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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.

Our Team

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

 

 

March 31, 2008

The 411 on social networking

For better or worse, social networking sites have spread like wildfire. With more than 60 million people on Facebook alone, and most individuals maintaining profiles on multiple sites, employers and recruiters are beginning to capitalize and use these sites to scout talent and learn more about their potential or current employees.

But as Spiderman once said, “With great power, comes great responsibility.”  Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn can be great tools, but it’s up to you to use them responsibly. 

For job seekers, discretion in the posting of personal material to public online forums is essential.  For example, it’s probably not in your best interest to show your employers a minute-by-minute account of your bachelor or bachelorette party—especially if you are still fuzzy on the details yourself.  Either edit your security setting so only people you know and trust can view the album, or skip posting it altogether. 

However, when it comes to creating and promoting your online brand, you don’t always have to be on the defensive.  Instead, use the Web to your advantage, and make sure that when a potential employer or recruiter Googles your name, they’re going to be impressed by what they see. 

For example, if you haven’t already, start commenting on blogs that are relevant to your industry.  Posting intelligent and insightful comments and initiating quality discussions about relevant topics or trends will provide employers with a glimpse of your expertise and capabilities, and could interest them in learning more. Frequent commenting on blogs can help you spread your name and gain credibility.  Plus, it’s a great way to make contacts and connections that can help you along the way.

In addition, make sure you stay up-to-date on the new tools and features being added to the networks. In April, LinkedIn is launching a service to help members find experts in certain business fields.  You might want to add some key search terms related to your skills (SAP, Java, etc.) to your profile to ensure that employers looking for candidates with these skill sets will stumble upon you.

Posted by Amy D.

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.

November 16, 2007

How to brand yourself without pain

Admit it. You’ve Googled yourself. Multiple times. Often in the same day.

Narcissistic as this might seem, you’re actually doing yourself a great service. Checking where you fall in the digital pantheon is a smart career move, because it helps you gauge the effectiveness of your personal brand, particularly online.

That’s because everything we write, post, comment or report becomes part of an ever-expanding Web, where links keep growing and our names/works/deeds are splattering across the Internet for anyone and everyone (including potential employers) to see.

As such, resumes and cover letters no longer express the whole of our being. You need to tighten the reins on your brand now, or get bucked from the bronco later.

To start, get your head in the game. Identify what defines you, and start aligning your activities, partnerships and communication to that image.

Next, protect your brand online. We’ve talked about keeping your social networking sites professional, but you should also be aware of what others might write about you. Say a journalist mentions you in an unfavorable news story, or a blogger leaves a less-than-friendly comment on your site.

Though situations like this are outside your control, you can counter with a response. Ultimately, it’s up to you to offset any (hopefully) false claims or buzz with your own positive reporting, above-board affiliations and most importantly, the truth. No one can tell your story like you can, so get out there and sell yourself.

Check out Wendy Marx’s personal brand expert blog at FastCompany, as well as Dan Schwabel’s Personal Branding Blog, for more information about making your mark. And if all else fails, you can always outsource the process! ;)

Posted by Roseanne D.

July 03, 2007

Gen Y lagging in technology use?

A Randstad USA and Harris Interactive survey revealed this week that even though Gen Y has the reputation for being technologically savvy, they are actually the least likely to use communication tools in the workplace (defined as computers, faxes, PDAs, mobile and landline phones). The "power-users" of technology are "the Matures," the oldest generation of workers. Anyone else confused? Looking around at the Gen Y people in our offices, they may as well be glued to technology, carrying Smartphones even if they aren't required for work, constantly chatting away on their computers and their cells... and they certainly know more basics about technology than most of the older folks.

The survey also said that many Gen X and Gen Y employees aren't taking the Boomer retirement wave seriously. That's a red flag for employers who need to make sure they focus on developing these younger employees to understand their future opportunities and commit for the long haul.

Posted by Christy H.

May 24, 2007

Skill Sets Over Time

I came across a great article on ComputerWorld today. Mary Brandel wrote a piece called “The Top 10 Dead (or Dying) Computer Skills.” I thought it was a really interesting read—mostly because I had forgotten that some of these technologies ever existed. I haven’t heard about nonrelational DBMS in years…

Perhaps even more interesting was thinking about how these skill sets have developed and changed over the years. C programming has turned into C++ and C sharp, and programming languages like ColdFusion have given way to Active Server Pages, .Net, Java and more.

It got me thinking—where will today’s hottest skills be in ten years? Early this year, we projected hot tech skills in 12 major U.S. technology hubs. I wonder how these skill sets will develop and grow as the technology in each industry does the same.

That’s why it’s crucial for job seekers to build on and continually advance their current skill sets. Last month, we discussed why this is the case for IT certification, but the same is true for these computer skills. By keeping up with new advances in technology, you are almost guaranteed to never be part of a dying skill.

Posted by Jim L.

May 15, 2007

Great Job Hunting Tips

Monster.com has a really interesting piece up—“Networking Tips for Techies.” The article provides points that are important for not only for techies, but for all job-seekers.

We’ve been talking about how tech jobs are out there, and this piece offers great ways to find the best jobs, as well as the jobs that fit you best. What better way to get started than to use the resources available to you?

No matter which pieces of Allan’s advice you choose to take, it’s important to remember while the job search can be trying, staying positive and keeping an open mind will help tremendously.

Definitely check it out—I think you’ll find a lot of helpful tips.

Posted by Christy H.

April 17, 2007

Increase your skill set with IT certification

I was reading an article by Lutz Ziob of MCPmag.com about IT certification, and it got me thinking about the value of these certifications—especially with tech wages steadily rising.

There are some skill sets in the IT world that are especially hard to come by, and those with SAP and Oracle skills are always in demand. Therefore, potential employees who can perform the necessary tasks associated with these skills will have their pick of jobs. And that means employers will be more likely to provide additional perks and raise wages to entice workers.

So what does that mean for consultants? A lot. These certifications do much more than show IT workers are competent in their skill set, and increase their hirability. When certification programs are put in place, they strengthen their business.

A survey by IDC (and sponsored by Microsoft) found that 66 percent of managers thought certifications improve the level of service and support offered to customers, and 75 percent of these managers felt that certifications were important to overall team performance.

Likewise, certifications are also beneficial to the employees. Having a certification can set you apart from similar candidates who might not be certified. In addition, certifications can keep you abreast of changing technologies and the skills to manage them.

But these certifications don’t just have to come from employers. There are also online training programs and programs run by vendors, such as Oracle and SAP, that offer certification in several of the latest tools, including Microsoft Visual Studio .NET, Oracle 9i DBA, and mySAP CRM 3.0. And online courses let you complete certification at your own pace, in your free time.

I’d be interested in hearing thoughts on this. Do your employers have certification programs in place? Do you take advantage of them? Have you taken training programs online or through vendors if your employer does not offer certification programs?

All comments welcome!

Posted by Michele B.

March 02, 2007

STOP - Don’t Upload That Photo!

Recently, we blogged about online networks and how they can be a useful tool to network and possibly search for job opportunities. While the Internet and social networking can be helpful, beware of what you upload/post out there on the Web.

Case in point: According to a recent New York Daily News article, by the time “Sylvia’s” interview day arrived, her destiny had been determined. When her interviewer “Googled” her name, she found drunken pictures, inappropriate language and other items that demonstrated Sylvia’s severe lack of maturity. Needless to say, she did not receive a job offer following her interview.

With the rise of user-generated media and content, more and more employers are using the Web as a tool to get an inside look at the people they might consider hiring. The Boston Globe recently cited an ExecuNet survey that stated nearly 77 percent of recruiters said that they used search engines to check out candidates in 2006, and 35 percent have eliminated a candidate because of what they saw online. And, hiring managers are doing the same thing.

To avoid falling prey to Career Googling, always think twice before posting something on the Internet or commenting on someone’s blog. Due to cached pages and other blogs that cut and paste from other sites, things are not easy to delete once they’re out there. Make sure to conduct a search of yourself frequently. Simply type your name into a few major search engines and see what pops up. Clean up your Internet presence by hiding old scandalous content through posting industry-related comments on blogs like ours or message boards. Also, if you have your own blog, log on and read through your old entries to make sure nothing could make you look bad to a prospective employer. Gather more helpful tips from our previous blog post on Tech Résumé Tips

Posted by Michele B.

January 17, 2007

A Surprising City for Techies

Yes, the usual suspects are all on wired.com’s very non-analytical summary of top cities across the US for technology.  Including, Seattle, San Francisco and New York City, but we (and our friends at slashdot.org) were pleasantly surprised to see a city like Raleigh make an appearance on the list. 

Raleigh has tons of potential in moving into the ranks of the tech world with Red Hat and SAS Institute’s geography alone.  Not to mention we at Yoh are projecting high-demand in the Raleigh-Durham area this 2007 in areas like:

  • Java Developer
  • MS Developer
  • Project Manager
  • QA Analyst
  • Oracle DBA
  • Systems Verification Engineer
  • Systems Administrator
  • BASIC Designer
  • SAP Applications Developer

ACC basketball fans should get prepared for more and more technology buffs to invade their stomping grounds.   

Posted by Christy H.