Posts Tagged Big Data

Unexpected ways you’ll be evaluated by recruiters.

Spark-Hire-Reasons-To-Find-A-New-Recruiter-870x400We all know the typical things recruiters look for in any job candidate. But there are also some unexpected ways they go about assessing your skills. Here are a few specific tricks hiring managers, potential bosses and recruiters use to determine what’ll happen once you’re out of the interview and on the job.

Big data. Today, recruiters can use tools that aggregate a candidate’s online presence, scouring profiles, forums, shared projects, and posts to form a more comprehensive picture of your skills, interests, and behaviors. What they say is true: be aware that the things you do online in “public” places should always be things you wouldn’t mind a potential employer seeing.

Receptionists. Yes, hiring managers often refer to office receptionists to get a little more information about how you behave when in front of people you don’t necessarily expect to be evaluating you. Some companies even go so far as to have receptionists fill out their own evaluations of candidates during their brief time in the lobby. So even though it seems obvious, always be courteous and put your best face forward for everyone.

Checks for consistency. Recruiters often check to see if claims on your resume and other professional materials match up with your actions online. If you claim you’re one thing, but the organizations you belong to and job boards you frequent say another, they’ll question your legitimacy.

Surprise tactics. Potential employers sometimes like to get you out of your comfort zone, to see how you’ll react when you’re caught off guard. They may call you after hours, or interrupt you in the middle of an interview panel or test, to see how you handle it. Whatever your potential employer throws your way, it’s okay to be genuinely surprised – just go with the flow, and above all – always be polite.

References you didn’t provide. If a potential boss or hiring manager knows someone you worked with or for, they’ll often reach out, whether you included this person on your list of references or not. That’s just the reality of the small world we live in – word of mouth is your best form of advertising. So even though we all have people we didn’t exactly jive with, do your best to never burn bridges.

Are we missing anything? What are some other screening tactics job candidates should be aware of during their search? We’d love to hear your experience in the comments section below.


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Is the “9-5” Work Schedule Staying or Fading?

9-5Times are changing and so is your average work schedule. Did you know that the first five-day workweek began in the United States in 1908? However, now more companies are allowing for their employees to telecommute and create their own schedules. A recent Millennial Report indicates that 45% of Millennials would pick flexibility over compensation. Take a look at the following factors that may cause this shift:

  1. “Hot Jobs” Allow for More Flexibility: Some of the hottest jobs on the market right now are tech related with a key focus in IT, Data, or Engineering. These types of positions are shown to have more leeway to telecommute. Also, with Social Media on the rise, multiple positions are being created to manage an organizations online presence. This also requires employees to manage these technologies beyond “normal” 9-5 working hours as consumers peruse Social Media late into the night.
  2. Advancing Your Education: Many businesses place extra focus into their employee’s career development. In order to achieve this, acquiring new skills and furthering their education is imperative. As a result, Millennials will be spending their time taking additional classes, workshops, seminars, etc. to stay marketable in this changing work environment.
  3. Big Data Dominates Corporate Structure: As we struggle to keep up with the latest and greatest in technology, companies are prepared now more than ever to set up their employees remotely. Meetings can now be done virtually and phone systems can be connected with our personal smartphones. If we have access to be just as productive as we would be in our office, are the set office hours necessary too?

Don’t get your hopes up yet! This will be a gradual process as you might begin to see employees working from home up to twice a week or an occasional switch in your schedule. If you have any feedback of what type of schedule you prefer, we would love to hear from you!

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4 Key Tech Trends to Watch for in 2015

trendsAs the technology industry continues to generate more career opportunities, employers are seeking specific skills to fulfill their open positions.

As job seekers continue to broaden their careers, take a look at the following trends to watch for in 2015:

  1. Shift from Temporary to Full-Time Employment: Business News Daily reveals, “Employers planning to hire temporary or contract workers in 2015, fifty-six percent plan to transition some of those workers into full-time permanent roles.” Studies have also shown organizations are planning on hiring more employees in 2015.
  2. Big Data: If you are in the tech industry, then you have probably heard this term. Big Data is one of the hottest topics within the job market right now. Organizations are determining how to use Big Data to help them operate it effectively and efficiently. The need for candidates who know how to, mine for, manage and use this data for businesses will continue to grow.
  3. Mobile Focus: Did you know that 86% of job seekers who have a smart phone would use it to search for a job, but 50% of career sites aren’t optimized for mobile? Moving forward, more companies are spending additional funds to ensure their technologies are mobile friendly, which will provide more opportunities for candidates with related skill sets who can fulfill these needs.
  4. Help Desk Roles: In 2015, there will be a higher need for staffing agencies to place candidates in positions catering to technical support and help desk associates. As technology continues to change, the number of devices and variety of hardware and software that organizations support will sky rocket. As a result, it becomes more difficult for organizations to support these platforms and hiring needs will increase.

The real question at the end of the day is, how can you, as a job seeker prepare for these trends? Stay on top of the latest updates within your industry, learn new skills to make yourself marketable, and over-prepare for the interview. If you have any other key technology trends to look out for in 2015, we would love to hear from you!

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Cracking the Code- How to Successfully Answer Interview Questions at Tech Companies

imagesIGKJLAUMWith tech jobs on the rise, it means that the interview process is only getting tougher and tougher. So if your dream job is to work at Apple, Facebook, or Dell, you need to start preparing how to answer their open-ended, challenging questions. But, what kind of questions will they be asking and how do job seekers prepare for the ambiguous questions before landing your next role as a mobile developer at IBM?

What Types of Questions to Expect:

  1. Questions that test your logic
  2. Hypothetical questions you’re likely to solve on the job
  3. Brainteasers

By assessing your logic, skill set, or expertise, employers will ask something like this: “What areas do you feel like are your strongest? Can you describe a time where you encountered a challenging situation and how did you solve it?”

In the technology industry, your desired roll will most likely be something specific, let’s say a Software Engineer, so it is not uncommon for a hiring manager to ask how you developed software solutions in your previous position. Based on how you answer this, will give them a good idea on how you would handle situations you may encounter on the job.

The questions that come in the middle of an interview that usually throw you for a loop, are known as brainteasers. These are going to be based upon something specific, such as “Describe Google as a person.” When answering these, stop and briefly brainstorm of how to effectively answer.

How to Answer:

  1. Ask Questions– If you are unclear, do not be afraid to ask questions. Many questions can be vague and could convey a variety of meanings, so go ahead and ask for clarification.
  2. Break it Down– By finding a way of breaking down the issue, will show the hiring manager you are capable of tackling multiple issues at once and are not easily overwhelmed.
  3. Step by Step– Provide a sense of logic upon solving a hypothetical situation, for example by saying, “first I would approach this upon completing the following step.”
  4. Convey Communication Skills– This is one of the most important factors you will be evaluated on upon any type of interview so make sure you develop clarity upon answering.

As always, continue to do research on the company prior to an interview and be prepared to go in-depth about the qualifications listed on your resume specific to the open job description. For example, if the targeted company wants to learn more about your years of coding experience, be prepared to elaborate. Do you have any tips on how to crack the code? We would love to hear from you…

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Tech Jobs on The Rise

IT TalentThe technology industry will be one of the fastest-growing fields between 2012 and 2022 and as more companies continue to digitize, the demand for tech specialists has increased exponentially. The Information Technology field will continue to generate careers and growth opportunities.

According to, in 2012, IT Jobs had a median total compensation of $90k for staffers and $116k for managers. Cloud-Computing and Mobile Application Development are two of the fastest growing areas in IT. Not to mention, some of the other hot areas in IT right now include Software Engineers, Network Administrators, and IT Managers. The tech industry will continue to develop in 2014 with a concentration in key segments including: data, mobile application, and analytics. The presence of big data is embedded from a variety of forms, ranging from your medical forms to personalized emails; and with that being said, companies are looking to automate their data entry via strategic marketing campaigns. This will drastically reduce labor cost as these programs will minimize tedious and lengthy tasks. Mobile Development is without a doubt the fastest growing segment in IT, and as it continues to evolve, more careers are being created due to smartphones becoming our personal laptops. In reference to data analytics, more opportunities are being created than ever due to the immense amount of data present. The challenge is to establish ways to effectively approach data by determining ways to gather and re-structure massive amounts of information.

This is good news for recent college graduates or those who are looking to begin a career in the IT field, as they will have a wide range of opportunities to choose from. According to Travis Almy, Director of Recruiting at TRC Professional Solutions, “In 2014, we have experienced an 18% increase in demand for skilled IT Professionals.” What companies want to see from college grads is involvement and experience—for example, internships or participation in organizations is an added bonus.

Technology is a prevalent tool that is consistently embedded in our day-to-day lives and a manifestation of future career opportunities. Whether you are looking to begin a career in this field or striving to expand your current role, refining your skillset in technology qualifies you as a valuable asset to any company.

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A New HR Tool, Big Data Finds In-House Talent

Big Data

We’ve discussed the use of big data for recruiters to find job candidates. Now, according to surveys by business research companies like CEB and a recent Forbes NetApp article, many companies are using big data to locate and leverage talent within their own companies.

Here’s how it works.

Companies are combining the efforts of recruiters, who source contractors for new and temporary projects, with those of programs like IBM’s Talent Suite or BambooHR’s customizable software. These programs transform employee profiles into powerful tools that offer insight beyond a worker’s job description or self description. These tools scour the internet for social media profiles, comments, blogs, and more in order to build a “skill profile” for each employee. The software then allows managers to submit searches for particular skills and land on current employees (company wide) that possess these skills. Good managers will help develop these skills in superstar employees, instead of letting them get under the radar and eventually lost to the competition.

In the construction and hi-tech industries in particular, this objective and efficient form of talent location is aiding or replacing traditional employee-written profiles and lists of aptitudes – which are highly subjective, quickly dated, and not nearly as accessible.

Big data will play an increasing role in HR and recruiting, but it’s not without its kinks. There are privacy concerns. There’s the idea that companies should find ways to present each opportunity to all employees, not just the other way around. Then there’s the fact that while 65% of participants in a recent CEB study thought big data was critical to talent management, only 44% were actually using the data to hire. That will likely change as analytics play a bigger and bigger role in HR and recruiting.

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Which IT Skills are in Highest Demand?


Information technology is one of the hottest industries with the highest demand for skilled workers. But because of the rapidly changing nature of the technology world, the skills needed are also constantly changing. If you’re an IT professional, you’re likely helping drive this change yourself. Either way, you’ll do well to keep up and keep learning throughout your career. Which bodes the question. Which IT skills are currently the most “in demand?”

According to, the following IT skills are in high demand this year.

1. Programming and application development

Software developers are the most sought-after technology workers, and enjoy a low 1.8% unemployment rate. In particular, developers with mobile- and experience-building skills are in especially high demand.

2. Help desk and technical support

A function once outsourced, organizations are bringing it back in-house, thanks to the proliferation of mobile devices and web services whose complexities warrant on-call help close to home.

3. Networking

Quite simply, so much of our work is conducted online, and so many products, from smartphones to medical devices, rely on a wireless network, that most businesses require wireless connectivity and the troubleshooting that goes with it.

4. Mobile applications and device management

With mobile gaining on laptops or desktops as the primary means of using the web, it goes without saying mobile developers will continue to be in demand. But beyond mobile development, mobile security is an increasingly crucial piece.

5. Project management

With IT success measured by the success or failure of projects, companies are investing heavily in project managers who communicate with developers about the technology and solutions and leverage business skills to ensure these solutions come to life.

6. Database administration

As part of companies’ big data initiatives, systems analysts, developers, and DBAs are in high demand. “DBAS with experience moving pieces of the IT infrastructure to the cloud will be highly sought after,” says Dice Holdings CEO Scott Melland.

7. Security compliance and governance

With an increase in malware and cyber attacks, security is absolutely a number-one priority for companies. Security expertise shows up on every list of hot IT skills.

8. Business intelligence and analytics

Demand for data-driven insights is high, yet analytics expertise is scarce, so these professionals are sought after and can command high salaries.

 Hottest of the Hot

In an article in IT Business Edge, national IT practice manager at Addison Group, Jeff Remis, stressed that data analytics and transaction security are the hottest areas in IT.

  • Big data is exploding, and companies are investing heavily in how they capture, store, analyze, protect, and utilize data. Business intelligence developers, analysts, report writers, and people in the data warehouse arena play a big role.
  • With costly security breaches like the Target breach, companies aren’t holding back when it comes to investing in intrusion detection.

It’s Not All About Tech Skills

Of two equally skilled (technically speaking) IT professionals, which is the most desirable for a hiring company? The person with the ability to collaborate and the ability to communicate with business users. Soft skills are important. In fact, in a rapidly changing world of technology, they may be the one constant.

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