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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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Editor: Bill L.
Writers: Amy D., Anna M., Connie V., Roseanne D.

 

 

« January 2007 | Main | March 2007 »

February 26, 2007

Qualities Found in Good (and Bad) Leaders

It’s the age-old question: are good leaders born with it or can strong leadership skills be learned? According to a recent Computerworld article, Bart Bolton, a longtime IT management consultant and a facilitator for the Society for Information Management Regional Leadership Forum, claimed that he knew many introverts who became successful CIOs but explained that potential leaders need to “develop a sense of self-awareness of who you are and who you’re about that leads to a sense of self-confidence.”

The article went on to explain that effective IT leaders have “the ability to set and communicate a vision for the IT organization” and  “the capacity to market and sell that vision to IT staffers and business executives.” However, when you are trying to develop these traits to propel yourself into leadership roles, beware not to be under- or overly-assertive. A recent study, which appeared in the February issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, found that organizational leaders who demonstrate low or high levels of assertiveness are seen as less effective (Read more about the study in Science Daily).

Through a series of studies, researchers asked workers for their opinions on colleagues’ leadership strengths and weaknesses. Some of the most common strengths listed were intelligence, self-discipline and charisma. As for the weaknesses, assertiveness was listed as a problem more times than the three common strengths combined. In  total, assertiveness was mentioned as a weakness in more than half of the studies.

The moral of the story: When trying to climb the IT ranks, be sure to be confident and charismatic, but keep your assertiveness levels in check.

Posted by Michele B.

February 20, 2007

Value of IT Certifications on the Decline

Planning on becoming IT certified or re-certified in the near future?  Well, you might want to reconsider based on a recent article in eWeek’s Channel Insider which reports that wages for certified IT professionals actually lost value in 2006 while pay for non-certified workers increased nearly eight percent.   

The findings were based on IT workforce research firm, Foote Partners’, Hot Technical Skills and Certification Pay Index, which was released last week.  “This is obviously a disturbing trend for both independent training companies that focus on certification test preparation and the many vendors who rely on certifications to help maintain a foothold on IT departments for their products, “ said David Foote, CEO and chief research officer of Foote Partners. 

The one area where certifications pay off is with gold-standard ones such as Project Management Professionals. In the non-certified area, employers continue to value experts in the Enterprise Business Applications space, particularly SAP, which posted gains of 15.2 percent in 2006 according to Foote Partners’ index.  This information matches with a previous The Recruiter post regarding SAP demand in 2007.

Although we’re not sure what this data really means, a previous eWeek article suggested that IT certifications are losing value as employers are looking for business-articulate IT professionals, rather than people who passed the exam.

Posted by Janet F.

February 19, 2007

What Workers Want

Monster recently presented a webinar on Sourcing Candidates: Understanding Tactics Used by Successful Job Seekers to give hiring managers and HR decision makers an idea of what you, the candidate is going through during the job hunt.

Since more than half the technology workforce is projected to be switching jobs this year, it’s good to know what you may be dealing with.    

Their findings are dead-on.  The top challenges they found you encountered when searching for a new job range from finding a career that fits your needs, getting discovered and interviewed, finding time to search and staying motivated and focused. 

The study’s survey group was composed primarily of job seekers with a job.  More than 70% had a job but were actively or passively searching for their next career step.  More than a third of the respondents were in professional or technical positions, just less than a third were managers and the rest of the group was almost equally composed of  executives, consultants/self employed and administrative workers. 

The frustrations of all these job seekers are nearly universal.  The same vague job descriptions, over-inflated requirements and lack of response from employers that you encounter plagued this group too. 

Hopefully the hiring managers that Monster communicated with will start to focus on what matters to job seekers – compensation, growth opportunity and work/life balance options, like telecommuting

Posted by Christy H.

February 16, 2007

Weight and Your Career

Obesity is a growing problem in the U.S., according to a report from The Centers for Disease Control -- 65% of U.S. adults are overweight or obese.  The connections between excess weight and health issues are known, but what effect does being overweight have on your career? According to an article on MSN Careers, it can influence both your career and potential earnings.

The article, “Is Your Weight Hurting Your Career?” featured opinions from several experts, including information from a study by Charles L. Baum, Ph.D., of Middle Tennessee State University who reports that, “obesity was found to lower a woman’s annual earnings an average of 4.5 percent…and 2.3 percent for men.”   

Also covered was a 2005 survey from TheLadders.com, which indicated that 75 percent of executives said that being overweight is a “serious career impediment.” 

Being overweight can also have hidden effects on one’s career, such as not being hired for a position after an in-person interview, following several successful phone interviews and other screenings.  So, how can one move past your weight and present yourself in a positive light?

According to Miriam Berg, president of the Council of Size and Weight Discrimination, “we recommend doing your homework, dressing for success, putting your best foot forward, and most importantly, addressing any potential objections a potential employer might have,” she suggests.

Posted by Janet F.

February 15, 2007

How big is your online network?

Following the spectacular success of MySpace.com, many Web 2.0 entrepreneurs have launched or plan to launch new business-networking sites. If you have been a skeptic to the growing social-networking trend, now may be the time to hop on the bandwagon. Here are three of today’s popular business-networking sites that we have found useful:

LinkedIn - Founded in 2002, today’s probably most well-known business networking site has grown to more than 9 million members. By continually building out your direct contact list, you can have access to thousands, if not millions, of other members through just a few degrees of separation. According to a Business 2.0 article from this past December, “LinkedIn has become the go-to place for the tech elite” and has become a candidate searching tool-of-choice for executives at companies such as Microsoft.

Jobster – Founded in 2004, Jobster is looking to quickly increase its networking capabilities. Just last week, the company announced a new and improved Web 2.0 site that will allow users to connect with people, information, and opportunities to help them further their careers. On the new Jobster.com, job seekers can post digital profiles and resumes, set up personalized tags, network with other job seekers for advice and create personal URL addresses for themselves within Jobster. The new site also allows employers to an unlimited amount of free job postings and immediately presents potential matching candidates. 

Xing – According to Xing, founded in 2003, “no two people are more than six degrees apart.” Out of all business networking sites out there today, Xing definitely has the largest international presence. With its corporate headquarters in Hamburg, Germany, the sites boasts tens of millions of users from around the globe.

Posted by Michele B.

February 14, 2007

Bad attitudes at work, as contagious as the flu

Sometimes making it through the daily grind can seem trying enough.  But we all know when you have a negative co-worker sucking your energy on top of the day-to-day stress; it is enough to blow a gasket. 

A recent study at the University of Washington revealed that it isn’t just you.  In fact one or two unhappy, pessimistic workers can sour the whole office.  Also, the study revealed that even with perky, happy workers in this environment, the damage is done. 

With this said, as a candidate for your next career opportunity, be prepared for a thorough screening.  Hiring managers have always suspected that one bad apple really could spoil the whole bunch, but this study now solidifies this notion.  Personality tests, behavioral interview questions and “what if..” scenarios in the screening process will be more prevalent than ever before. 

And for those of you, who suspect that you might be that sour grape at the office, perk up.  You’re dragging the rest of the crew down with you. 

Posted by Christy H.