Posts tagged "IT companies"

Tech Recruiting: Hire for Fit, Train for Skills

Being a hiring manager in a tech firm can be very challenging. Virtually none of the candidates who applied to fill a certain role has the perfect blend of skills required for that role, to the extreme perplexity and frustration of hiring managers. For example, you can post a vacancy for the post of say, JavaScript Developer, and then not quite long after, you have already received a plethora of applications on your desk. There is nothing bad in this; in fact, you will be excited to go through the ‘interesting applications’ if you are a rookie hiring manager. But then you begin to go through the applications, you look at the CV of the applicants and then your headache begins; it is possible to have a seasoned candidate who has undertaken a lot of projects but is not conversant with the latest technologies. Another candidate is a master of JavaScript but does not have an academic qualification, and so on. Where one candidate is lacking competency, he makes up for it in other areas. As a hiring manager, you are in a dilemma – technical skills are essential, but how would you get the perfect candidates to suit the specific tasks you are hiring them for?

Fortunately, there are a number of methods to vet a candidate and verify their suitability for a job. These methods include:

  1. Asking the candidate to provide their portfolio.
  2. Giving them a programming problem to solve.
  3. Request them to physically come for a programming exercise together with another program.

For what reason do these methods work for several firms who follow them? All things considered, investigate the main reasons employees do not do well in their roles. Obviously, specialized fitness can be a central reason. However, as a rule, chiefs battle with workers that are creating a ruckus due to their poor relational abilities, no longing to team up, or an absence of responsibility. Delicate abilities are hard to prepare for. You either have them or you don’t.

To ensure that a candidate fits your company, you should begin by asking questions that align with your core values. Do ensure to make the interview a conversational one, and not an interrogation. Based on some core values, these are some of the questions you could ask:

Individual Accountability – ask whether there had been a time when the candidate committed an error.

Team Work – try to inquire if the candidate has ever taught a colleague a skill before. Ask the candidate to expatiate on this.

Understudy Focus – Has the candidate at any point failed to adhere to a deadline due to the client not being satisfied with something in their work?

Work-Life Integration – they could describe how an effective day looks like to them.

People-Centered Design – try to see how the candidate would describe a technical concept to a non-specialized client

Fiercely Competitive Nature – What tech aptitudes would they be possibly keen on learning apart from the current skills they possess?

It is just not good for you to ignore potential fit issue just because the candidate has top-notch technical skills. And while it is important that a candidate has the skills required to execute projects, it is equally important, if not more important, to engage the services of a worker who fits into the company.

Pressing Need for Cybersecurity Specialists on the Market

Cybersecurity is threatened not only by hackers and outside sources but also by the lack of talents on the market. Skilled professionals are in great demand according to a study conducted by the Capgemini Digital Transformation Institute.

Currently, companies who employ such specialists are in dire straits. 68% of them are looking to recruit talents that are not available since the gap between supply and demand has reached a score of 25%.

The senior executive of Deloitte and a recent graduate of a master’s programme in cybersecurity, has pointed out through her study, that by the year 2022 we will suffer a 1.8 million shortage in this particular area of expertise.

Is there a solution to closing the gap?

The first step consists of stimulating and attracting young talents to pursue a career in cybersecurity. This entails the following:

  • Coming up with creative and forward-thinking strategies of attracting talent
  • Build a story around the organization and work environment in the field
  • Target groups and hotspots of already trained professionals
  • Creating talent from within the company

The second step consists of efficient retention of current professionals. Ideas on how to improve the process include:

  • Creating goals and motivation for them to advance in their expertise
  • Coming up with a career plan system to help specialists grasp a better picture of their professional future
  • Promote an unbiased acceptance environment for all genders and orientations
  • Make tasks more challenging and entertaining to maintain enthusiasm by automating the dull ones

Closing the gap is not realistic, but bridging it can be an effective and progressive approach. The Human Capital Agenda for Cyber Security strongly encourage active collaboration among organizations in this sector.

Active involvement and collaboration could take the form of:

  • Providing controlled training in many sections of cybersecurity. Access to education can open up opportunities for young talents who would otherwise choose differently.
  • Facilitating access to extensive career plans that would emphasis on long-term benefits, quality of life, income and the sense of belonging in a close community
  • Promoting cybersecurity as a viable option for future talents and young professionals
  • Creating support groups and skill sharing communities among professionals to widen their expertise
  • Attracting students through events, competitions, and challenges like hackathons
  • Leading conferences and events to provide role models in the field and sharing stories on professional paths
  • Expanding beyond universities and college degrees to people of diverse backgrounds who may have the abilities to learn and excel in the cybersecurity sector

It would be a shame to leave untapped potential dormant while the market is suffering a major deficit.

Hot IT Hiring Trends and Trends Going Cold

A top challenge in the modern IT industry is that of hiring the best tech talents to bring about the achievement of goals and promote organizational development, this is partly due to the fact that tech talents are in high demand and also their paucity in the labor market. However, despite these challenges, companies have been able to adapt themselves to this seeming difficulty through various means, this article showcases how companies now carry out IT hiring and trends getting cold in the process of IT staffing.

Hot Trend: Workplace Flexibility

While companies still want their staff working in a specific base, an increasingly observed phenomenon in the IT world today is workplace flexibility which allows employees to work from home, café, coffee shop or even overseas during breaks or trips. The advantage of this is to aid retention and system burn out. Therefore, these days, employers are leaving rooms for their employees to work flexibly for greater efficiency.

Cold Trend: Full-time Remote Work

Full-time remote work has appeared to be a trend on the decline in the IT industry and fast getting outdated as a workplace practice. This is because there is usually always room for employees to strike a balance in their various engagements and duties and a full-time remote work doesn’t allow for this. Close proximity among staff, working together is proving more effective than a remote system of working.

Hot Trend: Flexibility Staffing

A standard pool of staff is being made possible in the IT industry, this system allows the availability of employable flexible staff who are well equipped and skilled to handle different challenges which might be thrown at them and even excel at this. Hence, this provides easy access to employees who are willing to work and deliver the required service at any time they are needed.

Cold Trend: Rigid Recruitment

The impact of the imbalance between the demand and the supply for tech talents have made it practically impossible for tech talents to be treated to a very stiff requirement before they are recruited. Hence, employers now rely on hiring employees who are less experienced but motivated to acquire new skills quickly.

Hot Trend: Incentives

Despite the fact that IT talents hiring is very competitive, IT talents are not immune against following the path of incentives and better workplace welfare, IT talents also follow the direction of “perks” if they are found as part of the employment package. Some of the popular perks include flexible work schedules, regular social events, remove work opportunities, free gym membership, a compressed schedule, and free food.

Cold Trend: Prolonged Hiring Period

Since the nature of the IT market is competitive, one thing which turns tech talents off is if the recruitment process extends beyond two weeks after the interview. Many tech professionals have explained that they lose interest in a job if there is no follow-up within two weeks after an interview, hence, employers are advised to look for ways to make their hiring process smooth and fast to avoid losing desired workers.


What’s Really Fueling the War for Tech Talent

Without a doubt, any careful observer in the tech industry will easily notice what can be rightly called a war for top tech talents. The signs are quite obvious and clearly seen from how much companies battle fiercely to win top tech candidates to their sides, not minding the higher salaries they might have to offer them with additional incentives. The basis behind this is not hidden, and the economical law that backs up this observed phenomenon is simply that of demand and supply:

John Reed, a senior executive director of IT staffing firm Robert Half Technology explained that the continued investment of companies in tech has created an increase in the demand for tech professionals, however, the number of people who chose the field of tech is not increasing, leading to a “supply-demand imbalance.”

However, in the midst of this seeming “scarcity” of tech talents, a tech job-listing website, claimed that the scarcity of good tech brains might have been over exaggerated by some companies. This is supported by comments from some other tech recruitment executives such as Tony Martin (Vice President, Recruitment Process Outsourcing) who believes that many companies are not doing their best to attract the best talents which are available, and he expressed the view that a smart way to recruit great employees is by looking at the skills available in the market and looking into ways to apply these needs to meet the specific needs of the company rather than matching a set of skills with job requirements.

Another challenge which might have been responsible for this “tech-talent-scarcity” could also be from the part of employers’ branding which could be inappropriate or unenticing to the prospective employees. This is a marketing problem from tech companies and it boils down to their branding. Funny enough, when people think about tech and its employees, they already have in mind a biased mindset that the employee must be within a particular age-range which is not always advantageous as many times, the desired tech talent wanted might not be in that category being specified, hence it could be seen more like a case of looking into the east when the answer lies idle right in the west. What this could translate to for the employer is to brand the company in a much better way and allow prospective employees know that the company stands for and what they stand to gain by working with the company, and also, the goals and objectives which they are going to fit into work with.

Yet, often left undiscovered in the cause of this war in the tech-talent hunt is the fact the company sometimes have workers leave their work easily while the company is looking for new talents. Many times, the talent being sought for outside a workplace might in the real sense be present at the workplace, and only needs to be identified, hence, there is a need to sometimes consider existing workers when tech-job opportunities open up.

Therefore, it is necessary for employers to look in the right directions when looking for their tech talents and not forget to be proactive and act smart. Also, it is essential to ignore biases and sometimes consider already available talents who might only need to be brushed up with training to meet the job requirements.


Candidate Engagement Latest Trends

Recruitment landscape has changed forever, Baby Boomers are retiring and Gen X is no longer forming the majority of the workforce. Almost every qualified person is already having a job and not actively looking for a new one. The new generations, Millennials and Generation Z require a lot more from an employer, even from the recruitment stage. If we go even further with the labor market analysis and the changes triggered to the recruiting and selection process here are some of the major trends:

  • The talent shortage is getting worth;
  • Candidates are having now the power, they pick the company they like not the other way around;
  • The Millennials and Gen Z have different expectations on what they look for in a company, and they are the majority of the workforce. They also change jobs more often than the other generations. Note that employees ages 20-34 change jobs as an average at every 2.8 years while employees ages 35-44 change jobs every 4.9 years and employees ages 45-54 change jobs only every 7.9 years. This means that retention is the other side of recruitment and companies should put more effort in increasing retention.
  • Job shopping is now commonplace, so things like your employer brand and career page from your website are more important now than a year ago.
  • Social media is the new trendy recruitment channel that can increase your pool of candidates but your competition can also tap into this resource.
  • Flexible hiring strategies are available both for the candidates and for the employer.
  • Recruitment speed is more important than ever, not just as a quantitative indicator, the old days to fill, but as a must in attracting top candidates. If you are not fast enough your competition will get the top runners.
  • You cannot consider any more that the recruitment is finished when the offer is signed. Because the candidates are job shopping, other, more attractive offers may show in no time modifying the candidate’s decision.

With all these changes what should a company do to win the war for talent: the new buzzwords are candidate experience and candidate engagement? HR should learn marketing techniques related to customer experience and transpose them in the recruiting and selection process to enhance the candidates’ experience. They also have to learn that employees’ engagement is starting from the candidate phase so this stage should be included in the overall engagement strategy.

This candidate-centric recruiting model requires engaging candidates at the right moment, in the right way, and is looking at every single stage of the overall candidate journey, starting from the moment a candidate becomes aware of your employer brand (“first look”), let’s say by looking at your website at the career page and extending flawlessly and seamlessly into employee engagement once they are on hired and the induction and onboarding process is starting (“first day”).

A new term is emerging regarding how to treat rejected candidates: we should Rejobify them. You may wonder if this is not too farfetched to think about the rejected candidates’ experience and to invest time and not only in their experience.


List of Java Application Developer Responsibilities and Skills

Java is a very powerful general-purpose computer programming language that lets application developers “write once, run anywhere” (meaning once they code in Java, they can run the applications on almost any platform). It is a very versatile software and one of the most popular in use, particularly for client-server web applications, with a reported 9 million developers. The wide use of this software has thus, necessitated a high demand in the services of Java Application Developers.

Java application developers are programmers who design, develop and integrate Java into business applications, websites, and softwares.  These are the people who make Java Programming Services possible. Mentioned below are a few of these Programming Services:

  • Custom Applications
  • Mobile Applications
  • Interactive Websites
  • Android Applications
  • Software Tools
  • E-commerce Applications
  • Enterprise Applications
  • Cloud Applications

Responsibilities of Java Application Developers

The roles and responsibilities of Java Application Developers are very crucial in the companies and organizations where they work and therefore it is essential that they are made specific and clear. Among these responsibilities are;

  • Writing well designed, testable and efficient Java applications.
  • Ensuring designs are in compliance with specifications.
  • Developing a technical layout and design for the software applications.
  • Preparing and producing releases of Software components.
  • Identifying the application issues both in production and non-production ecosystems.
  • Participating in Software and Architectural development activities.
  • Recommending changes to improve established Java application processes.
  • Conducting software analysis, programming, testing and debugging.
  • Managing Java application development framework and environments.
  • Investigating alternatives and technologies.

 Essential Skills needed by Java Application Developers

In order to successfully and efficiently perform their required roles and duties, it is necessary that Java App developers be very knowledgeable about the use of the following software development tools:

  • Oracle database SQL and JDBC

They should have adequate knowledge of Oracle SQL, relational, and ORM.

  • Java XML Parsing, Coding

They should be strong at Java XML parsing and coding.

  • Enterprise Java Bean (EJB)

They should have a strong knowledge of the Enterprise Java Bean environment.

  • J2EE Framework

They should have a strong command over Java J2EE framework.

  • I Text for RTF Generation

They should have a comprehensive understanding of the use of I Text for RTF generation.

  • Java-based web services

They should be well knowledgeable about web services based on Java technology.

  • Java Servlet Technology

They should have deep knowledge of Java Servlet and Applets.

  • Object Oriented Analysis and Design

They should have adequate knowledge of object-oriented programming (OOP).

  • Perl and Python

They should properly understand the use of Python, Perl, JavaScript and other platforms as an added advantage.

  • Linux/Unix Windows Platform and Solaris

They should have essential knowledge of Linux, Sun Solar System, Windows, and other operating systems.

In addition to all these skills, it is necessary that a Java developer possess certain qualities that will enable him/her to tackle the challenges of this job, which include learning new programming languages and effective problem-solving.


Companies using Gamification for Recruiting IT Talent

Recent years have witnessed huge advancement in Information Technology and with this rise is the corresponding increase in the demand for IT experts. In a bid to get more talents for hire, companies now use gaming to attract, develop and motivate candidates, increase their own prominence and create workplace reward and recognition.

The use of gamification in recruiting is the application of typical elements of game playing to contribute to workforce development, by introducing fun, creativity, competition, and rewards into areas where they didn’t earlier exist. Understanding its diversity and effectiveness, a number of companies now use gamification to recruit experts in the field of Information Technology. Contained in this article are some of these companies that have taken advantage of the assistance gamification renders in recruiting IT talent.

  • Google

Google, a very innovative and creative InfoTech based company is definitely one to be on this list. For over a decade now, the company has been organizing a Google Code Jam software-writing competition to attract fresh and new talent. Monetary prizes up to $50,000 can be won as a big motivation to potential employees. However, the main aim of Google is to attract potential hires who have the appropriate skills that meet up with the company’s requirement.

  • Umbel

This big-data startup created a gaming challenge called Umbelmania. Via this platform, amateur and professional coders code their movements to earn points in the first-person fighter-style game. Competing head-to-head, gamers accumulate points to progress in the interviewing process with the company. Through this, coders are able to measure their coding abilities in relation to that of other contestants, improve on them, and know how suited they are for the job at the Startup.

  • AXA Group

Through a tool called Knack, this global insurance brand has implemented gamification in its hiring process. This tool builds various types of assessment games to identify the abilities, struggles and personality traits of candidates that might not be obvious in an interview or on a resume. Among the games that serve this intended purpose are, Wasabi Waiter and Balloon Brigade. These games collect several megabytes of data on potential hires to measure against successful employees already within the company.

  • Domino’s Pizza

Through an interactive software called Domino’s Pizza Mogul, this company is able to build a brand awareness with a particular appeal to young people in search of exciting jobs in a fun and innovative work environment. This game allows users to personally create and name Pizza ideas and Toppings and then market it. The users also earn monetary rewards for every Pizza sold.

  • Formapost

This French postal service was constantly faced with the challenge of retaining new hires. They were losing a quarter of their new recruits and this was costing a lot in their recruiting and hiring budgets. In a bit to resolve this challenge, they wielded the tool of gamification.

Having launched a gaming platform called Jeu Facteur Academy, they are now able to walk candidates through a routine day as a postal carrier and get them familiar with the job. By using this platform to prepare potential employees for the job, they were able to cut down the dropout rates from 25% to 8%.

Considering these companies, it is obvious that gamification is a reliable tool that you can use to achieve your company’s recruitment goals, attract people with the right skills set and increase your chances of keeping them for a long time.


Soft Skills Your Software Developers Need to Survive in e-Commerce

Ability to efficiently structure codes using programming languages understand algorithms and data structures, master a development platform, source control or debug are all technical skills that will make a software developer relevant enough to be hired. But what will keep the developer in the company and help advance his career is the soft skills he possesses.

Soft skills are a combination of people, social and communication skills, character traits, attitudes and emotional intelligence quotients among others that enable people to navigate their environment, effectively work with others and achieve their goals with complementing technical skills. They are must-haves for any developer who intends to remain and continuously advance in his field for a long time.

Contained in this article are some helpful suggestions on the essential soft skills that a software developer needs in order to not only survive but as well thrive in the e-commerce industry.


Excellent and Effective Communication skills

Communication involves listening, clarifying, empathy and conflict-resolution in order for information to be well exchanged between people. It is a vital people skill that will enable software developers to work effectively and be able to easily collaborate with others in the organization. Along with the need for verbal skills is also the need for a software developer to be able to write well because this is needed right from the inception of a project to its completion.

Flexibility and Adaptability

Software developers will definitely encounter a lot of new challenges requiring solutions. Solving these problems will largely depend on their ability to think creatively, innovatively and improvise. When they are able to adapt and incorporate new ideas, then they’ll be able to solve almost all challenges pertaining to their job.

Life-long learning

The IT industry is a fast-evolving one with new ideas becoming quickly obsolete. Thus, developers must be open to continuous learning and updating of their skills in order to remain relevant and valuable to your company.

Integrity and Promptness

These are exceptional virtues required of every worker in any field. When software developers finish up your jobs before deadlines and do they say, they become more trustworthy and reliable in the company.

Taking Initiative

Learning to make sound decisions in the company and to function as a project manager, team leader and team member will help fast-track the progress of any software developer. Also, developers should learn to offer help, support, and mentorship to their co-workers when they have the ability and skills to do so.


The ability of a software developer to set aside ego, take criticism and learn from mistakes is very essential in enabling them to work in teams and continuously improve at their job.

Hard Work, Persistence and Meticulousness

Hard work and persistence are the basis for achieving anything worthwhile in life. Jobs in an IT company will come with their various challenges, but by applying focus, dedication, and intensity to them, developers can be assured of success in the long run. Also, by being meticulous and paying intent attention to detail, developers will stand out for excellence.


Tactics for Recruiting IT Talent in a Tight Job Market

One cannot deny the fact that the IT talent market today, is under great strain. Demand is increasing while supply is static at best. This fact is well captured in a statement made by Michael Kohlman, infrastructure Systems manager for a global life sciences company, Cook Group Inc.; “The talent market is tightening up. It’s getting back to the point where IT professionals with good backgrounds can more easily find a job.” The demand for IT talent is strong because shifting economic cycles often generate strategy changes inside companies that can lead to the creation of new jobs.

If your company is racing to uncover hard to find IT talent, you’ll need to possess the right recruiting tools – tools that leave no stone unturned. Your first sourcing priority is to find candidates conversant in both business and technology. Below are some important and helpful suggestions on how to possess and use the right tools and tactics for getting and recruiting your desired number of IT workers.

Promote your IT Organization

It is important that you put in much effort in promoting the reputation of your company. This will make recruiting easier, as the potential employees and candidates will become already aware of the culture of your company and more readily open to your job offers.

Recruit from Colleges

Participating in career day activities at career day activities at colleges to drum up interest in IT jobs helps increase the number of potential employees in the field, hence more candidates for hire. Likewise, building relationships with computer science professors who can recommend students for internships and entry-level positions.

Use networks and your employees’ networks

Referrals are ranked as the leading source for new hires. They produce candidates who have already been vetted to some degree and who tend to be a more desired match for organizations than unknown candidates.

Use Contractors

Many IT organizations maintain large pools of contractors that allow them to scale up their resources when business demand for IT is high.  Making use of the services of contractors is one way to get tested people into your organization. However, you have to be careful because self-employed contractors tend to have a different mindset from individuals who prefer to be tied to a company.

Optimize Social Media

This age of social media is one that provides companies with a very wide range of reach, with very limited cost. It is more efficient than other online job boards and enhances good response and quality candidates.

Act promptly

Time is of great essence in getting IT talents (who are limited in number in the job market). It is very essential that you guard against slow and disorganized recruiting functions in order to quickly get the attention of the IT candidates.

So, are you a CIO constantly faced with the challenge of getting and recruiting IT talents in the job market? Consider the above-mentioned tactics, put them to effective use and this challenge will become a thing of the past.



How Your Business Can Assess IT Candidate Skills

In seeking jobs, many potential employees put out information about their qualifications that can be quite exaggerated. This act is likewise performed by those seeking jobs in IT companies. It is therefore imperative that IT companies master the art of hiring people and adequately assessing their skills in order to get the very best of candidates.

For any new recruit to fit into your IT corporation and be productive, they need to possess soft skills. While resumes may sound impressive, assessing a job seeker for soft skills plays a key role in promoting effectiveness in an IT company’s hiring process. This fact is well captured in a statement made by John Reed, executive director of Robert Half Technology, Menlo Park, California; “Companies want computer programmers who can go to meetings, gather information and talk about what clients want to accomplish. Written and verbal skills are at a premium.”

The challenges of hiring the best suitable candidates grow exponentially for small and medium-size companies that don’t have on-staff IT experts to help assess candidates’ skill sets. Fortunately, workarounds exist to help even the most IT challenged companies to find the right hybrid professionals. Below are some helpful suggestions on how to assess the skills of potential employees in your IT company.

Decide what is most important in your Resume search

When looking for hybrid professionals (i.e. those conversant in both business and technology) to hire, you’re likely going to have to focus in one direction or another. It is therefore very important that you decide which is more important in your open position – the MBA or the tech knowledge –  and then pick carefully as you search resumes to attract top talent. This helps you to be clear enough on choosing the perfect candidate to fit in the position.

Be very specific during the interview process

Once you’ve narrowed your list of potential employees, your next aim is to get as much detailed information about their experience as you can. Ask detailed interview questions about prior positions, focusing on how they split their time between technical and business tasks.

Check for presentation, communication, and social skills

It is important that you look out for the ability of your job candidates to effectively make presentations, communicate and properly interact with other members of staff in the company.

Trust, but Verify IT skills

Be sure to have a tech person on your staff to do a technical evaluation of the IT skills of your potential employees. If you don’t have the staff to vet job candidates, you can employ the services of Testing companies like Brainbench, ReviewNet Services, and eSkill Corporation.

Hire someone who is experienced

Choose a candidate who has a proven performance record of accomplishing the task you need done and be careful enough not to be too hasty in order not to hire incompetent candidates.

 By taking note of the above-given suggestions and putting them to practice, IT companies can be certain of being able to rightly and effectively assess the skills of candidates seeking employment from them and getting the very best of those candidates.