known for having a continuous feedback loop in your hiring process that gives potential employees an enjoyable hiring experience? Obviously these are two extremes, but where you sit on the spectrum will either bring you topnotch candidates, or it will shut someone off to giving your company a chance.

    As Division Manager of a technical recruiting agency, I deal with companies every day that find it incredibly difficult to attract top talent for their organization. The first thing I always do is dissect their hiring process and typically find that there is a breakdown in the feedback function of the process. Either candidates never hear back from the company, or they hear back in an untimely manner. Companies too often are drawn to solely focusing on their top targets, which causes them to let talent slip away and create an ‘outside looking in’ dynamic. What companies and employees forget is that everyone knows someone and that someone could be their next lead engineer, head of marketing, or vice president of sales. If you or your company left a bad taste in the mouth of a jobseeker, it can spread to their network and lead to individuals in their network not reading your emails or answering your calls without you ever knowing why.

    The way I practice having a quality brand in my office is making it a point to get back to everyone within 48 hours, whether it be about a resume submittal or an interview. These simple interactions help build my office’s own hiring brand and make it easily maintainable. I get that everyone is busy, but taking the time to write a quick email can save you the headache of not capturing top talent down the road. I have worked with countless people looking for jobs that were so appreciative of the feedback they received, good or bad, that they later referred their friends and colleagues to me even if I didn’t successfully find them a new role. The fact of the matter is this – because my hiring brand has a quality reputation based on the experiences of the people I interact with, my hiring brand brought candidates to me that I would have most likely otherwise not found. I strongly believe building this strategy within an individual company can bring the same results.

    Once your hiring brand is established, it is important to maintain it and ultimately expand it. There are various avenues a company can take that will do this. One of the most effective I have found is through networking events, like meet-ups. By going to meet-ups, you develop a face in the community and if you actually interact with the people, (I know, novel idea-right?), you can become an expert in that community on your subject matter. You can also take your brand a step further by either hosting your own meet-up or simply sponsoring one, which will give your company some type of interaction with a particular community.

    I’ve seen the advantages of building a hiring brand and encourage you to do the same. In what ways has your company established its hiring brand?

  • How to Hire a .NET Engineer

    Article by Kathleen Nealon, Practice Manager in Workbridge New York

    The competition for engineering talent around the country has become very stiff and one of the most competitive places to find good engineers is New York City. Here in NYC, the tech hub is growing rapidly and even starting to rival Silicon Valley. “Silicon Alley” is becoming a force to be reckoned with. Between 2009 and 2013, venture capital invested in the New York metro area was up 76% and the fourth quarter of 2013 was the first since 2001 to attract more than $1 billion.

    With all of this money going into startups, companies are looking to hire the best engineers on the market. Often the first couple of tech hires are crucial for the company’s growth and success down the line. When it comes time to hire the first couple of engineers and developers, whether you are looking for a PHP Developer or .Net Developer, it has become no secret that both are very hard to find. Why is that?

    As a Technical Recruiter who has been working the New York market for the past five years, I have seen a lot of changes from the 2009-2010 market compared to 2014 and have come up with four theories about why it is so hard to hire a .NET Engineer.

    The term “.NET Engineer” is used too broadly

    .Net is a framework created by Microsoft that developers can use to create applications more easily. A framework is essentially a bunch of code that the programmer can call without having to write it explicitly. Therefore .NET Engineers (and .NET Developers) are best defined as a type of web programmer with a strong understanding of the .NET framework.

    Saying you need a .NET Engineer/Developer is an extremely general statement and without giving any more information, you most likely won’t get exactly what you’re looking for.

    So, in other words, it isn’t .NET Engineers in general that are hard to find; it is the specific skill sets and areas of expertise that are a challenge to find.

    There are many .Net Engineers out there, but their skill set doesn’t always match what companies think they need 

    Speaking in terms of numbers, there may not be a lack of .NET Engineers but rather a lack of understanding about what skills would make a good fit.

    Most employers are currently looking for five plus years of .NET development experience even though the .NET framework has only become widespread within the last few years. A possible solution to this dilemma is for employers to start considering more entry level developers who have the passion, desire and potential to learn and grow into the role.

    Also, if hiring managers set their expectations or requirements too tightly, they can lose sight of solid developers. For example, say a company was ideally looking for someone with Java experience but come across an amazing C++ developer. It’s important to determine which skill sets and languages are “must have” versus “nice to have” at the beginning of the hiring process so as not to miss out on great developers with a lot of potential and flexible skill sets.

    Companies want an experienced and highly skilled employee, but aren’t willing to train to get that person

    A lot of highly qualified candidates are already employed and may, at most, be passively looking for new positions. The unemployment rate for technology professionals fell to 3.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to the total U.S. Unemployment Rate of 6.3 percent.

    .NET changes very frequently, so it can often be hard for developers and engineers to keep up with every update. Realistically, it’s almost impossible for someone to know all of .NET, therefore, either engineers need to be constantly learning in order to stay up to date on what’s current or companies need to help them.

    A big part of my job is helping hiring managers set realistic expectations around skills and what they need in a candidate versus what they would really like to have. I also like to advise my candidates on what hiring managers are looking for and what training could make them even more competitive within the industry.

    Often, managers are looking for people who are experts in many aspects of technology. They spend months searching for these individuals and not find anyone because it is so hard to find candidates in this market who can hit every category on the hiring manager’s wish list. I always suggest that my clients hire people who are eager to learn and passionate about the role— the company can always train for the unmet points on the wish list.

    Companies hiring processes may take too long for “hot” candidates

    Lastly (and specifically on the .NET side) a lot of large corporations in New York City use .NET but, because of their size, the hiring process can be a timely ordeal with many different steps. This often results in hot candidates taking jobs at smaller to mid-size companies because they can move quicker.

    Overall, there may be a large number of .NET Engineers in New York City but finding the perfect candidate for you company can be very challenging. By determining exactly what skills you need in an employee, searching for someone who is willing to learn and train on new technologies, and is passionate about the opportunity you have to offer will help you speed up your hiring process in order to find the hottest available candidates for your company.

  • The Growing Demand for Data Scientists

    Article by Scott Brosnan, Practice Manager in Workbridge San Francisco 

    Companies are using data to better understand consumers and the immense amount of new data pouring into their system. They know that this just might be the most important driver of business for success in today’s world. Whether it is a small startup or a multi-billion company like Netflix or Facebook, data is at the core in making better business decisions. Companies now save every detail about every click of the mouse. Online companies are able to track the browsing patterns and habits of their users. This allows them to use that data to attract new users with similar profiles and characteristics of existing users. 

    There is a growing demand for individuals who can analyze this data and derive insights from it. This trend will continue to grow as more companies are trying to find ways to capitalize on this information. Companies are willing to (or having to) pay top dollar for individuals that possess these abilities.

    A recent McKinsey report revealed some staggering statistics in the data science field.  There are roughly 140,000 people that are working as data scientists right now, and by the year 2018 there will be a shortage of 150,000 to 190,000 people with data science abilities. The field is just so new that it is a simple supply and demand issue. Every company is trying to make more sense of their data and find ways to most effectively use it. There are just not enough people with the skill set to keep up with the demand. 

    Most data scientists right now have studied mathematics, statistics or computer sciences.  Unbelievably, up until 2 years ago there was no data science or data analytics programs or major option in any university or school. One of the best indicators for the increasing need for data scientist, are the number of programs that are popping up around the country. We have seen programs begin at University of California, Berkeley, University of San Francisco and Indiana University.

     

    As more and more companies look to take advantage of their data, the demand for data scientists will continue to grow.

  • Game Time Strategy: A Super Bowl Approach to Your Job Search

    Article by Samantha Epstein, Practice Manager in Workbridge New York

    I’ve been in the business of helping folks get jobs for nearly six years now, and I currently run our Microsoft recruiting team here at Workbridge Associates New York. Throughout my time in the recruiting industry, one of the things that has become most evident to me is that no matter how you swing it, a lot of people don’t know how to look for a job. Now, that is fairly bold statement. Of course people know how to look for jobs, it’s just that they aren’t doing it the most effective or efficient way possible.

    As we moved on from Super Bowl XLVIII and I was listening to all the talk about offensive and defensive strategy, I started to think about the various ways people search for a job and which ways are the most effective. What I came up with was four types of job searchers: The Spammer, The Bystander, The Sniper and The Renaissance Man.

    The Spammer

    “The Spammer” is someone that you have to give credit to because of the shear amount of time they spend submitting resumes to job advertisements. The Spammer’s approaches their job search by systematically applying for every position they can find, on every online job board they are aware of. Typically, this process occurs once a day and can last a few minutes to a few hours. The Spammer typically has a pre-written cover letter and resume in an email that they forward, edit, and send. When asked, The Spammer is typically unable to remember all of the places they have applied and has a vague recollection of the actual interviews that they have been on.

    The Bystander

    “The Bystander” is just as the name implies- a spectator. The Bystander is someone who has a very wide and impressive network of connections in their given field. Typically, The Bystander has bought a ticket to the game, but is more interested and/or capable of watching, rather than playing. They approach their job search by creating the most widely applicable and impressive resume they can for their given field, and they then send it to everyone they know with an accompanying request for assistance in finding them a new opportunity. At this point, The Bystander sits back in their lazy-boy, flipping through the channels and checking on the score occasionally.

    The Sniper

    The Sniper is a very specific and well-trained job seeker. The Sniper knows exactly what their target is, how to find it, track it, and how to angle themselves for the kill shot. This type of job seeker knows exactly what they are looking for- typically based on previous job searches and places of employment. They also clearly understand what they don’t want, based on said experiences. The Sniper’s approach to their job search is to look for very specific companies or types of companies, research everything about them, their employees and their open positions, and then attack. They execute this process over and over again until they find something that meets their requirements and expectations.  

    The Renaissance Man

    Just like their namesake, this is an enlightened job seeker who utilizes a variety of approaches. This person often has a systematic approach to things, often seeming somewhat compulsive in structure, organization, and repetition. The Renaissance man maximizes efficiency by including all of the approaches in a very well-targeted manner. He will typically dissect job boards by using specific searches to identify only the most appropriate jobs, quickly applying every morning or frequently throughout the day in order to be a first responder. He will keep in contact with his closest circle, regardless of his current employment situation, constantly networking and updating his network of interesting projects, personal endeavors, etc. His network will also constantly be updating him. This enables his network to constantly be working for him in a mutually beneficial relationship.

    Which Job Seeker are you?

    Ask yourself honestly, “which am I”? There is no wrong answer, and everyone usually falls into different categories depending on their seniority, urgency, and priorities.

    However, just like the big game, a strategy is necessary for success. Typically the best strategies include multiple different approaches to maximize efficiency. In my experience, the best example of this tends to be “The Renaissance Man” approach. Let’s just say it can be enlightening, to say the least.

    Now give it a try, and let us know what works for you!

     

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