While looking for the next opportunity or evaluating your current one, there are so many factors to consider that you might overlook a company’s diversity practices, despite an increasing public spotlight on the topic. However, with even Silicon Valley role models such as Facebook falling short of their ambitious diverse hiring goals, it’s no surprise that diversity initiatives are making it on to the radar of companies and candidates regardless of industry or size. Many companies are choosing to build diversity objectives into their core concepts, impacting everything from the hiring process to employer branding.
Recent findings in industry trends are showing that diverse hiring is more far-reaching than one would think. Companies who instill these values from day one tend to be rated higher for intangibles, such as overall employee satisfaction. From the bottom-line to notoriety and resume boosters, here are three reasons why working for a company who values diversity is a smart career move:
1. Financial success. While diversity and inclusion might not seem like issues that would impact the budget, current trends have shown otherwise. A 2015 McKinsey & Company study found that companies with greater gender diversity and ethnic diversity are respectively 15% and 35% 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. Work environment. 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.
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3. Industry leadership. Being a part of a company that receives attention for diversity efforts can be just as valuable as working at one known for the most revolutionary technology – in terms of what makes a desirable candidate background. 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 instance, your credibility rises working for an industry leader such as Lever, which is highly praised for having a 50:50 gender ratio and recently got a barrage of positive press surrounding their 2017 Diversity and Inclusion Handbook. A variety of awards have been created to honor employers’ efforts, and Jobspring Partner’s own Tech in Motion event series launched the “Timmy Awards” to recognize great work cultures across the nation – even adding an award to recognize diversity and inclusion this year. Ensuring that companies are recognized for their workplace achievements not only encourages innovation, but also extends the benefit to employees who have been part of the development.
While all job seekers might have a long 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 in a business from funding to employee satisfaction and is a smart item to keep on your “must-have” list as you make your next career move.
No one wants to play from behind. Whether in sports, projects for work, and especially in their job search. Think about it like this: in IT, it’s encouraged to approach systems proactively. Therefore, wouldn’t it make sense to approach your career the same way? Too often, Jobspring Partners has seen extremely competent candidates unexpectedly laid off, from no fault of their own, who come through our doors desperate for a role that fits their skillset. At that point, the candidate is playing from behind, when they could have been proactive and taken the power in their own hands before becoming unemployed.
Be Proactive- Start Your Job Search Today!
Had this candidate simply considered working their network and remaining connected with their closest peers to stay updated on openings in the market, they could have positioned themselves a bit better in case of the emergency that ultimately did happen. Like most things in life, the best time to prepare for the worst is before the worst can happen.
If you need more convincing, below are a few of the reasons why you should be looking for a new role while you are still working for your current employer:
The Benefit of Time on Your Side
Think critically: how long could you truly support yourself and your dependents without a reliable income? Is that two months, six months, one year? Regardless of the length, this is the maximum amount of time you will have to find a suitable replacement position once you’ve left your current role. However, if you begin looking while you’re already gainfully employed, your timeframe for finding a new role increases exponentially. Without being taunted by upcoming bills without an income, you can focus your search on a position that excites you or will drastically improve your career trajectory rather than just attempting to make ends meet.
Get Busy Working or…
Time and time again we’ve been told by hiring managers that the best candidates are the ones who are actively working. After all, employed candidates are continually proving themselves as assets to their current company. A notable quote from “The Shawshank Redemption” says, ‘Get busy living or get busy dying’ and the job market is the same way. If you’re not showing yourself in the day-to-day as employable and beneficial to a company, you will be making it harder on yourself to find a new job as time goes on!
Visit your local Jobspring Partners today to start finding your dream job!
Not Under Pressure
Have you ever wanted or needed something so badly that when you were put into a situation wherein you could get whatever it was that you wanted or needed, the pressure was simply so much that you botched your attempt to get it? Unfortunately, this happens quite often during interviews when one is facing unemployment. Contrast this with interviewing while you already have a comfortable employment situation: you will be taking a significant amount of pressure off yourself and will ultimately lessen the likelihood of self-sabotage while interviewing for the new role!
Get What You Really Want
What You Really Really Want
Finally, if you’re interviewing while currently employed, you’ll have more control over dictating your final offer! The same factors apply here as they did above, but the final offer now needs to be better than your current for you to leave your job. This doesn’t have to come down solely to money, but everything in terms of compensation should line up – focus on the total package that the company offers. Not only will you have the upper-hand to hit that higher salary number, but you can also potentially leverage your current job to get additional vacation time, flexible hours, stock options, equity, or a myriad of other perks that can be included when the offer is extended!
So, if you find yourself in a position that isn’t perfect or you feel the winds of change approaching, make sure to keep your eyes and ears open to all new and exciting opportunities. With the benefit of time, it may even be correct to call your localized and specialized recruiter, and make an appointment with them. They may open doors for you that you never thought possible!
Article by James Vallone – VP of IT Staffing Solutions at Motion Recruitment Partners
Interviewing IT contractors is very different than interviewing candidates who are looking for full-time positions, as there are more matters to be mindful of. Contractors think and act differently during their job search. To successfully engage IT contractors, you should tailor your conversation during an interview to be more in line with their agenda and what’s on their mind.
Begin by understanding that a tech contractor’s job security is based on weeks or months, not years. Typically, contractors are not as interested in long-term career development at your company (unless it’s a contract-to-hire position). They will want to focus more on the specific challenges and expectations of the project at hand. Contractors also greatly value their independence and will view you as the employer on a peer-to-peer basis (or service provider to client basis) rather than an employee / manager relationship. IT contractors pride themselves on their ability to adapt, fitting into diverse cultures, and becoming a member of a team for temporary periods. Time is an IT contractor’s chief currency when working with more than one company.
To keep contractors fully engaged during the interview process and interested in your opportunity, here are four important things to pay attention to during the interview:
Be Specific About Contract Length: If a contractor asks how long the contract period is, don’t waffle and admit that you are unsure. What does the contractor hear? They hear that you may consume far more time than the contractor wants to commit to this engagement, or conversely, that you may not provide a long enough engagement to make it worth their time. Always be specific about both the estimated minimum and potential timeframes so they can feel more secure about the engagement.
Don’t Disclose Specific Contractor Pay Rates: First, if you’re working with a staffing firm, redirect any questions the contractor has about pay rates back to the agency. This question is for the agency to address. If an agency is not involved, it is not in your best interest to specify rates early in the process. In doing so, you may risk being too low and turn them off from the opportunity. The candidate may decline your contract on the spot without taking the time to explore if there is room for negotiation. On the other hand, if your rate is higher than what the contractor expects, then they’ll hold you to this rate and you may end up paying more than you needed to. It is best practice to ask the contractor to provide their pay expectations first so you can establish more control during negotiations.
Don’t Discuss Your Overall Budget: Any talented IT contractor will want to work for a company that has a solid and reasonable budget in place for staffing. However, they do not need to know exactly what your entire budget is. For instance, communicating that you have a significant budget in place will certainly prove to the contractor that IT is an important initiative for the company. Although, the contractor may leverage this information against you and inquire as to why you’re not paying them more. On the other hand, disclosing a budget number that is very low will have the obvious impact of stirring up concern about the commitment to IT spend. When it comes to disclosing your budget, use adjectives, not numbers, to discuss the financial context such as, “We have a solid or healthy or strong budget in place for this department.”
Don’t Make Promises About Contract-to-Perm Conversions: Some IT contractors may inquire about a potential conversion if they are interested in a permanent position. They may also ask because they are not interested in a permanent position altogether. It is important to understand where this question is coming from before you provide an answer. Ask the contractor first about their interest in becoming a permanent employee. If you find they are ideally looking to eventually be converted to a full-time position, give them a realistic timeline of when the job could convert, but be honest and explain that any conversion would be based on the contractor’s performance during the contract period and that this is not guaranteed.
Remember, it is your job to sell the contractor on the great opportunity to work at your company. You will always be competing with other employers and must differentiate your opportunity. Avoid these common interviewing obstacles and keep the interview hyper-focused on the selling points to attract the best IT contractors.
Jobspring Partners has been in the IT recruiting space for nearly three decades. Over this time, the industry has grown, lagged, surged, and slumped. Technology developed, and many regions saw the rise of technical needs within their cities. Throughout this time, the one thing that has remained true is that there is not, there has never been, and there will never be a “silver bullet” solution for candidates. There’s no easy way to find the perfect job, let alone to get yourself hired for this perfect job.
Want to make your job search easier? Let us help, check out our job boards and apply today!
The closest thing we have to a universal truth with regards to the job-hunting and recruiting experience is that every candidate, regardless of tech stack, age, or prior experience, will often spend a moment wondering ‘does this feel right?’ or ‘how do I know for sure?’ Doesn’t that sound familiar? Likely, it’s the same thought-process you had or will have when you hunt for your next house or apartment.
Shopping for a home can be at times overwhelming, but it’s made easier when one knows what one wants, when one goes into the process with a certain look and feel in mind. There are simply so many variables to consider: location, price, size, design, shape, and even more beyond that. What this means is that while one may go on many tours of different buildings or complexes, one will often leave frustrated, having nothing to show for the time beyond a bit of disappointment. The experience of countless job-seekers can be very closely compared.
Many job searches begin with a perfect job in mind: a competitive salary, benefits that make you feel like the company cares about its employees, a team of hard-working individuals, and a breezy 5-minute commute. Quickly jobseekers begin to feel that nothing is quite perfect; as the job search drags on, they begin to worry that their perfect job may not exist, although in reality, it just might.
From our experience in helping candidates with their job search, we find that disheartened candidates often know that some of their ideals are unattainable and won’t ask themselves the tough questions.
‘Would I love to live in the building that is a 2-minute walk from my office? But is it affordable? Does it allow pets? Are there nearby restaurants that I like? Although this apartment is walkable, it’s not necessarily the best choice for me.’ Likewise, candidates need to evaluate similar aspects of a job. It’s important to start weighing priorities, how much value different aspects of each job hold, etc. Is it more important to have a 5-minute commute or to get up in the morning, excited to go to work that day? What is more valuable, a large salary or a great work-life balance?
We all would love to have everything, and often, that’s what is expected of recruiters during the job search. However, when individuals start to really ask themselves the tough questions and weigh the costs and benefits of each part of the job, many realize what is most important to them – and can jump at the right job when they see it matches up. Just like finding a house or apartment that is both affordable and beautiful, you make it your home.
Visit your local Jobspring Partners today to start finding your dream job!
Whenever we speak with candidates about making a decision, they go through the process of determining if this job opportunity is the most suitable role for them, and often want input from our recruiting staff. This is what we like to tell them: “if this is the right job for you, then everything else will work itself out. If it isn’t, then you’ll move on and find something else; it’s your search and your life.”
When considering a new apartment or house, you’ll most likely take a tour of the place, and get a feel for whether you could see yourself living there. Similarly, as a candidate, one should do the same during the interview process. We tell all our candidates that when approaching the interview process, they should visualize themselves in the environment, how they might interact with the team members they meet. The interview is often an experiment in engagement; it’s a house tour. At the end of the day, if your coworkers don’t make you feel comfortable, if the office environment doesn’t make you feel comfortable, you aren't likely to be happy at work, so the interview is an important opportunity to glean this information. After all, a house or apartment needs to provide safety and comfort.
The second piece of information we often share is that you don’t have to jump at the first job, but it’s also alright if you do. In an ideal world, it’d be great to do a slew of interviews with multiple companies and make sure that all available options were on the table before making a final decision. However, that can’t always be the case. Sometimes, the right job for you is the first job you see, and it’s important to jump on it while it’s still available. Jobs can’t be put on hold, just like most houses or apartments. The company will continue to interview other candidates, because they need to find the right person for their team as well. Our advice would be that if you find the right job, and you feel comfortable asking and answering those tough questions, then you should take the job. The company will feel your excitement about the opportunity and will be more likely to offer you a better package. However, if you find the answers don’t point towards that specific job, then it’s important to move on; the job wasn’t right for you. Be patient. The right job for you is out there.
The most difficult question that every candidate is forced to ask themselves at one point or another is ‘how do I know for sure?’ Unfortunately, our answer is often that you don’t. The best thing you can do in this situation is to make sure that you have your priorities straight, understand what you are and are not willing to compromise on, and to be honest with yourself. Just like buying a house or renting an apartment, the place can feel right, it can look right, and it can be the right price, but without actually living there, you won’t ever be able to be 100% certain that it’s the right place for you. A new job is the same way; you won’t really know for sure until you take the job and begin working there. And if that job isn’t for you, then you move on and find a better one. Just start with being honest with yourself and what is best for you, and you should end up with not just the right job, but the right home for you every time.
In today’s technology driven world, change happens fast. We’ve come to expect it. If you’re someone who thrives on exploring solutions to new challenges, why should your career path be any different? Over the past five years contracting has seen a steady rise in popularity among tech companies because of the opportunities it offers both job seekers and employers.
Contracting Offers Unique & Flexible Job Opportunities
The technology industry is currently seeing its lowest ever unemployment rate, opening the door to fulltime and contract employees alike. More and more candidates are turning to contracting to build their resumes, work with Fortune 500 companies, and help with their work life balance. Jennifer Grasz at Career Builder has this to say about the future of contracting, “The demand for temporary labor will continue to be strong as employers strive to have more flexibility in their staff levels. 51% of employers plan to hire temporary or contract workers in 2017, an increase from 47% last year. 63% of employers plan to transition some temporary or contract workers into permanent roles in 2017, up from 58% last year.”
Do you want to spend more time with family during the holidays and summer vacation? Click to find a seasonal contracting opportunity in a city near you!
You Can Earn More as a Contractor
One of the biggest misconceptions about tech contract jobs is they pay less on average than fulltime positions. While it’s true that fulltime employees make a yearly salary and contractors get paid by the hour, there are many other factors to take into consideration when calculating your potential earnings. For instance, if you work more than 40 hours in a week as a fulltime employee, you won’t be paid for your extra effort while contractors get paid 1.5x their hourly wage for overtime. This can have a huge impact, especially in the tech industry where employees often work extended hours.
Enjoy Benefits as Contractor
Surprise! The biggest misconception about tech contracting is that you won’t receive benefits from your employer. The reality is, as a contractor with Jobspring Partners, you are eligible to receive benefits that kick in after thirty days of employment. You accrue sick days beginning on day one of employment. Want to start investing for your retirement? You are eligible for the Jobpspring Partners 401K and will be automatically enrolled after the first 6 months of the contract assignment. Full health coverage including dental and vision insurance kicks in after 30 days of your start date. In addition, there is an option to use a Health savings account to put away money for your health plan every month that is pre-taxed. Beyond these basic benefits, you can also enjoy commuter benefits you can use for parking, public transit, metro, or bus.
Make the money you deserve and explore contracting opportunities in a city near you.
Use Contracting to Improve your Tech Stack
Contracting gives engineers the opportunity to focus on newer technologies, increasing their value as a subject matter experts in niche tech fields and opening themselves up to more lucrative opportunities in the future. It’s a great opportunity to get your foot in the door with tech giants who are only looking to hire contractors. Employers love seeing candidates with diverse backgrounds working on unique projects. We like to call them “unicorns” in our industry.
What Employers Gain from Contracting
The contracting model gives qualified candidates the freedom to develop their skillsets while being exposed to many different projects, technologies and work environments. But it also offers unforeseen benefits to employers looking for qualified talent. It gives them the opportunity to have “try-outs” for contractors hoping to find a permanent position and allows them to bring in highly specialized engineers on a project-basis they wouldn’t ordinarily be able to afford fulltime.
For all these reasons, contracting has never been a more viable option in the tech industry than it is today. There are many misconceptions about contracting in the tech industry. That’s why it’s important to do your own research, weighing the pros and cons of contracting versus fulltime. The results could surprise you!
With the lowest average employee tenure among leading industries at about three years, building your own brand in the tech industry has never been more important than it is today. “You should devote about 5% of your time to high-leverage marketing activities,” says Anthony Fasano, Executive Director of The Engineering Career Coach. In an ever-evolving tech climate, it’s important to stay in-the-know and position yourself as a desirable a candidate as possible so that when the next big opportunity comes your way, you’re ready to take advantage of it.
Whether you’re a seasoned professional or fresh out of a coding camp, here are some tips, tools, and resources to help amplify your personal brand:
Targeted Networking – Rubbing shoulders with established tech managers and recruiters is one of the most effective ways to stand out in the job market hay stack. When you meet someone, you’re being indirectly introduced to their network as well. Before most jobs are posted online, they’re filled either internally or through a professional reference. One study conducted by the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) claims referrals are five times more likely to be hired than job post respondents. Another study found that as much as 70% of open tech jobs will not be posted given the uniqueness of the tech job market. Not only attending, but also speaking at technology meetups is an efficient way to jump start your targeted networking effort. It helps position you as a thought leader in the local community and presents warm entry points with influencers in attendance.
Check out our events calendar for free local tech networking and speaking opportunies!
Sloane Barbour, Regional Director of Jobspring Partners New York, has additional insight on what qualifies candidates as thought leaders:
“To be considered a thought leader, candidates would need to have significant contributions to a popular open source framework, have written and published a notable book for developers, or have spoken at a prominent conference.” - Sloane Barbour, Regional Director of Jobspring Partners New York
Aggregate Your Online Portfolio – Publish projects on platforms like GitHub, HackerRank, Kaggle, and BitBucket. These projects will provide hiring managers with valuable insight in regards to your thought process as an engineer. Is the project clearly described? Does the project leverage open source libraries and frameworks? Is the code well-organized? How many completed projects are in the portfolio? How often are new projects uploaded?
Build a Personal Website – This serves as your brand’s home base and a soapbox to showcase your skillset. According to Workfolio, 56% of all hiring managers are more impressed by a candidate’s personal website than any other personal branding tool. About.me is another valuable online tool to present who you are and what you do in a comprehensive and appealing fashion.
Looking for your next career move? Check out our job board for local opportunities!
Lead Online Discussions – Contributing to forum discussions, webinar chats, and online communities can also help develop your extended network and provide access to decision makers and thought leaders that you’d have never met otherwise. Popular platforms include LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Quora and Reddit, some of which you can also publish your own original content on. Writing articles as a contributor to platforms such as Business Insider, The Muse, Medium, Forbes, or technical publications can also spark the conversation and grow your impact as a subject matter expert.
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.
Collect Professional Reviews –Professional reviews from past co-workers, managers and clients can help separate you from the rest of the pack by building trust and credibility. Position them prominently on your website and link back to them on your job search collateral. Only reviews from friends and family are trusted more than online reviews, according to research done by Vendesta.
While all of the above methods are effective, utilizing even one or two should prove beneficial. It’ll take time, effort and patience, but the end result will be a steady flow of relevant information for your next job search and an ever-expanding network of influencers and decision makers alike.
Jobspring Partners' Silicon Valley office has been selected for the 2017 Best of San Jose Award in the Employment Agency category by the San Jose Award Program.
Each year, the San Jose Award Program identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the San Jose area a great place to live, work and play.
"It's an honor to recieve the "2017 Best of San Jose" award. We've worked hard to build a positive reputation in the recruiting industry and our local community," says Jason Cooper, Division Manager of Jobspring Partners in Silicon Valley. "We appreciate the recognition and will strive to continue providing superior service to our clients and candidates here in Silicon Valley."
The winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the San Jose Award Program and data provided by third parties. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.
The San Jose Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the San Jose area. Their mission is to recognize the small business community's contributions to the U.S. economy.
Jobspring Partners recently compiled a new report that compares salaries against tech experience. You can read the full report here. Based on the data, we came across a number of interesting results. One of the notable findings was that salary growth virtually disappears for tech professionals after 15 or more years of experience. As we further examined this data, we discovered three main reasons why this could happen.
1) Promotions & Title Changes
Experienced technologists move into higher level roles on the corporate ladder, turning into stakeholders or executives, or becoming independent business owners. Therefore, they are not considered “tech professionals” anymore and are no longer in the same salary bracket.
Are you looking for a title change? Check out or job board for Director, VP and CTO positions.
2) New Trends & Technology
Another reason why salary growth diminishes for tech professionals after 15 years of experience or more is because it can be hard to keep up with new trends in technology. When new tools or languages are released, they could have a very large impact on work flow, processes, and the structure of the organization of projects. Companies with a strong work culture will always encourage growth and learning, and it's up to the employee to seize that opportunity.
What are the highest paid tech skills? Find out in this report!
3) 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?
5 Tips for Young Professionals Who Want a Career in Tech
There are several recommended next steps our experts advise you consider in order to continue growing your salary in the long run. We suggest learning the "hot commodity" in your market or potentially relocating to a region where it is more feasible to boost your salary into the $200K-range.
For the complete list of guidelines to keep your salary growing strong and steadily throughout your career, read the entire article here.