By: Andy Dalton, Recruiter at Workbridge San Francisco
Anyone who has ever struggled with watching their grandmother try out her new iPhone or spent an hour helping one of their friends set up a new social media account knows that usability is everything. An easy-to-use, negotiable interface can be the difference between a product that is wildly successful and one that never makes it off the ground. People don’t want to have to fumble through their applications. They want an experience that is both intuitive and fluid.
It seems that some startup founders have forgotten the importance of usability, and, in doing so, will lose touch with their user base. Sure, they need the “rock star” engineers who will create the bare bones of the product and make it functional, but that’s just the beginning. Who will make it usable? How can they mold it in a way that will be attractive to tech-savy teenagers, your grandmother, and everyone in between?
I connected with Kai Brunner, a talented UX Designer we recently represented, and he gave me a lot of insight into the importance of usability and his own views on design. He believes, “the best UX design takes root in architecture, to where form following function can become inspired design credo.” He went on to say, “too often startup founders bring the practice of UX design late into the development process and use it as a blunt tool to fix usability issues that were long introduced by non-designers.” Like Kai, I too see the problem in waiting until after your product has launched to focus on user experience design. Usability should be emphasized from an application’s conception, and should be a top priority of management.
Even the most useful application will not succeed if it is not designed in a way that makes sense to its users. People use technology because of its efficiency and its ability to save them time. For companies this provides an interesting challenge. How do you make a complex application simple to use? In order to do this, you will need to hire a design team that places on emphasis on usability and understands the importance of simplicity. Kai weighed in on this issue stating, “simplifying a process that is inherently complex means to clarify and organize multiple steps into the perception of them being easy and simple to complete.” Here, he touches on the essence of strong UX design and what it takes to truly engage with your users.
Usability boils down to simplicity. How can an application be stripped down to its essence and designed in a way that is most logical and intuitive for its users? This requires careful analysis of what it is about the product that needs to be showcased and an evaluation of how to guide users through the process so they can get the most out of the application. If you wait until it’s too late to hire a strong UX team, you’ll be stuck with a product that works, but is inaccessible. One good designer can mean the difference between a good idea and a great idea.
By Crystal Rothberg, Practice Manager of Workbridge San Francisco
I recently visited a social media client and in our discussion, the hiring manager said he did not want to interview ‘Digital Ghosts’. I asked him what he specifically meant by this term ‘Digital Ghost’ and he stated that if a candidate had less than 100 connections on LinkedIn or wasn’t active on Github or didn’t have Facebook/Twitter, why would they be a good fit to work for a social media start-up? His thought was if candidates are passionate about social media and technology, they would be active users of these sites in their day-to-day lives.
Now, do I agree that you should disqualify a candidate because of this? No. I think there are plenty of people who shy away from social media because of privacy issues and other personal reasons. However, I do believe having a strong online presence can only help you with your job search – specifically having robust LinkedIn and GitHub profiles when looking for a Software Engineer or Operations (DevOps) job.
In regards to LinkedIn, upload a professional (with personality!) picture, create a strong headline, be detailed in the summary and add information from your resume into description of each job you listed. A good gauge of this is your Profile Strength that LinkedIn provides for you – the more content you add to your profile, the higher the strength. Don’t forget to use keywords that are searchable for a hiring manager or recruiter.
Also, with each job, ask for recommendations from your coworkers and supervisor. While it may seem forward to ask for recommendations, I find that most people do not proactively do this for you, so just ask. The best case scenario is that a potential hiring manager knows the person who recommended you, which adds value to your personal stock. I hear many times of hiring managers pinging a mutual connection of a candidate before an interview to get ‘the scoop’.
Finally, connect with people! Connect with your coworkers, friends, people you interviewed with, or someone you met a meet-up. Add yourself to relevant groups as well. All this increases your profile’s visibility.
When looking for Software Engineers and DevOps Engineers, most hiring managers are now using Github and therefore, it’s important to grow your presence on this open source code repository and revision control site. With the ability to see your work, we are shifting away from just using a resume to land an interview. I’ve also found that hiring managers gauge the candidate’s passion for technology on whether or not they use Github actively. To state an obvious point, hiring managers want to hire people who love what they do – and contributions to the open source community is a great way to show this.
Github can also help when your resume isn’t as ‘textbook’. For example, we were recently representing a candidate whose only experience were short term Ruby on Rails contracts. The hiring manager was reluctant to interview based solely on the resume. However, after reviewing the candidate’s Github account, he brought the candidate in for an interview and eventually ended up hiring him.
The moral of the story is that in the modern era of the Internet and social media, the job search isn’t just a cut and dry resume and cover letter anymore. It’s important to be aware of what hiring managers value highly in their talent acquisition strategy and working with a recruiter can help with that, but no matter what, always make sure you do your research.
We love these success stories at Workbridge and I feel like are many more out there.
Have an interesting job search success story? Share it in the comment section below!
Here at Workbridge San Francisco, we value our clients and appreciate when they review us online!
Not only does it give us an idea of how we are performing, both positive and/or sharing areas of improvement, but it also illustrates how much we have impacted their life! Thanks for sharing, Britian!
Britian was on the market for two weeks before Scott contacted him. We had him sent out on three interviews within the first week and one of those happened to be a mutual pick!
Now Britian will be a Quality Assurance Engineer for a profitable start-up. The company sees their employees as their most valuable asset and Britian will enjoy catered lunches daily, company outings, sailing lessons, and much more! Congratulations Britian! It was so nice working with your smiling self!
Scott's team specializes in placing DBA/QA/Database Warehouse Engineers.
To see what others are saying about us, check out our main sites on Linkedin, Google, and Yelp.
To get in touch with Scott:
Phone: (415) 982-0500
Have you had the pleasure of working with Kate Lasater at our Workbridge San Francisco office? If not, you should!
Born and raised in Santa Monica, Kate graduated from Santa Clara University. Not long after, Kate began working here in August of 2012. She specializes in placing Dev-Ops Engineers and Linux Systems Administrators for the LAMP team.
Kate is always on top of her workload and striving to find her candidates the most suitable match for their career options. She has placed several happy job-seekers since she started recruiting for Workbridge. In fact, she matched a Python Developer named Brad with a great company just a couple of days ago!
Brad was only searching for a new job for a couple of weeks. But after coming into Workbridge we got him three interviews right away!
Brad will now be working at an East Coast based company who is starting their development team in the Bay Area! We'd like to congratulate Brad and wish him good luck on his new beginning!
When Kate is not working away, she likes to spend her time with friends and family. She is a great person to talk with so come on by the office and talk some tech with her! Who knows, maybe she can even assist you with your next job search!
Visit: 33 New Montgomery, Suite 1840. San Francisco, Ca 94105
Call: (415) 982-0500
Yesterday we found out some exciting news and it's our favorite kind to hear! One of our Lead Recruiters, Matt McKinney, found someone their dream job!
Our new candidate, Mike, unexpectedly began searching for a job right before Christmas. The Holidays alone can be stressful; throw in a job search and one could easily feel overwhelmed. After being referred to Workbridge by a colleague who had been placed by us, Mike came in to meet the team.
Within 48 hours, Mike had FOUR interviews lined up!
He accepted an offer with his first choice within a week. Not only did Mike receive a competitive offer, but he could not be more ecstatic about the company Matt placed him with. Mike was formerly a teacher and he will now be working as the Lead Software Developer for an educational software company that uses technology to better connect teachers with their students. Sharing this passion to spread knowledge to our future generations illustrates how Mike is going to be a great addition!
Within only a week of entering the job market again, Mike gratefully thanked Matt for his pairing efforts! Workbridge San Francisco is so happy for you, Mike! Good luck at the new job!
To get in touch with Matt, you can:
Give us a call at (415)982-0500.
Or stop by our new and improved office:
33 New Montgomery St., Suite 1840. San Francisco, Ca 94105.
Feel free to send him an e-mail as well:
Workbridge San Francisco has seen a bunch of exciting additions in the New Year!
We've officially moved into our new office on New Montgomery street. The office looks great and the view is amazing! We had to move because we're growing. It's a good problem to have!
Recalling back to a previous blog about Scott's promotion, he has started his own team!
Now our teams specialize in the following:
1) Java, Ruby on Rails, and .NET
2) LAMP, Linux Systems Administrators, and Dev-Ops Engineers
3) UI/UX Designers and Engineers as well as Mobile Developers
4) Quality Assurance, DBA, and Datawarehouse Engineers
The beginning of a New Year is the perfect time to find your dream job! Contact us today and we can help you start the year off right: (415) 982-0500
Come by and check out the view from our new office! It is breathtaking!
33 New Montgomery St., Suite 1840
San Francisco, Ca 94105
In addition to a busy and holiday filled December, Workbridge San Francisco also celebrated two birthdays!
We celebrated Kyle's by singing "Happy Birthday" right before leaving the office on December 4th. He received some thoughtful gifts from his Mobile and UI/UX Designer team.
Right before the holiday break on December 21st, we had a quick "Birthday Bagel Breakfast" for Crystal. She was surprised with a card signed by the entire Workbridge staff, along with a picture of her and her Microsoft Web Development team.
Workbridge thanks both Kyle and Crystal for all the hard work they put in... even on their brithdays!
Want to wish them a belated birthday or just talk tech, come by the office or give us a call!
33 New Montgomery St., Suite 1840
San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone: (415) 982-0500
Workbridge San Francisco recently received the exciting news that Scott Brosnan, one of our talented Lead Recruiters, has been promoted to Practice Manager and now runs his own team!
Scott is a dedicated and professional worker! He is always the first in the office and one of the last to leave. One of Scott's strongest traits is his ability to be personable and connect with both job seekers and clients. Scott has had a terrific year and has proven he's ready to run his own team!
Congrats Scott! We're all very proud of you!
Scott is currently hiring for entry level sales positions. If you're interested please feel free to get in touch!
Phone: (415) 982-0500
Stop By: 33 New Montgomery St, Suite 1840. San Francisco, Ca 94105