Posted by & filed under Job Search.

It used to be that working from home — also known as telecommuting — was a luxury of luxuries. Fortunately, more and more forward-thinking employers are seeing the workforce management benefits of giving employees a flexible work schedule and environment. However, not all companies are an ideal fit for the category.

We’re going to be honest: It’s usually hard to negotiate a flexible work schedule in an interview, not to mention it might be risky to request such a perk at this stage of your job search. But it’s not impossible, either. If you do your homework and have perfect timing, you can come out with a successful interview.

Make sure the company is actually open to flexible work schedules

You should first determine whether bringing up the topic of flexibility with the company you’re interviewing for is worth it. Scout for clues about the company’s work culture and environment by doing the following:

  • Start with the Careers page of their website and look for any mention of flexible work arrangements.
  • Savvy employers promote flexibility because they know it’s a strong selling point. But some won’t actually practice it, which is why it’s important to check first with current and past workers.

The point is to do your homework — as with any other interview — to know if the company is receptive to work flexibility or not.

Negotiate with your employer in mind

The benefits of a flexible work schedule for employees are clear and easy to spell out. These include, among other things:

  • A better balance between life and work
  • More time with family
  • More time to exercise
  • Reduced stress from commuting
  • More savings

Your employer will likely already know about these benefits, so focus on creating a detailed plan demonstrating why flexibility will work not just for you, but the company.

  • Highlight business articles and studies showing why flexibility is beneficial to employers.
  • Mention the potential real estate savings with letting people work from home.
  • If you’re willing to take a pay cut or sacrifice other work benefits in exchange for flexible work hours, be sure to mention this.
  • Employees with flexible work schedules are more productive (cite reports and surveys)

With some preparation and creativity, you can present the advantages of flexibility for yourself, into advantages for your employer.

Offer a trial basis

If you can get the hiring manager to warm up to the idea of work flexibility but they’re having second thoughts about it, you could ask to be placed on a waiting list or trial period before you can finally telecommute or work a non-traditional schedule. Some companies might prefer new staff to get a feel for their job and show reliability and performance before they give flexibility benefits.

Conversely, if you can actually get a company to offer you flexibility from the beginning but they want a guarantee of your performance, you could ask to be put on probationary status as a sign of faith that you’ll be putting in the work even from the convenience of your home.

Work with a Leader in Executive Recruitment in San Diego

As a top executive recruiter, Integrity Staffing Professionals possess more than 50 years of experience helping job searchers and employer. We pride ourselves on being a leading executive search firm.  Contact us today to learn more!

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Posted by & filed under Consulting, Leadership.

How secure is your company’s IT security infrastructure? A study for global computer security software company McAfee (now Intel Security Group) conducted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies valued the combined cost of illegal hacking to the 2014 world economy at more than $440 billion.

With the damage inflicted by cybersecurity attacks on government systems and even corporations like Sony and Target, now is the time to invest in top IT security talent. In fact, CEOs, hiring managers, and employment agencies should rank cybercrime specialists at the top of their priority talents.

At a CIO Network conference organized by the Wall Street Journal, chief information officers shared the need to focus on securing their companies, hiring the best talent, and building newer and safer IT infrastructure.

According to PayPal CIO Brad Strock, security is constantly on “everybody’s mind,” adding the goal of IT chiefs now is to develop new ways to collect and share threat indicators within the industry as quickly as and widely as possible, making it difficult to attack security systems.

So, why are some companies still neglecting IT security?  Let’s take a look.

Top Talent Is Too Expensive

With cybersecurity concerns at an all-time high in the wake of the Sony attacks, it comes as no surprise why IT security professionals are in high demand, with the big honchos like Facebook, Google, and Apple willing to pay top dollar for the best talents. But for small businesses with seemingly nothing valuable to lose, cybersecurity is less of a priority, partly because it’s hard for them to attract top talent, and also because they think they can get away with hiring an IT pro who’s a jacks of all trades, but a master of none.

But the truth is that cyber criminals are more likely to attack small-to-medium enterprises than large ones — and unlike large companies, it’s hard for SMBs to offset the cost of security attacks by passing it on to customers and financial institution. So to cheap out on IT security talent may lead to a big-time expense down the road.

Cyber Attacks Aren’t As “Expensive” As Initial Estimates Show

An analysis of the losses incurred from security attacks on companies like Target, Sony, and Home Depot actually show they are relatively lower than initial estimates. Furthermore, the losses were so small next to the revenue these companies made, it’s more cost efficient to take a chance and fix IT security issues later on.

For example, Target’s IT security snafu amounted to a bill of $252 million in 2013 and 2014. After the insurance coverage of $90 million, that number went down to $162 million. After tax deductions, that number fell down to $105 million. While that may seem an obscene amount of money, it’s a mere 0.1 percent of Target’s 2014 revenue.

But what many experts fail to point out is the cost to brand equity, customer loyalty, and publicity from word of mouth. This is the real cost: People are talking about the attacks to Target, not Walmart. This damage is hard to quantify, which makes it even more dangerous.

With more 50 years of experience helping companies make smart workforce management decisions, we can help ensure your business stays running. Contact Integrity Search and Consulting!at 805-482-8700.

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Posted by & filed under Consulting.

Candidate #1 – Sr. Net Software Engineer

  • 20 years of progressive experience as Programmer, Senior Software Engineer, Project Leader and Architect. Involved with full software development life cycle, including but not limited to gathering requirements, system analysis, design, development, debugging, testing, user training, deployment and production support of software projects.
  • Extensive experience in Internet, intranet, client server, mobile, online shopping projects and data warehousing applications.
  • Extensive experience in the Web-based business application development using C#, ASP, ASP.NET, VB.NET, XML, XSLT, AJAX, JavaScript and VB Script.
  • Experience in creating custom controls for Windows and Web applications.
  • Experience in credit card online payment & FileNet server documents view web services development.
  • Experience in generating comprehensive Web-enabled reports using Crystal Reports, Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services and Siberix Report Writer.
  • Experienced in database development, maintenance and administration.
  • Extensive experience in data modeling, design and creating tables, views, stored procedures and triggers using SQL Server, Oracle and Sybase databases.
  • Migration development experience from Visual Basic, ASP applications to .NET architecture.
  • Scrum board project management lead.
  • Demonstrated ability to work well independently and within a team at various levels.
  • Made constant efforts in acquiring exposure and have delivered successfully beyond expectations in all previous assignments. Quick learner and an effective communicator looking for challenging assignments.

Candidate #2 – SSRS/T-SQl Report Writer

A highly skilled and innovative programmer analyst with a specialty in reports development and a proven track record of applying strong analytical, technical, and client service skills to deliver lasting solutions.

  • Responsible for programming, writing and modifying T-SQL Stored Procedures, creating SQL reports and using SQL Server Management Studio.
  • Developed 150+ reports using SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) report builder and T-SQL Server Management Studio platform, such as:
    • Sales Reports: Graphical reports used by management to assess sales trends YOY, MOM and across product lines and regions in real time, informing business strategy
    • Purchasing and Inventory Reports: Comprehensive reports used by management to inform inventory investments and operations management strategies
    • Accounting Reports: Accounts receivable and accounts payable reports used to ensure optimal cash flow position and short turn on unpaid invoices
  • Used C# in all programming logic development, including several SharePoint 2010/2013 solutions:
    • Automated State-By-State Tax Reporting: Replaced time-consuming and costly manual reporting by creating monthly tax reporting SharePoint applications, which generated product monthly returns serialized into an XML file and e-mailed directly to each state; used C# for back-end logic and libraries such as Entity Framework, Linq-to-sql to generate XML file
    • Real Time Sales Data: Created an ASP.NET  Winforms application for sales departments for each company under Kretek umbrella that displays live and constantly self-updating sales data by team and salesperson; this application allows user to select different parameters by which they can view valuable, personalized metrics; later converted app into SharePoint.
  • Gained extensive SharePoint experience including:
    • SharePoint Migration: Administered and migrated all data and objects from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013; architected the overall site structure and look and feel of the SharePoint 2013 environment; configured each component within SharePoint and AD integration
    • SharePoint Administration: performed adds, removes and changes of groups and users as well as customization of built in SharePoint APPS using technologies such as jQuery and CSS; Development in SharePoint 2010 & 2013 to create Visual Web Parts using the SharePoint object model and WPF and XAML to create Windows applications
  • Worked with Great Plains data tables to create data structures and complex joins in the creation of SQL Queries, Stored Procedures and Functions

Candidate #3 – Sr. Ruby on Rails Software Engineer

Senior Ruby on Rails full stack software engineer with over nine years of industry experience dedicated to producing innovative products and service architectures which deliver creative, customer-centric solutions to interesting problems.Expertise: MVC, client-side MV*, SOA, mobile web dev, lean startup methodologies, AWS architecture, TDD, VoIP/telephony, Containerization, scrum methodologies, customer dev, CI/CD

Technologies: Ruby on Rails, Sinatra, RSpec, AngularJS, Knockoutjs, Highcharts.js, NodeJS, MySQL, Git, Jenkins

  • Responsible for leading all front-end development.
  • Introduced team to modern front end tools and processes: KnockoutJS, Bower, Grunt, Jasmine, CDN
  • Managed and mentored front-end development intern who joined the team after completion.
  • Developed and applied skills in lean startup methodologies, market validation, customer development and marketing.•
  • Developed several stand-alone RoR applications/tools with purposes ranging from network switch configuration management to social data mining platform to customer visualization tools.•
  • Designed and drove telephony IAAS API (Sinatra, Freeswitch) to beta and adoption by product.•
  • Founding team member, front-end developer & telephony design for internal startup.
  • Software development mentor to operations staff transitioning to a DevOps culture. Held trainings and office hours to develop best practices around TDD, code reviews and documentation.
  • Called upon as resident expert for all ROR applications.
  • Lead engineer on major clinical application rewrite (RoR, MySql). Delivered on requirements for rapid adaptability, learnability and optimized UI for high risk, time-critical use cases in healthcare.
  • Successfully pitched adoption of open source RoR stack. Established robust team dev processes through introduction of new tools, practices (including scrum agile), libraries and presentations.

Candidate #4 – Senior Full Stack

Highly-skilled senior software engineer with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science; bringing 17 years of experience in the full project life cycle from software design using N-tier architecture to development using Code-First workflow to integration. Hybrid DBA who is knowledgeable in RDBMS and NoSQL database management, performance tuning, high-availability solutions, ETL solution, reporting solution, and data analysis. A self-directed leader who always seeks and learn new technology solutions in software development and databases. Passionate about technology, appreciate the great minds of the open-source community and embrace change and challenges.

Technologies

  • SDLC & Agile development with SCRUM, Multi-tier development architecture, Code-first, Model-first & Database-first workflow, Object Oriented Programming (OOP), Systems Analysis and Design, UI / UX design in multi-browsers
  • Front-End:  ASP.NET MVC View and Razor, JSP, Servlet, JavaScript, jQuery, Bootstrap, AngularJS, Chart.JS, CSS, HTML5, Service Layer:  C#, VB.Net, Java, JSON, XML, SOAP/REST, Web Services API, Data Access Layer:  Entity Framework, ADO.Net, ODBC, JDBC, LINQ, Component & Web Servers:  MS IIS, Apache Tomcat, .Net Framework, COM+
  • NoSQL MongoDB, Couchbase and Cassandra databases, Relational MS SQL Server, MySQL & Oracle 9i databases, SQL, T-SQL, SQL*Plus, PL/SQL, Stored Procedures, Functions, Views, MS SSMS, DTS / SSIS, SSAS, SSRS, Idera tools, MySQL Workbench, Power BI, QlikView, Tableau, Erwin, Visi
  • Designing OLTP and OLAP database systems, Database Analysis and Modeling, Reporting solutions and ETL solutions, “Always On” Availability Group, Mirroring, Log Shipping, Replication and Clustering, Database Disaster, Restore and Recovery models, Database Performance tuning, optimization and troubleshooting, MongoDB Administration, Replication and Shrading,Hadoop and MapReduce on YARN, Apache Drill, Hive and Sqoop

Recent Responsibilities

  • Responsible for developing new software business solutions, integration to the Court’s 3rd party management system through SOAP / REST and Web Services API.
  • Decreased DBA consultant payroll costs by taking over database maintenance, performance tuning, optimization, disaster recovery, and high-availability solution when the consultant decided to leave.
  • Collaborate with other IT Teams from different counties in California Superior Courts for developing business solutions and integration with the Court’s 3rd party management system
  • Sole Software Engineer for the entire Superior Court of Kern County for 7 years after the Sr. Software Engineer, retired; responsible for all new project design, implementation, and development, testing, deployment, documentation, continuous integration, and served as a consultant to Court administration for project requirement specifications and strategic planning.
  • Responsible for support, maintenance, and conversions of all existing client-server applications into web-based systems.
  • Reduced payroll costs for 3rd party vendors by converting legacy software such as Proper Resources, Search Warrant, Bail Bond and Court Appeals Management System into web-based enterprise system built from scratch.
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Posted by & filed under Job Search.

If you’ve been looking for work recently, chances are you’ve probably seen postings with ridiculous job descriptions and requirements.  You know, those ads asking for an impossible set of skills and experience, such as entry-level positions for new graduates with 3-5 years of experience, or 15 years of mobile app development experience (despite smartphones not being around for that long), PR experience, and foreign language skills.

Applying for such postings can drive anyone up the wall, and at a time when there’s supposedly a dearth of tech talent, why would companies write impossible job descriptions in the first place? The truth is that no company really needs all these skills from just one person. Sure, any company would jump at the chance to hire a jack-of-all-trades, but many employment agencies know that such people are rare – not to mention expensive.

Why are companies doing this to begin with?

As pay figures for tech jobs continue to rise, HR executives and hiring managers tend to think: more pay should equate to a candidate having a wider array of skills to bring to the table. There’s nothing wrong with looking for supremely qualified job searchers, but sometimes companies can go overboard with job descriptions, so much so that it obscures the accuracy of the role’s requirements.

Employers don’t know what they want

When a job description is hilariously nonsensical, it’s most likely a sign the employer doesn’t know what is needed skill set-wise from a candidate, or that HR simply lacks the experience to match roles with qualified candidates. Not every company has a reliable recruitment team or the budget to outsource hiring to staffing services companies.

More often than not, a laundry list of random skills in a job description is the result of wish lists and unreliable hearsay (“I heard company X found someone who does x, y, and z!”), instead of factual analysis of the job market.

Employers have unrealistic expectations

This is another issue borne by a company’s inexperience. Some companies sincerely believe that the “perfect” candidate is out there, not knowing they just don’t exist. Such companies want only the best, even if that candidate is the equivalent of a unicorn.

What should you do?

Our best advice is to not sweat the small stuff.  Your job is simple: State your case and sell your skills. The worst that will happen is an interviewer says no, or keeps your resume on file for future reference. The chances are if this happens, nobody has all the skills the company wants anyway, so go ahead and apply for the position after—and this is important—you’ve deduced what the company REALLY wants from a candidate.

If a job posting focuses on skills related to app development, the company wants an app developer—it’s usually safe to ignore the other seemingly unrelated requirements. Just make sure your application focuses on these core requirements.

Regardless of whether you’re actively or passively seeking a new career opportunity, visit Integrity Staffing Professionals today for more tips and advice! With more 50 years of experience helping job seekers just like you find work, we’re experts in matching the right talent with the right opportunities. Contact us at 805-482-8700 to learn more!

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Posted by & filed under Consulting.

It’s no secret the tech industry has had problems with gender equality. Last year, Netflix and Facebook announced updated policies on maternity leave, renewing the debate on the role women play in the male-dominated arena of technology. Persistent issues include a lack of opportunities for women, and a salary gap that often forces women to leave their jobs and find better compensation elsewhere.

Much has been said about these problems, but has all the talk resulted in any REAL real change?

The short answer is yes, there has been change, but unfortunately it’s a lot more complicated than that.

The pay gap is still there, but it’s not as wide as it used to be

Although on average, women still make less money than men do in nearly all industries, many tech companies have made considerable efforts to reach equal pay. A report published by HealthITJobs.com shows that in health information technology, women earned 99 percent of men’s earnings in 2015.  On average, women earned $86,988 and men earned roughly $88,173.

This represents a 7 percent jump compared to a similar report from 2014, when women only made 82 percent of what men did.  If anything, it shows that employers understand the value of the skills offered by women and are trying to correct inequalities from within their ranks.

Women are selling their skills short

While employers are giving more value to the skills of women in tech, many women still have doubts about their own abilities. The same report by HealthITJobs.com showed a significant gap in the salary women and men think they deserve. Men and women in health IT believe they deserve an annual salary of $107,694 and $104,071, respectively.

What’s more, another study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America in 2014 found that when asked to predict their scores on a math test, men were more likely to overestimate their performance, while women tended to underestimate theirs.

At the end of the day, more work needs to be done so that women perceive their skills in a more positive light.

Workplace cultures are evolving for the better

More good news: workplace cultures are changing. While women have long been underrepresented in the tech industry and marginalized in male-dominated offices, a number of tech companies are making efforts to change that.

A 2015 report by the Anita Borg Institute surveyed 35 tech companies, evaluating each for the progress made in creating healthy office environments for women. Points were given to companies with representation of women at all levels, and yearly recruitment figures for women. The study found that 13 companies exceeded the industry mean for their workforce management policies that encouraged growth of women in tech.

Learn more about how your company can support women and their growth in the tech industry by consulting the executive search experts of Integrity Staffing Professionals. With more than 50 years of experience providing workforce management and job search advice, we know what makes companies and employees tick. Contact us today to learn more!

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