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  • Holiday Hiring

    Article by Carole Sagliano, Practice Manager in Workbridge Boston.

    ‘Tis the season of searching; searching for the right gift, the right wrapping paper, the right decorations, the right recipe, I’m sure the last thing on your mind is searching for right job. But this is exactly when you should be looking and here’s why:

    There is less competition. What it comes down to is that yes, it is tricky to look for a job in the holidays because there is so much going on. But you’re not the only one that feels that way, which is why most people decide to wait until the New Year to set their resolution to look for a new job. Starting now will give you the opportunity to interview and be considered for a lot more roles, since the candidate pool is smaller.  

    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. So while some are looking into the new budgets of 2015, plenty are trying to make sure they don’t lose their headcount for this year. The word "urgent" takes on a whole new meaning.

    Discover Your Next Career Move Today

    More opportunities to network. Let there be parties! Networking events are easy to find now thanks to meetup.com but there are even more chances to get out there during the holiday season. This can be really helpful to get the word on the street about your job hunt within your network! So get your ugly sweater out of the bottom of your 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 take advantage of it! 

    You’ll be noticed. Since there aren’t many people that are looking for a new job during this time you have even more of an opportunity to put yourself ahead of your competition. Without making it seem like you are a work-a-holic, it conveys to the interviewer that you are serious about your career and that you’ll do what it takes. 

    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. 

     

  • The Power of a Thank You Note

    Article by Anneika Kerr, Lead Recruiter in Workbridge Boston

    In your job search, chances are you will be introduced to a variety of companies and, most importantly, to many people. Therefore following up those interactions to show your appreciation can positively impact both your job search and your future. In fact, studies have found that a “thank you” note can help you land a new job.

    ·         90% of hiring managers said that being thanked for a job interview had a helpful impact on the candidate’s chances

    ·         Over 80% of hiring managers stated that email and phone calls are appropriate ways to thank an employer

    These notes shouldn’t be long and laborious; instead, it is always best to be concise but memorable. Your note should cover 3 parts: appreciation for their time, why you would be a good fit for the role and in the company, and mention of the future. See below an example:

    Hi Rick –

    It was wonderful meeting you on Monday for an initial interview. I appreciate you taking the time to explain to me how Spear Mint, Inc. works and what you’re looking for in a developer for your team.

    We’d spoken about the need for a full stack developer who understands how to design a simple solution for a complex problem. While at Bubble Yum, Inc. I’d worked on two projects from soup to nuts and feel confidently that my skill set would be an asset on your team.

    I look forward to continuing our conversation with your team in the future.

    Best,

    Solomon

    No hiring manager is looking for a 2 page letter. Just a few quick thoughts on why you are a great fit is all that’s needed. These notes assist in the building of a relationship between you and the interviewer, as well as their company. Here in our SF office, we have seen the benefits countless times.  

    Recently we worked with a candidate, Mike, who was newly on the job market. He mentioned a response he had received, a year prior, to a thank you note he had written. During the initial interview process, he’d found another job and let the manager know while also thanking him for his time. The response Bob received was to get back in touch if he was ever looking again, so he had us reach out. After two interviews and two more thank you notes – my office congratulated him on his new job with that same manager.

    That is the power of a thank you note. 

  • The Benefits of Working and Hiring Contract-to-Perm

    Article by Andrew Sleptiza, Practice Manager in Workbridge Boston.

    There seems to be a lack of candidates and hiring managers these days looking to go contract-to-perm, and as recruiters we sit here and wonder WHY? A contract to perm position is where 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 hope that their role will be converted into full-time. 

    For an employee, working a contract-to-perm job benefits you in three ways: resume, money, and the job itself.

    Resume

    Enterprise companies are constantly looking for contractors to work on their various projects. Names like IBM, Microsoft, and Apple don’t look too bad on a resume, now do they? Not only that, but because the contract phase of the job only lasts three to four months, if you aren’t onboarded, having the option to leave can open up the opportunity to work for larger companies.

    Money

    Another reason why we stress contract-to-perm is because what could be better than making money while actively looking for another job? If for some reason you don’t like the job, you don’t have to accept the offer to be converted to full-time at the end of the contract. It’s okay to keep your options open. Contract-to-perm jobs also have a higher hourly rate than salary positions when broken down. It’s the best of both worlds!

    The Job

    Contract-to-perm positions have some of the fastest onboarding processes we see. These companies are looking to get the job done as fast as possible. The interview process tends to be easier as well – “Can you do the job? Yes? Great!”  In most cases, you also have the ability to be flexible with your hours. As long as the work is getting done, and you’re committing the appropriate amount of hours each week, your employer will be happy. 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. With contract-to-perm positions, employers win in terms of hiring process, the job itself, and the future.

    Hiring Process

    Like we said before, the onboarding for contract-to perm-positions is typically pretty quick and painless. When looking for contractors, you’re looking to fill an urgent need and thus don’t have to sift through as many resumes and worry about the right ‘culture’ fit.

    The Job

    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 vs. how they are as an employee without having to commit right away. As recruiters, that fact alone trumps any argument about not hiring contract-to-perm. It’s like test driving a car before you buy it. Sure, it may look nice, but how well does it actually perform?

    The Future

    There are two scenarios that can happen with a contract-to-perm employee that can affect your 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, we definitely suggest giving it a shot because it can open up a whole new avenue of potential opportunities.

  • Volunteering at the West End House

    On a rainy day in Boston, our Workbridge Boston office traveled to Allston, MA to bring some sunshine to the kids at the West End House Boys and Girls Club. Founded in 1906 to aid immigrant and urban youth, the West End House provides leadership and life skills, academic support, college preparation, sports, fitness, nutrition, and visual and performing arts programs for just $15 a year. Today, the club has over 1,500 members, many of which are decedents of the original members who came to our country from the Dominican Republic, China, Vietnam, Haiti, and Cape Verde.

    When the crew first arrived, they met with Aviva Berezin, the club's Community Engagement Coordinator, and a curious young girl named Ava. Ava is the self-appointed volunteer greeter at the Boys and Girls Club. She always introduces herself and loves to be with the groups. After learning some history about the club, Aviva went over the Activity Bored with the recruiters.

    For the first hour of each afterschool day, everyone must be in their designated homework “Power Hour”. The WEH takes education seriously, in order to be a member you must be attending school. Workbridge was told that some of the classmates even tattle on each other if a day of school is missed. After homework, the kids can choose from a variety of activities: gym, art, swimming, or music.

    The building is equipped with a huge swimming pool, a music room filled with equipment, an art studio complete with a black light room, a fitness center, full size gymnasium, and a dance room. The team was mildly jealous of the facility. After meeting with some of the teachers, two of whom they discovered are original members of the club, the recruiters split up into smaller volunteer groups. They helped during gym time, with homework for grades 1-3 and grades 4-5, art, and food prep.

    Our recruiters were a little nervous about homework help. After all, none of them had done long division in a very long time. Nonetheless, they braved the challenge and helped the kids as best they could.

    Believe it or not, the West End House serves over 1,200 meals a week to their members and they do it all with only ONE chef, Lisa Smith. It's safe to say she needed some help. Recruiters Liam Pushee and Julia Croyle, along with Marketing Specialist Liz Polom helped prep roasted garlic and applesauce that would accompany the pork chops being served the following day.

    During gym time, the recruiters got a bit of a workout themselves. After playing basketball, they participated in sprints and wall-sits. 

    Usually, when school programs are cut, art is the first to go. This is a shame because the art room was full of creative minds. These kids were full of talent. Occasionally, the art will go on display and even sometimes sold. One girl was working on a landscape piece that was going to be auctioned off.

    Needless to say, the team at Workbridge Boston had amazing time volunteering at the West End House. To find out ways to get involved, visit their website at www.westendhouse.org.

     

  • Three Letters to Get Your Resume on Top of the Slushpile: C-M-S

    Article by Felipe Estrela, Practice Manager in Workbridge Boston.

    Felipe Estrela, Practice Manager at Workbridge Boston

    CMS, Content Management Systems, is defined by techterms.com as “a software tool that allows you to create, edit, and publish content” but to experts, it’s more than just a product.

    “Painful upgrades are just one example of how selecting a Web CMS is more than just buying an off-the-shelf product.  When you commit to a content management system, you’re investing in the system’s leadership, vision, and reliability.  It’s not just about how the system looks now – it’s whether you can trust it to perform year after year, and upgrade after upgrade.” – Marianne Kay, Research Analyst, What a Failed Umbraco Release Can Teach Us About Upgrades.

    Business owners are using CMSs more and more because not only do they make websites look better, they are cost-effective and as we all know, everyone is in the business of making money. Some of the most popular CMSs being used today are WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and Blogger. 

    Top CMS Softwares

    Scott Brinker, Co-Founder and CTO of ion interactive created a Marketing Technology Landscape for 2014, and as one can see below, it is very extensive. With this ever expanding marketing landscape, company owners need to adapt and have the technology in place to deal with it. Now, we’re not talking about mom and pop shops who need some help, we’re talking huge companies with a lot of data, and a lot of content that is constantly being shifted around.

    Marketing Technology Landscape

    These companies are adapting in two ways: investing in a great CMS, or hiring ad agencies to customize an enterprise level CMS such as Sitecore, Ektron, Drupal, or Umbraco. No matter the way, the bottom line is always the more time saved, the bigger ROI. 

    So what does all of this mean for the CMS job market today? With the current technical market, companies are slowly realizing they need to be accessible through the media we use the most, the internet. They need a website with a great CMS to help manage it. There’s only one problem…

    Techies who can manipulate the code inside these CMSs are in high demand. That combined with the fact that we’re dealing with a niche technology, they are few and far between. While any .NET or opensourse developer can learn CMS, knowing its ins and outs makes for a much more marketable and desirable candidate. The less time a company has to spend teaching you a skill, the better off you are, because at the end of the day, companies are looking for candidates who know how to manipulate the CMS to make a website as efficient as possible.

    As the Practice Manager of my own .NET recruiting team, I see candidates all too often with less experience, but strong CMS skills get hired over those who are experienced but lacking in CMS.

    If you are interested in learning new technologies or want to add a new skill to your resume, I beseech you to follow through and learn. Send your resume to the top of the pile and learn a CMS in your technical language (opensource, .NET, drupal, sitecore) where you can even achieve an MVP level within the CMS space. 

    Go out, learn, and set yourself apart from the rest with CMS. 

  • Tech Hiring Trends for 2014

    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.

    On the Microsoft side of the market, C# programmers still run the show but the need to have experience with web development using ASP.NET MVC, JavaScript libraries, and Entity Framework. Also, SQL has become increasingly more important. This year has shed some light on the use of single-page applications with JavaScript libraries and the importance of hiring a candidate that can interpret and rewrite scripts with a complete understanding of the project, rather than simply manipulating scripts to make the processes work. 

    In the open source world, the UI experience has become increasingly important. The new year is giving way to new and emerging JavaScript frameworks, stressing the importance of the development of mobile applications. There is a high demand for Open Source and UI talent, but right now there just aren't enough of them to meet the demand in the Boston market. 

    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.

  • Not Just a MeetUp

    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!

  • Lending a Helping Hand at the Home for Little Wanderers

    On what could only be described as a perfect fall day, our team in Workbridge Boston set out to lend a hand at one of city’s oldest non-profits, known today as The Home for Little Wanderers.

    Group Shot!

    The Home (for short) is actually a merging of four different Boston organizations; Boston Children’s Services (1799), New England Home for Little Wanderers (1865), Parent’s and Children's Services (1849), and Charles River Health Management. For over two hundred years the Home’s singular focus remains on helping children achieve independence and success from seemingly insurmountable difficulties. 

    Each year, the Home serves over 7,000 children ages birth to 22 by providing them with a network of services including behavioral health, therapeutic residential help, special education, adoption, foster care, youth transition, and family services. The Home continues to make an impact in the Greater Boston Area and will continue to better the lives of our youth, as stated in their mission statement, 

    “Our mission is to ensure the healthy behavioral, emotional, and educational development and physical well-being of children and families living in at-risk circumstances.”

    The original Home for Little Wanderers was built in 1914 and was used as a way station where children orphaned and left homeless by the Civil War could prepare for a new life. It also sheltered over 250 young refugees during World War II. Since its beginning, the Home has moved its location from Boston to a much larger and more innovative space in Walpole, MA. The organization still owns the 100 year old building located in Jamaica Plain. They’ve been looking to sell the property but it was in need of some serious TLC, and Workbridge was there to help!

    The team set out down the Green Line and arrived at the HFLW’s Knight Children’s Center around 2:15. Administrative Specialist Veronica Rosario greeted them with open arms. After learning some history about the organization, they set to work with rakes, brooms, and even a leaf blower (which happened to be a favorite amongst some of the recruiters). Before they started working, the grounds and parking lot were covered in leaves and trash. Through teamwork and coordination, they filled more bags than could fit in a truck bed and had the grounds looking inviting rather than completely abandoned.

    To learn more about The Home for Little Wanderers and ways you can help, please visit their website www.thehome.org and be sure to follow them on Twitter @thehomeorg

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