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.
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.
Since the IT job market often insists that it’s not what you know, but who you know, it seems it would be wise for IT consultants to know who has the technical job opportunities they’re seeking. The source of many of the IT jobs that technical recruiters are working on is actually an area more known for its political conflict than its technical acumen: Israel. Despite all of its internal (and external) turmoil, Israelis can all seem to agree that innovation is key. Dubbed “The Startup Nation,” Israel has birthed 12 companies alone that just Cisco has bought in the past decade or so. With such high contributions to the information technology industry, there is no doubt that most IT staffing firms are filling jobs with Israeli origins.
What makes Israel a natural origin of some of the jobs IT headhunters have on supply? The Economist posits that Israel’s innovative nature comes from its land: as desert dwellers, Israelis are highly practiced at creativity. Living with a constant water deficiency turns out to be a perfect problem-solving boot camp. IT recruiting agencies and IT contractors might also find themselves working with Israeli-born companies because English is highly prevalent there, as are all of the standard business practices of a largely democratic nation. IT recruiters MA and IT recruiters CA may hardly notice they are working with a foreign-born company when they encounter of the many Israeli start-ups the American market has acquired.
What can IT staffing agencies and IT consultants do with this information? Use it for even more preparation in IT job interviews and the process of submitting prospective candidates and their resumes. Knowing that a sizeable portion of the Information Technology market has originated in Israel, IT recruiters can further inform their research. A candidate or IT recruiter who knows more about the company they’re working for is always more successful.
It might be January, but today feels more like Christmas Eve to the information technology industry. As a bipartisan group of senators are set to present a bill that will increase the H-1B cap (and increase it again, depending on the demands of the market), IT recruiting firms, IT managers and IT contractors are waiting with baited breath. IT jobs are very often sought-out by immigrants in need of H-1B’s and IT recruiters Boston and IT recruiters CA will likely be affected with the rest of the technology market if the bill is passed.
In addition to a general strengthening of the industry, IT headhunters are likely to see a surge in foreign applicants’ resumes for technical jobs if the bill is passed. Previously, technical recruiters and IT consultants alike tended to count on the number of H-1B’s evaporating quickly. This bill may change the game for IT recruiters San Diego as IT jobs become more open to immigrants and as companies reap the more indirect benefits of the bill. Even if the bill does not pass, it marks considerable progress toward a bill like it passing one day in the future. Whatever the result, IT staffing firms are sure to remember this day for a long time.
A technical recruiter who stays on top of industry trends will have a competitive edge in the IT recruiting world. How do IT recruiters identify which IT initiatives they should prioritize in a rapidly changing industry, and stay up to date on developments? By nature, a technological breakthrough or trend can eclipse previously dominant technology, making it irrelevant. For this reason, IT recruiters need to be able to educate themselves on new technology, and be among the first technical recruiting firms to offer relevant, replacement technology or risk losing a competitive position in the IT industry. However, the ability to predict which technologies will take off, and which will fade as passing fads can be challenging. New technologies are often predictive of a future consumer need or market, and for that reason may not apply to the current IT industry. Technical recruiters who are best poised to recognize which rising technologies and IT initiatives will wind up being most relevant to the industry as a whole are those who maintain perspective through information. A technical recruiter who stays informed automatically has a competitive advantage over those who don’t, and no IT recruiter can afford to slip into a competitive disadvantage.
Information on and insight into the IT industry can come from a variety sources. Keeping current on best practices in IT recruiting, technical talent management, and IT staffing solutions may take time out of a technical recruiter’s busy day, but it will ultimately make the recruiting process go more smoothly. A good technical recruiter understands that one of the best investments of time or other resources they can make is in themselves. IT recruiters whose confidence in their skills is based on continual self-education and a sharp awareness of current trends and their potential implications for the technical industy are the ones most likely to suceed. Technical recruiters who take time for themselves professionally, and invest time in keeping their candidates informed, will find that the time they put in up front will pay out in a smoother recruiting process with higher placement rates for their technical candidates.
Entry-level technical professionals starting an IT career in a job market where those skills are in high demand want to set themselves up for long-run success. As IT staffing agencies know, technical consultants in today’s corporate environment need interpersonal skills to compliment technical expertise — being technically proficient along in the current information technology industry is not enough. Communcation skills play a key role in a technical consultant’s success in many roles, but is not a skill emphasized in engineering school. For that reason, technical recruiting agencies need to be able to accurately judge communcation skills in interviews, because technical recruiters will be sure to if they invite a candidate in for an interview.
As IT headhunters knows, success in business cannot be reduced to a simple formula. Excelling as a technical contractor involves a mix of interviewing finesse that IT staffers can help prep a technical candidate for, and the technical skill level required for the role. Technical recruiters can partially assess the skill component by a careful review of a technical candidate’s resume and credentials, but soft skills that can’t be captured fully by a resume (such as creativity), but nonetheless play a significant role in a technical employer’s hiring decision are abilities that the interview is designed to showcase. IT staffing firms can provide interview advice to technical candidates, but ultimately, making the best impression and displaying proficiency during an interview is a responsiblity only the candidate can assume. Being sure of communications, interpersonal skills, and creativity in problem-solving is a technical candidate’s best best at insuring that his or her technical skills are complimented for the full picture. Presenting the full picture is the secret to getting an offer, so technical candidates should focus on these skills throughout their careers, not just on the area of expertise that determined that their career path would be focused on the information technology industry.
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.
The increasing sophistication of cloud computing and smartphone application suggest inevitable changes to come in the job-seeking landscape. With major job board websites like Monster, Careerbuilder, Indeed and Craigslist offering phone application versions of their sites, it’s a matter of time before job hunters adapt their search techniques to the advantages provided by advancing technology.
One of the most powerful ways phone apps can impact a job search is portability.
Technical Recruiting Goes Mobile
With mobile job searching apps, the job-seeking landscape is poised to evolve. Candidates who store their resume on their phones can check out and apply to new jobs in their chosen industries while riding the T to a resume workshop, or an interview.
Gauging the Job Search Pace
The most obvious potential impact of mobile job searching is a shorter job search through a more efficient use of time. Mobile apps allow candidates better flexibility in maintaining relationships with recruiters as well. A candidate seeking an IT position could contact a recruiter by email via an online job posting and receive a reply while grabbing coffee. The candidate could stay in touch through Linkedin, and follow up with the recruiter a week later over the phone using contact information on the recruiter’s Linkedin profile. Mobile networking is about portability and adaptability – a job search that keeps pace with a candidate’s schedule. Mobile job searches could lead to higher placement rates for recruiters and quicker interview requests and offers for candidates. As candidate familiarity with mobile job-searching grows, additional benefits may materialize that recruiters can use to their advantage.
Here at AVID, where technical recruiters place IT candidates, listings on Linkedin and Monster are part of our recruiting approach. Adapting to the mobile job search is an important part of our recruiting strategy.
Last week, the IT recruiters of AVID Technical Resources provided prospective candidates with helpful information regarding Skype interviews. This week, the spotlight is on the hiring managers. If IT staffing companies are looking for innovative ways to interview and screen candidates, the Skype interview may be the right choice!
The Skype interview is perfect for saving companies money, while also expanding their candidate search. The webcam-based interview allows hiring managers to interview candidates who are from outside the area without the burden of travel and lodging accommodations. The cost of the equipment may pay for itself in just one screening.
Often hiring managers and technical recruiting companies will know within the first five minutes if IT consultants will be a fit for their IT job opportunities. Rather than flying in a candidate, taking them out to lunch, and conducting three round interviews, a team can sit in together or take turns interviewing the IT contractor. A whole day ordeal can be drastically reduced to an hour, leaving plenty of time for other projects and interviewing more candidates.
IT staffing firms may use Skype interviews rather than phone interviews to read a candidate’s body language and see how comfortable they feel around information technology. Also, the webcam provides technical recruiters the opportunity to witness how a consultant responds to questions social cicumstances. Check for indicators that the applicant is professional by his attire, behavior, as well as the setting and background he chooses to conduct his interview.
Record for Review
The video conference allows hiring managers of IT recruiting firms to review the interview and take note of subtle details. They can also use the replays to compare candidates’ answers and responses to questions. If a hiring manager was absent from the meeting, he can view the interview as well for feedback.
While the typical phone and in-person interview will not be disappearing any time soon, the Skype interview may become a more viable option for money and time-conscious IT recruiting companies.
Phone screens are quite common during interview rounds as hiring managers select final candidates for IT job opportunities. With new information technology, IT recruiting firms may even vamp up their interview procedure with an innovative type of screening known as the Skype screen. If you are a prospective candidate, read on for information and tips to make the most out of a Skype screening.
Prior to the interview, check your audio equipment and microphone. Though most laptops come with standard webcam features, you may want to invest in newer equipment so your IT staffing interview runs as smoothly as possible. Check your network connection for a clear signal and send all attachments to technical recruiters prior to the interview. Have the attachments and your resume open and ready at the start of the Skype call for quick access.
Dress the Part
Just because the interview is in your home, candidates should not become too comfortable. Opt for an entire suit rather than a dressy shirt and casual pants while maintaining a business attitude. Use a professional Skype handle versus personal accounts. Remember to smile and have natural facial expressions during the conversation with IT recruiters. Also, the camera is where you will be making eye contact, so do not become distracted by staring at yourself while speaking or watching your IT recruiting audience.
Beware of distractions
Interviewing in the privacy of your own home is a luxury, but remember to keep it a formal interview. Ask family members and roommates for privacy while keeping pets out of the picture. Use a blank wall or cleared space for your background. IT headhunters will find it hard to believe you are organized if they spy a cluttered background or mess!
One of the best reasons to conduct a Skype interview is to record and review it after. Take notes on areas of strength and room for improvement. The Skype interview may help candidates of technical recruiting firms better communication skills as you become more comfortable with the experience!