Monthly Archives: February 2013

Is Cutting Telecommuting in the IT Field A Blow to Women and Families?

Yahoo’s recent anti-telecommuting decision has thrown the practice into the spotlight, but IT recruiters have been debating its merits for years.  IT staffing firms are often given IT jobs to fill that provide options for IT consultants to telecommute.  The benefits are numerous for IT staffing companies, IT contractors, and companies.  Costs are saved for companies when they don’t have to supply water, heat/electricity, food, and other expenses to their employees.  Additionally, if many studies are to be believed, the productivity of workers is higher when they are allowed to telecommute.  IT recruiting firms also encounter arguments counter to telecommuting including that productivity does not go up, collaboration and creativity or work product suffer, and IT managers feel a general lack of control.

While most of the perceived benefits and detractors of telecommuting are obvious (particularly in the information technology field), a more subtle element in the debate is how feminist or family friendly the practice is. Especially with Mayer’s recent policy change at Yahoo, how telecommuting affects men and women with child-rearing needs becomes a prominent part of the debate.  IT recruiting agencies have often marketed IT jobs with flexible hours and telecommuting policies to women and men with family obligations.  IT professionals with families often appreciate the chance to telecommute so they are able to spend more time at home.  When telecommuting is cut, it can be seen as a blow to families and women (who tend to elect to work in flexible arrangements for child-rearing purposes more often than men).  When Mayer, a prominent woman in a male-dominated field who just recently had a child of her own cuts telecommuting, the move becomes a very complex discussion of how technical recruiters and their clients are or are not doing enough for women and families.

Resumes: To Write, or to Have Written. That is the Question.

In an increasingly saturated information technology market, IT recruiters respond best to resumes that are crafted with extra care and attention to detail.  Technical recruiters are not only looking for resumes that list previous job experience.  Clean, efficiently-worded descriptions and well-utilized key words are really what make IT staffing firms pay attention to IT consultants resumes.  At the same time, mid to late career IT professionals can extend their resumes beyond a single page.    IT staffing firms would certainly prefer to find an IT contractor with extensive knowledge and experience—which sometimes takes a slightly longer amount of page space to articulate.

For those seeking IT jobs who have the resources to put more into their search, resume writing services can be a good investment.  One can certainly catch IT staffing companies eyes with a resume that a professional has carefully constructed around key words, perfect grammar and spelling, and thoughtfully edited and arranged job duty descriptions.  IT recruiting agencies have certainly been impressed by Careers Plus Resume, Inc.  Backed with a guarantee and years of establishing themselves as insiders in the HR business, this company offers a personalized approach that will result in the kind of resume IT recruiting companies chase.  So is it imperative for gaining an IT headhunters interest to use a professional resume writing service?  No, but it can definitely help.

Americans Aren’t Convenient to Overlook in IT Field

Recently the news has noted quite a bit of American opposition to the H-1B reforms, especially in the information technology industry.  IT contractors have been alleging that technical recruiters already have a track record of favoring alien workers over American workers to fill IT jobs (even when they should not be).   IT staffing firms, they say, will only overlook American IT consultants more as H-1B reforms take place.

While the issue is obviously very complicated, IT recruiting firms obviously do not intend to overlook all American candidates, and very often are presented with a dearth of them.  IT headhunters follow the laws regarding H-1Bs and puts as much energy as possible into finding American workers because it’s in America’s interest and in IT recruiting agencies’ best interest to do so in terms of business.  IT staffing agencies can save a significant amount of time and money if they do not focus their efforts on IT contractors who require sponsorship. The hours, energy, and fees  IT recruiting companies might have to spend with immigration attorneys, clients, and job candidates are certainly not desirable when IT staffing Boston can find American workers who don’t require any of that. IT jobs, like the rest of the field, tend open and fill quickly, so time is of the essence to IT staffing companies.  All across the country, IT recruiters Boston to IT recruiters CA know that an American candidate is much easier to place in an IT job.

One Man’s Hacker is Another Man’s IT Professional

IT recruiting firms, like the rest of the world, might increasingly find themselves forced to reconsider their stances on hacking.  IT staffing companies have already been dealing with IT contractors and consultants who may openly or covertly already hack in order to sharpen their own skills and value as potential hires.  As a Bloomberg writer mused back in July, perhaps hacking behind closed doors is perfectly harmless in many instances.  Technical recruiters may often be working with IT consultants who have hacked their own iphones, etc and subsequently learned some valuable development, support, or other skills relating to the device.

Of course, hacking can have more victims than one’s own iphone.   IT recruiting agencies are also finding themselves filling IT jobs that defend against hacking for large amounts of personal information or even information that affects national security.  IT staffing agencies may also knowingly or unknowingly be filling IT jobs that focus on hacking in self defense.  As more and more large companies like Burger King become vulnerable, techniques like placing false information become acceptable to IT staffing firms and the companies they represent.  IT recruiting companies, with the rest of the world, are witnessing the rules change at the speed of the Internet.  What was punishable by law one day may become resume staples for IT contractors and IT recruiters.

Meetups: An Old-Fashioned Use for Technology in IT Recruiting

In a world saturated with technology, one of the job seeking methods that is rapildly-growing in popularity for IT consultants and IT recruiters is actually very old-fashioned: the meetup.  Of course, the meetup is not entirely old fashioned.  Advertised and arranged over the Internet, meetups are also full of technical recruiters and IT contractors exchanging information on their smart phones.  IT staffing companies will later tend to store this information and use it on their office computers to fill future IT jobs that come across their desks.

All enabling technology aside, though, meetups for IT contractors and IT staffing agencies require extensive amounts of decidedly old-fashioned skills.  Hearty handshakes, hard copies of resumes, and personable small talk all come in handy for IT recruiting agencies and IT professionals.  Possessing these skills can actually set IT recruiting firms, which so often rely on their Internet savvy and suave email presence to fill an IT job.  The meetup really reminds an industry so enamored with technology that ultimately, a workplace might operate with machinery, but it operates on something Apple or Googlehas never constructed: people.

Cyber Warfare: Suiting Up for IT Battle

One niche area of information technology that IT recruiters are working with is Cyber Warfare.  While the name might connote violence, IT staffing agencies are actually filling IT jobs that require either defending or attacking networks.  Often attacking networks comes down to finding and exploiting software flaws, while defending them requires the opposite: finding and fixing software flaws.

IT recruiting agencies face a surprising dearth of qualified IT professionals when searching to fill these IT jobs.  IT staffing firms are coming up short in finding IT consultants to fill Cyber Warfare jobs because the skills required tend to be fairly specialized and to be especially well-honed with experience.  Since Cyber Warfare has only really begun to grow as a sector since circa the Bush Administration, the pool of experienced IT contractors that IT staffing firms can cull from is understandably still quite small.  The field is also understandably concentrated in particular areas.  IT recruiters Boston or IT recruiters CA, for example, are far less likely to come across IT consultants with Cyber Warfare skills and experience than technical recruiters in D.C. and Virginia.

Simply put, for IT professionals looking to make themselves more appealing to IT recruiting firms, it’s never been a better time to polish one’s technological combat skills.

Looking to Russia for IT’s future?

American IT recruiters, IT recruiting companies, and IT consultants are already aware of the impact that the EU’s approach to information technology on their own market, but some are just becoming aware of Russia’s influence.  While IT recruiters Boston and IT recruiters CA especially have been seeing the plentitude of talent from Russia for a while, the American information technology industry is beginning to slowly grow some relationships with its former cold war enemy.

While the cold war seemed to illuminate incompatible differences between the US and Russia, IT professionals are finding some very compatible strengths between the two.  Russian training in programming and engineering provides some impeccable skills (the same ones IT recruiting firms are already coming across in immigrants), while American entrepreneurialism provides the financial risks and growth that make successful companies. Currently, the cheapness of operating in Russia leaves many of the IT jobs in questions for Russian IT recruiting agencies to fill.  However, IT staffing companies in America may soon be finding themselves filling IT jobs that have grown from collaborations between MIT and the Skolkovo University or the Russian branch of Microsoft.  Though the Russian market is still slow to allow start-up growth, IT staffing agencies would not be ill-advised to start learning how to say at least “zdrast-vuy-tye”—“hello” in Russian.

Tardiness in IT– Not So Straightforward

The IT job board, Careerbuilder, conducted a recent survey on tardiness to work illuminates some interesting trends, but it doesn’t tell the whole story for the nuances of what is acceptable in terms of tardiness for jobs in information technology. This year, the survey reports, over a third of hiring managers surveyed had to fire an employee for being late.  In the IT field, IT consultants tend to be doubly responsible in their jobs for tardiness—they report to their IT managers, but they also are technically reporting to IT recruiters Boston, too. If they are fired for lateness, IT contractors are not only losing their own IT jobs, but possibly losing future business for the IT staffing companies who placed them.  This, of course, could burn that bridge for the IT consultant, making IT recruiting agencies reluctant or simply refusing to work with him/her in the future.

Though technical recruiters and IT managers both would certainly prefer uniform promptness, the sheer variety of roles for IT professionals dictates a wide range of lenience for tardiness. The severity of the consequences for lateness definitely vary from role to role.  For instance, a programmer, who works more independently and in a “backroom” capacity, wouldn’t likely cause much of an issue if he was late for his company or his IT staffing agencies.     A help desk role, on the other hand, which is very visible more “front of the house” would certainly hurt his and his IT recruiting firms reputation if he was constantly late and holding up any trouble shooting operations. The permanency of an IT professional is also a factor.  IT contractors hired on a temporary basis (and requiring payment both for their own work and the IT headhunters’ fee) are far more vulnerable to scrutiny than permanent hires.  This scrutiny obviously includes tardiness.

One factor that seems pretty universally irrelevant throughout the IT staffing industry is the reason for tardiness.  Too much of it is always a problem, whether it is because one is busy putting a raincoat on their concrete duck or due to traffic.

Leadership in IT: Just do “it”?

Information technology as a field offers a wide variety of leadership roles: Project manager, Lead programmer, etc. The obvious perks of these roles are higher salaries, more prestige, more intriguing work, and more benefits or vacation days, etc.  However, does it ever make sense to turn one of these roles down, if offered?  Or to ask IT recruiters not to submit you for one? Recently, it has become more popular for business writers and leaders to openly discuss the benefits IT consultants and their IT staffing agencies might reap from turning down that leadership role.

Forbes blogger Mike Myatt states what would be obvious in almost any job market but the achievement-oriented, financially-driven American one.  If, as Myatt blogs, “You’re chasing a position and not a higher purpose,” then you’re probably setting yourself up for an unpleasant, if not unsuccessful, leadership experience.  Technical recruiters may offer to submit you for a high-powered project management position, but if you’re only taking it for the power or money you might reconsider.

It doesn’t serve you, your IT headhunters, or your potential new IT manager if you take a job that you don’t have the experience for or interest in. At best case, you will competently perform your job until you quickly burn out.  At worst, you will fail in meeting your job expectations and sully not only your reputation, but that of the IT staffing firms that placed you (and thus burn two bridges—your IT recruiting firm and your previous employer). IT contractors will get the most out of a job that really intrigues them and they can thrive in.  IT staffing companies will get the most of placing a successful fit in IT jobs and thus reflect their outstanding recruiting abilities.  So what should be your litmus test for those roles that move you up the ladder?  Let IT recruiting agencies and IT recruiters CA or technical recruiters Boston submit your resume for a role you would be excited to take on– even if the move was lateral in terms of salary and/or power.

“Bob” – The Bane of IT staffing companies

Information technology has always had plenty of room for procrastination and general wasting of time.  Productivity becomes difficult for IT managers to monitor when IT consultants spend most of their time on the computer. IT headhunters are often concerned about how disciplined an IT consultant might be, as they face the very real siren call of the internet and its black hole of time-wasting websites.  The worst nightmare for IT recruiters is a skilled IT consultant who becomes too busy wasting time to properly perform his or her IT job.  Really, a technical recruiter’s worst nightmare is “Bob,” the Verizon employee who actually outsourced his own job to China.

IT contractor “Bob” (code-named such by Verizon in its own records), apparently found a way to subcontract his IT job, thusly fooling his IT manager and any IT recruiting agencies he may have worked with to get the job.  While “Bob” showed up for work each day, he merely surfed the net, especially reddit, and occasionally emailed his IT manager.

Obviously, Bob is an extreme, if not amusing example of a real problem that IT staffing firms face.  The process of weeding out IT contractors who will provide strong, efficient, effective work product is not a science.  Assets like great references, a strong history of increasing responsibility in a company or role on resumes, and great IT job interviews tend to be helpful in this process.  However, IT staffing agencies must really be able to hone a sixth sense about what makes IT professionals great candidates who will really perform in IT jobs. The consequences for IT recruiting companies are nothing less than their reputation.