Workbridge Associates: Where People Meet Performance

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Category: Motivation (18)

  • 3 Reasons Tech Contractors Get Paid More

    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.

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  • 6 Qualities IT Hiring Managers Will Always Want

    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.

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  • 5 Salary Growth Factors for Engineers and Developers

    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

     

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  • 4 Things You Didn’t Know About Contracting

    The contracting industry is growing exponentially. More and more Fortune 500 companies are turning to contracting as a business solution. Why? The cost associated with providing benefits and on-boarding for a full-time employee is high for a company on a tight budget. Contracting offers a solution for many employers looking for less overhead cost when it comes to hiring someone new for their team, quickly.  So what does this mean for you? It means you have more opportunities to grow your skills and further your career – faster – as a contractor.

    After meeting with thousands of technology professionals and seeing consistent questions, we’ve gathered the most common misconceptions on contracting. These pre-conceived notions have been preventing many job seekers from considering contract opportunities, so don’t fall into the same trap. Become knowledgeable on the contracting model and how it can help you in your career.

    Misconception: Contract work is unstable and always short-term.

    Reality: You can have a stable career as a contractor. Typically, the duration of a contract role can range from three months, six months to one year. Contract positions can be long-term depending on the company, assignment or project. Contracts can also get extended. We’ve seen roles get extended for up to four or five years and in some cases, for even longer.   

    The hiring process for a contractor can be much faster than hiring a full-time employee. Many contractors have been offered a position after their first round interview. Imagine, going on-site for the company of your dreams and getting offered the position on the same day. “One and done, it’s as simple as that.”

    Are you actively looking for a new role? Being open to contract opportunities can speed up your job search. You may be surprised by the turn rate. From the moment you apply to a position, you can meet the company, receive the job offer, begin the on-boarding process as a new employee, and start your first day at your next role in less than two weeks

    From an employer’s perspective, there are far less hoops to jump through in terms of getting a new candidate on-boarded and having that candidate start immediately, if it's on a contract basis.

    On a contract now? The rule of thumb is to start your job search at least six weeks before your contract expires. Check out our contract positions and apply today!

    Misconception: If the company goes under, I’ll be the first to go as a contractor.

    Reality: When a company shuts down their operations, lay-offs usually happen first with full-time employees on payroll. For example, if a company is trying to go public like the recent Snap Inc. IPO, the organization will cut costs where they can to make their finances look strong. Full-time employees have overhead costs associated with the company that don't directly make the company profitable. Thus, full-time employees are typically the first ones to be let go. On the other side, contractors are not on payroll and are needed to finish out urgent projects. The point being, contractors cost less for the company. An agency like Workbridge Associates covers all costs associated with on-boarding and benefits for the contractor. This allows the full life cycle from first touch point interview to first date of employment to occur rather quickly.

    Misconception: Most companies don’t hire contractors.

    Reality: Many companies do hire contractors – from the Fortune 500 companies in the hot entertainment industry to small start-ups working with the latest technology like VR and AI. The technology industry and IT sector is actually trending towards the contract market flow. As mentioned, full-time employees have costs that come out of department budgets under the hiring company. Contract staffing agencies cover the costs associated with HR, on-boarding and benefits.  Countless companies are turning to contracting as a quicker, more effective solution to their hiring needs. 

    In the ever competitive, high-speed tech job market, the majority of the work is project based. Whether you are developing a new product, migrating infrastructure, or creating the software for the latest tech trend you could always use an additional hand to ensure that project is seen through completion.

    Misconception: Contract work is all grunt work.

    Reality: Contract work is typically more exciting. You have the opportunity to work for some of the biggest and best companies in the industry and build out your resume while also working on the latest and greatest technologies.

    Full-time roles can get boring in a stagnant environment. On the other hand, contract work is ever-changing, rewarding and compelling. There are more avenues for career growth and development. You have the opportunity to work on different projects and work with dynamic teams as well as build out your skill set and explore learning something new. Looking to create your own schedule and take time off between projects? Contracting could be a rewarding option for you! A career in contracting can be rewarding, leading to a greater impact working with different organizations in various industries, contracting is what you make of it.

    Remember, with the contracting market on the upswing you want to be the first adopter. There is stability in having a career in contracting. If you are looking for a new role, the life cycle to get hired as a contractor is much faster compared to on-boarding a full time employee. Typically, companies need contractors to get hired quickly to solve a need within the organization, so you’ll be valued by your employer. The next time your company has an upcoming product or software launch, you know they're considering hiring a contractor to join your tech team (and they can enlist our help here).

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  • 3 Negotiation Tips That Boost an Entry-Level Salary

    One of the biggest contributing factors of salary growth is experience, and the way that engineers can leverage their experience to get the best possible pay will make the upmost difference. After analyzing thousands of job placements across the United States and Canada, we have built a graph that demonstrates the growth of annual salaries by experience level in the tech industry.

    You're probably wondering why the above graph illustrates that having "0 years" or no years of experience in the tech industry can get you a higher paying salary than someone who has one or two years. Surprisingly, an entry-level university or college graduate with little to no experience can actually negotiate at 4% higher salary than their peers who already have some experience in the industry.

    4 Obstacles that Young Professionals Face in the Tech Industry

    Some reasons behind this are:

    1. With a shortage of tech talent, there is fierce competition amongst big companies to attract engineers and tech graduates right out of school.

    2. If the candidate has little experience, but is already searching for a new job, it's a big indicator that something went wrong, such as termination of employment. It could also indicate that a person is looking for some type of career change (industry, company, technology, location, etc.) and would be willing to settle for a lower salary.

    3. Once graduated, many young people try to find success as entrepreneurs. If that fails, a lot of them will then resort back to the job market, where their experience as entrepreneurs partially counts but their earnings at the time were little to none. Therefore, there is more leverage for an employer to offer less.

    Start your job search in tech by checking out our job listings in a city near you!

    Read the entire report on Tech in Motion Events website, and get further insight into how your experience level can influence how much you make.

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  • 4 Simple Rules for Recruiting the One

    Companies (much like singles these days) are always looking for great candidates to join their team, similar to how people are always in search of "the right one." This is especially true when it comes to hiring a permanent candidate or even a short-term contractor.

    Whether it's on a perm or contract basis, companies can't afford to waste their time with potential candidates who are not serious about their search. The truth is 40% of employees who quit their job last year did so within six months of starting the position (via INC). So how can you avoid this? Perhaps taking your search for exceptional talent to a recruiting agency, a hiring matchmaker if you will, could be your best option for finding "the right one" to join your team.

    Why hire a professional matchmaker? Here are a few ways they can effect your hiring process so you be more efficient with your time and energy:

    1. Provide a pre-screening step to make sure applicants are what you see.

    Recruiters go through a process when verifiying candidates: they talk to them, meet with them in person, check their references, and run a background check. At Workbridge, our contractors are on a W2 and are treated as our own employees, so candidates need to be able to pass our inspection. Companies can rest easy when it comes to the quality of the candidates good matchmakers are providing.

    2. Cater to compatibility so you don't waste time qualifying candidates.

    Every recruiter also should screen each candidate to ensure they are a fit for the role. Ideally, they would talk to the candidates about their experience and the position to ensure a match. Recruiting agencies that know what they're doing don't waste a hiring manager's time with candidates who are not a fit, and with an outside perspective can sometimes find the diamond in the rough a hiring manager might have missed.

    3. Save you time, energy, and effort by doing the hard work.

    Recruiters are responsible for helping the candidate through the process, which includes pay rate conversations. They take on the responsibility of providing benefits information, and even supplying benefits for contractors, as well as explaining workplace insurance and background checks. They are trained and experienced to make the process of finding and bringing on the right candidate as fast as possible.

    4. Find great candidates you might not find on your own.

    Top recruiters have a large network and diverse methods that make finding these hard-to-reach candidates possible. At Workbridge Associates, we even sponsor networking meetups through our event series, Tech in Motion, in all of our active cities. Why waste time companies combing through resumes to find "the one" (or the few)? The goal of skipping this step in the process is to give you more time to talk to qualified candidates, instead of spending that time trying to track them down.

    But before you enter into the recruiting process, or the matchmaking world, consider the following:

    • Don't go in with unrealistic expectations.
      • Even the best recruiters still aren't miracle workers. Recruiters and hiring managers have the same goal: get your open roles filled with the best possible candidate that you can afford. It helps to have an open mind and hire the person who fits.
    • Go into the process with a positive attitude.
      • Looking for the candidate that fits the role, matches the company culture, and can get the job done is priority. Finding all the reasons why the person isn't perfect is not.
    • It takes money to make money.
      • Using an agency has its costs, even though options like contracting make it more affordable. The tech talent market is competitive, and you get what you pay for in terms of quality - whether it's a candidate or the recruiting agency you're working with. However, being up front about costs and willing to compromise could help a good recruiter find a way to work within your budget.

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  • Tech Salary Report: Where You Need to Live to Earn $200K+

    Over the past 27 years, Workbridge Associates has worked with hundreds of thousands of engineers across North America to help find these tech professionals their dream jobs. While the vast majority end up in positions that pay between $50,000 and $140,000, we have also placed many engineers at the $200K-$300K+ range. Based on placements done over the last three years, Workbridge pulled together a guide to tell you what you need to do to get there, with data about the highest paid salaries by location, experience, skill set, and more.

    Based on experience, Workbridge has found that you can be the greatest developer with a Ph.D. in Engineering, but a $200K position may not exist in the geographic region you live in. As the report signifies, most of the job openings in the $200K range are located in San Francisco, San Jose, New York, Washington DC, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

    Apply to a job in one of our cities and get one step closer to the salary you're looking for.

    While it's still possible to reach the $200K level elsewhere, if you’re not open to relocating to a place where the pay is higher, you may be limiting yourself. For the full report and more details on how you can earn the highest salary, such as skills and experience level, read the full article by clicking below. 

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  • 4 Red Flags While Interviewing As a Contractor

    Are you an IT contactor? Have you ever experienced sitting in an interview and becoming noticeably less interested in the job because of something the hiring manager said? Interviewing as a contractor is different than interviewing for a permanent position. There are a lot more land mines to look out for.

    As a contractor, you think differently during your job search. Your job security is based on weeks or months, not years. Typically, you are not as interested in long-term career development at a company (unless it’s a contract-to-hire position.) You tend to want to focus more on the specific challenges and expectations of the project at hand. You greatly value your independence and will view the employer on a peer-to-peer basis (or service-provider-to-client) rather than an employee-boss relationship. As a contractor, you are a chameleon, fitting into different cultures and becoming a temporary team member. Sometimes, you are contracting with more than one company, so time is your chief currency in the job search.

    So whether you’ve been a contractor for years or are new to the game, here are some red flags you should always look out for from an employer when being interviewed for an IT contracting position:

    1. They’re vague about the contract length. Let’s say you ask the hiring manager how long the contract period will last. But he starts waffling, admitting that he is not exactly sure or gives you a wishy-washy response. This is a red flag. The reason why the employer is giving you such a vague response could be because he wants you to consume far more time than you actually want to commit to this engagement or, conversely, the employer may not provide a long enough engagement to make it worth it for you.

    Advice: Make sure that the hiring manager is specific and clear about both the estimated minimum and potential timeframes, so you can feel more secure about the engagement. If they don’t, maybe this isn’t the job you want to take.

    Don’t get stuck in a job you don’t love. Contact us here to find one you do.

    2. They disclose the specific contractor pay rates they are willing to pay. First, if the company you are interviewing for is working with a staffing firm, keep in mind that any questions relating to pay rates should generally be discussed with the agency and not the employer. It is the agency’s responsibility to address this. If the employer starts talking to you about money during the interview, this may be a potential red flag. If no agency is involved, it is still not in the hiring manager’s best interest to specify rates early on in the process, especially during the initial interview. If the hiring manager throws out the rate first, it may turn you off from the opportunity altogether if the rate is too low, and leaves no room to explore negotiations. On the other hand, if he or she discusses rates higher than what you expected, then you will probably hold the company to this rate, and if it turns out that they cannot afford you or try to negotiate lower, this will leave a bad taste in your mouth.

    Advice: Be sure you are the first to provide your pay expectations during the interview. This will put you more in control of negotiations, and will not waste your or the hiring manager’s time if it isn’t the right fit.

    Check out these questions you need to ask before accepting a contract position.

    3. They discuss their overall budget in too much detail. As a talented IT contractor, you want to work for a company that has a solid and reasonable budget in place for staffing. However, if the employer starts discussing in detail what their entire budget is during your interview, this is generally not a good sign. It is always good to know that a company has a significant budget in place, as it will show that IT is an important initiative for the company, and they value your work as a contractor. But if they disclose too much, you may start to wonder why you’re not getting paid more, and it is just unprofessional on the company’s behalf. And, of course, if the employer discloses a budget number that is very low, you will obviously be concerned about the commitment to IT spend.

    Advice: Be cautious of committing to a company that is too open about their budget. Professional employers will often use adjectives, not numbers, to discuss their financial context. So during the interview, if you hear the budget for the department described as “solid," "healthy" or "strong," this is typically a company worth investing your time in.  

    4. They make promises about contract-to-perm conversions. As a contractor, you will most likely inquire about a potential conversion-to-permanent role. Either you are interested in converting to perm or even really looking for a permanent position, or you are not interested in a permanent position altogether. Regardless, if the hiring manager makes promises about contract-to-perm conversions during the interview process without even having hired you yet, this is a red flag. Their reasoning for doing so could be several different things but the most obvious is that the company is extremely eager to hire a contractor and will say anything to have you onboard. Either way, employers should not make any type of promises during the interview stage, especially considering they have not yet seen your performance and cannot make an accurate judgement of whether you will be a good fit for their company. It is the hiring manager’s responsibility to initially understand where you, as a contractor, stand. Do you eventually want a permanent position or not?

    Advice: During the interview, be clear and honest about your interest in becoming a permanent employee. Ensure that the hiring manager gives you a realistic timeline of when the job could convert, is honest about expectations, and explains that any conversion would be based on your performance during the contract period and is not guaranteed. This is a sign that this company has good principles, and is probably somewhere you would want to work in the long run. 

    Find a contract-to-perm position on the job board and apply now.

    Remember, as the contractor you have to select the opportunity you think best fits your needs and desires. You do not want to waste your time working for a company you are not happy at or one that doesn’t align with your values. You can avoid committing to an opportunity you might later regret by pinpointing red flags with the company or hiring manager during your interview process.

    Ready to start your tech job search? Here are some resources to help guide you to a job you'll love:

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