7 Resume Mistakes That Eliminate You as a Candidate for Data Analyst Jobs

Crafting a Resume to Land the Job of Your Dreams

Data analyst jobs are forecast to see a 25% rise from 2019-2019, according to the BLS. This rapid growth puts demand for skilled data analysts way above the average for other jobs in the United States. With such a large growth in demand, you have the chance to land the job of your dreams.

However, the high demand for data analysts does not mean you don’t need to put in the effort. Competition for top jobs is tough, and to stand out you must have a killer resume.

Here are seven mistakes to avoid when crafting a resume for a data analyst job.

1.    Misrepresenting Your Experience

When applying for data analytics jobs you should tailor your resume to the position, by including relevant experience and qualifications and highlighting this by using keywords from the job description. This is a great tactic, but do not be tempted to misrepresent yourself.

Don’t exaggerate your experience in certain industries or with certain technology or tools. When questioned in the interview, it will quickly become apparent that you misrepresented yourself.

2.    Resumes Longer Than 3 Pages

Resume length matters. Three pages should be the maximum, though it is best to aim for less. Of course, if your relevant work experience warrants three pages, then you won’t be penalized.

However, if you have only a couple of years of experience and create a resume with lots of padding, this will deter hiring managers. You don’t need to include your high school jobs, irrelevant college credits, or write five paragraphs about a successful project you worked on (bullet points are great for detail).

3.    Listing Outdated or Inactive Certifications

Tied in with the above point, don’t include unnecessary qualifications on your resume. Data analytics is a constantly changing industry. New software and processes are being developed every day. You can demonstrate that you regularly keep on top of this with new training, but you don’t need to include training from a decade ago, or with software that has become obsolete.

4.    Not Demonstrating Actionable and Quantifiable Results on Your Resume

If your employment section simply looks like a copied and pasted job description, employers will skip right past you in the resume pile. You must demonstrate your value to your previous employers.

Don’t simply list your roles and responsibilities. Explain projects you worked on and how they impacted the company or clients. Give quantifiable results, include numbers, and show how you personally made an impact.

5.    Creating a Generic Resume

If you create a resume that is too generic employers will know you are simply sending out the same resume to every data analytics job you see. They will think you haven’t read the job description or researched the company – and will consider that you simply want a job for the money.

Employers want to hire talented candidates who see their future with the employer, so always tailor your resume to the job and the hiring company.

6.    Spelling/Grammatical Errors

Spelling and grammatical errors are sloppy. Data analytics jobs require a high level of attention to detail. If you can’t create a resume without errors, how are you going to bring the level of precision needed to the position?

7.    Formatting Errors

Much like spelling and grammar, poor formatting indicates that you have not put the time and attention necessary into your resume. This reflects badly on how you will approach your job.

Using small fonts, large fonts, non-standard margins, colorful text, or unnecessary images does not portray the professionalism your resume must. The job ad may also tell you the format in which to produce and submit your resume (e.g. ‘a PDF file no longer than pages’).

To Sum Up

Resume writing is a tricky balance to including everything you must but not overdoing it. It requires precession, and is the first impression you make on a hiring manager. Get it right and it will do the job it should – get you a job interview and make you a star candidate. Follow the above tips and your resume will help you stand out from the crowd.

For help finding the data analytics job of your dreams, submit your resume to our team today.

Who Should You Hire in Technology Jobs to Boost Your Market Competitiveness?

In a Market Short on Skills, You Cannot Afford to Stand Still

In today’s digital age, the people you hire into technology jobs has a huge bearing on your bottom line. While many may not be customer-facing, tech staff are the backbone of your organization. They are the ones who design, develop, and maintain crucial technology and systems – without which your organization could not operate.

The Critical Nature of Capability in Technology Jobs

The capability of your tech employees has a direct bearing on your ability to take advantage of emerging technologies, like digitization, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. The technology that will improve your organizational agility, speed of change, work processes, and productivity.

In its report ‘Are we long – or short – of talent?’, McKinsey & Company has found that 60% of executives believe that half their workforce will need to be replaced or retrained within five years. If your organization expects to gain competitive advantage via its technical capability, it won’t happen without the people who can deliver your strategy. As McKinsey says in its report:

What might seem like an irritating talent gap today could prove a fatal competitive liability in the not-too-distant future.

Marrying Organizational and Individual Capability

Your organization’s capability can be described as the ability to deliver across two distinct functions:

  1. Technical – your functional competence
  2. Social – your leadership competence

When your technical and social competencies are combined, you deliver the capability of the individuals within your organization. Without these competencies, your organization’s potential is damaged, and it will cease to benefit from competitive advantage. For example:

  • If you have no project management skills, you will not be able to deliver projects successfully
  • If the teams in your organization are not well-led, they will not deliver the promise of the sum of their individual members

How Can Your Organization to Improve its Potential?

As highlighted by McKinsey’s research, within five years your existing employees will no longer exhibit the competencies to maintain your competitive advantage. The question, then, is how can you improve your potential?

The answer, of course, is to embrace strategies today that deliver a continuous improvement in the technical and social competences of your individual employees. There are four ways to make this happen:

1.     Training and Development of Existing Employees

An important internal strategy, providing training and development opportunities for employees will help to deliver improvements in individual, team, and organizational capabilities. However, this is a time-consuming strategy that takes energy and commitment.

There are also no guarantees that your people will not take advantage of their personal development and seek new opportunities that may become available for their newly acquired skills.

2.     Hire the Skillset You Need

The second strategy is to hire the skills that you need. However, as you have probably experienced, the skills shortage makes this increasingly difficult. In its 2019 Emerging Risks Survey, Gartner describes the shortage of tech skills as the number one challenge facing IT leaders today.

To beat the competition to sign highly competent candidates, in a market that is suffering from a shortage of talent and a growth in demand for that talent, you must develop recruitment strategies that attract talent.

3.     ‘Borrow’ the Talent You Need

The quickest way to deliver the competencies your organization needs is to ‘borrow’ them. Especially for short- to medium-term needs, contract hiring options can deliver immediate returns on your investment.

4.     Rinse and Repeat

Remove poor performers, retain top performers, and hire for new talent. Rinse and repeat. This should be a continual process within organizations, though, of course, one which you should also try to avoid. If you are having to let too many people go because they are performing below expectations, then it is likely that your hiring process needs to be re-engineered.

The Difference That Talent Can Make

By hiring the right people, your organization will boost its competitiveness across many characteristics. These include:

·      Speed and Agility

You will improve your capability to recognize new market opportunities and deliver the products and services needed to take advantage of them.

·      Accountability

Talented employees are natural self-developers who thrive on taking responsibility and ownership. This accountability drives problem-solving capability, collaboration, and creativity.

·      Innovation

Individuals who are forward-looking focus on what could be rather than what has been. They continually seek to improve products and services, delighting internal and external stakeholders.

·      Leadership

When your organization employs for leadership qualities, they employ people who think strategically, share knowledge and experience, and who are capable of ideation.

·      Learning

Imparting their knowledge, experience, and expertise, high-quality employees help to improve the competencies of those around them. This leads to improvements in experimentation, the generation of new ideas, and cross-functional collaboration.

·      Diversity and Inclusion

Research shows that hiring for diversity and inclusion has many benefits, including improving the workplace culture , developing better relationships with customers, driving financial performance, and improving your reputation as an employer (and consequently your ability to attract the best talent).

So, Who Should You Hire into Technology Jobs?

Many organizations make the mistake of hiring candidates who look like those they already employ. They take the view that the success they have experienced to date will be replicated by people with the same qualities and characteristics as those they currently employ. This is not the case.

Only by hiring diverse candidates who bring something new to the table – different thoughts and ideas, experiences, and expertise, for example – can your organization grow. It is these people who will help you develop the new competitiveness that will drive your success and financial results, through a period during which hiring of talent will become more difficult and increasingly critical.

At Irvine Technology, we introduce our clients to a large pool of talented candidates, from diverse backgrounds and industries. Candidates with the technical and social competencies to enhance your organizational capability. Candidates who will help drive your results to new levels.

To learn more about our services – which include contract placement, direct hire, and executive searchcontact us today.

How Do Database Administrators Target Cloud-Based Environments?

Career Evolution from On-Premises to Cloud-Based Environments

As increasing numbers of organizations move their databases into the cloud, the role of database administrators is changing – and quite dramatically. To remain relevant and enjoy the best job offers and salaries, savvy database administrators will embrace these changes, stay abreast of them, and update their skillsets accordingly.

In this article, we examine what this means for database administrators entering the job market today.

Cloud-Based Databases – Huge Growth

The transition to building and maintaining databases in the cloud has been underway for some time. The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated this. Organizations have needed to grant access to data to remote employees in large numbers, almost overnight. The cloud is big business, with 2020 cloud adoption statistics revealing that:

  • By the end of 2020, 67% of enterprise infrastructure and software could become cloud-based
  • 85% of businesses worldwide are already making use of cloud technology to store information
  • 94% of the internet workload will be processed in the cloud by 2021

How Database Admin Jobs Are Evolving

As organizations transition their databases to the cloud, we’re experiencing shifting requirements for database administrators. In your role in database admin, you are more likely to have more autonomy and undertake work that offers greater career development opportunities.

Your role is shifting from maintenance to high-value tasks. These may include analytics and helping an organization develop its strategy for a world in which the Internet of Things and Blockchain (as examples) will drive efficiency, effectiveness, security, and customer service – all thanks to the cloud.

Here are a few ways in which the roles of database administrators are changing.

Less Mundanity, More Problem Solving

Your daily tasks are changing from tedious maintenance tasks to helping to access and analyze data to solve real business problems. You are more likely to work with business leaders and managers, developing data to remove the mundane and time-consuming work required.

Tip: Develop your problem-solving skills, improve your critical thinking capability, and increase your aptitude in communication across all communication channels.

More Autonomy in Your Role

As databases and data analysis benefit from AI and machine learning, they will become more autonomous and less reliant on daily maintenance. This also means that autonomy in your role is likely to increase.

Your managers and supervisors are less likely to micromanage. You will be expected to reflect this by being more proactive in your role, deciding which issues are most important and focusing your effort and time on these.

Tip: Demonstrate that you have good organizational and time management skills, and that you can prioritize your tasks effectively to improve business outcomes.

More Big-Picture Thinking

Cloud-based databases are more able to consume big data from a variety of sources. You’ll need to coordinate these inputs and database outputs, taking a wider and deeper perspective than when operating in a single locale.

Cloud infrastructure means that you must become all-round data specialists. You may need to work with DevOps and software engineers to deploy solutions in the cloud and locally.

Tip: Improve your knowledge and ability in coding – it could be a game-changer for your career.

Agents for Change

Database administrators are becoming agents for change in organizations wishing to adopt and adapt to the cloud. You’ll need to understand current systems and processes, and be able to articulate advantages and benefits of moving to the cloud.

You are likely to be involved in enhancing legacy applications to enable smoother transition and seamless migration of data to the cloud. You’ll also need to develop awareness of financials and costs, and of managing budgets.

Tip: Develop your understanding of business budgets, as well as your leadership ability and presentation skills.

In Summary

The job of database administrator is changing as organizations develop their infrastructure in the cloud. Instead of focus on internal database management and maintenance, your role is broadening.

Data is now a strategic asset, and one that is increasingly used to shape business strategy. Embedding data as part of process is the realm into which database administrators are evolving. On your journey in this evolution, you will deepen your skillset, knowledge, and business acumen. In the right organization, this could lead to new and exciting career paths that were once closed to you.

Are you a database administrator? Are you searching for a new challenge and greater career progression? Contact Irvine Technology Corporation today. We have clients searching for you today.

Why Can’t You Hire Talent for Data Engineers in the Cloud?

How to Adjust Your Hiring Strategy for the Skills Shortage

In today’s increasingly advanced and data-driven age, data engineers are more sought after and essential than ever. The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts huge growth in jobs for computer and information research professionals, with growth anticipated at 15% between 2019 and 2029.

This growth in jobs is likely to come from all types of businesses. From startups to large corporations, business strategies are being shaped by the data that is collected, collated, and analyzed. And cloud-based data solutions offer many benefits, including:

  • Enabling organizations to streamline their operations
  • Allowing essential information to be accessible on demand, and in real time
  • Information can be accessed regardless of location, enabling improved collaboration and efficiency

To access such benefits, and ensure that customer data is as secure as possible, it is crucial to hire the most talented cloud data engineers. They will help you stay abreast of the latest developments, meet customer expectations, and maintain the highest level of security and professional sophistication.

However, it appears to be more difficult to hire talent for cloud data roles today. There seems to be a scarcity of skilled candidates available.

Are you suffering from the skills shortage in the market? Do you find it hard to attract, hire, and retain the most talented cloud data engineers? If so, here are three reasons why this might be the case.

Your Salary Range Is Pitched Too Low

With the high demand for cloud data engineers, and the relative shortage of candidates in the market, there are fewer candidates to attract. Employers are doing all they can to retain their most talented employees, and there has been an upward pressure on salaries in the sector.

According to salary.com, cloud engineers make around $122,444 per year on average. Of course, the more experience and range of skills a cloud data engineer has, the higher the salary they are likely to earn. A compensation package totaling $150k and more may be required to entice top talent away from their current role – depending upon location, of course.

If such earnings are outside your budgeted salary range, you might consider workarounds. For example, and especially for projects that require specific skills for shorter terms, contract jobs can be an attractive strategy.

Nonetheless, there’s a decent chance that your struggle in hiring a talented cloud data engineer could be because you are not earmarking enough of your budget for the task.

Your Hiring Process Isn’t Specialized

If your company doesn’t have a lot of experience or expertise in hiring cloud data engineers, it is possible that your existing hiring process is flawed with regards to this role – and just doesn’t account for certain important variables.

It is possible, for example, that a cloud data engineer might be highly-talented in their field, but might not have achieved the highest education standards. A conventional approach of discounting a candidate based on their conventional educational credentials might, therefore, unnecessarily thin the available talent pool.

One of the key benefits of using specialist third-party recruiters and talent agencies when hiring for specialized roles such as a cloud data engineer, is that those staffing agencies will have designed effective approaches when hiring for specialist roles. They also have access to a wider pool of both active and passive talent. This advantage is passed directly to you, helping to reduce time to hire and ensure that the candidates you are presented are ‘role ready’.

You Aren’t Pitching Your Job Description Correctly

Cloud data engineers are frequently highly specialized and sought after in particular capacities. Therefore, it is critical that you have a clear idea of the role you are hiring for. It is essential to pitch to the skills, experience, and cultural fit you need. Your job description should engage the talent you require from the very first word. This is harder than many believe (but is a process with which we have exceptional experience).

In short, identify the criteria you should hire on and compose a job description that attracts the most suitable and talented candidates to the role and your organization.

In Summary

Of course, salary is a crucial factor when hiring for cloud data engineers. However, it is essential that you pitch your role perfectly and then employ a fit-for-purpose hiring process.

Here at Irvine Technology, we help our clients by providing meaningful market insights, streamlining the hiring process, and introducing you to a large pool of talented candidates – both active and passive. To learn more about our services – which include contract placement, direct hire, and executive searchcontact us today.

Is Your Project Manager Salary Really Stopping You from Hiring Top Talent?

Tips to Attract Top Talent into Project Management Roles

According to a global survey, a project manager’s salary for those working on digital projects in the United States lies between $32,000 and $210,000. Actual salaries paid depend on many factors, including:

  • Seniority
  • Experience
  • Location
  • Sector
  • Project budget

It can, therefore, be difficult to judge what salary you should offer to attract the best candidates and compel them to accept your job offer.

Is It Crucial to Offer Competitive Salaries?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics

has forecast that management jobs in the United States will grow by around 6% by 2024. With an estimated 8.7 million to 11 million project managers employed in the United States, we could experience a demand for between 520,000 and 660,000 new project managers over the next few years.

With such demand for project managers, it’s likely that the skills shortage will deepen. One of the weapons that your competitors will use to attract talent is bumping up salaries. But this is a blunt tool. While salary is, of course, important, a Gallup survey found that it takes an average 20% boost to salary to lure a key employee away from their current employer.

What Is Important to Project Managers?

We doubt that you would want to boost salaries by 20% each time you needed to hire a talented project manager.

A better strategy would be to offer

a competitive salary – in line with market rates, and commensurable with salary variables such as responsibilities, location, and experience – and augment this with elements that project managers find most appealing in their work. A 2017 survey by Korn Ferry and the follow-up from 2028 provides empirical evidence as to what these elements might be.

The survey didn’t ask why people sought new jobs. It asked why people wanted to leave their current jobs. The results might surprise you. Higher compensation was way down the list across both surveys, which reads as follows:

  • Desiring a new challenge (73%)
  • To escape a poor work culture (24%)
  • Lack of recognition (9%)
  • Dislike of the employer (9%)
  • For higher pay (5%)

Make Your Offer About the Whole Package

Of course, your salary range should be commensurate with other project manager salaries paid by similar companies in your location. But, clearly, potential candidates desire much more. Salary alone will not be enough to hire talented managers.

If your salary range is not enough on its own to attract suitable candidates to your project management roles, you should consider how you can boost the total compensation package. For example, you may offer extra paid time off, a healthy health insurance, an attractive 401(K), and bonuses that improve net salary.

However, as the Korn Ferry research shows, it is crucial that the job itself is appealing. Ensure that you provide challenging project work that enables project managers to improve their skills, experience, knowledge, and resume.

Highlight your company culture, and how you value teamwork in a purposeful environment. Make it plain that good performance is recognized and rewarded. Add the following into the mix, and you will produce a job offer that would be nearly impossible not to be interested in:

  • Training and development opportunities
  • Flexible working patterns
  • Travel opportunities

Finally, if you can assure the candidate that you won’t compel them to work out of hours, you’ll be almost there. The only factor that now stands between you and the signature you want is the hire’s direct manager. If rapport is created in the interview, then this should be another plus.

In Summary

Your salary should be competitive, but the most talented project managers do not work solely for the money. They want challenging work in an enjoyable work environment. They want to improve their skillsets while boosting their resume and quality of life.

For the help you need to attract, hire, and retain talented project managers, contact Irvine Technology Corporation today.

8 Tips to Recruit Talent for Information Technology Jobs

Beat the Skills Shortage to Hire the Best in Tech Roles

Hiring talented candidates for information technology jobs is difficult, whether the economy is booming or in recession. As an employer, you face challenges that include skills shortages and an employee base that is increasingly value-oriented – they want to work for organizations with which they can identify.

Gartner’s research has consistently shown that hiring the right skillset is getting more difficult. Its 2019 Emerging Risks Survey cited the shortage of tech skills as the number one challenge facing IT leaders today.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has forecast that the number of information technology jobs in the United States will grow by 12% between 2018 and 2028. That’s a huge 546,200 new jobs in the sector.

With a shortage of talent and a growth in demand, what strategies should you be using to attract the most talented candidates to your IT jobs?

1.    Know What Skills and Experience a Candidate Really Needs

Many top-quality candidates are deterred by job descriptions that ask for a Christmas list of skills and experience. What you should be doing is considering what skills are essential, and which are preferable. Consider which skills could be learned by talented hires to improve impact in the role, and which are crucial to hitting the ground running from day one. Then compose your job description around these.

2.    Understand What Talented IT Professionals Want from Their Next Job

What is it that the most talented IT professionals want from their jobs today? We’re finding that the best candidates are not all about the money. They want a role in which they are challenged, which helps them to grow professionally, and that offers them opportunities to improve their work/life balance. In addition, they want to work for organizations that have a high moral code and strong diversity and inclusion policies and practices.

3.    Develop Your Employer Branding to Emphasize IT

Potential employees will search your online assets. They will want to see that you emphasize technology, and that it is a mainstay of your business strategy. Therefore, ensure that you highlight your IT efforts, strategies, policies and practices on your website and social media accounts. Make IT an integral part of your branding.

4.    Set Up Employee Referral Schemes

Who better than your current employees to become your employer brand advocates? They are likely to have people in their networks who are both talented and open to changing jobs. Set up an employee referral scheme to reward those who help you find talented new recruits.

5.    Streamline Your Hiring Process

According to a 2018 Growth Hiring Trends Report, almost half of respondents reported a time to hire (from application to job offer accepted) of between 7 and 14 days. If that sounds fast, then your hiring process is probably missing some great candidates.

Your competition is probably snapping up the most talented while you are still thinking about whether the next candidate will have one of those preferred but non-essential skills you detailed on the job description.

Many organizations don’t have the experience or human resources to streamline the hiring process. If this sounds familiar, you should consider using a professional recruiter who specializes in IT and technology jobs.

6.    Consider Remote Candidates

It may be that the talent pool is shallow where your business is located. In such a case, it may be time to look further afield. A remote candidate could provide the skills and experience you need. See our guide on how to conduct the perfect virtual interview for technology jobs for tips on interviewing remote talent.

7.    Search for IT Talent Where It Is to Be Found

You aren’t likely to find the most talented tech talent on generalist job boards. The best talent is usually hidden. They may be happy in their current job – the most talented new recruits are often passive job seekers.

You’ll find these talented candidates in tech communities, LinkedIn forums, and local (and global, online) tech events. And, of course, via specialist staffing agencies with a reach to passive candidates.

8.    If You Use a Recruiter, Make Sure they Understand You

Finally, if you use a recruiter it is crucial that they understand you. It’s essential that you articulate and communicate all the necessary project, role, and culture-fit details to your recruiter. First and foremost, it’s a partnership between you and the staffing agency. It is the recruiter’s job to not only find the right talent for the role, but also the right fit for your organization.

A recruiter who comes from a tech background themselves will understand your language, and know how to describe the role you need to be filled in the language that candidates speak. That’s going to help attract the talent you need.

Summing Up

As demand for information technology jobs continues to rise and the skills shortage continues to worsen, it is likely to become more difficult to hire the most talented candidates. These hiring tips should help you overcome the recruitment challenges you face and hire the talent that will help propel your organization to the next level.

If you are finding it increasingly difficult to hire and retain talented candidates for information technology jobs, contact Irvine Technology Corporation today

What’s Best for a Software Engineer: Contract or Permanent?

Advice to Help You Decide Your Next Career Move

Many software engineers have the career goal of working in contract jobs. Certainly, the money that you could earn as a contractor is attractive. And you should have greater flexibility to arrange your work around life, rather than your life around work. However, contract work is not best for all software engineering professionals.

In this article, we examine the difference between contract and permanent jobs. This will help you decide which is best for your life and career objectives today.

What Is the Difference Between Contract Work and Permanent Work?

Contract work is time limited. Often, you’ll be hired to work on specific projects. Contract periods are typically three, six or 12 months. Companies hire contractors to fill skills gaps they have, cover leave, to work on specific projects where short-term specialization is needed, or to help upskill existing staff.

As a permanent worker, your job is full-time with a fixed salary. Your tax and other deductions are taken from your salary before you receive it.

The Pros and Cons of Contract Work

The major draw to contracting is the money that you can earn. Because the company you work for does not have the legal obligation to provide benefits such as health insurance and pension provisions, nor are they responsible for your tax an unemployment insurance, they can (and do) pay contractors higher hourly wages.

You’ll also be your own boss, with flexibility between contracts and a better work/life balance. However, when one contract ends there is no guarantee that you will walk into another. Additionally, in poor economic conditions, employers often lay off their contract staff first.

Here is a summary of the main pros and cons of contract work:

Pros of Contract Work Cons of Contract Work
Larger salary Your job security is not guaranteed
You are your own boss No employer benefits such as health and pension
You have flexibility between contracts There’s no career ladder to measure your progress
Your skills are appreciated Administration of paperwork (and tax) is your responsibility
You can benefit from a wide variety of work (and so will your resume) No guarantee of work
Better work/life balance You must market yourself
You stay out of office politics You are easier to lay off

 

The Pros and Cons of Permanent Work

Job security and employer-provided benefits are the two major advantages of permanent work. Your employer will also pay for your training. You won’t need to market your skills (unless you want to change jobs).

While the opportunity to progress will provide a measure of success, career progression is not always assured – especially if there are few internal promotion opportunities.

In exchange for the benefits of permanent work, you will forego the higher earning potential of contract work, flexibility, and choice of work, and are likely to be drawn into the game of office politics.

Here is a summary of the main pros and cons of contract work:

Pros of Permanent Work Cons of Permanent Work
Job security Lower earnings potential
Regular salary No choice of the work you do
Employer benefits such as health and pension You may get paid leave, but it is limited by your employer
A defined career path Personality clashes and office politics
Training and development opportunities You must conform to your employer’s work hours
Lenders prefer permanent workers Your salary increases are determined by your employer
Employment protection Your skills may not be fully appreciated, and you may not do work that most appeals to you

 

How Do You Decide Between Contract and Permanent Work?

Before deciding whether contract or permanent work is the right course for your career as a software engineer, you should take time to assess your current needs and your future goals. Consider what quality of life you want today, your longer-term life goals, and how you could best achieve these objectives.

As a contractor, you could set up as your own or operate through an agency that offers contracting and consulting services. If you choose the former option, you will have the added responsibility of marketing your services and the additional paperwork requirements. If you work as a contractor or consultant through an agency, you benefit from many of the advantages of contract work and some of the advantages of permanent work – such as ‘employer’ benefits and 401(K) provisions.

If you are at the stage of your career where you are undecided as to your next move, contact Irvine Technology Corporation today. We’ll help you with your perspective, and can introduce you to some of the best permanent and contract roles available in software engineering.

How to Conduct the Perfect Virtual Interview for Technology Jobs

Tips to Ensure a Successful Virtual Hiring Process

Virtual interviews for technology jobs are becoming increasingly popular. Not only because of COVID-19, but also because they allow employers to interview the best talent available from across the United States and globally for remote roles.

In addition, virtual interviews save money, are more easily slotted into work schedules, and enable the hiring process to be accelerated. However, there are drawbacks when conducting virtual interviews. Poor audio and video quality can damage the experience, and interviewing via video means that nonverbal behavior is often missed.

In this article, we provide tips that will help you and your candidate get the most out of virtual interviews.

Preparing for a Virtual Interview for Technology Jobs

As they say, if you fail to plan you plan to fail. Here are our tips to prepare to a virtual interview.

1.     Make Sure Your Social Media and Website Is Updated

Candidates will research you online. They will read your posts on Facebook and LinkedIn, and they will examine your website. They will want to learn as much about you as they can before interviewing with you. It’s essential to ensure that your employer branding is consistent and that your social media portrays a genuine picture of you as a company and as an employer.

2.     Set Up the Interview ‘Room’

When you are interviewing a candidate virtually it is important to ensure that they feel like they are in an interview environment. It’s essential that you can be seen and heard properly, and that it doesn’t look like you are interviewing them from a store cupboard.

Focus on your background first. What is it that the interviewee will see behind you? Make certain that there are no visual distractions. If you are interviewing with a window to an office behind you, close the blind. If possible, choose a virtual background that depicts your brand (you may need to invest in a green screen).

When setting up your camera and audio, test to make sure that your lighting is sufficient for you to be seen. Avoid backlighting as this will turn you into a silhouette. Direct light from the front is the order of the day. Ensure that your microphone captures all your words and does not muffle your speech.

3.     Prepare Your Interview Questions

Consider the skills, experience, and knowledge that the role requires, and prepare questions to test the candidate in each of these areas. You should compose a list of universal questions for every candidate, and a list of questions that are specific to the candidate being interviewed.

4.     Develop a Candidate Rating System

Use a rating system to rate the candidate on each question you ask and other measures you consider important; for example, how the candidate presents themselves, their confidence, the language they use, eye-contact, etc. This will help you determine who the best candidates are as you move through your hiring process.

If you are using a blended interview strategy, in which some candidates will be interviewed in person while others will be interviewed virtually, then ensure that you score candidates consistently in line with your rating system.

5.     Give the Interview Plenty of Notice

Afford virtual interviewees the same courtesy you do in-person interviewees. You wouldn’t expect a candidate to attend your office within a couple of hours of being invited for an interview. Allow the candidate time to prepare, and you are more likely to meet the real person – ready to present their best self.

Ensure that you send an electronic invite to the candidate. Include the date, time, technology to be used (with a link), and any other information they may need to prepare for the interview.

Immediately Before the Interview

Before the interview, there are a few actions to take to make sure that the interview is conducted professionally and that you give the interviewee a good impression.

1.     Eliminate All Distractions

Ensure that others know not to disturb you. There is little more off-putting to a candidate than a virtual interview which is continually interrupted by others walking into your office.

In addition, turn off all other distractions – your cell phone, email messaging system, instant message alerts, and so on.

2.     Test the Technology

One final check will ensure that your technology is working, lighting and sound levels are correct, and that your background is professional. This can be done using the automated test in the application, or with your ITC account executive. (Have you met our leadership team, yet?)

3.     Dress Appropriately

Dress as you would for an in-person interview, but also remember that you are on screen – so, wear a shirt or blouse that doesn’t clash with your background.

4.     Ensure You Have All You Need to Hand

Have you got your interview questions and score card in front of you? Do you have a pen? What about a glass of water to ensure your throat does not dry?

The Interview Itself

During the interview itself, it is good practice to conduct it as you would an in-person interview. Stay focused on the interviewee, be mindful of your own body language, and remain professional throughout. Here are five things you should do during a virtual interview:

1.     Build Rapport

Introduce the company and yourself, and take a couple of moments to ease the interviewee into the interview. Be polite and smile.

Make eye contact by looking into your webcam when the candidate is speaking. This is alien to most people – it’s natural to look at the interviewee’s image on the screen and look there.

Ask a few rapport building questions to start – perhaps about hobbies or experiences with virtual interviews – before then moving on to discuss the candidate’s background. Let the candidate know it is okay for them to ask questions, especially if they need to clarify anything you say.

2.     Ask the Questions on Your List

Make sure that you ask all the questions that you have prepared for the candidate. As you do so, mark them according to your scoring system.

3.     Give the Interviewee Time to Answer

There may be a time lag between you asking a question and the candidate hearing it. This can result in an interview in which the candidate appears to be slower to answer. Take this into consideration, and allow time for the answer to come. If the audio or video stops or cuts out, explain what happened and ask the candidate to repeat their answer.

4.     Ensure You Have the Cultural Conversation

Cultural fit is as important as the fit on skills and experience. Some would say more so – skills can be learned, and experience is acquired. Make sure that you discuss your company and team culture, and your company’s values, and give an idea of the environment in which the candidate will be working.

5.     End the Interview with Next Steps

When the interview is closing, ask the interviewee if they have any further questions. Then, once you have answered these, explain the next steps in the hiring process, including how you will inform them of your decision.

Summing Up

In many ways, virtual interviews are the same as in-person interviews. You must prepare well for them, know what questions you must ask, and have a system that enables you to compare candidates effectively. There are, however, some differences. Being aware of these and using tactics to overcome any challenges will ensure that your virtual interviews run smoothly and add value to your hiring process.

To access a great pool of talent for your technology jobs, contact Irvine Technology Corporation today. We’re here to help you be the difference.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

diversity in hiring

Let’s be honest, diversity is not a new topic and most organizations already have it as a stated business priority. And, unfortunately, over the last 25 years, I have worked with senior executives in companies large and small on diversity strategy, and not a lot has changed. Many leaders I have worked with have been disappointed or frustrated with the lack of results and outcomes that they have been able to realize. Through these experiences I have identified a few insights to consider when leaders develop a diversity strategy.

1. Challenge Assumptions and Perceptions

First, challenge the assumptions and perceptions that exist in the organization about Diversity. Here’s a quick story to illustrate my point. When I have my first discussion with senior executives about diversity, I often hear this same response, “Mary, we have tried to recruit and hire diverse leaders, but there just aren’t any diverse talent in X industry… they just don’t exist.” – fill in the blank with your industry.

Every time I heard this, I was a little confused and thought to myself, could this be true? My first response was to look at the recruiting and hiring data. When I did that, I found that organizations were successfully and consistently recruiting and hiring diverse leaders into the business. The problem was that they weren’t retaining diverse leaders. The turnover data showed that the same number of diverse leaders that were being hired annually, or more, were leaving the company. So, it was no surprise to me that the senior executives were not seeing any change in the diversity results for their business.

The lesson learned is, it is important to understand what the problem is before trying to solve it and take action improve diversity. In this situation, recruiting was not the problem, but rather, retention was the problem. One of the biggest myths and assumptions is the idea that diverse leaders do not exist in a specific industry or business and a successful diversity strategy includes both recruiting and retention strategies.

2. Build Diversity at the Front-line Manager Level

When I work with organizations on diversity strategy, the focus tends to be on the senior leadership. This is natural and understandable and ultimately, that is the goal for many organizations. However, the diversity of leaders deeper in the organization can be even more important. Let me explain why I believe this to be the case. Many organizations are quite diverse when you look at the total employee population of an organization. However, there is a clear pattern evidenced in organizations where we find a steep drop-off in the diversity of talent at the front-line manager level.

The entry-level leadership positions lack diversity and every subsequent level above that, the percentage of diverse talent continues to decrease. Therefore, even if hiring and promotion rates improve at senior levels, as a whole, the organization will not be able to “catch up” and close the gap because there are just too few diverse leaders in the organization’s leadership pipeline. A sustainable diversity strategy should put priority and emphasis on hiring, developing and promoting diverse leaders into the entry-level, front-line manager positions to make a positive impact on diversity results and outcomes.

3. Focus On Achievable Small Steps For Greater Impact

Finally, the subject of improving diversity can be overwhelming for many leaders. There is so much that needs to be done, the gap is large, and to be effective an organization needs a comprehensive, long-term strategy. All of this is very true and necessary. However, when people become overwhelmed or the problem feels too big to solve, leaders can become paralyzed and oftentimes, that leads to doing nothing; this is a natural human instinct. While I am the first to advocate for a diversity strategy that is long-term focused and comprehensive, I would also suggest that the greatest impact that leaders can have on any organization’s diversity results is 100% within their control, does not cost any money, and can be implemented immediately!

One of the most impactful actions that can be taken to support a diversity strategy is to create positive defining moments for employees. A defining moment is a small action that has a huge impact on the employee; it is not a grand gesture. Defining moments can be as simple as a “thank you”, recognition of an employee’s birthday, or simply making time to listen to an employee’s personal story. Especially in today’s environment, leaders need to be even more intentional about identifying opportunities to create defining moments. If the leaders in your organization were to make a list of the diverse talent on their immediate team or within their immediate department and began implementing one small action for one employee, every day, this would have a huge positive impact on the organization’s culture.

So, my call to action to each of you is this, starting today – make a list of the diverse talent on your team, identify one action that you will take in the next day or by the end of the week and begin creating positive defining moments. And, just like that, you have taken the first steps in bringing your organization’s diversity strategy to life! Here’s another tip, don’t stop there, leaders can create positive defining moments for each and every employee on their team!

Remember, leadership takes courage and courage is the fuel that drives change. I invite you to join me in leading change and building a diverse leadership talent pipeline for your organization, one leader at a time!

Mary Choi Kelly PhD, is the DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) Practice Leader for ITC. ITC has a long-standing history of being recognized as a world-class recruiting and technology solutions leader.

We see ourselves as uniquely positioned to help organizations build incredible places to work through an intentional focus on culture and diversity. Companies who are committed to building inclusive organizations are poised to realize extraordinary results, not only in terms of employee engagement and productivity but also in customer delight and shareholder return.

The path to creating the most inclusive organization begins with aligning an organization’s beliefs and mindset that Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is a critical driver to their organization’s success. Through customized solutions, tangible insights and relevant tools, The ITC DEI Practice and Solutions team can help you establish a foundation that will enable long-term sustainable culture change and position you as an employer-of-choice for diverse talent.

Women in Tech – Is Lack of Gender Diversity Holding Your Company Back?

women in technologyWe Need to Break the Male-Dominated Mold

The low number of women in tech is a contentious issue, especially in disciplines that include software engineer and data analytics jobs. It’s stopping companies from taking advantages of the many benefits of gender diversity, such as greater creativity and innovation, better decision-making, and higher valuations.
You might be surprised to discover just how male dominated the tech sector is, in both numbers in work and salaries paid. In this article, we look at why this may be.

The Gender Gap – Closing, but Still Too Wide

The United States has made great strides in narrowing the gender gap in employment, but the tech sector remains male dominated. According to Pew Research, across the United States economy women now make up 47% of the workforce. That’s up from around 30% in 1950.

There has also been progress made in the general gender pay gap in the United States. Glassdoor’s 2019 Progress on the Gender Pay Gap Research found that the controlled pay gap (which allows for factors such as age, education, experience, etc.) has decreased from around 5.4% in 2016 to 4.9% in 2019. So, we’re making progress, but there is still more to do. Then we come to the tech sector.

The Gender Gap in the Tech Sector Is Huge

According to research, only 26% of computing jobs are held by women, and whereas the female proportion of the workforce has been steadily increasing in the United States economy, it’s a different story in the tech sector. Studies show that the number of women in tech roles has been on a steady decline.

The figures are even more marked in Silicon Valley startups, where it has been estimated that a paltry 12% of engineers are women and only 11% of executive positions are held by females. But it’s not only at startups that we see huge discrepancy between gender hiring. Figures compiled by Statista show that among the GAFAM companies (Google; Amazon; Facebook; Apple; Microsoft) only around 23% of their tech employees are female.

The pay gap is shocking, too, and especially in more technical jobs. In recent analysis conducted by Dice, it was found that, on average:
• Female data architects earn more than $13,000 less than their male equivalents
• Female data scientists are paid an average of $9,561 less than male data scientists
• Female software engineers are paid an average of $8,559 less than male software engineers

Why Are There So Few Females in Tech Roles?

There are several reasons why women are underrepresented in technology jobs in the United States. They mostly relate to institutionalized gender bias, and include:

• Gender Stereotypes Leading to a Smaller Female Talent Pool

Grandparents, parents, and schools deliver a gender stereotype that boys are better at science and math than girls. This discourages females from studying for technology and science subjects. Men taking technology and engineering degrees outnumber women by between four and five to one.  With so few women coming through with suitable education, there is a far smaller pool of female talent for employers to choose from. This leads to a gender bias in hiring.

• Unconscious Cultural Bias

The American Sociological Review found that hiring managers lean toward recruiting people who are like themselves. They favor candidates who have similar hobbies, likes and dislikes, experiences, etc. When an interview panel is dominated by male interviewers, it’s easy to understand that they are likely to favor male candidates.

• Women Are More Likely to Leave Tech Jobs

The Women in Tech: The Facts report finds that women are more than twice as likely to leave tech roles as men. The reasons for leaving could include a hostile male culture, a feeling of isolation, and a lack of effective sponsors which leads to fewer career opportunities. Often, women in tech are seen as being more capable in the ‘softer roles’ – demonstrated, perhaps, by a far higher average salary than men when employed as technical writers.
When women leave tech jobs, a quarter take a non-technical job in a different company, while almost as many become self-employed, and a fifth take a break from work. This leaves only around a third who move to other companies in tech roles.

How Can We Close the Gender Gap in Technology Jobs?

There isn’t a quick fix to closing the gender gap, but there are things that we can all do. Actions we can take include:
• Parents encouraging daughters to take a keener interest in STEM subjects
• At school and colleges, encouraging girls to take a greater interest in technology and removing the bias in education
• Companies need to work on their corporate culture, with gender bias training, for example
• Ensuring that more women are present in executive meetings
• Companies sponsoring schools and colleges to encourage females into technology
• Actively seeking to recruit females, and closing the pay gap further

Research by Morgan Stanley has found that greater gender diversity has a substantial effect on your business outcomes. They cite better returns, lower volatility, and five-year outperformance as demonstrable results because of greater gender diversity. A report by McKinsey found that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15% more likely to have higher financial returns than industry medians.

Perhaps the question that needs to be answered is not how tech companies can improve their gender balance, but if they can afford not to. To access a great pool of talent for your technology jobs, contact Irvine Technology Corporation today. We’re here to help you be the difference.