Article by Eitan Sheer, Lead Recruiter in Workbridge Silicon Valley
It is no secret that User Experience and the emphasis on interface have become one of the more vital aspects to the product development process. While UX existed in the past, it was never as abundant as it is nowadays when most industries are moving away from the idea that everyone can do UX and into an era of UX as a specialized field. As such, more companies are realizing that UX is directly correlated to an increased user base as well as profitability. This increase in the popularity of UX has led to an industry wide pursuit of user centric design and an idealization of a simplified product. And while we’ve seen and heard of many possible answers to the question of the hottest and most prominent recent design trends, I would say that the answer can be boiled down to the following four trends: iOS7, responsive design, data visualization, and dashboards.
We’ve heard of many opinions and mixed reviews about iOS7, but no one can disagree that the overall experience had a major impact on current design. While Windows 8 came out with the flat style prior to iOS7, it is no secret that iOS7 has been the raved about ecosystem for coming out with a very flat design and color scheme that a lot of people are looking to match. As such, iOS7 is pioneering a new shift to cleaner, lighter, thinner & flatter design, and it feels like everyone is jumping in line to fit in. However, we’ve also heard of flaws in the new iOS7 experience. For example, one could always create folders, but now the user is given the option to create folders within folders. This feature is great for organizations that need to consolidate and combine large amounts of relatable items, but it also offers a challenge. On the old iPad, the user could place 20 items in every folder. With the new design, users can only place 9 items in every folder. This has turned the new feature into more of a constrictive necessity than ability, as people are forced to create folders within folders in an attempt to abide by the 9-apps-per-folder design.
Another major trend is responsive design. In the past, we didn’t really have tablets and so many different types of smart phones with varying screen sizes and interactive experience. This variation coupled by the fact that people are now accessing information while on the go more than they ever have before, has made responsive design the most relevant trend. Traditionally, if you are looking to build and design on multiple platforms you also need to write code that fits those different platforms. Responsive design allows development team to use the same code base across multiple platforms, and simply shift the look and feel to best fit the intended interface (be it web, mobile, tablet, or any other device). This has led to a code base that is easier and much more scalable; and in turn, a lot more efficient with lower development costs.
I’d also like to touch on data visualization. While data visualization has already been established, we are definitely seeing a major emphasis on certain aspects of it. Infographics may be trending, but not necessarily new. That said, what has been identified as important and trending is data visualization for the financial sector and the data mining industry subsector. And if you are able to innovate in the data mining space the result is absolutely something that trends.
Lastly, we’ve also seen a recent rally around dashboards. By common definition, dashboards are a matter of displaying large amounts of information quickly and with efficiency. This functionality offers awareness and quick action to those in leadership positions or, for that matter, to any person who needs to be able to make some sort of educated fact-based decision, and make it quickly.
Article by Elliott Hardaway, Lead Recruiter in Workbridge Associates DC
According to a recent Dice.com survey, overall 2013 unemployment rates for the United States have decreased from 7.7 percent to 7.0 percent. However, tech workers are twice as likely to remain employed and the overall unemployment rate hovered at around 3.5 percent for the year.
When it comes to companies filling open positions, it has to start with attracting talented job seekers with the right job posting or description, unique benefits/perks, and an appealing office culture. As the interview process begins, it can be very difficult to keep candidates interested. If the hiring process drags out beyond two weeks, competition will set in and interest will start to fade. Once you’ve reached a decision, it’s important to make sure your ideal candidate is prepared and ready to jump on board.
The first step is putting together an enticing job description, one that will attract not only a large crowd of applicants, but also the right applicants suited for the job. No one wants to read a ten-page description, so make sure it’s informative without going overboard. It’s important to mention both specific and appealing benefits and perks that come with the job- such as vacation, bonus, 401K, metro accessible location, and healthcare. Candidates also want to hear a bit about the office culture so they can get a visual of what day-to-day life would be like for them. Including an example or two of projects they could be involved in will help to give the candidate a more detailed description of what the job and requirements entail. This is huge, as most engineers are looking due to boredom and lack of growth, so knowing what technologies and exciting projects are on the horizon could be the difference in a candidate applying or not.
Another effective way of finding the right applicants is to work smart and utilize your network. Whether that be through a local meetup, as Liz in Workbridge Boston previously mentioned, or just simply asking around, it’s critical to help complement what can be a difficult search. Networking is a sure-fire way of reaching candidates that may be very passive in their search, and with so many Meetup groups out there, you can choose the one that best correlates to the job you are trying to fill.
Once you’ve started filtering through resumes and begun the interview process, it can be difficult to keep candidates interested. You should first inform any potential job seekers of the interview process, so you can manage their expectations, especially if you plan on having more than one round of interviews. It’s extremely important to keep an open line of communication and not allow more than two days, if at all possible, between interviews. This is a good way to lose candidates, as job searches are all about timing. Following up with prospective candidates, even it’s just a simple e-mail to let he or she know you haven’t forgotten them, can go a long way in maintaining interest. Keeping your staff in the loop on your decision-making will also assist in moving the process along, as they will in turn keep you accountable for some of the responsibilities mentioned prior.
So, you’ve found the perfect applicant and want to congratulate them and offer them the job; what’s next? Before you hand over that offer, you need to make sure you understand the candidate’s priorities. This will allow you and your team to alleviate any concerns or questions they may have about working at your company, and more importantly, on your team. Once you have a good understanding of their “hot buttons”, make the best offer you can so as to avoid negotiations. Going low or “low-balling” will only sour the relationship you’re trying to build. You may end up getting them to accept the offer, but they will remember the struggle involved, leading to a less smooth transition. Providing them with a deadline of when you need an answer is helpful in understanding their interest and overall search, so generally between 24 to 48 hours is sufficient. If you’re concerned that you may not be the best opportunity available to the candidate, don’t be afraid to adjust your company’s hiring process to get the job filled. Going to get coffee one-on-one with them, or simply making an extra call to ensure they understand the offer will definitely help separate you from the competition.
To avoid positions staying open for too long, make sure to invest the proper measures to make a great hire. Don’t fall into the trap many hiring managers have made in being too stubborn in their ability to hire, and waste your allotted budget by waiting too long to fill your job. Time is money, and there’s also no need to add stress to your existing team because you won’t buckle down and an extra set of hands. Using these tips should help prevent you from missing out on the best talent. If you’re going to commit to building your team with the right people, then commit. Remember that 3.5% statistic? It’s do-or-die out there.
Article by Workbridge Boston.
The tech industry is an ever-changing world that recruiters, hiring managers, and job seekers alike need to stay on top of. With the start of a new year, we are seeing new trends in salaries, best places to work, and hiring demands. With a little bit of research and some help from my fellow recruiters, I give you the hiring trends of 2014.
Salaries in the Boston Tech Market will Rise in 2014
The West Coast is known for paying higher salaries (about $20k higher) than the East. At of the end of 2013, Boston companies were still not able to compete with these numbers. We're going to see this shift in 2014 as the Boston tech market explodes. The competition between companies for technical talent in Boston is at an all-time high. Historically, the West Coast and New York have been known for being the tech hotbeds, but Boston is heating up as well, resulting in increased demand, only without the supply. Companies are being forced to pay more, much more, to keep their talent, the main reason why almost every candidate in the Boston area has received a counter offer after accepting a new position.
Project over Prestige
There used to be a time when large corporations were the answer to job hunting. Companies like EMC and Akamai were the place to be when it came to technology, but that isn’t the case anymore. 2014 is the year of the startup. The majority of the talent pool in Boston is looking to leave their mammoth corporations for more exciting and cutting-edge projects, and the large corporations are left wondering why they no longer have the pull that they used to.
Working at a startup allows candidates to break free of the chains that large corporations restrain them with. Although startups will never be able to compete with the salaries that larger corporations can offer, they can incentivize with a reward system based off of skills rather dollar signs. Candidates are drawn to innovation and an atmosphere that focuses on recognition of accomplishments. This is something unmatched by corporate culture.
Hot Hiring Trends
For my team, 2014 is the year of DevOps and Big Data. As the amount of internet users increases, companies need to meet this high demand. Big data is the solution to this problem because it facilitates the capture, management, and processing of data. In response to this increased demand, companies need to figure out a way to scale their infrastructure. Enter, DevOps, the integration of software development and IT operations, which evolved from this growing demand. If you want to learn more about DevOps, check out this post by Tim Lockwood in our New York office.
So what does this tell us? The technical themes of 2014 are Big Data, large corporations feeling the threat of small and innovative startups, and candidates broadening their technical skills. 2014, it’s going to be a great year.
Article by Liz Polom, Marketing Specialist for Workbridge Boston
If you haven’t heard of MeetUp.com yet, well, say hello to your new networking accelerator. MeetUp serves to “revitalize local community and help people around the world self-organize.” With over 15 million members spanning over 140,000 groups, there is nearly a group for any person with any interest. If you love the outdoors, are looking to meet new people, or are a huge Star Wars fan, chances are, there’s a meetup for you. If there isn’t an existing group that’s perfectly tuned to your passions, no need to fear, the site allows you to create your own!
It isn’t just about hobbies and lifestyles though, MeetUp is becoming the place to be for working professionals, job seekers, and industry leaders. If you attend a meetup today (and you should), you’re walking into a multi-faceted event. Meetups are now about recruiting opportunities, advertising, brand outreach, learning, and most importantly, networking.
Here in Boston, meetups focusing on technology make up some of the largest groups: Boston New Technology, Boston PHP, and my personal favorite Tech in Motion! I’m a little biased because I’m a co-organizer of Tech in Motion: Boston, but love that all of these Meetups are bringing the tech community together through networking, a key tool for starting a job search or when looking to hire someone new.
I asked one of the Lead Recruiters in the Workbridge Boston office, Matt Rogers, about the relevance of networking, and he gave me this spot-on advice - “Networking is so important because a resume will only take you so far, people aren’t hiring a piece of paper, they’re hiring for your personality; and it’s a great way for candidates to meet a hiring manager before submitting their resume.”
Groups are utilizing the MeetUp format as a learning tool. Tech in Motion’s events are always focused on a specific tech topic. Whether we’re hosting a panel, speaker series, or a simple Demos and Drinks event, our attendees are always learning. Workbridge Recruiter Anneika Kerr says she loves “being able to meet new people in the tech community,” and really enjoys “learning more about the technologies, such as Xamarin and Azure, that our developers are using on a daily basis.”
As the Marketing Specialist for Workbridge, I love that we host Tech in Motion: Boston. What originally started as an event series to give back to the local tech community became a wonderful melting-pot for networking and tech talks. They are a great way for our recruiters to learn more about what’s going on in the tech world, and get out there to network with potential job seekers. We plan events that we would want to attend, that have a lot going on, and we always have recruiters on site to give career and resume advice. Attendees have the opportunity to meet with one another, check out various products up close, and of course, listen to industry pros give their insight on the latest tech trends.
Lou Adler, author of The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired suggests that “recruiters should employ a 20/20/60 recruiting strategy. The idea is to only spend 20% of their time posting jobs, 20% looking for resumes and 60% networking. This allows companies to find the best people available, not just the best people who are applying to their job postings.”
No matter your interest, meetups are great excuse to get out and start networking. LinkedIn is great, but meeting face-to-face is even better. What are you waiting for? Start RSVPing today!
Article by Andrew Kolkhorst, Lead Recruiter in Workbridge New York
Bitcoins have been the talk of the town recently, but it seems to be that no one knows what they truly are or where they come from. Do they magically appear? Can they be traded? Who invented them?
Bitcoins are “mined” by using very powerful computers that can process large amounts of data. Their sole purpose is to search for certain algorithms of code that contain bitcoins. As more and more bitcoins are mined, these algorithms become longer and more complex. These super computers are being created, upgraded, and bought at an extremely rapid rate. A Swedish Company named Knc Miner recently came out with a new model called the Neptune which so far has accounted for $28 million in sales, and it does not even have a release date yet (Business Insider).
So far bitcoins have had a rather tumultuous trading life and have surged up to an $800 high in November. While the bitcoin market is very volatile, the theory amongst many now is that this is not the time to sell, no matter how high the price. See, as more bitcoins enter the market, the more difficult it is to physically “mine” them. There is not an unlimited supply. This is a commodity that will run out like many others.
A trend that has become popular in many tech companies is distributing equity instead of cash. This allows companies to keep a low operating budget while retaining strong employees. While equity is something that can disappear if a company fails, bitcoins seem to be around for the long haul. Which brings up the question, is being paid by bitcoin more valuable than equity? It is going to be a gamble either way until bitcoins are accepted as a method of payment globally, and until then, you should hold them as an investment. If you are financially stable and can afford to make long term investments, then bitcoins are a smart move, however, if you need cash to pay rent, I suggest passing.
When negotiating your pay in bitcoins, you need to treat as them as any other commodity. Let’s use gold as an example. The price on gold fluctuates many times on any given day, the same as the price of a bitcoin would. Therefore, you need to think of this bitcoin investment as long term, and you should diversify yourself in other markets. If you are being paid solely in bitcoins (or gold) you do not want to have all your eggs in one basket.
The world we live in today is becoming more technology-driven and paper money is becoming more of a hassle now that we have services such as PayPal and Venmo. The days of living in a purely digital world are fast-approaching, and there is a very good chance that bitcoin is here for the long haul.
Article written by Charles Chae, Practice Manager in Workbridge Silicon Valley
What you see is what you get, right? Not necessarily when it comes to Mobile Applications.
There has been an ongoing, fierce debate caused by the disruptive mobile / wireless explosion within the technology sector. With legitimate pros and cons on both sides, passionate evangelists defending their stance, and a vast existing amount of both Native and Hybrid applications available to consumers on all open app markets, it is becoming more and more difficult to know which app is the best to download for your device.
If you think about when Facebook and many others first approached the consumer mobile market and released Hybrid HTML5, Phonegap, or Titanium mobile applications that looked great and fit the need and wants of the consumer, there were really no mandatory needs or glaring negative issues. They worked just fine. However, entire organizations and A LOT of the market decided to change things to Native and even re-architected, designed, and developed their already existing apps. Most were receiving ridiculous adoption rates on both iOS and Android platforms anyway, and it just made sense to make the switch. The downside, of course, being that designing Native apps costs money, resources, and most importantly, time.
Hybrid applications are 100% proven to be much easier and quicker to prototype and deploy, right? Yes, but at what cost? Consumers desire a quality experience, which in my mind can be broken down between the UI and Performance. That is where the Achilles Heel resides in Hybrid applications. Proven weakness on the specific interactive UI aspect is a huge downside both to developers and consumers. As an avid mobile applications consumer myself, I’d much rather wait an extra day or a week for a superior performing and looking application than accept a poor design with a few bugs.
Lastly, Hybrid apps just weren't built for your device. You wouldn't buy an Apple device to plug it into an Android accessory, right? Then why download an application to your device that wasn’t designed or developed for your particular device? In short, Native apps provide the superior user experience. They may take resources to build and cost some time and money, but the end result is worth it.
Right in the middle of the holiday season, five volunteers from Workbridge NY went to Rauschenbusch Metro Ministries on Tuesday, December 3rd to help give back to the local NYC community. Everyone had a great time helping out at the Winter Clothing Closet!
Every Tuesday from November to March, the Rauschenbusch Center holds their Winter Clothing Closet where they provide men and women with free winter clothing, coats, sweaters, and more. On Tuesday mornings, people line up to make the list of around thirty people who get access to the clothing closet, and then return to shop later in the afternoon.
When our recruiters arrived at the Rauschenbusch Center, they were given a tour of the Winter Clothing Closet setup and shown how the clothing closet works.
Everyone got to work hanging up coats and other winter clothing and sorting the winter accessories before the men and women arrived.
Once the shoppers arrived, each volunteer helped one person at a time find a coat, clothing, and winter accessories. In the end, everyone went home with a bag full of clothes to help them stay warm this winter season, and our recruiters were happy to be able to help and get to know more people in the community.
Although we were only able to make a small impact in one afternoon, we hope to have helped make a big difference in the lives we did reach!
If you're interested in learning more about Rauschenbusch Metro or helping their Clothing Closet, visit their website or email email@example.com.
Article by Chris Walery, Recruiter in Workbridge Orange County
Like in the rise of the dotcom tech bubble in 1997, recently, there has been exponential growth of one word: culture. Looking back into the 80s and 90s, culture took a back seat to profit and growth. This was also a time where there was no such thing as a small technology startup. The industry was commanded by behemoths like IBM, Intel, Xerox, and Atari.
The big corporations were run and controlled exclusively by their stockholders and board members, and to them, culture wasn't as important as product timelines and high salaries. There really was no “fun culture” fueling profits and employees. That shifted once the dotcom boom began, as all of those highly intelligent engineers began taking their ideas and splintering off from their large corporations to create the small, dynamic, innovation-focused companies of that era. Think eBay, Google, PayPal, yahoo.
The industry's shift into smaller, innovative, and FUN culture created the need for a new motto, and "Work Hard, Play Hard" thinking began. Fueled by startup companies competing for extremely high-demand engineers, these companies couldn’t compete with the high salaries of their behemoth rivals, so they sold people on whatever they could. 100% remote work, company equity, open working spaces, video games consoles in the office, and bring your kids to work days became popular perks.
Now that the demand for engineers is picking up to dotcom era levels, the significance of culture is being highlighted again. Today, just as in 2000, companies need to devote significant thought, energy, and resources into keeping their employees happy and comfortable, as much as they do on developing new products and technology. In the highly competitive marketplace for talent, potential employees are factoring more than just salary into their decisions. The company perks, benefits, and culture take priority for most over pure salary increases.
For most, this means being part of a company culture where happiness is paramount to money. Being treated as a member of a family (no matter how big the company) where bosses take critical feedback from employees and from it, build ideal work environments. Perks such as extra PTO, relaxed, casual environments, and videogame rooms have proven to have their benefits. Just ask Google, whose open, innovative, and casual environment has fostered ideas like Gmail, Google Maps, Google+, and so many more. Companies need to focus on creating a place where people will be comfortable, happy, and inspired so that time in the office feels less like work, and more like an exciting/innovative research project. The happier the employees, the less likely they are to shop themselves around.