It’s usually difficult for any employer when an employee resigns. However, it’s particularly difficult when you lose an IT professional. In today’s market, it can be difficult to find the right person for your open IT jobs. IT recruiting agencies suggest taking these 4 steps to make this loss for your team a lot easier—even if you have big looming deadlines.
1. Make a plan for knowledge transfer. IT staffing agencies suggest you start by taking time to figure out what information you will need to transfer to this employee’s replacement. Figure out how you’ll get this information. Will you have a meeting with the exiting employee? Will they train their replacement? Make a plan so you can get the new employee up to speed, no matter where the exiting employee was on a project.
2. Figure out what you need in a replacement. IT recruiting firms suggest you continue by pulling up the resume you hired this employee with (if you have it). Think about the strengths and weaknesses they brought to the position. Create a list of what you think you’ll need. The last thing to consider is if you need a full time employee to replace this person or if you need a contractor. IT recruiters can help you find either. There are certainly advantages to both.
3. Call your trusted technical recruiters. Meet with your IT recruiters and share the information you’ve gathered in steps 1 and 2. Be honest about what you need and give timelines for when you’d like to have the replacement employee. Share your knowledge transfer plan. The more you share with IT recruiting companies, the more they can help you find the best fit for your open job.
4. Consider taking feedback from the rest of your team as you complete the hiring process. IT staffing companies suggest you ask for feedback and guidance from you team, as they may have a uniquely useful perspective on what you’ll need in a new hire. It’s also important for the new hire to fit into your team. Corporate culture is highly underrated. Picking somebody who’s technically fit for the role and who gets along well with the team, end users, clients, etc will be far more successful.
Some IT professionals are surprised when they find out that IT recruiters and potential employers Google them. Some even ask if it’s illegal. The truth is, if technical recruiters and employers aren’t running background checks on you, they’re very likely Googling you and checking out what you’ve posted publicly on social media. One of the best job search tips that IT recruiters can give you is that Googling candidates is not only legal, it’s normal.
Candidates should know that IT staffing companies and employers are very likely to see what they’ve posted on social media publicly or to find a blog if it’s obviously connected to them. Recent studies show that somewhere around 75 – 80% of employers will wind up doing at least some cursory Googling on a candidate before hiring them. In the tech field it’s especially common for candidates to be handling sensitive data or a company’s digital infrastructure. Sometimes this means that IT recruiting firms are required by law to run background checks on a candidate. Sometimes it just means the employer needs IT staffing agencies to do a more basic check (like Googling) on a candidate. Being able to trust a new hire, especially if they’re going to have access to a company’s sensitive data or digital infrastructure is paramount.
So what should you do to be ready for employers to Google you or do a background check? For a background check, it’s pretty easy to prepare. Your IT recruiting companies will often run these. They’ll ask you for a little information, your permission, and then they’ll proceed. If you have anything in your past that may hurt your chance at landing the IT jobs you’re being considered for, it’s important to speak to your IT staffing firms right away. Explain what you think they could find and why it shouldn’t impede you from being a great fit for the job. Sometimes IT recruiters can help advocate for you by explaining negative things that come up in a background check. They have the ear of the hiring manager, so they will often listen to the recruiter instead of just taking the candidate out of the running.
To get ready for IT recruiting agencies and potential employers to Google you, there are a few more steps. Start by cleaning up your social media. Delete any political, intolerant, and controversial posts. You should also delete any posts that show you doing things that are embarrassing. (It’s also best to just delete any posts that show you drinking.) Your goal is to edit down your social media to show a version of you that wouldn’t offend or throw off any potential employers. In a recent study by Careerbuilder, as many as 48% of employers have found things on social media that made them reconsider hiring a candidate. Potential employers have so little data about you when they make a hiring decision. For this reason, you don’t want any of it to possibly be negatively perceived. Once your online presence is cleaned up, test the waters and Google yourself. If everything that comes up would be ok for an employer to see, you’re ready for your best job search.
Employers often work with IT recruiting firms to help fill their open positions for one main reason: because of how challenging it is to find the right candidates. The tech field is absolutely a job seeker’s market, with the tech unemployment rate in 2016 being only around 2%. Studies also show that tech professionals are voluntarily quitting jobs at a relatively high rate. This usually means that either they’ve been presented with better options from other IT recruiters or employers, or that they’re confident they will find a better option easily. But finding candidates in a tough hiring market isn’t the only advantage to working with IT staffing agencies. Many employers also work with technical recruiters to fill their IT jobs because they can help employers save money on rising healthcare and insurance costs.
It’s no secret that healthcare costs for employers have been rising since at least 2011 and will continue to in 2017. Costs will increase for employers by 6.5% over 2016. They’ll likely continue to increase by 5% next year. These increases are huge, but working with IT recruiting companies is one way to avoid them. IT recruiting agencies can help you do more than just hire the best person for the job—they’ll also take over costs like payroll and healthcare for these new hires. This kind of investment will continue to pay off for employers in the years to come, as the drivers of higher healthcare costs aren’t going away any time soon. A higher aging population is one factor here. Longer life expectancy is another. In addition to these factors, the nation-wide obesity epidemic has been pushing increased healthcare costs. All of these factors will continue to be prevalent for the foreseeable future.
So taking all of these factors into account, working with IT staffing companies to fill IT jobs is a way for employers to save money. Even if it were easy to find the right candidate for open IT jobs (which it most certainly isn’t), it will cost far less to hire and employ them long term if a company uses IT staffing firms.
There are a few ‘secrets’ of job searching that IT recruiting agencies find candidates don’t always know. One of the most helpful ‘secrets’ that IT staffing firms share with candidates is that you don’t need to meet 100% of the requirements listed for a job in order to apply. Here’s why technical recruiters suggest you apply to jobs, even if you don’t meet every bullet point in the description.
1. Particularly in the tech field, things are constantly changing. Technologies change, client needs change, and the scope of projects change. This means a company’s hiring needs are constantly changing too. If a project changes, it could mean a company that needs to fill a job may suddenly tell their IT staffing agencies to seek out candidates with a slightly different skill-sets. If you meet most of the requirements of IT jobs, you may be exactly what an employer is seeking—they just didn’t know it when they posted a job description.
2. A job posting is often more of a wish list. Especially in the US, where there’s a real lack of qualified IT professionals, employers may realize that they can’t find somebody with all the skills or experience they want. Or perhaps they realize that they can’t meet the salary needs of somebody who would match their job posting perfectly. This is why IT recruiting firms suggest you apply to jobs you meet most of the requirements for: you may be the perfect candidate for this employer, even though you don’t tick off every box on their list. Your skills and experience may be enough to take on the role they’re hiring for.
3. The last reason IT staffing companies recommend applying for a job you’re not a perfect match for is that you may have the kind of personality or soft skills that make up for a technical deficit. Tech employees are becoming more integrated in companies and working more with end users or clients, people skills are becoming a paramount part of IT roles. You might be missing a few technical requirements for a desktop support role. However, if you have excellent customer service skills and infinite patience, you could still be the right person for the job.
If you’re working with (or thinking about working with) IT recruiters to fill your IT job openings, you’ve probably noticed that the tech job market is more of a job seeker’s market. IT staffing firms have found this to be true for a long time, and it will likely continue for a while, too. So how do you attract and retain the kind of talented IT professionals your team needs? Here are a few things IT recruiting agencies see as consistently effective for getting and keeping great tech talent.
Perks or money: Conventional advice for most fields says that perks and money can’t be the only way you attract and keep talent. IT staffing companies do find that money and perks play a slightly bigger role in the tech field, though. Because there is such a dearth of IT professionals in the US, IT professionals often wind up getting passive offers for jobs making more money. IT recruiting firms find that paying your talent market rates becomes more imperative in tech than it may be in other fields.
Management: It’s important to note that research says that perks and money can’t be the only thing you use to attract and keep great talent, though. Management is as important, if not more. Research says that people often leave jobs to get away from bad bosses. Recent studies have shown that people who feel micromanaged are 28% more likely to leave a job. People who feel overwhelmed by their workload are 31% more likely to leave their job.
Problems with management may also be intertwined with problems with compensation. If an IT professional doesn’t feel like he or she can communicate with their boss, they won’t feel like they can ask for a raise. This deprives a company of a chance to keep great talent—maybe they can provide the raise to keep the employee, but just don’t know that they should.
Company culture: Though it seems more frivolous, technical recruiters find that company culture is important when it comes to keeping and attracting great talent. Recent studies show that people who don’t like their company’s culture are 15% more likely to leave their IT jobs. Peer and boss relationships make a big difference too. If IT professionals enjoy working with the people around them, (including their team, end users and clients they may have to interact with) they’ll find a way to deal with problems they may have with their current jobs.
When it comes to attracting talent, Glassdoor is now heavily used by job seekers. So take the time to make sure your company culture is great and that it’s well represented on Glassdoor. Deal with and respond to negative reviews (especially if they have actionable feedback). Consider soliciting positive reviews. You want prospective tech employees to know that working at your company isn’t just profitable– it’s a good way to spend 40 plus hours of their week.
When you’re working with IT recruiting companies to find your next role, sometimes it can feel like technology rules the job interview process. You might do a skype interview, connect with your IT recruiters on LinkedIn, or maybe complete a coding test online. But there are some things that you really should do the old-fashioned way. Here are 3 things that IT staffing companies suggest you consider doing the more traditional way, even if you’re applying for IT jobs using the most cutting edge technologies.
1. Send a hand-written thank you note. If your IT recruiting firms can pass the note along for you or give you the address, a hand-written thank you note after a job interview can go a long way. This is especially true for thoughtful notes that go beyond a generic template. Time and again IT staffing agencies have seen that good thank you notes can be your secret weapon in a job search—they can be your last, and best, impression on an employer.
2. Bring hard copies of your resume and any presentation or applicable portfolio materials you might use. Sometimes your technical recruiters will bring the hard copies of your resume for you, but you’ll always need to bring your own hard copies of your presentation or applicable portfolio materials. You may be showing some examples of past work on a computer or a projector, but you should also try to provide a hard copy for everyone in the interview if it makes sense to do so.
3. Wait for your interviewers quietly, with your smartphone put away. Even if you have to wait for a while, IT recruiting agencies find that it makes a far better impression if you use that time to look over your presentation materials, resume, etc. Avoid playing games, answering emails, texting, or browsing the internet on your smartphone. Send your interviewers the message that this interview is your priority at this moment—nothing else.
Most employers know that a bad hire can be very costly. Sometimes employers have a more subtle problem, though: making a final choice between a few candidates. When you have a couple of candidates who possess all the technical skills and experience you’re seeking, how do you pick the one to hire? Here are a couple of tips that IT staffing firms suggest you consider when you need to choose between great candidates.
Think about, or ask the IT recruiting firms you’re working with, if the candidates you’re choosing between have ever worked in a similar kind of company and corporate culture before. For instance, are they used to the kind of autonomy your company gives employees? Or are they used to the kind of teamwork this project or work requires? This is something you may find on their resume, but it’s exactly the kind of info your IT staffing agencies are happy to find out for you. Even if a candidate hasn’t worked in a similar corporate culture before, your technical recruiters can still help you figure out if they would fit into yours. They understand what the candidate is looking for in their next role, including work environment, so they have a more in-depth insight into questions like this.
Ask yourself, and anybody else who interviewed the candidates, a simple question. Which candidate would you, your typical end users, or clients, and the rest of your team, most like to invite to a happy hour? Sometimes a candidate has the right personality to really click with your team or, more importantly, the end users or clients they’d be serving. Maybe they’re laid-back and have a sense of humor that would serve your start-up well. Personality isn’t everything, but IT recruiters have seen time and again that when it comes to roles that support clients or end users, it can be very important. It can also make a big difference when you’re working on a small team that needs to collaborate well. The bottom line is, IT staffing companies suggest that if you’ve got a few candidates that are great technically, use personality as another factor in the decision. The most successful hires for IT jobs are usually people that you, your end users, and clients enjoy working with.
LinkedIn is so widely used that it has essentially become necessary to join if you want to connect with IT recruiting companies and search for new IT jobs. If you’re not on LinkedIn, it will be much harder for IT staffing companies and potential employers to find you. (It also might suggest you don’t really embrace technology, which would obviously be a problem for IT professionals.) While there are plenty of LinkedIn tips for creating your profile, it’s also important to make sure your LinkedIn picture is done well. Here are some tips to taking a LinkedIn profile picture that will attract IT recruiters and potential employers.
Make sure the picture is clearly of you. IT staffing firms suggest you avoid using pictures of you and your family, friends, etc. Just use a picture that shows you. Your LinkedIn profile is meant to showcase your professional achievements and experience. Social pictures with your family or friends aren’t really relevant to this goal. Technical recruiters find that these kinds of pictures may even detract from the professionalism of your profile to certain, more conservative, employers.
Pick a picture where you’re dressed professionally. You don’t have to be in a full suit, but take a picture where you’re at least dressed in business casual clothing. Even if your goal is to work in a start-up environment where people wear a t-shirt and jeans to work, use a picture of you wearing at least business casual clothing. Think of a LinkedIn picture as similar to how you present yourself at a job interview. Your IT recruiting firms will always tell you to go to a job interview wearing at least business casual clothing, if not a suit. You should do the same in your LinkedIn profile picture.
Pay attention to what kind of picture it is. Don’t use an artsy shot or a full body shot. Aim for something that’s closer to a headshot. Again, think of your LinkedIn picture as similar to the impression you give in a job interview. Taking a picture from far away, at an odd angle, or with a special filter doesn’t help you present yourself in a straight-forward, professional way.
If you’re thinking about looking for new IT jobs, fall is one of the best times to ramp up your search. Here’s why IT recruiting firms find that the employers have more open jobs and hire faster in the fall.
The key decision makers, the people who work closest with IT staffing companies to hire, are often in the office and available most consistently in the early fall months. This is for a few reasons. For one thing, there are fewer major holidays in September and October. IT recruiting companies also find that people tend to be just returning from bigger summer vacations in the early fall months. They’re also usually saving the rest of their vacation time for the winter and late fall holidays.
Another reason that IT staffing firms find that hiring moves faster in the fall is that they want to get new hires in the door and trained before the late fall and winter holidays occur. No employer wants to start a new hire when their managers and coworkers, who are crucial to training, will likely be out often or less available.
The last reason IT recruiters suggest you ramp up your job search now is because it’s always a good time to be searching for a new IT job. The tech field is constantly a job seeker’s market. Technical recruiters find that there are far more open positions than there are qualified IT professionals to fill them. You can tell this is true because the national unemployment rate for Java Developers, Sys Admins, etc is always so low. While the national unemployment rate for all professions last year was at around 5.7%, for the tech field it was much closer to 2.6%. These numbers mean if you’re a Project Manager, Business Analyst, .Net Developer, etc, you have a great chance of finding an IT job you’re excited about. It’s just up to you to reach out to your trusted IT recruiting agencies and get your search going!
IT recruiters sometimes see candidates make mistakes that are really easy to avoid in their search for IT jobs. One area IT recruiting agencies see candidates make small, avoidable mistakes is with their email. Here are a few things not to do when you’re working with IT staffing agencies to find your next role.
Don’t use an email address that is obscene or unprofessional. When you are meeting technical recruiters and potential employers, all you have to represent yourself is your resume, your calls or meetings with them, and your emails with them. This means how you present yourself in these limited instances is all the more important for landing a great role. If you have an email address that’s not professional or is offensive or obscene, it’s worth creating a new one to use just for your job search. You don’t want to lose out on job opportunities simply because your email address offended an employer or IT recruiter—especially when a new, professional email address would be free and quick to create.
Don’t use somebody else’s email address or have somebody else email your materials on your behalf. Especially if an email address is clearly not yours or is clearly a joint email address, it looks far, far less professional to IT recruiting companies and possible employers. Again, email addresses are free and quick to set up. It doesn’t say that you’re taking your job search seriously if you can’t take the time to set up your own, personal, professional email account to use for your IT job search. It also says that you’re not a serious candidate who understands professional norms when you rely on somebody else to send your materials to employers or IT staffing firms.
Don’t use your college email address after you graduate (unless you went to a prestigious or Ivy League school). This could directly damage how potential employers or IT staffing companies see you. Particularly when you’re no longer a recent graduate of your school, it’s time to distance yourself from your college or university a bit. You want to present yourself as professional with experience in the working world. Having a college email address leads people to assume that you might still be a student—or weren’t one too long ago. Even if neither is true, this again suggests you are aren’t detail-oriented and/or taking your job search seriously. Take the five minutes to create a new, professional email address. It will be well worth it when you land a great new IT job! (Note that Ivy League graduates are usually the exception to this rule. People who wen to an Ivy League school will often continue to use their college or university email address long into their careers.)