In the interest of cultivating the future technical candidates of tomorrow, educational institutions need to assess the paradigms currently in place for technology education, and recognize the ways in which they need to change. In the rapidly evolving high-tech industry, the leaders in the technology field are not only technically proficient — they need to have strong critical thinking skills and solid communication skills. These are the “soft skills” that supplement the technical expertise of the top-earning technical consultants, and that are the critical factor in their income levels. Technical employers need IT staff that can not only deliver on the technical side, but that can also operate successfully as a member of a team, and as contributor to company culture.
In an increasingly competitive, technology-driven part of history, customers no longer have a small range of choices when it comes to selecting technology services. For that reason, the service itself loses central importance, since so many competitors are offering comparable products, and the true distingishing factor becomes the relationship companies maintain with their customer bases. The ability to build and keep those relationships, and by association, keep client retention rates high, depends on techncial candidates committed to that mission. It also necessitates a certain level of communication and critical thinking ability when challenges do arise. The technical candidates that are able to display those qualities will always have an IT staffer‘s ear, and lots of options when contacting technical recruiting firms.
It’s said that the 21st century is the information age. Yet, despite a societal overload of information, technical employers often have difficulty finding technical candidates at the knowledge & performance level that they require for company operations. The gap between employer demand and job-seeker skill-sets indicates a lack of digital literacy in the high tech industry. Technical candidates currently working outside the IT industry, and looking to make a lucrative switch into the high-tech world can bolster their marketability by increasing their digital literacy levels. Technical candidates who develop a detailed plan of action for technical self-educating will give themselves a competive advantage over other candidates.
Speaking and meeting with IT recruiters can be an extremely valuable part of the game plan for a technical candidate. Technical staffers have a bird’s eye view of the technical industry, are familiar with the key players, and know what pay grade ranges specific technical skill sets bring, and what level of performance within those skill-sets technical employers require. IT staffers speak with technical employers on a nearly daily basis, and have a good grasp of what they’re looking for. Whether it’s interview tips, resume polishing, or basic skillsets, an IT staffing company can be an excellent resource for a consultant looking to build his or her digital literacy.
A high school student who takes on coursework directed at a college degree in computer science and a career in tech can look forward to job security, high income levels, and high employer demand. Enrolling in a tech program in college gives a student more marketability in the job market as a sought-after technical candidate. Technical consultants have lots of job options, little to no gaps in employment between jobs, and a skillset that gets increasingly lucrative as they build years of experience in the technical field. As technical recruiters know, the tech workforce needs more players, and anything a high school student can do to jump-start a career in tech early will pay off for them handsomely in the long run.
A greater social awareness of the value of technical skills could lead to more technically skilled young people entering the workforce after graduation. Mentors and career counselors on both the high school and college level should emphasize the importance and earnings potential of a career in tech. IT recruiters can meet with high school students and present the advantages of a technical career and host Q & A sessions that allow students to ask questions and fully consider the potential of a career in high-tech.
As a society and an economy, the need for technical specialists is global. In an age increasingly dependent on technology, the demand for technical consultants is massive and growing. How do educators cultivate interest in technology in grade and high-schoolers in order to motivate the next generation of technical talent? There are 3 levels on which the cultural & societal biases affect a young person’s exposure to the idea of the field of high-tech as an attractive career path.
The first is reputation. The prevalent social bias is that a career in high-tech is stereotyped as lacking glamor. When high school students envision a dream career, they are culturally pre-programmed to daydream about lucrative careers in the entertainment industry – becoming a pop sensation, or a competitive dancer. Careers that require a higher qualification level than pure talent supplemented with training, but which still project a socially glamourous image — being a hot shot lawyer or politician, also make young people’s radars as a dream job, but a career in tech doesn’t usually strike young imaginations the same way.
The second is a basic lack of information. It’s rare for Java experts to come to a high school and talk about their passion for tech, or even for IT recruiters to visit high schools to network with a potential new crop of tech experts. Teachers who introduce the topic in the classroom, and invite technical colleagues to give presentations in class can potentially spark interest in students still trying to make decisions about a career path. In addition, more classes in computer science can add to student’s knowledge of tech and comfort level with it. The fact that many students take their first computer science course as a college requirement is indicative of the dearth of teaching available on this topic on the pre-secondary education level.
Lastly, the family environment on the microcosmic level (in the US, at least), doesn’t emphasize the importance of advanced technical skills. While parents may stress as part of basic parental advice the significance of academic achievement, good writing & spelling skills, or communication abilities in general, conversations about how lucrative and in-demand high tech skills can be are far from commonplace. Parents who suggest that their children meet with IT recruiters in high school and college to consider the advantages of gaining technical expertise, or speak with counselors to weigh pros and cons will have fully explored options for high levels of income that their peers may never have realized were available. Now that’s competitive advantage.
IT staffers working with top-performing technical candidates know that when it comes to choosing a company, reputation matters. IT professionals at the top of their game want to work for a company that both compensates them well, and has a sterling, instantly recognicable reputation. Driven professionals who worked hard to get where they are now in their career will be conscious of prestige, and hold out for a company that they can be proud to be associated with, and tell friends and family about. In addition, top technical consultants expect a certain level of respect, and will be aware of companies with a reputation for not treating employees well. An IT staffer who tries to interest an advanced technical candidate in a company that falls into this category will be wasting both parties time. These professionals have expectations, and they won’t settle for less than what they’ve come to be familar with in a job environment.
Technical staffing agencies that cultivate good relationships with the best companies on the market, and have a good grasp of which companies have the highest employee retention and satisfaction rates will be able to make better matches with technical candidates that IT firms that aren’t as knowledgeable about these dynamics. Recognition is also important. Top technical talent works hard and efficiently, and if there is no recognition from the company they work for that this type of work ethic sets them apart from the average employee and deserves commendation, the technical consultants will go elsewhere. An IT headhunter who keeps close tabs on the companies that have both the atmosphere, compensation, and recognition levels that top IT techs require will have the best success levels placing candidates, and keeping them.
In today’s environment of technological change, keeping track of the increasingly complex innovation process can be aided by tools like models. Past conventional perspectives on the technical innovation process focused on the market pull & technology push theories. These theories about technological advancement evolved into Interactive/Coupling model. Responding to the premise of the market pull/tech push concept, which viewed technological innovation as a reactive force responding to the market as a source of inspiration, the Interactive/Coupling model suggests that the market joins forces with a technological void to fill a need for consumers.
IT recruiters can take these models and their premises into consideration when placing technical candidates in innovative, technological solutions-oriented companies. Technical staffing firms that understand the role of the market in IT job demand, in particular for technical innovators, will be able to meet technical employer demand with IT candidates that have the qualifications for the job, and know what those firms are looking for in a technical consultant. The information technology industry depends on change, and mapping the direction of that change through models of the innovation process can bring clarity to technical job-seekers and IT staffers as they conceptualize the current technological landscape.
Technical contractors & permanent employees working in technical research & development know that the information technology industry moves at warp speed, and that keeping up-to-date with technical change can pose a challenge. Research & development, especially in technology, is also often key to a firm’s level of success or failure, leading to intense competition. IT specialists who have a strong interest in keeping his or her firm at the forefront of technological innovation will need to have well-formulated strategies in place in order to surpass the competition’s work. New product creation is one way that a company can pull ahead, and the technology behind it is the responsibility of top-performing IT professionals.
Innovative technical consultants are exactly the type of candidate technical employers seek to hire, and that IT staffing firms can place almost instantly. When working with a technical staffing agency, a technical professional should highlight projects in which he or she had a lead contribution to the invention or implementation process for new technologies. Technical employers that sell or market products, systems, & services need energetic technical candidates to develop and design technical applications. Crucial to the process of innovation is the ability of the members of the team responsible for implementing the new technology to collaborate with one another. This requires teamwork skills in addition to the technical skills required to bring new ideas in technology from theory to practice. Technical recruiters are always open to talking to candidates possessing both of these skills, so candidates who are confident in their abilities in those areas should contact an IT staffing firm for opportunities.
For the technical professional, the job-hunting process involves careful planning. Making the next technical career step within the system requires understanding fully what current roles a technical professional can expect to move into within a few years of time building the skills that are the focus of his or her current role. Aside from planning out his or her individual career trajectory, the technical professional will want to be aware of the state of the IT job market, and the level of demand that exists both for his or her current technical skillset, but also for the types of technical skills that can be gained by obtaining a technical certification, additional schooling, or by seeking a new IT job position.
The interviewing experience is a key part of the career preparation process. Feeling at ease during an interview may not come naturally to a highly skilled technical professional who may not have a lot of interpersonal interaction over the course of a typical work day. A technical candidate may be adept at managing the stress that comes with tight deadlines and highly precise assignments, but not be as familiar with the anxieties that can arise during interviewing when facing a stranger for the first time, especially highly accomplished members of a company’s upper management elite. Technical candidates who work with IT staffing firms have a valuable resource in the technical recruiter that is easy to capitalize on. Asking a technical staffer for advice on resume crafting, cover-letter writing, and interviewing tips or engaging in mock interviews with him or her can be the difference between getting invited in for an interview and getting invited back for an offer. Ultimately, that’s the bottom line – for IT headhunters and technical candidates alike!
Managers working in technology need to have well-developed leadership skills to compliment their technical qualifications. Technical recruiters understand that technical employers that partner with IT staffing firms seek technical candidates that are both tech-savvy and display strong interpersonal skills. Technical managers need to be skilled in technical training, which has it’s own language. Being familar with this language and conveying it articulately to new technical hires is a key focal point of a technical managers responsibilites. IT recruiters and IT staffing agencies speak to technical candidates over the phone to guage leadership ability, and technical employers hiring candidates for a technical management position will definitely ask interview questions aimed at determing a technical candidate’s level of proficiency in that area.
Landing a top-paying technical job involves not just qualifications, but also the ability to recognize the highly subjective nature of the hiring process. A technical candidate who uses these variables to his or her advantage has the highest chance of walking away with a job offer. Complimenting an interviewer on a wardrobe choice at the start of the conversation won’t compensate for an incomplete technical skillset, but if a candidate’s qualifications are solid, and the candidate can convey strong confidence in his or her area of technical expertise, starting the interview conversation on a positive note can only help make a positive impression and break any tension in the air from the start. Keeping these subtelties of the interviewing process in mind will help skilled technical professionals move into management with ease.
Technical Professionals who have become experts in their chosen areas of technical talent may find their career trajectory leading them into a management role, and realizing, once in that role, that their job experience so far hasn’t prepared them for the pressures and challenges of IT management. Project management, a standard step in the promotion ladder in IT, is not only an advancement, it’s a major career shift with a new set of responsibilities and skills required. IT professionals who have become accustomed to a self-directed schedule now need to learn how to manage people, and integrate interactions with others into their daily schedule. Time management, while probably a skill many technical professionals are proficient in, becomes central.
IT recruiters placing seasoned technical consultants in a first project management role are in a position to prep technical talent for the IT job ahead. Technical professionals located on a wide range of the spectrum can qualify for a project management role after a certain number of years working as a successful technical contractor. IT staffing agencies will then see a technical candidate as a desirable placement for a project management role coming from a variety of technical jobs: information technology professionals, engineers, and even medical professionals. Working with IT staffing agencies to make the transition into the new job is a challenge IT headhunters can make easier for technical consultants through solid, targeted advice.