Written by Andrew Slepitza, Division Manager in Jobspring San Francisco
With the first quarter of 2015 already behind us a couple things are certain about the San Francisco tech industry; there are a lot of new companies, it’s hard to find candidates, and salaries are increasing. It’s been a well-known fact for a while now that San Francisco is a candidate’s market with new companies popping up everywhere. However, the trend of salary increases is relatively new and is adding fuel to the fire during hiring processes. Just in the past 12 months alone San Francisco wages have gone up almost 5%. This is the highest in the nation just ahead of Dallas, TX.
Why is this the case?
It’s hard to find talent. It’s no secret that this is the most competitive hiring market that San Francisco has seen in years. There are a lot of companies hiring, but not enough candidates for the positions. Most of the high caliber candidates that Jobspring works with have anywhere between 3-5 offers that they are choosing between. It’s causing companies to get into bidding wars and go above their budgets for positions.
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On the flip side, candidates know that it is a good market and they are taking advantage of the situation. This is causing an increase in job changes and even some candidates going onto the market simply because they can. These candidates are looking at salary increase as their top priority.
So, what can companies do? The bottom line is to be patient. Don’t be afraid of missing out on the candidate that it will take an arm and a leg to get on board and definitely don’t be afraid to walk away. That candidate is going to be hard to keep happy and may not invest his time fully to his commitment in the company. It is important to remember to look for quality candidates that want the position for the right reasons. Also, live by “A duck is a duck.” If it looks like a duck and walks like one it is one. I see a lot of companies over looking senior level candidates that have short job history. They are overlooking it because of hard it is to find talent and because they do have a really good skill set. They think that their position and their culture will be the position they stay at. If the long term fit is what you are looking for then you’ll only be disappointed when this person leaves a year later after the project you hired them to do is finished.
Additionally, they can take a chance on mid level candidates. Looking to mid-level candidates will allow companies to spend less time in the hiring process and instead using that time to focus on training a candidate with slightly less experience. Instead of spending valuable time in a bidding war for a candidate that may not take the job in the end, look for candidates who may not have as many offers and shape them into the employee you need for the role.
Lastly, remember that culture is key. Look for candidates that are interested in your company for the role and the culture. Conduct interviews that will get candidates excited to work for you and look for the ones that will make a good fit long term. If a candidate feels your office is the perfect fit for them, they are more likely to take an offer at a lower salary than your competitors and will likely stay longer.
With a strong increase in salaries the tech industry continues to boom. Candidates are experiencing a hiring process unlike any they’ve seen in the past. With this shift companies are being forced to change their hiring strategies to get the talent they need. However, with creative thinking and focus on the end goal, companies can acquire the top talent they want.
Article by Alston Chiang, Practice Manager at Jobspring New York
Jobspring Partners is a staffing agency that only promotes from within, and moving from an entry-level employee to a manager can happen quickly, or it can take some time. In my case, it happened within a year and a half. The stages of growth are exciting and at times overwhelming as the job functionalities change drastically.
A year and a half ago I moved from San Francisco to New York City in nine days to open up a brand new recruiting team focused on UX, UI, and Product Management. I had to hire a sales team, train them, build a pipeline of business, and recruit candidates in a completely unknown market in a town that was foreign to me. My biggest insecurity was managing a staff that was my own age, and possibly even older than me. How would they respect me if they knew I was the same age as them? Could we have a relationship that went beyond peer to peer contact? Would they be motivated to perform?
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To facilitate this process, I came up with a few simple guidelines to ensure success:
1. Set the example – Sales is all about numbers. If you’re team is going to perform, you need to set the example on your own desk. This also means coming to work prepared and showing them how you want the job done. No one will take you seriously if you roll into work 15 minutes late with your shirt untucked.
2. Implement structures that are easy to follow – Hold them accountable for the goals that you set together. Make sure you and your team are actively tracking and discussing progress. Give feedback using concrete facts as opposed to generating feedback that comes from a personal or emotional place.
3. Empathize with your staff – You might be their age, but remember that you have more experience in the field. Use this experience to help guide them while using your age to relate to them on a personal, yet professional level.
Since implementing these guidelines, which actually weren’t that different than the guidelines that my first managers used back in San Francisco, I have been able to find success. Growing pains are common and normal being a new manager and the road certainly hasn’t been easy—people have come and gone just as stress and doubt have ebbed and flowed.
I’ve come to understand that age really is just a number, and that experience is what actually matters. Experience is what gets you promoted and age is an unrelated signifier. Success comes from vision; specifically, your vision to see goals, how to achieve those goals and build confidence based on experiences. Anyone who aims to succeed in their career listens to their mentors. A good mentor guides staff to inspire them to hit their goals.
Above all, I’ve discovered that success is relative. Some days success might mean that your team is dominating the competition, but other days it may mean that you accomplished a simple task. And that’s okay. As a young manager, I’m going through my own growing process and perhaps that has been the biggest success of all.
To this day I’m proud of myself for taking a huge cross-country leap to start my team here in New York. Never be afraid of an opportunity – especially an opportunity to challenge yourself.
Article by Adrian Lopez-Obespo, Practice Manager at Jobspring Los Angeles
Hunting for a job in technology follows more classic job search trends than most people in the field tend to think! Many people in technology fall into the assumption that their skillset or an application they developed or designed is enough to get them a job at the company they are interviewing with. While those things are definitely enough to get an interview and develop high interest, rarely is it enough now to secure a new position.
Companies are hiring aggressively for the top technical talent but this isn’t to say they aren’t being strategic! People hire people, not resumes. As recruiters it’s our job to help highlight the things that your resume doesn’t always show. One of the best ways to do this is to provide references and to do so early in your search.
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The unfortunate stereotype with providing references to recruiters is that we are going to badger your friends and colleagues and ask them if they are hiring, looking for work, know anyone else who is looking, etc. To be clear, this is definitely not the focus when recruiters receive your resumes. Below are the purposes that references do serve and what recruiters look to get out of speaking with them.
1. Highlight Strengths - Recruiters want to place people; plain and simple. References allow us to talk to people that a candidate knows in order to highlight their strong suits or to ask about skills that may be important to the job. Ideally, a good reference will put the candidate in the best possible light.
2. Address Concerns - Hiring managers want to make sure they know as much as possible about the people they are bringing on to their teams. Even more specifically, they want to make sure there are no red flags. Most of the time, recruiters will know the concerns that a hiring manager has and therefore can address these with the references. References tend to want to provide positive insight and will typically shape any concerns in a way that shines well on the candidate.
3. Measure the Quality of the Reference - Many candidates tend to provide the most recent people they’ve worked with and not always those who will give the most positive reference. Since recruiters talk to these references first, they can report back to a candidate when they probably shouldn’t use a certain person as a reference.
Again, recruiters want to make placements and will do their best to set candidates up for
success. A good reference can be the deciding factor in turning an interview into a new job.
Article by Brian Moriarty, Practice Manager for Jobspring Orange County
America’s labor force has been swiftly transitioning from a large majority of full time employees to many exploring the world of independent contracting and consulting. It has been interesting to observe people’s changing priorities when it comes to their wants and needs from employers. It seems people are foregoing 401k and benefits for a less demanding and taxing daily schedule that allows for a more self-governing approach to employment. The burden of working 40-50 hour weeks at one company for multiple years is become less and less appeasing to people, especially the younger crowds that are growing up in this ever-changing tech world.
There are some obvious advantages to being a contractor, but at the same time, there are some hidden ones. First and foremost, you can work the hours that suit you and your lifestyle best. The amount of money you make is directly related to the number of hours you work but it’s important to note that companies understand the difference between overtime and extortion, so be careful! Another major benefit of being a contractor is that most times you will get exposure to an exciting project and then leave once it’s finished not having to deal with the maintenance or upkeep.
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In addition to the obvious benefits, there are also some lesser known perks. By being an independent contractor, you will have exposure to a wider variety of projects and work environments, which will accelerate your skillset. Being a part of multiple companies a year will also expand your network and will increase your chances of capturing unique opportunities. Besides being an independent contractor for specific companies, people have been carving out personal business opportunities from new sprouting tech companies; another way to further your network.
Recently, Time Magazine interviewed the founders from Airbnb about the tertiary markets that have started to formulate from various companies interrupting the norm, which has essentially created a new labor force. The “Sharing Economy” as it’s being called has paved the way for people to line their pockets with a little more green, however, it’s being seen as a full time business opportunity for many. Airbnb has approximately 1,500 employees but their model technically employs many more such as renters, various cleaning services, and home insurers. Nonetheless, the increase in contract laborers has been apparent and there are various benefits that attribute to this change.
The labor force is shifting to accommodate the demand for more convenient solutions to life and business problems. Are you thinking about quitting your job and seeing your worth in this world?
Written by Adam Canton, Practice Manager at Jobspring Chicago.
What’s that in the sky? Is it a bird? A plane? Nope—that’s a cloud. Oh, and not just any cloud—one of the newest takes on remote computing services: Amazon Web Services.
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Amazon Web Services, or AWS, is considered by most to be the Wal-Mart of technology, and that’s anything but an insult. Designed by Amazon.com to be a cost efficient method for businesses to store their information, AWS is monopolizing the industry and making physical server farms a thing of the past.
Yeah, that’s right you old clunky server in the closet. Your days are numbered!
By definition, cloud computing refers to the on-demand delivery of IT resources and applications by access through the internet. This uses pay as you go pricing along the way. With no up-front capital expenses, AWS has created an uncharted avenue for all business – from your Fortune 10 companies to the start-up you and your buddy are working on in your mom’s basement – to try out new projects without the risk of major financial burden.
It’s new, it’s innovative and companies – like no other time before – have the potential to scale around their user’s needs. However – just like when Mufasa was betrayed by his brother and soon trampled to death in Disney’s 1994 blockbuster hit, The Lion King – there’s a sad part to every story.
Critics of AWS have argued that this newest method of cloud storage is simply a phase and the virtual hardware is a shaky bet to take when building a company. With the typical shelf life of one of their boxes being roughly 200 days, they may have a point. Also, despite already generating hundreds of thousands of users in over 190 countries, in a corporate landscape still dominated largely by Microsoft, the transition is bound to take time.
So – fine, we’re busted - let’s not throw out those clunky servers just yet. But one thing is for sure: Cloud computing sure is cool.
Written by Heather Samaras, Regional Director of IT Staffing Solutions.
Boom it’s 2015. The number one initiative for so many companies is hiring and retaining talent—especially tech talent. As reported from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in Q4 of 2014, the tech unemployment rate averaged 2.5 percent, slightly below the third-quarter figure of 2.7 percent. This made it the lowest rate recorded since 2008. What does this mean? Now more than ever, it is an extremely competitive market and companies need to be very mindful of their hiring practices.
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As a practice, we guide and consult hiring managers to be conscious of why candidates accept offers. Companies need to remember what makes people excited to come to work every day. Of course, the unusual perks (catered lunches, happy hours, ping pong, etc) are fun but this is not what we are seeing candidates change roles for.
Here is a list of the hot topics that are getting people to changes jobs:
1. Challenges: Engineers are usually looking for a position that will challenge them. Show them where you see them fitting in and what exciting problems they can solve!
2. Mentorship: Hiring managers should describe the roles that they have held and how they can use this experience to grow the candidate’s career and skillset. There should be an emphasis on what candidates can learn from the person who is hiring them.
3. Your Story: Whether you are new manager to a company or the founder, there is a story and history. What got you excited to start with this company? What sparked your passion to create your company? Share this with the candidate to inspire them.
4. Team: When a new candidate is introduced to their potential team, make sure that everyone is enthusiastic and discussing what they love about their role and the company. Even if team members are busy, they need to understand the importance of hiring and to take interviews seriously. If this is the first time they are interviewing someone, coach them on the best practices. Candidates should never feel like a burden.
5. Growth and Stability: Engineers generally want to work somewhere that they can grow with. Be sure to always talk about your growth plans and why you are confident in the longevity of the company. Even if a company has been around for decades, a candidate wants to know where you are headed and how they will be a part of getting there.
6. New Technology: There is always a new, hot technology emerging in the software industry. Candidates love to get an opportunity to get training and experience with new tools and technology. Let them know that you see this as an investment in their career as well as your company.
7. Voice: Candidates want to know that they will have their voice heard in their organization. Let them know that you appreciate their opinion and whether or not you can always make implementations, they will be heard.
Utilizing this list of hot topics in hiring will make your company more appealing and your job easier. While the catered lunches and team outings are attractive, they are not the dealmakers. Seal the deal with these tips and hire the best tech talent possible in 2015.
Article by Daniel Urbaniak, Practice Manager in Jobspring Silicon Valley
Running a sales and recruiting team comes with many challenges; keeping up on technology trends typically falls on the back burner for most. However, those who keep up with the ‘latest and greatest’ trends have the upper hand in educating those you are assisting with their search. The UI/UX design world is no exception, with 88% of young adults being connected to a smartphone it has become imperative to deliver the best user experience to compete. (Creativeblog)
2014 brought us design trends like: The hamburger menu, pushing the limited when it comes to resolution, and the expansion of in-house design teams. With the end of the first quarter on the horizon, I thought it would be a great time to discuss a few of the design trends we will be seeing in 2015.
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Lean design has been leading the way in recent design trends. This will continue, but as companies and designers continue to hone lean design and how it lends itself to mobile applications, they also need to set themselves apart. In 2015, we will see (and we have already started to) skeuomorphic cues in lean design. Keep an eye out for additional physical presences; transparency and layers will become more common, apps will continue to look flat and conform to strict grids. The focus of design will revolve around movable objects within the screen. In the summer of 2014, Google transposed this design trend on Material Design.
I am definitely guilty of (over) using the term sticky or stickiness when talking about design. I like the idea of creating applications that not only engage a user on their first use, but also ones that keeps the user interested over extended periods of times or uses. The more our devices become connected to our everyday lives, i.e. thermostats, home security, or digital experience with our cars, the greater the need is for efficient and effective delivery of information. Slippy UX is giving the user an application designed for “glance-ability”. Coined by Jake Zukowski, Assistant Creative Director at Frog Design, "slippy UX is intended to be invisible-enough and non-distracting enough for the user while still delivering and absorbing information".
There are two emerging trends in connectivity, the first being something more apparent every day, even if we are not aware of it. The ability to send information to many devices, syncing with the cloud, and allowing users to maneuver their information has already started to be a driving force in design. Forrester Research found that 90% of users who own multiple devices start a task on one device and finish it on another. In 2015, we will see user experience that functions across all platforms seamlessly, regardless of device or screen size. The second connectivity trend will be an extension of what some of our mobile apps already do: accessing GPS and Bluetooth to respond better to user needs. The combination of these integrations, wearable technology, and the Internet of Things will result in apps that collect data on the user to deliver advice and infer when the device should be delivered. The term to look for here is Ambient Intelligence.
With worldwide IT on track to spend a total of 3.8 trillion in 2015, we will see the above trends and many more, become apparent in our every day lives.(Gartner.com) What trends are you excited about in UI/UX Design for 2015?
Article by Tom Parzych, Practice Manager in Jobspring DC.
There are a lot of articles on the World Wide Web that instruct potential job seekers on what they should do: how to conduct their search, format their resume, present themselves on interviews, and negotiate the right offer. Here, we discuss a different spin by discussing what potential seekers should NOT do in their efforts to find a new position.
There are certain misconceptions that people have when starting the search for the right role and making the wrong decision can sometimes make the search all that much harder. First, I will discuss what not to do while starting your search. Next, I will cover what not to do when formatting your resume. This can be especially critical since this is typically your first ‘in’ with a potential hiring manager. Lastly, I will cover how to not conduct yourself during the interview process, and how to handle some hard-to-answer questions.
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Do NOT expect the Resume Boards to find your next position...
In the technology field, there are more than enough positions open, which span various fields, niches, and locations. Many are under the impression that this means recruiters, HR, hiring managers, and others of the like are constantly checking the boards for talented resumes. While there is some truth to this, many positions get filled through networking and referrals. I’m sure every programmer, systems analyst, DevOps Engineer, DBA, etc. have gotten calls when posting their resume that are inappropriate for the basic requirements of what they are looking for (i.e. location, title, salary range, contract or permanent roles). This is because anyone has access to your profile and will try to make a square peg fit into a round hole.
In order to find the next position, you must be proactive rather than reactive. Technology is a very different industry than most other industries. You should be sending your resume to companies that you find interesting (regardless of a job posting or not). You should also be connecting with people at those companies through social media that is profession-friendly (LinkedIn, Google+, etc.), this is the tech industry; be creative! You should also be connecting with recruiters that are specific to your location and know the local market or have inside information. Furthermore, since the tech industry is very collaborative and sharing in their training, you should check out local tech-specific meetings and advocacy groups for introductions to others within the tech industry. Get yourself out there, connect with people who likely have similar interests, and market yourself to the open industry…do NOT expect your resume online to do all the work!
Do NOT make decisions for the individual considering your resume…
The first step in most job searches is to update your resume. This can be a very daunting task for some, as ‘selling’ yourself on a piece of paper is nearly impossible. You should have a copy of your resume that you update for specific positions, and use your experience to relay your qualifications for the duties of that specific posting. However, many people ‘screen’ themselves out of even applying for a job based on some ‘requirements’ of the posting. Most hiring managers understand the difficulty of conveying a skill set on a resume (remember: they are people too, and have probably even looked for a job themselves). If you make the decision that you are unqualified based on a ‘job requirement’, you are essentially making the decision for the person who is considering your resume, and that decision is ‘no’.
Now, this advice shouldn’t be taken too literally. I’m speaking to certain job requirements. Such as, if you have 5 years of experience and the posting calls for 7 years of experience, you should give yourself the shot. Perhaps you have had more diverse experience in those 5 years versus someone with the targeted 7 years. Additionally, if the role calls for 6-7 years of experience, and you only have 4-5/7 years, send in your application regardless! Most understand the room for potential and growth, which should be conveyed through your interview process.
Do NOT make your resume a Novel
(no matter how much experience you have)…
Any technical resume over 3 pages is not being read. Do NOT make your resume overly detailed. Especially in technology, most of the languages or systems you used 6 years ago may not be relevant to the current tech landscape. Technology is constantly evolving and those who work in the field need to do the same, and more importantly, show that evolution. This is directed towards those who would be considered senior in their career, of course, but you should not have to list every technology you’ve worked with since the beginning of your career. Instead, focus on those projects that are current, relevant, or that you’ve acquired on your own time (through mentorship, side projects, etc.).
When you are targeting a specific role, if the posting calls for a requirement you possess, but most other roles don’t- make sure to put the skill on the resume for that role and move on. For example, if you are a Microsoft Web Developer, your C# experience should be applicable for 98% of the roles you are applying for. That VB.NET experience from 5 or 6 years ago may only be applicable for one posting. Additionally, if you have 4 years of JAVA and 3 years of C#, but want to work in a JAVA environment, tailor your resumes appropriately and apply for those positions. Most hiring managers will pass on those who ‘walk the line’, because it shows some experience in a couple of things, rather an expertise in one or two things. You should NOT just have one copy of your resume, there should be a couple variations.
Do NOT get in your own way through your interview process…
Phone screens are sometimes a necessary evil. While the industry is moving heavily towards first-round in-person interviews, there are still some companies, hiring managers, etc. that conduct phone screens as the initial point of contact. With this being the case, there are certain assumptions you should NOT be making. Within technology, there is a misconception that the recruiter or HR representative conducting the phone call may not be technical or may not really know how to ‘screen’ you. However, more and more technical positions call for someone to interface with people in the company, both who are technical and non-technical. These screens can be a great way to show your diversity and ability to work with different internal constituents. When speaking on the phone with a hiring manager, some assume there is no room for fault or difference. Make sure to conduct the interview in a conversational way, if they ask you a ‘how to’ question, and you get the feeling that isn’t what they are looking for, clarify it with them! Do NOT assume that there are only black and white, yes or no answers.
A lot of people within technology are typically very good at what they do, but can have a hard time relaying this information in an appropriate way. For instance, one should never speak in absolutes and they should be very careful about the verbiage used. Recently, I had a candidate go to an in-person interview with a hiring manager for a local start-up. The candidate was a great fit for the role, and he was really excited about the position. When he met with the hiring manager, he was asked a question: “How would you rate your experience with ASP.NET”. Now, the candidate was a Web Developer with tons of ASP.NET (and he really knew his stuff), and he answered “Expert level”. Fatal mistake. The next question from the hiring manager was about some concepts of ASP.NET, and the candidate got all right but one. When the hiring manager was providing feedback, he said the candidate “shot himself in the foot”. He explained that while he was very interested in the candidate, his concern is that the candidate wasn’t an ‘expert’ and got a very simple (in his eyes) question wrong and that indicated a level of not only knowledge but naivetés that he could not justify. The candidate should have answered with “I’m very comfortable/confident with my experience, but I’m always learning”. This probably would have allowed for a more positive dialogue vs. the one that resulted.
In addition to remembering what to do in your technical job search, remember what NOT do to!
I’m hoping that this information will be helpful to those who are looking for more than the typical ‘how to get a job’ articles. While there are very specific recommendations and information out there on what to do to get a job, there are also a lot of things NOT to do that are sometimes forgotten. These small, but sometimes costly, mistakes can be the difference between you landing the ‘right’ job and the ‘next’ job!