Here’s one surprising mistake IT staffing companies see too often in job interviews: over-preparing. While it’s certainly important not to underprepare for you job interview, IT recruiting firms definitely see some candidates rejected for the opposite reason. Here are 2 ways being over-prepared can hurt your chances of landing IT jobs.
1. The interviewer doesn’t feel like they’re having a genuine conversation with you. IT staffing firms want you to practice some of your answers or questions, but only to the point where you are familiar with them. Employers really want to see who you are when they interview you—your personality as well as your technical skills and experience. When you’re so over-prepared it sounds like you’re delivering a monologue, you’ll probably turn off your interviewer. Making a good connection with your interviewer and showing off great communication skills goes a long way in the tech field these days.
2. You don’t answer the interviewer’s questions or provide the info they want. Sometimes being over-prepared can make you come across as inflexible or unresponsive to your interviewer. Technical recruiters find that being over-prepared can lead you to inadvertently neglect to provide all the information the interviewer wants. You don’t want to be so busy making the points you practiced that you can’t answer an interviewer’s questions or respond warmly and genuinely to their small talk. IT recruiting companies suggest you make a conscious effort to let the interviewer lead the interview. Do this even if it means you may wind up leaving some of the material you prepared or studied by the wayside. Don’t worry, you can always mention it your thank you note!
If you plan on working with IT recruiting firms next year to search for new IT jobs, you’re probably already polishing your resume. If you want your technical recruiters to be able to submit you to remote jobs, there are a few things you should add to your resume.
1. Prove that you are self-motivated and have taken initiative before. IT recruiters see plenty of resumes that list the skills employers want remote workers to have. However, that’s not what will land the job. What IT recruiting agencies find really works is to demonstrate you have these important skills. Were you able to complete elements of a project on your own, with no supervision? Did you debug code without being asked? Concrete instances of things you’ve done that make you a great remote employee (or things that show you will be a great remote employee) make it easier for employers to picture you doing the same things as a part of their team.
2. Give links to your best work and relevant web presence. IT staffing companies find that having a great web presence and excellent work product to show off is especially imperative when you’re applying to remote jobs. Do you have a digital portfolio? Do you have a LinkedIn profile? A website? Make sure it’s easy for employers and IT staffing agencies to see all of them by adding links into your resume. Part of landing remote jobs is making it easy for employers and IT recruiting companies to see how you’d be a great fit for their role. Listing relevant links is one way to do that.
3. If you’ve worked remotely before, articulate how you still adhere to workplace standards and keep in communication with your team or managers. Again, giving concrete examples of your ability to be a great remote worker will go a long way in helping employers picture you in their open IT jobs. For instance, if you’re a developer, have you still participated in stand-up meetings via conference call? Do you use an internal messaging service? Helping employers and IT staffing firms see that you’ve thought about how to still be an effective member of a team, even when remote, will help you land the jobs you want.
If you’re working with IT recruiting firms to fill open jobs on your team, you know it’s hard to find great talent. The tech field has really been a job seeker’s market for a while now. Recent unemployment rates for IT professionals illustrate this well. As of last April, the unemployment rate in IT went as low as 2%. This is less than half the national unemployment rate for all other fields combined (around 4.9%). One thing IT staffing firms suggest to increase your chance of landing great tech talent is to make your job offers faster.
Why would making a job offer quicker help you hire more and better IT professionals? There are two main reasons. Firstly, making a quicker job offer, especially one in the first 24-48 hours since an interview, makes a candidate feel really valued. Especially in this field, IT recruiting agencies find that candidates are expecting quicker responses from potential employers. To ensure the candidate feels desired, you need to extend job offers faster than in other industries. The more interest a candidate perceives from an employer, the more likely they are to take your offer. IT staffing companies see that candidates often respond well to job offers where they feel like the employer is excited about their skills and experience. Never underestimate the power of making a candidate feel valued.
The second reason IT recruiting firms suggest you make your job offers faster is to make sure you don’t miss out on your second or third choice candidates. If your first choice candidate declines, making a slower job offer to them means you’ll make an even slower offer to your second or third choice candidates. As mentioned above, it’s definitely more of a job seeker’s market. Technical recruiters usually find that their candidates are often high in demand and receive more job offers than candidates do in other fields. So losing out on your first choice candidate after a slow job offer could also mean losing out on your second and third choice candidates!
Finding great tech talent for the right price is hard. Even with IT recruiting companies to help you find a candidate pool, it can still be hard to find the best people to fill open IT jobs in your company. Here are a few tips IT staffing firms suggest using as you conduct technical interviews.
1. Consider ditching any tests or exercises. IT recruiting firms find that many candidates who are great employees don’t always do well in a timed, pressure-filled exercise or multiple-choice test. Some candidates will even be less likely to want to continue the process if there’s a coding test or exercise as part of the interview. With such a limited market, you don’t want to limit your candidate pool further.
2. Aim to have an interesting technical conversation. The less a technical interview feels like an interview, the more you’ll get a real understanding for what the candidate is like. One way IT staffing companies suggest doing this is by asking the candidate to talk about a project they loved working on. Letting them pick the project they discuss will allow the candidate to show you their passion and their strengths in an authentic way.
3. Don’t forget to sell the position to the right candidates. While your IT recruiting agencies will certainly help you sell the position to the candidates you like, it’s also important they catch your enthusiasm. They will be sold if you can share what you like about working on your team, your project, etc. If you have members of your team sit in on the interview, make sure they’re all people who can genuinely convey why it’s great to work at your company or organization. Nothing sells an IT job better to a candidate than seeing current employees who enjoy the work and culture of a company.
If you’ve been working with your IT recruiters to find a new position, the last step of your transition won’t be giving your notice. Employers often want to conduct an exit interview before you leave. These may seem like a time to vent with impunity, but the truth is that you could do some serious damage to your reputation if you handle one badly. Here are a few tips that IT staffing firms suggest following as you go through exit interviews.
1. Approach an exit interview as seriously as you do a job interview. Just like you would in a job interview, IT recruiting companies suggest you be professional, keep things positive, and be cooperative. Especially with all the back-door references that LinkedIn enables, it’s important to perform exit interviews as the kind of IT professional you to be known as. Check your emotions at the door, even if it’s tempting not to. You never know if your words will make it back to other’s ears and burn bridges for you. (Some technical recruiters suggest venting to a trusted friend or family member before the exit interview so you get it out of your system.)
2. This isn’t a time to improve the company or give much feedback. Even if exit interviews are sometimes presented this way, it’s often pretty ineffective to share criticism about an employer. In fact, IT staffing agencies find that doing this will usually just hurt you. If you’re leaving to seek out IT jobs that pay more, have a better work culture, let you do more interesting work, etc, now isn’t the time to say it. The best time to ask for a raise, to give feedback about the workplace, or to ask for more interesting projects, was when you were actually an employee. It’s often just going to be viewed as a slight if you detail all the reasons why you worked with IT recruiting agencies to get out of your current employer. And as mentioned above, it’s always a bad idea to slight people. You might unwittingly be burning an important bridge you need in the future.
3. Leave your future employer out of it. Your IT staffing companies wouldn’t suggest you spend much time talking about how excited you are to join your new employer. Even if you don’t mean to, people may assume you’re belittling your soon-to-be employer by comparison.
4. Lastly, try to say a few positive things about your soon-to-be ex employer before you go. While it’s not helpful to say something that feels fake or forced, you can probably find one or two positive things to genuinely note. Perhaps you had the opportunity to learn more about a new technology, or got to work on an interesting project. Taking a moment to mention these things you’re grateful for will make you look professional and gracious.
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.