Article by Evan Gordon, Regional Director at Workbridge Associates
It is an understatement to say the information security market is on fire and as anyone in the talent management space would tell you, it is likely the fastest growing area in information technology. However, it would be wrong to assume there is an abundance of talent. “Cybersecurity job postings grew 74% from 2007 to 2013, which is more than twice the growth rate of all IT jobs. The labor pool has yet to catch up.” (NetworkWorld) This statistic doesn’t even factor into consideration all of the newly created positions opening. As you can imagine, this makes it increasingly difficult for companies to fill their current open requisitions. Here are a few, of the many, reasons for this phenomenon.
1. There have been a number of major security breaches in the last few years that have brought an increased awareness to information security and the need for companies to protect their information and that of their customers. These can be both costly and embarrassing which companies such as Sony, Target and Home Depot learned the hard way. These events are causing companies to be more proactive with the way they view information security which is manifested in the implementation of new security solutions and revamping architecture to be more secure. This results in the need to hire more security professionals. Security used to be looked at as reactive and there to catch the bad guys, now companies are doing more to ensure their information isn’t compromised from the start.
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2. Unfortunately, there are not many colleges that offer information security degrees which causes supply and demand issues. Students graduating college with CS degrees are typically studying either software development or systems and networking. Clearly there is a correlation between these subjects and security but most graduates are accepting lower level, support roles. These recent grads can and will often times eventually find their way to the information security field but that’s a good 3-5 years out and won’t solve this issue now.
3. Technological advancements drive the need for information security professionals. Take credit cards for example. Ecommerce barely existed a decade or so ago and now we have “Cyber Monday” which rivals Black Friday as the busiest shopping day of the year. The fact that so many companies accept credit cards as payment online led to the development of various security standards such as PCI. There are also other such standards in healthcare such as HIPAA which creates additional security needs and positions.
All in all, the technology field as a whole is booming and the market literally can’t keep up with the demand for IT professionals right now. With that being said, we are getting more requests for information security professionals than I have ever seen in my 13 years in the industry and I don’t see this trend changing any time soon. As long as there are hackers out there trying to break into companies and steal information, there will always be a need for technologists to be one step ahead and ready to protect company and customer data going forward.
Article by Bradley Spencer, Practice Manager in Workbridge San Francisco
In a market that’s fiercely competitive for top tech talent, it can be incredibly difficult to hire. San Francisco is at the epicenter of the tech market and although there is an abundance of talented engineers, it’s not an easy road to bring on your top choice. As competitive as it is, a smooth interview process can be the difference between bringing on your front-runner or losing them to the competition. Here are some tips to make sure that you’re in front at the finish line.
Be realistic about where you’re at as a company. There are a ton of great ideas out there, and you need to be prepared to sell candidates on what makes your product/company stand out. Selling on passion and innovation is important, but if you don’t have a strong plan and roadmap that you’re willing to lay out, it likely won’t be enough to secure high caliber candidates.
Keep the Interview Process Short and Sweet
The sweet-spot for hiring is two or three interview rounds, however extending beyond this diminishes chances of hiring your top choice because a top candidate will have a list of other interested suitors as well. Additionally, candidates who are actively interviewing with multiple companies will have a limited availability to interview. This is especially true with passive candidates who are currently employed, and are trying to find time to interview while working full time. They may like the opportunity and be interested in the role, but typically have multiple opportunities at the top of their list. The longer you wait to pull the trigger, the higher the likelihood of missing out.
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Code screens before speaking with a candidate are a big turn off. In a highly saturated environment where top-tier developers are choosing from multiple options, an extensive code test early on will knock you down the list. This is especially true with candidates who have a lot of interview activity. When a candidate is heavily interviewing, a code test is daunting, and if it comes too early on in the process it can be a big turnoff out of the gates. Tests serve a purpose, but they should be administered towards the end of a hiring process when a candidate has bought into the product and company.
Don’t Be Afraid to Invest
Don’t fixate on candidates coming out of the Googles or Facebooks of the world. If you’re looking for a ‘Rockstar’ or ‘Purple Unicorn’ you’ll be looking for a long time. What you should be looking for are candidates that will be able to add long term value and grow into those highly desired engineers. Being a good scout of talent and having the ability to develop engineers is more important down the line if you have the structure in place to do so.
The Early Bird Gets The Worm
Be ready to move on your top choice quickly after the final round. Once you moved past the final round and determine that you want to extend an offer to a candidate, it’s important to be quick. If candidates are interviewing for multiple roles, they are likely to have multiple offers, and in most cases the ‘early bird gets the worm.’ Make sure that you’re making the right choice, but waiting too long to extend an offer and lock down your candidate can introduce unnecessary competition, so make sure you have all of your ducks in a row when you get to this point. Being quick to get an offer letter out after the final round can ensure that you’re not getting into a bidding war with the competition.
Although there isn’t a perfect process to guarantee you’ll get exactly what you want, taking steps to move quickly in an efficient manner will help you build out a strong and capable team at a good market value. Looking for perfection and being stubborn can be the difference in building out a strong and capable team for your business and stalling out your ability to hire.
Article by Cory Eustice, Division Manager of Workbridge Orange County
As the world becomes more accessible through technology, it allows more people to communicate with one another, have access to resources they may not have had before, and ultimately allow for greater opportunities. In addition, through technology the location of where you need to be in order to succeed in the tech industry has exceeded borders. No longer do you need to be located in Silicon Valley to start the company of your dreams or pursue your dream of working in the tech industry. You could pick any location to start your company, and while some may give you more access than others, this blog specifically spotlights both Orange County and San Diego.
I have been a technology recruiter in Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego for more than six years and the landscape has changed dramatically in that time. When I began in 2009, Orange County had been decimated by the financial crisis, San Diego was dominated by a few Goliaths (Carefusion, Qualcomm, Sony) and Los Angeles was at the beginning of becoming what is now referenced as “Silicon Beach” – though it really has nothing to do with silicon at all but rather web apps, mobile apps, and software applications. Since then, the LA tech community has bled down to Orange County in the form of Oculus, Kareo, and SendGrid to name a few. You can make the argument that these three companies are just as successful or more successful as those in LA and San Francisco, showing success can now be accomplished anywhere. In the same time, the San Diego tech community has exploded into a landscape of more goliaths like Intuit, Tereadata, and Illumina while also being driven by highly funded start-ups that are changing things like payment processing and human life sciences.
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The volume of companies may still exist in areas like the Bay and LA, but with rising home costs and overall cost of living, why spend your money there when you can spend your money on other things, or save it? Technology has made being successful accessible to anyone in any place. When you are looking for your dream job, or where to raise your family, you can choose a metropolitan area or you can choose to live in an expansive location like what’s offered in Orange County and San Diego for the same price if not cheaper.
Technology has given us the ability to ‘set-up shop’ wherever we’d like and in Orange County and San Diego there are plenty of co-working spaces, tech-hubs, incubators and accelerators popping up to make this possibility a reality. Whether you are looking to get into the tech industry as a startup founder or to join an established company, I can guarantee that your options are endless in this region of Southern California. Contrary to what everyone, ‘in the know’, says, you can live somewhere in California that is not the bay area, and still get everything you want out of your life in tech!
Article by Felipe Estrela, Practice Manager in Workbridge Boston
“A players hire other A players. B players higher C players,” states Micah Adler, CEO of Fiksu, on an episode of Dave Gerhardt’s, Tech in Boston, podcast. These words, spoken by Tech in Motion veterans, couldn’t be truer. Anyone currently in the technology industry will tell you that it is a candidate market. There are a plethora of positions and not nearly enough qualified tech professionals to fill them. It is more important than ever to market your company and make it more attractive to top engineers.
But how do you do that? How can you make your company more attractive to the top players in the market? Here are 3 easy ways to start.
1. Get your name out there!
Whether your company is active on social media, participating in meetups, or encouraging employees to share their work, there are options for every revenue bracket. A great place to start is simply building up a social media presence. Technologists live and breathe these platforms. Thus, it is important to engage with top engineers through online communities. Another option, if not too risky for operations, is allowing and encouraging your engineers to share their work and learn from others. Sites like Github and Stackoverflow can be a great way to engage the tech community, share ideas, and keep talented engineers in the know about what your company is working on. Lastly, sponsoring or participating in a local meetup, like Tech in Motion, is an amazing option. Getting your product or service in front of a technical audience can be a huge step towards increasing your employer branding. No other avenue will help increase viewership more than face time.
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2. Implement cutting edge technology!
Great engineers became great engineers by working with the best technology when it is new. Seek out new environments where your engineers will be exposed to the most relevant and exciting technology. A few that we, as a technical recruiting firm, have seen a lot of interest in include Node.JS, angular.js, AWS, GAE, django, MVC, puppet, and chef! Since the market is so candidate centric, “A players” are looking for opportunities where they will be challenged and buffering their skill set. Not to mention, this tactic won’t just attract talent but can help to retain it as well.
3. Create a happy and healthy work culture!
Candidates get most excited about a company where they can picture themselves at. It’s important to introduce candidates to the team and hiring manager they would be working with directly early on in the interview process. Candidates who interact with their prospective manager early on always become more engaged through the interviewing and onboarding process. Additionally, the environment is equally as important as the team environment. Everyone loves perks! Whether they are aesthetic or monetary, a little bonus to the work life can really set you apart from other potential employers.
Attracting top talent requires a well-rounded strategy in today’s competitive market. Whether your company has acted on one or none of these tactics, it may be time to reassess your strategy. In doing so, you can reposition your company into the best hiring position possible. In this candidate centric market and ever-changing industry, it is important to factor employer branding into your business model. All of these strategies are certainly positive steps in achieving your ideal corporate image.