With over 400 highly specialized tech recruiting professionals across North America, our agency experts know firsthand how people think and act during the hiring process. Our 2016 research study debunks the biggest misperceptions for tech job seekers and offers helpful advice on how to navigate today’s competitive job market. Here are the four most common myths you should know:
Myth 1: “If I don’t have all the required skills, I shouldn’t bother applying for the job.”
Advice from the experts: “Know where you stand and act accordingly. If you’re less qualified, be prepared to make your business case upfront on your resume or cover letter as to why they should still consider you. Always apply to jobs even if you are not sure since you are applying to the company (not just the job). Other jobs may exist that will be a better fit. Also, job specs can be very fluid in tech and some companies can/will adjust requirements and provide training for the right person.”
Check out which companies are hiring by applying to one of our many tech jobs online!
Myth 2: “If I’ve been a job hopper, potential employers will not consider me for the position.”
Advice from the experts: “It’s not the WHEN, it’s the WHY that counts most when explaining job hopping to a potential employer. There are many completely understandable reasons for leaving a job after a short period of time. Make sure to specify any of these acceptable reasons for leaving directly on the resume to avoid any negative stigmas.”
Read why "Don't be afraid to try different things" is tip #3 in "5 Tips For Young Professionals Who Want a Career in Tech"
Myth 3: “If the company has no job postings online, then they must not be hiring.”
Advice from the experts: “The elusiveness of the tech job market means that candidates should never rely on job boards alone. They should leverage their networks as much as possible and also work with a localized, specialized tech recruiter who uncovers these hidden jobs on a daily basis.”
Let us help you discover your dream job - Contact a Jobspring Partners in a city near you!
Myth 4: “If I’m the leading candidate for a Perm position, I should be able to negotiate my starting offer as high as I’d like.”
Advice from the experts: “As highly qualified as a tech candidate may be, there is and will always be competition. A candidate’s savvy negotiation and education on the marketplace (via salary reports) is expected from employers. But when candidates exhibit indulgence or entitlement in regards to a potential offer, their well-intentioned actions could backfire on them.”
Find out the Expectations versus Realities of Working in Tech
There are several myths out there about the tech job market, but the key is to identify these myths and not fall into the trap that many other job seekers may unknowingly fall into. To sum up, (1) if you’re less qualified, be prepared to make your business case upfront as to why a company should still consider you; (2) if you’re a job hopper, be sure to specify acceptable reasons for leaving on your resume to avoid negative stigmas; (3) never rely on job boards alone, instead, leverage your network and work with a specialized tech recruiter in your city; and (4) don’t be that candidate who exhibits indulgence or entitlement in regards to a potential offer – it could backfire on you.
Contact a local Jobspring Partners today and let us help you kick off 2017 on the right foot.
For the past 27 years, Jobspring Partners has worked with hundreds of thousands of engineers across North America to match these tech professionals with cutting edge positions. From 2013 to mid-2016, Jobspring pulled together the data showing what the highest paid skill sets, locations and experience levels are across the 11 markets Jobspring works in.
Your skills, and how you sell yourself, are essential parts of getting the highest salary possible. Based on the data from past placements, the highest salary increases seen in that time period were received by Java Developers. Mobile, Network Security, Front End, Ruby on Rails, Product Management, and UI/UX were also listed among the highest paid technologies.
Looking for a higher salary in the IT field? Check out our list of open roles here.
While the vast majority end up in positions that pay between $50,000 and $140,000, we have also placed engineers at the $200K-$300K+ range. For the full report and more details on how you can earn the highest salary, read the full report by clicking the link below.
Read the full list: Four factors that will help you make $200K+ in technology
Sloane Barbour, Regional Director of Jobspring New York, weighed in on the growth in Java salaries and credited the financial sector's demand for the rapid increase.
"I think this jump in salary is due to the functionality of Java, and it being used tremendously in the financial space. 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 on both front for large institutions but also be able to compete with Scala and Clojure in the start-up space. One of the biggest factors is also the need for Core Java in the financial space. Knowing Java to the core in a multi-threaded facet is still a strong demand in that space and salaries can pay high for the right candidates."
With the tech-industry unemployment rate dropping to an impressive 2% nation-wide in 2016, it is easy to understand why hiring managers and human resource departments alike are experiencing heart-ache when thinking about tech hiring initiatives this year. Having worked with a few military veterans throughout his career Del Crockett, Regional Director of Jobspring D.C., gives us three great reasons why companies should hire veterans to address their biggest hiring problems.
As a high technology recruiter for the last decade, I have seen my fair share of hiring markets over the years and I can easily say that today's hiring landscape is the most difficult I have seen in my career for companies to navigate. Quite simply, we are looking at an Economics 101 problem to the max degree: High demand and nearly zero supply.
In an attempt to curtail the depressing amount of supply on the market, numerous development boot camps have popped up in an attempt to teach non-technical professionals to become developers. Although that has been questionably effective, it got me thinking, what about our military veteran resources out there? How are we overcoming common misperceptions and utilizing their unique skill set to impact technical hiring agendas?
The squeeze on the technical talent pool has not only forced companies to broaden their technical expectattions, but also take into serious consideration the "soft skills" and/or "intagibles" that can end up making a candidate a fantastic hire over the long term.
Over the last few years, companies have started to make that exact adjustment. I am regularly seeing companies make offers based as much on intangible soft skills as they are technical abilities. With that trend inevitably growing as the market continues to tighten, it is a great time to be looking at our veteran's as a high quality option to fill technical roles.
1. Prospective tech candidates do not fit the team culture
Company Feedback: If I had a dollar for every time I received feedback from a hiring manager stating that a candidate was "technically great, but not the right culture fit"...The truth is that culture fit is beyond critical, especially for small to medium sized companies. Most clients I work with will overlook some technical ability to find someone with a "go-getter" attitude that is ready to learn. In a hiring landscape dominated by more and more candidates feeling entitled due to the current demand, it's not unusual to see hiring managers pause when faced with the decision on someone who might be a detriment to the team/company culture.
Why hire a veteran: Teamwork and trainability are possibly a veteran's best attributes. Early on, those in the military learn that in order to become a good leader, one most be a good follower. Rising through the ranks is a right of passage that must be earned and the same can be said in most companies. Finding a candidate who believes in these concepts will ultimately benefit the growth of the teams, its operation, and overall retention rates.
2. Prospective candidates lack experience executing under pressure
Company Feedback: Let's face it: Programming environments have their moments of being high pressure, there is no way around it. Start-ups? How about every day! With the typical development team working on a two-week sprint cycle, the ability to handle deadlines calmly is as critical as the quality of code you put out. Similar to coaches, hiring managers love finding job seekers who they can count on, come crunch time. Not everyone has the mental strength to execute come "crunch time" on a consistent basis. You're either clutch or you're not.
Why hire a veteran: Needless to say, veterans have become accustomed to making important decisions (sometimes life dependent) for themselves and their team under the most intense situations. The ability to solve problems under the most unparalleled circumstances is a quality that every hiring manager can use, especially at start-ups.
Are you a veteran looking for a job? Apply to a job in D.C. or a city near you!
3. Prospective candidates are too "big picture" focused and lack attention to detail
Company Feedback: With famed companies such as Facebook and Google constantly re-shaping the technical landscape, it is understandable that many of today's candidates can find themselves getting hyper-focused on today's "hottest new technology." Unfortunately, for many hiring managers, that latest technology may or may not be a critical element in their current production enviornment. Even when it is, many candidates only understand the overarching general concepts rather than the in-depth details on the "why" and "how" the technology can be utilized in a real production environment. This inability leaves companies vulnerable to low quality code and implementation, causing bugs, delay, and often-times, resentment within the team ranks.
Why hire a veteran: Officers and soldiers in the field are trained to keep an impeccable sense of detail with everything they do. From the way they dress and keep quarters, to addressing tiny logistical details on the battlefield, veterans are trained to embrace the responsibility of always being meticulous, while working towards the big picture. This is a trait that is nearly impossible to find in today's hiring market. Considering that the slightest mistake in a line of code can be the difference between a product being received well from users and the same product totally failing due to bugs or security concerns, having staff who embrace "getting lost in the details" can make all the difference.
According to Joseph Kernan, NS2 Serves Chairman and Vice Admiral (Ret.), U.S. Navy, in an article from the Business Journal, "Hiring a veteran not only provides your company with a devoted employee who has the potential to become a highly productive member of the team, but you're also giving a deserving veteran a fresh start in post-military life and a chance at a fulfilling career." Looking to hire a veteran? Contact Jobspring here so we can help find you the right talent for the job.
Ready to start job searching? Here are some resources to help guide you to a job you'll love:
With Halloween right around the corner, you might have already been thinking about your Halloween costume - but don't dress up by yourself! Put together a costume for you and your team to show off during work on October 31.
Not only is it a fun and unique way to collaborate together but according to US News, “these exercises can help employees work on more serious issues, such as learning problem-solving techniques and improving communication skills. This all helps them to build trust, which goes a long way toward achieving better communication.”
Additionally, according to Great Places to Work, creating a space to celebrate seasonal events, such as Halloween, can go a long way toward building camaraderie at work. The global authority on high-trust, high-performance workplace cultures cited 30-to-40-percent higher levels of employee collaboration, cooperation and willingness to give extra to get the job done at organizations with strong levels of camaraderie. (Business Wire)
So get ready to build your workplace culture and dress up as someone else for All Hallows' Eve. Here are some fantastic examples of group Halloween costumes ideas, as dreamed up by our own teams across North America.
Pay homage to your favorite franchise...
Why is strong work culture so important? Read how it relates to your next job.
Throw it back with a nostaligic costume...
Legends of the Hidden Temple
Maybe you just want to be comfortable and "onesie" with your team...
Village People / YMCA
Want to join the fun? All 10 Jobspring locations are hiring!
Last but not least, go as your favorite Programming Language!
Chef, Puppet, Ansible, AWS
Mustache, Backbone, React, Batman, Knockout
Red Hat, Chef, Linux, Jenkins, Python
Building a strong company culture begins one day at time, but it's how top tech talent will accept the job offer and stay for years. When looking for your next job, consider if it's the best culture fit. If you are currently searching, let us connect you with some of the top rated and award winning companies in your area!
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Company culture is no longer a nice-to-have for your employment brand or at your current job. According to Indeed’s 2016 Job Happiness Index analyzing over 10 million employee reviews, culture ranks #3 – over both compensation & benefits AND job security & advancement – as to what makes a job satisfying overall.
Company culture isn’t something that can easily be built overnight. It’s a unique blend of employee traditions, values, and vision that everyone can share in the work environment. You can see it in something as simple as happy hour after work, rewarding a team goal with dinner, or the lunchtime ping pong tournament.
The truth is, to build a company with a strong culture, there has to be a balance of work and fun that starts at the ground-level. Culture-building activities like these unique activities will keep everyone on their toes, as well as build rapport between team members.
1) Unique Dining Experiences
Go beyond the typical happy hour or Taco Tuesday. Seek out unique dining experiences that will keep people talking about more than the food. One example is LA’s Dining in the Dark Experience, where guests are seated in pitch black darkness. If you take away the visual element, would the food taste better? Without eye contact, would the conversation be more open?
Culture is just one piece of the puzzle. How do you know you’re at the right job?
2) Escape Challenges
Engineers work together to solve tough problems all the time, so why not put those skills to test in a mock life-or-death situation. Escape rooms can range from escaping a hell house to solving a mystery in space! With the clock clicking down the entire time, teams either triumph or have a hilarious time scrambling to solve the puzzle. Escape or capture, the team synergy will be flowing by the time the clock runs out.
3) Sports Leagues
No matter what sport you choose – bowling, ultimate Frisbee, kickball, or beyond – nothing builds teamwork like sports. In Chicago (pictured below), the office all came together to play softball and ended up winning their league! The employees became culture and brand cheerleaders as they plastered the win across social media. Choose a sport that is fun to watch and play so you can get everyone involved.
Want to join the fun? We’re hiring at Jobspring Partners across North America!
4) Experience Nature
Every week, most employees spend hours indoors, perhaps without windows. To unplug and experience raw nature on a hike or a beach day can not only build great relationships, but help everyone refresh and recharge. Get away from the screen for a day while also getting in touch with the world outside your office building. Think your team might get bored instead of engaged? Throw in a scavenger hunt or a game of ultimate Frisbee.
5) Community Service
Everyone wants to make an impact in the world and, either through small projects on their own or in more organized settings, the feeling is rewarding and deeply universal. By tackling a large project as a group, you can carry out a larger project to completion, with the satisfaction that as a part of the company you’re contributing to the greater good. You’ll also know it was only possible because everyone lent a hand. Prime culture-building while giving back! (Below: Jobspring Boston volunteering for Cradles to Crayons.)
These are just a few activities you can try with your team or suggest to your manager. Ultimately, you want to ask yourself what will make your group excited to participate. Capture these moments and display them where everyone can see as a reminder of the strides you, your team, and your company are making toward greatness. Moments like these can help you create a strong company culture where people look forward to coming into work every day.
There seems to be a lack of candidates and hiring managers these days interested in contract-to-perm positions, but why? A contract-to-perm position, also called contract-to-hire, 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 hopes that their role will be converted into full-time.
As an employee, before you turn down a potential job opportunity just because it isn't "full time," consider how working a contract-to-perm job benefits you. There are three immediate ways that you can use this role to your advantage: resume, money, and the job itself.
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 a number of big-name companies. You can beef up your resume with some impressive work experience without the negative "job hopping" connotation.
Another reason why recruiters and hiring managers might stress contract-to-perm is because you can actively look for another job while making money (and most likely making more money than your last job or even your next.) If for some reason you don’t like the job, you don’t have to accept the offer to be converted to a full-time employee at the end of the contract. It’s okay to keep your options open. Contract-to-perm jobs also generally have a higher hourly rate than salary positions when broken down. It’s the best of both worlds!
3 Ways Tech Contractors Make More Money Than Their Full-time Counterparts.
Contract-to-perm positions have some of the fastest onboarding processes we see from any of our clients. 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!” - because there is less emphasis on culture fit when they're going to see how you mesh in person. In most cases, you also have the ability to be more 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.
Find a contract-to-perm position on the job board and apply now.
This ‘trial’ period is mutually beneficial for the employee and the employer. That's right, there are benefits for the employer, too. Wondering why a hiring manager would want to hire on a contract instead of permanently? With contract-to-perm positions, employers win in terms of the hiring process, the job itself, and the future.
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. When hiring for contract-to-perm roles, many managers work with recruiting agencies that provide benefits like healthcare and PTO, while also streamlining the hiring process for the company.
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 versus 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?
Find out more about hiring contract employees here, and fill that position you've had open for months - today.
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, give it a shot. It can open up a whole new avenue of potential opportunities. Contact a Jobspring Partners in your city to kickstart the process.
"I want to work in Tech because I want to make a lot of money."
"I want to work in Tech because I want to get free food everyday."
"Every office is beautiful like Google."
When people think of working in Tech, they often have a lot of misconceptions of what life is actually like. Scott Purcell, Division Manager of Jobspring San Jose, sheds some light on some common expectations people have.
1. Expectation: You have to work long hours
Reality: Each company is different. Some startups work long hours often and some have a relatively normal work-life balance. Some big companies have very long hours while others are very flexible. Every situation is different and needs to be taken on a case by case basis. The normal "9 to 5" work hour doesn't really exist, but some companies have longer hours during releases or allow telecommute and/or flex hours.
Lucky for the tech industry, there is a choice between working full-time and contract positions. If you choose the contract road, there are some benefits such as getting paid for every hour you work as a contractor and receiving overtime when you're asked to stay on for those late nights. This isn't to discount full-time, though, because long hours usually mean raises, bonuses and a higher worth on your stock options.
Think your comapny has a great workplace for technology professionals? Nominate it to be Sillicon Valley's Best Tech Work Culture here.
2. Expectation: Coding and programming for a big company's IT department means you have to work in a cubicle in a dark basement
Reality: Every company's environment is different. Specifically in Silicon Valley, most companies have moved away from the cubicle environment and work more in an open, collaborative atmosphere.
A lot of companies really believe in an open space environment. According to Inc., an open environment allows you to immerse yourself into an office culture and improves communication. Also, non-tech companies need talent too, as this SkilledUp article says. The benefits could be less catchy but more tangible. For instance, if you're interested in helping others and developing better patient care, you might want to work for the healthcare industry, which in turn as a non-tech company could be less stringent about your skill sets as job requirements, and more open to skill set plus industry experience. So not only will you not get moved to the basement, there are some definite benefits to working for a tech department over a tech company.
Want to jump start your tech career? Check out all our job postings.
3. Expectation: Your work perks will automatically include free lunch and your own massage therapist
Reality: A lot of companies do offer "extras" like lunch, travel and other perks, but that is not always the case. Many companies do this as a way to attract talent or if they aren't close to dining options. A lot of factors go into what a company offers and many companies have moved away from these types of perks to focus on core benefits and building a successful business.
Benefits of workplaces like the ones on the Glassdoor List of Top 20 Best Company Benefits & Perks - which include every other Friday off, ski passes and sabbaticals - have slanted job hunter's perception of what really matters. However, this Glassdoor study shows that among the factors that contribute to happiness at your job, benefits and perks rank fifth after culture, career opportunities, senior leadership and work-life balance.
4. Expectation: You will automatically get a big raise at your next job based on how good the market is
Reality: One of the most common misconceptions, specifically in Silicon Valley but in this job market in general, is that they will automatically get a big raise at their next job. This is typically based on hearing how good the market is and the general cost of living in tech hubs like Silicon Valley. The reality? Companies have set ranges for their positions and value employees based on what they can bring to the table and how they fit into their current pay structure. If you're already at the top of the range, which isn't uncommon, there may not be much wiggle room on salary - despite hearing about what others are getting in the market.
Ready to start job searching? Here are some resources to help guide you to a job you’ll love:
When searching for a job, you'll see several common alternatives for what you're hired as: full-time, contract, or contract-to-hire. There are many opportunities within contract or contract-to-hire roles that many people overlook. What makes a contract role different from a full hire position? One of the biggest benefits of a contract position is also the largest decision maker for many job seekers. Money.
Contractors get paid more per hour
The base hourly rate for tech contractors is much higher, ringing in at $70.26 per hour according to Dice's 2016 Tech Salary Survey. In comparison, the same report shows the average technology salary at $96,370, which is $46.33 per hour for a 40-hour work week - not counting the overtime you might have worked.
While this doesn't apply across all levels of experience or industries, in general contract employees have a higher dollar-per-hour range compared to salaried employees. In theory, this is to cover the benefits that a company doesn't offer a contract employee, but when you are placed through a company like Jobspring, many of these benefits are included, such as health insurance, paid time off, and even a 401(k).
You receive compensation for the hours you work: all of them
When you accept a full-time job, you have to accept that as a salaried employee, you are just that: on a salary. You get paid a certain amount each year, no matter how many hours you work as a part of that salary agreement. As a contractor, being employed for a 40-hour work week means actually working those exact hours, because you get paid by the hour. Frequently, salaried employees get called on to work on weekends, late nights, and early mornings. The difference for a contractor is that you'll get paid for the extra miles you put in on the job.
Extra hours = overtime pay
Thanks to a compliance law changing for 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 maxmimm. So the more hours you work, the more money you can earn. With projects that stretch deep into the night, your salaried coworkers are just as dedicated as you are, they're just not getting compensated for it.
Think about this: When working with a team to launch a new product, how many hours do you put in? Recruiter Phil breaks it down for job hunters below.
If you have any questions about contract work, contact a Jobspring Partners near you.
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