Company culture is no longer a nice-to-have for your employment brand or at your current job. According to Indeed’s 2016 Job Happiness Index analyzing over 10 million employee reviews, culture ranks #3 – over both compensation & benefits AND job security & advancement – as to what makes a job satisfying overall.
Company culture isn’t something that can easily be built overnight. It’s a unique blend of employee traditions, values, and vision that everyone can share in the work environment. You can see it in something as simple as happy hour after work, rewarding a team goal with dinner, or the lunchtime ping pong tournament.
The truth is, to build a company with a strong culture, there has to be a balance of work and fun that starts at the ground-level. Culture-building activities like these unique activities will keep everyone on their toes, as well as build rapport between team members.
1) Unique Dining Experiences
Go beyond the typical happy hour or Taco Tuesday. Seek out unique dining experiences that will keep people talking about more than the food. One example is LA’s Dining in the Dark Experience, where guests are seated in pitch black darkness. If you take away the visual element, would the food taste better? Without eye contact, would the conversation be more open?
Culture is just one piece of the puzzle. How do you know you’re at the right job?
2) Escape Challenges
Engineers work together to solve tough problems all the time, so why not put those skills to test in a mock life-or-death situation. Escape rooms can range from escaping a hell house to solving a mystery in space! With the clock clicking down the entire time, teams either triumph or have a hilarious time scrambling to solve the puzzle. Escape or capture, the team synergy will be flowing by the time the clock runs out.
3) Sports Leagues
No matter what sport you choose – bowling, ultimate Frisbee, kickball, or beyond – nothing builds teamwork like sports. In Chicago (pictured below), the office all came together to play softball and ended up winning their league! The employees became culture and brand cheerleaders as they plastered the win across social media. Choose a sport that is fun to watch and play so you can get everyone involved.
Want to join the fun? We’re hiring at Jobspring Partners across North America!
4) Experience Nature
Every week, most employees spend hours indoors, perhaps without windows. To unplug and experience raw nature on a hike or a beach day can not only build great relationships, but help everyone refresh and recharge. Get away from the screen for a day while also getting in touch with the world outside your office building. Think your team might get bored instead of engaged? Throw in a scavenger hunt or a game of ultimate Frisbee.
5) Community Service
Everyone wants to make an impact in the world and, either through small projects on their own or in more organized settings, the feeling is rewarding and deeply universal. By tackling a large project as a group, you can carry out a larger project to completion, with the satisfaction that as a part of the company you’re contributing to the greater good. You’ll also know it was only possible because everyone lent a hand. Prime culture-building while giving back! (Below: Jobspring Boston volunteering for Cradles to Crayons.)
These are just a few activities you can try with your team or suggest to your manager. Ultimately, you want to ask yourself what will make your group excited to participate. Capture these moments and display them where everyone can see as a reminder of the strides you, your team, and your company are making toward greatness. Moments like these can help you create a strong company culture where people look forward to coming into work every day.
There seems to be a lack of candidates and hiring managers these days interested in contract-to-perm positions, but why? A contract-to-perm position, also called contract-to-hire, is where employers would like to bring on a full-time employee but don’t want to commit to a permanent hire right up front. In most cases, a contract-to-perm employee will work on a specific project for a few months in hopes that their role will be converted into full-time.
As an employee, before you turn down a potential job opportunity just because it isn't "full time," consider how working a contract-to-perm job benefits you. There are three immediate ways that you can use this role to your advantage: resume, money, and the job itself.
Enterprise companies are constantly looking for contractors to work on their various projects. Names like IBM, Microsoft, and Apple don’t look too bad on a resume, now do they? Not only that, but because the contract phase of the job only lasts three to four months, if you aren’t onboarded, having the option to leave can open up the opportunity to work for a number of big-name companies. You can beef up your resume with some impressive work experience without the negative "job hopping" connotation.
Another reason why recruiters and hiring managers might stress contract-to-perm is because you can actively look for another job while making money (and most likely making more money than your last job or even your next.) If for some reason you don’t like the job, you don’t have to accept the offer to be converted to a full-time employee at the end of the contract. It’s okay to keep your options open. Contract-to-perm jobs also generally have a higher hourly rate than salary positions when broken down. It’s the best of both worlds!
3 Ways Tech Contractors Make More Money Than Their Full-time Counterparts.
Contract-to-perm positions have some of the fastest onboarding processes we see from any of our clients. These companies are looking to get the job done as fast as possible. The interview process tends to be easier as well – “Can you do the job? Yes? Great!” - because there is less emphasis on culture fit when they're going to see how you mesh in person. In most cases, you also have the ability to be more flexible with your hours. As long as the work is getting done, and you’re committing the appropriate amount of hours each week, your employer will be happy. Remember, the bottom line of these positions is to complete a project.
Find a contract-to-perm position on the job board and apply now.
This ‘trial’ period is mutually beneficial for the employee and the employer. That's right, there are benefits for the employer, too. Wondering why a hiring manager would want to hire on a contract instead of permanently? With contract-to-perm positions, employers win in terms of the hiring process, the job itself, and the future.
Like we said before, the onboarding for contract-to perm-positions is typically pretty quick and painless. When looking for contractors, you’re looking to fill an urgent need and thus don’t have to sift through as many resumes and worry about the right ‘culture’ fit. When hiring for contract-to-perm roles, many managers work with recruiting agencies that provide benefits like healthcare and PTO, while also streamlining the hiring process for the company.
Being that contract-to-perm positions are more like ‘trial’ periods, if you find the candidate isn’t a good fit, you are not committed to taking them on full-time. The arrangement lets you weigh their skills versus how they are as an employee without having to commit right away. As recruiters, that fact alone trumps any argument about not hiring contract-to-perm. It’s like test driving a car before you buy it. Sure, it may look nice, but how well does it actually perform?
Find out more about hiring contract employees here, and fill that position you've had open for months - today.
There are two scenarios that can happen with a contract-to-perm employee that can affect your future, both for the better. Say the hire is great and gets the project done but for whatever reason, doesn’t take/get offered to be put on full-time. That candidate will always be someone you can add to your network. If ever there was a time in the future when you need a project done, you know that you can call that person to get it done. On the other hand, if you flip the employee into full-time, you already know what you’re getting. The employee has already proven themselves as an asset and is a great cultural fit.
If you haven’t thought about hiring contract-to-perm or accepting that sort of position, give it a shot. It can open up a whole new avenue of potential opportunities. Contact a Jobspring Partners in your city to kickstart the process.
"I want to work in Tech because I want to make a lot of money."
"I want to work in Tech because I want to get free food everyday."
"Every office is beautiful like Google."
When people think of working in Tech, they often have a lot of misconceptions of what life is actually like. Scott Purcell, Division Manager of Jobspring San Jose, sheds some light on some common expectations people have.
1. Expectation: You have to work long hours
Reality: Each company is different. Some startups work long hours often and some have a relatively normal work-life balance. Some big companies have very long hours while others are very flexible. Every situation is different and needs to be taken on a case by case basis. The normal "9 to 5" work hour doesn't really exist, but some companies have longer hours during releases or allow telecommute and/or flex hours.
Lucky for the tech industry, there is a choice between working full-time and contract positions. If you choose the contract road, there are some benefits such as getting paid for every hour you work as a contractor and receiving overtime when you're asked to stay on for those late nights. This isn't to discount full-time, though, because long hours usually mean raises, bonuses and a higher worth on your stock options.
Think your comapny has a great workplace for technology professionals? Nominate it to be Sillicon Valley's Best Tech Work Culture here.
2. Expectation: Coding and programming for a big company's IT department means you have to work in a cubicle in a dark basement
Reality: Every company's environment is different. Specifically in Silicon Valley, most companies have moved away from the cubicle environment and work more in an open, collaborative atmosphere.
A lot of companies really believe in an open space environment. According to Inc., an open environment allows you to immerse yourself into an office culture and improves communication. Also, non-tech companies need talent too, as this SkilledUp article says. The benefits could be less catchy but more tangible. For instance, if you're interested in helping others and developing better patient care, you might want to work for the healthcare industry, which in turn as a non-tech company could be less stringent about your skill sets as job requirements, and more open to skill set plus industry experience. So not only will you not get moved to the basement, there are some definite benefits to working for a tech department over a tech company.
Want to jump start your tech career? Check out all our job postings.
3. Expectation: Your work perks will automatically include free lunch and your own massage therapist
Reality: A lot of companies do offer "extras" like lunch, travel and other perks, but that is not always the case. Many companies do this as a way to attract talent or if they aren't close to dining options. A lot of factors go into what a company offers and many companies have moved away from these types of perks to focus on core benefits and building a successful business.
Benefits of workplaces like the ones on the Glassdoor List of Top 20 Best Company Benefits & Perks - which include every other Friday off, ski passes and sabbaticals - have slanted job hunter's perception of what really matters. However, this Glassdoor study shows that among the factors that contribute to happiness at your job, benefits and perks rank fifth after culture, career opportunities, senior leadership and work-life balance.
4. Expectation: You will automatically get a big raise at your next job based on how good the market is
Reality: One of the most common misconceptions, specifically in Silicon Valley but in this job market in general, is that they will automatically get a big raise at their next job. This is typically based on hearing how good the market is and the general cost of living in tech hubs like Silicon Valley. The reality? Companies have set ranges for their positions and value employees based on what they can bring to the table and how they fit into their current pay structure. If you're already at the top of the range, which isn't uncommon, there may not be much wiggle room on salary - despite hearing about what others are getting in the market.
Ready to start job searching? Here are some resources to help guide you to a job you’ll love:
When searching for a job, you'll see several common alternatives for what you're hired as: full-time, contract, or contract-to-hire. There are many opportunities within contract or contract-to-hire roles that many people overlook. What makes a contract role different from a full hire position? One of the biggest benefits of a contract position is also the largest decision maker for many job seekers. Money.
Contractors get paid more per hour
The base hourly rate for tech contractors is much higher, ringing in at $70.26 per hour according to Dice's 2016 Tech Salary Survey. In comparison, the same report shows the average technology salary at $96,370, which is $46.33 per hour for a 40-hour work week - not counting the overtime you might have worked.
While this doesn't apply across all levels of experience or industries, in general contract employees have a higher dollar-per-hour range compared to salaried employees. In theory, this is to cover the benefits that a company doesn't offer a contract employee, but when you are placed through a company like Jobspring, many of these benefits are included, such as health insurance, paid time off, and even a 401(k).
You receive compensation for the hours you work: all of them
When you accept a full-time job, you have to accept that as a salaried employee, you are just that: on a salary. You get paid a certain amount each year, no matter how many hours you work as a part of that salary agreement. As a contractor, being employed for a 40-hour work week means actually working those exact hours, because you get paid by the hour. Frequently, salaried employees get called on to work on weekends, late nights, and early mornings. The difference for a contractor is that you'll get paid for the extra miles you put in on the job.
Extra hours = overtime pay
Thanks to a compliance law changing for 2016, not only do you get paid for every hour, you can get overtime pay (1.5 times your normal rate) for anything past your set work week maxmimm. So the more hours you work, the more money you can earn. With projects that stretch deep into the night, your salaried coworkers are just as dedicated as you are, they're just not getting compensated for it.
Think about this: When working with a team to launch a new product, how many hours do you put in? Recruiter Phil breaks it down for job hunters below.
If you have any questions about contract work, contact a Jobspring Partners near you.
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You’ve completed your college degree or spent endless weeks learning to code in a hardcore boot camp – congratulations! But now what? While everyone’s career path will be unique, and there’s no step-by-step guide to getting you to a C-Level position within x-amount of years, there are definitely some key career moves you can make to set yourself up for the success you’re looking for. If you aren’t a recent or about-to-be graduate – well, it’s never too late to do these for you career.
Below are 5 things you need to do for your career as an IT graduate on the job hunt:
Build Your Brand
As basic as career advice gets, yet too many personal brands are just that: basic. Don’t be. Update your LinkedIn profile to include an individual summary, a work or project list, and any appropriate skills. Nowadays, this is one of the major ways recruiters and hiring managers connect with you about a job you may be the right fit for.
Also, get on GitHub. For many hiring managers this is a 'nice-to-have' for more experienced talent, but for junior engineers it is crucial. Other than school projects, it may be the only thing a manager has to look at that represents your skills.
Connect with a Dedicated Recruiter
It’s almost always free to work with a recruiter. Find a dedicated technical recruiter who specializes in positions you are interested in and who understands your skill set. Even if they can’t offer you a position right off the bat, inquire about interview advice, resume tips, or keeping in touch for any opportunities that may arise.
Contact a local Jobspring Partners to connect with a recruiter about current job openings.
Network and Get Noticed
If you haven’t tried out the networking tactic for your job search, step out of your comfort zone and add it to your to-do list. Meetups and networking events specifically for tech professionals, such as Tech in Motion, are a great way to get your name out in front of an influential group of people.
When you are vocal about your employment status, you may find your next mentor, or even your next job, at an event or job fair, so make sure to put your best foot forward.
Find the next free Tech in Motion event near you and start networking.
You will hear it over and over again, but keeping up with the newest technology is crucial in any market. Every company wants someone who has experience with the trendy new technology that very few other engineers have, so being ahead of the curve will set you apart. While you’re a new grad with some time on your hands, this is a great opportunity to make sure you’re working with the technology that will get you the career you’re looking for.
Just because you have been on the market for a few weeks, doesn’t mean you should lose motivation. Great things take time! Every company has different needs. You just need to find one that fits your criteria and vice versa, and sometimes that takes time. Don’t settle for a job where you’ll quit a few months in. Consider a contract job where you can gain experience on a project basis while you wait for the right opportunity.
Bottom line: building your reputation in a way that consistently advances your career will take time. These tips will point you in the right direction, and hopefully, help you find a job that you truly will be passionate about. By staying up-to-date with technology, networking, and building your own brand, your job search will be more effective.
You might also be interested in this career advice:
Many people dream of a career in tech. The industry is fast-paced, constantly changing and growing. While many people desire a role a trendy tech startup, they're not sure if they're cut out for startup life or a technology bohemeth, an IT hands-on role or a position in management. If you’re an aspiring technologist looking to pursue a career in tech, don’t get discouraged from pursuing your dream job - instead use these 5 career tips from Cassy Rowe Head of UI/UX at Scoop in San Francisco:
1. Just Do It and Don’t Hold Back
Don’t be afraid to pursue what you want to accomplish in your career. The worst thing someone can say to you is “no.” There are so many opportunities out there; all one has to do is try.
Want to jump start your tech career? Apply to your next role now.
2. Find a Mentor
Finding a mentor is key. It can be intimidating to walk up to someone who could be a role model, especially since a lot of people are afraid to ask someone for help in gneral. On the contrary, many experienced professionals are willing to mentor young people, and find it flattering when someone asks them. Mentors can be a great guide and give you a third party perspective on your career and life goals.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Try Different Things
Trying different things may seem scary for a lot of people fresh out of school because the challenge for a lot of young people is:
No one can answer those questions except yourself. Many aren't 100% sure they going in the right direction, but there are many opportunities to explore. You can’t be afraid to try new things to figure out those key questions, as well as to find the right job that fits you.
4. It’s Okay to Take Your Time
When starting out, you don’t need to be an expert in what you want to end up doing, whether in your first, second or even third job. Make sure you take the time to slow down and try to get the most out of every position you hold so you can bring those skills into your career.
5. Make Sure You Have a Good Idea of What You Want Out of the Job
When looking for a job make sure you have a good idea of what you want out of the job, because you don’t want to be at a job you don’t like. When you know what you want, it's easier to go all in for it and target the skills you have towards the job.
Use These 6 Ways to Figure Out if It's the Right Job For You
As daunting and fast-paced as the tech industry can seem, whether you're technical or not it's a matter of wanting to be in this world. Don’t be discouraged, get out there!
Don't want to wait to start your career in tech, but need a little more guidance? Thees articles might point you in the right direction:
If you couldn't live a day without relying on Wi-Fi or your GPS, you're not alone. Some of technology's coolest and sometimes taken-for-granted inventions have women to thank for its creation. Celebrate Women's History Month by taking a look back at some of the revolutionary women technologists who weren't afraid to break boundaries in the tech scene and help pave the way for our future generations.
Are you a woman in or looking to get into the tech industry? Check out these technology jobs from our job board.
1. Hedy Lamarr: Hedy created a secret communications system during WWII which eventually laid the foundation for Wi-Fi to GPS. She also just so happens to be a world famous actress.
2. Dr. Grace Murray Hopper: Dr. Grace Hopper created the system that translates English commands into computer codes. She is also known as the “Mother of Computers”.
3. Chieko Asakawa: Being blind since the age of 14, Chieko developed a voice-recognition web browser, which opened up the doors to the Internet for the blind.
4. Radia Perman: Much of modern day Internet would be different if it weren't for Radia Perman. Begrudgingly answering to the title "Mother of the Internet," Perman invented the "Spanning Tree Protocol" that lead to the creation of large networks.
5. Susan Kare: If you've followed Apple's journey from Steve Jobs' garage to one of the most prominent companies in the world, you've come across the designs of Susan Kare. One of Apple's original user interface designers responsible for many of its early desktop icons, she will always have a page in Apple's history books.
The next time you go to pull up your email on-the-go, be sure to extend your gratitude to the women technologists who broke the mold of this male-dominated industry.
This story was originally published on techinmotionevents.com.
How do you know when you’ve found “The One” in your career? Should you accept an offer, or is this not a long-term match for you? Like finding that perfect ”one” in your life, finding the right job has its own checklist as well. Here are 6 top areas that most tech professionals can match their desires up with in order know it’s the right offer and the right company:
Company Culture. Seeing how your significant other interacts with family and friends can provide a window into whether it will be a lasting relationship. Similarly, knowing how a company treats their employees will give insight into what your office life will be like on a day-today basis. Furthermore, how people communicate and work together is crucial, since that’s the atmosphere you’ll ultimately need to communicate in and work with. Take a look at the environment and how the office is laid out; it can be a big factor in finding a place that not only fits your personality but your needs and desires as well. Do you need a collaborative, open workspace or a quiet, secluded area to concentrate? Another aspect to look for? Humility: a company with little ego is less likely to put their egos before the employees. The right job will allow you to voice your own opinions when needed.
We treasure workplace culture. Check out these IT jobs where culture is key.
Personal Goals. Even before you start your job search, sit down to think about your personal goals, values and what makes you happy. Once you access that, start looking for jobs and going on interviews, and ask yourself, “Does this company align with my values and goals?” It’s easy to get caught up in the red carpet treatment. When companies want to “woo” you, they’ll offer you all the good things: free lunches, dinners, drinks, etc. However, that celebrity treatment will eventually fade away, so don’t get caught up in all the flashy things. The right job will be lined up with your values and goals, which will make you happier in the long-run.
Mission and Outlook. When you find the perfect person you often envision your life with them five or maybe ten years down the road. It’s the same with a job. You have to envision what the next few years will look like with this company. How are their stocks looking? (Or maybe they’re a startup and not publicly traded.) How much funding do they receive? All these questions can help you anticipate how the company will look in five or ten years. You want to make sure the company you’re working for is in a market where they can expand their product and grow. The right job will have a good outlook for you in the next few years, without worrying about the company heading in a different, more volatile direction.
Work Life Balance. Balance is everything in life. There’s work life and then there is life outside of work. The right company will give you the best of both worlds: the ability to live the life you want and be able to do the work you love. Sometimes those two can be one and the same. Many companies, especially tech companies or startups, require a lot of around-the-clock work, and that might be your cup of tea. Either way, the right job will align with how you want to live your life.
Is work-life balance important to you? Here are some tech jobs where it’s a priority.
Growth. Finding the one – the job or love of your life – can have the same goal at the end of the day: both make you want to be a better person. The right job will enable you to grow professionally and personally. You should be able to climb the corporate latter, not feel stuck in a bad relationship with your company. Growing and learning is important, so you should be able to find ways throughout your job experience to continuously evolve.
Innovation. Innovative companies will have new ideas they want to implement, or aggressive updates on current product offerings for continuous improvement. You should feel excited about the project you’re going to work on, the new technologies you’ll be faced with, and all of the things you’re going to learn. You probably don’t want to be part of a stagnant company with an existing product that they do nothing but maintain; these aren’t going to be the type of companies that can adapt to the constantly changing environment.
Want to find a job that’s the right match for you? Start with these job search resources: