With top candidates staying on the market for 10 days or less, locating and hiring qualified talent is becoming increasingly difficult in the tech industry. Recruiters and hiring managers know the best architects, engineers, and developers are on the market for a matter of hours, not days. Gone are the times of making a hiring decision between top candidates over the course of several weeks or months, leaving employers in need of a fresh approach to traditional hiring methods. In today’s candidate-driven market, having a partner who can represent your brand, speak for your culture, and effectively source hard-to-fill positions is priceless.
Enter the value of retained search. Formerly considered only an option for hiring executives, retained search within the technology industry is providing hiring managers the opportunity to focus on their core business objectives while gaining a business partner who delivers quality candidates to the pipeline.
Interested in learning more about a retained partnership? Submit your inquiry here for a deeper look.
A New Take on Tech Hiring
Traditionally, employing a search agency on retainer is utilized to fill high profile, executive-level positions. The tech industry is breaking this mold by expanding it to include all levels of technical roles, from entry level to the C-suite. Companies realize technical engineers, developers, and designers at every level play a significant role in their organization. They’ve seen first-hand the value of swiftly implementing a first-rate candidate and what it can mean for future growth both technically and culturally. Retaining a recruiting firm ensures the same speed and quality you should expect from a contingency-based partnership but takes the level of consultancy one step farther.
Drew Sussberg, Vice President of Client Services at Motion Recruitment Partners, had this to say about retained search process in the tech industry:
"Companies are looking for a business partner who can become an extension of the organization. They want to build a relationship with us because we have a proven history of delivering quality talent regardless of experience level or technical vertical, thanks to our specialized, localized, and team-based approach."
Advantages of Retaining a Recruiting Firm
When companies have exhausted their internal recruiting resources, they often see value in outsourcing hiring for open positions. However, working with multiple recruiting firms can be draining. At best, the phone rings off the hook with recruiters pitching their qualified (or even unqualified) candidates, inboxes overflow with resumes, and the interview process becomes all-consuming until a hire is made. At worst, hiring for open positions cuts into the time spent working on projects, decreasing production-levels and triggering missed deadlines, without yielding a long-term hire. By agreeing to a retainer, companies commit to partnering with one recruiting firm who understands the culture and business needs, which cuts down on the time hiring managers spend reviewing resumes and interviewing mediocre candidates.
Most companies task their internal recruitment or procurement teams with finding talent across a wide range of positions while adhering to a strict hiring process and set of internal guidelines. With today’s candidate-driven tech market, those hiring processes will often operate too slowly to secure top tech talent, resulting in the loss of valuable production time as the search continues. Retaining a personalized hiring consultant takes the guesswork out of the process, making the talent search much more targeted and efficient.
A retained recruiting agency is especially valuable when it comes to bulk hiring, for which a search agreement by retainer usually supplies a discounted rate, as an agency partner can fill multiple positions quickly for the company. From engaging candidates with a job opportunity to hiring them, a specialized agency averages 10 days to placement. In turn, companies are less likely to miss out on top talent, which cuts down on revenue lost through the unfilled role.
Quality of Hire
In 2017, unemployment among technology professionals has dropped to 2.5%, and high-demand candidates go off the market in under two weeks. A dedicated recruitment partner has access to engage the higher quality talent whether on or off the market. Passive candidates are unlikely to be exposed to opportunities through job boards and other more traditional recruiting methods. They’re much more likely to find their new role through word-of-mouth or networking, and a specialized recruiting firm engages their expansive network to target them. Retaining a specialized recruitment partner ensures priority with a first look at that qualified talent. This is especially valuable when filling niche, but critical roles.
Curious how retained search could help your organization reach its hiring goals? Sign up here for a free consultation.
Retained search is revolutionizing the tech staffing industry by building partnerships between recruiting agencies and organizations with sights set toward both short-term and long-term goals. It eliminates much of the risk associated with filling important positions internally because getting it wrong can set a project back months (or longer) and have significant revenue consequences for the business. By retaining a search agency, you gain exclusive access to a large pool of qualified, passive candidates often at a discounted rate. It can be employed for a single placement or a batch of hires and depending on the agreement, can provide a guarantee of service and/or quality. Under a retainer, a recruiting agency becomes an extension of an organization’s hiring arm and can be a powerful and efficient tool ensuring technical hiring needs are met.
‘Tis the season of searching: searching for the right gift, the right wrapping paper, the right decorations, the right recipe. Searching for right job is likely the last thing on your mind, but that's exactly why this is when you should be looking, and here’s why:
There is less competition. What it comes down to is yes, it is tricky to look for a job during the holidays because there is so much going on. You’re not the only one who feels this way, which is why most people wait until the New Year to set their resolution of looking for a new job. LinkedIn recently shared a statistic that during the month of January, their platform sees approximately 65,000 more people on the market than in December. Interviewing before the new year will put you in a smaller candidate pool with consideration for more roles. Beyond that, you will be getting ahead of the competition while conveying to the interviewer that you are serious about your career.
Reqs might close at the end of the year. Budgets get cut and requirements get closed quarterly, but the dates become even more relevant at the end of the year. While some are looking into their new 2018 budgets, plenty are trying to make sure they don’t lose their headcount for this year. The word "urgent" takes on a whole new meaning. In fact, LinkedIn released a report that showcases just how many people are trying to fill their open roles during this time of year. December of 2016 saw an 8.4% increase in hiring compared to the year prior. Furthermore, companies who adjust their hiring practices to avoid holiday hires still saw an increase of 3.3% in their practices, making it apparent that waiting until the new year is not an option if you want to say ahead of the curve.
More opportunities to network. Let there be parties! Networking events are easy to find thanks to platforms like Meetup and Eventbrite, but there are even more chances to get out there during the holiday season. Never underestimate the network of your family and friends. All of these tools can be really helpful in getting the word on the street about your job hunt, in or outside of your existing network! So get that ugly sweater out of your bottom drawer and get ready to mingle.
Better moods all around. No matter what you are celebrating, the end of the year is a time for reflection of the previous year and excitement about the new. This generally creates a more euphoric feeling during these last few months, so make the most of it!
If you use the holidays to your advantage, this could be the best time of year to fast-track your job search, rather than adding it to your list of New Year’s Resolutions.
While evaluating your current employment situation or looking for your next opportunity, there are many factors to consider, but one thing that is often overlooked throughout the interview process is a company’s practices in regards to diversity and inclusion. With large enterprise companies such as Facebook falling short of their ambitious diverse hiring goals, it’s no surprise that smaller companies struggle as well. To combat this, many companies are choosing to build diversity objectives into their core concepts, effecting everything from the hiring process to employer branding.
Companies who instill such values from day one tend to be rated higher in overall employee satisfaction, and recent findings are actually showing that diverse hiring affects more than one would think. From the bottom-line to notoriety and resume boosters, here are 3 reasons why working for a company who values diversity is a smart career move:
1. Business success. While diversity and inclusion might not seem like issues that would impact the budget, recent trends have shown otherwise. A 2015 McKinsey & Company study found that companies with greater gender diversity and ethnic diversity are 15% and 35%, respectively, more likely to have financial returns above the national industry medians. PagerDuty, a Silicon Valley favorite, made headlines last year for hiring their first female CEO and has since received their largest funding round yet. In a similar success story, JellyVision, recent winner of a Best Tech Workplace for Diversity Timmy Award, has almost reached gender-parity within the organization and recently raised $20M in funding. Consumers and investors vote with their dollars, and working for a company that values diversity can provide you a financially stable workplace.
2. Expanding knowledge. Having a variety of decision-makers at the table leads to forward thinking business solutions, and working in an environment that exposes you to this is a great way to develop your career. Collaborating with colleagues from diverse backgrounds provides a voice to uncharted ideas, opens the door to innovative problem-solving processes, and gives a unique perspective to the discussion. Additionally, most companies who have these values provide continued learning programs and educational seminars to encourage employees to further their knowledge. While a forward-thinking work environment can be more challenging than a typical workplace, it will open the door to invaluable career experience you might not otherwise receive.
3. Industry respect. Working at a company that receives attention for diversity efforts can be just as valuable as working with the most revolutionary tech – and they often overlap. Ensuring that companies are recognized for their workplace achievements not only encourages innovation, but also extends the benefit to employees who have been a part of the development. The placement of a forward-thinking company on your resume will always catch a hiring manager’s eye, and being a thought leader in diversity is no different. For example, Lever, notorious for having a 50:50 gender ratio, received a barrage of positive press surrounding their Diversity and Inclusion Handbook in 2017. Additionally, a number of awards programs are dedicated to honoring employers’ efforts, like Workbridge Associates’ own Tech in Motion event series created the “Timmy Awards” to recognize the best work cultures across the nation.
While job seekers might have an extensive list of boxes to check off when searching for a new role, adding a box for diversity will aid you in finding the best work environment to further your career. Diversity can impact everything at a business from funding to employee satisfaction, and is a smart item to keep on your “must-have” list as you make your next professional move.
In the job search, you'll come across positions that are salaried, contract, or contract-to-hire. Many job seekers tend to overlook the contract or contract-to-hire roles, but there is more opportunity in those roles than people realize. According to Career Builder, the career opportunities for contractors are continuing to grow. Since 2016, that number has increased by 46% with 51% of employers planning to hire temporary or contract workers.The biggest benefit, and often largest decision maker, for many contract job seekers is compensation, and more permanent candidates are turning to contract work as they find they don’t have to sacrifice benefits or work-life balance while making more take-home pay. Why is this?
Contractors get paid more per hour
According to Dice’s 2016 Tech Salary Survey, the hourly base rate for tech contractors rings in at $70.26 per hour. In comparison, the same report also shows the average technology salary is at $96,370, which breaks down to $46.33 per hour for a 40-hour work week, not counting all the overtime you might be working. Published in a recent Recode article, in 2017 US freelance tech workers get paid $24,918 more a year compared to the average full-time worker (based on a 40-hour work week).
Keep in mind, this does not apply across all levels of experience or industries, but in general contract employees have a higher dollar-per-hour range compared to a salary employee. In theory, this is to cover the benefits that a company does not offer to the contractor, but if and when you work with an agency like Workbridge Associates, many of the benefits are included, such as health insurance, paid time off, and a 401(k).
Looking to jump start your career in tech? Check out all of our job postings in a city near you!
You receive compensation for the hours you work: All of them
A full-time job means you are a salaried employee and you are just that: on salary. You get paid a certain amount each year no matter how many hours you work as part of the salary agreement. Compared to a contractor, being employed for a 40-hour work week means working those exact hours because you get paid by the hour. Oftentimes, salary employees get called into work weekends, late nights, and early mornings. The biggest difference for a contractor is that you will get paid for the extra miles you put into the job.
Extra hours = Overtime pay
Due to a compliance law changed in 2016, not only do you get paid for every hour, you can get overtime pay (1.5 times your normal rate) for anything past your set work week maximum. What it comes down to is the more hours you work, the more money you can earn.
If you have any questions about contract work, contact a Workbridge Associates near you.
In the current job market, candidates are interviewing the company just as the company is interviewing them. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that by 2024, there will be an increase of over 480,000 jobs in the technology sector. In a market where your tech talent has a variety of roles and companies to choose between, differentiating your workplace culture from the crowd is of utmost importance.
With selling points such as office video games, ice cream bars, and other frivolous perks, it can seem daunting to compete for candidate’s attention. However, we’ve found that what excites candidates about prospective roles has a lot more to do with the overall culture than the fun office perks and activities. Here are the most important things candidates on the market are seeking today:
1. Challenging Tasks: Engineers and developers want to develop new skills and handle projects they know will be making an impact. If you can exhibit the type of problems they’ll be solving, they’ll have the foundation to get excited about the role.
2. Opportunity to Learn: Candidates want to approach each new role knowing what they can expect to get out of it. Throughout the interview process, managers should be sure to emphasize how they have grown within the company and how the candidate will be able to strengthen their skill set in the same way
3. Company Management: Employees are eager to work for passionate managers and quick to quit on those who aren’t. Share your history within the company, talk about what drives you to innovate and how the company has given you a platform to develop. Offering inspiring insight and talking about your style as a manager can tip the scales tremendously for candidates as they interview. Here are a few tips from Timmy Award winning managers if you’re trying to build a successful tech team.
4. Team Engagement: Be sure to prepare your existing team for the upcoming interview so they can make a good impression on potential new hires. Ensure everyone connects with the candidate and talks openly about what they enjoy in their roles. Showcasing a real-life example of the company culture in the interview process is a fantastic way to garner a candidate’s buy in.
5. Future Plans: To prevent burn out and workplace boredom, engineers seek out a role they can grow with. Whether a startup or an established organization, be sure to convey the future plans of the department and how that will impact the company as a whole.
6. Current Tech Stacks: There’s always new developments to stay current with in the tech world. Engineers want a role where they will be exposed to the hottest tech so they can stay up to date in their knowledge. Continual training in new products is a fantastic way to showcase a company’s investment to its employees and should certainly be a highlight of the interview process.
7. Impactful Input: Candidates want to know that as they come on board to an organization, they will have a chance to impact the company with their input and feedback. Be sure to convey the importance of employee ideas during the interview process so they know their voice will be heard as decisions are being made.
Keeping this list handy will make your workload lighter as you move through the interview process. Understanding what candidates are looking for will allow you to highlight the most impactful things about your company, instead of overselling the snacks and catered lunches. Showcase what is most important to your tech talent to seal the deal and make hires that will impact the company.
There seems to be a lack of candidates and hiring managers these days interested in contract-to-perm positions, but why? A contract-to-perm position, also called contract-to-hire, is when employers would like to bring on a full-time employee but don’t want to commit to a permanent hire right up front. In most cases, a contract-to-perm employee will work on a specific project for a few months in hopes that their role will be converted into full-time.
As an employee, before you turn down a potential job opportunity just because it isn't "full time," consider how working a contract-to-perm job benefits you. There are three immediate ways that you can use this role to your advantage: the resume impact, the compensation, and the job itself.
Names like IBM, Microsoft, and Apple don’t look too bad on a resume, now do they? Enterprise companies are constantly looking for contractors to work on their various projects. Not only that, but because the contract phase of the job usually lasts three to six months, you have the option to leave and pursue opportunities to work for several big-name companies – without the stigma. You can beef up your resume with some impressive work experience without the negative "job hopping" connotation. Additionally, the connections that you make during your contract role can prove valuable should you choose to come back, stay, or pursue a permanent role later on.
2. Money Maker
Another reason why recruiters and hiring managers might stress contract-to-perm is because you can actively look for another job while still making money. If for some reason, you don’t like the job, you don’t have to accept an offer at the end of the contract to be converted to a full-time employee. This role essentially can be summed up to “try before you buy.” It’s okay to keep your options open. Contract-to-perm jobs also generally have a higher hourly rate than salary positions when broken down, because you’re paid for every hour you work (including overtime!). It’s the best of both worlds.
3. On the Job
Contract-to-Permpositions have some of the fastest onboarding processes we see from any of our clients. These companies are looking to get the job done as fast as possible because they have a pressing requirement for more hands on deck. The interview process tends to be easier as well – “Can you do the job? Yes? Great!” - because there is less emphasis on culture fit since they're going to see how you mesh in person. In most cases, you also can be more flexible with your hours. If the work is getting done, and you’re committing the appropriate number of hours each week, your employer will be happy. Frequently, you’ll be exposed to additional technologies, building your skillset, while utilizing the tools you’re familiar with and the hiring manager needs. Remember, the bottom line of these positions is to complete a project.
This ‘trial’ period is mutually beneficial for the employee and the employer. That's right, there are benefits for the employer, too. Wondering why a hiring manager would want to hire on a contract instead of permanently? With contract-to-perm positions, employers win in terms of the hiring process, the job itself, and the future.
4. Hiring Process
As we mentioned, the onboarding for contract-to perm-positions is typically quick and relatively painless, especially with recruiting agencies like Workbridge. When looking for contractors, hiring managers are looking to fill an urgent need and thus don’t want to sift through a multitude of resumes. Hiring managers can focus on who will get the job done right now, instead of focusing on the right ‘culture’ fit long term. Also, when hiring for contract-to-perm roles, many managers work with recruiting agencies that provide benefits like healthcare and PTO, while also streamlining the hiring process for the company. Thus, the hiring process will take less time and money.
Want to learn more about how Workbridge can help your hiring process? Click here.
5. The Trial Period
Being that contract-to-perm positions are more like ‘trial’ periods, if you find the candidate isn’t a good fit, you are not committed to taking them on full-time. The arrangement lets you weigh their skills versus how they fit in as an employee, without having to commit right away. As recruiters, this trumps any argument about not hiring contract-to-perm. A hiring manager can see firsthand a potential employee’s skillset and capabilities for growth before bringing them on full-time.
6. The Future
There are two scenarios that can happen with a contract-to-perm employee that can affect the future, both for the better. Say the hire is great and gets the project done but for whatever reason, doesn’t take/get offered to be put on full-time. That candidate will always be someone you can add to your network. If ever there was a time in the future when you need a project done, you know that you can call that person to get it done. On the other hand, if you flip the employee into full-time, you already know what you’re getting. The employee has already proven themselves as an asset and is a great cultural fit.
If you haven’t thought about hiring contract-to-perm or accepting that sort of position, give it a shot. It can open a whole new avenue of potential opportunities. Contact a Workbridge Associates in your city to kick start the process.
The interview is widely considered to be the most important part of the job seeking process, but how do you get there? To be considered for a desirable position, you need to stand out among other qualified applicants. Are you bringing the right tools and skills to the table? Before you’re even looking for your next job, do the homework to make sure you’re a top-tier candidate by the time you apply.
Sam King, Division Manager of Workbridge Associates New York, has some valuable market insight on the best practices for positioning yourself as a desirable candidate in the competitive IT job market of today.
Looking to hire tech talent or find a job in New York City? Contact Sam's team here.
Know Where You Stand
Whether you are entry level or an expert in your field, knowing what’s expected in your industry should be the first step in any career, and especially your job search. In any given role, your scope of work and responsibilities will vary drastically depending on your experience level, tech stack, and ability to manage others. Soft skills and hard skills both play a role in determining your experience level.
- Soft skills usually involve user interaction, or business side interaction with product, marketing, sales etc. and are most necessary for IT managers.
- A junior engineer is traditionally less involved in these areas. Soft skills like excellent communication and understanding tech’s role in driving business are gained over time as opposed to hard skills, which are usually more relevant to design, architecture, development and implementation of specific technologies.
- Junior candidates spend the majority of their time focusing on building and integrating systems but aren’t ultimately driving the decisions behind the scenes.
- Decision making is reserved for the senior staff, who have the ideal perspective to make well-informed business decisions.
Get Familiar with Your Audience
Research the companies you’re interested in. Talk to people in your network and check out recent press about them. What type of company culture do they have? Is there room for growth? Is it a team environment? Which technologies are they using? What are people saying about them online? Who’s on the leadership team and what makes them successful? What types of products or services do they offer? Would you use their product or service? This research will give you the best indication if you’re a good fit, not to mention your knowledge of the organization is sure to impress the hiring manager conducting the interview!
Level the Playing Field
What do other professionals in your field have certifications in?
Are they publishing their work on popular code repositories like GitHub, HackerRank & BitBucket? Candidates who show initiative in acquiring certifications for new technologies will find themselves at the front of the line when compared with candidates who stick to the status quo. You’ll be able to better position yourself for success by modeling your efforts after the best practices of others who have come before you. A study conducted by IT Business Edge claims that “Forty percent of tech consultants said obtaining a certification helped them land a new gig.”
Tailor Your Resume
Your resume should be adjusted for each job you apply to. Emphasize the most relevant skills required for the job in your summary, skills section and in your work experience. The ideal resume length is one to two pages, so avoid cluttering it with irrelevant experience. It should be easy to navigate and reflect your ability to provide a solution for a current business need, as well as showcase any subject matter expert contributions you've made as a thought leader.
Make Your Web Presence Shine
Your online profiles (LinkedIn, About.Me, etc.) are the first things potential employers will see when evaluating you for a position. Check LinkedIn and About.Me to make sure your message is clear and accurately describes your ability to contribute to the organization. What type of language are people with similar jobs using to describe their experience? Let others know what technologies you work with, what certifications you have and the level of experience you can bring to the table. Sam King, Division Manager of Workbridge Associates New York, has this to say about what helps candidates stand out:
Interested in attending networking events in your area? Check out Tech in Motion today!
Practice Makes Perfect
Consider every interaction an interview, whether with a potential hiring manager or a connection that could be a reference for you in the future. Practicing interview Q&A’s before the job search will help you seem intelligent, personable and prepared in any interview or conversation, as well as help you conceptualize what your best qualities and career desires are. In an actual interview, the line of questioning tends to follow a common theme. Research typical questions asked in technical interviews and prep answers for each. You shouldn’t be surprised by questions like “What role do you think you’re a perfect match for?” or “What’s a personal challenge you’ve been able to overcome?” in a job interview, and you shouldn't be surprised by them outside an interview.
Using data from working to find hundreds of tech professionals their next role in 2016, Workbridge recruiting experts identified some trends in salaries, experience and skill sets for tech professionals. You can read the full report here. One of the notable findings was that salary growth stagnates for tech professionals after 15+ years of experience. Keeping these factors in mind can help you continue to increase your salary year after year if you position yourself correctly.
1) Your Tech Stack
Your skill set is obviously one of the most essential parts of continuous salary growth. For example, based on data from past placements, the highest salary increases seen in 2016 were received by Java Developers. With the introduction of Java 8, Java now has a functional programming side compared to the past object oriented type development, which gives it functionality for both large institutions and the start-up space. One of the biggest factors is also the need for Core Java in the financial space – certain industries such as financial will frequently be able to up your salary more than others; if you have a technology skill set that is in high demand in these industries, you’ll be better set up to increase your compensation. Mobile, Network Security, Front End, Ruby on Rails, Product Management, and UI/UX were also listed among the highest paid technologies coming into 2017.
2) New Trends & Technology in Your Industry
It can be hard to keep up with new trends in technology, especially for those tech professionals who have been in the workforce working with specific tools for years. When new tools or languages (or even methodologies, like Agile) are developed, they can have a very large impact on work flow, processes, and structure of the organization of projects and therefore on your value as an employee. For instance, Cloud Computing technology experience, such as Azure and Amazon Web Services, can increase salaries by as much as 26% according to this research we’ve collected. Another skill set in demand is mobile development experience, with iOS and Android lifting salaries by 14% and 13% respectively.
What are the highest paid tech skills? Find out how to make $200K as an engineer.
3) Mobility & Willingness to Change Jobs
According to a study done by ADP following the close of the first quarter of 2017, moving jobs has an average salary increase of 5.2%. Other reports estimate that the average is 8-10% in the more fast-paced industries. Experienced technologists who move into higher level roles on the corporate ladder, transitioning into management or lead roles through a promotion or job change, will of course see more growth in their compensation. A lot of employers feel comfortable hiring experienced engineers working for other companies and don’t see the need to promote within the company, so there is a reason why most employees would leave their current job for 13%.
4) Career Growth into Management
Outside of the most expensive tech hubs, many people placed with a $200K+ salary are generally at a Senior Management, C-Level or Lead position working for a startup or Fortune 500 company. As an engineer, being an effective manager who can lead others, take ownership, and make critical decisions will logically lead to salary growth. An MBA (full-time, executive, online, or part-time), a Master’s Degree in Engineering and a focus on management opportunities, as well as courses and a certificate on Leadership, are all important areas that can help qualify a candidate for a higher compensation.
Are you looking for a title change? Check out our job board for opportunities in management and beyond.
5) Positioning Yourself Competitively to the Incoming Workforce
There will always be an influx of new entries to the workforce. With every graduating class, a new set of young minds with the latest knowledge will start competing with those who have been in the business for 15+ years. When preparing for an interview, think about what sets you apart from the rest of the applicants besides your tech stack. Ask yourself this question: what is the difference between someone with a degree from 1990 and 27 years of experience compared to a person who graduated in 1996?
For the complete list of guidelines to keep your salary growing strong and steadily throughout your career, read the entire article here.