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The Recruiter is a blog for workers in technology and professional markets to learn about hot fields and hiring trends from your friends at Yoh.
Yoh is one of the largest providers of talent and outsourcing services to customers in the United States. With over 374 million USD in total sales, Yoh operates from more than 75 locations and provides long- and short-term temporary and direct placement of technology and professional personnel, as well as managed staffing services, for the information technology, scientific, engineering, health care and telecommunications communities. For more information, visit yoh.com. Yoh is part of Yoh Services LLC, a Day & Zimmermann Company.

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Main | July 2006 »

June 29, 2006

National Handshake Day

Since yesterday was National Handshake Day, what a perfect opportunity to brood over this business ritual.  The handshake is the standard business greeting used to welcome colleagues, adjourn a meeting and seal the deal.  Although it now has a business connotation, it originated as a gesture to show that an individual was not hiding weapons. 

A study by securityworld.com found that handshakes are a greater source of germs than these disgusting items:

  • A coffee mug that hasn’t been washed in a week
  • The bottom of a shoe
  • Hotel bed linens
  • Public baby-changing stations

Now that you know all about one of the major transmitters of the common cold, learn how to give the perfect handshake by checking out this article.

Posted by Christy H.

June 28, 2006

Girls and Technology

Girl Scouts is more than weekend camp-outs and s’mores.  The girls’ organization has a program called Fair Play focused on introducing engineering concepts to girls in the 7th - 12th grades.  During the two-week day-camp, girls meet and work with professionals in the engineering field. 

Girl Scouts developed this program after recognizing teenage girls’ lack of interest in math and science.  This is an issue in all technology fields as the percentage of women in the field continues to decrease.  Academics attribute the cause of this decline to skill obsolescence.

With the number of women receiving bachelor-level degrees in Computer Science decreasing 7.5% from the 80s to the 90s, it’s no wonder fewer women are skilled in technology fields.  Programs like the Girl Scouts’ Fair Play camp can help increase the number of women in technology by fostering girls’ interest at a young age.

Scholarships are another effective method of attracting young women to technology. Illinois sees the value in this approach. The governor of the state recently announced that more than $200,000 in grants will be awarded to Chicago biotechnology students and teachers.

By encouraging girls to focus on math and science today, tomorrow’s workforce may have more women working in technology fields. 

Posted by Christy H.

June 27, 2006

Top IT Employers

The list of the best places to work in IT was just released this month from Computerworld. 

The employers that topped the list vary from traditional technology companies like SAS Institute (#6) and Quicken Loans (#1), to academic powerhouses like, our hometown Philly favorite, University of Pennsylvania (#9). Also, random companies not always synonymous with technology like General Mills (#10) and Royal Caribbean Cruises (#7) made a strong showing in the roster.

Aside from the specific companies featured, the list sheds light onto what workers in technology need and desire in an employer.  One attribute consistent with all of these top IT employers is a concerted effort to make technology a vital component of the business.  This paired with a focus on innovation and continuous learning makes ideal breeding grounds for great technology careers.  In fact, one of the top employers, MasterCard (#34), recently formed a group to read and analyze The World is Flat (a book featured in my Reads for the Career-Minded blog). 

One area that many companies fail to recognize is treating employees as human beings with lives outside of work.  Flexible work and telecommuting were only out-ranked by profit sharing, health insurance and paid vacation.  The work/life balance issue is tremendous.  Companies that want to attract and retain the best focus on this issue with programs like Allstate’s (#62) flexible work program that includes working remotely from home or L.L. Bean’s (#53) five paid adventure days that promote employees to engage in activities that use their products like fishing or cycling. 

To get an idea what it is like to work in technology for one of the ranking companies, check out the complete article.

Posted by Christy H.

June 15, 2006

Reads for the Career-Minded

Education is never-ending.  To keep ahead in business especially the fast-paced technology fields, keep up on what everyone at work is reading.  Here are some of my recommendations:

The World Is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman

In the past few decades, our world has changed dramatically.  Most of this change has occurred through remarkable advances in technology and communications; this has connected people all over the globe in ways unfathomable years ago.  These breakthroughs are creating new challenges for business like outsourcing and offshoring.   Keep up to speed with the modern international workplace by reading this newly released book.

Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitts and Stephen J. Dubner 

This unbelievable book takes a new look at the world with an economic/social science twist. By comparing sumo wrestlers and teachers and explaining why crack-dealers live with their moms, this must be the only economics book considered to be a page-turner.  Be ready to contribute your two cents next time someone brings up this groundbreaking book. 

Zapp! The Lightning Of Empowerment by William C. Byham and Jeff Cox

As a manager, helping employees take ownership of their jobs is a major challenge.  By mentoring your team to take personal interest in improving their performance, your role is opened up.  This book shows you how to empower your team to allow you focus on other leadership opportunities.

For a whole list of summer reads focused on expanding your career, check out this list.

Posted by Christy H.

June 12, 2006

Women Welcome

As I blogged “When Women Rule Work”, I mentioned that many women find their obligations with family conflict with a high-power career in technology.  Because of this challenge and the lack of women in technology (only four of the 200 largest public companies in California had women serving as CIOs), companies are stepping up to the plate with family-friendly perks. 

Google’s giving tons of time, up to 6 weeks, during maternity leave with great compensation, 75% of salary, and offering flexible work schedules post-pregnancy.  In addition, they’re kicking in a $500 “baby bonus” to spend on childcare or even on take-out for hungry families.  With Google’s baby-on-board preferred parking spots and nursing stations located in every single building, what expectant mother could pass up a career with this employer?

Other IT giants like IBM, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems and Yahoo are also there for moms.  With work-from-home options, flex-time and open-work programs, technology is begging women, especially mothers, to join their workforce.  Check out more details on these amazing family focused IT career options.

Posted by Christy H.

June 08, 2006

Tales from the Far Side

Ever wonder what hiring and HR managers are advised to do about hiring by consultants and advisory firms?

We came across a report from Forrester that states, "The job market for IT professionals has had some dramatic swings over the past five to six years. Y2K and the dot-com frenzy fueled a wild supply/demand imbalance that led to bidding wars for talent, with double-digit percentage increases in wages and signing bonuses in the tens of thousands of dollars. Then the subsequent dot-com crash and economic slowdown led to the downsizing of IT organizations, the demise of consulting companies, and the unemployment of many IT professionals. The past few years have seen an improving hiring picture for IT jobs. However, the combined effects of outsourcing, offshoring, the increased use of packaged applications and hosted solutions, and the shift to service-oriented architecture (SOA) have reshaped the IT job landscape. Firms need much more focused human capital management practices, especially around compensation strategies aimed at recruiting and retaining IT professionals."

In other words, the employment market has improved and you better pay better and build programs to retain the best talent. Let's see how that advice plays out.

Posted by Jim L.

June 06, 2006

Workaholic

The technology field is often considered a culture full of workaholics.  When your workload is overwhelming, the hours you work can get out of control quickly. 

Baxter Strategies Inc. found that 13 percent of full-time US employees work more than five days a week.   On top of this, the Society for Human Resource Management considers the 37.5-hour week a minimum expectation.

More than 31% of college-educated men are regularly working 50+ hours per week, up from 22% in 1980.

We’re working non-stop.  ABC News explained in a report this April that Americans are ranked fourth in the world for highest annual hours worked per capita,   With just South Korea, Japan and Australia ahead of us the land of the free is definitely not the land of the free-time. 

With all of the technology available to the US workforce, workloads should be easier to manage.  In reality, people are expected to be available by cell phone or Blackberry 24/7.  Returning an email here and there adds up to a lot of extra time focused on work.   

The truth is that technology, paired with corporate cut-backs, is adding time spent in the office, virtually and physically.  Since 1969, Americans have added an average of one extra month of time spent working each calendar year. 

On top working crazy hours, many Americans are commuting further than ever before.  Newsweek ran an article this month on commuting and found the fastest growing group on the roads fall into the category of Extreme Commuters.   Extreme Commuters are people who travel 90+ minutes to work, each way.  That’s right, over three hours in the car or on the train every day.

Demanding careers and limited staffs are already overloading workers.  With the commute factored into the scenario, people are spending less and less time on hobbies and at social events.  As you trek home from the office tonight, remember every 10 minutes added to your commute decreases time you spend with family and friends by 10 percent.  Uplifting right? 

Working like a horse isn’t all bad.  In fact, workaholics do have one thing average working stiff don’t have, money.  Even if you're salaried, you'll earn more than twice as much money by working 44 versus 34 hours a week.  Although this extra pay isn’t showing up as overtime on your next paycheck, workaholics  disproportionately earn promotions more quickly and land killer job opportunities that equal more money in the long run. 

If you’re wondering if you are part of the growing population of workaholics, take this survey from Forbes.   

Posted by Christy H.

What Does it Take to Get a Home Theater?

A recent story in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette opines about how the war for talent is heating up. You can read many things into the story. Ours is that the battle is so pervasive, it's hit Fort Wayne. Hold on tight. It's going to be a bumpy ride.

It's gotten so bad that employers are starting to dangle all kinds of incentives to snag the best people.

Our favorite: a 50" plasma TV offered by break.com to anyone who finds a qualified ad sales rep who is eventually hired.

Let us know if you've heard of any unique referral programs. We'll keep a log of em.

Got plasma, anyone?

Posted by Jim L.

Turnover in the IT World

Remember the old adage about first year law school students?
Look to your left. Look to your right. One of those people won't be here at the end of the year.
The same thing's happening in the IT world.
In an Information Week story out yesterday, Marianne McGee wrote that thanks to an improving employment market, nearly half of the IT workers surveyed plan to look for a new job in the next year.
So, it's more than just a war for talent; it's also a war to retain. Something tells us that companies like Initech from the movie Office Space are going to struggle in this environment.
Posted by Jim L.

21% Shouldn't Apply for a Division I Football Job

A recent survey of 1,085 job candidates in Human Resource Executive asked whether they had ever lied on their resume: The result: 21% of resondents said "yes" or "maybe a little."

Another survey by Right Managment Consultants indicates that 13% of workers who had been previously laid off were rehired by their former employers during 2005.

Posted by Jim L.