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Employers

Dice Sentiment Report: Tech Pros Likely to Take Flight

Despite concerns of a looming recession, layoffs, and hiring freezes at tech giants like Amazon, Twitter, and Meta, technologists might feel like hunkering down and holding onto their standing desks. But a new report shows tech pros are still open to changing jobs in the next 12 months.

 

Data released from Dice’s annual Tech Sentiment Report includes sentiment data from 950 technologists and historical trend analysis from previous sentiment and salary reports.

 

Here are the key takeaways that can help empower your career moves and support company leadership, HR pros, and hiring managers to build their 2023 tech talent acquisition and retention strategies.

 

More technologists are likely to change employers.

 

Technology professionals feel confident about their skills and market prospects to consider jumping employees, with 52% of respondents surveyed indicating they’re likely to switch jobs in the next year, up from 44 percent last year. The need for tech talent shows no signs of slowing, and this increase in openness to opportunity means recruiters are more likely to get a response from both active and passive candidates.

Fully remote work remains important to most technology professionals, surpassing interest in a hybrid working model.

 

Once seen as a temporary solution during the pandemic has remained the preferred work method in the tech world. Dice found that approximately 70% of employers plan for a hybrid future; however, only 30% of technologists prefer hybrid work. 60% of technologists surveyed ranked fully remote work as their most desired workplace setting — up from 53% in 2021. It’s hard to ignore those numbers.

 

Given the continuing demand for tech skills, technologists may find they have the leverage to negotiate with employers for the flexibility they want, including custom working hours and a fully remote or hybrid working model.

 

From an organizational standpoint — diving into why they prefer working remotely and what, if anything, would entice them to return to the office a few days a week could help retention before rolling out a return-to-the-office model. Employers will need to get creative on incentives beyond free meals and comfy office furniture to lure workers back to an office environment.

 

Brand, reputation, and company culture are driving factors in technology professionals’ decisions to join a new employer.

 

In the age of online conversation, the reputation of individuals and entities has become more critical than ever before. With the tech job market so competitive for companies seeking talent, technologists are becoming more discerning in how they view a company’s culture, reputation, and brand.

 

Nearly 90% of tech professionals feel an employer’s brand is essential when considering a new employer, and almost 8 in 10 said they would not apply for a higher-paying job at a company with a poor reputation. It will be challenging to attract top tech talent if you’re not investing in your brand and reputation as an employer and ensuring your company culture supports employee morale and creativity.

 

Time-to-hire could create more opportunities for technologists.

 

Dice found that most HR professionals surveyed indicated that their times-to-hire had been faster in 2022 than in 2021. That could be due to the need to fill roles, considering nearly 50% of respondents indicated that attrition rates for technology professionals in their organization are higher than in 2021.

 

That’s increasing pressure to find replacements and accelerating the time needed to fill roles. So technologists need to be ready not only with an updated resume and portfolio but also to consider an offer faster than seen in the past.

 

Salary and merit increases

 

Technologists know they are in demand, and they’re learning more skills than ever to increase their value at organizations and maximize their compensation packages.

 

While the job market for new hires rewards these skills and competes to attract talent, organizations aren’t necessarily keeping pace regarding their current employees’ salaries. In the report, Dice’s research shows that technologists received an average merit increase of only 4.8% this year versus an expected growth of 5.2%.

 

This salary gap could contribute to the growing openness of changing employers.

 

If your organization is struggling to keep up with inflation — as most companies are — offer other incentives or compensation like additional paid time off, remote and flexible work options, or training and education opportunities — all of which were ranked as important to tech professionals in the Dice 2022 Tech Salary Report.

 

Let our talent acquisition professionals help you elevate your career. Work with INNOVA People today.

 

Interview Process for IT & Tech Jobs 2022

There’s a universal truth that resonates with candidates looking to get a job in tech: the process seems to take forever.

Researchers from LinkedIn’s Economic Graph team found that tech jobs top the list in hiring time. Engineering takes an average of 49 days for candidates to submit their job applications to start their first day on the job. Technical positions in research, finance, and information technology (IT) follow closely behind, taking 48, 46, and 44 days on average to fill.

But why?

Some tech jobs, regardless of how critical they need to be filled, can require a lot of rigorous requirements. Companies are willing to wait for the right candidate and move them through an exhaustive hiring process to find the right fit. As employers widen their talent pool to recruit more women and people of color, it can also lead to a longer hiring time.

Understanding how tech job hiring works can help curb your frustration during the (sometimes lengthy) process.

The Hiring Process in Tech

 

The Phone Screen

Some sought-after tech jobs can attract hundreds of applications. Even if only half of those are qualified by meeting the basic requirements, hiring managers still have to screen them, which takes time.

 

The phone screen is the first step in the hiring funnel. This stage consists of an informal phone call with a company representative that can take 15 to 30 minutes. They want to determine if the candidate has the right skills, gauge interest level, and looks for any red flags.

 

To increase your chances of getting to this stage, work with a recruiter like Innova People, who can submit your resume.

 

Technical Testing & Screening

Once you pass the phone screen, you are rewarded with, guess what, another phone call! Bonus!

 

This call is, however, more of a technical call. Hiring managers were willing to take you at your word during the first phone screen when you said that you knew Python. But now, your skills will be put to a basic skill test.

 

Typically the technical call is more of a technical screen and can take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes, so be prepared. You may be asked to work through several coding exercises, asked how you’d analyze a batch of scientific data, or asked to design an experiment.

 

Your Innova Recruiter can help prepare you for the types of questions you may face so you can feel confident heading into this stage.

 

Interview(s)

Congrats on making it to the interview stage! In this third and final interview stage, you’ll be invited on-site and spend most of the day conducting in-person interviews with various other company members.

The potential employer will take care of your travel needs if travel is required.

This stage is the most involved and usually is at the end of the hiring pipeline. While on-site, look to get a sense of the work environment and how happy the employees are. Remember, you are interviewing the employer as much as you are being interviewed.

 

Hiring managers will then reach out to your recruiter to check on your references, so make sure your references are current and are aware of your interest in the position. The last thing you want is a reference to be caught off-guard when contacted at you looking for a new role.

Make the Offer for the Right Candidate

Once the hiring manager and recruiter discuss the results of the reference checks, an offer letter will be drafted and shared with you! Candidates not selected will be notified by email or phone.

It can take weeks between each stage of the tech job hiring process. Be patient, and check in with your Innova Recruiter for updates and feedback as you both work towards a great offer.

Time to hire – How long is the tech Interview process?

 

Some tech jobs’ myriad technical and program-specific requirements can increase the hiring time. On top of that, the hiring process for government and government contractors often moves more slowly.

 

Requirements and corporate inertia aside, multiple people often have to sign off on a candidate moving forward in the hiring process. Those people often have other demands on their time, meaning they can’t always respond as quickly as recruiters and candidates would like.

 

How To Interview Remotely

The majority of the job interview, especially in the early stages, are handled remotely. These discussions can have multiple queries, so be prepared: you could jump from technical talk in one interview to fielding questions from an HR representative about how you may fit culturally.

Review the application materials before sitting down for the interview and ensure you can articulate everything in your past, including previous jobs, projects, and skills. Practicing in the mirror can help you frame your best responses while monitoring your body language.

 

Faced with so many required qualifications and customer-specific “wants,” there’s a high likelihood that you won’t know everything that a hiring manager or a potential teammate asks you..and that’s okay! Being open to learning is critical; admitting a shortcoming in your overall knowledge while expressing interest in learning can score valuable points. Where you lack knowledge or experience, let the team know you are eager to dive into the discipline.

 

Top 20 questions to ask during a tech hire interview

Every tech person is seen as a future problem solver; making the hiring decision is competitive and exhaustive for employers.

To put you in front of the pack, here are 20 of the best tech interview questions you may be asked during one of the many (and slow) stages of the tech interview process.

Ultimately, your chances hinge on how well you can show that you’re a good match for the company doing the hiring. Suppose you’re diligent in preparing your résumé, and you sit down for the interview with ready answers about your background and skills. In that case, you could progress through multiple interviewing rounds and land the job.

 

 

 

Hiring Full-Time vs. Part-Time Tech Employees – What to Consider

Today’s employees want more options; hybrid, fully remote, a four-day work week, and working part-time are a few. If you’re a start-up or a growing company, it can be hard to navigate if you need a full-time staffer or someone to fill in gaps a few days a week.

The Pros and Cons of Part-Time & Full-Time Employees

Offering part-time work options effectively attracts top talent while keeping your company agile and ready to staff up or down according to your needs. But, blending part-time workers with your full-time workforce takes some finesse. Before rolling out a part-time option, consider these pros and cons to determine whether it makes sense for your business.

Start with the basics – what is considered Full-Time?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the primary employment law in the U.S., doesn’t provide a clear definition for part-time or full-time jobs. Depending on your company, the line between part-time and full-time employment can differ.

 

Most companies will require full-time employees to work between 32 and 40 hours per week. The Bureau of Labor Statistics sets the benchmark for full-time employees a little higher, at 35 hours a week, but this isn’t law.

 

State and local laws vary on providing benefits for part-time employees. Some states may require employers to provide their part-time workers sick leave, paid time off, short-term disability, or health insurance. For example, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that employees who work 30 hours per week (or over 130 hours per month) must be given the option to receive health insurance benefits, or the business may risk fines.

 

Higher rates of productivity

HubSpot report found that lost productivity costs U.S. businesses a shocking $1.8 trillion yearly. Helping a full-time employee drop down to a part-time schedule often lowers a company’s cost more than their productivity losses. Parkinson’s law is the adage that work will expand to fill the time allotted for completion. Deadlines can cause procrastination or even prompt people to fill their time with trivial matters. Employees who drop to a part-time schedule often cut out less important tasks like meetings and finish most of the same work in less time.

 

Stronger level of employee loyalty 

Employers often view full-time employees as more committed to the company and less likely to job-hop than contractors or part-time workers. While this may or may not be true in practice, the perception persists. There’s a stronger sense of belonging, and full-time employees can access all the company benefits and training. The security that company benefits can provide is very valuable.

 

Beyond receiving benefits, full-time employees get to know their coworkers and build relationships and networks throughout the workplace in ways that part-time employees have fewer opportunities to do so. These connections not only improve day-to-day operations and projects but also help employees feel valued and appreciated and make them more productive and successful over the long term.

 

Greater training requirements

Full-time IT employees have the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of the technology they work with. In contrast to part-time employees who may have to learn new technologies and platforms for each project, full-time IT workers can become experts in their tech specialty or field. This technical knowledge, combined with a strong understanding of the company, makes full-time tech employees valuable assets to many organizations.

IT jobs

Cons of hiring full-time employees

It can be expensive and time-consuming to onboard and train a new employee, not to mention paying someone a full salary instead of a half-time wage. Then you add the additional healthcare and benefits; it can add up pretty quickly especially considering the cost if you don’t get the hire right.

 

Hiring good employees can be challenging, costly, and time-consuming.

The IT job market is hotter than it’s ever been. IT pros have the pick of when and where they want to work.

 

It’s taking more days to recruit and hire top talent; according to LinkedIn, only 30% of companies are able to fill a vacant role within 30 days. The other 70% of companies take 1 – 4 months to process a new hire. The longer it takes to fill critical positions is costly.

 

Paying full salaries even during quiet or reduced periods. 

When an employee commits to your organization, you commit to them even during the slow months. Regardless of the workload, a full-time employee will still earn the same salary even when a big project has been completed.

 

Pros of hiring part-time employees

More flexibility

It allows for more nimble staffing for fluctuating ups and downs. It doesn’t always make sense for organizations in volatile industries to ramp up their roster of full-time employees during busy times if they don’t have enough to do during downturns. Or worse yet, you have to lay off those same employees.

 

If you hire part-time employees to help carry the workload, you give your full-time employees extra support. Part-time workers can also fill in for employees taking sick or maternity leave and work schedules not covered by full-time employees.

 

Cost-effective solution

You save on salary and employee benefits, especially with the skyrocketing cost of providing healthcare benefits.

 

Expanding the talent pool 

When you consider part-time employees, you’re opening the door to a talent pool you may be overlooking (for example, mothers re-entering the workforce, workers transitioning to retirement, or someone pursuing a passion project on the side).

 

Not all exceptionally skilled and talented individuals seek full-time employment, so you cast a wider net in your recruiting efforts when considering part-time candidates. What’s more, you may even increase employee retention by offering part-time options to your existing workforce.

 

Cons of hiring part-time employees

Less invested in your company

If you’re not receiving paid time off, sick days, and education benefits, it’s a valid concern that part-time workers would feel less committed to the organization. For some, this may be a benefit to show up, do the work and head home without the added stress. For others, this may mean they are more inclined to job hop because they don’t feel as valued as their full-time counterparts.

 

Consistency with your workloads

One con to consider is the struggle of full-time expectations. Those working a full 40-hour workweek may be carrying a heavier workload and can build resentment. A salaried employee is expected to work until the project is complete, whereas a part-time person may leave once they hit their weekly hours.

 

Lack of face time

It’s hard to ignore that part-time workers aren’t around as much as full-time employees. It can be challenging for managers to include everyone all the time if an emergency meeting is needed and schedules don’t allow everyone to be available to weigh in.

A strong manager needs to help the entire team feel supported and appreciated. Only working half-time may make part-timers feel less a part of the team and more detached. Consider scheduling meetings or team-building activities to accommodate everyone’s work schedule.

 

There is truly no wrong decision here. Both part-time and full-time employment options are tools in your arsenal to utilize as your business evolves and grows (or stagnates). Part-time employees offer flexibility and potential cost savings, and full-time employees offer more consistent staffing and support for your business needs.

 

 

 

How to Give Valuable Feedback in the Workplace

As a leader, giving and receiving feedback is essential to any organization for long-term success. Feedback is an integral part of all the communication required in the day-day operations of a business. Its primary goal is to create positive changes in the workplace by giving individuals detailed suggestions to improve their work habits. It specifically focuses on providing feedback that comes from a place of clear and good intentions.

While giving positive feedback is easy, it’s the constructive kind that can be harder to deliver and challenging to hear, not just when performance reviews come around.

Why is constructive feedback important?

Often, employees, especially those new to the workforce, don’t know what they are doing well and what areas could use improvement. Offering constructive feedback accomplishes two critical tasks:

  • It identifies areas for improvement in the employee’s work performance.
  • It provides suggestions and strategies for improvement.

 

Strategies for giving effective, actionable employee feedback

We’ve compiled some strategies to consider so you can avoid sparking feelings of defensiveness and ensure the recipient knows you are on their team when communicating with coworkers.

Focus on the issue. Fair, constructive criticism should always concentrate on the situation or problem caused by the person rather than focusing on the person’s character. Focus on observations rather than character judgments.

Display empathy. Be sincere with your employee; whether the feedback you’re sharing is positive or constructiveeffective feedback must be earnest. Communicate how you feel if there’s a performance issue, and pay attention to your tone of voice and body language so that the person hears and feels your sincerity. Illustrate that you know they have the skills to improve and that you’re sharing the feedback because you believe in their abilities.

Be clear. Give specific examples, and don’t try to address multiple incidents simultaneously.

Give informal “live” feedback. Ideally, informal feedback should be happening regularly. Employees should have a general understanding of how they perform when they sit down for their performance review. The numbers show that employees find this communication valuable but aren’t getting enough of it.

In a recent survey by PwC, nearly 60% of respondents reported that they would like feedback on a daily or weekly basis, which increased to 72% for employees under the age of 30. While only 30% of respondents said they receive feedback regularly, more than 75% believe feedback is valuable.

Listen. Give space and time to allow your employee to share their feelings and ideas after giving constructive criticism. It may take them a few minutes to process the feedback and formulate a response or question.

Allow them to ask follow-up questions and ways to contribute to the solution.

Recommend a solution. Once the individual has had a chance to respond, offer specific examples of the next steps they can take to solve the matter. Offer to work on a solution together.

Make it clear that you’re on the same team. This is a vulnerable space to be in with somebody else. If you approach employee feedback as a You+ them vs. the issue, it allows for a more collaborative solution. It provides the psychological safety required to create an open environment and paves the way for real change and a thriving workplace.

How to gracefully lead by example in the workplace

Actions speak louder than words.

 

 

 

 

How to Write a Job Description to Attract Top Tech Talent

how to write tech job descriptions

As a Tech Talent Acquisition Agency – we understand the importance of having the right people. Over the decades of hiring great talent, we’ve learned that it starts with attracting great talent. A poorly written job description could lead to the wrong hire, which is costly.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average cost of a bad hire is up to 30% of the employee’s first-year earnings.

The first step to avoiding the wrong hire is to craft an engaging and compelling, inclusive tech job description.

The most promising job description combines some marketing, the reality of the role, necessary skills and competencies, qualifications, and your culture. In addition to your company mission, include any benefits it provides to employees. The goal is to provide enough information for candidates to determine if they’re qualified and entice them to apply.

Just how much weight does the description carry? According to an Indeed survey, 52% of job seekers say the quality of the job description is “very or extremely influential” in their decision to apply.

How To Write an Enticing Tech Job Description

Here’s how to do it:

    1. Job Title

      Utilize industry-standard language and be specific about the role. Avoid internal jargon such as “VI” or weird titles like “DevOps Rockstar” that may confuse or put off the job seeker.

    2. Job Summary

      Keep it engaging and short (one-to-four sentences). It should include a description, primary function, how it contributes to the larger company objectives, and why it’s essential to the company and society.
      For example, try answering the question, “How does this role contribute to making people’s lives better or solve existing business or social problems?” according to a whitepaper from the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT).
      Using invitational language, like, “Come join a creative team of ____ dedicated to_____,” is remarkably effective.Try not to use a one size fits all boilerplate language – for all the openings at your company. Technical professionals often have different job search criteria than their non-technical counterparts use the language they speak.

    3. Responsibilities and Growth Development

      Outline a detailed and concise bulleted list of the core responsibilities. Like most professionals, technologists care about what they will be working on, how their contribution will impact the company and their potential for advancement.
      Avoid detailing every mundane task.

    4. Skills and Qualifications

      Identify the must-have vs. nice-to-have skills. Here’s why: 63% of candidates in a recent survey said they chose not to apply for a job because they felt like they didn’t know the specific tools or skills listed in the job description.
      Try to emphasize any technologies that will be used that are hot in the marketplace and in demand as a skill. Skilled technologists consider their career marketability when choosing jobs and will favor positions where they can learn a new and valuable trick.

    5. Salary and benefits

      “Competitive salary and benefits,” tells candidates nothing. High-level candidates look for opportunities that meet their salary needs and goals. Stand out from the crowd (only 30% of job listings include salary information) by adding a salary band to your job description to help attract top tech talent.

      Almost 1 in 4 job seekers say that compensation is the most important part of a job description. Highlight your top perks and how your overall package may differ from competitors. Hybrid working option, unlimited PTO, catered lunches, tuition reimbursement, dog-friendly office?

Examples of Tech Job Descriptions

Here are some examples to help you get started.

IT System Support

Principal Full Stack Engineer

Senior Data Engineer

Staff Data Scientist

Still, need help crafting a tech job description? Contact an INNOVA People specialist today to start!

 

How To Be OOO For Real

How To Make The Best of Your OOO Time

Year after year, the evidence shows that Americans who plan for their vacations at the start of the year take more time off to travel and are healthier in many facets of their life.

As the season transitions into spring, it’s a great time to start planning your summer vacation. Now the hard part, how do you unplug from the office while away and not feel guilty for using your PTO?

That means no checking emails, Slack, or firing off a quick message, “before I forget.”

As a leader, it’s essential to model the behavior of being on vacation and OOO (out of office) for your team so they reap the health benefits of taking some time off. Here are some ways to ensure your trip is genuinely personal time.

How To Make The Best of Your OOO Time

Communicate that you’re going away

A week before your departure, send an email to your team or anyone else that you’re in regular communication with stating the dates you’ll be gone. Let them know you’ll review the minutes of missed meetings or watch a recording when you return. Add the dates to a shared office calendar, and don’t forget to update your calendar with your availability so colleagues can’t try and schedule meetings during that time.

If you work in a smaller office, this is a great time to make sure you’re not the only one who knows how to do something. If no one else can approve the invoice, etc., use some time before your trip to train someone on that task.

Set clear expectations

Prepare your team and your boss that you’ll be off the grid and clearly state what that means. “I won’t be checking emails, Slack, and text messages while on vacation. Can I send folks to you if they need help while I’m out, or would you prefer I direct them to (co-worker)?” Then share this with your team, “Reminder that I’ll be on vacation from X through X. I won’t be checking email and will not be available via text or phone. (Boss) said to speak with (co-worker/boss) if you need assistance while I am out.”

Set a clear away message

Don’t use the “I’ll have limited access to email” line. Chances are you will have access to email, and this implies that you might/could/will occasionally be skimming your email, which cancels out the boundary you are trying to create.

Now stick to your plan 

We know you want to do it. Just one little peek. Don’t. Do. It. Turn all your notifications on your phone off that are work-related, so you’re not tempted. If you still don’t trust yourself, delete Slack off your phone. If you’re not quite ready for this yet, designate a co-worker who has permission to reach out if it’s vital.

Having clear expectations ahead of time is critical to making sure your OOO stays that way.