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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.

 

 

« July 2007 | Main | September 2007 »

August 29, 2007

Executive IT recruitment down almost 14 percent

The tech industry saw 13.8 percent fewer executive searches in Q2 2007 -- the largest drop of any job sector -- according to the latest study from the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC).

But don't panic, C-level IT execs. A couple macro factors might be at play. For example, AESC president Peter Felix thinks the tech job market could be stabilizing, rather than grinding to a halt. In other words, the drop might indicate less executive turnover and steadier job hiring, not an industry downturn.

'Tis also the season. August is traditionally a slow month for tech hiring, and this year is no exception. There's a good chance the numbers will rise again in September when everyone comes back from their summer vacations and goes back to punching the clock.

And don't forget the old saying “slow and steady wins the race.” Our industry often gets caught in bubbles that spark wild hiring as they inflate, and force layoffs when they burst. I'm sure IT executives will take predictable ebbs and flows over volatile spikes any day, if it means greater job security in the end.

Posted by Christy H.

August 27, 2007

Starving for lunch hour freedom

Lunchtime. It's the adult recess. The one hour where we unlock ourselves from our desks and run to the nearest meadow to frolic. Or, in my case, pick up a sandwich and run to the cleaners.

But the noonday ritual might disappear soon, according to MSNBC Career columnist Eve Tahmincioglu. The latest trend: companies making employees eat at their desks and multi-task smaller jobs. Ostensibly, this approach doesn't interrupt the workday, keeps workers in the groove, and increases productivity.

Maybe it's just my growling stomach talking, but I question the thinking behind this. Unless employers hire bionic people, everyone needs to recharge their batteries during the day.

Without the break, workers will be more susceptible to stress, exhaustion, and illness. And frazzled, sick employees won’t help achieve higher productivity or profits. This is particularly true in tech fields, where fuzzy heads and bad attitudes can stifle attention to detail and problem-solving abilities.

Granted, the American business model couldn't withstand the three-hour siestas enjoyed in Spain or Greece. But there's no need for such a dramatic shift. In exchange for one unstructured hour, employees will give you seven full of energy, creativity, and hard work. Now that's what I call a good trade.

Posted by Roseanne D.

August 24, 2007

Job search tips: They're everywhere you want to be

Attention all Gen Xers, Gen Yers, Millenials, Me Generation member, boomers, and any other subgroup I missed. I'm dedicating these lyrics from Jamie Cullum's “Twenty-something” to you:

Maybe I'll go traveling for a year,

finding myself or start a career.

I could work for the poor though I’m hungry for fame,

we all seem so different but we're just the same.

Why the song shout-out? Because every generation, whether twenty-something or sixty-something, is forgetting the wisdom of the last line when it comes to job searching.

We're so busy analyzing how Gen Xers act vs. how Gen Yers act, that we forget we're all human. And no matter how much we decorate our offices, make our hours flexible, and serve organic cafeteria food, work is still work.

That means certain job search skills and techniques will always be in vogue. Take this Employee Evolution post from Mark Liston. He offers sound, actionable advice to job-hunting millenials from his boomer vantage point, and delivers it in the funny, friendly style I wish my college commencement speakers had used.

That said, it's classic advice that doesn't need to be drawn across party lines. Networking, presentation, and follow-up skills are essential for every job candidate in the tech field, no matter their age or the age of the hiring manager.

And for the record, I agree that each generation has a slightly different style or outlook they contribute to the workplace. But human nature at its core has remained largely unchanged since we first formed tribes and guarded caves. Intelligence, hard work, and good humor prevail. If you annoy us, we will hit you with a club. (Ok, so maybe some things have changed.)

So whether you decided to travel, find yourself, or start a new career at the next stage in your life, keep these concepts in mind. I guarantee they'll take you where you want to be.

Posted by Anna M.

August 22, 2007

“Information” Technology: A Misnomer?

Who'd have thought information technology lacked exactly that -- information? But I'm not talking about missing data or incomplete systems. I'm talking about the people behind IT, and the way they exchange and manage information within their teams.

That's what Michael Lopp talks about in his book Managing Humans: Biting and Humorous Tales of a Software Engineering Manager, excerpted today in Computerworld. He covers “information starvation,” which happens when employees don't have complete, accurate facts about their responsibilities, projects, and job security, and instead base their knowledge and actions on rumors or gossip.

Managers can help prevent this situation by acting as “information conduits.” Silence is *not* golden when it comes to the workplace. Keep employees in the loop by communicating every step of every decision-making process, no matter how minor.

Also, stay consistent and steady. Share important details with the entire team. And use judgment about how you pass along the info. Provide context for your messages, and follow up with employees to make sure they understand the material's purpose.

Has information starvation ever reared its ugly head in your offices? How did you or your manager resolve it? What was the outcome? Share with us here.

Posted by Jim L.

August 17, 2007

Happy Friday!

NPR’s “Wednesday Focus on the Workplace” focused on happiness in the workplace. They discussed a recent report from the Harvard Business Review, which found that people’s attitudes at the office directly correlate to their job performance. After reviewing employees’ office diaries, researchers concluded that the happier people are at work, the more productive they are.

I found this very interesting, especially because today is Friday, and I am happily looking forward to my weekend. Does that mean that my work today will be better than my work from earlier in the week? On the flip side, is my work sub-par on days when I feel tired or sick?

I’m interested in hearing your thoughts on this. Do you think there is a correlation? Or, as Lucy Kellaway from Financial Times pointed out in the segment, is our work evaluated differently based on that day’s mood? Let me know what you think.

Posted by Jim L.

Who says you're too old for toys?

I was poking around USAToday.com and found something that I really think will put a smile on your face.  They’re called The Cubes:  miniature cubicles that bear a striking resemblance to the uniform cramped ones that many of us slave away in every day.  Each cube comes with cubicle walls, a desk, a tiny employee, and the props and decorations necessary to build the personal workspace of your favorite office stereotypes.

My favorite is the IT Set—check it out!

Posted by Christy H.

August 14, 2007

Today’s the Day to Update Your Resume

A message to all you job seekers out there: this week is Update Your Resume Week! But even if you’re not actively searching for a job, this is still the perfect chance for you to show your resume a little TLC. You never know when you’re going to need an updated copy. Plus, it’s much easier to work on your resume gradually, than rushing to do it right before it’s needed.

Monster.com has some great resources available to edit and update your resume. Definitely check out Common Resume Blunders to make sure yours is error-free, and Refresh Your Retro Resume in 6 Steps to make sure you stay competitive. Most importantly, don’t forget to review Resume Tips for Technology Professionals!

Happy editing!

Posted by Anna M.

August 10, 2007

Online versus face-to-face networking

Web Worker Daily had an interesting post this week about the merits and dangers of online networking.  The post talks about how easy services like LinkedIn and Facebook have made it to network online in recent years.  In theory, these new methods of meeting and staying in touch with people should be helpful in the business world.  However, WWD suggests that because of the impersonal nature of these services, we may not be making very strong connections – focusing on the quantity of relationship, not the quality of them. 

Another blogger, Shannon Clark, also wrote about the importance of face-to-face networking.  Shannon, a software and consulting professional, blogs about his personal goal of meeting 5 to 10 new people each week, and how valuable these connections can be.  His tips on networking are definitely worth checking out.

As a professional in a technical field, due to the nature of your work, you are most likely sitting in front of a computer for a majority of your day.  Do you think these networking tips are realistic for those who may not have many chances to interact with potential customers and employers very often?  Or do you think that online networking is helping you make the connections that you need?  I’d be very interested in hearing your thoughts in the comments section.

Posted by Anna M.

August 08, 2007

IT Skills in Demand

We’ve been talking for months about the status of the IT job market and the disparity between the number of available IT positions and the qualified candidates to fill them. We even shared career advice from Kate Lorenz of Careerbuilder.com on the right attitude to have in order to land one of those great jobs.

So what else can you do to increase your chances of getting a tech job? Mary Brandel at Computerworld.com lists those Irresistible IT Skills that employers will be looking for when hiring in the future. Among the skills in highest demand: wireless networking, project management and open-source programming. Candidates that possess expertise in these areas and can put them to use will be miles ahead of their competition.

Mary’s article is particularly interesting because it touches on some major trends that are affecting the industry in general, such as the move towards mobile devices as invaluable business tools and advances in wireless standards with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, etc. It will be interesting to see what new skills become important as trends in the workplace continue to evolve.

Posted by Christy H.

August 07, 2007

The Plus Side of Certification

Toni Bowers focused one of last week’s posts on View From the Cubicle on the Yoh Index. Toni’s post focused on the highest paying jobs, as determined by the Q1 numbers, but also highlighted a recent InformationWeek article that discusses certification and bonuses associated with particular certifications.

We discussed this topic on The Recruiter a few months back, but it was interesting to see the numbers from InformationWeek—just 6% of staff and only 4% of managers received bonuses that were connected to their training or certifications. Which leads to the question, are these certifications or training programs still important then? Of course!

Certifications do much more than provide opportunities for pay increases. They keep you updated on the latest tools and techniques for your area of expertise, and make you very valuable in the eyes of your employer. If you’re beginning to search for a new job—having the latest certifications will make you an outstanding candidate to consider.

So, don’t forget, while making some extra cash as a result of your training may be a benefit worth working towards, there are other benefits associated with training that may end up being just as beneficial in the long run.

Posted by Jim L.