One of the things IT staffing firms find that employers often struggle with is writing the descriptions for the IT jobs they need to fill. Here are 3 tips IT recruiters suggest for writing the kinds of job descriptions that will help you attract great tech talent.
1. Write a job title that’s functional, rather than creative. Titles with ‘Rock Star’ or similar words may sound fun, but IT recruiting firms find these often don’t attract top-tier candidates. What candidates respond to most is a title that clearly states what kind of work the role handles. These titles help candidates picture themselves in the role. They also appreciate these roles because they have currency in their next job search. It’s easier to tell future employers that you’re a UX Director (versus a UX Rock Star).
2. Make a clear list of technologies you’ll require a candidate to have and a one for technologies you’d prefer a candidate to have. IT staffing companies find that when required technical skills and experience are lumped with preferred, it creates a job description that is too intimidating for candidates. Especially with a shortage of tech talent in the US, it’s important to write a description that IT professionals will see and be able to picture themselves succeeding at. Attracting great talent starts with helping them see a job that is actually do-able.
3. Lastly, try to sell your corporate culture and any projects the candidate will get to work on. IT recruiting companies find that great candidates are looking for projects that will further their career and companies that are fun, engaging, and stimulating to work at. If you can offer them either, it’s important to emphasize this in the job description. Since it’s a job seeker’s market, you want to write a job description that doesn’t just accurately portray what you need. IT staffing agencies suggest appealing to tech professionals in these job descriptions, especially in terms of the kinds of work they’ll get to do and who/where they’ll get to do it with.
If you’re thinking about a coding boot camp, you’re not alone. IT staffing companies have seen an explosion in boot camp popularity in the last few years. IT recruiters certainly find that many candidates seeking new IT jobs (especially their first programming roles) have a boot camp on their resumes. The questions is, are they worth it? The tuition for many of these boot camps is often in the thousands, so it’s imperative you make back that money with some great IT jobs. Here’s how to make sure you pick the best boot camp for you.
1. Do research on the job market in the area you live in. What are the most in-demand programming languages? Just as importantly, what are the most in-demand programming languages for the kinds of roles you want? IT staffing firms would advise you to make sure you understand not only what skills are marketable, but what skills are marketable and will land you a job you will at least moderately enjoy. You don’t want to realize that you hate the kinds of roles you paid thousands of dollars to be able to land. IT recruiters find that people who hate their jobs rarely succeed at them, or at least succeed at them long-term.
2. Seek out recommendations. Ask people in your network if they have gone to, or know of, boot camps that are effective. Check online at sites like Course Report. You might also reach out to your IT staffing agencies to see if they can recommend any great local boot camps for the kinds of roles and skills you’d like in the future.
3. Once you find some programs that look good, IT recruiting agencies suggest that you step back and look them over one last time. Ask questions about them, including these:
- What is the rate at which grads land their ideal roles?
- What is the rate at which students graduate?
- Do these boot camps offer connections to internships, projects or potential employers?
- Can you handle the final cost of this boot camp, or will it be too expensive of a risk?
4. Based on all these steps, make a choice. IT recruiting companies would urge you to consider the fact that sometimes, your best choice may be to skip the coding boot camp (at least for now). Sometimes there truly aren’t any coding boot camps that would be a good investment in your career. Though boot camps are being hailed as the new gold rush, there are many that won’t help you land the IT jobs you want. The wise IT professional sees this– and saves their time and money.
IT recruiters are seeing an increased demand for IT jobs in cyber security. While this area has been hot for IT staffing firms for at least the last few years, it will likely grow at an even faster pace in the near future for 3 reasons.
Firstly, IT recruiting companies will see more job openings in cyber security because there will likely be more attacks. The recent Dyn attacks are a good indicator of an increase in the kinds of all-out attacks that will become more frequent– and vicious. Cyber attacks will also increase because they’re a new frontier for terrorists. Cyber attacks that affect community sources of electricity, water, power, etc are likely to become a new method for terrorists.
The second reason IT staffing agencies will see more job openings in cyber security is because there will be more regulations and laws created for protection against cyber attacks. Recent events have shown cyber security to be a top concern—one that people will be forced to deal with for their own good. Businesses, governments, and other organizations that have pushed cyber security to the bottom of their to-do lists will be required by insurance carriers and laws to start paying more attention. This means IT recruiting firms will be searching for more tech professionals with the skills to help employers meet these laws and regulations.
The last reason that IT staffing companies will see an uptick in cyber security jobs in the near future is because it makes good business sense. Some businesses won’t need laws or regulations to take these threats seriously—it’s already affecting their business. These employers will look to IT recruiting agencies to help them make an investment in an important, somewhat new, business practice: protecting their data.
If you’ll be graduating from college this spring, you could benefit from calling IT staffing agencies this month. While it may seem too early, there are a few things that good IT recruiting firms can do for you so you’re even more prepared to land great IT jobs when you graduate.
Help with your resume. If you’re graduating from college or grad school, you may be creating your resume for the very first time. While your career center can advise you on basic resume templates, IT staffing firms can tell you exactly what the employers in your field are looking for. Because they have close contact with employers, technical recruiters can help you build exactly the resume they want to see— the first time you create your resume.
Guidance building a portfolio, LinkedIn profile, website for job searching, etc. Since you have about 6 months before graduation, you’ll have plenty of time to start creating things like a digital portfolio, a website, or any other materials to show off your technical skills. As mentioned before, IT recruiters have plenty of contact with employers, so they can help you create materials that will make you all the more employable.
Guidance on what to study. With 6 months to graduation, you may have enough time to focus your studies on particular technologies, programming languages, certifications, etc. Even if your classes have already been decided on, you might want to consider learning these things in your spare time or refreshing your familiarity with them. Whatever the case may be, IT recruiting agencies know what technologies are in demand with employers. They can help you prepare to meet these demands so you’re a hot commodity on the job market when you graduate.
IT recruiters find that a surprising number of candidates ask to cancel or reschedule interviews for IT jobs last minute. This might not seem like a big deal, but IT staffing firms see that it has some big repercussions for job seekers. Here’s why technical recruiters suggest you never try to cancel or reschedule an interview last minute.
Cancelling the interview with very little notice (less than a few days) will definitely burn some bridges for you with potential employers and IT recruiting firms. It’s almost always viewed as evidence that you’re possibly untrustworthy, disorganized, unreliable, or just plain rude. (There are some exceptions to this rule, like medical or family emergencies, but these are obviously very rare.) Employers and IT staffing agencies often put a note in their system that you’ve done this. They’ll usually blacklist you for it. While you may not want to work for this employer right now, you never know about the future.
Asking your IT recruiting companies to reschedule an interview at the last minute may not totally burn bridges, but it won’t help you land jobs. When you ask to reschedule an interview with less notice than a few days, employers will wonder if the job is a high priority for you. (Again, there are exceptions to this rule, including family or medical emergencies, but these are rare.) No companies want to hire people who aren’t excited about the opportunities they offer. Depending on the reason you offer and how last minute you’re asking for a rescheduled interview, your IT staffing companies may also respond by submitting you to less jobs or sending you on less interviews.
So what should you do instead of cancelling or rescheduling last minute? Start by making sure to really consider a job before letting your IT recruiting agencies submit you for it. Is the commute ok with you? Do you think you have the skills and experience to handle the work? You don’t want to cancel the interview at the last minute because you’ve decided you don’t like something about the job or employer after all. Next, when you give availability, make sure it’s not something that will change. If you’re not positive you’re free on a certain day, it’s better not to take that risk. Lastly, don’t lie about it if you do cancel last minute. Some candidates do lie to their IT recruiters and fake a family or medical emergency. If people find out you’ve lied, you’ll definitely burn a bridge with them and/or potential employers.
It may seem like Java is long overdue to be a less imperative skill for IT recruiting firms and employers. There are newer, more exciting languages out there. IT staffing companies find that many developers tend to prefer languages like Python or C++ for the projects they work on outside of their formal IT jobs. Perhaps most tellingly, Java is also no longer the first language many programmers clamber to get under their belts. But Java will continue to be high on IT recruiting agencies’ and employers’ lists in 2017 for 2 main reasons:
1. Java makes good sense for businesses. Even if other languages like Ruby, PHP, or Node are faster to develop with, Java has some assets that IT recruiters find businesses value more. For one thing, Java is often more compatible with older applications. While many businesses would like to be on the cutting edge, they can’t always get there– or get there with every tool they use. Being cutting edge can be costly, and Java is a great language to use if a company needs to continue to use older tools, software etc. Speaking of cost, Java is free. To a business owner, there is no sweeter word. IT staffing firms find that controlling costs with a programming language that is very reliable and free is undeniably appealing to the client companies they work with. (It’s also a better value because it makes for faster, easier updates to software because it’s an open source language.)
2. Android Apps will drive a need for Java. It’s obvious mobile is the place for businesses to focus their energy. It’s also obvious that Android phones are overtaking Apple. Actually, this may be debatable. But that fact that it’s debatable at all is telling. To even be able to threaten Apple means something good about Android’s strength. To follow the money, technical recruiters would suggest learning or brushing up on your Java. Plenty of employers will be very excited to see it on your resume in 2017 and beyond.
Most IT jobs pay well and are stable, even in a tough economy. However, if you’re seeking roles with the best paycheck, recent studies have shown that you should consider being a Software Architect or Data Scientist. IT recruiting firms see a huge boom in these two roles and believe it will continue into the future.
Software Architect: IT staffing agencies see trends that show that being a software architect is likely to give you the highest paycheck on average. There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, Software Architects almost always have a college degree in Computer Science (or a similar field) and an additional professional certification. These qualifications alone are somewhat rare in the US. Secondly, IT recruiting companies find that Software Architect roles require two very different kinds of skills. Software Architects need high proficiency in technical skills including Engineering and Computer Science, but they also need great communication skills, particularly in highly corporate environments. Often the more technical somebody is the less they want to be client-facing. Software architects are some of the few IT professionals that not only walk this line, they embrace it. This combination of skills is rare enough to warrant a high salary. Lastly, Software Architects are leaders. They help direct the vision of projects and often supervise others in bringing it to life.
Data Scientist: IT recruiting firms find that Data Scientists are routinely listed as the second-highest paid role in tech because of the extreme demand for Big Data in pretty much every industry. There are few companies that don’t want to be gathering and measuring client data to improve their performance. Perhaps more notably, big companies with huge budgets for talent, like banks or oil companies, are setting the bar high for Data Scientist compensation. Another reason why IT staffing firms find that Data Scientists are so well-paid is that Big Data can also help companies streamline their own processes to save time and money. Lastly, Data Scientists usually have the education to demand high salaries. More often than not, Data Scientists have a Master’s or Doctorate in Computer Science, Math, Statistics, or a similar area.
There are a few industries that are obviously creating more and more IT jobs each year. Healthcare and the Insurance industry for instance, have both obviously embraced the ways that big data and security technologies can improve their best practices and drive more business. The sports and athletic industry is a more surprising industry that IT staffing companies will see an uptick in hiring for in 2017 (and beyond). Here are some jobs that IT recruiting firms will likely be filling in the near future in sports and athletics.
Mobile Developers: IT staffing agencies will likely see a need for more mobile developers for all kinds of sports apps. Fans are using their mobile devices to engage more with their favorite teams, whether they’re at a game, the office, home, etc.
Data Engineers, Big Data Engineers: Technology is becoming a hot new tool in sports medicine and training. Coaches and trainers can use things like wearable devices to track activity, improvement, or even analyze or prevent injuries. This means that IT staffing firms are likely to see a real need for Data Engineers and Big Data Engineers.
Video Engineers: Fans are streaming games live, watching and sharing clips later, or going back to archived games and matches. This all translates to IT recruiting agencies seeing a big uptick in Video Engineers for the sports industry.
Web Developers: As teams are finding more global fans, IT recruiting companies will see a real need for web developers to help create web sites for fans to easily access. The more recent popularity in fantasy sports leagues will also create a drive for web developers.
As you might guess, resume formats aren’t magic: if you have few technical skills and little experience, it’s hard to mask that with a great resume. However, IT recruiters definitely see some candidates with amazing skill-sets and experience post resumes that don’t do them much justice. Here are 3 tips to write a resume that will attract technical recruiters and land more IT jobs.
Write a resume, not a novel. It’s definitely true that in IT you’re allowed to post a resume longer than a page. IT staffing firms certainly don’t mind longer resumes. However, sometimes tech professionals will take this too far. IT recruiting companies definitely see resumes that stretch well beyond 5, 10, or even more pages. In the end, you’re probably burying important information in less relevant details when you write resumes this long. You’ll also potentially turn off hiring managers that IT staffing firms submit your resume to. Extra long resumes can suggest that you don’t understand professional norms at all, that you have poor communication skills, or that you’re arrogant. Edit your resume down to the most important information. Leave off most of the technical details of projects or things like personal information, hobbies that are unrelated to your professional aspirations, etc. You can explain previous projects and achievements in more detail during an interview. You’ll also share relevant personal information with your interviewer if it comes up.
Put your technical skills at the top of your resume. Create a short, well-organized section at the very top of your resume that lists all of your technical skills. This will help IT recruiting agencies see right away that you might be a fit for the jobs they have. Try categorizing skills by headings like ‘languages’, ‘frameworks’, ‘operating systems’, etc. This is probably the most important section of your resume, so remember to keep it updated, organized, and easy to read.
Use your bullets to show your worth. Don’t waste a single bullet on your resume. Use them to show IT staffing companies what value you’ve brought to your previous employers. Focus on achievements and major successes you’ve participated in, rather than just listing your duties. As mentioned before, you can talk about things like daily duties in an interview or a phone screen. Your resume is really mean to catch recruiters’ eyes.
People commonly ask whether IT jobs are recession proof. The simple answer that IT staffing companies would give is yes. IT recruiting firms can point to the recent recessions as direct proof that IT professionals are very safe in their jobs, no matter how rocky the economy gets.
For solid proof that IT staffing agencies can help you find a job that will weather a recession, consider 2009. That year, when unemployment rates in the US were over 10%, for the tech field it was more like 5.4%. This number is strikingly low—it’s nearly as low as the unemployment rate is now after the recession (4.9% as of October 2016).
Why are IT jobs recession proof? IT recruiting agencies find that these kinds of jobs are necessary for two big reasons. Firstly, technology has become absolutely imperative to the basic functions of most businesses. From the hardware a business uses, to the email system and customer management tools a business uses, to the web presence it maintains to attract and maintain customers, there is simply no way most (if not all) businesses could run without technology. This means that technical recruiters are constantly asked to find the IT professionals to maintain, improve, install, and help users understand, that technology.
The other reason that IT jobs are recession proof is that the technology is a way to improve business processes and cut costs in hard times. IT recruiters find that in a recession, companies will often be all the more inclined to need tech professionals to help them streamline and save money.
If all of this doesn’t convince you to reach out to IT recruiting companies, the field is even stronger outside of a recession. IT staffing firms are seeing an especially low 2.5% unemployment rate in tech this year. IT jobs aren’t only recession proof, they’re a great way to go when the economy isn’t in crisis!