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 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.
If you are looking for a new job or to hire a new team member, you want to find the best in the business. You want to find an employer or employee that syncs up with your values, work ethic, and passions. There is no sure route to finding this perfect match, several experts from Jobspring are here to give their professional recommendations as far as routes you can take:
1) The Web
Mostly everyone is familiar with online job boards. Some of the most popular ones include LinkedIn, Indeed, and Monster. What's great about these websites is that they're easy to use in tandem with each other. If you see a new position listed on Monster, for example, then you can search for the profile of the individual you could potentially be interviewing with and connect with them on LinkedIn. However, solely relying on this method has some caveats.
In a recent study, we found that only 30% of jobs were found online. There are multiple reasons for this that are unique to the tech market. For example, tech startups tend to have little or no HR support or process. Additionally, these high-demand roles are opened and closed so quickly that the job posting never makes it online. When it comes to large companies replacing or refilling a position of high importance like a CTO, the company may not want to publicize the employee leaving, and instead, does a confidential search.
So while the web is a fantastic place to start, if you are serious about your search you will have to expand beyond the internet.
Did you know our website is updated daily with the newest tech jobs? Check them out now!
2) Informational Interview
When asking for an informational interview, it is key to use your network’s network. You want to ask your friends, family, mentors, managers, or coworkers if they know anyone that would be an expert. Informational interviews are a fantastic way to get information on the responsibilities of a specific role or learn more about a specific company. By asking questions about the culture or work-life balance of a company, you can accurately gauge if this is the right step in your career.
3) Networking Events
Networking events can be a great place to connect with all sorts of people. At any given gathering, there are bound to be a mix of people either hiring or looking for work. It’s a huge advantage to ask people about past events they’ve attended or companies they’ve worked at. Professional networkers know that when you meet someone, you don’t just meet them, you meet everyone they know!
Did you know that we host free Networking Events every month in 11 different cities? View our calendar here!
It’s not an easy process finding the perfect fit. You want to find a true culture-match with a candidate or company who shares the same passions. Be sure to utilize every resource or tool you have available at your disposal. At Jobspring Partners, we work with some of the largest tech companies in the world and the most talented local developers and engineers. Reach out, and we’d be happy to help you!
All over the country, small startups are providing incredible benefits like unlimited vacation time, pet friendly offices, and rooms filled with every possible type of snack. Has working at a corporation come to feel passé? Consider these four benefits of working at a giant company while deciding the next steps in your professional journey.
Benefit 1: Working with technology at an enterprise level
As a general rule, corporations have more money. Large companies can invest in incredible multi-million dollar projects, the scope of which is much larger than what you’ll experience at a startup. This involves investing in the hardware and software that less well-funded businesses can’t necessarily afford. Additionally, a larger company can provide resources that go beyond inanimate objects; it also means being able to bring on more contractors to meet a project deadline or additional tech professionals to grow your team.
Benefit 2: Building a larger professional network
Instead of working at a company with 20 people, you'll be working with 40 professionals in your department - not to mention other areas of the business. You’ll also have the opportunity to learn more about other departments and potentially even pivot. Overall, you have a lot more options, whether you’re looking for a mentor at the company, a different team to join, or a position in management.
Benefit 3: It looks amazing on a resume
Isn’t it nice to say where you work and have the name recognized and respected? Working for a Fortune 500 company is like wearing the brand name instead of a local designer, and you’ll get more credibility in more circles for it by sheer reputation. It also gives an immediate idea of what you’ve worked on, especially since most corporations tend to have narrower roles, as opposed to wearing many hats in one. Plus, once you’ve worked at a big company, you can go practically anywhere that uses the technology you’ve worked in, whether it's a startup or corporation.
Benefit 4: Learn more about all aspects of business
Politics, Hiring, Performance, KPIs, Profits, Responsibility à All are tracked by multiple departments. By learning more about these metrics, it can help you in the long run. If you would ever want to start your own company, you'll have had more exposure than you think. Your department head is frequently responsible for juggling many pieces of the business, and it trickles down to all corporate employees. Additionally, there is more opportunity to build your management experience at a large company, which is a vital skill for any businessperson.
Overall, it’s best to have a mix of large and small companies on your resume. It will help you broaden your background and give you more options when you decide it's time for that next move in your professional career.
You might be interested in:
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: