Posted by & filed under Job Search.

It’s no secret that recruiters like ours want to do the best we can for the candidates we work with. But it’s important that you understand that we can’t do it without your help.  We know that it takes time to produce a quality resume. You have to think about all the places you’ve been, what you did there and what benefit your employer received during your tenure.  Then you have to list things like awards received, certifications you have and software packages you’re familiar with.  This is a process, and depending on your level of experience in the workforce, it can be a lengthy one.  As such, once it’s done, there’s a natural inclination to leave you resume as-is … and then send it out for every job you want to apply for.

Sadly, this approach is unlikely to get you the job. Or even an interview.

When we advertise a job, we are often inundated with resumes. Many come from people with only a rough approximation of the experience and skills needed. Reading through every one of these resumes takes more time than we often have, which is why we use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS).

What the ATS does is look for keywords in a resume and compare them with what we’ve listed in the job posting itself. A good keyword match takes the applicant to the next stage.  As much as we hate to admit it, three out of every four resumes don’t pass through this initial stage, which means that being selected for an interview is highly unlikely.

To get past the ATS, you need to match the keywords in your resume to those in the advertisement.  This means modifying your resume for each opportunity you plan on applying to, as well as writing a custom cover letter that also closely matches the advertisement.

Here’s how to ensure that your resume is customized to each job you’re applying for, without having to completely start from scratch every single time.

Don’t Apply to Every Single Job You See

Sending out three hundred applications in a single week may feel like serious job hunting, but unless you actually qualify for all three hundred (and very few people do), it’s probably unwise because you won’t spend nearly enough time on the few for which you are a really good fit.

Prepare a Career Management Document Before You Start

By career management document, we mean a single “master” curriculum vitae that lists every job you’ve had, everything you did there, every achievement you can think of, every qualification and training course completed, and every leisure activity you’ve ever been involved in.  This will be a long document and you will never send it to anyone. Instead you will mine it for the raw material for each resume you produce. The fact that every single thing is in it means you won’t miss something you shouldn’t. When the document is complete, make a list of every keyword you can detect in it and cross-reference each of those keywords to each relevant point in the document.

Read Job Advertisements Carefully and Extract Every Keyword You See

Write these keywords down. Then compare them with the keywords in your Career Management Document. Now take those points from the Career Management Document and put them into the resume you are sending with this application for this job.

You’re Not Done Yet

When you get past the ATS, your job isn’t quite finished because you haven’t nabbed an interview yet. Once you pass through the initial screening, your resume and cover letter will be read by an actual person.

We’re going to suggest a little A/B testing here. Alternate the style of your resume so that half your applications are in a formal, “professional” style and the other half are a bit more laid-back.  Make sure you track what style you use for each job opportunity you apply for.  If you do, you’ll quickly be able to tell which approach is generating the most favorable responses.

While creating a new resume for each job you apply to can be a time-consuming process, in the end, you’ll find that it’ll be well worth the effort.

Interested in learning more strategies that’ll help you land your dream job?  If so, contact Integrity Staffing Professionals today!

IntegrityStaffing_CTA_HZ_JobOpportunities

Posted by & filed under Consulting, Leadership.

Did you know that there was once a time when most work was done remotely? In the early days of the cotton industry, for example, washing, carding and spinning was all carried out largely in individual workers’ homes.

And then came the time of concentration, when those same home workers gave up their autonomy and gathered together in huge mills to work as instructed and organized by the management team of their employer.

In 2015, we are seeing a shift back towards a more distributed workforce. Manufacturing may take place in one place, marketing in another, account management in yet another while the sales team is spread around the world.

If this is how your organization presently operates, or how you want it to be organized sometime in the near future, you may be wondering how you will get all of these individuals to work together for the collective interest of the organization.  You may also be unsure about how you can truly foster company culture if people rarely meet.  If so, please keep reading.

Hire the Best People You Can Find

There are two conflicting recruiting philosophies. One says you hire as many people as you need and pay them as little as possible. The other suggests paying in the top quartile for every position – but to hire the very best people available and no more of them than absolutely necessary.

There is evidence that the second approach reduces overall costs and improves the bottom line. If you have a remote workforce, the second approach becomes mandatory. Since you can’t watch over people every day if they are working remotely, you have to trust them, and if you’re going to trust them, you need to know that you’ve hired people who not only have the competencies you look for, but a strong work ethic as well.

Implement a Clear Communication Strategy – and Stick to It

You can use Skype, teleconferencing, webinars, email or a combination of some or all of these things, but make sure that people know:

  • What form of communication is required
  • What information has to pass in each direction – and in what form
  • At what time “meetings” are to take place

Creating an online private “chat room” so that employees who need to communicate in a hurry can do so easily is also recommended.

Make Document Sharing Easy

There are a variety of platforms that make it easy to share and update documents, including Dropbox, Basecamp and Google Drive.  Use them.  And while you’re at it, make sure that every project has a defined project manager responsible for seeing it through to conclusion.

Have a Robust Review Process

Each employee needs a clearly defined set of objectives. Performance against those objectives should be reviewed at least quarterly. These reviews go hand-in-hand with weekly monitoring.  Unexpected deviations from the target should be discussed without waiting for the quarter end.

If Possible, Arrange Annual Get-Togethers (at a minimum)

Employees need some way to bond.  It may be no more than a meal followed by bowling, with paid travel expenses for employees and their partners. Arranging events so that people can physically see each other and get to know each other will help to foster a better sense of community amongst remote employees.  If you can also arrange training sessions, a corporate review in which you tell all the staff what is happening and an awards presentation, even better.

Having an IT workforce that consists of remote employees presents a unique set of managerial challenges.  If you’re having trouble successfully managing your remote workforce or are planning on hiring remote employees in 2016, contact Integrity Staffing Professionals today to learn more about how we can help!

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Posted by & filed under Top Candidates.

Candidate #1 – 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 #2 – 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 #3 – 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
IntegrityStaffing_CTA_HZ_19steps

Posted by & filed under Job Search.

You just received a great offer from another company promising a better title, higher pay, and more responsibilities. You then approach your boss and share your plans to resign, but because of your skills and experience, are presented with a counteroffer instead.

Many employment agencies see this scenario play out, with most not recommending that you accept the counteroffer. If you’re open to the idea of staying with your current employer, you need to know that negotiating the terms of a counteroffer can be tricky, not to mention awkward. Theoretically, you’re in a stronger position to negotiate for better incentives – including more money and possibly even a promotion – but doing so has the potential to bring out your negative opinions about the company and management.

Before you accept a counteroffer, here are some factors to consider:

Will I Alienate My Colleagues?

Should word of your accepting a counteroffer leak out, your colleagues will know you were looking for new employment and received incentives to stay.  In addition, if you were offered the incentives you requested, your employer is probably going to expect more from you in return, putting you under additional pressure to deliver. Can you meet these expectations? How motivated are you to be more productive?

Don’t Negotiate for Money Only.

Many employers make the mistake of assuming their workforce’s primary motivation is money, when the reality is that job security, personal growth, flexibility, and other intangibles are just as important. When discussing a counteroffer, sit down with your employer and talk about your desire for career advancement, skills development and benefits.  You should also spend some time researching whether or not your company has a history of helping people bring out their true potential.

Does Your Company Appreciate Your Value?

If you’ve already brought up your workplace issues with management and nothing was done to resolve them, any counteroffer your employer makes is likely only motivated by company interests. If your employer is truly serious about effective workforce management, the conditions in your counteroffer should be addressed when they are first brought up.

Be Objective.

When evaluating the counteroffer, think objectively. Ask yourself which organization is best able to help you grow your career and develop your skills. Ask yourself what your priorities are in life. For example, if you’re looking to get a mortgage, it’ll be easier for you to do so if you can demonstrate a stable job history with the same employer for at least two years.

With more than 50 years of combined experience helping job searchers and employers alike, Integrity Staffing Professionals specializes in helping both parties find the perfect fit as far as staffing goes. Contact us today to learn more about working with a top executive recruiter!

IntegrityStaffing_CTA_HZ_JobOpportunities

 

Posted by & filed under Consulting.

“Company X, our biggest competitor, just gave me a killer offer,” your staff member tells you. “They’re happy to up my pay and give me more flexible hours,” he adds. “I’m not keen on leaving, but it’s an opportunity I’d hate to pass up. Can you match their offer?”

How exactly do you respond to this?

You know your employee is an upstanding member of the team. Can’t you just accept his terms to keep him loyal to the company?

On the other hand, isn’t conceding to these requests setting a precedent for other employees to negotiate similar terms?

Potential Pitfalls of Counteroffers

While counteroffers have been shown to work in some situations, they’re often last-ditch solutions that fail to address underlying problems. Since very few employees are motivated by financial reasons alone to leave their jobs, it’s important to talk your employee before making any kind of counteroffer.

Before Making a Counteroffer

  1. Investigate – You need to discuss all the reasons your employee has for wanting to leave. If you only throw money at the problem, your employee may leave anyway, or if he decides to stay, he might grow to resent the company over time, affecting his performance.
  1. Cover More than Just Money – When making a counter offer, make sure it addresses all other issues motivating your employee to leave. This can include scheduling issues, days off, paid leave, and so on.

Conditions for Making a Counteroffer

When thinking about making a counteroffer, ensure that you meet the following requirements:

  • The employee is a truly critical member of the team.
  • Replacing that employee is more costly and difficult than conceding to his requests.
  • You can manage your other employees’ expectations, preventing them from finding similar offers and asking you to match them.
  • You can afford to match the employee’s offer, or are able to offer appealing nonfinancial perks, such as improved benefits, better hours, a new title, and more interesting responsibilities.
  • You know the employee won’t take advantage of your willingness to make a counteroffer by slacking on the job.

When All Else Fails

There will be times when employees have their mind set on leaving, even when you match their offer. Or perhaps, you just don’t have the resources to make the counteroffer they have in mind. Sometimes, you have to let valuable employees go. All organizations have to balance a budget, which means you can’t afford to pay top dollar all the time.

To learn more about the right ways to make a counteroffer, contact Integrity Staffing Professionals  today, and work your way towards having a cohesive and loyal workforce. We can help!

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