Where the Girls At? Not in IT

The numbers don’t lie. Jobs in technology are moving full steam ahead. In just a few years, the U.S. Department of Labor projects that there will be more than 1 million high-tech jobs in the market – but companies will only be able to fill about half of them. Why? Well, it may have to do with the (declining) numbers of women going into and staying in the field.

It’s true. IT has long been a male-dominated field. Even at its peak in the early 90s, women still only held 36 percent of all computing jobs in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And even those numbers have been on the decline ever since. Only about 17 percent of all computer science grads are women, according to the Department of Education. It’s not that women “don’t like” IT. In fact, according to a study by the Center for Work-Life Policy, almost three quarters of women in technology reported “loving their work.” So, what’s the deal?

More than half of technical women leave their company when they reach the mid-level point. From wage gaps to assumed family responsibilities, a report by the National Center for Women & Information Technology outlines what keeps women in the shadows among their male peers. For the few that stick it out, the classic double standard is a barrier for many.

There are some silver linings. Universities such as Harvey Mudd, Stanford and Berkeley have seen an uptick in female computer science majors. Campaigns like Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook’s Ban Bossy, are empowering girls to harness leadership skills from an early age. And more high-tech companies are embracing flexible work schedules, mentorship programs and advancement opportunities for women. Hopefully, these initiatives help reverse the trend so that more high-tech women enter and stay in the field.

Are you a woman working in the technology industry? Share your experience and weigh in on the discussion. Leave a comment below.

Hiring Can Cost You

How Hiring Can Cost You

Hiring a new employee? Get ready to pay the price. A report published by the Center for American Progress shows that companies typically spend up to one-fifth of an employee’s salary to find a replacement. These costs can include lost productivity, training, recruiting, background checks, overtime for workers picking up the slack – the list goes on and on.

In addition to the frustration and time suck of sifting through countless resumes and meeting with candidates, you want to be sure you make the right hiring decision so that you don’t have to go through the whole process again. That’s why working with a recruiter is so valuable.

We narrow down the list of candidates so that you only meet the cream of the crop. This fills your vacant position faster and reduces turnover by getting the right person in the door.

A couple of things to look for if you’re in the market for a recruiter:

– Experience: Simply put, the more years they’ve got under their belt, the better candidate pool they’ll be able to round up.

– Industry expertise: You will have better luck nailing down the right candidate if the recruiter is specialized in your field.

– Success stories: You want to know the recruiter is effective and can show the results to back up their claims.

In the market for high-tech sales talent? Let us know.


The Perfect Match

In all my years placing high-tech talent, I’ve found pairing the right candidate with the right job is a lot like dating. There are certain qualities you look for in a partner and when it’s a good match – you know it! Here are a couple of ways to tell if you’ve got a keeper:

The First Impression

When meeting a candidate if you’re immediately put off by his scraggly beard, chances are your clients will too. As superficial as it sounds, physical appearances matter. Bottom line is, you know the level of professionalism expected to get the job done. And if the person walking through the door is anything less, there’s no reason to move forward.

On the flipside, it’s a turnoff to candidates if they’re not shown the professional courtesy they expect. A bad impression could send a potentially good candidate running for the door or worse yet, garner your company a bad reputation among peers.

Good Conversation

Sure, it’s an interview. There are going to be questions that need answering. The tricky part is making the exchange interesting. The conversation needs to flow, not seem forced or have awkward silences. Find something in common – could be your alma mater, hometown, hobbies – and build on that. An engaging dialogue is a two-way street. Your attitude will either set the stage for a great conversation or an awful interrogation. If time seems to fly during the interview, chances are, it’s a good sign.

Common Ground

Travel, telecommuting, work/life balance – these are just some of the things to consider when finding a good fit. Is the company all buttoned up but you’re more comfortable working in jeans? Are weekends out of the question? As an employer, be upfront about what the corporate culture is like. As a candidate, be honest with yourself and the interviewer. If you want to come home for dinner every night but the job calls for extensive travel, it’s probably not for you.

Future Plans

Are you looking for a committed relationship or a temporary solution? Make sure your short and long-term goals are aligned. Is your ideal candidate one who can grow with the company? Are you looking to advance your career? Do you need someone for one project for only a brief period of time? These are questions you should ask yourself and your counterpart to ensure both parties are happy with the end result.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


A New Years Resolution Worth Keeping – Work Less, Play More

Every year at this time most of us put together a lengthy list of resolutions, some highly attainable but many far from our reach. Why do we do this? For good reason, we all desire to be and have more, that’s basic human nature. There is one resolution however that I would like to challenge you all to keep – Working Less and Playing More. I know this seems ironic coming from a man who places professionals in technology – one of the most highly competitive and fast-paced fields out there. But I do believe that if you work smarter and set attainable goals, you can make working less a reality. Being in sales, goals are set and met every day. Yet the most successful individuals I have seen in sales, set personal goals to inspire their sales goals. A lot of these goals have nothing to do with the “job.” For one of my clients, it is about taking a day off to have a special outing with her 16-year old daughter. For others it may be  a round of golf, a noon time yoga class, a long lunch with a close friend. What I can assure you is these little gifts to yourself will refuel you and inspire amazing performance. I am going to resolve to work less and play more this year and I look forward to reporting back to you with my success.

I’d love to hear what you inspires you and how you’ve achieved working less and playing more! Share your ideas and thoughts in the comment below.