Our Jobspring New York team recently utilized their skills and knowledge about the NY tech job market to help recent graduates of a non-profit organization, Per Scholas, get a head start on their career search.
What is Per Scholas?
Per Scholas is a national nonprofit organization that breaks the cycle of poverty by providing technology education, access, training and job placement services for people in low-income communities.
How did we help?
For many Per Scholas students, they either do not have any job search experience whatsoever or do not have job search experience for the IT field. Our network infrastructure team worked to close this gap with the students.
We trained more than ten students on how to build an effective resume, where to start your job search, how to utilize social media and networking for your search, how to effectively work with a recruiting agency, how to identify the right people to reach out to for your search, and how to rock an interview.
While the students were engaged and asking questions throughout the entire presentation, it was obvious which key takeaways were their favorites.
Check out a few key takeaways:
1. Over 2,200 jobs were created in Q2 (2013) in the NYC tech field. This results in a 7.3% gain over Q1. If you didn't already know, it's a great time to be in the NY tech job market!
2. Your LinkedIn account is key. Make sure your profile is 100% complete and your picture is a professional headshot. If possible, beef up your bio with recommendations from prominent people in your past positions.
3. Recruiters can be an excellent tool. Pick 2-3 tech recruiters that you trust so you can stay effectively organized on your job search. A few red flags to look out for when working with recruiters: They ask you to pay a fee. They ask you to sign a contract. They don't provide you with company names.
4. As many of you know, you should always be prepared to ask your interviewer questions. Great question topics include: company culture, interviewer's story, or biggest challenge of the role. Make sure to stay away from anything negative from your prior employer or colleagues during the interview process.
We finished off the event with some delicious pizza and beverages- yum! We're looking forward to partnering with Per Scholas again soon.
Below: Our Network Infrastructure team is getting ready to present.
Below: Per Scholas students excited to start the class!
Interested in having Jobspring Partners come mentor your community on job search advice, interview tips, etc? Email Mandy.Walker@jobspringpartners.com. We'd love to help!
Article by Patrick Tafua, Recruiter in Jobspring Orange County.
In 2013, there have been many cutting-edge releases of new and exciting medical devices. With modern technology helping medical device companies innovate and explore new and unchartered areas of the medical field, you have to wonder what it is that is helping turn the tide. For example, the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago just released the first thought-controlled bionic leg, and right now, a man who had congenital heart failure his entire life, is walking around with a temporary and totally artificial heart in a backpack while awaiting a donor heart. It appears that around the country, medical device companies are coming up with new ideas every day and in southern California, it's no different.
In northern San Diego County, there is a growing medical device company that has created an advanced wireless medical device that is used to continuously monitor blood glucose levels for diabetics. The sensor and transmitter wirelessly send glucose information to the device every 5 minutes and can be transferred to your computer for easy sharing with doctors. By utilizing mobile applications and embedded software, they have been able to create a device that allows for flexibility and convenience.
The Orange County medical device industry has been known for producing life-saving innovations and creating jobs across the area. With so many advances in technology in the world, the medical device market is continuing to grow, especially with an aging population that could increase demand for healthcare products and services. So, add the aging growth and increase demand in products, you then have a need for more hands-on-deck to help steer the job ship.
Recent findings have cited that the Orange County medical device industry’s job growth has gone up 6% in the past year. The type of devices being developed in Orange County range from replacement heart valves, robotic prosthesis for arms and legs, implantable devices for heart defibrillation, to optical surgical lasers and other surgical instruments. It is very apparent that medical device companies have a tremendous opportunity, and a gold mine of patient data that their technologies collect. Having an understanding of how to transform contrasting data sources into meaningful tools to both improve the care, safety, and security for patients, and ultimately profit from it, is the underlying challenge for the industry.
The traditional methods of hiring have needed quite the face lift. If companies are longing to make a mark on innovation in this particular market, they are going to have to think outside the box on hiring. Take, for instance, the need for mobile app developers. Mobile development has only been around for 4 years and medical device makers cannot hire the hobbyist iOS or Android developer off the street. Yet, they need this particular skillset. So what’s the compromise? Hire a senior software developer who comes from an actual computer science background and has picked up mobile development and will be comfortable working in an environment with heavily regulated policies and procedures.
Having medical device experience used to be a must, but now having this in your background is a mere plus. The need for innovation is more important in order to remain competitive. For more information, or if you're in need of a Medical Device position in Orange County, contact Patrick Tafua!
Article by David Belsky, Regional Director in Jobspring Chicago.
There are lots of blogs out there devoted to helping job seekers be well-prepared for an interview. These tips range from what to wear to what intriguing questions to ask in order to wow an interviewer. But what about the other way around? As a hiring manager, it is your job to sell your open position to the job seeker and make a hiring decision in a timely manner so as to keep the job seeker interested.
As recruiters, we see the frustration that job seekers face when they have gone through the trouble of preparing a resume, going to an interview and days later, still have not heard any feedback from the hiring manager. It makes them wonder if your company is even serious about filling the open role, and worse, it makes them lose interest in the position. Besides providing useful, timely feedback to all job seeking candidates, here are a few other tips to keep in mind next time you are attempting to fill an open role:
1. Start Strong: Initial interviews should always take place face-to-face if possible. This way, you are better able to determine the interest level of the candidates and see any of the soft skills that you may not be able to assess over the phone. Also, keep the initial interview short. This isn’t the time to conduct a technical quiz. The initial interview should be a chance to gauge interest in the position without overwhelming the candidate.
2. Define an interview process: Decide who is going to be involved in the interviewing and hiring process and stick to an interview schedule. Make sure that you’ve let your internal team know that filling the open position is a priority.
3. Remember that hiring is all about momentum: You need to build it and maintain it throughout the interview process. Never let 48 hours go by without speaking to the candidate and always have direction in these conversations.
4. Three Rounds of Interviews - max! Initial, deep dive, and final. That’s it! Otherwise candidates can get the impression that you don’t know how to hire.
5. Make hiring a priority: Within 5 days of meeting the candidate, you need to make a hiring decision. Remember that you are not the only one interviewing them, regardless how you found them. Don’t let the candidate lose interest in your open role because the hiring process took too long.
Want to hear more about the recruitment process and what it takes to hire a developer in Chicago? Check out my Snapclass video here!
Article by Daniel Urbaniak, Practice Manager in Jobspring Silicon Valley.
For most people, interviewing is a daunting task. There's the gauntlet-style interview process, with interviewer after interviewer for hours on end. There's the never-ending phone screen-style, with a multitude of conversations over the phone that hopefully, if all goes well, lead to an on-site meeting. And once you finally land that face-to-face interview, you might find yourself being grilled by a panel of 5 to 10 interviewers all at once. Even if the interview process is streamlined, an initial 30-60 minute interview followed by an in-depth, in-person interview can still be a roller coaster ride of emotions.
Now, there are definitely methods to overcome the anxiety and properly prepare for success. The obvious is to stay true to yourself. Talk about what you know, and be honest when you are unsure of the answer. Every day I receive feedback from hiring managers who are looking to introduce new candidates to their team. Frequently, it goes something like, "I really like him or her, but I asked a question and they gave me the totally wrong answer. If they didn't know, they should have just said that instead of guessing and getting it completely wrong and continuing to justify that wrong answer."
If you are looking for less of an introspective approach to interviewing, there are a multitude of articles on the web detailing interview styles, prep questions, and how to deal with different scenarios, such as whiteboarding. There's an endless supply of information, really, however it is very easy to become inundated with information and styles to the point where themes begin to contradict one another.
You may want to consider using a recruiter, as they're often a wealth of knowledge when it comes to interviewing processes. The amount of time the recruiter has worked internally or with the client will dictate the amount of prep information that they're able to pass along. Obviously the recruiter you are working with wants you to be as successful as possible, but if this is a new client, they might not have a ton of insider information to pass along to you yet. At the same time, you could hit a similar wall with an internal recruiter or human resources, who are likely swamped with many responsibilities. Information falls through the cracks, or because you are 1 of 100 candidates interviewing, that internal resource just does not have the bandwidth to get the appropriate information to you.
Combinations of the aforementioned tools are helpful and will contribute to your success, if used properly. The job seekers that are the most successful are those that can put themselves in the shoes of the individual on the other side of the table.
With that in mind, I asked David Ta, Manager of Cloud Services at FireEye, to spend a few minutes with me discussing his thoughts when interviewing candidates for his team.
Me: If someone doesn’t have the ‘full package’ from a technical standpoint, what quality or intangible traits do you look for that would make up for those missing skills?
David: It’s pretty straight forward. I ask questions where they can work towards the answer. It shows me how they could work through problems. I am also looking for people that are intelligent, someone that inspires confidence when delivering their answer.
Obviously, this also depends on the role that I am filling. If we are talking about a task doer, I expect a certain level of passion or someone that really puts their heart and soul into their work as opposed to someone that is just cooling to collect a paycheck. If I know this person is interacting with others, if they are light technically it’s important they can articulate themselves in a way both technical and non-technical individuals can understand. Engineering teams will eat you alive if you don’t have the ability to explain your proposed solutions.
Me: What are the challenges and your thought process when you are considering head count and building a team?
David: Challenges, the main thing is finding that balance between a rockstar and a team player. Of course there are candidates that are great at what they do, but they know they are great and that can be a problem for culture. Team work is just as crucial as talent. If someone is less concerned with team work but succeeding on their own work it does not matter. If the one person is failing the team is failing. This is a mentality I consider when interviewing and follow through with once they are on the team. It’s also important to find individuals who take the initiative to do things that will help the team. That’s priceless really.
When actually considering the number of requirements a team needs, I consider the metrics. You cannot justify headcount without understanding and displaying statistics. You need actual numbers. I ‘ve been using a kanban board to visualize work across the team, and the resulting data will help me justify an actual headcount when needed.
Me: If money was no object what resources would you seek out to help you build your engineering team?
David: I would start hosting user groups and meetups here in our office. I would fly famous, relevant speakers (ie. Linux Torvalds) to attract as many people as we could. Obviously provide food, top shelf liquor, and soft drinks. Hopefully it would attract solid candidates and be a great marketing tool for our company. I think hosting free training sessions would also be a pretty cool way to identify talented individuals, you can build a relationship with them while they are in the office and if they excel at picking up new technology it would be an easy transition.
Me: What would your advice be for an entry level candidate?
David: I would tell them to go get their Red Hat (RHCE) certification. Then continue learning and advancing, eventually working toward a Red Hat Architect certification.
When it comes to salary, do not just spit out a number. Let the hiring manager talk to you about a number. Let’s say they are thinking 120K and all you want is 80K, you can really short change yourself.
Another thing to keep in mind while you are interviewing with any company is the interview is not just for the company, it’s for you too. Once you approach it that way you can be more confident.
Smile a lot and create rapport with your interviewer. I read a study that people that were interviewing were more likely to remember the name of a candidate that smiled more often than candidates who didn’t.
Me: What would be your advice for a mid-level engineer?
David: Specifically, I hire for automation. So learn how to script and code. Don’t just put on your resume that you do whatever it is you do, but actually explain what you did and how it either saved time and money or how it improved the business.
Me: What would be your advice for a senior- level engineer?
David: The more programming languages you know the better. Be sure to keep educating yourself on the newest technologies. Python and Ruby seem to be the languages in demand right now, back in the day it was Perl. People tend to just stick to what they know as they get older and it can be a huge detriment if they have not expanded their skillset.
Me: What was your most memorable response to an interview question?
David: There is definitely one… I was interviewing a Perl expert. So I asked him, “What is the difference between for loop and foreach loop?” He told me, “Four letters.” He followed up with the right answer, but very witty.
If you have a fear of interviewing or always wanted to know what that hiring manager was thinking, just put yourself in their shoes. What qualities would you look for in a candidate? David showed us it is not just about technical skills, but the whole package when building a team. There are qualities that each of us have, so take note, have confidence, and think about how you could add value to that team.
This past week, Jobspring Orange County got the opportunity to work with the Families Forward food bank to get their Thanksgiving Food Bags ready to be distributed. They sorted produce items that were then put into over 750 Thanksgiving Food Bags to be passed out to families in financial crisis.
Families Forward is a non-profit that offers a comprehensive array of support services to at-risk families in Orange County. They range from the simplest form of help, putting food on the dinner table with groceries from the food pantry, to weekly career coaching sessions for parents needing guidance towards a higher income and better future. Their mission is to help families in need achieve and maintain self-sufficiency through housing, counseling, education and other support services.
Around Thanksgiving, their food bank is full to the brim with donated items to create a delicious holiday meal. There is a great interest in participating in this program, so Families Forward employs a lottery to choose the families which will receive the Thanksgiving bags.
Over the 2 weeks before Thanksgiving, they depend solely on volunteers to sort the influx of donations and to assemble the Thanksgiving food bags for families in need.
Jobspring was tasked with sorting various produce items and put them into the bags to be distributed. With 11 volunteers and great spirits, the volunteers quickly sorted through a large number of donations, they moved tables, and filled boxes.
They were grateful to be given the opportunity to participate in this wonderful program!
Families Forward is always accepting donations of food and time, so get involved!
Jobspring Boston recently visited Cradles to Crayons, an organization helping provide low-income children from birth to age 12 with essential items they need at home and at school. Cradles to Crayons has helped provide packages of clothes, shoes, books, toys, baby safety equipment, and school supplies to 87,000 children in the Massachusetts and Philadelphia area.
While at the Cradles to Crayons warehouse, our group assigned the task of sorting clothing. We had the important undertaking of making sure all the clothing going to families was in the best condition, and in the right sizes. With our watchful eyes, the clothing we sorted was then taken to the next station where other volunteers put together a week’s worth of clothing for children in need.
By the end of our shift, we were able to help create 75 individual care packages. All of Jobspring's participants were delighted to take some time out of their Tuesday evening in order to help an organization that helps better the Boston community.
Thanks for letting us help out, Cradles to Crayons! We'll be back soon!
Article by Alex Clark, Lead Recruiter in Jobspring DC.
Just a month after its status page confirmed that a major DDoS attack crippled the site for three hours, it may seem like poor timing to write a piece about the importance of GitHub. But if you ask me, they are in good company. Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Apple all reported attacks in 2013 alone. And no one would question the importance of those companies.
For now, let’s focus on why GitHub is one of the most important tools available to programmers, managers, and other professionals in the tech space. GH is, literally, the largest host of source-code in the world with over four million users currently contributing to its more than six million repositories (1). The question is, what are you waiting for?
Prospective developers, proven ninjas, and wizards, if you’re contending for a new position without a GitHub account, you’re already one step behind. Interacting with hundreds of tech professionals in the D.C. Metro area, I’m often asked “What can I do to improve my chances of landing a dream job?” My answer is always the same. “Go home and create an account, start a repository and display your code tonight.”
As Q1 draws closer and a flood of candidates hit the market, you should be looking for anything to set yourself apart from the pack. What better way to do that than by displaying your work publicly for all to see? Take a few days to polish your account and put up code. Network, connect, comment on, discuss, share your work and build upon others’. Collaborate on a project and challenge yourself for all to see. In a word, use GitHub to “engage”. Whether you view it as a social network, a warehouse or a host, use GitHub to its full potential.
When career hunting, it’s important to know who will be looking you up on GH and that person is likely to be a hiring manager. If there is one major hiring trend to point to this past year, it’s that employers want to see your GitHub account. With much more frequency, companies are asking for candidates to submit their account information along with their resumes.
Perhaps the biggest illustration of GitHub’s importance is how companies choose to leverage it. Hiring managers are creating tech tests and small projects for candidates to solve as a way to vet talent. In the workplace, teams of programmers are able to store their work and access any changes that other team members make in real-time.
GitHub will continue to facilitate the advancement of software development around the Globe. As the tech industry continues to exponentially change the face of everyday life, it is up to you as a professional in this space to be conscious of trends in order to stay competitive.
Article by Sam Shaw, Recruiter in Jobspring Los Angeles
What do you enjoy? It’s a simple question that one would expect to have a simple answer but, in practice, it seems to stump many people. When talking to a job-seeker, this is always a question I try to dive in to and it always starts with the same confused response, “You mean like outside of work?”
It’s these side projects that give the job-seeker a lot to talk about, and passionately. Having a deeper conversation that isn’t limited to how the work experience you have is relative to the job becomes a powerful tool. When the conversation becomes about the passion that a job-seeker exhibits in their own time, the job itself is second to how those passions line up with the team. The mentality I love to rely on is “if this is what you do for free, imagine what you could do with a full time budget.”
I am convinced that specific technologies, academic achievements, or relative job experience can be discussed in a matter of minutes. The real meat and potatoes of an interview come from how the interviewee’s foresight and passion aligns with that of the company. What better way to talk about it than describing the hobbies you have and how you learn from them? I’ve personally learned more from getting my hands dirty trying to solve a problem on my own time than I did in any academic environment. The experiences I’ve had pursing these hobbies, while studying math and physics at Ohio State, have included failing, doing research, and coming back stronger. Learning to approach new algorithms in new ways, late night conversations with roommates brainstorming ideas, and figuring out how to Google effectively became a normal and tangible skill set that can be applicable in any work environment.
So the next time someone is asking you about what you do, don’t limit yourself to how you earn your paycheck. Talk about the Arduino robot you built, the Raspberry Pi media center, the game you made out of a new technology, and talk about the passion that comes with it. Once I put that passion project on my resume, the conversations about school and past work paled in comparison to what they were really interested in: “What do you enjoy?”