Archive for December, 2014

Pay Raises Ahead in 2015!

pay raiseThis Christmas season, I bring you good tidings of great joy! No, not the ones proclaimed by the Angelic Host in Matthew, but ones from a recruiting leader on the front lines of the technical job market. I believe that we are at the beginnings of an uptick in salaries for IT and Engineering Professionals.

For purposes of my thoughts here, I am talking about pay raises in excess of 5%. According to the HR consulting firm, Mercer, the average pay increase for employees in 2015 will be 3%. For top performers, it will be close to 5%.

Here are 3 reasons why I believe more significant pay raises will be coming for Technical Workers in 2015 and beyond:

  • Improving Economy-While the economy isn’t growing at a record breaking pace, it is much better than it was 2 or 3 years ago. Keep in mind, that we had 5% growth in GDP in Q3 of 2014. The economy is also seeing positive trends in the areas of housing, job creation, gas prices and consumer sentiment.
  • Demographic Changes-An improving economy has led to an increased stock market. As I write this, the Dow Jones broke the 18,000 market for the first time. Many people who had put off retiring 5 years are ago are now financially able to do so. This shortage of talent has been particularly painful in the manufacturing sector where an aging workforce exists. There simply aren’t enough young people that choose the manufacturing field as a profession. I recently had one client tell me, that they anticipated losing nearly 40% of their Engineering workforce over the next decade due to retirements.
  • Supply and Demand-Employers are hiring again. In the recruiting world, we are now in what is known as a “candidate market.” This manifests itself in our world by counteroffers from current employers and candidates with multiple offers. Employers need to expedite the hiring process or risk losing top talent.

Pay raises are the primary “arrow in the quiver” of employers in the retaining key workers. Employees that recognize this early will be on the front lines of hiring and attracting the best talent.

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Why You Did Not Land the “Follow Up” Interview

interviewIf you are like the rest of us, then you have probably have gone through an initial interview process, but unfortunately never heard anything back about finalizing the “next steps”. Chances are, you thought you aced the interview, but were soon disappointed to never receive a response. Don’t worry- you are not the only one- we have all been there!

After all, one of the biggest complaints from job seekers is not hearing back from employers. We have provided some feedback as to why you may not have landed the “follow up” interview:

  • The Position May not be Available Anymore: Unfortunately, the recruiting process can change at any time. There are many outside factors that can come into play: the company might not be able to provide for this position financially or some candidates from within the organization decided to apply for the same job. It is also possible they have chosen to not move forward with hiring someone for this role. Bummer, we know!
  • Some People Avoid Confrontation: This is something to keep in mind during your job search. Due to the increasing amount of applicants, some hiring managers place their focus on candidates who will make the right fit for the open position and choose not to follow up with candidates they are not moving forward with.
  • Employers Are Still Deciding: Sometimes companies have not fully committed to creating a new position or may take their time sorting through candidates for the position. If this is the case, it doesn’t hurt to follow up with the hiring manager down the road!
  • Increasing Number of Applicants: In today’s competitive market, the HR department is swarmed with numerous applications, many of which are qualified for the current open position. There is also a chance your resume might have gotten mixed in with other applications. Now that you know this, go ahead and follow up with a “thank-you” letter and a phone call a week later thanking them for taking the time to meet with you.
  • There is Still Room for Improvement: First impressions are crucial, so make sure you arrive early and dress to impress. Work on your presentation skills by speaking confidently during the interview process and cater your resume and cover letter specifically to the position you are applying for.

The bottom line is that there could be many external reasons that could come into play when deciding who to hire. If you didn’t land that “follow-up” interview- don’t get discouraged- the right position may be just around the corner! If you have any experience of why you did not land that “follow up” interview, we would love to hear your story!

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How to Separate Yourself as a Job Seeker When Applying to Tech Jobs

hire meWhether you have recently graduated or are looking to advance your career, figuring out how to differentiate yourself from your competition can be challenging. As we approach the New Year, the month of December might be the best month to get hired. Extra attention from your recruiter and several networking opportunities during the holidays are just a few examples of ways to make connections this month. Here is how you can separate yourself:

  1. Each Application Should be Specific: As you apply to various job postings, cater each resume and cover letter to each position that you are applying for. When looking to fill positions, recruiters search for key words within your resume that cater to the positon you are applying for.
  2. Update Social Media Accounts: Your resume will not be the only item recruiters and hiring managers are evaluating before setting up an interview. Employers will scan your social media accounts to gain a feel as to whether or not your personality will fit well with the company culture. Update and clean up your Social Media Accounts before you begin sending out your resume.
  3. Prepare for the Interview Process: Once you land an interview, it is important to prepare accordingly for the interview process. For tech related positions, it is normal to demonstrate your experience and answer hypothetical scenarios that might come up on the job.  For example, you may be asked to demonstrate your skills in coding or describe how you would solve a problem. These types of interview questions are not uncommon for positions such as a software developer or engineer.
  4. Acquire Internships: Many tech related careers often begin with an internship. Participate in programs related to your field as early as possible- not only will this build your skillset, but you can develop connections through networking that will help you advance in your career.

Lastly, speak confidently during the interview process as you discuss your qualifications and answer the hiring manager’s questions. Sometimes the process can be lengthy, but conveying confidence in your abilities and what you can bring to the role will not go unnoticed. If you have any other suggestions as to how to separate yourself as a job seeker, please let us know!

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How Modern Technology Can Prepare You for The Holidays

images9OG2X1LNAs the holiday season approaches, we are constantly looking for new ways to save time, money, and energy because we wait until the last moment to complete our holiday to-do list. To beat the crowds, more of us are online shopping and turning to our smartphones for the answers in order to help ease some of the holiday stress. With this being said, mobile continues to dominate our decision making and keeping up- to- date with the latest technology will be crucial this holiday season. Read our tips below of how current innovations within technology can prepare you for the upcoming holiday season:

  1. Health– Trying to eat right and exercise regularly in the midst of our hectic schedules can be difficult, the innovation of new products can help us keep better track of our health. The cordless Fitbit is designed to keep track of your sleep, distance you have walked on a daily basis, and if you want to get really in depth, it can even track food consumed and water. Your information is stored on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis that will keep up with weight loss and/or gain.
  2. Siri– Looking for a hands free help as you prepare to cook this year’s Christmas dinner? Thanks to Apple’s Hey Siri feature or Amazon’s Echo, this Christmas cooking just got a lot easier. You can use these voice commands to find out the ideal temperature to cook a ham or look for a butter substitute for your pecan pie.
  3. Helpful Gadgets– Seeking the perfect stocking stuffer for the crazy Aunt of yours? Look no further as the innovation of wireless thermometers can take some of her stress away- once the device reaches the ideal temperature, an alarm will notify you. Say goodbye to overcooked, dry turkey this year!
  4. More Online Shopping– The reality is, the way we shop continues to revolutionize as online shopping continues to become more prevalent. Sites such as Amazon or Overstock.com are a customer’s one stop shop as it more convenient in regards to saving time and money. Even online grocery outlets are growing in popularity such as Blue Apron, Safeway, or Netgrocer in which you personally customize your meal-plan online or even order health and beauty products. Upon completing your order, it is delivered at your door in no time.

In a highly competitive market, business leaders continue to look for more ways to make our lives just a little bit easier without the added stress during this busy holiday season. If you have any other tech updates that will help us during the holidays, please share- we would love to hear from you!

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