J Patrick + Associates Blog

Do Video Conferencing Interviews Save or Cost Your Company?

Posted by Dylan Rivera on Tue, Mar 21, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

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More and more companies have begun using video conferencing to conduct the early stages of the interview screening process. What begun as a trend, has now become an industry standard, but is this really an effective use of a company’s resources? Let’s explore some of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of video interviews from a cost/benefit perspective.  

STRENGTHS

Convenience

The need for two people to be in the same room is eliminated. Hiring managers and candidates both enjoy greater flexibility, meetings no longer have to be confined to the office, and both parties can meet from the comfort of their own office or home. 

Cuts Costs

Handling candidate screening remotely can cut traveling, scheduling, and costs. Money saved can be re-allocated to improving productivity in other sectors of the organization, or towards expansion. Similar to phone interviews, video feed can be one of the most cost effective ways to meet candidates.

WEAKNESSES:

No Face-to-Face Interactions

There’s no better way to get a feel for someone than shaking their hand and sitting across from them. Video can flatten out an interaction, allowing cues you might have picked up in person, to go unseen. When deciding to bring someone into your department, you want to be assured that there’s chemistry and a connection, something you can only fully experience in person.

Feel for the Space

During a face-to-face meeting, candidates are able to get a feel for the environment of the office. Remote meetings cut out the possibility for spontaneous introductions to different team members, while also eliminating the candidate’s opportunity to get a sense of what the office is like. A potential hire's first visit to the office is also one way of seeing if they are a good cultural fit for your organization.

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OPPORTUNITIES

Saves Time

Time is money. Instead of budgeting time to get to and from the physical location, all that is necessary is a block of time in front of a computer. Most importantly, video conferencing reduces the time it takes to fill an open position, as you are able to meet more candidates in a shorter period of time.

Broader Selection

Distance is no longer be an issue for first or second round interviews. You can connect with candidates all over the globe with a touch of a button, allowing you to reach out and discover the hidden potential in unexplored terrains. You don't have to miss out on discovering the final piece to your puzzle because the applicant lives too far away. 

Playback  

One of the prime features embedded in a virtual interview is the ability to rewatch or playback the meeting. After a face-to-face meeting, you are left to rely on memory and notes you took during the conversation. Video conferencing allows you to take a second look to analyze body language, or discover cues that might have slipped past you in the moment. You can dig deeper into the candidate's responses, and you can get more team members involved in the decision process.

THREATS

Glitches

For all of its advantages, technology can sometimes be unreliable. There’s always the possibility for hardware/software problems. Connection is a two way street, so the chances of an interference is doubled, and the wait time can be unpredictable. Lag and delay can both cause interruptions. Hardware problems such as microphone/webcam failures can make communication problematic. WIth video conferencing you’re buying into the possibility that complications can disrupt an entire interview, setting back your workday.

With the benefits of cutting costs and time, it makes sense to switch over to video conferencing for the early stages of the screening process. 

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Tags: Job Interviews, HR and Hiring

How To Motivate Your Sales Team For Sustained Success

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Tue, Mar 14, 2017 @ 11:04 AM

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There's one vital truth every sales manager knows: A motivated sales team is a successful sales team.

But sometimes motivation flags and the team hits a rough patch. It might be a case of the post-vacation blues, the March muddles or the mid-summer humdrums. You may never know what causes a flag in productivity, all you have to know is that it's up to you to re-invigorate and motivate your team.

Here are 6 ways to motivate your sales team and get them back to running at full tilt.

Build Trust

The foundation of any healthy relationship is trust, and this is no less true of the manager/employee dynamic. We already know that people who are invested in their work are more productive and more likely to succeed. (In fact, according to one study, they are 12% happier) The manager who sets a tone of mutual respect and trust is more likely to keep the team moving forward than one who focuses solely on metrics and outcomes.

In order for your team to succeed they have to feel that you have their best interest at heart, and that you are open to hearing about both their challenges and goals. Nurturing an environment based on transparency is vital to building the two-way bond of trust and engagement.

Provide Resources

It's one thing to train a new hire, but in order to keep your team upbeat and closing, you need to always be providing new resources for them to deepen their skills.

And while sometimes that might manifest as additional training, don't forget that the depth of your knowledge and experience is a vital source of information. Spend one-on-one with your reps: schedule time to listen in on calls, provide the opportunity for them to sound off with their questions, problems, stumbling blocks.

There's another benefit of spending time individually with your reps; not only are you building rapport, you're also sending the very strong signal that you are personally invested in their success.

Set Clear Expectations

Always make sure that your team understands what you want of them. Closing deals might be the obvious goal, but have you set clear objectives? The last thing you want is a team that consistently falls short of their quota.

And more importantly, are the objectives attainable? Have you made certain that your sales reps know what is expected of them?

It's one thing to set a quota, but if your expectations are based on out-dated metrics, or don't account for a change in the market, then you are setting your team up to fail.

Give Regular, Actionable Feedback

Regularly scheduled reviews (bi/tri/annually) providing ongoing feedback.

Make yourself available on a regular basis. It's impotant to create an environment where feedback is part of the daily/weekly process.

And most importantly, framing that feedback in a positive light, as an opportunity for growth and providing actionable items leads to trust and ultimately to better employee performance.

Reward Successes Large & Small

Even the most self-disciplined and talented salesperson needs to know that they are valued. Celebrate milestones and victories, both large and small.

The "No news is good news" axiom is not one you want to follow when it comes to managing your team.

Be certain to recognize those small daily victories that might not lead directly to closing a deal, but rather that add forward momentum. Everyone wants to feel appreciated - a pat on the back should not be conditional on closing a deal.

Manage the Individual

Every manager has a style, and hopefully you made yours clear during the hiring process.

Understanding what drives an individual is key to motivating them. And the best way you can form that understanding is by getting to know them. Some key preferences you may want to know are:

  • What do they want to accomplish?
  • What pace of feedback do they respond best to: daily/weekly/monthly?
  • How do they like to receive feedback: publicly/privately? In person/via email?
  • What motives them?
  • What is the surest way to squash their motivation?

Keeping your sales team inspired and motivated is about finding out what drives them, as individuals and as a collective. Once you do, chances are you'll see both quotas and employee satisfaction rise. 

 

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Tags: management, energize your employees

6 Ways To Refocus your Team and Get back to Making Deals

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Tue, Mar 07, 2017 @ 11:04 AM

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It happens to the best managers - your team was cruising along, making deals and running like the well oiled machine you built it to be.

 But then something happens. The latest flu makes the rounds in the office picking your employees off one by one, or people are having a hard time refocusing after vacation.Whatever the reasons, it's time for you to refocus your team and get things ramped back up.

Here are some ideas to help guide you.

Wipe The Slate

A stockpile of work can be overwhelming, but there’s nothing worse than having fluff making the pile even higher. Take the time to go through projects and clear out irrelevant and outdated tasks. What seemed like an important project back in early July may no longer be applicable. Clear the decks so you can get the team working toward clear and achievable goals.

Make A Plan

Even if you had the whole year mapped out, now is the time to realign and reprioritze. The best way to get your team back into fighting shape is to present them with a game plan. Clear priorities and a newly energized effort helps set the tone. We are back and ready to start cranking out the deals!

Resurrect Boundaries

Dress code and Friday closing times aren’t the only things to get loosened up in the summertime. Boundaries and conventions have a habit of slipping as well. Take these days in the early part of September to re-establish the conventions that help make you the most productive. Close the door on your office or put your phone on Do Not Disturb for a few hours in the morning in order to give yourself the time you need to refocus. Do what you need to do to send the signal to your team that it’s nose to the grindstone time.

Authorize and Engage

Sometimes the best way to get the blood going, and to show your team they're valued, is to change things up. You've hired a cracker-jack team, now it's time to push them. Give an individual a new responsibility, enhance a particular group’s reach. This isn’t about playing favorites, but it is about creating new avenues for development, both individually and for the team as a whole.

A Little Competition Goes A Long Way

There’s nothing like a little friendly competition to get people back into fighting form. Creating a sales competition is a great way to get the blood going again.

If a sales competition is not pertinent to your business, then try a fundraising challenge or even plan a sporting event. The idea is to get the team reinvigorated and re-engaged both together, and individually.

Take the time to reinvigorate and re-engage your employees, and the benefits will be seen long past the close of the quarter.

Bui

Tags: Recruiter Tips, Career Strategies, Career Advice

5 Reasons Why You Should Never Turn Down An Interview

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Tue, Feb 28, 2017 @ 11:04 AM

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Here you are happy as can be in your current position, when out of the blue you get a call from a recruiter (or a friend drops you a line) saying they've got an amazing opportunity for you.

You weren't thinking about leaving - you like your job, your boss is a peach and life is running like clockwork. So you might be tempted to turn down the opportunity to go on the interview, after all you're busy, why waste anyone's time?

Well, there are some great reasons to take the interview, and not all of them center around finding a new job.

1) The Best Laid Plans

As they say, the only thing you can count on is change. One day things are running smoothly at work, and the next day you come in to find your company is being acquired. Or maybe your boss gets promoted or leaves and and now your team is learning how to work with a new leader. The new boss may not think as highly of you as the old boss, they may have a style that clashes with yours or they may simply have someone else they want to put in your position. You certainly can't plan for this kind of upheaval.

On the other end of the spectrum, you never know when you might stumble into the job of your dreams. We've all heard the stories of people who reluctantly went on an interview only to find their dream position.

Taking the time to meet for a coffee or lunch time interview may just be the best thing you can do to maintain control of your destiny.

2) Loyalty Can Be A Slippery Slope

Long gone are the days when a career spanned 25 years, and ended with a retirement party and a gold watch. In fact, the new normals for millennials is to spend an average of 2.5 years at any one position.

And even if you do find yourself in a long term position, you might be selling yourself short. Chances are incremental raises and promotions will not carry the same kind of bump in $ a new job will (unless of course you are given a counteroffer). Then too is the reality that there's a limit to how far one can climb at the same firm. While your boss may think highly of you, if you are looking to move into a new area or take on responsibilities that greatly vary from your current position, you might just stand a better chance of being thought of in a new light somewhere new.

And finally, the truth is, when cuts need to be made some companies will look to cut the costliest employees first. If the choice comes down between someone who is working near the top of the pay grade and a newer hire, chances are you very well might be the first on the chopping block.

 3) There's No Such Thing As Wasted Time

Just as going on vacation is a great way to re-energize and open new pathways of thinking, so too is talking to other companys.

Gaining insight into how other companies operate and other teams engage can act as jet fuel for your current position. While you're certainly not taking these meetings to spy, you can use it as a window into industry trends.

Information is power, so even if you're not interested in pursuing the opportunity any further, the worst thing that will come of the interview is insights into market trends. It might also highligh just how good you have it at your present job.

4) Stay On Your Toes

You know you should be keeping your resume up to date and your LinkedIn profile current, but if you're not always looking for the next great opportunity, most of us simply won't do it until we need to. But if you wait until you've either left or lost your present position, you're putting yourself at a disadvantage. No one wants to have to do that under duress.

5) Build A Better You

There's nothing like getting out in the world to see yourself in a new light. Even if you get nothing else from an interview, it's an opportunity to test how you rate in the marketplace. Afford yourself the chance to test which of your skills are in demand and which you are lacking. You'll be able to see how the marketplace views you and get a better understanding of your strengths and where you need to learn. Any chance to brush up your interview chops is one you should jump at.

There are however a few words of caution you must keep in mind:

  • Don't make phone calls on company time
  • Do not use company equipment to make phone calls, send emails, faxes or do research
  • Remain focused on your job while you're at work
  • If you can avoid it, don't schedule an interview during work hours
  • Don't make any mentions on social media
  • Don't use current co-workers or colleagues as references

As long as you remember these few rules, we encourage you to take advantage of every interview that comes your way, you never know where it will lead you!

Looking for a new opportunity?  Let's Get To Work!

 

Tags: Job Search, Job Interviews

10 Programs Leading the Way For Girls in Tech

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Tue, Feb 21, 2017 @ 11:04 AM

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According to The National Center for Women in IT, tech companies with women in management positions achieve 34% higher return of investment.

34% higher return.

And yet women still only occupy 26% of the over 4 million computer science related positions in the country, and account for only 11% of executives in Fortune 500 tech companies. 

Not only is the lack of diversity in tech profoundly out of wack, it's bad for business, especially when we 

The good news is that a good number of organizations and initiatives have cropped up around the country to change the game. Some are focusing on girls still in school, others on offering training to women already out in the workforce. But what unites all of these organizations is the belief that not only should women be occupying an equal share of the over 3 million tech jobs, but that they are in fact the future of tech.

Here's a rundown of 10 of the leading not-for-profits and organizations working to forge a path to get more girls in tech, and to help women make their mark in the industry.

Girls Who Code

The US based program has taught over 40,000 girls to code to date. They offer both after school clubs which are open to 6th-12th grade girls, and summer immersion programs for 10th-11th grade girls which take place at leading technology companies. With locations in 42 states they are driven by the single mandate to close the gender gap in the technology sector.

Brookview House in Dorchester, Ma, an organization dedicated to helping homeless families develop life-skills and training has opened their own chapter of #girlswhocode. This kind of out reach to under served communities is actively changing lives. Not only are they empowering girls who might not have ever thought they were entitled to a career, they are laying the very foundation these girls to launch successful careers in tech.

Black Girls Code

Black Girls Code's vision is to :"increase the number of women of color in the digital space by empowering girls of color ages 7 to 17 to become innovators in STEM fields, leaders in their communities, and builders of their own futures through exposure to computer science and technology. To provide African-American youth with the skills to occupy some of the 1.4 million computing job openings expected to be available in the U.S. by 2020, and to train 1 million girls by 2040."

And they're succeeding. By reaching out to underrepresented communities to teach coding on platforms such as Ruby on Rails and scratch, Black Girls Code is engaging girls who might never have been introduced to tech in their schools. Through programming and game design they are preparing black girls to not only take their place in the tech sector, but to become the designers of their own futures.

Code.org

A not-for-profit organization, Code.org is dedicated to expanding access to computer science to underrepresented populations and girls. They also provide professional learning programs for teachers to integrate CS into their classrooms, are working to set up policies supporting CS and partnering with school districts to add CS to the curriculum.

Their Hour Of Code initiative, a free one hour tutorial designed to provide a fun and easy introduction to coding is available in 45 languages and has been implement in over 180 countries.

Womanity

This not-for-profit has set out to empower girls and women in developing countries and to help accelerate progress within their communities. Inspired by the UN Sustainable Development goals, their mission is to

  • Support girls and women’s access to quality education and vocational training.
  • Create employment, revenue generation and professional career opportunities for women.
  • Promote avenues that give women a voice in society, politics and governance institutions.
  • Protect women and girls’ physical and psychological integrity.

Case in point is their Girls Can Code initiative in Afghanistan. Working in accordance with the Ministry of Education, they have been able to build the intensive introduction to coding for girls in Kabul.

In other words, they are working within cultures to help create a path for women and girls to succeed.

Geek Girl Camp

Founded in 2008, Geek Girl seeks to empower women & girls (and dudes!) of all ages and all financial levels in technology, from beginner newbie to startup savant." They hold Tech Conferences and workshops, and offer seminars, public speaking training as well as consulting. Geek Girl for Hire is their job initiative aimed at helping women find work.

Like these other organizations, Geek Girl is working to help create a a more diverse tech workforce and pave the way for a future where education and opportunity is available to everyone.

Built By Girls

#builtbygirls is one of the organizations leading the way past simply teaching girls to code. As stated on their homepage, they recognize that there are countless opportunities for careers in tech and they've made it their mandate to prepare girls to innovate and lead.

Wave. Utilizing a devoted mobile platform, this mentorship connects girls 15-18 years old with mentors in the technology sector. Over the course of 9 months, the program pairs each of the 150 girls with 3 mentors, based on the girl's areas of interest. the 3 month period with each mentor is spent in communication in which the 2 will solve a hypothetical problem related to that business or sector. Much of the communication takes place through the app, but the program also includes a monthly visit.

At the end of the 3 months, the mentor then introduces their student to 2 relevant contacts from their network - meaning that upon the completion of the program, each student will have a minimum of 9 contacts in her field of interest.

The program launched with 150 girls, but has the goal of including 20,000 girls by 202. If they hit their mark, that mean those girls will have made over 90,000 connections in the tech sector.

Girls Who Fund On the VC/start up end of the business, #builtbygirls offers a summer apprenticeship program for college bound girls at BBG Ventures, an early-stage seed fund investing in consumer tech startups with at least one female founder.

During the month long program girls learn the fundamentals of running a startup, study the bones of venture capital (VC). They also are afforded the amazing opportunity to not only meet leaders in the VC field, but to also sit in on pitch meetings.

The internship concludes with the girls judging the #BUILTBYGIRLS Challenge, a pitch competition for tech products built by girls.

Girl Develop It (gdi)

What began with one class offered in NYC in 2010 has since blossomed into an organization with chapters in over 56 US cities. GDI provides low cost training for women to learn web and software development. Their focus is on providing a judgement free experience where women of all backgrounds and economic levels can learn new skills while increasing their confidence and career prospects. And it seems that they are succeeding, as their organization represents over 55,000 women to date.

 Rails Girls

Founded in Finland, Rails Girls has now blossomed into a global not-for-profit community. Sponsoring events that are organized by volunteers, Rails Girls focuses on providing women with the tools, the knowledge and the vocabulary to build out their ideas. By making technology more approachable they are empowering a new generation of business owners, entreprenuers and content providers.

Railsbridge

Also born out of a single workshop, this one in San Francisco in 2010, Railsbridge is devoted to creating diversity in tech: not only gender, but race, sexual orientation, ability and class. While their first workshops might have focused on women, they have since expanded their scope.

As they say, they "value acceptance, enthusiasm, and hard work. The RailsBridge community thrives on optimism and a love for making great things."

Codechix

Dedicated to education, advocacy and mentorship, Codechix's aim is to increase the number of women engineers in both industry and academia. And a big part of that mission is to focus on retention. According to their website 56% of women engineers drop out of the industry within 10 years. One of the best ways to stem that tide is to do exactly what Codechix is doing: fostering opportunities for face-to face communication, community building and mentorship.

To this end, they "conduct eventsparticipate in competitions as a team, develop open-source projects on our Github repository and actively network to create a foundation for women engineers on the technical ladder in software and hardware."

There are countless other initiatives and organizations all working to foster diversity in tech, we'll explore some of the professional organizations in a future blog, and continue to delve into this issue on an ongoing basis. 

(For more on how to attract and retain more women in tech, read here)

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photo credit: Paul Bergmeir

Tags: hiriring, Women in Tech

5 Hiring Mistakes That Will Cost You Top Talent

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Tue, Feb 14, 2017 @ 11:04 AM

6 Hiring Mistakes That Will Cost You Top Talent.pngWith top talent at a premium in sectors from cyber security to AV/IT, hiring great employees is more challenging than ever. And the last thing any company wants to face is hiring someone who doesn't work out. After all, replacing an employee can cost as much as 6 to 9 months of that employee's annual salary.

In order to avoid losing both time and money, or even worse not being able to find the right candidate at all, here are 6 hiring mistakesto make certain you avoid.

1) Chasing Perfection

All too often we see hiring managers clinging too tightly to their checklists. Of course there are certain prerequisites of any position, but if you are too set on an ideal you run the very real risk of missing out on a truly great candidate.

Or perhaps you are set on the idea of what your team should look like, the hiring equivalent of choosing from a take-out menu: one from column A, two from column B etc... But if you let go of pre-set ideals and consider candidates with diverse backgrounds and unexpected skills, you will enhance the team as a whole. An outsider's perspective can be refreshing and add the kind of new energy and boost you need to move the needle higher.

Remember: working with people who are different from us makes us more creative, more diligent and harder-working.

2) Not Truly Knowing The Job

It's one thing to know what function you're hiring someone for, but it's another thing to really understanding how the role functions on a day-to-day basis.

One of the best tools at your disposal to understand any given role on your team is the exit interview. And while that might sound counterintuitive, it makes perfect sense. After all, what better way to understand what works and what doesn't than to hear from people who are on their way out?

Yes, certainly there will be those employees whose opinion you will have to take with a grain of salt, but if you take care to ask the right questions and really listen to the answers you receive, you stand to learn an awful lot about the job you are now faced with filling.

So before you go into interviews to fill a role, take the time to talk to the people who have done the job. If you do, you'll not only be able represent the position accurately, but it will also help you look for the candidate best suited to do the job.

3) Forgetting That Time Truly Is Of The Essence

Every search has its own parameters. Some jobs demand casting a wide net due to location, skill set or competition for talent. Others need to be filled as quickly as possible in order to insure that critical concerns are handled. But no matter the extenuating circumstances your company needs to have an established hiring protocol.

While it may seem an obvious system to have in place, too many companies do not have clear hiring policies in place. But taking the time to build a set of protocols not only makes it easier on your hiring managers, it also sends a stronger message to candidates that you are desirable company to work for.

In terms of how long you should spend on a search, that will depend on the job you're filling. But take care to never allow the process to go on for too long, otherwise candidates will either lose interest, continue to take meetings at other companies, or decide you are not interested in them and take themselves out of the running.

4) Trying To Get Away With Less

Trying to undercut the competition might look good on paper, but it will not help you to attract top talent. If you're offering compensation that is not in line with your sector you are not only going to be less appealing to candidates, but you're also selling yourself short.

The best guideline to follow is a candidate's current compensation package. If you are not able to meet what they are currently making or beat it, adjust the candidates you are considering. Otherwise you'll just be wasting your time as well as the candidates.

5) Forgetting You're Also Selling

It's easy to forget that while you're vetting a candidate, they too are interviewing you. They're looking to see if your company supports a culture where they'll feel at ease, supported and can foresee an upward path for themselves. Since more of our time is spent at work than at home with friends and family, the contemporary worker wants to know that they'll be spending their time somewhere they'll feel valued.

(For more on best practices for On boarding read here)

Just as college recruiters have become marketing machines, pitching students why they're the best choice for their education, you too have to sell candidates on why your position is the one that they should take. 

 

Looking to hire top talent?

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Tags: HR and Hiring

Are You Prepared For The Next DDOS Attack?

Posted by Dylan Rivera on Thu, Feb 09, 2017 @ 01:32 PM

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With the recent cyber attacks against the DNS service provider Dyn, information security experts are doubling down thier effort to develop the next generation of prevention and solution methods. In other words, the demand for online security has never been greater.

What was once a luxury item has now become a necessary component for your business's online presence. When a single cyber attack can shut down half of the internet, its safe to say it’s time to thoroughly check and protect your property.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) is a digital attack that attempts to disable any online service by sending an overwhelming amount of traffic from multiple sources, also known as ‘Botnets’. Though these attacks do harm, they are not intended to expose or steal any personal information, but rather overpower a hosting server, making it unavailable to users. Over 2000 DDoS attacks are observed daily with one-third of all online downtime complications resulting from DDoS bombardment.

The process of recovering from an attack can take from hours to days to weeks; all depending on the depth and breadth of the strike. All businesses should take the precaution of purchasing an anti-DDoS service to insure your IT safety.

Volumetric

In a volume-based attack (ICMP), the network/service bandwidth becomes congested with a mass amount of traffic resulting in a flood of access requests. Due to this attack all applications and services are rendered useless.

Protocol

Protocol attacks are aimed at saturating networks resources by sending open requests (Pings of Death). These attacks manipulate IP protocol by sending large IP fragments, resulting in reboot or crash.

Application

An application violation (Slowloris) targets the expected behavior of protocols (TCP. HTTP.) by tying up computational resources and preventing the user from accessing their requests. These types of attacks are very difficult to identify and defeat.

Here are our top 5 DDoS Protection Cybersecurity Providers:

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There is just too much on the line when it comes to protecting your online assets. Always keep in mind that it only takes one single attack to compromise your business and your customers' online safety. Beat the botnets to the punch, and take immediate action by purchasing a protective service.

Better to be safe than... you know the rest.

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Tags: cyber-security, ddos, cyber-threats

Cybersecurity Sales Engineers Are in High Demand

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Tue, Feb 07, 2017 @ 11:10 AM

Cyber Sales Engineers are in High Demand.pngAccording to projections from Cybersecurity Ventures, the cyber security sector is on track to see $1trillion in spending between 2017 and 2021. With the refocusing of malware to phones, tablets and IoT devices (the internet of things), and the growing number and severity of attacks on consumer, institutional and government institutions in 2016, these projections might even need to be revised upward.

In essence, bad news for the security of our information is good news for the industry. And where there's a boom, there's a demand for talent. One field that's feeling the full effects of this expansion is cyber sales engineers.

With a salary range between $65,ooo- $200,000/year, sales engineers in cybersecurity are in the fortunate position of not only being in demand, but able to negotiate terms. And in an environment where talent is at a premium, and the demand is outpacing the supply, candidates who are in the job market often are fielding competing offers, as well as counter-offers from their current employers.

What this means is, if you're a sales engineer you have the opportunity to really consider your career trajectory and take the offers where you feel you'll be most challenged and valued.

If you're a hiring manager charged with hiring cyber sales engineers, you already know that the competition for talent is fierce. You also know that you might have to push your budget to get the level of talent you need to keep your company's and/or your customer's data safe. And you probably also understand there's tremendous value in interviewing candidates even when you don't have an immediate opening.

But there are a few other key issues to keep in mind.

Lose The Checklist

When you're faced with a competitive market and top talent comes at a premium, you have to be willing to look beyond your check list. The best candidate may not carry all the certifications you want to see, or they might carry ones you never considered important. They might come from a different sector or not have the years experience you're looking for.

Understand the Power of Soft Skills

As the bridge between the technology and the customer, a sales engineer's ability to manage and communicate effectively with customers needs to be a prime consideration. Since they are in daily contact with customers, they are your eyes and ears in the field, and having someone who is an agile communicator about the human experience (as well as the technical experience) is invaluable to you.

Hone Your Game

And speaking of soft skills, in order to attract the best talent, you need to have a company culture in place that both values and invests in their employees. We already know that the best retention and recruiting tool is to make employees and candidates feel valued.

When you're hunting for top talent in a crowded field, always make sure that you have the best position on offer.

Are you looking to expand your team?
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Tags: HR and Hiring, cyber-security, cybersecurity

Looking To Hire AV Techs? Make Sure To Look For Talent In These 2 Sectors.

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Tue, Jan 31, 2017 @ 11:05 AM

Complex AV systems have Looking To Hire AV TECH-Make Sure to Look In These 2 Sectors.png become essential to corporations, government, education institutions, transportation and consumer outlets. Industry wide growth is steady and each year we are seeing the demand deepen. According to the NSCA's State of the Industry report, the majority of market sectors were projecting growth between 15-55% growth for 2016. These trends are borne out in our own practice here at J.Patrick, where we are seeing high demand for talent in all AV roles. See all our jobs listed here.

One of positions we see some of the heaviest demand is for AV Techs. And while candidates entering at this level might not need much prior experience in the field or certifications, the search for talent can still be tough. It's important to keep an open mind when vetting candidates, and considering those who come from parallel industries.

Let's explore a few such parallel industries we've found to be good sources of talent.

Music

The music industry is a natural place to search for AV talent as many of the skills and abilities are easily transferable to AV/IT. That the music industry can be a difficult place to make a living and/or to get ahead, makes it an obvious place to recruit for talent.

While many people enter the music sector for the passion and the love of music, they also realize they need an industry that can offer them career growth. AV/IT is a natural fit in that regard. We've found that the fact that techs can expect to work in a variety of settings (such as commercial locations, schools, corporations etc) with technology that is always changing and improving, is very appealing to these kinds of candidates.

It's worth noting too that video production is also a good source for talent.

Security Video

Once upon a time security companies simply offered alarm, call, surveillance, and sprinkler systems - the tent poles of basic home/office/institution security. But those days are long gone, and we've seen many traditional security companies expanding their offerings into areas that closely parallel AV/IT.

And as a result technicians from this field are well prepared to move into AV/IT. They come with a knowledge of cabling, installation, and the kind of troubleshooting that is required of AV techs. They're well accustomed to working on-site, crawling through walls and under tables in settings that can be sensitive, cramped or in use at the time of installation.

They also have a firm understanding of how to work efficiently all while being the face of the company with customers.

Just as with other in-demand roles, when it comes to the search for AV Technicians, being willing to set aside your check list can result in finding the best talent.

For more on how to start off as an AV Tech, read here.

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Tags: AV/VTC/UC, HR and Hiring

Do you Have What It Takes To Be An AV Technician? ( Hint: You do! )

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad Sullivan on Mon, Jan 23, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

Do You HAve What It Takes To Be An AV Technician-1.pngAccording to a 2015 study conducted by InfoComm, the next three years will be a time of consistent growth for both AV sales and service sales worldwide. This in an industry that has seen consistent growth rate of 3.10% per year since 2004. Accordingly, demand for well-qualified AV techs is expected to continue to rise with an expected 15,000 new jobs by 2018.

With a median salary of $52,573, an AV technician with a few years of experience can expect to earn between $45,000-$62,00.

And the beauty of many of these jobs, unlike many in the IT sector, is you don't need a raft of previous experience, hefty certifications or specialized degrees to enter the field.

Here's what you need, and what you can expect from a career in this field:

What You Need To Get Your First Job

  • A bachelors degree will certainly be helpful, but is not always viewed as necessary
  • A good facility with technology- this could be as simple as a strong working knowledge of consumer goods (TV/DVD Players/Game Systems) as well as a degree of comfort with cable-ing and connection conventions.
  • A working knowledge of electrical safety. Again this can be as simple as understanding the fundamentals of rewiring, grounding and wiring outlets.
  • Experience in either music, theater or other live events can be helpful. Did you volunteer with a local community theater and help setting up audio equipment? Perhaps you played in a band or are your family's go-to-guy for all issues with TV and stereo set up.
  • Any kind of facility with AV equipment will serve you well, but the real key quality you need is the drive to keep learning.

Typical AV Technician Job Description

Regardless of the vertical you find yourself working in (Video, Audio) or the sector the company serves (consumer, commercial, industrial) most job descriptions will include the following requirements:

  • Install, set up and adjust audio-visual equipment on site
  • Test equipment for faults then repair
  • Train customers on operation and basic maintenance
  • Perform routine checks and maintenance of equipment
  • Troubleshoot problems out in the field

The Typical AV Technician (Or Not!)

While there might be the typical job description, that doesn't mean there is such a thing as a typical AV technician. AV techs hail from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. Some come from the music industry, others from entertainment, while still others are attracted to the field as a way in to the larger IT world. Whatever direction you're approaching the field from you ought to have the following:

  • The desire to travel and to be exposed to a wide variety of environments. One week you might be working in a school and the next week you might be installing a video wall in a retail environment.
  • Flexibility and creativity to troubleshoot on site.
  • Good communication skills for both reporting to managers and supervisors as well as being able to field and manage customer concerns.
  • A passion to create cool stuff.

The beauty of beginning your career in AV/IT if you become an AV technician is that working in the field can prepare you for a variety of roles down the road (for more on the next steps after Tech, read here and here.). And with new integration opportunities blossoming all the time, AV/IT shows no sign of slowing any time in the future - neither will your career.

Are you looking to make the move into AV/IT?

Let's Talk!  

Tags: Job Search, AV/VTC/UC