The Inc 5000 Experience and Reflections on Starting Tech Finders

10703667_722301087846862_2140922562176245932_nAnticipation for the Inc. 5000 Conference and Awards Ceremony began nearly six months prior to the event held at the JW Marriott in Phoenix on October 15, 2014.

Over a thousand entrepreneurs and company leaders gathered for three days of seminars, celebrations and sharing of success stories.

The energy and excitement was truly motivational in itself, which brought back memories of starting Tech Finders. It all started as I sat cross-legged on viagra tablets for sale the floor of a spare bedroom with only a fax machine, a phone book, and a ton of ambition.

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But now I sat at the Inc. 5000 event just like a proud parent at graduation admiring my company that had matured and grown into something bigger than just me. I couldn’t help but think, “my baby is growing up!”

10420157_697550463655258_3645908336281493571_nTech Finders couldn’t have grown — hands down — without my team. During the last four years our focus was laser sharp when it came to discovering the BEST recruiting talent in Phoenix, and that in turn put us on the Inc. 5000 list

By BEST, I mean we discovered recruiters with character, passion, and a genuine love for recruiting. And of course, that also means working with people who have an amazing talent for connecting people and opportunity.
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All of this started with Kristy Bach, VP of Tech Finders joining our team — and then contagiously — we attracted many more star team members.

I want to thank my team from the bottom of my heart for being my better half and for joining me in this journey. We are just getting started!

– Sharon Bondurant, Founder and CEO

 

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The Benefits of Using an IT Recruiter | Phoenix IT Jobs

There are many reasons why using a recruiter to help you find your next job is a smart idea. The three most important are simple: recruiters save you time, effort, and money. Here is how working with a recruiter can help you come out on top in more ways than just the job front:

 

Recruiters are well versed in all things employment. Recruiters have been working in the IT industry for many years. They have the resources and contacts that allow them to find the employers looking for your skill set. Recruiters can also help you filter out the employers that may not be the best fit for your talent.

 

Recruiters not only have relationships with you, they have long standing relationships with the employers. They are able to work with the employers and filter out who is looking for your skill set and is willing to pay your salary. A recruiter is able to take a lot of the guesswork out of your job search.

 

President Barry Asin, a keynote speaker at the 2013 Staffing Industry Analyst Executive Forum, discussed the growth of the staffing and recruiting industry over the next five years. He specifically mentioned that online recruiting would reach nearly $5 billion in 2013. More importantly, Asin stated, that information technology is one of the fastest growing sectors of the recruiting industry.

 

IT recruiters are developing better relationships with leading industry employers. They are able to save you time and money on your job search. Because of the growth of the IT industry, recruiters are beginning to specialize in finding new opportunities. Using an IT recruiter will help expand your professional network, beyond what you have developed alone.

 

AZ Tech Finders has been talking nerdy since 1998. Our experienced IT job recruiters have a vast network of resources in the Phoenix Arizona area. If you are looking for assistance in your job search, contact our experts today.

Get your Developers to be Emotionally Invested in Their Projects

When organizations successfully engage their workers, they experience a 240% boost in performance-related business outcomes.

To fully engage your development team, you should strive to get them emotionally invested in their projects. Here are some tips on how to do this:

  • The process starts with you.  To build an emotional investment in a project, requires that you believe in it 100%.  This will “rub off” on others.  Talk about the project with knowledge, clarity and passion.  When you let the development team see how much you believe in the project, they will believe in it to.
  • Be knowledgeable, serious and committed. Do some research and have some solid knowledge on what you want to create.  Work to build a solid relationship with everyone involved in the project, and keep the lines of communication open.  People (in general) like working with others who are serious, educated and dedicated.
  • Ask for advice and input. Being educated about the project does not mean that you should never ask questions.  The developers working on the project know the product better than anyone else, so why not ask and actively listen to their answers?  They are in the best position to make suggestions on how to solve or avoid workarounds.  Even if they do not have anything else to add to the conversation, they will feel like a true part of the team just by being asked.
  • Lighten the load, if possible.  Stress can hinder development.  Too many design decisions or too many solution options can make it hard to know what to do next.  Use the buddy system on difficult tasks.  Assign another person – a “back up brain” if you will- for complex tasks so developers have someone to talk to and bounce ideas off of.  Communication and collaboration reduce stress for everyone involved.
  • Put a face to everyone’s name. Emotional investments require emotional connections.  Therefore, when your support team sends out communications letting people know about any bug fix or new features, make sure the developer that was involved is mentioned and/or CC’d.  This puts a human name (and face) to all the people involved in the project.

All employees want to work on interesting, innovative projects.  This includes developers, programmers and other members of the IT staff.  When you create an environment where your staff has an emotional attachment to the project they are working on, mediocre software falls by the wayside.

If you are an IT manager in Phoenix AZ, contact AZ Tech Finders today to learn more about locating, hiring and retaining top IT and HR talent. If you are looking for IT manager jobs in Phoenix, contact us today.

The Importance of IT Retention

IT managers are logging the same complaint over and over: they cannot seem to retain their top staff for as long as they’d like, and their offices are suffering for it. Retaining your top talent saves you money (as you do not have to spend money on hiring, training and onboarding a new employee) and time, maintains equilibrium within your staff and helps you achieve your goals more efficiently. Small changes can increase your employees’ loyalty and boost the morale of the team so that you can all operate optimally.

Promote frequently. Establish guidelines that are lofty yet achievable, and make these very clear to your staff. Encourage them to be high-achieving, and reward them with additional responsibility, bigger clients, or a new role. Be sure to keep these promotions fair and available to all who work hard for them.

Give praise freely. As you get to know your employees, determine how best to praise them when the time comes. Individuals who are painfully shy, who flush bright pink at even the thought of a conversation involving more than one or two people, will not benefit from you making a big production at a staff meeting. And, that high-achieving, grandiose personality the next office over would likely appreciate public praise rather than a private accolade. One of the biggest benefits of knowing your staff well knows how to praise them when it is appropriate, and this will go a long way in terms of creating loyalty.

Be supportive of and united with workers.  Stand behind the people you have hired, and they will be much more likely to follow your leadership long-term. Having the unwavering support of one’s direct manager instills a greater confidence in one’s work, which in turn creates greater pride one’s performance.

Feed them! It sounds simple, but serving your employees food on the house creates companionship. (In fact, the etymology of “companion” indicates that the word truly means, “with bread,” or “bread fellow”–companions are those with whom we break bread.) As Ezra Pound wrote in “Canto XCIII,” people are “easier to convert after you feed ‘em,” Team building exercises absolutely do not have to involve a ropes course or a trust fall. No, a trust-building exercise occurs each time you and your employees share a table for a meal. Create a plan that works for your budget.  For example, some of our clients treat their staff to weekly lunches, keep a stocked fridge of energy drinks, use their company break room to cook breakfast once a quarter, or go to extremes with an infamous cereal bar that has every type of cereal you could ever desire!

Allow them some freedom in their schedule and work flow (within reason.)  Focus on the end result rather than the minute by minute details.  Trust your employees enough to allow them to complete their duties unencumbered by unnecessary micromanaging. For roles requiring heavy concentration, make sure your staff takes a 10-15 minute break every couple of hours. This will actually increase productivity in the long run!    Additionally, if you can, offer 1-2 days of working remote or at least a flexible work time schedule.  These two perks are extremely important to staff!  In fact, sometimes the ability to work from home part of the time or the ability to create their own begin and end times is more important to staff than their compensation!

Preserving the talent on your team is one of the most important ongoing tasks of a manager, and it can get tough sometimes. But whether your focus is on retaining the top members of your team or scouting fresh blood for your company, we can help you achieve your goals and grow your business. Contact us today to create a plan for success!

Why Should We Hire You?

If you are searching for ways to hone your skill set and increase your hireability, an excellent option is training and education. Training in a specialization or increasing your working knowledge of relevant advances in your industry is a particularly helpful method of increasing your own hireability and professional worth, as well as helps your resume to stand out from the crowd when submitting for contract work. Contract work helps you expand your skill set and connects you with people at different companies and corporations in your industry, and can make you a more sought-after candidate and put you at the forefront for the most choice opportunities.

First, consider your strengths, weaknesses, and interests. It is beneficial to foster all of these; it never hurts to get better at something you already excel in, improving upon something that is a weakness can help you achieve a breakthrough, and learning about specific industry topics in which you take interest is likely to energize and excite you. Whatever your desired path at this time, there is likely an educational opportunity to help you begin.

Second, investigate coursework that seems aligned with what you hope to get out of it overall. Be sure that your learning style would be appropriate for the curriculum; an individual who learns best in an interactive way would not likely benefit greatly from a static, lecture-style experience. Try to avoid classes or workshops that do not focus on the application of the principles being taught, as opposed to simply outlining those principles. Choose a course that fits your needs and that will engage you.

Next, be sure to update your resume after your complete each course or workshop. You may start to notice that the “specializations” section in your portfolio is growing thicker–that’s great! Keeping up with all your continuing education hours and certificates when you are able to show an employer exactly how knowledgeable you may be about a particular subject or niche.

Last, seek contract work that appeals to what you wish to concentrate on. Perhaps you have invested a great deal of time in learning about systems analysis or mobile app design; use a recruiter to help you find contract work with those parameters. The contacts that can be gained from engaging in contract work are invaluable; do not underestimate the value of face time, however temporary, in a company or corporation that appeals to you.

If you are seeking contract work or educational opportunities, contact us today. We can help you tadalafil generic vs cialis determine the most prudent and profitable plan for your professional development and personal fulfillment. AZ Tech Finders has the resources and network to help you advance your career and find your next job in Phoenix AZ.

IT Interview Arsenal — Preparing For Your Next Interview

Because the field has evolved greatly to accommodate companies’ needs for smarter, faster and more palatable and relatable Information Technology, IT managers and employees have noticed changes in what interviewers are seeking over the last ten to fifteen years. Discounting any of these newer factors could cost you an interview or a position with a desirable company. Incorporating the following into your interview arsenal can increase your chances of landing a job.

Identify strengths and weakness in your soft skills. Soft skills are those which are not directly related to mechanical, mathematical or technological intelligence. According to the University of Minnesota, the five soft skills that are most likely to make an impact on interviewing are: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. Especially in the IT field, employers need to be able to trust that candidates are capable of being engaging and self-aware. Demonstrate your soft skills by keeping them in mind when answering questions.

Self-awareness can demonstrated early on in most interviews; most recruiters or managers will ask what your strengths are, and it is imperative that are ready to express those strengths in a confident and concise way. It is always your prerogative to steer interviews in the direction of your strengths–let your skills and specialties be known.

If the interview steers away from your strengths, and you find yourself being asked something to which you do not know the answer, simply be honest and state that. If you are able to be adaptable and to “think out loud” by sharing with your interviewer how you might find the answer to his question, or by using deductive reasoning and explaining that as you do so, the interviewer will not focus as much on your not knowing the “correct” answer. This displays several soft skills at once, and portrays you as an individual who is capable of using the tools he has available to get the job done.

Enthusiasm (nestled under the soft skills of attitude and outlook) is key in interviews. Forbes recently implored its readers not to curb the spark and passion that could be the deciding factor in whether or not you are hired. Share with your interviewer that you are energized by the company and the possibility of working there. This is invaluable to interviewers who have likely been burned before by hires who jumped ship after a few months with the company; they were great on paper but simply lacked the enthusiasm necessary to care about the job.

The IT field is constantly expanding and changing, and because IT is vital to most companies at this time, the job market is expanding and changing as well. Bolstering weaknesses in soft skills, steering interviews toward your strengths and showing enthusiasm for your work website are all ways to keep up with current hiring trends in the field.

If you are looking to find a rewarding career in IT, contact the staffing experts at AZ Tech Finders today! We have the resources and experience to help IT professionals advance their careers.

 

Tech to Exec

Making a Successful Transition

What happens when a star technical staffer is suddenly promoted to management? Typically, expectations run high. A sense of excitement develops in the department. Senior management eagerly anticipates cialis sale the results their new star will produce. And then reality hits…

Most newly minted managers find the transition from technician to manager to be considerably more difficult than imagined. The job duties are more complex than anticipated. Conflicts may arise. Projects frequently get delayed. And in the worst cases, morale issues develop and turnover escalates. What went wrong? And more importantly, how can you prevent these problems?

To ensure successful “tech-to-exec” transitions, first understand the failure points–those issues that most frequently derail new management careers. Then use this information to develop an effective process for successful promotions.

Failure Point 1: Selection

Why do new managers fail? Most often, it’s because they never really wanted the job, or more accurately, the responsibilities that come with the job. Making the transition from technician to manager requires the development and utilization of an entirely new set of skills. For most techs, the biggest challenges lie in having a higher level of accountability, and often (and of most difficulty for star techs) a willingness to give up control over project activities.

Before awarding a promotion, it’s essential to determine who really wants the job. This can be accomplished through the following steps:

Define the specs. Create a description of the job duties and document all performance expectations. Define goals and objectives that are precise and measurable.

Conduct a formal interview process. Treat promotions as you would any other direct hire. Have your techs interview for the job, and if appropriate, include behavior and skills assessments as part of the process.

During the interview, review the duties and responsibilities that come with the promotion and verify that your star tech really has the skills and ambition to produce the results you expect. Talent and the ambition to accomplish tasks are two very different issues. Many people have the skills needed but are unwilling to deviate from their current system of working in order to accomplish the expected goals.

Hire the best manager. Not all techs are cut out to be execs. If your interviewing process determines that a management job would be a poor fit, work with your tech to develop a more appropriate and rewarding career path.

Failure Point 2: Getting Outside the Comfort Zone

Many technical professionals are used to working within a “tech bubble” in isolation from the rest of the organization. They may have only interacted with peers and a direct manager within the IT department. Their goals may have been entirely technology driven. Now, they are the manager, and they will be required to interact with other parts of the organization and answer to higher levels of management.

The key to a successful transition is getting techs to understand the needs, interests and challenges of people in other parts of the company, and then open the lines of communication. New managers looking to get out of their technical comfort zone can try these strategies:

Schedule start-up meetings with other supervisors, managers, and outside vendors. Prior to beginning a project, schedule time to speak with outside parties who will be involved in project planning, implementation and evaluation. During these start-up meetings, review each party’s duties, goals and expectations. New managers should come to the meetings prepared with a checklist of information to gather, for example, the project goals, measures of success, and contact information for people who will be involved.

Plan de-briefing sessions. Be a mentor to your new managers. After a new manager has a meeting with a non-technical executive, schedule a one-on-one de-briefing session. At first, many new managers feel intimidated or reserved around non-technical executives. These de-briefing sessions provide a “safe” environment in which to review project details, ask clarifying questions, and plan for project success.

Arrange after-work social functions. An off-hours function can be a comfortable way for new managers to get to know the people they will need to work with on a regular basis, which in turn will help to open the lines of communication.
During these events, encourage new managers to talk about their social and personal lives instead of constantly focusing on their jobs. To further help break down communication barriers, encourage new managers to get involved in community activities that the company sponsors. This will make them feel like part of the team, while getting them out of their work setting into a more social atmosphere.

Failure Point 3: Training

Along with communication skills, new managers must develop a host of other skills to succeed. For example, new skills will be required to address the following types of goals:

– Improving the performance of the department.
– Identifying staffing needs.
– Assessing the strengths and weaknesses of team members.
– Clearly defining goals and expectations.
– Keeping morale up during difficult and busy times.
– To nurture these skills in your new managers, consider:
– Sending new managers to training seminars with other newly appointed managers.
– Hiring a management coach.
– Enlisting current managers to provide mentoring and training.

How you accomplish the training is far less important than having a plan to teach the skills. Effective management is not intuitive for most technical professionals. To ensure their success, invest in their skills.

Failure Point 4: Patience

Even though a candidate might have all the skills and drive necessary to be a great manager, there will certainly be a period of adjustment. Even the most qualified candidates will take a few months before they are comfortable with the new duties placed on them as technical manager. During the transition, your role is to be the coach, mentor, and occasionally, cheerleader.

Be aware, your new managers may have a hard time with the transition from tech to exec. While it takes time to get comfortable in any new role, the transition from star tech to neophyte exec can be particularly difficult. Provide support, offer guidance, and help to launch your techs on the path to fulfilling management careers.

Tech Finders Launches Video Interviews

“Tech Finders recognizes that video and social media play a vital role in the today’s hiring process”, says Sharon Bondurant, Founder / CEO of Tech Finders. “As a result, we are constantly evolving and improving our recruiting processes to find innovative and creative ways to deliver the best talent to our clients. A recent value add that we have included in our hiring process is a 60 second video interview that we send along with our candidate profile. We have found that it is cutting the length of the hiring process by as much as 30%, thus saving our clients valuable time, money, and resources”.

This video interview technology allows employers to get that first crucial 60 seconds out of the way, without ever interviewing the job seeker in person. Having a video profile will enhance opportunities of talent and demonstrate that they are job seekers serious about their pursuit. Tech Finders offers the interview technology both in-house and remotely. Candidates anywhere in the world can set up a full online portfolio complete with a one to two-minute video profile in ten minutes. This technology also allows the use of a mobile recording device, equipped on most smart phones, to be utilized in recording and uploading a video to the database. As everyone – from small businesses to Fortune 5s, looks for a way to hire the best-of-the-best within their field, they are also looking for a quick and cost-effective way to accomplish this. Tech Finders has partnered with TalentRooster, an industry leader in video interviewing technology, to offer its platform to Tech Finders’ expanding client base.

“Our mission over the past 14 years has been to not only find the best talent, find viagra online but to do it in a manner that saves our clients time and money,” says Bondurant. “With this video interview powered by TalentRooster, we are accomplishing that goal.”