Monthly Archives: March 2013

The Best Qualities in IT References

Great references are a must for IT contractors looking to attract IT recruiters. IT staffing firms certainly appreciate sparkling resumes, but to get further in the process nothing beats the marketability of IT professionals with references that are impressive, relevant, well-spoken, and easy to contact.   IT consultants should consider a few major things when assembling references for IT recruiting agencies to use on their behalf.

Firstly, IT staffing firms would prefer references who are as impressive and relevant as possible.  Using past managers for jobs in the same or similar fields is preferable.  The better the title (while still being somebody who can speak thoroughly about your abilities), the more impressive it will be to IT recruiting companies and the IT managers they work for.

Secondly, IT recruiting firms are looking for references who are up to date and easy to contact.  A great verbal reference is worthless if the IT professional has lost their contact information or worse, lost track of them entirely and has old and useless contact information. One way to avoid this pitfall is a necessary prior step: getting permission.  It’s polite to make sure you have permission to use somebody as a reference.  In getting that permission, the second part of the conversation should be getting the best method of contact for IT staffing companies to use for this reference.

Lastly, IT headhunters most prefer an organized, thorough listing of references laid out for them in one document.  IT recruiters CA to IT recruiters Boston will appreciate a list that is easy to use themselves or to hand to IT managers they work with.

Stepping into an IT Manger’s Shoes — the Key to Success

IT professionals and IT recruiters are both subject to the whims of IT managers.  As in any field, an IT manager is complex and has his/her own even more complex set of priorities.  The best way to work well with a manager is for technical recruiters and IT consultants to try to consider things from their point of view.  Here are 2 major ways a manager’s perspective can become clearer to IT staffing agencies and IT professionals.

1. Consider the Manager’s priorities, not your own- IT staffing firms and IT consultants have a very different list of priorities than an IT manager.  A pressing request for interview feedback might be imperative to IT recruiting firms, but they need to respect that it may be at the bottom of the list for a manager.  A bug in code or a difficult co-worker might be a major issue for  IT contractors, but he or she should consider that these problems may be nearly insignificant to their manager.

2. Make the manager’s job easy- If IT staffing companies or IT professionals can find ways to meet an manager’s needs with little feedback or supervision, or even to anticipate these needs, they will become invaluable.  Being a self-starter, self-motivated, and an independent worker make you easy to manage.  If you’re easy to manage, IT managers—and the IT recruiting agencies who work for them—will want to work with you over and over again.

Preparing for an IT job interview- Step by Step

IT staffing firms have a laundry list of qualities they look for in an IT consultant, but one of the most important is ability and willingness to prepare for IT job interviews.  Technical recruiters encounter a myriad of IT contractors who do not seem to follow the major steps in prepare for interviews.  This is shocking because these steps are simple, take very little time, and pretty intuitive.

The first thing recruiting firms would prefer that IT professionals do to prepare for a job interview is to research the company.  This can be done quickly by checking out their website and/or general presence on the web.  Secondly, IT staffing agencies suggest that IT job candidates read, memorize, and seriously think about the job description. IT recruiting agencies want to send in candidates who have deeply considered what IT jobs require and how the candidates can meet those requirements.  Lastly, IT staffing companies want their IT consultants to practice answering and asking standard interview questions.  Encountering these questions for the first time, or the first time in a long time, does not look good for the candidate or the IT recruiting agencies they represent.   Following each of these steps will definitely guarantee at success—if not in getting the job, at least in convincing IT recruiting companies that you are a great person to work with.

IT Certifications: Honey for Hummingbirds

If IT recruiters were hummingbirds, what would be IT professionals’ honey, so to speak?  IT certifications are certainly a possible solution for the metaphor. IT staffing firms appreciate IT certifications for many reasons.  Perhaps the most obvious reason IT recruiting companies appreciate IT certifications is that it makes candidates eligible and more likely to get IT jobs.  IT staffing companies feel confident in passing resumes for IT contractors for positions who have relevant certifications.  Even if the certified candidates don’t get the positions,  simply suggesting them to IT managers still reflects well on IT staffing agencies.

While IT certifications are generally a great investment that attracts IT recruiting firms, it is imperative to note that experience will always trump a certification.  If IT consultants don’t put a certification to good use, IT headhunters will be generally uninterested and move on to the next possible job candidate.

Mentoring in the IT World

Mentoring is an effective practice across a myriad of professional fields, including information technology.  IT professionals can certainly make themselves more attractive to technical recruiters nationwide, from IT recruiters CA to IT recruiters Boston by working with a mentor to hone their technical skills, professional demeanors, and resumes.  IT staffing firms will be especially excited to find female IT consultants who have had strong mentoring.  In a male-dominated field, women are certainly sought after by many IT headhunters for the unique perspectives they can bring to IT jobs.

What are some ways IT contractors can find mentors for themselves?  IT recruiting firms can suggest companies with strong mentoring programs.  One can also network online or in person at local meetups.  It is important to consider the search for a mentor to be fluid—one can multiple mentors and the time it takes to grow these relationships is not fixed.

IT is Re-Shaping Etiquette Rules Quickly

Emily Post’s opinion hasn’t carried much weight in society for a while, but recently there has been a rash of blogs that are concerned with etiquette—as it’s been changed by information technology.  IT recruiters, IT contractors, and all IT professionals in general are certainly pressured to keep up with the subtle changes in etiquette that are byproducts of constant changes in online and digital communication.  By being aware of the nuances of communication that are so quickly changing, technical recruiters can demonstrate how in touch they are with a technology company’s needs and the requirements of their IT jobs.

IT staffing firms, for instance, tend to operate by the LMGTFY rule.  LMGTFY, or Let Me Google that For You, is a very current courtesy.  If IT recruiters or IT consultants could easily google information for themselves, asking for it is considered rude.  It is in especially poor taste for IT staffing agencies or IT professionals to break the LMGTFY rule with potential candidates or employers they are submitting resumes to.  In addition to breaking etiquette, IT recruiting companies that violate the LMGTFY rule are also demonstrating a lack of resourcefulness and initiative.

Coming to an IT Company Near You: More Women

IT recruiting agencies, IT consultants, and the information technology industry as a whole has long decried its lack of women, especially in powerful positions.  Recently, however, it seems as though strides have been made towards actually doing something about this problem.  IT recruiters and IT contractors will certainly recognize the name Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s hyper-visible CEO who recently ended Yahoo’s telecommuting policy.  IT staffing companies are also likely to know her friend and fellow female tech executive Sheryl Sandberg.  Sandberg’s feminist manifesto brings a new perspective that is particularly relevant to technical recruiters and the IT professionals with whom they work.

The charge to bring more women into IT jobs  isn’t just coming from the top, though.  Various programs are being promoted and implemented in schools to make Math, Science, coding, and programming more popular amongst young girls.  IT recruiting companies may not yet see an increase in resumes from women, but a solid investment in future generations of female IT professionals is certainly equally important.   Hopefully the combined current efforts of these various feminists will inspire even more women to make themselves available to IT recruiters Boston, IT recruiters CA, and IT recruiters NY.

Bridging the Gap: IT Recruiters For All Ages

The information technology field, being relatively new as a professional field, is particularly inundated with generations X and Y.  It is also inundated with the problems that generations X and Y can cause in the workplace.  IT recruiters Boston to IT recruiters CA agree that generations X and Y certainly approach work and the workplace in different ways than their boomer generation counterparts.

There are many examples of disparate views IT recruiting companies see between generations as they attempt to fill IT jobs.  For instance, IT staffing agencies know from experience that while baby boomer managers tend to have experienced the workforce in only one or two companies, generations X and Y don’t operate on the same sense of a strong loyalty between company and employee. IT staffing companies also know that generations X and Y will/have already begun making more moves in their career field than baby boomers.  This means that IT job interviews can be especially fraught with tension as interviewers see vastly varied resumes that they do not expect.  It is the role of the IT recruiting agencies to help mold the resumes and the IT managers’ expectations to something closer to the middle.  IT managers can be persuaded to have more realistic expectations of a generation X or Y candidate, while IT staffing firms can coach IT consultants to understand and work harder to meet the expectations of a baby boomer IT manager.  The best asset technical recruiters can have in a market with two largely clashing sets of generations is to know how to bridge them and their expectations.  Happy generations X and Y and baby boomer IT professionals make for happy clients and candidates.  And happy clients and candidates make for very happy IT headhunters.

Change in the IT World: Necessary and Risky

Facebook’s changes this week certainly haven’t gone unnoticed by IT recruiters or the rest of the world.  While analyses on the details of these changes vary, the consensus seems to be one that the information technology world, and thus technical recruiters and IT consultants, have long understood: Change is key to staying relevant, but it needs to be done with caution.  IT recruiting firms and the IT professionals they work with often seek the balance between change and prudence in their work.  Frivolous change, change done solely for the sake of meeting technology’s break-neck pace, can meet loud criticism.  And loud criticism can mean the demise of a person or company’s reputation—at a break-neck pace, of course.

Marissa Mayer at Yahoo has also been struggling with similar issues.  As IT staffing firms and IT contractors watched her call all Yahoo employees back to work, they also saw the criticism pour in.  The results of Mayer’s change are yet to really be seen, but the consequences of shaking things up have certainly already manifested themselves and Mayer’s reputation has taken a hit.  Of course, not everyone is as visible in their actions as Mayer and Facebook, but the lesson for IT recruiting agencies and anyone else in the information technology field is just to make change cautiously.  Even when the industry standard requires IT recruiters CA to IT recruiters Boston to make change quickly to remain relevant, these changes are still subject to equally quick criticism.

IT Recruiters: The Best Way to Avoid Multiple Job Interviews

The information technology field has yielded yet another new reason for IT contractors to work with IT staffing firms: avoiding an endless parade of job interviews.  IT recruiting firms build relationships with their clients that yield a more streamlined job interview and hiring process.  With the new trend of IT consultants going on 6, 7, or even 10 interviews before hearing feedback, IT staffing agencies and their streamlined processes have become an even more attractive option.

Why are so many companies requiring a myriad of interviews?  Despite growth from the recession, the economy is still not back to full health.  This makes hiring managers nervous about investing in new employees who may not even be a good fit.  IT recruiting companies provide extra knowledge and experience in the hiring process that speeds up the interview process. Clients, especially repeat clients of IT staffing companies can trust that IT professionals they recommend for jobs have already been vetted extensively.  Using good technical recruiters saves a company some energy in the process of filling IT jobs, making only one or two interviews necessary instead of 6 or 7.  Of course, this process also benefits IT job candidates.  One or two interviews is just as preferable for a hiring manger as they are for an IT consultant, which means both should very seriously consider working with IT headhunters.