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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 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.



« December 2007 | Main | February 2008 »

January 24, 2008

Job boons for boomers

For baby boomers, the recession threat might only apply to hair lines, not bottom lines, thanks to recent news from IBM. Last week, the tech company joined the Partnership for Public Service to launch a new program aimed at giving boomers a second career with the federal government.

This program, called the FedExperience Transitions to Government, will help seasoned IBM employees launch a second career with the U.S. Department of Treasury. The timing for this partnership couldn’t be better. On one hand, the government will be looking to fill 193,000 jobs, including positions in information technology, just in the next two years. On the other hand, federal jobs often come with appealing benefits such as flexible work schedules, teleworking and job sharing – all attractive to semi-retired boomers. The result, according to Anita Bruzzese on 45 Things: The program will help combat worker shortages, while filling some of the government’s critical positions.

Overall, it’s an interesting response to the ongoing fear that boomers hitting retirement will cause a severe brain drain, and sap the economy of some of its most valuable and talented workers. Any boomers out there care to chime in? What you do think about the FedExperience program? Would it entice you to stay in the workforce longer? What other companies do you think would benefit from programs like this?

Posted by Anna M.

January 23, 2008

The mother of all prediction lists

Today's award for “Masterful List Compilation” goes to George Lenard over at George's Employment Blawg for his comprehensive, pull-from-all-corners take on the 2008 workplace. His predictions run the gamut from tech, productivity and job growth; to HR, work-life trends, regulations and more.

In case that's not enough for you, here are several 2008 predictions from our tech recruiting perspective to consider:

1. The IT talent pool will continue to drain at a steady rate, bringing the shortage to an all-time high, and forcing U.S. companies to consider alternative sourcing methods.

2. The shortage also will compel managers to reexamine who they're hiring, and for what. Look for a rise in combined staffs, where full-time workers handle routine development and maintenance, and consultants augment projects with specialized skills.

3. IT, tech and engineering programs will step up high school and college recruitment in an effort to stop the brain drain at its source, and train more qualified workers for the hiring pipeline.

Keep checking back for updates as to whether or not these predictions pan out!

Posted by Jim L.

January 16, 2008

New skills to sharpen your edge in '08

Part three of our informal series on making the new year equal a new job.

Your job is only as strong as the skills you can bring to it. And while we mentioned business knowledge as an overarching skill in our first '08 post, there are some specific technical skills that can help make you more marketable this year.

The next logical step in prepping for a career change is to align your talents with the expertise your dream job is seeking. And in 2008, the magic word is Web 2.0, which comprises an alphabet soup of in-demand abilities, from AJAX and .Net, to XML and PHP.

Project management and quality assurance abilities are king in this market. So are intrusion-detection capabilities and government security clearances if you're looking for a security gig. Fluency in virtualization and data management/storage requirements will give you a leg up in the data center arena.

In addition, skills in wireless network convergence and security will position you for working with VoIP technology. And don't forget important IT support functions such as the help desk. Here, IT workers will need to be familiar and comfortable with changing commercial applications.

So if your resume still has these moldy oldies on it, it's probably time to reevaluate your skill set, identify where you might be falling short, and refine your expertise. Stay tuned for more info on how to make it happen.

Posted by Roseanne D.

January 15, 2008

One more reason to pack the moving truck

Forbes just released its annual “Best Cities for Jobs” list, and it turns out five of the tech-friendly cities featured in the Yoh Crystal Ball Series also landed in Forbes' Top Ten.

Atlanta (#4), Indianapolis (#6), Houston (#7), Seattle (#10) and Raleigh (Research Triangle Park area, #9) continue to make headlines as locations with strong job opportunities and high quality of life. The Forbes index is based on the state's unemployment rate, job growth, income growth, median household income and cost of living for full-year 2006.

This all means your chances of landing a good tech gig AND enjoying your new neighborhood are much higher when you move to one of these towns. Check out the full list to see what makes these places so special, and find the one that's right for you.

Posted by Anna M.

January 10, 2008

How to read the writing on the wall

Part two of our informal series on making the new year equal a new job.

The first step in any search is discerning whether your desire to leave your current company is motivated by general grumpiness on a bad day, or a legitimate response to a deteriorating environment.

If you suspect the latter, it's time to read the writing on the cubicle wall. Situations vary from workplace to workplace, of course, but here are a few consistent signs it might be time to go. (See ComputerWorld's list and Fortune's slideshow for longer rundowns.)

  1. You're not as important as you: a) used to be, or b) want to be. Do a gut-check on your roles and responsibilities. Are you performing at the height of your abilities? Are you consistently challenged? Does the company entrust you with high-level, strategic work? Or have they moved you over to making copies? Remember, a successful position should build and add value, not lose it. Go where that value is appreciated and encouraged.
  2. You notice people across the organization are ignoring you. To paraphrase John Donne, no person should be an island in a functional office. So coworkers and supervisors giving you increasingly wide berths means you need either new deodorant or a new job. After all, a strong workplace is based on open communication and collaboration. If both are eroding, start looking for them in another company.
  3. Putting on a 'happy face' is now part of your morning routine. Work constitutes a good third of your time on this planet. And who wants to be miserable for a third of their life? Your career should be a genuine source of joy, pride and fulfillment, not an acting exercise. Make sure your smiles and jokes are a natural extension of your job satisfaction. Otherwise, seek true happiness elsewhere.

Posted by Christy H.

January 08, 2008

Primary concerns for IT voters

With the primaries underway, what better time to find out what IT workers want out of the 2008 election? That was the thinking behind CompTIA’s recent report, which surveyed 600 tech pros about their political concerns.

When it came to IT policy, most respondents supported free trade, viewing it as beneficial to the economy. Many IT pros also favored a more laissez-faire approach to the Internet and leaned toward individual responsibility for privacy.

That said, about 40 percent of those polled were in favor of the government offering stronger intellectual property protections, as well as more tax credits for training and certification.

Where do you stand on these issues? Cast your ballots here.

Posted by Anna M.

January 04, 2008

New year = new job?

New Year’s resolutions come in many forms. Cleaning the garage is simple. Losing weight takes more commitment. Finding a new job -- well, that can be toughest of all.

The good news is, expanding your experience and expertise as you go can make the entire process easier when it comes time to switch. And if you’re planning to focus on only one career skill at a time, we recommend bulking up your business knowledge first.

Yep, that’s right. Tech skills alone don’t cut it anymore. The tradition of siloed IT departments is fast disappearing, and in its place are teams of business-savvy tech professionals.

Look no further than ComputerWorld’s 8 Ways to Boost Your Career in ‘08 column for evidence. Only one of the tips deals directly with tech (incorporating security). All the rest relate to dismantling the IT cloister, aligning IT processes with business goals and increasing efficiency overall.

Now look inward. Do you have what it takes -- a business degree, project management experience, communications skills -- to succeed in this new paradigm? If the answer is no, then check back here in the coming weeks for more advice and resources to make your ’08 great!

Posted by Roseanne D.