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.
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.
"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:
Article by Patrick Tafua, Practice Manager in Jobspring Orange County
My fascination and curiosities of Artificial Intelligence (AI) began at Disneyland. It was my first job and I worked on attractions in Tomorrowland, the futuristic themed area of the theme park. While working at the resort you really gain an appreciation for the innovative or ‘magical’ mind of Walt Disney. One particular favorite innovation of mine is Audio-Animatronic figures throughout the park. Audio Animatronics is a form of robotics animation. These robots move, make sound that is generally recorded and are often fixed upon whatever supports them. Although the movements and sounds of the robots are prerecorded it brings these figures to life for its audiences. I feel that this innovative technology sparked the wishes of engineers to make AI more of a reality and a part of our lives. Which asks the question; should all wishes come true?
AI has the potential of making lives easier by understanding our desires or driving our automobiles and more. If uncontrolled though, the technology could be a serious threat to society. At least that is what many of the top scientist and technology leaders in world, such as Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking, are proclaiming. A letter written by Musk, Hawking and other prominent scientists, stated that, "Because of the great potential of AI, it is important to research how to reap its benefits while avoiding potential pitfalls.” Also stated was that these systems should be controlled to do what we want them to do and add benefits to society. Stephen Hawking had gone further stating that AI development could “spell the end of the human race”. So where do you stand on AI?
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It seems that there isn't much you can do at this time to stop AI developments from happening if you were opposed. This battle to bring AI to the hands of consumers has been in motion for long time. Recently we are seeing developments of robots to be personal caregivers. For example Robear, a high-tech teddy developed in Japan with a mission to help make elderly care much easier. There are many other technological advances being made in AI. These robotic figures do not have prerecorded audio or movements like those at Disneyland. Some of these machines can process regular spoken language and not only recognize human faces, but also read our expressions. It only seems fitting to discuss what AI will become in the workplace.
Zeynep Tufekci of the New York Times wrote that computers do not just replace humans in the workplace. She states, “They shift the balance of power even more in favor of employers. Our normal response to technological innovation that threatens jobs is to encourage workers to acquire more skills, or to trust that the nuances of the human mind or human attention will always be superior in crucial ways. But when machines of this capacity enter the equation, employers have even more leverage, and our standard response is not sufficient for the looming crisis.”
AI could have machines doing our jobs well enough to make it cheaper for employers and easier to control than an employee that would have their own opinion on work matters. Certainly, engineers in technology may not have to worry about their job security right now because of the high demand recently in our county for engineering talent, but these engineers may create the reason they are out of a job in the future. In Orange County, there isn't much AI development being done, but we still have Disney’s Audio-Animatronics to inspire local engineers to come up with the next big AI. It’s just - do we really want to make these dreams become reality?
Article by Alston Chiang, Practice Manager at Jobspring New York
Jobspring Partners is a staffing agency that only promotes from within, and moving from an entry-level employee to a manager can happen quickly, or it can take some time. In my case, it happened within a year and a half. The stages of growth are exciting and at times overwhelming as the job functionalities change drastically.
A year and a half ago I moved from San Francisco to New York City in nine days to open up a brand new recruiting team focused on UX, UI, and Product Management. I had to hire a sales team, train them, build a pipeline of business, and recruit candidates in a completely unknown market in a town that was foreign to me. My biggest insecurity was managing a staff that was my own age, and possibly even older than me. How would they respect me if they knew I was the same age as them? Could we have a relationship that went beyond peer to peer contact? Would they be motivated to perform?
Hire top tech talent for your team in New York today.
To facilitate this process, I came up with a few simple guidelines to ensure success:
1. Set the example – Sales is all about numbers. If you’re team is going to perform, you need to set the example on your own desk. This also means coming to work prepared and showing them how you want the job done. No one will take you seriously if you roll into work 15 minutes late with your shirt untucked.
2. Implement structures that are easy to follow – Hold them accountable for the goals that you set together. Make sure you and your team are actively tracking and discussing progress. Give feedback using concrete facts as opposed to generating feedback that comes from a personal or emotional place.
3. Empathize with your staff – You might be their age, but remember that you have more experience in the field. Use this experience to help guide them while using your age to relate to them on a personal, yet professional level.
Since implementing these guidelines, which actually weren’t that different than the guidelines that my first managers used back in San Francisco, I have been able to find success. Growing pains are common and normal being a new manager and the road certainly hasn’t been easy—people have come and gone just as stress and doubt have ebbed and flowed.
I’ve come to understand that age really is just a number, and that experience is what actually matters. Experience is what gets you promoted and age is an unrelated signifier. Success comes from vision; specifically, your vision to see goals, how to achieve those goals and build confidence based on experiences. Anyone who aims to succeed in their career listens to their mentors. A good mentor guides staff to inspire them to hit their goals.
Above all, I’ve discovered that success is relative. Some days success might mean that your team is dominating the competition, but other days it may mean that you accomplished a simple task. And that’s okay. As a young manager, I’m going through my own growing process and perhaps that has been the biggest success of all.
To this day I’m proud of myself for taking a huge cross-country leap to start my team here in New York. Never be afraid of an opportunity – especially an opportunity to challenge yourself.
Article by Keith Wilson, Practice Manager in Jobspring Philadelphia.
Do you want all of your questions answered? If so, start asking one simple question: Why. It’s nothing revolutionary, but at the same time, it’s also counterintuitive. Growing up, I was always instructed to do as I was told. This process served me well in both school and sports. Once I transitioned into recruiting after college, I was educated on the benefits of digging deeper and asking why I should do the things I was being asked to do. Over the years, I came to understand that all of the answers I wanted were right at my disposal. I just had to ask for them. So as an interviewer or interviewee, why do you need to ask the tough question?
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To Fully Understand the Situation
The ability to understand is fundamental to being successful as both an employer and employee. This sounds elementary, but I've experienced what happens when I dive head-first into a project/task without asking any questions. Mistakes are made, but lessons learned quickly. Your strategy should be to understand the full scope of the process and figure out how your actions are going to align with the end goal. Whether you are an employer or employee, these details will allow you to properly diagnose the situation and help you pivot accordingly.
To Get a Deeper Perspective
For example, if I am speaking with a client that’s looking to hire 5 engineers over the next 2 months, I need to understand why. Obviously, your hiring spree is great news, but what’s the driving force behind this need? Are these positions out of growth, or did the entire team quit because they are working 60 hours a week? This is just a basic example to illustrate a simple situation where the “why” is vital in moving forward. Once I know the underlying facts of the situation, I can move forward, properly educated, with an eye on the expectations that lie ahead.
Sidenote: There is no need to probe people on sensitive information that may not be professional. That is not the purpose behind these conversations. If you lay up the question properly, it will be well-received. Don’t make it weird.
To Receive Feedback You May Not Want, But Still Need
You do not want to shy away from the tough questions in your own life, either. Asking your boss why you didn’t get the promotion may not come easy, but it may be advice that will advance your career in the long run. Sometimes you just need to delve deeper than surface-level to understand what’s going on. When you remove the roadblocks behind that “why”, your vision will become clearer.
This isn’t a fool proof plan, but it’s a great exercise to practice. Try it the next time you’re working on a new project with a co-worker or friend and see if you receive some feedback that you weren’t previously aware of. This may allow the creative juices to flow a bit easier and lead you to your next breakthrough. Remember, sometimes nothing is more powerful than the three letter word: Why.
Article by Jason Cooper, Practice Manager in Jobspring Silicon Valley.
With a record number of IPOs and companies like Beats By Dre and WhatsApp being acquired in the billions, venture capital firms continue to dump more and more money into technology-driven startups, hoping to hit on the next big thing. Thus, it’s no surprise that the demand for engineering talent is approaching an all-time high. Job-seekers and companies are always looking for those things that can give them a competitive advantage in the hiring process.
Silicon Valley is at the forefront of it all, and is a good place to look at trends in the market. A couple of months back, I was approached by David Ramel, a technical editor of MSDN Magazine, and asked about the use of social media sites, open source contributions, and general themes we are seeing out here in San Jose. What follows is a Q and A of that interaction.
Q: Have you seen evidence of recruiters/hiring managers paying more attention to participation in tech-oriented social media sites such as Stack Overflow, Quora, and Slashdot when evaluating job candidates?
A: At this point, I think recruiters are making use of sites like Stack Overflow and Quora more so than hiring managers. I think this is due to the fact that there are more open positions than qualified job-seekers. So recruiters are constantly trying to find new ways to source and connect with potential job-seekers. There is no doubt that these sites are becoming a more popular place for engineers to showcase their skills and knowledge of technology trends. However, I think the evaluation of job-seekers (both technical and cultural) still primarily takes place during the interview(s).
Q: If so, are these becoming more important than traditional evaluation methods such as resumes, CVs, screening interviews, and so on?
A: I still think that interviews are the most effective way to evaluate potential candidates. Resumes are a helpful tool, but they often don’t tell the whole story. That’s why I meet my job-seekers in-person and go through their background in detail. I’ve been able to schedule interviews for some job-seekers with nothing more than a quick pitch of their background over the phone. Contributions to these types of sites can help set you apart, but it’s not as if a talented engineer will be penalized by a client for not doing so. Again, I do think that participation on these sites is a way for engineers to get noticed, leading to more opportunities being presented to them.
Q: Do you foresee these new evaluation techniques surpassing those traditional methods in importance/usage?
A: The modern day job search has greatly evolved over the last several years. As recruiters and hiring managers try to streamline the interview process and find more efficient ways to hire quickly, I think it’s entirely possible that these new evaluation techniques will play a greater role in the decision making process.
Q: Have you found that open source project contributions/participation are becoming more important?
A: I think open source contributions say a lot about an engineer. As a recruiter, it tells me that someone is passionate about what they do and plays an active role in the tech community. Again, there are plenty of great engineers that aren’t going to have open source contributions to point to, and that’s fine. However, if someone is very active in the Linux community or is an Apache committer for example, it surely will capture the attention of recruiters and hiring managers.
Q: Are hirers using specific big data analytics techniques in their evaluations with respect to the aforementioned trends? If so, any specifics as to the techniques/strategies or software packages being used?
A: I suppose that this could be happening, but I’m not aware of it yet. However, it seems like a natural progression as many companies look to leverage big data analytics in a variety of ways.
Q: What would be your advice to software developers/engineers looking to advance their careers with respect to these trends? What specific things can they do to enhance their job prospects in the new age of social media and big data?
A: I think you want to make sure that what you are putting online and sharing in the open source community is something you are proud of and can stand behind. If you are going to share links to your code/projects on your resume or LinkedIn profile, you want to make sure it highlights your strengths. I think the site that’s getting the most attention, especially from hiring managers, is GitHub. For someone looking to enhance their job prospects, that would be the first place I would start.
Q: With respect to the previous question, how does your advice vary for new developers seeking initial employment versus experienced developers seeking to advance their careers?
A: The entry-level engineer out of a top computer science program will have no problem landing a job. They really don’t need to do much to attract the attention of potential employers. The Facebook’s and Google’s of the world will snatch these folks up quickly, and often before they even graduate. However, for those engineers not coming out of high profile schools, I think contributions to sites like Stack Overflow, GitHub, etc. become much more important. Without real world career experience, this is a fantastic way for them to showcase their knowledge and skills.
Q: Beyond the aforementioned trends, are you seeing other ways that software development/engineering recruiting/hiring is changing?
A: In recent years, top tier software engineers have become almost like blue chip recruits in collegiate sports. It’s a candidate-driven market and they often have their pick from a handful of job offers. Thus, companies are constantly altering their interview process, sales pitch, compensation packages, and perks to be more attractive than the competition. In 2009, companies could retain and recruit engineers because the majority of them were happy just to have jobs. Now, recruiters and hiring managers really need to sell their opportunity to potential candidates from the get-go, and throughout the interview process if they have any hope of capturing their attention.
Q: On the flip side, are you seeing other ways that job-seekers are amending their strategies?
A: Most analysts predict the demand for engineering talent to continually increase over the next 10-15 years. Provided this trend continues, which I think it will, I see sites like Dice, Monster, and CareerBuilder becoming much less relevant. The job-seekers I know who publically post their resume online can get anywhere from 10-50 calls and/or emails a day. The internet is a great way to advertise that you're looking for a job, but it results in a lot of “noise” with very little filter. Many of the good engineers out there will choose to be more selective in their job search. They may turn to their friends or former colleagues for referrals to specialized agency recruiters or introductions to the hiring manager at their current company. Trust me, if you have a detailed profile on LinkedIn, the good companies and recruiters will find you. You can sit back and choose which ones you respond to and there is no need to subject yourself to the endless calls and emails that come with posting your resume on these sites. It’s gotten to the point where some of the job-seekers I represent no longer have a conventional resume. They simply use their LinkedIn profile in lieu of one, and many clients could care less. It’s about what they can do from a programming standpoint, not about their ability to write a resume.
Q: What skills are most in demand, in terms of areas of expertise and/or specifics such as experience with programming languages/tools?
In closing, the modern day job search is definitely evolving. The standard resume and job board account is no longer the way to get noticed. While social media and open source community projects make it easier to find and connect with potential candidates, people still hire people. There will always be a place for talented recruiters as it’s a relationship-based business. No matter how many questions you answer on Quora, or how great your resume or GitHub account looks, there is always going to be a personality/cultural component to hiring that I don’t think technology will be able to account for.