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8 Traits That Successful Engineers Show

With the rate at which new technologies are currently being developed, the IT industry remains in a perpetual state of flux. Tech companies that are able to adapt to the shifting technological landscape tend to grow and thrive, while organizations that remain fixed to the tools of the past run the risk of being left behind. As an extension of that phenomenon, it’s vital to the success of individual engineers to be able to continuously update their skillset and to be a fluid learner within their dynamic work environment. The responsibilities of the average IT engineer may, at times, feel monotonous, but the fact is that engineers must hone a broad array of skills – both technical and interpersonal – in order to achieve success.

What are the most important character traits for an engineer to possess in 2020?

1. Constant learner

New technologies can become essential for the engineer’s toolkit practically overnight. It’s crucial, therefore, for the modern engineer to be able to take the initiative and educate him or herself when trying to master new platforms or programs.

2. Detail-oriented

No one knows the truth behind the phrase the devil is in the details better than engineers. When you’re consistently working with and building code, it’s absolutely crucial to develop a hyper-attention to minute details.

3. Communicator

Discussing the more technical aspects of a project to your fellow engineers is one thing; breaking it down to clients and customers is quite another. Given the necessity for modern engineers to often work closely with people outside of their department, the ability to communicate complex information in layman terms is invaluable.

4. Determined and driven

It’s inevitable. Every engineer will – at one point or another – be faced with an obstacle that feels insurmountable or a technical problem that appears to be unsolvable. The successful engineer, however, is the one that views these occurrences as challenges to be overcome rather than as reasons to give up.

5. Collaborator

The modern engineer will frequently be required to work within a team setting. As a result, it’s vital for the success of the individual and of the team that each engineer understands the value of compromise, listening, patience, delegation, and teamwork.

6. Leader

An integral part of any engineer’s job description is encountering and resolving complex problems that even company executives may not be able to offer solutions to. When such technical problems present themselves, companies will frequently turn to their engineers to provide solutions. Consequently, it’s important for engineers to possess the confidence and motivation which will allow them to take the lead.

7. Analytical

At its core, engineering requires an ability to digest vast quantities of information, identify patterns, and finally to reorganize information or develop new patterns that will optimally serve the interests of the organization. In order to perform these duties effectively, engineers must constantly sharpen their analytical and data-processing capabilities.

8. Creativity

Lastly (but certainly not least), engineers must be able to think outside of the box. If an engineer’s methods become too fixed and rigid, he may struggle to adapt to the changing conditions of the industry in which he operates. By constantly updating his own skillset and daring to adopt unconventional modes of thought, on the other hand, he’ll be able to continuously innovate and meet the challenges of the future head-on.

Looking for new IT job?

At RightStone, our goal is to help IT candidates achieve their loftiest goals. To find out more about how you can level-up in your career, check out our jobs page.

 


Tips for Hiring a Programmer When You Don’t Know Coding

In order to be able to identify and recruit high-quality employees, managers in the IT industry need to understand the specific types of experience and technical expertise that they should be looking for in a candidate. This can often be a straightforward task: if a role requires a candidate to be certified in a particular type of cloud-services platform, for example, any manager can easily find out if any given candidate meets that requirement by simply asking for his or her certification. Difficulties can arise, however, if a hiring manager does not have some basic fluency in the more technical programmer jargon. In other words, it can be tricky for managers to get a clearly defined understanding of a candidate’s experience and skills without first becoming familiar with the language of the trade.

The aim of this post, therefore, will be to provide IT managers who are newcomers to the “language” of programming with some tips for hiring top-talent candidates.

Tips for Hiring Programmers

1. Understand the job requirements.

Before you interview a candidate for any role, it will be essential to first familiarize yourself with the idiosyncrasies and unique responsibilities of that particular position. In many cases, this will require you to meet with a supervisor or colleague who will work closely with the new employee. You’ll want to find out: what are the most challenging technical aspects of this role? What are the character traits that will be conducive to success in this position? You won’t need to become an expert on each of the technical duties required by the role, but you should have an understanding of the general skills that will be required for success.

 

2. Request a portfolio from each candidate.

Having a tangible, visual sample of each candidate’s work experience can provide you with a much clearer understanding of their past accomplishments and unique abilities. It may also be worth consulting with a colleague who is more well-versed in programming to more clearly understand a candidate’s portfolio.

 

3. Don’t forget to discuss the work environment.

It will (obviously) be a priority to find candidates who have the requisite background, experience, and technical skills, but it’s equally important to make sure that you find someone who will fit well within your company culture. With that in mind, be sure to ask any candidate what they value and expect from a workplace, whether or not they’re looking for a role with flexible work options, and if they work more effectively as an individual or within a team-oriented environment.

 

4. Test their skills.

If you’re not intimately familiar with the language of programmers or coders, it can be very helpful to prepare a short examination which will test a candidate’s technical skills. Tests can take place on paper or online and can either be developed in collaboration with other, more technically-fluent.

Connect with Talent Today

At RightStone, we’re working with IT candidates and top employers to make connections that last. To learn more about how to get connected with top talent, we’re here to help.

 

 

 


New Year, New You: How to Set Career Goals For 2020

2020 has finally arrived, which means that working professionals across the country are thinking about the personal resolutions and career goals that they’ll endeavor to work towards in the new year. Setting career goals for yourself early on in the new year is critically important: it will provide you with a clearer vision of success towards which you can aspire to, which can, in turn, provide you with real and focused motivation to be at your best on a day-to-day basis. At the same time, it can be tricky to establish goals for the upcoming year that are simultaneously ambitious and practical.

Four tips for setting strong career goals in 2020:

1. Reflect on your values.

The beginning of the new year is an ideal time to think deeply about what you truly value, both in your personal life and in your career. Is your current professional trajectory aimed in a direction that will allow you to continue to build upon those values? If not, it may be worthwhile to set goals for the new year which focus on integrating your values into your work.

 

2. Work towards a balance between your career and your life that you’ll be satisfied with.

It’s important, obviously, to be ambitious in your career goals. If you’re not aiming at a position or a pay grade that is loftier than your current role, then what’s the real point of setting annual goals for yourself at all? At the same time, it’s important to set career goals for yourself that, once realized, will not too dramatically interfere with your personal life. The definition of an ideal work/life balance will vary from person to person, so it’s therefore important for each individual to reflect on what career goals might yield maximum satisfaction for them in the long run.

 

3. Make goals that are S.M.A.R.T

    • Specific. Your goals should be clearly-defined, articulated, and written down.
    • Measurable. You should have a metric or criteria by which you can track your success.
    • Achievable. Will it be possible for you to achieve this goal within the next year?
    • Are your goals conducive to your longer-term professional aspirations?
    • Time-sensitive. Your goals should always come with a realistic deadline.

 

4. Build a plan.

Just like any New Year’s resolution, a career goal for 2020 won’t be attainable unless you break it down into smaller, more manageable steps. For example, let’s say that you’re really aiming at receiving a promotion by the end of this year. That’s a great end result to strive towards, but it can only be realized at the end of a much longer series of daily, weekly, and monthly wins. It’s crucial, therefore, to continuously ask yourself: what can I accomplish this month, this week, today, or even in this moment that will result in me moving closer to the realization of my long-term goal?

Connect Today

At RightStone, our goal is to help IT candidates achieve their loftiest goals. To find out more about how you can level-up in your career, check out our jobs page.


4 Ways to Make Sure Your Next Candidate is a Culture Fit For Your Company

In the search to find the perfect candidate to fill an open position, managers will (understandably) tend to prioritize candidates who have the most experience or who have the widest set of demonstrable skills. While it’s certainly crucial to seek out and recruit candidates who have the necessary technical experience, it can also be a mistake for employers to focus only on candidates’ “hard skills”. There is another dimension of “soft skills” – people skills or personality traits, in other words – that are equally important for managers to take into account whenever vetting a potential candidate. By gauging a job candidate’s soft skills and getting a feel for their personality, you’ll be able to determine if they would be a good fit within the workplace culture that they’d be entering into.

Here are four tips for making sure that a job candidate would be a strong “culture fit” within your company:

1. Reach out to references.

Resumes and cover letters are extremely useful when you’re trying to get a feel for a candidate’s experience and background, but they typically will not shed much light on a candidate’s personality or interpersonal skills. Professional references (i.e., previous employers and managers), on the other hand, can provide valuable insights into a particular candidate’s conduct at the workplace. It’s worth reaching out to one or two previous employers in order to get a sense of how well a candidate’s personality would fit within your workplace culture.

2. Ask personality-based questions.

One of the most effective ways to get a feel of whether or not a candidate would be a strong culture fit is to ask the right questions. To learn more about a candidate’s values and personality, try asking some of the following questions during an interview:

    • Do you feel more comfortable within an individual or a group setting?
    • Can you give me an example of a time that you resolved a tense situation in the workplace?
    • What are the qualities that you value in the workplace?
    • What are the qualities of this particular work environment that appeal to you?

3. Give your team a seat at the interview table.

Maintaining a strong and balanced workplace culture is a collaborative process. Each of your employees contributes in his or her unique way to weave the tapestry of your working environment. With that in mind, it can be extremely helpful to give your team members a chance to meet with job candidates personally to ask culture-based questions.

4. Know the role.

Last but certainly not least, it’s important for managers to thoroughly understand the responsibilities of the role that’s being applied for, and in turn to define the personality traits that will be required for success. For example, some positions will require a high degree of autonomy and creativity, and others will place a greater emphasis on collaboration and communication skills. In order to ensure that a job candidate will be a good culture fit within the company as a whole, you’ll first want to make sure that they’ll be the right personality fit within the particular department and position for which they’re interviewing.

Connect Today

At RightStone, we’re working with IT candidates and top employers to make connections that last. To learn more about how to get connected with top talent, contact us here.

 


5 Ways to Communicate With Passive Job Seekers

 

It’s no secret that a shortage of qualified candidates to fill highly-specialized roles has been hurting the IT industry in recent years. In their 2019 CIO Survey, the IT outsourcer Harvey Nash spoke with more than 3,000 leaders in the tech industry and found that a staggering 65% of respondents said that labor shortage is becoming a serious problem for the industry. In such a climate, the competition to source, recruit and hire top-talent applicants can be intense. It is also the reason why employers are beginning to adopt tactics aimed at recruiting “passive” job seekers or candidates who are currently employed elsewhere and thereby not actively seeking a new role.

Here are five tips for communicating with passive job seekers who might be a good match for a role within your company:

Strengthen Your Employer Brand

By building your company’s narrative (in the form of mission statements and the voice behind your copywriting, for example), candidates will be much more interested in learning more about you.

Understand Your Organization’s Needs

The more specifically you can define the skills, expertise, and specialties that you need to add to your company, the easier it will be to identify professionals whose backgrounds align with your needs. If a job description and its requirements closely align with their background and skills, passive candidates will be that much more likely to engage with you.

Partner With a Staffing Agency

Staffing agencies specialize in connecting engineers with companies who are seeking new talent. Once you’ve developed and strengthened your employer branding strategy, partnering with a staffing agency can help spread the message, mission, and values to all quarters of the industry to help attract top applicants.

Maintain Communication

Once you’ve established communication with a passive job seeker – whether that was through a staffing agency or by other means – it’s critical to do what you can to keep them engaged and to keep the conversation going. The fact that they’re currently employed elsewhere in all likelihood means that they’re happy in their current position, so excessive communication can ultimately be counterproductive. Rather, you can establish mutually productive communication by occasionally sending them posts that are relevant to their skills, and asking them questions about what their career goals look like.

Streamline the Application Process

Your goal while communicating with passive job seekers is to have them apply for a role. If, after strengthening your employer brand strategy, getting in touch with them, and maintaining your communication with them, they’ve decided to pursue an opportunity with your company, it should be your priority to make the process as frictionless as possible. Don’t have them submit their CV and application through an automated system; keep up personal communication. When they’re interviewing, don’t spend too much time asking them about their experience. After all, you approached them, so you can speed up the process by dropping those questions and instead of answering any questions that they might have.

Looking to Staff Up?

At RightStone, we’re working with IT candidates and top employers to make connections that last. To learn more about how to get connected with top talent, we’re here to help.


Learn What The Top Employers Are Looking For On Your Resume

Your resume is your first real point of contact with any potential employer, the document that will serve as their first impression of your background and suitability for a role. Everyone’s resumes vary depending on their personal experience and skills, but there are some common features that all employers look for in a resume when trying to determine if a candidate is a good fit.

Here are some tips for organizing your resume to increase your chances of having it catch the eye of a potential employer:

Include Industry and Role-Specific Keywords – Top employers typically receive huge numbers of resumes, which they need to have strategies for sifting through. One of the quickest ways for an employer to gauge how well-suited an applicant is for a role is to look for “keywords” on a resume. These are words describing skills, background experience, and knowledge that demonstrate an aptitude for the specific role and industry being applied to. Before you submit your resume, study the job description, company, and industry you’re applying to so that you can add keywords that will grab a hiring manager’s attention.

Watch Out For Embellishing – Most top employers who are trying to fill a role get inundated with resumes that are exaggerated. When a candidate’s resume includes, to the letter, every single required skill that was listed in the job post, that’s a pretty good indicator that that applicant does not possess those skills. When you’re building your resume, make sure not to include skills or expertise that don’t accurately reflect your professional background. When it comes to applying for a new role, it pays to be honest and to use your legitimate skills and background as your selling points.

Communicate the Progress You’ve Achieved in Your Career – When they’re looking at a resume, employers want to be able to tell that a candidate has accomplished some forward progress throughout their career. This will come across from your past job titles and the companies you’ve worked for, but there are other ways of communicating progress as well. When you’re outlining job descriptions for each position you’ve held, be sure to describe the specific responsibilities that you had and the skills that were required for you to be successful. That way, employers will get a much clearer sense of what you’ve learned, how and when you gained those skills, and how they were translated into you excelling throughout your career.

At RightStone, we’re working with IT candidates and top employers to find connections that last. If you’re ready to start looking for an exciting new role in IT, check out our jobs page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Top Reasons Why IT Professionals Leave Their Jobs, and What You Can Do to Change It

Finding talented candidates is a struggle that IT employers frequently encounter. But there is another, lesser-known issue that is causing big problems in the IT industry: employee turnover. According to a 2018 turnover report from LinkedIn, IT has a turnover rate of 13.2%, which is the highest of any modern industry. This is leaving tech companies of all sizes scrambling to find new candidates to fill vacant roles, and spending billions of dollars in the process.

The best solution, however, may not lie in replacing employees that jump ship but rather making changes to your organization that will make them want to stay aboard. Here are a few of the big reasons why IT professionals leave their jobs, and some solutions that will make them want to stay:

Lack of Clear Career Advancement Opportunities – The huge influx in demand for talented IT employees in recent years means that our best workers are always being sought after by competing companies. If those companies can provide them with clear plans for how they’ll be able to advance in their career, and you haven’t communicated such a plan, that’s a huge motivating force for them to accept a new position. To encourage employees to remain in your company, work with your team leaders to devise clear and practical roadmaps for how your employees might be able to climb the ladder of success within your company.

They Are Being Overloaded With Work – One of the major reasons why employees leave a position is because they’re overworked for an extended period. This typically is indicative not so much of an employee’s capabilities but rather of the awareness and leadership skills of their managers. As leaders in the field, the responsibility falls on us to delegate tasks appropriately and realistically to our teams. This includes remaining conscious of employees’ workloads and taking steps to lighten them if we can see that someone is overwhelmed.

They Are Not Being Acknowledged by Leadership – Failing to acknowledge someone’s successes or even to provide honest feedback now and again is one of the surest ways to make an employee feel alienated and unimportant. If this is kept up, and someone continues to have his or her efforts seemingly ignored or taken for granted, you can be sure they will fairly quickly start looking into other opportunities that can offer more supportive work environments. Taking the time to provide feedback and recognize an employee’s contributions, on the other hand, can go a long way towards making them feel like an important part of the team.

Looking to Grow Your Team?

At RightStone, we’re working with IT candidates and top employers to make connections that last. To learn more about how to get connected with top talent, we’re here to help.

 

 


Working With an IT Recruiter: How It Could Be The Best Move For Your Career

We’ve all experienced at one point or another what it’s like to be stuck in a rut when we’re searching for a new job. Sometimes we’re lucky, and things just seem to go our way while we’re searching and applying for new roles, but other times, it can feel like we’re just pursuing dead end after dead end. Those experiences can leave job seekers feeling frustrated and helpless.

IT recruiters can be powerful allies during the job search process, and they can help us work through those moments when we feel like we have nowhere to turn. In this post, we’ll explore how working with an IT recruiter can help you level up in your career.

What Do IT Recruiters Do?

Recruiters partner with employers in the IT industry to fill open positions within companies. It is the primary goal of an IT recruiter to screen multiple resumes and applications and connect the best-qualified candidates with hiring managers. In this way, they’re able to conduct deep dives into applications and can catch candidates that might otherwise have been overlooked by an employer with limited recruitment resources.

How Can Someone Get in Touch With an IT Recruiter?

In most cases, a recruiter will reach out to you on behalf of the employer once you’ve applied and if you’re a good fit for the role. Recruiters also shop around career networking sites such as LinkedIn to find-well suited candidates and so occasionally reach out via those sites even if a candidate hasn’t yet applied for a role.

Alternatively, many job postings will list the name of the recruiter overseeing the candidate-screening process for a particular role; in those cases, you have the option of reaching out to them directly and requesting an informational interview. This is an opportunity to connect with the recruiter and discuss how well your background, skills, and experience might match with an open position within a particular work environment. In other words, you can work with a recruiter during an informational interview to gauge a job opportunity before you commit to applying.

Why Should You Consider Working With an IT Recruiter?

There are many reasons why working through a recruiter can help expedite your job search, but here are the big ones:

  • Time
    • Most job seekers don’t have the freedom to spend eight hours a day searching for job sites and submitting applications. Recruiters, on the other hand, specialize in doing exactly that. When you partner with a recruiter like RightStone, you’re essentially doubling the number of hours that you spend searching for opportunities.
  • Access a Broader Network
    • One of the main parts of an IT recruiter’s job is to create and maintain a huge number of connections within the industry. You may have established a sizeable network throughout your career, but you can bet that working with a recruiter will provide you with new and beneficial connections.
  • Connect With More Career Opportunities
    • There are huge numbers of career opportunities that you’ll miss if you focus your search exclusively on job search sites like LinkedIn or Indeed. Lots of employers don’t post opportunities on those sites and instead only advertise on their website. Recruiters specialize in scouring every available resource to know the landscape of all IT career opportunities and are thereby able to help you find the position that is the best fit for you.

Ready to Grow Your Career?

At RightStone, we’re working with IT candidates and top employers to find connections that last. If you’re ready to start looking for an exciting new role in IT, check out our jobs page.

 


Keep Your Career On Track: Top IT Hiring Trends For 2019

For any candidate looking for their next role in IT, certain tactics will never go out of style. Building strong interviewing skills and providing comprehensive resumes, for example, are two strategies that are bound to help your chances, regardless of when and where you’re looking for a job. There are some hiring trends, however, which evolve and change from year to year. To stand out from the crowd, candidates must maintain their “traditional” job-seeking skills while continuing to incorporate new skills with each passing year.

With those themes in mind, let’s take a look at four hiring trends that all candidates should be aware of in 2019:

  • Employers are Embracing a More Flexible Work Model – Many (if not most) IT companies currently employ a mix of full-time, part-time, and remote employees. If your career has, up to this point, been defined by only full-time positions, you may want to consider expanding your search to include positions with flexible work options.
  • Hiring for Soft Skills – Candidates must have the necessary technical skills and experience before applying for a new role, but companies are increasingly starting to value soft skills in their job search. In other words, employers are looking for employees who will be able to bring strong interpersonal skills, such as communication and empathy, into the workplace.
  • Greater Emphasis on Past Projects – As the demands placed on the modern IT professional continue to increase in scope and complexity, employers are focusing more on how well a candidate might be able to contribute towards particular projects, as opposed to being responsible for a broad array of traditional duties. Therefore, IT candidates need to be able to provide recruiters and interviewers with illustrative and specific examples of projects they’ve contributed to in the past.
  • Increased “Creativity” in the Hiring Process – As the industry continues to evolve, IT professionals are expected to be more and more dynamic, adaptive, and flexible. Hiring managers understand this; as a result, job requirements are becoming less and less rigid, and employers are increasingly looking for candidates with a unique experience, novel ideas, and creative ability.

Ready For Your Next Career Leap?

At RightStone, we’re working with IT candidates and top employers to find connections that last. If you’re ready to start looking for an exciting new role in IT, check out our jobs page.


How to Write the Perfect IT Cover Letter

In the course of the IT professional’s job search, certain steps can ultimately mean the difference between being selected for an interview and being lost in the crowd. One of the most crucial of these steps is the crafting and submission of strong, compelling, and up-to-date cover letters.

The cover letter is your opportunity to leave a strong impression in the mind of a hiring manager. This document should communicate enough personal information that it creates a comprehensive picture of you, your background, and your experience; but it should not be so long that it leaves recruiters feeling bored. The bottom line is that creating the perfect cover letter is a balancing act; one that requires some knowledge about what, specifically, IT managers are looking for.

With that in mind, let’s explore four crucial steps to drafting the perfect IT cover letter:

  • Draft Your Cover Letter so That it’s Complementary To, Not Duplicative Of, Your Resume – Your resume and your cover letter are two separate documents serving separate purposes, and they should be drafted accordingly. Your resume will delineate the specific roles you’ve had throughout your career, and your cover letter should detail the specific skills that you’ve acquired as a result of working in each role. In other words, your resume should be seen as a more technical document; your cover letter, on the other hand, should describe how your experience has caused you to grow and develop professionally over the years.
  • Don’t Include Too Much Personal Information – Your cover letter should leave hiring managers with a detailed sense of your professional skills and experience. You don’t need to take up too much space discussing your personal or family life (unless that’s specifically requested in the job post). As a general rule, you should stick to elucidating your professional credentials and how they qualify you for a particular role when you’re crafting your cover letter.
  • Tailor Each Cover Letter for the Role You’re Applying For – If you’re submitting a generic cover letter for every role that you apply to, hiring managers will be able to tell. This will not reflect well on your suitability for a role. Before you submit, be sure that you mention somewhere in your cover letter the following pieces of information:
    • The position you’re applying for (this should be mentioned in the first couple of sentences)
    • How you first heard about the job
    • The skills and experience that qualify you for this particular role
  • Be honest – As with any part of the application and interview process, honesty is always the best policy. Your cover letter should focus on your background, experience, skills, and aspirations in as transparent a way as possible. Stating – or even implying – that you have skills that you haven’t developed may benefit you in the short-term, but it will eventually come back to haunt you. Be yourself and sell your merits exactly as they are.

Looking to Grow Your Career?

At RightStone, we’re working with IT candidates and top employers to find connections that last. If you’re ready to start looking for an exciting new role in IT, check out our jobs page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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