Sourced - IT Recruitment

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Have Gaps in Your CV? Here’s How to Explain Them

5 Sep 22 by 2130


A gap on the resume is, for many people, one of life’s inevitabilities. Not all professionals have a perfectly linear arc to their job history and career progression. Family commitments, major life events and unforeseen circumstances can pause careers for months or years at a time.


Breaks in work history can still be a source of embarrassment and stress when job hunting, however. The idea that it’s detrimental to have space in your resume is a persistent one that stems from a time when employers were less forgiving about the issue.


Gaps in work timelines and career sabbaticals have become more common, as many hiring managers and technology and digital recruitment specialists will attest. Shifts in attitudes towards work in recent years have also allowed for more understanding of people who have empty spaces in their CVs.


While gaps on a CV are not inherently negative it’s always wise to account for them when applying for a job. Being proactive in explaining breaks between dates will help to demonstrate your self-awareness and attention to detail.


What to Consider When Explaining a CV Gap

There doesn’t have to be a big secret surrounding open spaces in your work history but there’s a good chance that you will be asked about them. Some of the things that you could discuss include the following:

  1. The length of empty time. To be clear, none of your career gaps are ‘empty’ because you were busy doing something – even if that something is a break. When writing a CV it can help to think about the recency and duration of the gap in question. If the break occurred more than five years ago, it is unlikely to warrant much attention from hiring managers. If you were out of employment for years, ensure you include an explanation.
  2. Formatting. Explaining a gap is easier when it’s incorporated into the structure of your CV. One approach is to create an entry for the pause itself as you would with a specific role, including the date range and a description of what you were doing at the time.
  3. Underline the positive aspects. Although it can seem difficult to reframe something like an illness or redundancy in a positive light, you can make this an opportunity to highlight your strengths and resilience. Focus on the future and what has motivated you to look for your next role.


For guidance on how to address a work gap when writing a resume, consider the category your career break falls into. We’ve got some of the most common examples of why people take time away from their careers below:

Parenting and Caregiving Responsibilities

Taking time off to raise a family or care for a family member is a normal part of life and the most frequent reason for CV gaps. You are not obliged to go into details about your family, but you can mention that you wanted to spend precious time with your children while they were young, or that you wanted to devote time to an ageing parent in their final months.


Taking Time to Study

Major and multiple career changes are becoming more frequent, especially for millennial and gen-Z workers who must adapt to a fast-changing jobs market. These job swaps are often accompanied by a return to university or other training.


As it is likely this gap relates to an area of study relevant to the job you’re applying for, use it as an opportunity to mention the skills you gained and the experiences you had as a result.

Travel Plans

Pressing ‘pause’ on your career to explore the world or live abroad can be an advantageous move for your CV. If you departed your home in Auckland or Christchurch to teach English in another country, this is a positive for you!


Maybe you used the time to enrol in an overseas volunteering program for a year. For these adventures, you can describe the skills you used to navigate an unfamiliar environment and connect with strangers.


There’s also nothing wrong with travelling for leisure – sometimes you just need a break. If you took time to holiday and see unfamiliar places, there is no shame in that at all. It’s just as likely you had to use exceptional communication, organising and budgeting skills to stay on the road for as long as you did.


Finding ways to connect your experience to practical applications in a business setting can highlight your transferrable skills.

Redundancy

Layoffs and redundancies can affect professionals at any point in their careers. As redundancies were widespread during the COVID-19 pandemic this type of gap will not surprise recruiters or Hiring Managers.


If you have experienced a sudden job loss, be honest about how your employment ended. Focus on what you did to get back on your feet and ready for your next role. This might include online training courses, learning a new coding language or platform, or freelancing for example.

Career Break

The concept of a ‘career break’ has surged in popularity in recent years. Although the term can encompass the other categories included here, such as parental leave or travel, it can be much broader.


Working on a passion project, launching a start-up, or taking time out for hobbies and self-development are a few examples of what a career break could entail – and each of these are as valid as the next.


When it comes to describing this break on your CV, similar principles apply. Include a summary of your activities and the skills you used or developed along the way.

Illness

There are occasions when illness – physical or mental – can disrupt your job for an extended period. Stress and burnout have also caused many lead professionals to step away from regular work to recharge and reassess their priorities.


As AUT research shows, work-related stress has soared for New Zealand workers in recent years.


When referring to a work gap due to illness, keep it brief but be sure to mention you have recovered and are looking forward to returning to work.

Summary

A CV gap is not a guaranteed handicap to your job search. By framing your experience in a positive light (where possible) and emphasising your strengths and professional abilities, you can put your best foot forward in any job application.


Still unsure about how to explain gaps on a resume when applying for a job? For advice tailored to your needs, talking to one of our friendly Technology and Digital recruitment specialists can help. Here at Sourced, we connect technology professionals of all stripes to a wide network of employers in Auckland, Christchurch and beyond. Contact us today to take the next step in your career.


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How to Introduce Hotdesking to Your Organisation

21 Sep 22 by 2131



Are you managing a hybrid workplace? If so, you have likely thought about how to make hybrid arrangements work on a practical level. Most companies have nominated desks for each person in a business but that’s harder to handle with people coming and going all the time.


That’s where hotdesking comes in. Hotdesking is a workplace system allowing employees to use different desks at different times, enabling employers to manage small office spaces where staff numbers fluctuate daily or weekly. It also allows employees to come into the office at short notice.


As workforces become more widely distributed across multiple locations, more tech companies, including Salesforce and Spotify, are reportedly redesigning their office spaces to accommodate them. Whether you have teams located across Auckland, Christchurch or even overseas, hotdesking can solve the problem of how many desks to include on-site.


It does, however, require technical groundwork and planning to get right. Before introducing hotdesking into your organisation, here are the vital factors to consider.

The Technical Elements of Hotdesking

1.      Tech Basics


For maximum mobility around the office, an excellent Wi-Fi connection speed is essential. Ensure all employees have access to Wi-Fi and networking connections at every workspace.


At each workstation, include a full-sized monitor with adequate plugs and adapters employees can use to connect their own devices. (This also applies to meeting rooms.)


2.       Personal Storage


As employees won’t be linked to just one desk, they will need a place to store their personal belongings. Many hotdesking workplaces have a dedicated space in the office for individual lockers that each employee can access with their own passcode.


Ensuring that everyone has a space for their things still gives people a sense of ownership over their own space at work, even without a personal desk.


3.      Office Layout Changes


Think about the changes necessary to make the office space ready for hotdesking. These can include desk layouts, dedicated quiet areas, meeting rooms and common areas. As open-plan offices are already common, you might not need to make many adjustments. 


Consider cultural factors as well – a hotdesking policy can make a workplace more social, so look for ways to maximise the positives. An Envoy survey of hybrid workplaces in various countries showed that impromptu social interactions with colleagues are something that excites employees, including those across New Zealand.


4.      Reservation Tools


Software that allows employees to choose their desks in advance, or book a meeting room, can be vital to making hotdesk arrangements work efficiently. Known as ‘hoteling’ software, these tools consist of web or mobile apps that display available workspaces for a given day or allow employees to check in at their chosen desk using a keypad, QR code or RFID tag.


Not only can your team feel confident that you have everything they need in place before they get there, but they will also be far more efficient in their daily tasks. Reservation tools can make a positive difference to hotdesking; when your team is better prepared for the day, they work smarter!


5.      Hygiene Measures


Desk sharing between multiple employees requires good hygiene measures – especially in a post-pandemic environment. These could include providing personal sanitiser and disinfectant wipes for each workstation, creating a time buffer between desk occupants for cleaning, spacing desks wide apart and setting capacity limits for areas with several workstations.

Initiating a Hotdesking Policy

1.      Understand the Pros and Cons of Different Approaches


There are a couple of approaches that you could take to hotdesking, and we’ve discussed them both already. To recap:

  • Hotdesking can be a ‘first come first served’ system where employees simply turn up with a laptop in the morning, choose any desk and start working. This approach may work best when teams are in the office on a rotation or shift-based schedule.
  • The other approach is ‘hoteling’, where employees can reserve a desk before they come into the office. This method may be more appropriate in workplaces without shift schedules and rotations.


Either approach can be beneficial or detrimental to an organisation – this depends on factors like workplace culture, whether certain roles are client-facing and more. Think about which approach will work best before introducing hotdesking into your organisation and weigh up the pros and cons of each.


2.      Don’t Rush the Implementation


For some employees, hotdesking will be a major transition. Prepare them for the change as much as you can before you go ahead and implement it. Allow managers time to troubleshoot and make any necessary adjustments along the way. If you include your employees in the conversation about hotdesking before you do it, they will feel more prepared.


Hotdesking works best when everyone clearly understands how it works and what is expected of them. Devote time to educating employees on the execution and why the organisation is adopting a hotdesking policy.


3.      Put it in Writing


Before you make hotdesking official, ensure that all relevant rules – such as those covering desk allocation and health and safety – are added to the company’s policies and distributed to employees.


Remember to include employee responsibilities (e.g. keeping a clean workspace) and what the company is responsible for (e.g. ensuring desks and resources are fairly allocated and managing ergonomics).


4.      Be Responsive to Feedback


It is likely that practical issues will arise that managers will have to deal with at the implementation stage and later as well. Gathering feedback from employees will help uncover common problems, smooth out concerns and reduce interruptions.

Summary

With the right amount of planning, hotdesking can make your organisation more flexible and agile. Not only can hotdesking reduce a company’s office rental expenses, but it can also spur more collaboration and creativity among employees. Consider which hotdesking model will suit your teams and remember to seek employee feedback and iron out any issues that arise.


As more technology professionals seek opportunities for hybrid working, hotdesking may be the ideal solution your business can implement to keep employees happy and attract more talent.


Need help with hiring tech talent for your hybrid workplace? At Sourced, we help an array of clients in Auckland, Christchurch and beyond to build their teams. Get in touch with our technology and digital recruitment specialists today.

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How to Prevent Burnout in Tech

8 Nov 22 by 2135


Shifting responsibilities and increased workloads in the post-pandemic world have led to growing concerns about the rise of burnout in tech.  


Hard-working professionals, especially those with perfectionistic and conscientious traits, are at higher risk of developing burnout, a UNSW and Black Dog Institute study found. With the fast-paced nature of many technology and IT jobs, it’s hardly surprising that the passionate and driven types who are drawn to these roles can be most vulnerable.


Research is also indicating employers in New Zealand simply cannot afford to overlook burnout. AUT Business School’s Wellbeing@Work study found the proportion of New Zealand workers with a high burnout risk increased by an alarming 72.5% between April and November 2021.


For employees who work from home, the risk of burnout was 197% higher, suggesting the blurring of work and home life has presented challenges for many professionals.


Recognising the effects of excessive stress and prioritising employee health and wellbeing are the best starting points for tackling tech industry burnout. So, what does burnout look like in the workplace and how should it be addressed?

Signs of Burnout

Workers with burnout report feeling constantly exhausted, anxious and overwhelmed by their jobs. It’s critical to note that burnout is more complex than a state of exhaustion alone. Feeling negative, cynical or detached from work (sometimes referred to as ‘depersonalisation’) is another key symptom, along with being unable to control emotions such as crying or being easily irritable.


Employees experiencing burnout are more distracted, have poor attention to detail, make more errors and are less engaged at work. The risk of burnout increases when people have a large workload, feel under-supported by their managers or colleagues or feel they don’t have the skills or capabilities to do their job.

Tackling Burnout in the Long-Term

Burnout can increase absenteeism, decrease productivity and impact staff retention, so there are sound business reasons for ensuring it doesn’t take hold among your team. Here are a few actionable tips for employers to manage workplace stress before it becomes problematic.


1.      Talk to Employees Privately

Some people feel uncomfortable opening up in a group meeting, so scheduling regular catch-ups with each team member is a better way to uncover any issues they might be having.


Make it clear to employees you’re willing to listen and provide support if they’re facing challenges. Note that burnout can stem from life at home and not just work, so asking open-ended questions can help you avoid making assumptions. 


2.      Provide More Flexibility

Company policies that allow for flexible hours and work locations can play a major role in preventing burnout in tech. While some workplaces have less leeway on flexible work hours, finding ways to be more generous with schedules is usually possible. Ask employees what works for them!


Offering people options to work in-office, remotely or both is another way to keep burnout at bay. They can enjoy the benefits of changing up their work environment, reducing commuting time and better juggling commitments at home and work.  


3.      Build a Supportive Work Culture

Sometimes a crazy workload is unavoidable, but it is wise to pause and reflect when it becomes the norm. If workloads are untenable, that might be a sign to either hire more employees, redistribute tasks, outsource a function or adjust KPIs.


Technology and IT jobs attract a fair amount of hardworking and driven people, which is even more of a reason to encourage employees to say ‘no’ and delegate when needed. Don’t forget to give credit to employees when it’s due – recognising colleagues with thank-you gifts, social events and awards will help them feel recognised.


4.      Promote Self-Care

No strategy to combat tech industry burnout is complete without an actual health and wellbeing focus. You can motivate team members to take regular breaks during the workday and to go on vacations instead of allowing holiday leave to accumulate. Allowing people a ‘mental health day’ now and then also won’t hurt!


Other ways to help employees manage stress can include access to employee assistance programs, counselling, meditation and mindfulness sessions. Consider how technology used in the workplace may contribute to burnout so you can take steps to minimise practices that can cause fatigue. You could do this by instituting a ‘no video calls’ day each week and discouraging employees from sending emails outside of business hours. Reminding people to switch off each day is integral for positive mental health.

Summary

The fact that tech industry burnout is gaining more attention is ultimately a good sign as there is no treatment or prevention without awareness. With some practical approaches and open communication, employers can nurture their teams’ wellbeing without impacting productivity.

Speaking to technology and digital recruitment experts can give you further insight into how burnout is affecting the technology talent market and motivating candidates in their job search.


Are you looking for tech talent to drive your business? At Sourced, we work hard to help employers in Auckland, Christchurch and beyond to find the skilled professionals they need. Contact us today to start hiring.

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How to Use Professional Development to Improve Employee Retention

17 Jun 22 by 2129


With technology and digital recruitment becoming ever more challenging as competition for talent increases, it is wise for employers to try broader strategies for acquiring and building the skills they need in their business.


Setting out to retain good employees is one strategy. When a highly skilled and knowledgeable professional leaves a role or company, it can be especially expensive and time-consuming to replace them. High-value employees are the key jigsaw pieces in effective service delivery, client satisfaction and growing a company’s bottom line.


Current trends indicate employees prefer jobs and companies where they feel supported and encouraged to grow personally and professionally. For employees in Australia and New Zealand, access to ongoing training has grown the most in importance by 16.7% since 2020, LinkedIn research shows, while 59% of workers globally rate professional development opportunities as a top area for investment to improve company culture.


By improving employee retention, employers can reap several major benefits - higher engagement and morale, increased productivity and attractive company culture, to name a few examples.


Offering professional development plans is a clear signal that a company invests in its workforce – which in turn is going to motivate your employees to stay. So, how do you ensure that your company can retain its best workers for as long as possible?

Align Development with Business Goals

There is no one-size-fits-all framework for professional development strategies. As there are so many ways to approach this it is sensible to start by outlining the company’s current priorities and how these policies can help meet them. Aligning development initiatives with company goals ensures time and money are well spent and relevant to business activity. It will also make employees feel motivated to remain with your business for longer.


Start with an appraisal of your organisation’s strategic goals and challenges and then decide which of the development initiatives you adopt will help your employees to achieve. Using clear and measurable targets for each employee will help keep everyone motivated and accountable.


These strategies can also help employers identify internal candidates for promotion. As competition for tech talent in Auckland, Christchurch and other regions remains high, organisations may find it easier to fill positions internally if they have committed to their employees’ learning and development.

Create Tailored Development Plans

Professional development plans are personalised, so arranging one-on-one sessions with employees is critical to the process. Everyone has unique ambitions and weaknesses they would like to address.


Ask employees what they enjoy most in their current role and what they’re having issues with. What are their career goals? Perhaps they have identified skills they want to build by training or getting involved in a new area of the business?


Make notes of these discussions so you can map out development plans for each employee. Setting time-bound goals can help everyone track progress and keep employees motivated to continue their development. When you tailor your development plans with your employees and their goals, you are showing people that their professional goals are important to you as an employer – and that’s key to retention.

Foster a Culture of Learning

In the technology and digital industries, most professionals are naturally motivated to keep learning new things. You can also cultivate a workplace environment that encourages employees to adopt a continuous learning mindset.


Approaches employers can use include:

  • Making learning a key priority from day one for each employee, by giving access to training courses and learning-related activities
  • Allocating time for regular education and development activities 
  • Creating a library of resources that new and experienced employees can access  
  • Encouraging subject matter experts to create and contribute to learning resources.


A strong learning culture makes a company a more engaging place to work, which can have positive long-term effects on retention. Global data gathered by LinkedIn and Glint shows employees rate opportunities to learn and grow as the top factor that defines an exceptional work environment.


Further, employees with a positive view of their company culture are 31% more likely to recommend working at their organisation.

Summary

Many tech professionals are motivated by continuous learning and are more willing to stay with a company if they can keep building on their strengths and developing new skills. Promoting a learning culture is not just useful for improving employee retention, it can also make your business a more attractive place to work in a competitive talent market.


At Sourced, our broad network of talent and clients in Auckland, Christchurch and beyond enables us to collect the most up-to-date insights on hiring and candidate trends. If you’re ready to make your next great tech hire, get in touch with our technology and digital recruitment specialists today.

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On a Probation Period for your New Tech Job? What you Need to Know

17 Oct 22 by 2132


If you've just begun a new tech job, you’ve likely been put on a probation period. Starting a new role can be nerve-wracking in the first place, but knowing you’re in one can make things even more stressful. The good news is that with a little more insight into what it’s all for, you’ll see that there’s no need to be concerned.


Probation periods are set out by employers to determine whether or not there is a good fit between parties. For most people, it’s an extension of the application process and passing the probationary period means that you have been successful in securing the position long-term. During this time, your employment can be terminated at shorter notice than usual, but that works both ways for you and the employer.


If you’re wondering what it means to be on a probationary period, what your rights are, or if you have any other concerns, we’ve put together a list of questions that are most commonly asked when it comes to probation periods, along with the answers you’re looking for.

Common Questions About Probation Periods

How Long Will Probation Last?

Probation periods can last any time, though typically range from 3-6 months. The length of the period must always be stated in the contract that you signed when you were offered the role.


The length of time you’re on a probation period can also depend on your contract type. As a permanent employee, it’s usually as above – three to six months – but if you are on a temporary contract it can be as little as a week. Some employers also may choose to extend a probationary period; but not without you agreeing to it, first.


If there is a possibility that it may be extended it’ll be written in your employment agreement and before any extension is confirmed, you have to be consulted.

What are my Rights as a Probationary Employee?

If you’re on probation, you are entitled to the same rights and benefits as any other employee under New Zealand employment law. Probationary employees may file a personal grievance claim if they feel they are being treated unfairly.


As you will receive the same pay and leave entitlements as non-probationary employees, unfair dismissal laws still apply. Employers must treat probationary employees the same as any other employee, and cannot make threats to their continued employment based on their probationary status.

Is it the Same as a Trial Period?

Probationary periods and trial periods are similar, and employers use them for similar reasons, but there are slight differences in how they work.


Trial periods may only be used by an employer with 19 or fewer employees and for no longer than 90 days. Trial periods may only be applied to new employees, and not employees who are already employed by a company.


Unlike a probationary period, an employee on a trial period can’t bring a personal grievance claim for unfair dismissal if their employment is terminated. If you see ‘trial period’ instead of ‘probationary period,’ clarify it with your employer before you sign anything.

What are Some Reasons for a Dismissal During Probation?

Probationary employees are protected under unfair dismissal laws just like any other, and so your employer must provide valid reasons for choosing to terminate your employment. Employers must base their decision based on reasons such as:

  • Poor performance
  • Misconduct
  • Redundancy – the role is no longer necessary.


You are entitled to submit an unfair dismissal claim if you believe that:

  • Your performance assessment process was unfair
  • Your employer didn’t have a good reason for dismissing you
  • You did not receive the right support or training you needed to perform your role

What Happens at the End of my Probation Period?

Depending on how your probation period has gone, your employment may continue, or you may be dismissed.

  • If you pass your probation
    Your employment will continue as it was, as per your terms and conditions. The only difference is that your probation period is over. You might have an adjustment to how much notice you can give if you choose to resign from your position later, too.
  • If you don’t pass your probation
    If your employer intends to terminate your employment, they must give you a warning that they intend to do this. They must give you a chance to respond, and consider your response. If they still wish to proceed with termination, they must give you the amount of notice as stipulated in the employment agreement.

Summary

Finding a probationary period in your employment contract may feel daunting, so it’s important to remember that employees are still protected under unfair dismissal laws and that employers must give the right feedback and support throughout the period for the termination to be valid. It is also the case that the probation goes both ways, and you may also leave on shorter notice if you sense that the job isn’t right for you.


If you want to know more about the ins and of probation periods for tech jobs, what your rights are, or if you have any questions that aren’t covered here, make sure you reach out to our friendly team. As leaders in technology and digital recruitment in Auckland and Christchurch, we can offer expert advice on anything you need to feel at ease in your new tech job.

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Sourced Quarterly Market Update – Spring 2022

1 Jan 22 by 2133

Spring update for the IT recruitment market


Welcome to our end-of-Q3 update and a review of how 2022 has been shaping up. We hope you're enjoying spring as the days get longer and sun spends more time out and about, and we look forward to giving you a peek into what's happening out there in the world of tech recruitment.

General Comments

State of the Market


As you all know, this year started with a bang. We saw an unprecedented level of movement in the local market, with candidates coming out of a 2-year COVID hiatus to make the most of an increasing number of new roles available.


This, in turn, created more opportunities and saw salaries lift, from moderately to significantly in particular areas of demand. This was certainly in the context of salaries having been flat for at least the past 3 years. However, this still caused a lot of disruption and rightsizing for employers doing their best to hang on to their best talent.


With a significant number of candidates changing jobs in the six months between October 2021 and March 2022, we are now very much on the tail end of attrition and we expect staff turnover to be very low for at the next 6 months to a year. However, demand from employers remains.


Project work has continued to shape up and kick off, driving ongoing buoyancy in both the contracting and permanent job markets and the challenge now becomes looking at alternative/offshore talent pools to ensure the tech market can continue to grow.


Employers are continuing to recruitIt's been a really interesting watch. While there was a very brief sense of a softening of the manic six months mentioned above, we are again ramping up. Employers are continuing to recruit at pace, it's just timeframes that are beginning to push out and resources remain scarce. 



International Candidates


We are watching with interest the opening of the Accredited Employer Scheme and new visas becoming available to highly skilled tech talent. We have had good recent success with appointing offshore candidates new to New Zealand, too. While we are seeing some reluctance from employers to utilise international talent pools, taking a 'wait and see' approach as this scheme beds in, more and more are becoming realistic that this may well be their quickest route to filling high-skill roles.


We are seeing a significant upswing in candidates relocating to New Zealand, many now taking the plunge with visitor visas and short-term work visas such as working holiday visa as a foot in the door before applying for longer term work visas and residency.


We have also observed very few relocating into the Canterbury region from within NZ, which previously had offered a great channel of talent into the city. While there is a small trickle, we can now see more and more offshore candidates coming through and they are certainly remaining a focus.


Succeeding in the Current Market


Many of our clients have had to really adjust the way they hire, moving to more flexible remote working arrangements to secure talent. There are a significant number of candidates who will no longer accept roles that are 100% office based, and the market has had to respond accordingly for the best.


Most have now also engaged a recruitment agency partner to ensure they are first to new talent coming to market and that their brands are presented as favourably as possible. Online advertising is yielding little result in general when looking at candidates applying for specific roles at specific times, but remains a vital tool from an agency perspective, banking these candidates for more suitable roles in the future.


So, where is the market heading? Are we back to a state of Pre-COVID normal? Yes and no. The heat is off slightly, and while clients continue to grow we hope to see more international candidates coming into the market to help grow and develop the local talent pool and offer a great solution to an age-old problem of talent scarcity in the local tech market.




Hot Jobs

Junior role


Junior

Service Desk Engineer


Manux Solutions are looking for a Level 1 – 2 Service Desk Engineer interested in getting hands on with a range of user technologies. This is a great development role for a future Systems Engineer and offers a supportive, positive work environment. This is a permanent position, $65k+. 



Intermediate role


Intermediate 

Test Engineer


This is an outstanding opportunity to join a global leader in the development of control systems. To be considered candidates will require proficiency with python scripting, a background in embedded systems and an appetite for working with control, navigation, autonomous and hybrid/electric systems. Salary $85k+. 



Senior role


Senior 

Senior React Software Engineer


Contract and permanent opportunities available for Senior Software Engineers to join an established company bringing a new safety critical product to market. Technical skills required include React, NodeJs and MongoDB. Salary $100 – 120k or up to $100ph for contracting.





Within Sourced Walls 

It's been a really busy last 3 months, with demands coming from all sides for contract and permanent staff. The team has remained stable and engaged, although certainly in need of a quick breather.


To celebrate what has been an unprecedented year, we are heading off to Queenstown for a team building day in early November – what better place to stop in for ice cream!


With the COVID traffic light system now being dropped it has been great to invite visitors back into the office and be able to visit more and more of our clients. This makes such a difference when recruiting, and we're certainly appreciating getting back to normal in this sense.

Who's in Demand?

Demand is high right across the spectrum


Demand is high right across the spectrum, with roles in the Infrastructure and Service Desk spaces remaining busy, which was also a key theme of Q2. Contracting roles have been very quiet with the majority of recruitment across the board being for permanent employees.



Development, Test and Professional Services (BA) opportunities have continued to grow, with again the majority being newly created positions. As we mentioned in our last report, we feel like we are doing less and less turnover recruitment now with the bulk being new positions. While there was a very brief September slowdown, things have kicked off again at pace and we expect to see this right through into the new year.


In the Professional Services space, demand remains strong for permanent BAs, who have enjoyed significant salary increases this year of up to $25k. We have seen a slight run-on Project Management and Change Management roles, however, only on a short-term contract basis. While Change roles have continued to grow across the year, they have only been in a small number of places and are certainly still a fledgling practice. In the Test space, intermediate Manual Testers are now the most in-demand, with a real slowdown in Test Strategy and Automation work.


Within Development, demand remains very steady in the .Net space and also for JavaScript/PHP/Python skills, predominantly permanent. This has been the case for most of this year.


In the contracting space, it has largely been made up of the usual BA roles, mixed with a range of Helpdesk, Project Management, and Systems Engineering.

General Round-Up

To date in 2022, we have seen permanent recruitment activity and staff turnover at an all-time high. Multi-offer scenarios have been the norm, but this is softening. Negotiation around pay and work conditions has been in favour of the candidate, and this has really driven candidate activity.


For the first time since 2019, candidates have moved around in significant numbers but with a majority of that now complete, how do we continue to grow as a tech community? This will be the one to watch.

In Case You Missed It

To date in 2022, we have seen permanent recruitment activity and staff turnover at an all-time high. Multi-offer scenarios have been the norm but this is softening. This is very much what we saw in Q2. Candidates appear to have done the majority of their moving for the year, and we are now.


Employers are continuing to recruit at pace, but resources remain scarce.

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Building a Successful Cyber Security Career

25 May 21 by 2128


As our lives become more intertwined with digital systems, more businesses are on the hunt for cyber security talent to help protect and defend their networks and resources -- and they're willing to pay a premium to get the talent they need.


About 60% of organisations struggle to recruit cyber security talent, while 76% of company boards now recommend increases in cyber security hiring, according to Fortinet's recent global report on cyber security skill gaps. 


As cyber security is one of the most strategically important areas in IT, the long-term outlook for job growth is widely reported as positive, which will continue to create plenty of opportunities for people looking to work in this field.


If you already have IT experience and are looking for cyber security jobs, there are numerous domains where knowledge of coding, network administration and cloud architectures is highly sought after by employers.


Are you interested in discovering how to get into cyber security as a career? Below we share some of the key specialisations in the space, the core skills cyber professionals need and the qualifications that can lead you towards cyber security career success.


Specialisations in Cyber Security


Cyber security is as diverse as it gets in IT, with a broad range of entry points and technical specialities to choose from. Here are some of the options to consider when determining the career pathway that’s right for you.


Penetration Testing


Penetration Testers specialise in finding exploits to break into networks, databases and even physical premises, and reporting on the flaws they find. They're either employed in cyber teams as part of an IT department, or in security consultancies working for various clients.


Often referred to as 'pen testing', in the past many professionals in this discipline have self-taught and honed their skills from a young age, but employers increasingly look for formal IT qualifications. Average penetration tester salaries are NZ$116k.


Incident Response and Threat Analysis


Incident Response Analysts are, as their name suggests, the first responders when a cyber incident first occurs. They are responsible for investigating, analysing and initiating an organisation's response to an incident and working to limit the damage. Proactively identifying threats and attacks is a major part of the role, as prevention is more cost-effective than reacting to issues as they arise.

The average salary for an experienced analyst is NZ$129k.


Application Development Security


This work involves looking for vulnerabilities in the design and coding of software applications and websites. IT professionals with a background in software development or software engineering are a natural fit for application-focused cyber roles. Salaries for Security Engineers fetch an average of NZ$130k.


Network and Cloud Security


Network security relies on the proactive detection of weaknesses and neutralising incoming threats to network architecture, including connected applications, servers and hosts. Other branches of this work include endpoint security and identity and access management (IAM), which involve designing or managing systems with in-built control of who or what can access a network. As more people work remotely across a wider array of devices, managing endpoint security will become more of a concern for businesses large and small. The salary average for a Network or Cloud Security Engineer is NZ$119k.


Information / Data Security Management


Information security – sometimes referred to as 'infosec' – involves designing and overseeing company-level policies and practices that keep an organisation's data secure. Key roles in this domain include Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), which has an average salary of NZ$194,846 and Information Assurance Manager, which pays an average salary of NZ$130k.

Key Skills for Cyber Security Professionals

Soft skills


While most cyber roles require some level of technical knowledge, soft skills are also critical for success and become more important in senior roles.


A high level of curiosity and analytical thinking are essential for understanding the latest developments in tech, anticipating threats, and spotting new weaknesses. Employers will look for evidence of 'outside the box' thinking and that you're able to consider an issue from multiple angles.


Communication, collaboration and leadership skills are also important, as cyber security is always a group effort within an organisation. Many cyber professionals must be able to interact with end-users across the business, including the C-level, and explain complex technical issues in ways that laypeople can understand.


Technical skills


Knowledge of specific coding languages and technical frameworks remains integral to many cyber security professions. Examples of technical skills include network protocols, scripting (Python, PowerShell) and programming languages (Java, C++), DevOps, intrusion detection software (SIEM, IDS and IPS products), forensic software, SQL and database management, as well as all major operating systems. While it isn’t necessary to possess all these skills concurrently, some key cyber roles might require a combination of them.


Cyber Security Training and Credentials


Many cyber professionals do not have formal qualifications and some entry-level roles do not require a degree. However, a background in IT is still sought after by employers for most cyber security roles.


A vast range of certificate and boot camp courses have also proliferated in recent years, allowing people with existing IT skills to obtain more cyber-specific training.


Examples of industry certifications include CompTIA Security+ (information security), and CompTIA Network+ (wired and wireless networks).


If you're after a role in pen testing, examples of widely recognised certifications include EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), Mile2 Certified Penetration Testing Engineer and Digital Forensics, or a SANS certification.

 

Moving higher up the ladder, certifications for senior cyber security professionals include the GIAC Security Leadership Certification (GSLC) and the CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CSAP) Exam. Other examples of 'elite' cyber security credentials are the GIAC Security Expert (GSE) or the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) program.


If you’re looking to break into this space, you may find it useful to speak to an industry peer, a mentor or your recruiter to help you determine which certifications are right for you. 

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Counter-Offers: What You Need to Know

14 Mar 22 by 34


The technology job market as it stands is ripe for counter-offers, as employers compete to secure and retain the best IT workers available. These offers can be tempting for some employees, but for others, this can be seen as too little too late when they’ve felt undervalued in the years beforehand.


For employers, counter-offers can be a last-ditch attempt to keep a quality team member or a way to avoid having to go through a new recruitment process from scratch.


So, what do we need to know about counter-offers? Are they a bandaid solution or a valuable retention tool that every tech manager needs in their arsenal?

Advice for Candidates

Although counter-offers can seem flattering and play up to your ego, it is important to not allow this feeling to steer your decision. In nearly every situation, a counter-offer is a short-term, knee-jerk response to an unexpected event – you submitting your notice. 


This is because employers are often oblivious to the fact that you aren’t happy in your current role, and it takes an event such as this for them to realise something isn't right. It is then both logical and economical to attempt to retain existing talent, rather than go through the costly and time-consuming exercise of finding a replacement.


Your employer is clearly using their head (and their wallet) when making this decision, so you should do the same. Many employees have already checked out long before receiving their offer, so wouldn’t even entertain the idea of staying with their current organisation.


However, sometimes job changes are simply a way to gain access to more money, different experience or a step up the corporate ladder. If that’s the case, and you generally enjoy your job and the company you work for, try to evaluate the offer objectively and without emotion.


You can write out a simple pros and cons list for both offers, taking into account the components of the job that are most important to you. These days, it’s not just about who has the best salary on offer but also who aligns to your personal values both in terms of the company’s purpose and how they treat their employees. Do they value flexible working conditions? Are there solid policies around diversity and inclusion, CSR and mental health? Do you see yourself being developed and trained to reach your career goals?


If your reason for seeking a change was a fundamental problem with your employer, then it is likely that the counter-offer will simply paper over the cracks. Taking an offer like this will invariably result in you being one of the often-referenced 80% of employees who leave their role within six months of accepting a counter-offer.


It’s also worth noting that accepting a counter-offer can put you in an awkward situation with the employer that has offered you a new job. In some tight-knit industries, this can negatively affect your personal brand and potentially impact your future chances of securing a role.

Advice for Employers

As an employer, when you’re chasing a candidate and they’ve accepted your offer in principle, at some point they will have to hand their notice in to their current employer. If they are valuable employees (and they should be if you’re trying to hire them!), their employers will likely counter-offer.


There is no way to prevent a company from presenting a counter-offer, but you can prepare the candidate for it. For example, here at Sourced, we make sure that all of our candidates are aware a counter-offer could be made, and give advice on how best to deal with it during their first interview with us.


Sometimes a counter-offer is simply too good to turn down, or it genuinely addresses the candidate's key reasons for leaving. In these situations there is not much that can be done, so providing you have put your best offer forward in the first instance, it’s best to move on.


If you’re in the unfortunate situation of having one of your employees hand their notice in, it can often feel like you have very little time to react. This is largely true as the employee will expect you to accept their resignation almost instantly. If you would like to retain them, simply ask for 24 hours to come back to them with a response. There is no need to mention a counter-offer – simply ask for the time so that you can carefully evaluate your options.


Many accepted counter-offers only prolong the employee's decision to leave, so ensure you are clear on whether a counter-offer is to avoid short-term pain or if you truly would like the employee to remain with your business. The worst case scenario is to retain talent only to have them become increasingly demotivated with the situation.


It pays to also look on the positive side of an employee leaving. Though it may result in additional costs and stress, it provides the opportunity to bring fresh, new, motivated talent into your business. It also gives you the chance to conduct an exit interview, which you can use to gain some valuable insights into how your business could be improved to retain other talented employees.

Summary

There is very little fact-based data around this particular subject area. We believe this is because each and every situation has a different set of variables. In short, our advice is:

  • Employees – receiving a counter-offer is a highly probable scenario, so be ready to handle it when it occurs and go with whichever opportunity truly appeals to both your head and your heart.
  • Employers –  review both the long and short term benefits and also be prepared to acknowledge that every now and then, an offered candidate will change their mind. It's human nature!


Here at Sourced we’re committed to getting the best solution for our candidates and clients. We have considerable experience negotiating offers and counter-offers within the tech recruitment space right across New Zealand.


If you find yourself faced with a counter-offer scenario and would like some independent advice feel free to get in touch.


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How to Create a Job Offer that Gets a “Yes”

4 Jun 21 by 1110

How to Create a Job Offer that Gets a “Yes”


Competition for top talent has always been high, but right now, it appears to have hit a fever pitch with a limited supply of quality technology candidates. In times like these – when the cream of the digital crop have multiple job offers – how do you ensure yours stands out from the crowd?


The answer lies in carefully personalising your job offer, alongside tweaking your recruitment process to enable you to move quickly. Here’s how.

Fine Tune Your Recruitment Process

When it comes to snapping up the best in a highly competitive market, your enemy is a slow hiring process, as it gives that exemplary candidate too much time to accept another opportunity. To negate this, consider the following:


1. Remove any impediments to decision making

Before advertising for the role, set the salary and secure any internal approvals. You might like to also add some buffer into your budget in case you find an outstanding candidate that seeks a little more than your asking price, or consider what else you can offer that might induce them to accept.


2. Set up a solid and streamlined recruitment process

Think about your timeline for interviews, follow-ups, and the offer stage, keeping them as tight as possible to maintain the hiring momentum. Ensure everyone involved is on the same page in understanding the role’s requirements and hiring criteria.

You could draw on the expertise of specialist recruiters here, particularly as they already have best practice recruitment processes in place, vast interview experience, and key insights into the Technology & Digital industry (not to mention a host of available and passive candidates).


3. Perfect your post-interview follow-up

One of the most common recruitment mistakes our clients make is to end an interview on vague terms, failing to let the interviewee know just how interested you are and not informing them of the next steps. This leaves the door open for that great applicant to move on with their job search, and perhaps accept another hot opportunity before you get back to them.

This is why communication is key, including providing quality feedback to those top candidates directly after the interview (or even better, ask your recruiter to relay it). Let them know your timeframe for getting back to them, and connect when you say you will.


4. Be decisive

A slow job offer process risks losing your first-choice candidate to a competitor, so aim to decide as quickly as you can and make the offer promptly. To speed things up further, you could make a verbal  offer that is conditional on satisfactory reference checks.

Personalise the Package

The best candidates know they’re in high demand, and naturally, look for things to differentiate between companies. While it’s imperative to benchmark the salary against the industry standard, what you offer by way of additional compensation could be the thing that sets you apart and gets them to say ‘yes’.


The key lies in customising your offer to the candidate. Interviews are an ideal opportunity to uncover which benefits are most important to them. When fine-tuning your job offer, circle back to the interview and select the most relevant components for that applicant if it’s possible to do so. It not only demonstrates you’ve heard them during the interview stage, but that you value their talent by being willing to tweak their package to meet their wishes.


There are many options when it comes to compensation. For instance:

  • Financial – bonuses or stock options
  • Professional development – learning additional coding languages, working with new technologies or developing leadership capabilities
  • Extra holiday entitlements
  • Flexible working conditions


As the total compensation package is such a crucial area, you may benefit from connecting with a Technology & Digital recruitment specialist, such as the team here at Sourced. We can provide advice around salary, additional benefits, as well as extra insights into what top candidates are really looking for.

Deliver the Offer Quickly and Persuasively

While the package components are important, so is your timing and delivery. Moving quickly is vital, so once you’ve made your decision, you can make a verbal offer over the phone and then follow up with the contract via email.


Here are a few tips on how to make a job offer by phone:


  1. Explain why you chose them and why you feel they’ll add value to your team.
  2. Detail the compensation package, honing in on the personalised aspects, and include the start date.
  3. Ask for their feedback and discuss an acceptance deadline (usually three to five days).
  4. Advise the contract will follow via email.

Following this, perform any necessary pre-employment and reference checks, and then send out an email with the contract for electronic signing. It should contain their official job title and description, their formal start date (and end date if it’s a contract role), any conditions or actions they need to take prior to starting and a deadline for their response.


Once you have the signed contract back, you can breathe a big sigh of relief. But in the meantime, you could always line up your second choice and get their offer ready, just in case your first candidate declines.


It’s worth noting that working with a recruiter can take a lot of the hassle and stress out of the job offer process, particularly when it comes to managing salary negotiations and making verbal and email offers. 

Need Extra Help?

Here at Sourced, we can help you unearth the best IT candidates, whether you’re based in Christchurch or Auckland. With over a decade working as specialists in Technology & Digital recruitment, we’d love to help you find your best fit and show you how to make a job offer so attractive that your top candidate simply can’t refuse.

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How to Deal with Being Headhunted for a Job

12 Jul 21 by 2110

How to Deal with Being Headhunted for a Job


With the demand for skilled IT talent significantly outstripping supply, headhunting is becoming increasingly common as companies struggle to meet their resourcing needs. So what do you do when a recruiter comes to you about a position, rather than the other way around?


Being approached for a job can be exciting, but it’s important to handle the situation carefully and be discerning when deciding whether to pursue the opportunity. Here’s our top advice for how to navigate being scouted for a role.

Keep it Professional

When being headhunted for a job, there’s a good chance you will be contacted during office hours. If you are approached while at your current workplace and the position seems like it may be suited to your skills and career path, resist the temptation to respond right away – instead, let the recruiter know that you are interested but would like to organise a time to talk that is more appropriate. They will respect your professionalism and understand the need to be discreet.


Similarly, it’s important not to discuss that you are being headhunted with your colleagues and employer. Remember that being approached by a headhunter is not a job offer but merely the early stages of the recruitment process, and there are no guarantees. The last thing you want is to alienate your colleagues unnecessarily.

Research Thoroughly

When you have the initial conversation with the recruiter, try to find out as much information as possible about the role, including the responsibilities, benefits, opportunities for advancement, and company culture. If the job sounds like it might be of interest to you, ensure you convey that to the recruiter so they know where you stand, and ask about what you can expect in the next steps of the recruitment process.


As with any job you are interested in, conducting your own research into the specifics of the company and the role is integral to understanding whether it is suitable for you. Looking at the company website and their social media accounts, such as LinkedIn, is a great way to get a clearer picture of their values and culture. Also, consider speaking to any connections you may have with the company in your network and ask about their experiences, both positive and negative.


Some questions to consider when determining if a role might be a good fit include:


  • How does it compare to your current job in terms of roles and responsibilities?
  • What salary and benefits are on offer? Consider the entire package, not just the financial aspects.
  • Do they offer professional development and training opportunities?
  • Do they offer flexible working arrangements, such as the option to work remotely?
  • What are the company culture and reputation like? Consider looking at websites such as Glassdoor to learn more about current and former employees’ experiences with the company.

Take Your Time and Weigh Up if It’s Right for You

While being headhunted for a job is no doubt flattering, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is right for you. Ideally, when making a career move, you want to be moving for advantages such as better work prospects, new experience, increased salary, and benefits. Everyone is different, but you should make sure you know what’s most important to you.


Take the time to think about your long-term career goals, financial position, and what working arrangements suit you best. Then, carefully weigh up the pros and cons of the job offer and compare them to your current position. Remember, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, so try to be as pragmatic as you can when assessing your options.


Additionally, it can be helpful to discuss the opportunity with a trusted family member, friend, or mentor to get a second opinion.

Handle Your Response Carefully

Whether your answer is yes or no, it is also important to respond to the recruiter in a courteous and timely manner.


If you decide to accept the role, ensure that you have signed a contract before giving notice to your current employer. Try to arrange to start your new role in line with your current employer’s notice period and end the professional relationship on a positive note.


If you decide to decline the job offer, keep it positive and briefly explain the reasons why the role is not suitable for you – for example, the location isn’t convenient, or the timing isn’t right. If you feel the job simply doesn’t suit you as well as your current one, it’s a good idea to explain to the headhunter why you feel that way so they know what sort of opportunities to offer you in the future (e.g. “I enjoy the flexibility I have in my current role” or “This role doesn’t provide the same prospects for advancement as my current one”).


Don’t forget to thank them for the opportunity and offer to stay in touch. A polite and professional response will make it more likely that the recruiter will keep you in mind for future jobs that may be of interest to you.

Summary

Knowing how to handle being headhunted can be tricky, but by following the above advice, you can ensure you make the right career move at the right time – without burning any professional bridges.


Are you looking for your next opportunity? At Sourced, we are a Technology & Digital recruitment agency specialising in permanent and contract roles throughout Auckland and Christchurch. Contact our experienced team today to learn more.

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How to Hire People with Resilience

4 Sep 20 by 1099

How to Hire People with Resilience


The business landscape is shifting. Economic pressures are growing, technology is evolving, organisations are faced with new demands and employees are experiencing more challenging situations than ever before. As the working environment becomes increasingly complex, many employers are realising that resilient employees are the key to business sustainability and success, and consequently this trait is becoming a key focus in the IT recruitment process. But why exactly is resilience so vital in today’s world of work, and how do you hire people with resilience for your Tech team?

The Benefits of Resilient Employees

The Benefits of Resilient Employees

Resilient individuals are better at managing difficult circumstances and are less likely to be intimidated by challenges – qualities that are highly valuable not just in business, but in life. Far from being a “nice to have” personality trait, employees’ resilience can have a measurable impact on many areas of an organisation. According to a study by meQuilibrium, resilient employees are 46% less stressed than those with low resilience, have significantly lower levels of burnout, lower absenteeism and are half as likely to resign for their jobs in the immediate future.


In addition to these more quantifiable benefits, resilient employees are also more likely to:

  • Be motivated and engaged in their work
  • Come up with creative solutions to problems
  • Embrace risk and focus on action
  • Bounce back quickly from failure
  • Take responsibility rather than pass blame
  • Maintain a positive attitude in the face of challenges

Steps to Recruit Resilient Employees

While resilience is clearly beneficial within an organisation, it can be hard to pin down, and some roles (i.e. senior management and leadership roles) require more resilience than others. However, focusing on this quality within key stages of the hiring process (and beyond) will allow you to identify the right people.


The following steps will help you determine how to recruit resilient employees that will carry your organisation through every challenge and hurdle.  


                 How to Hire Resilient Employees


1. Understand how to identify resilience in a CV

While the CV is usually the first point of contact when screening a candidate, on its own it isn’t particularly useful for assessing resilience, so it’s important to keep the resume in perspective and not place too much emphasis on it as far as resilience is concerned.


That being said, there are some aspects of a candidate’s CV that can provide an indication of their resilience levels. For example, a candidate who has had a long tenure at an organisation and been promoted several times is likely to have been resilient to any issues within that business, as opposed to a candidate who has job hopped frequently when challenges arise. Obviously, this is an assumption and only tells part of the story, so it always pays to investigate factors such as tenure further in the interview.   


2. Ask interview questions to assess resilience in candidates

One of the most effective ways to assess resilience in a job interview is to ask the candidate to describe past scenarios in which they have demonstrated this trait. The key is to focus not on outcomes, but on the way the candidate handled the experience. Ask questions that will help uncover their response to a difficult situation and what they learned from it.


                 Ask interview questions to assess resilience in candidates


While past resilience can’t guarantee how someone will respond to challenges in the future, the way the candidate responds to these questions will give you an idea of their propensities. You can also learn more about a candidate’s resilience at the reference check stage by asking the referees to explain how the individual has handled difficulties previously.


3. Build a resilient IT team

While hiring resilient employees is an important first step, to truly benefit from a resilient team, you need to continuously develop this trait in team members as well as create an environment that promotes it. Challenges will always be present in the workplace, so rather than trying to eliminate these pressures, focus on empowering people to cope with them by building a structure in which resilience is a core value and a goal to constantly strive for.


Effective ways to foster resilience within your team include:

  • Providing ongoing support and training to help people deal with challenging situations (e.g. mentorship, peer support, wellness programs or formal resilience training)
  • Enabling employees to take accountability for their work and have a measurable impact on outcomes
  • Modelling a healthy attitude towards failure, presenting it as an opportunity for growth
  • Recognising examples of resilience that are demonstrated by employees
  • Establishing an open, supportive culture that encourages team members to collectively discuss challenges and share potential solutions


Keep in mind that while you can create the right environment and teach people skills and techniques, true resilience usually only comes when it is put into practice. When challenges arise, be ready to reinforce the foundations that are already in place and provide ongoing support to team members as they learn to navigate the situation.

Start Hiring Resilient Tech Professionals Today

While resilience can be a difficult skill to identify and promote, it is well worth the effort to do so. Hiring people with this quality and empowering employees to continue building their resilience will ultimately result in a more present, engaged and effective team, better enabling the organisation to innovate and withstand the challenges that come its way.


To find out how we can help you hire skilled and resilient Tech talent for your business in Auckland or Christchurch, get in touch with our team of IT recruitment specialists today.

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LinkedIn vs CV: Three Key Differences You Should Know About

27 Sep 21 by 2112

LinkedIn vs CV: Three Key Differences You Should Know About
Is your LinkedIn profile a perfect copy of your current CV in digital form? If so, you could be missing out on some of the advantages this platform can bring to your Technology career. Although both your CV and LinkedIn are useful tools for your IT job search, they should be executed in very different ways. Understanding the differences between your CV and LinkedIn profile can help optimise your online presence to showcase your tech prowess most effectively to your network, as well as to potential employers and IT recruitment specialists.


Here are three key aspects to consider when looking at your CV vs LinkedIn profile.

1. The Main Function is Different

The essential differences between your CV and LinkedIn profile are most apparent in their unique purposes. Fundamentally, CVs are for job hunting and serve to match your experience and skills with the requirements of a specific IT job.


On the other hand, a LinkedIn profile functions as a tool for professional networking, helping to drive valuable connections with others in your industry. It allows you to cultivate your network, receive recommendations from peers and build an online presence and personal brand by writing blog posts or interacting in comments (amongst other activities). LinkedIn is also useful for staying current with industry news, tech trends and developments in IT. In addition, it can be more informal than a CV, with many professionals choosing to write in first person on LinkedIn – it is a social media platform after all!

2. It Serves as an Overview of Your Career

When applying for an IT job, your CV needs to be tailored to the specific requirements listed in the job ad. The information is limited to the role that is being sought, resulting in many versions of the same document. LinkedIn, however, should offer a broader perspective, providing an overview of your qualifications, career history, skills, accomplishments and industry affiliations. Whilst you may have multiple editions of your CV, there should only be one LinkedIn profile that demonstrates the best parts of your career.


Another LinkedIn profile tip to consider is that you can go into more detail on LinkedIn than on a CV. As previously mentioned, an IT CV typically includes just the highlights and key info specific to a role, such as relevant technical skills and the details of similar IT projects undertaken in the past. In contrast, LinkedIn is a great avenue to elaborate on information that would otherwise be inappropriate for a CV. This could include other significant IT projects, extra achievements, a full record of technical competencies, the details of professional development, IT events attended and more.

3. It Should Be Continuously Developing

Although it’s important to keep your CV up to date and ready for your next IT job search, each time you submit it in a job application, that particular version is final, whereas LinkedIn should be constantly evolving. That’s the beauty of having an online brand – you can remain current and build a positive reputation in the IT industry over time.


To really take advantage of this online platform, regularly update it with new training, achievements and any added responsibilities. You can also publish blogs posts, create links to current IT projects and highlight technical skills gained. This allows your network to follow changes in your career as they happen and helps unlock new opportunities which you might not have been suitable for previously. Ultimately, LinkedIn should be viewed as an ever-evolving and growing career management tool.

Summary

Understandably, many people aren’t fully aware of the differences between a CV and LinkedIn profile, as they both showcase professional accomplishments. But by using our LinkedIn profile tips and taking the time to establish your online presence, you will be able to use the platform to its full potential and leverage the benefits of its network for your career. In the end, this could open the door to the IT job of your dreams and pave the way to the IT career you’ve always wanted.


For more CV tips, advice on job applications or support with your next IT job search, talk to the team at Sourced today.

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Should You Hire an Overqualified Candidate?

28 Oct 20 by 1101

Should You Hire an Overqualified Candidate?


In the current economy, we are seeing more people apply for roles that appear to be below their skills and experience level due to finding themselves out of work, returning to New Zealand from overseas, or as a result of changes in certain industries. Employers have traditionally hesitated to recruit overqualified candidates for fear that they will demand too high a salary, get bored quickly or jump ship as soon as a more attractive opportunity comes about.  


While these risks do apply in some instances, there are also many advantages to hiring these highly experienced people.


Here, we tackle some of the misconceptions about overqualified candidates and reveal the key considerations you should keep in mind when bringing on these people to ensure you get the best outcome for your business. 


The Truth About Overqualified Candidates 

The concept of being “overqualified” is more complex than it might seem, and it’s important to understand the nuances when making a hiring decision. 


It’s common to confuse being highly educated or experienced with having the ability to do a job. Someone who has invested a lot into upskilling and studying won’t necessarily have practical industry experience and therefore would not expect to move straight into a senior role. Likewise, a person with a long career history may not have the experience required for the role if what they do have is from within an unrelated job or industry. 


Also, keep in mind that a company’s culture is closely tied to its approach to candidates with a lot of experience. In many cases, the cultural fit of a candidate is even more important than whether they meet or exceed the role requirements. If an overqualified candidate shares your organisation’s values and is enthusiastic about your vision, they may be a less risky hire than someone who is on the right level but is a poor culture fit. 

Key Things to Consider When Hiring an Overqualified Candidate 

Today’s economic climate offers a valuable opportunity to attract uniquely skilled and experienced talent that will add real value to your business, but the key to making the most of an overqualified candidate is knowing how to manage the risks of recruiting them.  

 

If you’re thinking about hiring an overqualified candidate for your role, we recommend reflecting on the following questions: 


Why are they applying for the role? 


When screening an applicant that exceeds the role requirements, try to get to the heart of why they are interested in the position. What is motivating them to accept a role with less responsibility or lower pay? Some candidates may be looking to take a step back to achieve more work/life balance (for example, if they have a young family), while others may want to change industries, relocate to a new place, move away from management positions to roles they enjoy more or pursue more fulfilling work.  


By understanding the individual’s rationale and long-term objectives, you can determine whether they are genuinely invested in your role or see it as a short-term solution. One of the simplest ways to establish this in the interview is by asking questions such as “Where do you see yourself in five years?” Regardless, it always pays to speak to the candidate and learn what’s driving them, rather than make a decision based on their resume alone. 


What is their preferred work style? 


The candidate’s work style has a big impact on whether they will be a successful hire. In the interview and when speaking to referees, try to find out about their leadership abilities, how well they accept feedback, how they deal with conflict and whether the applicant prefers to work alone or in a team. 


Managers often worry that they will struggle to lead someone who is overqualified for a position, so it’s a good idea to consider the skills, experience and confidence of the relevant manager before hiring and to be clear with the candidate about the scope and responsibilities of the role. Generally, however, if the manager is secure, open to others’ ideas and the candidate’s working style meshes well with the rest of the team, an overqualified person can be an advantage rather than a source of conflict.  


What long-term value could they bring to the business?


The traditional approach to hiring is to identify a vacancy and find a candidate to fill it, however, in today’s world, it’s worthwhile to consider the talent opportunities available in the market and reflect on your organisation’s requirements not just now but in the future.  


Experienced professionals have the potential to bring significant long-term benefits to a business because of their experience. When assessing an applicant who is overqualified for the job opening, it’s essential to: 


  • Be clear about what the role involves and what prospects there may be later down the track 

  • Determine whether there is room to expand or reshape the role to utilise the candidate’s expertise 

  • Think about how you can provide opportunities for them to mentor others, challenge their peers and contribute in new ways 

Summary 

While hiring an overqualified candidate requires some forethought, it can also bring unparalleled advantages for both your Technology function and your organisation as a whole. If you’re looking to invest in people who will help to advance your business well into the future, reach out to our team of IT recruitment specialists today. 

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Simple Steps to Building Your Personal Brand

6 Sep 21 by 2111

6 Steps to Building Your Personal Brand


Whether you’re looking for a job or trying to establish yourself as a thought leader in your field, having a strong personal brand is now a vital part of professional life. But how do you curate a stand-out brand that will help you get ahead in the market? Here are six essential steps that you can take today that will pay dividends for your future career.

The Importance of Personal Branding

There is now an expectation to be able to find out more information and verify the credibility of a brand or product online, which is exemplified, for example, by the way TripAdvisor and Airbnb have become so prominent in holiday planning. The same expectation now exists for people, and in this case, the product is you.


This is especially true in IT, an extremely competitive industry where employers are more tech-savvy. In Jobvite’s 2020 Recruiter Nation Survey, 72% of recruiters said they used social media channels to source talent. This means that your social media profiles, such as LinkedIn, Facebook and even Instagram, can influence whether you are considered for a role.


Job tenures in IT also tend to be shorter than in other industries, due to an increasing amount of work being project or contract-based. Consequently, branding is even more important for IT professionals than for those in other sectors. If you’re not taking care of your brand, you may unknowingly miss out on your next big opportunity.


Attracting Talent


Personal branding is equally as crucial for organisations. Potential customers, employees or even buyers are going to be looking at the strength of your workforce, and in today’s competitive market, company culture is a key attraction for potential employees. Because of this, the days of employers hiding their workforce from public view are long gone.

Six Steps to Building Your Brand

1. Defining Your Brand


The most important thing to do before you start building your personal brand is to decide what you would like it to represent. It’s important to ask yourself the following questions: 


How to Define Your Personal Brand


At the end of the day, if you are unclear on what your brand is, then this will be reflected in the brand itself and you will come across as unfocused to your audience.


2. Social Profiles


When building your personal brand, it is critical to go through all your social channels and make sure that they are credible. A stray swear word or unprofessional picture can really damage your chances of obtaining a new role.


Once you have checked your existing online content, ensure that you get to review every post you’re tagged in on Facebook before they’re posted to your timeline. You can change this in the “Timeline and Tagging settings” section of Facebook’s settings menu (below).


Review tags on Facebook - Sourced


Once you’ve taken full control of your existing brand, it’s time to start strengthening it. A great place to start is on LinkedIn, as this is a vital social channel in the professional world. If you don’t have a profile, we would advise you to create one and make sure you take it to ‘All-Star’ status. Including the following information will help ensure your profile is findable and credible.


Sourced’s Guide to LinkedIn All-Star Status


Most people stop once their profile is at ‘All-Star’ status, however, this can limit your LinkedIn profile to being a shop window. To get the most out of LinkedIn, it is a good idea to start building your network.


First, connect with all the people in your existing network. You can do this by manually searching for people or importing your address book from your email account. Next, join a number of groups that are relevant to you, such as alumni or industry-focused groups.


Beyond that, you should start expanding your network by connecting with industry peers, such as those you meet at conferences, or even people you haven’t met but who are part of your local industry. Most people these days are open to connecting with others who share similar interests or skills.


In IT, it can also be useful to look at more specialised social networks, such as GitHub or Behance, where you can showcase your work and build a more detailed portfolio. Nowadays, many hiring managers expect to see code from you, so GitHub is a great place for this. Behance is more geared towards visual or design-centric work, which makes it a great tool for showcasing UI/UX and web design work. Take a look at these GitHub and Behance pages for a good example of how you could set up your profile.


3. Communicating Your Message


Once you’ve constructed a professional online profile, you can build on this by establishing yourself as a credible voice in your industry. People such as Bill Bennett and Jason Kemp have used blogging as a tool to build a great personal brand. Though we’re not suggesting you need to be at their level, they're good examples of the positive impact blogging can have on your brand.


Start expressing your thoughts and opinions by blogging on social networks, such as LinkedIn Publisher. You can also create your own personal blog or website with tools such as Medium or WordPress.


When deciding on a topic to blog about, think about topics that are pertinent at the time. Whether that’s a project you’ve worked on or a conference you’ve attended, or just something that’s been on your mind. As long as it is relevant to your audience, it can turn into good blogging material. Once you’ve decided on a topic, do a little research on it. Find similar articles to see where your concept is different so that you can emphasise these unique aspects.


How to Write a Blog


Regardless of where you are in your career, if you consistently provide good insight, you will become a thought leader in your industry.


4. Getting Heard


Once you’ve written your blog, you have to share it with people via channels such as Facebook and LinkedIn in order to get your brand out there. This will get the people in your network clicking through to your content. In addition, ask people in your network to share it with the people they know. This dramatically expands the reach of your content and thus, your brand.


Another way to extend the reach of your brand is by guest blogging. Don’t be afraid to get in touch with credible outlets within your industry and see if you can write some content for them. Guest blogging gives you instant credibility by associating you with an already established brand, and also gives you an opportunity to promote your blog or social profiles by linking to them.


5. Branding is a Marathon, Not a Sprint


The digital landscape is always changing, so it’s important to ensure that your personal brand is dynamic enough to keep up with the constantly moving environment of social media. Letting your social accounts grow stale with outdated information is a sure-fire way to undermine the initial work of setting them up and making them appealing to employers and fellow professionals.


Expand your blogging strategy to a greater social media strategy, and stick to the schedule you outlined. Get into the habit of making small updates to your social profiles regularly, and whenever you get a blog idea, note it down so that it doesn’t end up on the eternal backburner. This will keep your audience engaged and ensure that your online presence does not get neglected and become outdated.


6. Follow Through Offline


It’s crucial to remember that your personal brand doesn’t just exist on the Internet. Building a credible online brand is all well and good, but it amounts to nothing if you don’t carry it through in person.


At work, or at conferences and events, present yourself the same way you do on your impeccably branded social media accounts. Industry events, whether they’re formal conferences or Meetups, are a goldmine of networking opportunities. For more on how to get the most out of these, have a read of our guide to capitalising on local industry events.


Bringing your online brand through to in-person interactions will reinforce the credibility you have built up online, and further your brand across new networks. This can lead to more opportunities, such as speaking engagements, as you meet more people and establish yourself as a thought leader in your field.

Final Thoughts

Building and maintaining a strong personal brand will help you network with other professionals, position you as a credible voice in your field and produce career opportunities that may not have come up otherwise. If the idea of building your personal brand seems daunting, don’t worry, here are three easy steps you can take right now:


  • Define your personal brand.
  • Go through your Facebook profile and take control of what is public.
  • Identify three thought leaders in your field and see how they have branded themselves.


If you need help in crafting your personal brand, get in touch with the team here at Sourced.

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3 Self-Care Ideas to Prioritise in 2021

21 Jan 03 by 1106

3 Self-Care Ideas to Prioritise in 2021


Of the many lessons that came from 2020, the necessity of self-care is one of the most important – and often most underrated.


In today’s hectic world, self-care is a vital way to maintain your physical, mental, emotional wellbeing. Setting time aside for practical self-care habits can make you healthier, more fulfilled and ultimately more productive in the long run.


With this in mind, here are three simple self-care ideas to put at the top of your priority list in 2021.

1. Start Your Day Right

The way you begin your morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. A structured and intentional morning routine (as opposed to one that is rushed and hectic), can really set you up for success and give you the space and energy to achieve your goals. This doesn’t have to mean getting up extra early to go for a run and getting a jumpstart on work – after all, sleep is vital too. Instead, it’s about reflecting on your current routine and looking for areas where you can make small adjustments to start your morning on a more positive note.


Perhaps you will choose to prep your lunches ahead of time or wake up 15 minutes early to write in a journal. Try to do something that you can look forward to each morning, such as going on a leisurely walk, enjoying a cup of coffee or spending time with your kids. You could even set aside a bit of time to work on your side hustle, meaning you can then tackle the rest of the day knowing you are one step closer to achieving your goals.


Routines (whatever they may look like) help to alleviate stress and anxiety, allowing you to make more time for the things that matter.

2. Read More and Learn More

According to research from the University of Sussex, reading for just six minutes can reduce your stress by 68%. For many people, reading (whether it takes the form of physical books, eBooks audiobooks or podcasts) is a form of self-care, allowing them to encounter new subjects and perspectives, understand the experiences of others, pass the time on a commute or wind down at the end of the day.


Not only that, but reading also gives you the opportunity to learn. Whether it’s a new programming language, techniques for handling conflict in a team or strategies for mindfulness, continuous learning is an important aspect of personal and professional growth.


Commit to more reading and learning this year – you will be well rewarded for your investment.

3. Focus on Being Positive and Intentional

In many ways, where we choose to focus our energy shapes our reality, be it positive or negative. Throughout our lives, but especially at work, it’s important to be intentional about paying attention the positive things, rather than being immersed in the negative ones. Perhaps your manager has given you an especially challenging project. What could you learn from it and how might the experience enhance your career?


At the same time, you also need to be intentional about your boundaries and know when to say “no.” For example, if someone on your team asks you for help with a task when you’re already feeling overloaded or a friend invites you to an event when you really need an early night, it’s likely to be in your best interests to politely decline.


It’s natural to want to please your work colleagues and social circle, but looking after your own needs and turning down requests when you need to is key for ensuring you can continue giving your best to those around you. Sometimes, saying “no,” is the best form of self-care there is.

Summary

However you choose to prioritise your wellbeing this year, focusing on a lifestyle change (as opposed to a resolution to check off), can help you make lasting improvements in your life. Remember, self-care isn’t one-size-fits-all, so regardless of if you try these ideas or implement some of your own, taking small steps can really turn the tides this year.


Are you looking to make a career change in 2021? Speak to our team of IT recruitment specialists in Auckland and Christchurch today to discuss your next step.

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6 Business Analyst Interview Questions and Tips for Answering Them

10 May 21 by 1109

6 Business Analyst Interview Questions and Tips for Answering Them


Working as a Business Analyst, you are relied upon to identify business opportunities and act as a bridge between management, stakeholders and technology, which is why being able to demonstrate the right mix of soft and technical skills to succeed in your role is a huge part of any BA job application. But how do you show your potential employer that you have what it takes?


We have our finger on the pulse of industry practice and understand how best to stand out during a job search, so we have pulled together some interview tips to help you feel prepared, confident and ready to shine in your next interview.


Here are some of the top Business Analyst interview questions you can expect to be asked, as well as our advice on how to best answer them.

1. Walk Me Through How You Typically Approach a Project and Your Involvement in the SDLC

This question is about trying to understand how you manage your priorities and apply strategy to a project. With any question like this, even though it’s phrased as a hypothetical, it’s useful to apply a specific example where possible. In general, we advise candidates to structure their answers using the STAR format (Situation, Task, Action, Result).


So, think about a recent project you’ve undertaken and talk through the phases you delivered. Focus on the particular ways you contributed to the project lifecycle and look for opportunities to demonstrate core competencies such as communication, teamwork, organisation skills, negotiation skills and of course project management.

2. Do You Have Experience with Leading and Mentoring Junior BAs?

Senior Business Analysts are often expected to be proficient leaders and have the skills to develop and nurture junior members of the team, so this question gives you an opportunity to highlight your mentoring skills and show that you are a team player.


When answering, explain how you have supported junior BAs in the past to help them improve their abilities, gain confidence and achieve organisational goals. Include practical examples of the ways you have helped a former team member improve and the approaches you use, such as implementing an open-door policy or giving detailed feedback on work.

3. Describe Your Experience with Application Environments/ERP Systems

For this question, the interviewer is looking for specific examples of the application environments/ERP systems you have worked with. You can start by talking broadly about your experience to showcase your technical understanding, then follow up with an account of the various application environments and ERP systems you have worked with in previous BA roles, such as Asset Management, HR systems and Finance systems. Make sure to emphasise any that are relevant to the role you’re applying for or specified in the job description. 

4. Tell Me About Your Approach to Stakeholder Engagement and Your Experience Leading and Influencing Stakeholders

Now we are moving further towards soft skills, and again, it’s useful to apply the STAR technique when answering this question. Working as a BA, you will have countless examples of engaging with and influencing stakeholders. It might even be something you do on a daily basis.


So, try to prepare a solid example where your input to the process changed the outcome for the better. Talk through the steps you took and the skills you applied. For example, you might mention active listening, communication skills and understanding the situation from the other person’s perspective, before finding a solution that benefited all parties and resulted in the delivery of the project.

5. What Role Have You Played in Testing and/or User Training in the Past?

It’s not unusual for an employer to seek a BA with experience in user testing, and hopefully, this will be a straightforward question to answer. Delve into your background and find an example to talk through that showcases how you’ve tested a new software and analysed user data before making improvements, or delivered training on a new tool. This question not only looks for technical skills (e.g. working knowledge of user testing), but is also an opportunity to show analytical skills, flexibility and communication skills.

6. How Do You Deal with Changes to Requirements?

BAs are used to dealing with unexpected changes to the project scope or requirements and you probably adapt seamlessly. This is your chance to highlight the valuable soft skills you use to navigate these changes, such as problem-solving, teamwork and flexibility.


To prepare for this question, think about a recent example and jot down each step or action you took, from taking a step back to analyse the big picture and creating a scope of changes, to adapting project timelines, costs and resources. Then talk through how you communicate these changes, dealing with interpersonal issues and updating stakeholders.

Secure Your Next BA Job Today

Need more advice for preparing for your next interview or help to secure the right role for you? Our team at Sourced are specialists in technology recruitment and know how to prepare you for interview questions for Business Analysts that are likely to come up. With roles available across Christchurch and Auckland, we’re here to help you transition into your new position and to guide you through the full application and interview process. Get in touch with us today!

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Attracting and Retaining Women in Tech

3 Mar 21 by 1108


In today’s environment, tech companies need talented people more than ever, and top industry leaders recognise the impact a diverse workforce has on their ability to secure the best people, innovate and stay competitive. In honour of International Women’s Day, we explore data around women in tech from our Sourced Report and provide three strategies to better attract and retain female in the sector. Learn more, here.


By implementing strategies to better attract and retain women in tech, companies can be instrumental in driving constructive change in the industry, all while increasing revenue growth and innovation within their business.

Women in Tech: As it Stands

Our semi-annual Sourced Report provides invaluable insights into the current state of diversity in the Auckland and Christchurch IT sectors, highlights perspectives in the industry and allows us to see where progress is happening by comparing data from past years. Our latest report (released in March 2021) reveals that the overall gender split of the respondents for both locations is currently 76.5% male and 23.5% female. This is an improvement on the results from March 2018 (when we first began to explore data on gender in IT), in which women made up 20% of the respondents.


Our survey also shows notable progress around other issues of diversity. While previously more men than women considered their salary fair, the August 2020 report found that feelings of fairness tipped towards women, with 15% more Christchurch women than men thinking their pay was fair, and 26% more in Auckland. Since pay equality is a key aspect of achieving gender diversity, this is an encouraging sign.


Nevertheless, it’s important to be aware of the different factors that motivate each gender, particularly since our research emphasised that salary is less important to women than it is to men.


As of March 2020, work/life balance was top of the list of what female tech professionals look for in a new IT role, followed by career opportunities and new challenges. Men, meanwhile, were also driven by work/life balance, but needed a challenge more so than new career opportunities. And in terms of how businesses can better engage their female staff, the aspects of company culture most important to women were flexible working hours, support from management and professional development.

3 Ways to Attract and Retain Female Tech Professionals

So, what can companies do to attract and retain female tech talent? The insights from our reports denote three key strategies to help close the gender talent gap within your organisation:



1. Create a culture that meets the needs of women

While equal and fair salaries are important factors, building a truly inclusive company culture is key to attracting women to tech jobs and ensuring that they actually want to stay in them. Diversity initiatives that include specific policies for women are proven to be hugely beneficial not only for the women in tech but for the companies they work for, which is why employers must continually re-evaluate workplace practices to ensure they align with the needs of female employees. The key thing here is to ensure that women within the organisation are part of the conversation early on, as giving them a voice around what support they want is the best way to create a more inclusive workplace.


For example, flexible work arrangements and post-maternity support policies can be the deciding factors between choosing to return to work after maternity leave or resigning; allowing women to balance childcare needs with their career goals is key to retaining women in the industry. Similarly, introducing networking opportunities and other benefits that thoughtfully consider women’s unique requirements will go a long way towards helping you attract and retain diverse talent. 


2. Provide tools to succeed in the industry

Critical to creating an inclusive environment is providing upskilling opportunities for women to continue to develop their careers. This investment must extend throughout the lifecycle of the female tech professional, from the entry level right through to executive.


Recent graduates, for instance, are key targets for tech attraction, so providing apprenticeships and graduate schemes can help to entice more female employees to technical roles. Once on the job, female employees should be able to benefit from ongoing support and training so they can continue to work on their professional development. At the top end of the spectrum, investing in high potential female leaders can accelerate their development within the organisation.


3. Raise up mentors and role models to inspire future leaders

When it comes to how to attract and retain female tech talent, representation is a powerful tool. By visibly empowering and championing women, employers can inspire new female tech talent and improve long-term engagement (not to mention boosting the company’s reputation).


Depending on what is realistic for your business, there are a range of approaches you could take, such as:

  • Recruiting and promoting women into senior positions, thereby encouraging other female professionals to strive for their own career advancement
  • Developing employee resource groups specifically for women
  • Creating a mentorship program to pair female professionals with female leaders in the business that they can learn from and be supported by

Closing Thoughts

While driving workforce diversity and supporting women in tech is an ongoing process, the root of it begins with strategic and inclusive recruitment practices. At Sourced, we have a diverse network of IT professionals across the full technological spectrum, and have a track record of placing quality candidates that contribute to the organisation’s culture, unique dynamic and goals.


Need advice on how you can start building a more diverse workforce? Want to ensure your hiring process is unbiased, inclusive and reaches the very best people in every corner of the talent pool? Pick up the phone and speak to our team of IT and Digital recruitment specialists today.


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Best Podcasts to Inspire Women in Tech

4 Mar 22 by 2122


While there’s no denying the tech industry is male-dominated, there are signs things are improving on the gender scale. Our latest Sourced survey reveals that in the Christchurch and Auckland IT sectors, the gender split of respondents was 77.5% male and 23% female. That’s a nice uptick on the results from our inaugural survey in March 2018, when women made up just 20%, but also highlights there is a way to go before we reach gender parity.


To help with ongoing development and inspiration, we have compiled six of the best female-driven tech podcasts. Each provides valuable insights on the challenges women face – particularly in leadership – alongside a host of actionable tips to help you overcome them.


We hope you enjoy our selections of the best podcasts for women in tech. If you have a great podcast that inspires you in your career journey, please feel free to share it with us.

The Women in Tech Show

Edaena Salinas has been working as a Senior Software Engineer at Microsoft since 2014. Her podcast, ‘The Women in Tech Show’ shifts the focus from what it feels like to be a woman in tech, to women in tech actually talking about what they’re working on.


Covering a wide range of topics including software engineering and design, artificial intelligence, entrepreneurship, career strategy and security, you’ll find illuminating episodes on storytelling in tech, open source software, as well as all things product and program management. If you find yourself a little time poor, consider her ‘5 Minute Mentor’ program – a weekly podcast featuring experts in tech and other industries, sharing their wisdom about how they succeed.

Face of Tech

‘The Face of Tech’ is a vibrant podcast focused on the tech start-up scene in New Zealand and Australia. Hosted by Baidy Laffan and Anna Zam (one a former lawyer and now a tech COO, the other switching from professional services partner to leader at a regtech company), each 30 to 40 minute episode features a female leader in her industry. All speak very openly and honestly about the challenges they’ve faced and overcome, providing plenty of inspiration for women struggling in the male-dominated tech field.


To illustrate the diversity of topics and industries on offer, one episode features Lucy Wark, the founder of NORMAL, a sexual wellness company, who speaks about tackling imposter syndrome. Another highlights the work of Gaby Rosenberg, the co-founder of Blossom, a savings app introducing millennials to the world of bonds.

Big Careers, Small Children

Juggling a career while raising children can be a difficult task. Many parents, especially mothers, often feel they’re sacrificing one to excel at the other. This podcast was created by CEO and Founder of Leaders with Babies, Verena Hefti, to specifically address this issue


Each week Verena interviews a highly-effective leader who has managed to also successfully raise a young family. They openly discuss the hardships they’ve faced and provide advice for striking the right balance and achieving what you desire, both personally and professionally.

50inTech

This podcast is aimed at those who prefer a bite-sized portion of actionable leadership tips. At approximately 10 minutes an episode, it’s a quick lesson packed with punch.


From intriguing episode titles such as 'Tired of sexist jokes in tech? Learn how to lead with humour', to ‘How to close a funding round when you're 8 months pregnant', you’ll learn from a range of experts and industry leaders.

Girl Geek X

From those just entering the industry, to seasoned tech professionals, this podcast series aims to offer something valuable for every woman.


The Girl Geek X podcast series sprang from the ‘Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners’, started by Angie Chang in 2008, with the aim of helping women network in Silicon Valley. After hosting more than 250 dinners with influential tech leaders, the founders decided to condense some of the most important insights into a podcast format. And so Geek Girl X was born.


Topics include software security, career transitions, self-advocacy, managing up and more.

NZ Tech Podcast – Women in Tech Panel episode

The NZ Tech Podcast is hosted by Paul Spain and features a variety of guests discussing the latest happenings in the technology space, both here in New Zealand and globally.


Most inspiring for women looking to take up a tech leadership role is the ‘Women in Tech Panel’ episode. Paul interviews three phenomenal female leaders here in New Zealand, who all share a love of tech and a wealth of management experience in the area. Benefit from their wisdom on topics such as business confidence, establishing a start-up and how to entice more women into tech and leadership.

Extra Support for Women in Tech

We hope you enjoyed our selection of the best tech podcasts for women. It’s just one way that we, here at Sourced, can support women in tech and help them progress their careers – and ultimately address the gender imbalance.


As specialists in Technology and Digital recruitment, we have plenty of exciting opportunities coming through daily from our vast network of clients. We’d love to help you to take that next career step, so please feel free to connect, whether it’s to learn what current openings we have, or to get some advice from a trusted and seasoned technology recruitment professional.

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Hire a Permanent Employee or a Contractor?

18 Jun 20 by 95

Should I Hire a Permanent Employee or a Contractor?


Though our personal lives have returned to something resembling pre-COVID-19 levels here in New Zealand, economically, the road to recovery promises to be an interesting challenge. Each organisation is reacting to and planning for the situation in a way which is specific to their circumstances, but the question of how the crisis is going to affect recruitment is one that is coming up almost across the board.


The question ‘Should I hire a permanent employee or a contractor?’ is nothing new for employers, but within the context of pressurised decision making where allocating the right resource at the right time takes on heightened importance, making the right choice has become all the more critical. Here is our guide to assessing the relative positives and negatives of hiring permanent employees versus contractors.     


Should I Hire a Permanent Employee or a Contractor?


Positives of Hiring a Permanent Employee:

Keep the knowledge in-house

Permanent roles naturally lend themselves to longer tenures, on average, than contract roles, allowing you to reap the rewards of gradually improving skills over time.


Standout from the crowd
One of the biggest impacts of COVID-19 has been the uncertainty it has created in the minds of individuals. This uncertainty has led to significant risk-aversion as employees seek out stability in their working lives. The draw of a permanent role allows businesses to reach a very wide cross-section of the market and perhaps even bring career contractors in-house.



Negatives of Hiring a Permanent Employee:

Management downtime in the recruitment process

When making a permanent hire, it’s not just about whether the person is going to be able to complete that near-term, overdue project as may be the case with a contractor; there are a myriad of points to consider, making the need for a robust recruitment process absolutely necessary. Consider whether the position will exist in the longer term or if the focus of the role will change over time and whether the time/costs involved in a full recruitment process are an appropriate solution to the problem you are looking to resource. Don’t forget to value your own time in this equation.


Rigid Costs

Many organisations are feeling the pinch, with decreased demand for products and services. Regardless of this, a permanent employee will need to be paid according to their contract, and catered for in several other ways including insurance, Kiwisaver etc. We have seen the use of wage subsidies to reduce some of the burden on employers, but the fact that remains is that a permanent member of staff represents a more lasting and far-reaching obligation.


 

Positives of Hiring a Contractor:

Comfortable with adaptation
Contractors choose to have careers that are subject to continual change and transition. During periods where your organisation is going through its own state of flux, adding a skilled and objective employee who is comfortable with shifting ground can provide invaluable insights, as well as a resource that can be relied upon to not let any anxieties over uncertainty affect performance.

Visible cost
It’s very often the case that a business will analyse the scope of a project and find that the skills required to complete it are highly specialist, carrying too high an ongoing cost to justify a permanent headcount role. Through a contract staffing solution, businesses can define a fixed length of engagement and cost, fitting this into any overarching budgets and accessing the skills they need without any extra costs.



Negatives of Hiring a Contractor:

Temporary knowledge

At the end of the project, the contractor leaves, and though they may have imparted some wisdom, their insights go with them. This knowledge-transfer element is often overlooked when contractors are engaged, but it should be one of the central considerations at the beginning of a project to ensure this process takes place.


A templated, rather than company-specific approach
Though they may possess highly specialised abilities, these have been honed and developed outside of your business. With a contract staffing solution, there may be issues where an intricate knowledge of your internal situation is required to achieve the specific result you are looking for from a project.

Summary

As the format of this piece reinforces, selecting a permanent employee or a contractor is about balancing the benefits of each employment type with the specific requirements of your business needs and as these needs develop so to can your approach to hiring. We assist organisations across Christchurch and Auckland to not only hire the right IT talent, but also to understand their recruitment needs on an ongoing basis, future-proofing hiring strategies and staying ahead of the competition. Contact us today to learn more

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How to Hire the Best People in Today’s Market

24 Sep 20 by 1100


In the current environment, industries and businesses are transforming in New Zealand and around the world. This is uncharted territory for leaders, particularly those who have had to make hard decisions in the face of uncertainty, however, there is also an opportunity for organisations to adapt to change and solidify their positions in the new business landscape. And what will you need to take full advantage of this opportunity? 


The best talent in the market.


Whether you have an immediate need for people or are currently taking a more cautious approach to hiring, here is what you can do to prepare for the new world of work by capitalising on today’s unparalleled talent pool to secure top-tier Technology & Digital candidates.

Making the Most of a Unique Opportunity to Hire the Best People

Although some sectors have been more heavily affected than others, the rise in downsizing, restructuring and redundancies have resulted
in a large number of skilled and experienced people seeking employment opportunities. Many of them have impressive resumes and would likely not have been available under different circumstances.


As a result, businesses that are embracing the future of the employment market may find top talent more accessible than ever. Those who are strategic and prepared will be able to snap up rare professionals that will be valuable assets to their teams for years to come.


Of course, some organisations have had to make cost reductions or freeze hiring due to economic pressures and will not be ready to recruit in the short term. But keep in mind that hiring is often a long process, so it’s a good time to assess your resourcing needs for the next six to 12 months and get ready to make a move when the time is right. Focus on mission-critical and hard-to-fill roles, and also consider the specific qualities and skills that you might need in hires (aside from technical skills, traits such as creativity, adaptability and resilience are likely to prove invaluable in the current and near-future market).

Tips for Recruiting Top People in Today’s Market

So, how can you make use of this unprecedented chance to invest in highly-skilled Tech professionals?


                             


1. Understand what motivates the best people

Despite the higher concentration of candidates in the market, the best of the best will still be in high demand so you will need to stay one step ahead of the competition if you want to have your pick of these top-tier people. This means understanding what motivates them.


The thinking time provided during lockdown has given people a chance to contemplate their priorities and what they really want from a role. While one of the key motivators will always be monetary, many look to a sense of purpose, shared values, autonomy and a good company culture as the keys to satisfaction in the workplace. Additionally, a lot of professionals will see flexible working opportunities as highly desirable, with these types of arrangements having become extremely popular as a result of the pressures in today’s climate.


One thing that is certain is that top candidates will still have their choice of opportunities and are clearer on what they want than ever, so focusing on the right motivators can increase your chances of attracting these market leaders.


2. Build your employer brand

Even during this time, having a strong employer brand remains paramount. Regardless of whether or not you have immediate plans to expand your workforce, it’s a good idea to continue building your reputation in the employment market and find ways to stay connected with great people – this will help you prepare a talent pipeline for future hiring. Your online presence is an important element of this, as well as focusing on flexibility, motivation, engagement, retention, recognition, promotion and development internally.


Integrating a powerful employer branding strategy as part of your wider recruitment strategy will help you fill gaps quickly, find people who align with your values and leverage the benefits of the exceptional candidates that are currently available.


3. Seek support from the specialists

While the sheer volume of people available has its advantages, it also means that each vacancy is likely to receive a lot more applications (a percentage of which will likely be unsuitable). Seeking external recruitment expertise with access to industry-specific networks is critical in a candidate-rich market, allowing you to utilise their market knowledge, connections and experience to find the right people. They will also take over the burden of managing the hiring process, freeing you up to focus on existing functions within your business.


Sourced’s specialist Technology recruitment team has a finger of the pulse of the market and have cultivated a pool of the best Technology & Digital candidates in New Zealand who are poised to add value to your company. We regularly place top candidates in hard-to-fill roles in Auckland and Christchurch and have a deep understanding of the local Tech business landscape. If you would like to take advantage of this unique climate and secure great people, we would love to help you make it a reality! Get in touch today to discuss how we can begin your search.

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Managing a Hybrid Team: 4 Questions to Consider

9 Jul 20 by 1097


With many businesses having been forced to embrace remote working in recent months, we will inevitably see a rise in the permanent adoption of hybrid teams going forward – teams composed of both co-located and remote employees or, more commonly, an arrangement enabling everyone to split their time between the office and home.


Many prominent tech companies are spearheading this trend, including Fujitsu, which recently announced that it was moving away from the conventional practice of working from a fixed office to allow around 80,000 of its Japan-based employees the freedom to choose where and when they work. However, this shift can result in a steep learning curve for many organisations as they figure out how to manage a hybrid team most effectively and tackle all the challenges that come along with it. 


If your team is already a hybrid or soon will be, here are four questions you should keep in mind to get the best results from your employees, no matter where they are.

1. Is a Hybrid Team Structure Right for Your Business?

The hybrid structure has several advantages, including cost savings, improved employee engagement and greater adaptability, but it also has its challenges and is not going to be suitable for every business. Many IT teams are adept at collaborating across multiple locations but others, such as sales teams, rely on working in-person to get the best results.


When considering whether to adopt a hybrid structure, think about how people have performed in remote situations previously, how it could impact the team culture and whether you have (or can invest in) the technology to support effective collaboration. Do these tools even exist at present, or will you need to wait a period of time for technology to catch up with the new reality? What commitments do you currently have to office space that might be affected, and how will you compensate people for any expenses related to working from home?


It’s also important to determine the proportion of your team that can work remotely at any given time without disrupting operations, and whether there will need to be any restrictions or requirements around issues such as the minimum home-office setup or when it is and isn’t appropriate to work remotely.


This will help you identify if a hybrid team is right for the needs of your business and prepare for the potential impacts this arrangement could have.

2. How Will You Keep People Connected and Accountable When Working from Home?

It’s important to be aware that in a hybrid team, employees will often have vastly different experiences depending on where they’re working, so focusing on consistent communication and shared accountability is necessary to enable the team to collaborate and perform at a high level.


To keep everyone in the loop, it’s a good idea to define hours and ask people to share their calendars so the whole team knows who is working when and where, as well as run regular meetings where people report on priorities and share project progress. Create a good communication rhythm with frequent one-on-one check-ins and longer team meetings each week to ensure everyone feels included and avoid information silos. Video conferencing can be combined with in-person meetings to allow everyone in the team to be “present” despite the physical separation, ensuring you can share any news or updates with everyone at once.


Bear in mind that hybrid teams often have less opportunity for small talk and casual interactions, so consider how you’ll maintain strong relationships between co-workers – this could be through scheduled non-work video calls or create a dedicated channel on the team chat app.

3. How to Measure the Performance of Employees Post-COVID-19?

Evaluating performance can be a challenge when the team isn’t all in one place, especially when it comes to keeping the measures consistent across the workforce. That’s why one of the most important tips for managing hybrid teams is to shift your focus from hours at desks to quality, objectives and outcomes, using fact-based measures to ensure all members can be evaluated by the same standards. Aim to measure productivity by output rather than input, utilise self-evaluations and supplement with peer feedback to gain a full picture.


Of course, effective goal setting is a key part of measuring performance, allowing you to easily and objectively track progress. While individual performance targets are critical regardless of where employees are based, you should also be setting shared goals (and rewards) to keep everyone working together and moving in the same direction.


4. Will Remote Working Change the Way You Hire?

With a hybrid team, finding the right talent to keep the model sustainable is key, so you will need to focus on hiring for certain skills to ensure people are suited to potential remote work and can interact effectively with other employees working remotely.


When hiring for hybrid teams, look for candidates who are adaptable, self-motivated, accountable and results-focused, with excellent communication and organisational skills – not to mention prior experience with this type of structure. While this can be a challenging combination of qualities to find in the market, working with a specialist recruiter will help you secure people with the right soft skills to maintain strong team dynamics for the long term.


One advantage of this model is that supporting remote working allows you to significantly expand your talent pool – a huge competitive advantage in a market where certain skillsets remain difficult to find, despite the flood of new candidates available. For example, you will now have the opportunity to hire someone in New Plymouth for a role in Christchurch if they are the best fit for the position, rather than being restricted solely to local candidates.


Closing Thoughts


Managing a hybrid team is both an art and a science. By focusing on clear goals, open communication and consistent standards, you can get the best out of your team members, no matter how their jobs are structured.


Are you hiring for your hybrid team? Get in touch with the Technology recruitment specialists at Sourced to learn how we help businesses across Auckland and Christchurch secure the talent they need.

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Technical Skills – Are Yours Visible?

20 May 22 by 2127



A Technical Recruitment title is one of those vague titles that, unless you have worked in this industry, generates a large number of unknowns. What is a Technical Recruiter? Like all recruitment roles, we aim to find the most qualified person available on the market for our client. However, as technical recruiters, also called IT recruiters, we act as the intermediary between the client and you. We handle all the screening, sourcing, possible interviews, and most importantly, the client offers for each position. It's our job to ensure that you are placed in the best possible position to fit your unique and complex skill set; while at the same time ensuring that your experience and skills are appropriate for the prospective position. 



 

What Does an IT Recruiter Do?


A technical recruiter deals with the most complicated product line imaginable – you. Our strengths lie in pitching you into this fast-paced, competitive environment, where the specifics of the project you will be working on are confidential, and the technologies with which you work we understand only from a high-level perspective – along with a high-level perspective of every other role within our chosen area of expertise.


As a candidate, it's your job to provide us with all the information we need to find the best position for you; this is done through an effective, concise, and accurate CV (curriculum vitae) and cover letter.


How Do You Make Your Technical Skill Shine for IT Recruitment?


We initially screen all candidates for a checklist of skills required to qualify for a closer examination of your experience. This checklist will be detailed in the advertising material which brought you to this recruiter. Advertisements will stipulate such elements as: Seniority level, leadership experience, industry qualifications, your right to work in NZ, and specific background experience, to indicate that our client has made this a requirement of the role. As the recruitment team, we do not have the power to override the client on these points no matter how strong the rest of your experience is. To ensure your best chances for your desired position, you must accurately present all relevant qualifications on the first page of your CV. This should include your: 

  • Academic history
  • Professional experience
  • Applicable skill sets
  • Applicable certifications
  • Awards and honours
  • Work-study programs
  • And any other relevant qualifying information


Once your application has cleared the first round of screening, we will give it a second, more detailed review. This follow-up review will specifically gauge your in-depth knowledge and experience with the required technologies for the position. My advice is to dedicate a section on the front page of your CV to highlight your specialist knowledge. The easiest CVs to work with are those that provide sections detailing the relevant tools you have worked with; hardware, firmware, software, testing tools, position specific programs, etc. In doing so, be sure to gauge your skills by providing a general level of expertise in each (novice, proficient, expert, etc.) and detail your years of experience with each. It can be challenging to appraise your skills, but it is essential that we best understand your level of skill and ability when we pitch you to a prospective client. We also highly recommend providing a separate section of the front page that lists all appropriate certifications that reinforce your applicable skills. 


A final look at your CV focuses on the project work you have done over your career. Be specific in detailing your position, what tasks and responsibilities you oversaw, and how well you worked with your fellow team members. In this, we want to see how you specifically contributed to the project team, what impact you personally had on the project, and where you exceeded the expectations of your team lead. This section is best served with examples of your achievements as proof of your abilities; be specific, provide details on the problems you faced, how you came to a solution, how that solution was implemented, and how it furthered the project. 


The CVs with the most significant impact in modern recruiting are evidence-based, so the more specific and detailed, the better. Also, keep in mind that while CVs are similar to resumes, they are expected to be much longer; an appropriate page length for a detailed CV is 3-4 pages, compared to a resume’s single page. This checklist and CV overview process takes place before we pick up the phone and give you a call.


Conclusion


In the world of technical recruitment, a proactive candidate will stand head and shoulders above their peers and fellow candidates. So naturally, you want to appear interested and eager for the position, because of this, it's best to sign up for regular updates of roles available through the local job boards and send specifically tailored applications to your recruiter. It also helps to ring the consultant 24 hours later to "see they have received your application;" if they are not available to speak to you at that time, make a time to call back or leave a message– it will bring your application to their attention and invariably gives your CV a second look.


On a final note, make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date, check your inbox daily, and always go through your spam folder. Occasionally, recruitment agency's emails are automatically forwarded to spam, and you don't want to miss a follow-up. Also, if your contract is coming to a close, or you are actively looking for a role – state this in your Professional Headline on your profile. Any IT recruiter of value is constantly scouting LinkedIn for the best talent for their client, so it pays off to make it easy for them to find you.

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A Guide to Assessing IT Candidates' Soft Skills

12 Feb 03 by 89

A Guide to Assessing IT Candidates

While technical skills are obviously an important consideration in determining a candidate’s suitability for a Tech job, in recent years, soft skills have become just as key. After all, the strength of an applicant’s non-technical skills can indicate not only whether they are a good cultural fit, but how they will perform in the long-term.


To secure the perfect person for your team, it’s essential to know which traits to look for and the best way to identify them during the IT recruitment process. Here are our top tips for how to assess soft skills in an interview.


The Importance of Soft Skills in IT


When interviewing for an IT position, it’s common to find yourself in a situation where there are several candidates with very similar hard skill sets. While technical expertise will naturally play a central role in your decision, the right blend of soft skills can help the chosen candidate truly thrive in their new role, not to mention complement your existing team.


As an IT hiring manager, what are the non-technical skills you should be looking for? When it comes to assessing candidates’ soft skills, the following are particularly relevant for IT professionals:

  • Problem Solving – Whether the role is client-facing or internal, all IT professionals should have strong problem-solving skills. It might be fixing a network problem or designing new frameworks – either way, excellent problem-solving skills shorten issue resolution times, reduce costs per incident, and increase customer satisfaction.
  • Teamwork – While studies show that the majority of people in the sector prefer working alone, team members who have the ability to collaborate and work as a team ultimately achieve more in the workplace.
  • Communication – Strong communication skills, including the ability to relay complicated technical information simply and effectively, are invaluable.

These are just a few of the many soft skills that can set a Tech professional apart from the rest. Your
specialist IT recruiter will be able to help you determine the right mix of traits that will not only strengthen your team but add value to the role.


While it’s easy for candidates to claim these qualities in their CV, evaluating whether a potential team member has truly mastered the desired set of soft skills requires a thorough interviewing process and a little sleuthing. This is where mastering behavioural interviewing techniques can assist employers in assessing the strength of candidates’ soft skills.


Behavioural Interviewing to Assess Soft Skills

Many hiring managers agree that screening for soft skills in the interview process is a difficult task. Behavioural interviewing, which is based on the premise that past behaviour is the best indicator of future action, is a fantastic tool for assessing candidates’ emotional intelligence, personality traits and interpersonal skills.


Behavioural interview questions ask about past work situations. They will generally begin with phrases such as: ‘Tell me about a time when...’, ‘Give me an example of...’, or ‘Describe a situation when you...’. Asking questions in this open-ended way encourages candidates to discuss how they used their soft skills in the context of past experience. Keep in mind, however, that candidates will often prepare for such questions, making it difficult to determine those answers that are genuine and those that have been prepared in advance.


Looking to fine-tune your behavioural interview techniques? The following tools will help:

  • Craft questions that reflect the skills you need – Analyse the role requirements and prepare questions designed to pinpoint the relevant soft skills. For example, “Tell me about a time when you had to collaborate with another department to solve a challenging IT issue.”
  • Get specific – Evidence shows that asking candidates about particular challenges and experiences gives more meaningful insights into how the candidate will fit in. For example, “Has there been a time in the past when you have disagreed with a colleague’s decision? What did you do?”
  • Use assessments – psychometric assessments (such as the Myers Briggs Type Indicator or DiSC Profiling) can provide valuable insight into a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses.

Summary

Often, knowing the soft skills that are most relevant to the industry, and crafting behavioural interview questions to target them, will result in fewer bad hires and ultimately build a stronger, more effective team.


Are you struggling to find the right candidates? Contact us today for more advice on behavioural interviews and help with IT recruitment in the Christchurch Technology sector.

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How to Choose the Right Recruitment Agency

7 Jul 20 by 39



When it comes to career development, choosing the right recruitment agency is a hugely important (though often overlooked) step towards securing that dream job. From providing access to a network of industry experts to advising on career development and contract issues, recruiters can give you vital support when you need it most.


But with so many players in the market, how do you choose the right recruitment agency for your needs? Here are five top tips to help you make the best decision for your next job search. 


How to Choose the Right Recruitment Agency: 5 Top Tips 


1. Assess Your Needs Before Approaching a Recruitment Agency 

Before you contact a recruitment agency, you need to be aware of your own needs, the kind of work you are looking for, and the challenges you feel you need a little help to overcome. In order to identify what type of support you need from a recruitment agency, it is a good idea to assess your professional portfolio and career prospects. Don’t worry if you have little or limited knowledge of the job market, as a good recruitment consultant can uncover not only what you are interested in, but also what suits your skillsets and career goals. 


how to choose the right recruitment agency

2. Specialist or Generalist Recruitment Agency? 

Are you set on a specific sector, or are you exploring your options? If you are open to a new experience or currently considering a career change, generalist agencies should be your first port of call. However, if you are trained in a specialised industry, such as IT or Engineering, you may want to find an agency that can connect you to the right network and speak your language. If your agency of choice can communicate in the same way as your industry’s experts and has a thorough understanding of the trends and quirks of the industry, it can have a positive impact when they are presenting your case to potential employers.  


3. Ask Your Peers 

Researching recruitment agencies can start with a simple word of mouth exercise. There is a high chance that your peers have heard of an agency’s reputation through their own network, and have possibly even been in touch with them themselves. As recruiters are hyper-connected people, you might be surprised to find how much information you can discover by just tapping into your immediate network. Ask your peers for a recommendation. See if anyone in your immediate network has worked with any agencies you’re currently considering, and soon you will be receiving honest feedback from sources you can trust.

4. Look at the Recruitment Agency's Website: Team, Job Board and Resources 

When you are looking at a recruitment agency’s website, start by looking at the team’s profiles. This is where you can find out more about the experience, strengths and personality of each of consultant, and by extension, the agency itself.


Secondly, search through the agency's current job listings to see if you can find any descriptions that match your preferences. If you can, then you are on the right track. And finally, read through the resources that are available on the website, making a note of how active the agency is at helping its candidates, and how knowledgeable it is in the areas that you need the most help with.  


5. Follow the Recruitment Agency’s Social Media Activity

Find an agency that stays in touch with the latest developments in the job market, as well as having a reputation for success. As social media is the preferred medium of communication for many people, good recruitment agencies tend to post regular updates on their social channels to stay in touch with their network and keep them informed of sector-specific updates. While LinkedIn is the preferred channel of communication for many agencies, it is also worthwhile to check their Facebook for a better understanding of its key characteristics. 


Summary

New Zealand is home to numerous recruitment agencies across a variety of industries and specialisations. Being so spoilt for choice, many jobseekers find it difficult to take the first step and approach an agency, even though they require support. However, sometimes all it takes to find the right agency is to simply talk to one about what you need. 


Sourced is a specialised, experienced and local recruitment agency that provides guidance to many IT professionals in Christchurch and Auckland. If you are still unsure of which agency is the best fit for your needs, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to find out more.  

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End-of-Year Questions to Help You Reflect on Your Career

19 Nov 20 by 1102


In the midst of all the Christmas parties and last-minute deadlines, the end of the year is a time for both celebration and reflection, and the wind-down process is a valuable opportunity to review your successes, goals and lessons learnt.


As the year comes to a close, career reflection is the best way to prepare for 2022, enabling you to look back over the many ups and downs, assess where you stand regarding your career objectives and refocus yourself for a fresh start.


Here are the career reflection questions you should ask yourself as you reach the home stretch of 2021 and set your sights on the year ahead.

Are you Satisfied in Your Role?

Being happy in your role is important for ensuring you stay motivated and continue developing your career. Job satisfaction is typically accompanied by having a sense of purpose, feeling appreciated, greater drive and enjoying your work (for the most part).


If you are not satisfied with your current role, why? Are you not being challenged, do you lack room for advancement or are you experiencing conflict with colleagues/management? Once you have identified the source of the negativity, think about how you can change it, whether that’s through upskilling, having an honest conversation with your employer or even looking for a new opportunity. Remember, you don’t have to accept your situation – there are always ways to improve it.

Did You Try Something New or Step Out of Your Comfort Zone?

End-of-Year Questions to Help You Reflect on Your CareerChallenging yourself is a vital component of career growth, allowing you to build new skills and become more confident and resilient. It’s outside your comfort zone that real development happens!


Growth entails taking calculated risks and making mistakes, so chances are if you’re not encountering failures, you’re not developing as much as you could be. Recognise areas where you have taken on new challenges throughout the year and avoid berating yourself for any mistakes. And if you haven’t stepped out of your comfort zone as much as you’d have liked to this year (understandably!), consider making it a goal for 2021.

Have You Kept Up with Changes in Your Field?

As anyone in the Tech sector well knows, IT is constantly evolving and keeping up with the developments is an ongoing task. Your career depends on doing everything possible to stay ahead of the game, including investing resources and time into your expertise. Have you actively kept up to date with changes in your profession this year? What technical and non-technical skills have you obtained over the past 12 months?


If it quickly becomes clear during your end-of-year reflection that learning and upskilling have not been major focuses under recent circumstances (we don’t blame you), consider the skills you would like to acquire in 2021 and put a plan in place to build them. This could be anything from honing your data science or IT project management know-how to improving your communication skills – naturally, just make sure they align with the direction you want your career to go in.

What Have You Accomplished This Year?

When reflecting on your career, it’s easy to get caught up in how far you have to go to reach your goals and forget to acknowledge how far you’ve already come. Likewise, many people start looking ahead to the next milestone as soon as they’ve achieved the one in front of them. While this type of drive is admirable, it’s important to also recognise all the things you have achieved, no matter how small they might seem.


End-of-Year Questions to Help You Reflect on Your CareerTake the time to make a list of at least five or six accomplishments – and don’t just go for the big milestones. Did you master a new programming language, solve a problem that allowed a project to be completed on time or mediate a conflict between stakeholders? Whatever it is, celebrating your achievements will give you the clarity, confidence and motivation to continue pressing forward in the future.


Would you like support with achieving your career goals in the New Year? Reach out to the IT recruitment specialists at Sourced today – we would be happy to discuss your options and help you secure your ideal Technology job in time for 2021.

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Hiring Candidates with Potential

24 Jun 20 by 1096


The most obvious solution for an IT employer adding to their team is to hire the person that aligns most closely with the criteria for the role. And with recent global events affecting economic security, many employers are understandably keen to have as much certainty around hiring decisions as possible.


As an IT recruitment agency, we are constantly on the lookout for candidates with sought-after skillsets and experience, but this is never the full story for us. We advocate for a more holistic approach with our clients, recognising that past successes don’t always predict future performance – or automatically qualify someone for a role.


Sometimes, finding the ideal candidate requires looking beyond the obvious choices and recognising candidates that have the potential to add value to the business in the longer term.


Hiring candidates with potential allows you to expand your talent pool, reduce salary costs and grow your pipeline of future leaders – all hugely relevant benefits in today’s market. With this in mind, here is our advice on how to identify and recruit candidates with potential.

Hiring Candidates With Potential - A 5-Step Guide

 1. Expand Your Talent Pool


Potential is described as the capacity to grow, improve and develop into something in the future. When hiring candidates with potential rather than simply hiring for experience, it’s important to expand the initial search parameters before you even begin to review CVs. This will help to bring new candidates into the mix who may not have previously made the cut due to some areas of their experience not matching the role requirements.

 

 2. Review the Evidence

Hiring Candidates With Potential  A 5-Step Guide

Once you have an expanded pool, there are several opportunities to identify potential during the recruitment process: the CV review, the interview and the references.

When faced with just a resume, it can be very challenging to spot candidates that are likely to continue growing and developing their existing skills.


 3. What the Resumé Really Tells You


There are a few tell-tale signs that can indicate a candidate has potential when you’re considering experience vs. ability. These include:

  • Examples of learning new skills, such as by completing in-house training in the past.
  • A commitment to improving the way things are done rather than sticking with the status quo.
  • Instances where they have overcome challenges or hurdles in their job.
  • Quantifiable results, such as direct contributions to team or business goals.


 4. Getting the Right Response at Interview


Likewise, you can look for similar signs during the interview stage, but there are often more opportunities to recognise them or probe for further details. It’s also important to ask the right questions to help identify the core attributes of IT professionals with potential, such as passion, grit, determination and self-belief. Questions to consider include:

  • Those relating to the company and its values, which can show whether a candidate has come prepared. E.g. “Do you resonate with one of our values in particular, and why?”
  • Questions that focus on the candidate’s goals and ambitions. E.g. “Where do you see yourself in five years from now?”
  • Industry-related questions to assess whether the candidate keeps up-to-date with industry developments. E.g. “What is your opinion on this new innovation/event?” 
  • Questions about the candidate’s real-world experience. E.g. “Describe a time when you encountered a problem in a job. What was the result, and would you do anything differently next time?


 5. Taking A Detailed Reference


If you’re still unsure whether a specific candidate has the potential required to succeed in your organisation, speaking to people that they have previously worked with will provide added insights to help you make your decision. In this scenario, it can be helpful to provide the referee with an overview of the role the candidate is expected to perform and the future goals associated with. This way, the referee can provide feedback on the candidate that is specific to the challenges they may face.

Summary

Hiring candidates with potential successfully is no easy task, which is why many IT employers’ resort to looking for the exact experience needed at the time rather than thinking long-term. By changing your hiring strategy, you can equip your organisation with talented, engaged employees that will continue to grow, add value and build quality leadership well into the future.


If hiring IT professionals with potential is the best approach for your business, partnering with a specialist IT recruitment agency will give you the support you need to succeed. For more information on how we can help, feel free to get in touch with the team at Sourced.

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Keep Candidates Engaged in the Hiring Process

14 Jul 22 by 1098


From the first point of contact through to the job offer, the interactions a candidate has with an organisation during the hiring process sets the tone for the relationship from that point forward. The impression you make can affect both their likelihood of accepting an offer and the reputation of your business in the market, so getting it right is essential for ensuring you can continue to have your pick of the best talent.


Here are three key steps to help you create a positive candidate experience during the recruitment process, which will ultimately bring you closer to closing the deal and retaining people for the long term.

1. Provide a Positive Candidate Experience in the Job Interview

If you were to go to a job interview, what would you expect? Just as your first impression of a candidate plays a part in how you assess their employability, a tech candidate’s first impression of you will play a significant part in whether they want to work for you or not. 3 Steps to Keep Candidates Engaged Throughout the Hiring Process


As with all first impressions, a lot of hard work goes into making a good one. Having a clear and concise job description on the initial application, which highlights all of the necessary information, is a good place to start. Including some information on your company with an explanation of what you do and a little insight into the culture can also be very useful. Remember that during this process, it’s important to communicate clearly with all applicants. Communicating with those you have rejected can be very valuable in giving you usable feedback on your recruitment process, which you can then use to optimise your approach in future.


Having a clear application process with strong communication throughout will put you on the front foot by the time you get to an interview. When conducting interviews, try not to wear out the candidate with a one-hundred-step process, as this can lead to them becoming frustrated and disengaged, potentially even looking for opportunities elsewhere.


It’s also a good idea to even think about where you’re holding the interview; how this reflects your company and the impression it might leave. If you’re a fun and dynamic IT start-up, give them a tour of the office and showcase the work environment. This will also give them a first-hand look at where they’ll be fitting into the team and the style in which the team works. Similarly, ensure that the vacancy’s key stakeholders (including the role’s manager) are involved in the interview process, as this shows candidates you are taking the process seriously and provides the opportunity to see how the personalities mesh.

2. Present the Job Offer to the Candidate in the Right Way

After the interview process is complete and a preferred candidate has been identified, it's time to make the all-important offer. Research has shown that whilst 65% of 3 Steps to Keep Candidates Engaged Throughout the Hiring Processprofessionals want to hear bad news by email, 77% want to hear about good news over the phone – so if you’re giving someone good news, deliver it with a personal touch. Courier over your job offer along with a gift, or branded collateral such as stationery or a t-shirt. Follow this up with a phone call or a face to face meeting to run the candidate through the key elements of the offer. An agency can assist you with this by being a point of contact between you and the candidate throughout the process, providing clear communication if you don’t have the resources or capacity to do so. Don’t rush them into accepting the offer, but do give clear timeframes.


When making your offer, think beyond what you can offer the candidate, and look at your culture and the opportunities within your company. Review your interview notes to remind yourself of their key drivers, and ensure that these are addressed in the offer. Keep in mind that although these intrinsic factors are important, your remuneration package must also satisfy the candidate. It’s important to make a credible offer when making your initial approach so that the candidate doesn’t get an unwelcome surprise when the offer comes in. If this isn’t possible, then you may need to readjust your expectations and look for different candidates.


It is best practice to make an initial verbal offer at first. This way you can test the waters a little and revise your offer, if necessary, based on the candidate’s reaction. Liaising with a recruitment agency can help you formulate an offer that doesn’t risk insulting the candidate in any way, and jeopardising the hard work that was put into making a good impression.


This is another part of the process where you can implement a strong feedback loop. If the candidate accepts your offer, follow up with them and ask them how they felt the offer was presented; what they expected, what you did well and where you can improve. Candidates who didn’t accept the offer can also be great sources of feedback. Ask them what caused them to not accept it, and look at adapting your strategy to address this. This is another point where an agency can help, following up with the candidates and keeping those lines of communication open.

3. Keep the Candidate Engaged Before the Start Date and Have a Strong Onboarding Programme

It’s easy to fall into the trap of not speaking with the candidate until the day they start work. However, if you’re looking to keep that candidate engaged and further improve your chances of retaining them, it’s vital that you continue to communicate between offer-stage and start-date. 


Keep in touch with the candidate beyond their acceptance of the offer by inviting them to company social events or gatherings, whether remote or in person. This will shorten the lead time when they start and also has the benefit of your team getting to know the new starter. Doing things like getting the candidate to come along for drinks on a Friday afternoon can be a big help in maintaining their enthusiasm to start, and increasing their affinity with the workplace before they even turn up for their first day.


Consider the unique circumstances of your candidate too. For instance, if you’ve recruited an international candidate, or your candidate has had to relocate in order to take the role, then you might be able to assist them with their move. Even just speaking with them about the area, giving them tips on places to live, nearby facilities and things to do, can make them feel more comfortable in their new environment – which will help when the time comes for them to start.


Having a strong onboarding programme will help your new team member settle in and be more productive. Ensuring that their desk is fully set up and that they receive a company welcome pack will immediately make them feel welcome and valued. In addition to this, try to leave the paperwork until later in the week to put all the focus on getting them embedded into the team. Composing an effective plan for the new starter’s first 90 days, and ensuring that there is a strong feedback loop in place, will improve productivity immediately and give everyone the best experience possible.

Summary

When it comes to closing the deal with a tech candidate, ensuring they had a positive hiring experience is just as important as being able to meet any remuneration or contractual needs. If you want to secure these top candidates, it takes a strong first impression, a well-presented offer and clear communication and follow-through after the offer has been accepted. If these elements aren’t present, it becomes difficult to attract IT candidates and to retain them even if you do. The way you control, manage and develop your recruitment process itself will often be the difference between closing the deal or falling at the last hurdle.


Engaging a recruitment agency can address a lot of these pain-points, especially when communicating with candidates is so vital. If you’re looking for help with this, get in touch with us today.

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A Guide to Remote Onboarding

24 Apr 03 by 92


If you have recently hired into your business or need to hire during COVID-19, the chances are you will be onboarding your people remotely, perhaps for the first time. Read our three-step guide on remote onboarding best practices, where we cover the importance of advance planning, a comprehensive schedule and plenty of communication.          

                            

A Guide to Remote Onboarding                                                            A Guide to Remote Onboarding

                                                            A Guide to Remote Onboarding

                                                            A Guide to Remote Onboarding

                                                            A Guide to Remote Onboarding

                                                            A Guide to Remote Onboarding 


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A Guide to Remote Onboarding


As all employers are aware, onboarding is a crucial part of a new hire’s experience within an
organisation, providing them with an introduction to key players and company culture and a
solid overview of in-house policies and procedures. A good onboarding process takes time to
organise and roll out but, done right, it can pave the way to employee engagement, motivation
and strong performance on the job.


If you have recently hired into your business or need to hire during COVID-19, the chances
are you will be onboarding your people remotely, perhaps for the first time. This can raise
challenges for organisations and new hires in terms of managing expectations, communication
and technology. However, with advance preparation and a clear structure for the first few
weeks, employers can set their employees up for success. In this three-step guide, we’ve
laid out the key remote onboarding best practices that you need to know when onboarding
remotely.


Step 1: Smooth the Way with Advance Preparation


Preparation is key to ensuring the smooth integration of all new hires, and even more so when
they are based remotely. Here we look at several elements of onboarding that benefit from a
little upfront planning:


Documents and Signatures
When onboarding employees remotely, it can be useful to provide them with soft copies of all
company policies, procedures and forms (in addition to the employment contract) that can be
electronically signed using a legally binding e-signature tool like DocuSign or Adobe Sign.


Tools and Software

By organising any IT tools the employee will need prior to their start date, you can ensure
that they are up and running on day one, or, even earlier. Consider providing new hires with
advance access to the software and applications they will be using so they can utilise any extra
time they may have to familiarise themselves with them. You may also wish to include them in
email updates and team video calls before their official start date to help ease their way into
the organisation and stay in the loop of key changes.


Welcome Letter
Whether it comes from the CEO or their direct manager, sending a welcome email can help
the new hire feel like part of the team and set the tone for the coming weeks.


A good welcome letter should include

  1. A personal greeting expressing that you’re looking forward to them coming aboard
  2. Any important information they need to know, such as the start date and what they’ll need
    for their first day (e.g. bank account details, IRD number, tax code etc)
  3. Expectations for the first week
  4. Key documents such as company policies and the onboarding schedule

Comprehensive Onboarding Schedules

You’ll no doubt have clear schedules mapped out for the first week of onboarding, spanning
everything from casual team introductions and goal-setting meetings to formal training
sessions. By sharing these with your new hire the week prior to their start date (or attaching
them to the welcome email), they can plan their time and prepare for what can be (for some) a
daunting introduction to a new organisation and role.


STEP ONE CHECKLIST


Prepare upfront:

  • Documents and e-signatures
  • Tools and software
  • Welcome letter
  • Clear onboarding schedules


Step 2: Keep it Neat on Day One

It can be very tempting to cram multiple presentations and introductions into day one. Many
of us will have memories of starting a new job and throwing back the coffee as we struggled
with the information overload. Focusing on a few video sessions on your chosen platform
(Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts), and allowing breaks between each one, will create
a more manageable pace for everyone.


Keep in mind that staying focused during long presentations can be difficult, so aim to keep
the sessions as engaging and interactive as possible by creating activities, posing questions
and asking for examples to help the employee retain the information.


We suggest the following four areas are covered on the first day of the remote onboarding
process:

  • An overview of your organisation: its history, mission, values, people and culture. It can be
    particularly powerful to invite a member of your senior management team to present this
    session, sending a clear message to new hires that they are important and valued.
  • A presentation on company policies, procedures, employee benefits and any WHS
    requirements by your HR manager/head of people. Any outstanding forms could be
    covered off in this session, too.
  • A role-specific session by the hiring manager outlining job expectations, individual and team
    goals, project needs and timeframes and the schedule outline for the rest of the week.
  • A casual introduction to key team members they will be working with closely (to avoid
    overwhelming them with names and faces on the first day, keep the introductions to a select few)


Obviously, each presentation should allow time for Q&A so new hires can seek clarification
and feel confident that they have all the information they need.


STEP TWO CHECKLIST


Virtual presentation schedule:

  1. Company overview (history, mission, values, people and culture)
  2. In-house policies, procedures, employee benefits, WHS
  3. Role expectations, individual and team goals, project needs and timeframes
  4. Introduction to key team members


Step 3: Roll Out the Onboarding Schedule

The rest of week one provides time to roll out more introductions, as well as organise training
and regular catchups with your new hire. All these elements can promote a sense of shared
purpose and belonging among employees when working remotely.


Additional Meetings and Greetings
As well as introducing new employees to some key players on day one, it is important to
organise virtual meetings with other people who they will be working with. You may choose to
opt for one-on-one calls or small group video conferences spread over the first week. In our
experience, informal sessions, such as coffee chats and discussions over early evening drinks,
can work particularly well.


Regular Communication
Communication at the individual and team level will help to settle new hires into their role.
Hiring managers may find it useful to overcommunicate in the first few weeks by checking in
daily to see how new hires are progressing. Consider inviting them to contact you directly by
instant messenger or call if they have concerns about their work. This will provide them with
the confidence to speak out, and also provide you with a chance to swiftly resolve any issues.
You may also want to assign them a buddy within the team or organisation – someone who
can give them the unofficial scoop and act as a go-to whenever they’re unsure.


Now is a good time to ensure you are holding weekly virtual team meetings, where you can
provide everyone, not just new hires, with information on upcoming projects, current progress
and company developments. By following these sessions with short individual reviews, you
will ensure that all team members are on the same page and provide an opportunity for
development advice and feedback.


Flexible Training Courses
All new hires need training in certain areas to get them up to speed in their new role. Many will
no doubt be familiar with online training. By providing employees who are working remotely
with access to a variety of resources, including video tutorials, documents, infographics
and interactive courses, you can make this part of the onboarding process interesting and
appealing. Don’t forget to send all training materials to the employees following a session so
they have something to refer back to at a later date.


STEP THREE CHECKLIST


Roll out the onboarding schedule:

  1. Additional meet and greets with people in the organisation
  2. Regular communication at the individual and team level
  3. Flexible and varied training sessions


Summary
At the current time, onboarding virtually is a necessity rather than an option for employers
and their new hires. However, it can be a positive experience for all involved when a
structured approach is taken that incorporates advance planning, a clear schedule, plenty of
communication – and scope for flexibility.


For more information on remote onboarding or to discuss your tech recruitment needs,
contact the specialist team at Sourced today.

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COVID-19 Business Update & How We Can Help

24 Mar 03 by 91


With the government's recent announcement of our move to Covid-19 Response Level 4, the Sourced team are now working remotely, but at full BAU operation to ensure we're available to support you. 


While we recognise the uncertainty the pandemic has created, we are looking forward with optimism to a return to business as usual within the Tech Sector. The large majority of our clients have moved in an uninterrupted fashion to working from home and continue their business operations, as usual, therefore we strongly believe that for those candidates who were actively seeking employment prior to the announcement of the Covid-19 pandemic, opportunities will still exist for you in the near future.


For you specifically, we have been looking at the ways in which we can keep up the positive momentum. While we recognise the stress and uncertainty that the Pandemic has created, we also really encourage taking all practicable steps to remain work-ready.


This is a great time to be reflecting on past experiences, considering future aspirations and really cementing your career goals. As part of this effort, we have available a bespoke CV editing, tailoring and/or creation service, which includes an in-person meeting (Zoom/Skype) with a Sourced consultant to ensure your CV genuinely represents you and is ready to hit the market once business as usual resumes. This is an excellent opportunity to use our experienced consultants as a sounding board and ensure that your goals match with the market and that you are positioning yourself at the right level, in the right areas. 


This is a service that is available Monday - Friday, 9:00 - 4:00 pm with prior appointment necessary. Get in touch if you'd like our help!


We look forward to continued contact with you and are always available for any questions, concerns, or general information you may be after.

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5 Traits for Working in Your Business

2 Mar 22 by 2120


Most people understand that to accept a position at a company, no matter how humble, you need to bring the virtues of your professional talent to the role. This is made evident by the fact that in order to remain in the position, you need to bring value to your employer. While the parameters here can seem quite clear and confined, it’s hard to replicate that kind of comfort when starting your own business.


Everyone has to start somewhere, and it is a reasonably safe assertion that most people will kick their businesses off from a room in their own home, even if just for a month. That said, despite the perceived ‘comfort’ in working from home, your success requires no less diligence, care, attention to detail and self-discipline than you would in a more established setting.


Over many years in my profession I have come to the realization that while all virtues are useful in some respect, none of them are as important to curate and regularly rely on as the following five traits you should seek to embody. A good question to ask yourself is “Would I hire myself for this position?” 


The answer is most likely ‘yes!’ if you display the following five attributes:


1. Discipline

Ultimately, you have to be the engine of your operation. If you cannot dedicate yourself to the idea, it’s hard to convince anyone else to do the same. Discipline comes in many forms, and is ultimately an ally more than it is a hindrance.


This means focusing on your daily professional standards. Some people even choose to wear their usual professional wardrobe in order to adopt the right mindset for work, despite eschewing the morning commute. Despite the flexibility offered by working at home, many understand the value in setting consistent hours on a daily basis. Discipline can also mean making sure you set enough time between work and your personal life. This can be hard to do when working from home, but helps your mental wellbeing and focus on the job tremendously. Cultivating self-determination and a code of working principles is almost always key to success.


2. A brave face

It’s tough, let’s not kid ourselves. You’ll try to please your clients all the time, and yet there’ll be times where you feel like packing it all in for a cushy pool-boy job in Bora Bora. Money might be tight in the early stages (or at any stage). You need that brave face, not just for false bravado, but to continue to say “the client is right” or to change your focus and go drum up some more work.


Even if you need to handle a professional disagreement or a testy client, doing so respectfully and with clear and consistent communication will help ameliorate the issue at hand.


This leads me to the next point…


3. It’s not always about the money.

You should definitely work towards the money, but sometimes that should not be the top priority. It is very normal to be concerned about cash flow, especially early on. You will have a comprehensive business plan with forecasts that we like to call ‘realistically optimistic’, but there is a bigger picture issue here:


Heightening your professional standards and investing in your business is key. This might involve purchasing a new computer with the correct software needed to perform your role. It might mean hosting your website using a template web building service and purchased domain name.


Ultimately, it means falling in love with your craft. Clients notice this. They understand when you go above and beyond - and word of this spreads like nothing else. This way, you’ll be able to leverage better testimonials and a stronger portfolio towards the acquisition of more lucrative clients.


4. Savvy

  • IT savvy

You need to know how to run what you have. This means setting your workstation up and your professional security (such as multi-factor authentication and cybersecurity updates) needs to be applied as necessary.


Only you will be responsible for the printer malfunction at 3am, just hours before your deadline. This, in my opinion, is where a lot of people come unstuck. Every tool you buy, every piece of software you install needs to work in a way that you understand, right down to the apps you keep on your smartphone and how you organize your cloud calendar. It’s fine not to have these skills to begin with, but before you take on a professional client, you need to learn them.

  • People savvy

There’s a good chance that those with the confidence to run their own business are competent in their people skills.


Just remember to keep that brave face, and understand that careful client management is a matter of juggling expectations and personalities. 


Clients will still surprise you, however. It’s about rolling with the punches and allowing professionalism and documented communication work on your side. A professional disagreement with a client is not a reflection of your capability.


Next time you’ll have more though, accumulating this skill will see you through pretty much anything that your future clients/partners/colleagues can throw at you. This is where you cut your teeth as a professional.

  • I-need-help savvy

‘INH savvy’ might be the best one. You need to be able to spot when you need help (hopefully early in the piece) AND have the internal fortitude to ask for it. Asking for professional guidance, using an outsourced professional, or further clarification from a client is only going to help you perform your job better.

  • Confidence

Repeat this to yourself during those tough days:


“I can adapt what I am doing to meet the demands and criticisms of others.”


“I have the requisite skill and knowledge.”


“I’ve done enough for today!”


“I can do this.”


Remember why and how you began this business effort, and the extent to which you hope to cement yourself as a professional. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Just keep your shoulder to the grindstone, and use every setback as a learning experience.

Wrap up

Every self-employed journey will be different. We hope that with this advice, you can find some confidence and drive during the best days, as well as resilience and tenacity during those difficult periods. 


This time next year, who knows where you could be?

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Get Results From a Recruiter Client Relationship

1 Mar 22 by 2114


Being a recruitment consultant or an IT recruiter can be a complex and challenging job; you have to be the primary intermediary between the client and candidate, keeping them both happy and informed throughout every stage of the process. Maintaining strong client relationships and building a network of exceptional candidates is the bread and butter of your industry, and we want to help you get the most bang for your buck out of each client with these simple tips. 


1: Communication Is Key

In our fast-paced industry, it is more important than ever to establish authentic and honest connections with the client, IT recruiter, and candidate. The key to this connection is through consistent, direct, and open communication from the first interview to the final stages of the hiring process and beyond. The first step should be getting to know each respective party's needs right away by practicing effective listening: does your recruiter have positions that needed to be filled yesterday? Do these positions have highly specific requirements, such as certifications? Does your new candidate have accommodations that need to be met by their employers? 


Understanding a company's needs, their timeframe, and communicating with your team to fulfill those needs is the foundation of strong client relationships. Furthermore, communication must be consistent throughout the process; frequent check-in and follow-ups make each party feel recognized and reassured that their needs are being addressed. 

2: Be Positive, Accessible, And Responsive

A client's perception of your attitude and abilities is vital in retaining them. A client needs to feel like you have their best interest at heart and that you can deliver on those interests. Nothing helps build this perception better than positivity, accessibility, and quick responsiveness.


Having a positive, results-driven attitude from first contact helps build confidence; this should come from a place of expertise, doing proper research about a client's goals and industry, or a candidate's skill sets and abilities can go miles in your client's perception of you. 


It should go without saying that clients should be able to get a hold of you, but doing and saying are two different things; make sure your clients have your email, at least one phone number, and any appropriate online profiles (such as LinkedIn) for communication. You should also check each of these communication sources multiple times per day. Following up on these check-ins is key to curating good responsiveness. Even if there's nothing to report, just letting the client or candidate know that work is being done and their needs are being met keeps the line of communication open and helps reassure them that you're on the job.

3: Move Candidates Quickly

As recruitment consultants, your positions have many different facets; research, communications, interviews, onboarding calls, application reviews, and much more. Because of the myriad of tasks you need to juggle, the ability to appropriately prioritize critical duties and expedite them is essential in making your IT recruiter, candidate, and clients happy. 


An IT recruiter needs to move candidates into proper positions continuously, candidates balance upon tightrope-like excitement from the beginning of the application to placement, and clients need their position filled ASAP to meet deadlines; any lag in the hiring process lowers confidence in all parties. Because of this, every placement-focused task should be considered urgent and moved upon immediately. 


The best way to achieve this is twofold: One, good responsiveness and followthrough. As we mentioned earlier, responding to communications is important for maintaining good relations, but it's also important for a speedy and efficient candidate placement. From locking down interviews as soon as possible to providing candidate feedback to your recruiter post-interview, keeping speedy communication throughout all parts of the hiring and placement process helps keep the gears oiled and the system running smoothly. 


However, be sure not to rush clients through; diligence and promptness are essential here, so correctly researching client needs and ensuring candidates are a proper fit should still be priority number one. Even if a client isn't a good fit, contacting them and their recruiter quickly so they can be moved to a more fitting position benefits all parties; combine this with the professionalism displayed with a prompt response time, the client and recruiter will likely keep you in mind for future placements and applications. 

4: Be Transparent On The Hiring Process And Set Expectations

Clients often want their positions to be quickly and almost magically filled; however, they often do not realize the amount of time and effort needed to find reliable, applicable candidates. During initial communication with a client, it's best to set a clear and realistic expectation for the hiring process. Don't be afraid to go into the hiring timeline, your general strategy for finding the right client, and the current state of their industry and competitive nature of the IT market. You don't want to dissuade the client; instead, they should walk away with an understanding of the process you will be going through and the expected wait times involved with that process. 

5: Consider An Exclusivity Agreement

The phrase "it's all about who you know" is accurate for many industries, but for recruitment consultants, "who you know" is your industry. While technically a matter of preference, we have found that it is often beneficial to limit your IT recruiter pool to a small but highly targeted group. 


Often working with a small group who knows each other's industries, has a pool of talented candidates, and is more familiar with one another's preferences and client obligations lead to more effective placements. Of course, you will want to research these recruiters thoroughly first or selectively choose from those you have worked with previously with a good track record of success. 


We hope these tips are helpful in your recruiting; if you have any questions, you can contact us here, or if you are interested in our services, please feel free to register here.

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How to answer- Do you have any questions?

24 Feb 22 by 2119


Imagine this: You’re feeling pretty good about how the job interview has been going so far. Then you hear the question that strikes terror into the heart of many interviewees: “Do you have any questions?” What should you do? Should you ask questions? Or just put on the biggest smile you can?


As new college grads, many of us lack interviewing experience. Unless you've been actively seeking jobs and getting interviews. This means that once you have finished answering all of the interviewer's questions, you will have the chance to showcase yourself by asking questions. Nothing leaves a more lasting impression on an interviewer than a few well-crafted, relevant questions at the conclusion of the interview. By simply saying “No, I think we've covered all of it,” you miss out on not just the potential to make a lasting impression, but also the chance to learn more about the position, interviewer, industry, and management structure.


It's easy to forget that an interview isn't just a one-way questioning session (i.e. when you're being asked questions by the interviewer). Instead, it's a chance for us to do the same thing for the company.


Listed below is a list of questions that you might use to guarantee that you are able to ask questions and leave a positive impression. As a matter of fact, everyone is aiming to get an advantage over the other candidates, so you may as well make a lasting impression on the interviewer.

What would an average day look like for a new member of the team?

By asking this, you're demonstrating your interest in the company. Take this chance to learn about the position's daily tasks and expectations, as well as to ensure that you grasp the extent of what they're asking for and what they anticipate from you in this capacity before you begin working with them.

What is it about working here that you like the most?

What they say, how quickly they answer and how happy they are or aren't may help determine if this is a place where you want to work. It's also a chance to become even more enthused about a career you already adore.

What can I do to help prepare myself for a role in the company?

Asking this question shows the company that you’re willing to go above and beyond to make yourself an ideal candidate for the role - even if you’re not guaranteed the job!

What is the corporate culture of this company? or What kind of atmosphere does the workplace have?

Before the interview, you should have done some research to get a sense of the firm's culture, but it's always a good idea to ask about the team's value system to get a better sense of what life at the company is like. You'll know whether you're a good match for the company if they ask this question.

What characteristics do you think to make a good employee in this specific position?

Allowing the interviewer to describe their "ideal employee" helps you gain insight into the company's and the team's ethos, as well as setting you up for success in the position from the get-go by letting you know what they expect of you.

What are the key performance indicators (KPIs) for this position?

Knowing what success looks like in this job and within the organization can help you determine whether this is a place where you want to work and where you can make a contribution and be successful, so be sure to ask them. If you're hired, you'll want to know what they're looking for when it's time for your performance evaluation!

What are the opportunities for advancement in this position at this company?

Employers may want to know if you're interested in a long-term career with the business or if you're looking to advance your skills inside the company by asking this question. This also suggests that you're a self-starter who aspires to grow and succeed. However, it is important not to spend too much time thinking about the "next role after this one" during the interview! If you decide to apply for a promotion at the company, they may not want to rehire you after a year, so this is where you can read them and strike a balance.

What is the management style of this company?

Knowing how the company's higher management operates can give you a better idea of whether or not the business's culture fits your needs and working style.

Is it possible to move (either between branches, to other cities, or to different countries)?

This is a follow-up to the previous point. This is a tough question to ask, but it delivers a positive message: this shows that you're wanting to develop with the company for the long term and are always open to internal chances that may be helpful to your progress. However, you should avoid concentrating too much on this since you may be seen as uncommitted.

How does the business view future study?

When you ask this question, it typically indicates that you are interested in continuing your education, and the company should feel confidence in putting you into their training courses.

What other thoughts do you have on my suitability for this position?

In certain cases, asking this type of question may be really nerve-wracking, especially when it's for a position that you really want and you're not sure how the interview is going from the hiring manager's perspective. However, this is an excellent method of getting really useful input from the recruiting manager regarding your suitability for the position. As a result, you have the opportunity to address any concerns or doubts they may have about you.


The answers to these questions are not a guarantee that you will be hired. However, if you ask them, the interviewing team will see that you're ready and have the initiative to keep talking with them. Make a list of three or four questions that you think will provide you with enough information about the company and impress the recruiting staff.

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Internships: What They are and How They Work?

26 Feb 22 by 2117



As you near the end of your academic career, you will begin to apply for entry-level positions within your field. However, landing these positions for fresh graduates can be challenging, especially for those pursuing IT, as competition for these positions is extremely fierce. Combine this with our current job market, which is requiring practical work experience for even the lowest level positions, getting your foot in the door can be daunting. Thankfully, internships are a handy solution that can train you for embarking into your industry while also providing you with valuable work experience. 

What Are Internships? 

Internships are short-term working positions offered by companies to train and provide experience to the intern. While these positions are most often geared towards graduating students, most fields and professions provide internships. While at an internship, the intern will work on projects, learn practical information on their field, work alongside other industry professionals, network, hone their skills, and apply their education in a real-world setting. Some internships even allow the intern to shadow a lead, by doing this they have a mentor who shows them the ins-and-outs of the position while guiding them on their work.

What Kind Of Internships Are There? 

The specifics of each internship will vary for each organization, but overall, the most common types of internships are the following: 


  • Paid: Paid internships are the most common and provide payment for the intern's services; this payment is usually salary or hourly. Paid internships have a more thorough application process, stricter requirements, require more commitment, and have a heavier workload than unpaid internships. However, paid interns have a greater chance of being hired post-internship; according to a NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) study, in 2019, 66% of paid interns received a job offer, while only 43% of unpaid interns were offered a job. Paid internships are also seen more favorably by recruiters and hiring managers. Because of the many benefits of paid internships, they are often highly competitive and can require multiple interviews and assessments. 

  • Unpaid: While not as common, unpaid internships still exist throughout most fields. These internships are usually less work-intensive and geared towards study. These internships are also easier to get into and greatly favor college students who are either nearing graduation or have just graduated. Therefore, unpaid internships can still be highly valuable experiences. However, sadly, many industries use unpaid internships to get free labor. When applying to internships, it can be helpful to review the United State's 7 Point Test to help determine if the internship favors you or the company.

  • Full Time or Part Time: Each industry has its own standards for internship time; however, part-time internships are the most common. However, full-time internships are the norm in the tech, engineering, and legal fields and are also more often paid; the purpose behind this is to mirror the job as closely as possible, including hours worked. 

  • Credit or Non-Credit: Certain organizations collaborate with universities or other academic institutions to offer internships that count towards college credits. These internships are usually highly focused on a specific area of study that falls within the disciplines of a particular college (such as IT, Law, or Engineering.) Often students are required to convey what information they learned through assessments, journals, papers, or projects. 

Why Are Internships Important? 

Internships provide newcomers to an industry with the ability to learn valuable, practical skills in a working environment. This is done by working alongside seasoned, more experienced industry members and other interns. This environment provides valuable education and practical experiences guided by professionals. By going through an internship, you can learn what the day-to-day looks like for your field, improve both hard and soft skills, and learn how to apply your education to your future position. 


Another valuable asset from internships are the networking opportunities they provide. At your internship, you will get to meet other industry pros and work alongside them; this allows you to make invaluable connections and contacts in your field. While there, you should be proactive with your communication and interactions; share social media accounts (preferably LinkedIn), have lunch(if appropriate), and make valuable contacts. 

How To Find Internships

Finding internships used to be complicated; however, since they have become increasingly required for most industries, they are now more prevalent and accessible than ever. Here are just a few ways you can find and apply to internships: 


  • Online Job Boards: There are countless internships available online, it's just a matter of finding and filtering them. To help narrow down your search, be specific and look for a position you are already interested in. Many websites help students and industry newcomers find internships; however, we find that job boards and dedicated internship sites offer the best bet; we recommend Indeed, LinkedIn, and Internship.com.

  • Campus and College Resources: Universities are rife with internships; start by checking out your student resource center, job boards, job fairs, and career centers. Many individual colleges within a university will have connections to yearly internships, so it's best to ask a professor of that college or a career counselor to help you get started on the appropriate applications. 


Search Specific Companies: Many large corporations and industry-leading companies have annual internships. These internships are usually at the same time every year, are highly competitive, have a limited application window, and only select a small number of interns from the pool of applicants. While more challenging to get into, these internships are highly valuable and sought after and can be applied to year after year; it never hurts to apply, even more than once, and try and make it into your dream company.

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IT Graduates: Securing Your First Job

6 Mar 22 by 2124

IT Graduates: Securing Your First Job

IT Graduates: Securing Your First Job

Every graduation season comes with an influx of tech talent into the market, which for graduates, means that there is strong competition for those first jobs. Landing a job is a different challenge to university, so how can you set yourself up to secure that perfect first job at the company you want?

Personal Branding

A strong personal brand makes a good first impression and lets candidates stand out from the crowd. A well-structured CV is a good starting point, but an online presence is important too. 


Most employees will use social media to see your work and find your contact information. Public profiles, like Facebook, can have unfavorable content, such as images that might put off a potential employer. Remove anything like this from public view on your social networks, as well as making sure your profiles are up to date with your contact details and recent experience. 


LinkedIn is designed to be a professional platform and will let you show off any recent experience as well as your skills and interest. It is common for employers to search for applicants on LinkedIn, but you can also use it when job searching to find contact information for recruiters or hiring managers. 


For IT jobs in New Zealand, GitHub and Stack Overflow are networks specific to the IT sector. GitHub is the largest code-sharing platform and a great place to showcase your work, so you can build credibility within the IT community. Stack Overflow is an educational question and answer forum and is where programmers go to find or provide solutions to problems. It also has a built-in credibility system. If you use either of these, include them on your applications. 

Keys to Success for IT Graduates - Sourced: Christchurch IT RecruitmentNetworking

Using professional networks is another great way to get your career started after graduation. Your network will have already begun to form during your studies, as your University Lecturers can play a part in it. They will have useful information on conferences, vacancies, and internships that you should be looking into to get your career started. 


Fairs for University Graduates are a good place to get started with building your network, as they are designed for people in your position and will be attended by recruiters who are interested in new talent in your area. By approaching and engaging with IT recruiters, you can promote yourself and your skills. If you make the most of these fairs, you can make an impressive first impression on those who attend.


Attending these Graduate Fairs can also give you some idea of what attending an industry conference might be like. Conferences are usually annual events, specializing in a particular field and are often attended by professionals from all over the world. Attending conferences like this will give you direct access to interesting and influential people. 

Interning

For those who will be graduating in the next year, it is very common for graduates to find their first full-time job by completing an internship. A great way to get your foot in the door of a company that you want to work with is to get involved in a Summer Graduate Program. Some other good ways to secure an internship are through your University, who will probably have links with employers to make this happen, or to approach employers directly. Securing an internship can give you the chance to show a potential employer how hard you can work and how enthusiastic you are to stick into whatever they might throw at you. Just be aware of the trap of being the eternal intern. An internship should be a stepping stone.

Contracting / Freelancing

There’s an old saying that practice makes perfect, and this can help you get that first job. Freelancing is a popular choice for a lot of programmers, as it gives you a lot of flexibility and plenty of opportunities to practice your skills. Freelancing has become more popular in recent years, so there are now a number of dedicated networks. These networks can help you if you want to explore freelancing further. These include FreelancerUpwork / Elance, which allow people to post projects and hire technical talent to complete them.

Be Persistent

Everyone knows what company they would love to work for. Contact them directly and find out as much as you can about vacancies in your area. This shows your interest in the company. If there aren’t any roles available, they might have a junior role open soon, and may keep your CV on hand to review again when they have a suitable position. 


Combining persistence with some creative thinking might help you to get your resume noticed. For example, many IT recruiters have seen a graduate impress a company by revamping their CV into a different format, such as to match the style of the social media platform they want to work for. Be persistent, and keep on applying whenever you see roles opening up. A new angle can also be effective, as it can attract attention and show a different side to you and your work. 


Set yourself some personal milestones too, so you have an effective way to provide you with a  way to measure your progress, and can also help to keep you focused on your objectives.

Summary

Getting started in the job market after you graduate can be a daunting process and overwhelming task. However, if you know where to look, there are a lot of resources out there ready to be used, from IT recruitment in Auckland, to social media platforms. You might have already gotten started on your job journey, but putting the time in to develop your current network and your own strengths can make a lot of difference. By looking at other graduates, you will easily be able to see how much hard work is needed to succeed. If you need more advice on setting up your personal brand, expanding your network, or need help finding job vacancies, then an IT recruiter should be your first call to get started.

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Key Tips for Working from Home

24 Mar 03 by 90



The ongoing COVID-19 situation has led many businesses to enable their employees to work from home, but there is usually some level of adjustment. Taking the time to prepare will help ensure you have the best set up to allow for the same efficiency, comfort and capabilities as you would have in the office.


Here are our top tips for working from home and advice on making the most of it.

Create Your Ideal Environment

If you haven’t worked from home in the past or have done so ad hoc, you may not have a home office set up. However, you can create one easily by finding a quiet area of the house and making it your own for the time being. We often find ourselves more productive if we like our work environment, so try to replicate the office as much as you can.


Look for the following:

  • Natural light – this helps to reduce eye strain.
  • Plenty of space for a desk and some room to stretch your legs.
  • Minimal distractions from family – try to find a room that isn’t used as much so people aren’t coming in and out, particularly if you have children off school.
  • Remove distractions – take out the TV and other unnecessary devices that might tempt you away from the tasks at hand.

Get Your Supplies Together

First, though we know it’s fairly obvious, it’s important to mention that having the right tech set up is essential for working from home. You’ll know that high-speed internet is, of course, a must – but try to replicate the other things you have at the office that help you stay on track. Multiple wide computer screens are always ideal, but even just one decent-sized screen will do.


Another simple but often overlooked component of working from home is communicating with everyone when you’re not in the same space. Sure, you’ve got your phone and email, but what about those team meetings or catch-ups with your manager? That’s where video conferencing platforms such as Skype, Zoom, GoToMeeting or Facetime can bridge the gap. And don’t forget about the option of using live chat apps such as Microsoft Teams, Slack and Facebook’s Workplace to quickly update each other on events.


Aside from technology, put together any stationery you might need, and don’t forget to look after your own needs. That may mean having an adjustable chair, a standing desk or any other equipment you might require. Whatever your preference, ensure you have everything to keep yourself comfortable and your output at regular levels.

Set Boundaries and Stick to Them

Working from home can make it difficult to separate your personal and working life, and can easily lead to you taking breaks at odd times and checking emails late at night.


Without your daily commute or structured lunchbreaks to guide you, it’s important to set your hours and create a routine for yourself. Get up and dressed (rather than staying in your pyjamas) as this switches you into the “work mode” mindset, take the same number and duration of breaks that you normally would, and switch off when it’s “home time” by moving away from your office space and silencing work-related notifications for the evening. This structure is vital for productivity and helps you tell your brain when it’s time to switch on and when you can relax again.

Consider the Emotional Impact

It’s okay to feel a little down while working remotely; if you’re not used to it (and especially if you live alone), working from home can lead to feelings of isolation and mental fatigue.


Here are some easy solutions:

  • Take your scheduled breaks and use them to communicate with others – even if it’s just calling a family member or sending a message to a friend.
  • Get outside for some fresh air and sunshine if possible, even if it’s a walk around the backyard or patio.
  • Reward yourself for a job well done. When you’re not interacting with your team as often as you used to, it may feel like your work is not being acknowledged. Take the time to reflect on the progress you’ve made and celebrate the small victories.

Summary

Adjusting to working from home may take a little time, but once you’re into it you should find yourself as productive as ever.


For more advice on preparing to work from home or support with your job search during this challenging time, contact our friendly team at Sourced. We’re here to find you that dream IT role, so don’t hesitate to reach out.

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LinkedIn For Professionals: Be Found By IT Recruiters

23 Feb 22 by 2121


By now, everyone has heard about LinkedIn as a way for professionals to connect and network with others across almost every industry. But if you are looking for IT jobs in New Zealand, you might not be using the platform to your best advantage. Several IT recruitment agencies utilise LinkedIn to find talent, and if you use it right, an IT recruiter could find you faster than the time and effort you would otherwise spend sifting through leads on your own. IT jobs in New Zealand can be pretty competitive, so if gaining the edge through efficiency sounds appealing, read on to find out how professionals on LinkedIn get four by IT recruitment agencies.

Advanced Tips to Get Noticed By An IT Recruiter



  • Connect your LinkedIn account to professional content online news portal

    In the age of social media-driven news content, you have a lot of power to choose which online news outlet you want to follow. However, two online news portals stand out so far - LinkedIn Pulse and Newsle.com. The former is an official application from LinkedIn that promotes and displays news content from industry-leading experts, while the latter allows you to receive a stream of news on your contacts. Both these news portals scour industry publications, local, national newspapers, and more to give you proper news on your contacts (not simply status updates). Finding and connecting to the same content that professionals at IT jobs in New Zealand subscribe to will instantly put you into the same networks - albeit on the margins. But when IT jobs and IT recruitment agencies go on the hunt for talent, they tend to start close to home and work their way out, allowing you to pop up earlier than other candidates.


  • Use a great headline

    Your headline on LinkedIn should be thought of as your sales pitch to IT jobs in New Zealand. It should be succinct and yet still highlight to prospective IT jobs that you are knowledgeable and skilled in what you do. Using relevant keywords and phrases that IT recruitment agencies and an IT recruiter in a human resources department would search for will get you noticed.


  • Make sure you have a completed profile

    It cannot be stressed enough that an IT recruiter is going to scrutinize your profile, and vague or missing information is going to stick out like a sore thumb. Do highlight all of your achievements in past jobs - IT jobs if applicable - as well as your education and skills. An IT recruiter will think you are potentially unengaging in the workforce if you skimp on filling out these parts. And do ensure that you have enabled “Open To Job Opportunities” so IT jobs in New Zealand know you are available.


  • Think about how you are using the space on your profile and tighten your profile

    Time is money and people avoid reading and scrolling through long profiles. Multiple roles in one company can be summarised in one longer-term role and the description can list them one by one to save space. Think about “less is more” if you can make the roles substantial and show progress. Hashtags are a great way to list the attributes you can bring to IT jobs while slimming down lengthy profile bios. IT jobs in New Zealand have been using hashtags to attract candidates who are searching for specific aspects of an IT job they think they’d fit into best, and so the strategy here is to do the reverse. You can always call or do some web-sleuthing to find out what IT recruitment agencies or an IT recruiter inside of the human resources departments at various companies are looking for in a candidate, and highlight that you have those qualities through your hashtags.


  • Used Advanced Search to find relevant contacts

    Doing this will allow you to find a more targeted list of connections. To do this, you need to click ‘Advanced’ on the top bar, next to the magnifying lens icon. You can also start with a broader search and drill-down by selecting filters on the left column. This tip will make finding connections that lead to IT recruitment agencies more efficient.

Tips to Enhance your LinkedIn Experience:



There are basic things you can do to enhance your experience on LinkedIn to better learn the platform and how an IT recruiter will interact with it (and you).


  • Add all emails to your account

    Adding every email you have ever used professionally or academically, in addition to your private email, enhances the chances that prior contacts will find and connect with you. All invites will end up in the email you designate as your primary email, but LinkedIn will recognise that your contacts are trying to reach YOU.

  • Have a great photo!

    Modern profile shots are a clear headshot of you and possibly also include a setting, as appropriate. It should not look like it is cropped out of a group of friends.

  • Be selective about posting into groups.

    Be engaged with like-minded professionals and you will see how often you get noticed by jobs. You will want to be selective and always professional when you post, however, as an IT recruiter can tell what kind of a fit you would be for IT jobs in New Zealand by how your interactions and how you present yourself. Let posts be the best of you. Randomly sharing articles or asking, “Is anyone in the group a Kiwi?” will brand you a ‘newbie’ on LinkedIn. 

Sourced NZ

Sourced has the most efficient and extensive network of IT contractors and recruiters online in New Zealand. You can keep up to date with everything happening in New Zealand’s IT and technology market by registering with us, as well as find answers about IT recruitment and businesses at
sourced.nz.

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LinkedIn Guidance For Recent Graduates

27 Feb 22 by 2116


Graduating is a massive accomplishment and a culmination of years of hard work, perseverance, study, and dedication; however, it is just the first step into the career world. Your next step after graduation is to begin applying to entry-level positions or utilizing a job placement agency or an IT recruiter; for any of these routes to succeed, you will need a finely polished resume, CV, and effective LinkedIn profile. It may come as a surprise to some, but having a powerful LinkedIn profile is just as valuable as a well-polished resume and can double as an invaluable networking tool. So let's take a look at some of the best ways you can get the most out of your LinkedIn profile. 

1: Create A Full Profile

This step may feel like a no-brainer, but having a compelling and complete profile will allow you to attract the attention of hiring managers and other industry professionals. Make sure you fill in every field but pay special attention to the educational history, summary, and skill fields. 


  • Educational History: Be sure to list your educational institutions in the education section by clicking on your school or universities logo in the dropdown. You should also briefly mention your education and area of study in your summary. 

  • Summary: Your summary is the powerhouse of your profile, alongside the skills section. Your summary is limited to 2000 characters (including spaces), so you might have to get creative, but it's vitally important to utilize this space to sell yourself to a prospective employer or IT recruiter. One of the best strategies is to tell a story with your summary; while doing so, incorporate keywords related to your industry; this will help your profile appear on searches for your field. 

  • Experience: This is another powerhouse field for your profile; it allows you to convey your most valuable skill and assets to a company. You want to create a full picture of what you can bring to a company, and while doing so, be sure to keep using those industry-focused keywords in your descriptions. 

2: Convey Professionalism

Be sure to use professional language, have a high-quality headshot, and a good cover photo; this should also apply to all your social media profiles, not just LinkedIn. 

3: Make Connections And Take Part In Discussions

LinkedIn isn't just a tool to display an online resume; it's a valuable network of other applicants and industry professionals. First, connect with known industry members like professors, previous employers, previous coworkers, and even friends in the same field. Then begin to take part in your professional community by joining appropriate groups. You should try to take part in industry-focused communication daily and make contacts as often as possible. 

4: Identity, Research, And Engage

The final step is identifying your potential employers, researching them through LinkedIn, and engaging with them by applying to their open position outside of LinkedIn utilizing the information you gained through research. 

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Linkedin Profile: What it is, Why You Need it

28 Feb 22 by 2115


LinkedIn is one of the most prolific online networking platforms out there; it's been around longer than most social media sites and hosts over 600 million users. As a result, LinkedIn is one of the most beneficial tools for anyone looking to make it in their industry or connect with their contemporaries. If you're a recent graduate, industry pro, or even an IT recruiter, LinkedIn can help you take your professional network to a new level.  This article will go over all the reasons you should create a profile and begin connecting, while also listing some tips to get the most out of your profile. 

1: You Can Build A Powerful Network 

Building and maintaining a professional network is invaluable to any professional career. However, in the past, maintaining this network was extremely difficult; through mountains of business cards, Rolodexes of outdated contacts, and often unused address books, keeping in touch with other business professionals was a job in and of itself. LinkedIn has made this job considerably more manageable, as you can quickly contact other industry members, easily communicate with them, receive updates from them, and join large communities to make new contacts. 


Not only does this allow you to have a more extensive and more interactive network, but it also opens you up to new individuals that you would have otherwise never met. This improved network is especially valuable for IT recruiters; as it both allows you to maintain up to date information on all your current clients, while also allowing you to find many more through effective networking and research. 


The best way to get the most out of your network is to be active; try to log in every day, join and interact with communities and discussions, and connect with large amounts of other industry members.

2: LinkedIn Can Connect You To Recruiters And Hiring Managers

According to recent studies, a whopping 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn. So, if you are searching for a new position, looking to find a job out of college, or improving your network with IT recruiter contacts (which is always a good idea!), creating a LinkedIn profile should be a priority. This is even more important for IT recruiters, as LinkedIn is one of the largest sources of talented online candidates available.


Getting in touch with recruiters and hiring managers on LinkedIn is all about presentation; having a professional, informative, and well-put-together profile is the first step. Then you will need to research some effective keywords associated with your industry and add them to your profile summary and experience section. Utilizing these keywords will help your profile appear when recruiters search terms or phrases related to your industry. 

3: It Allows You To Research Companies

Most companies and their respective team members have LinkedIn pages and profiles. These companies will often post upcoming events, highlight employees, release regular updates, and discuss current industry topics. By browsing the company's page and its team members' profiles, you can get a deeper understanding of their work culture and gain valuable information for interviews. 


Researching companies is relatively straightforward; however, you should be cautious before interacting with them or their employees. Instead of directly reaching out to them, join discussions they participate in; this way, you can introduce yourself or appear on their radar more naturally. But, when in doubt, merely reading up on a potential employer is usually enough to get an edge in an interview or help you better tailor your CV and cover letter for an application. 

4: It Acts As A Job Board And Helps You Keep In Tune To Job Openings

This may surprise those who have not used LinkedIn for a while, but they have a job board. Companies can post openings and positions through the social media site; even better, you can sign up for alerts focused around industry keywords, letting you know when companies post jobs in your field. Also, following companies you are interested in provides notifications on their openings, and you can directly apply to these positions through LinkedIn. If you're willing to pay for their premium account, you can also take advantage of salary insights, get details on people who view your profile, and get insights on other applicants for job postings. 


Besides paying for a premium account, the most effective way to utilize these facets of LinkedIn is to research and follow industry keywords. To do so, start by doing frequent searches for industry keywords, then find businesses that have openings through those keywords, you can then, in turn, follow those businesses for future openings; this way, you can keep up with more potential opportunities and businesses in your fields, giving a wide breadth of options. 

5: You Can Establish Yourself As A Professional by Contributing

Frequently contributing to industry discussion does more than get you in contact with contemporaries; it also allows you to establish yourself as an expert in your field. By frequently communicating through LinkedIn in a meaningful and professional way, like sharing articles, insights, and industry knowledge, you can build a robust online presence and brand. This professionalism and brand can make you highly appealing to IT recruiters, hiring managers, and other members of your field. 


The best way to take advantage of this process is to thoroughly research any topic you wish to discuss; you have to have the industry chops and information to make any online statement truly valuable. So it's always best to research first and speak second. Then, to get the most bang for your buck, utilize endorsement and recommendations. These sound similar but are, in reality, two different means of supporting your profile. Endorsements are when users acknowledge your skill in a particular field, and recommendations are uniquely written statements from other users espousing your expertise or abilities. Anyone can endorse someone at any time; however, creating a recommendation takes time and effort, giving them extra weight. If you get into a nice dialog online where you've shared valuable information, it never hurts to ask for either.

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Personal Branding for Students And Graduate

25 Feb 22 by 2118

The application process is a competition; from your education, certifications, work experience, and CV presentation, you will be compared to every other applicant. While ubiquitous across every industry, this competition can be more fierce for fields like IT; in IT, your technical knowledge is scrutinized more harshly, and hard skills are highly prized and rigorously tested. However, this does not mean that presentation, appearance, and networking go out the window. On the contrary, in these highly competitive fields, the brand elements of your portfolio are more important than ever. Think about it this way, if you are in a lineup of 20 other applicants, each with roughly equivalent skill and technical proficiency, the applicant who presents their identity, skillset, ambition, and other valuable traits the best will be more likely to get hired, or be more likely noticed by an IT recruiter. 

This presentation of a "personal brand" is essential for recent graduates. If you have just graduated, you likely won't have the work experience to separate you from other fresh grads, so presenting your skills and personality will be needed to stand out ahead of your contemporaries. 

What Is A Personal Brand? 

A personal brand refers to how you present and promote your online identity. Personal brands should illustrate your skills, abilities, beliefs, personality, and attitude uniquely and compellingly. Simply put, your personal brand should sell you. 

Why Are Personal Brands Important?

By curating your online image, you can control the perception others, namely IT recruiters, potential employers, and other industry professionals, have of you. By defining your online image, you can express the professionalism, expertise, and personal qualities employers find valuable, resulting in better chances of employment and recruitment. 


Beyond finding a job, effective personal branding allows for more successful networking both offline and online. With a brand that expresses likability and expertise, fellow industry members will be more likely to add you to their network of contacts and, in turn, proliferate your online profile. 

How Do You Curate A Personal Brand? 

Curating an effective personal brand is all about consistent presentation. Here are all the basic requirements and useful practices for creating and maintaining a strong personal brand: 


  • Make a social presence online: if you haven't already, the first step is to create various social media; the most important are LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, with other valuable options being Snapchat and Instagram. LinkedIn is the most important of these, as it is the primary social media business professionals will go to when looking into you. 

  • Understand what you want to present: Once you have your various socials created, your next step will be to define what elements of yourself you want to present through. This is the hardest part of personal branding. It requires a deep level of introspection and self-awareness; if you run into trouble here, it can be helpful to turn to friends and family to help define your most valuable and authentic assets. Generally, you want to present marketable skills, achievements, and personality, along with your core values, passions, and interests. These are some of the vital personal and professional elements that will help prospective employers understand you as an individual, along with your level of expertise and ability. When defining and presenting these values, be genuine, as sincere passion is recognizable and highly valued. 

  • Create a consistent theme and voice: Consistency is key in personal branding. Therefore, you will want to select design elements that will persist throughout all of your socials; color scheme, fonts, images, headers, etc. At the same time, you will want to define a pervasive voice that you will utilize when making posts and communicating. Voice in this context refers to your speaking style, inflection, and general demeanor; you should ensure your voice, all online communications, and posts are both professional and non-controversial at all times. 

  • Don't Oversell: One of the most significant errors in personal brands is the tendency to oversell. Nothing can be as detrimental as coming off as the stereotype of a used car salesman. Recruiters, hiring managers, and other industry members can smell insincerity a mile away, so be honest, genuine, and sincere when creating your brand. 

  • Create Clear Career Goals and Relevance: Understand what you want to get out of your brand, and dedicate your brand to that goal. If you aim to be a systems administrator of a large tech company, the skills, achievements, and industry-related posts you share should all be relevant to that position. One way to help define this is to create a mission statement for your career goals; this should be a short (30 seconds or less) pitch that you make for yourself that is concise, understandable, passionate, and authentic. When creating posts online, or communicating with others, keep this mission statement in mind, and use it as a guideline. 

  • Have a portfolio: While typical in media-driven industries (film, writing, design, etc.), having a robust portfolio is advantageous for all fields that have demonstrable hard skills. For IT professionals, code snippets, technical flow charts, program demos, and infographics all possess the ability to showcase your skills and achievements. You should have an online location where anyone can view your portfolio. The most professional option is to have a dedicated website that contains all your best work; this is doubly beneficial because you can create a custom bio or about me page that can encapsulate your brand. However you choose to host your portfolio, you should have it linked in each of your social media. Many social media sites have a dedicated section for portfolio and personal sites; for those that do not, linking at the end of your bio or summary section is standard. Having a dedicated site also allows you to easily link a portfolio to applications, or send to an IT recruiter to get their interest.


Overall, personal brands allow students and recent graduates to create a memorable, lasting impression that can be more impactful than a cover letter. 

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Put the spotlight on your Employer brand

9 Mar 22 by 2123

Your employer brand is crucialPut the Spotlight on Your Employer Brand

Candidates want to work for an organization with a strong culture that treats its employees well. This reputation can give companies the edge in attracting top talent. How can you showcase your company in order to attract the right talent? Through employer branding. 

What is Employer Branding?

Your employer brand is the external representation of your internal brand. This could be driven by your company values, but it also manifests itself through the way that employees interact with and within the company. 

Why Take Control Of Your Brand?

Everyone uses social media, so information is accessible. Candidates can learn about your company in seconds, so you need to know what information is out there and control it. Many professionals rank employment as a key factor when job hunting, so it’s essential to attract top talent too. Being seen as a great place to work also reflects better on your brand with consumers too. 

Finding Your Brand

To show it off, you need to know what your brand is. You may think you know what it’s like to work at your company, but it’s likely there are different opinions throughout the company. As well as whether or not people enjoy working for you, this also covers what they see as the company’s priorities, strengths, and weaknesses. This can be hard to pin down in larger companies. For example, it’s easier to have everyone on the same page if you’re an IT recruitment firm than if you’re a small IT department in a huge accounting firm. 


Don’t compromise on what your brand is, but instead tailor multiple employers' brands to different roles that you are recruiting. In specialist IT companies, this might not be a big problem, but you need to keep it in mind for a non-IT role. If you are recruiting for someone in accounting, sales, and or marketing, you will need to present your brand differently. 


To develop your brand, ask yourself what the best attributes of your company are to current and potential employees? What is your company's culture? What roles are you needing? What are your employee’s perceptions of working with your company? How do all of these align with your external brand?


Build the brand persona of your ideal audience. Include demographics, skills, experience, and interests of those you want to attract. You can consult applicants and your IT recruitment agency to get an unbiased take on your brand. 


Get input from across the company. Focus groups with employees from varied roles and backgrounds are a great way to get views on how your employer brand is performing. Compare these results to your brand personas. If there’s a disparity, adapt your brand or change your practices to bring them into line. Your employer brand must be genuine. If it isn’t, it will quickly be exposed by unhappy employees. 

Conclusion

Employer branding is now an essential part of talent attraction. What your brand is, the way you build it and how you show it to the world can be the difference between attracting top talent and falling behind your competitors. 

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Technology Interview Questions

4 Mar 22 by 2125

Technology Interview Questions


Job interviews take a lot of time and practice. Most of us are lucky enough to not have to do too many, which means they stay daunting and overwhelming for a lot of people. 


This guide is designed to even the scales by helping you to prepare yourself for some of the key interview questions that you are likely to face when looking for a job in the IT field. You can read our original article from 2016 for a couple of extra tips on technical questions


Staple Interview Questions

We’ve all heard these interview questions before, but they are asked for a reason. The following questions are the basis for most interviews and the way you answer them can be the difference between getting the job or continuing your search. They test your soft skills and the way you communicate. 


What Do You Know About Us?

Do your homework on the company that you’re applying to work for. Not knowing anything about the company can encourage interviewers to write you off without listening to anything else. If you haven’t bothered to research the role, they won’t think you want it. Showing off too much knowledge can backfire too, so don’t go into too much detail. Find out what the company does, what field they operate in, the product or service they provide, what your role would be, and what technology or methods they use. 


You can also get to know the background and job duties of the person who will interview you. This can help you to know what to expect, and give you some areas of mutual interest. Look on company About Us pages, LinkedIn, and Twitter. 


Why Do You Want This Job?

Answers to this question will depend on the job and the candidate, but there are some answers to avoid. Stay away from saying you want the job for the pay or benefits package. Some might respect your honesty, but you run the risk of being seen as someone who doesn’t care about the work or the company and will quickly move on. 


What attracted you to the role? Do you want a new challenge? Is the company in a field you want to work in? Does the work have something unique about it that interests you? Is the company known for having a good culture? These are all good answers that recruiters like to hear. If the benefits are your main reason, there are ways to express this without putting people off. For example, if the role offers flexible hours or remote working, you can say that the flexibility and work/life balance this job offers appeals to you. 


What Is Your Biggest Strength And Your Biggest Weakness? 

For your biggest strength, think about technical and soft skills, and which skills are best suited to the role. You might have many strengths, but if they aren’t relevant to the role, then don’t list them. If you’re interviewing for a role in programming, you could mention your C++ skills, but if you’re applying for a role in management, talk about your communication skills instead. 


It’s tempting to say that your biggest weakness is that you’re a perfectionist. Try to answer honestly. Don’t rattle off everything that you’re bad at and leave it there. Pick a weakness, and follow it with the actions that you have been taking to address it. For example, if you know that time management is a problem for you, say that, but immediately follow it by explaining that you have been tracking the time you spend on each activity to make sure it stops being a problem. This shows that you’re honest enough to admit your faults, but are also motivated enough to address it. 


Behavioral Questions

These are a standard part of job interviews. These questions are built around specific situations, and are intended to reveal how candidates will act in certain environments. These questions are asked with the understanding that past behavior will predict future behavior. 


Tell Me About A Complicated Problem That You Had To Solve

This is meant to reveal your problem solving methods. The way you find issues and put solutions in place are important in IT, where problem solving makes up a large proportion of most roles, especially in more technical roles. 


Prepare a specific example before the interview, so you’re ready for this question. His best examples would be complicated issues that you had to tackle a few times before you succeeded. Talk about the times you failed, what you learned from that, and how you used that knowledge to come up with the right solution. With an answer like this, you should be willing and able to learn from your mistakes and make something better. 


Tell Me About A Time You Worked In A Team

You will be asked about a project you worked on as part of a team, how you worked in that team, and how successful your role and the project was. Do you need a lot of direction when you work in a team, or do you work self-sufficiently? Are you good at communicating and easy to work with? Ask yourself these things before heading to your appointment, so you can answer this question honestly in more detail.


Tell Me About A Time You Overcame Conflict

This could be a time you dealt with difficult colleagues or how you reacted to an approach you disagreed with. The interviewer wants to know how you handle adversity. 


Prepare an example in advance. Think about a project where you had to deal with some conflict and talk through what you did to remedy the situation and create the best outcome for the project. Make sure you don’t make yourself look bad with your example, so avoid examples where your actions caused the conflict, or when someone else solved it. The focus should be on showing your good qualities and skills. 

 

Summary

With so many new job opportunities opening up already this year, we hope this guide helps you to get your job search off on the right foot, and walk into that interview more confident and ready to succeed. If you’re looking for more interview advice, or you’re looking for IT jobs in New Zealand, reach out to IT recruitment agencies like Sourced in Christchurch. 

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Three Mistakes to Avoid at Your Next Interview

8 Feb 21 by 1107

Interview Mistakes



So, you’ve got your foot in the door and landed that coveted interview. While it's easy to get caught up in the stress of the big day itself, the key to giving yourself the best shot at success lies in doing all of the hard work in the lead-up. The way that you prepare for a job interview is critically important and can make the difference between an average interview and a fantastic one. Below, we’ve used our expert knowledge and experience in the IT recruitment industry to guide you through a few of the most common interview preparation mistakes we see candidates make, so that you don’t fall into the same trap.

Lack of Understanding of the Organisation

Knowing how to research is arguably the most important skill you need to interview successfully. Arriving on the day without an understanding of the organisation doesn't look good, and you’ll likely find yourself ill-equipped to answer the questions that are put to you. Especially in today’s world, where the basic information you need is almost always easily accessible online, you risk the interviewer interpreting a lack of understanding as a lack of commitment.


Employers want to see that you are genuinely interested in working for them, so be prepared for questions that gauge what you know about the organisation. As a baseline, get familiar with what the company does and the products and services it offers. Add to that an awareness of the history, key stakeholders and any other relevant information, such as recent developments in the industry, and you'll be well armed for your interview. The good news is that with company websites, social media and industry press publications, researching and preparing for an interview has never been easier.

Not Researching Your Interviewer

Another one of the biggest mistakes we see candidates make is not knowing the person who is interviewing them. Prior to the interview, it's likely that you will have had some level of correspondence with the interviewer, if only to set the interview up. As soon as you know their name, a quick search on LinkedIn or Google will help gain an insight into the person who they’ll be sitting opposite. It might only take a few minutes of your time, but chances are there will be plenty of useful information available.


Details such as how long they've been at the company and what they were doing prior to that will not only offer insight into their professional background and personality but can also help to break the ice – maybe you both went to the same university or had similar roles in the past. In addition to this, if you’re working with a specialist recruitment agency, we’ll be able to help you prepare for upcoming interviews and provide insight into your interviewer as well.

Using Stale Answers

It may be tempting to read a few articles online and memorise seemingly 'perfect' answers to interview questions. The problem with this approach is that all too often, the interviewer has heard them before, and they know exactly where you got them from. Not only that, but it demonstrates a lack of thought, interest and originality. An experienced interviewer will be able to spot fabricated answers a mile away, which is why it's crucial to provide genuine answers that relate back to real experiences instead.


When answering interview questions, reflect on your work experience and identify a number of examples that you can use. Think carefully over past achievements, positive feedback, successful projects and value added, and use this to stand out from the competition. On top of that, don’t be afraid to discuss previous mistakes and the lessons learned, as this demonstrates your ability to improve and grow professionally.

Summary

No matter the level of your career, when it comes to interviews, the importance of preparation cannot be overstated. To give yourself the best chance of landing the job you want, put aside the time to research and prepare. Remember, the more insight you are equipped with, the better your answers will come across.

For more advice on how to prepare for an interview or if you're looking for your next IT job, get in touch today – we're always happy to help.

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Unhappy in Your Job? Map Your Next Move in IT!

22 Dec 21 by 1104

Unhappy in Your Job? Mapping Your Next Move in IT

Are you suffering from a serious case of “new year, same job”? Going back to work after the holidays and realising that you aren’t on a satisfying career path can get anyone down – especially in an industry like IT where there are so many different career paths to choose from. Whether or not you love what you do, you’ve likely given some thought as to what you’d like to do next. Should things change in your current workplace, or if you’re ready for a fresh start right now, it’s important to position yourself well for this change and be prepared. If you’re ready to shake things up, then follow these three steps and get yourself set for success.

Assess Where You Currently Are 

Consider your job right now, and if you’re happy in your position. Have a look at your past year; what goals did you achieve and where did you fall short? Be honest with yourself and assess what you’ve accomplished. If you didn’t hit the goals you wanted to, don’t despair – you can start today with a renewed focus on where you want to go!


Maybe you’ve found that you crave more responsibility and want more challenges in your current role. On the other hand, it’s possible that you might prefer a new position altogether. Is your lack of interest due to a fundamental issue with your current employer or your daily duties? Consider whether the source of your unhappiness is your actual job, or if it’s something external to the work itself.


Take note of the job tasks you enjoy, and those that make you drag your feet. Going through this process can help to zero in on what exactly you find fulfilling. Then explore options that include those attributes.


Where Do You Want to Go?

Once you have an idea of what you’ve done well, what you can do better, and what you like and dislike about your current situation, you can start thinking about how to take steps to get you where you want to go.


First, think about your long-term career goals, and then work backwards, keeping your goals front of mind. Whether it’s getting in touch with a recruiter to explore job options, or going back to university to study a whole new field, there is no better day than the present to start on your way to a fulfilling career.


If you are looking to jump into an entirely different field, do your research. It’s easy to idealise a job that’s different to yours as glamorous or exciting, however, things almost always aren’t what they seem. Interview people who have experience in what you’re interested in. Are you currently a Web Developer but aspire to work with Big Data? Speak to someone who does and ask them questions about their daily routine, struggles and triumphs. Not only will this give you further insight into the role, but it will also give you more realistic expectations, and an idea of what it would take to get there.


Addressing Potential Skills Gaps

If you’d like to stay in your field and develop your skills within your workplace, speak to your manager and express your desire to advance, so they can help you identify ways to expand your responsibilities. Check what training programmes are available within your current workplace; some organisations offer excellent refresher courses, such as systems administration, digital marketing, or even training in cloud management, as well as sometimes offering more formal professional development programmes.


But don’t stop there. Maximising work opportunities within your present company is a great way to gain wider recognition and display capability, not to mention your ambition to further develop. Look into wider personal leadership endeavours, like facilitating a mentoring programme for junior staff, or driving community or fundraising initiatives. This would showcase your take-charge attitude, confidence, and ability to lead. A desire for continuous personal development outside of your immediate job is a key characteristic of many influential business leaders, so you’d be following a successful example!


All these actions send an important message to colleagues and management, exemplifying your emphasis on personal development and indicating that career advancement is something you take seriously. In addition to helping you stand out internally and strengthening your expertise, external courses also prepare you for further study should you choose a new path, and look great on a CV, should you decide to make the jump to another company.


Starting the Conversation

Like most journeys, there is rarely one path to your career goals. Think about the different options you have, and which ones work best for your current situation. Would you be better served by staying with your current company, perhaps in a different role, or is it time for a bigger change?


It’s worth considering whether your current company could offer you a fresh challenge, in a familiar environment. If it’s a secondment or internal move that you’re looking for, book a meeting with your boss, and be transparent about your aspirations. Even if you’re unsuccessful in gaining an internal move, at the very least management will appreciate your proactive approach to address the issue instead of becoming demotivated.


If the problem is interpersonal, such as with a manager or team member, seek advice early on from someone you trust as to how best to improve communication as you don’t want to discount fulfilling work because of an unhealthy professional atmosphere.


Making the Big Move

If all else fails, and you’ve decided that your only option is to leave, then don’t rush into anything too quickly. Carefully weigh up your options. Working with a recruitment agency will help introduce you to new opportunities, plus, speaking with someone who better knows the industry or sector you’re looking to break into might help to shed light on options you hadn’t considered.


Remember to take everything in your stride, be patient, and evaluate potential roles against your plan. Keep in mind that the period immediately after the new year can be intensely competitive, so any preparation will be a great investment. If you’re offered a position you’re not excited about, ask yourself why – after all, you don’t want to wind up just as unhappy somewhere else. Aim to find a new role that is worth your time investment, and will bring you the happiness and professional satisfaction you deserve.



As always, if you need to speak to an expert in the Christchurch IT market, feel free to get in touch with the team here at Sourced to discuss making your next career move count.

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Back to Work Post COVID-19: 4 Things to Plan For

7 May 20 by 93



Navigating the aftermath of the COVID-19 restrictions will likely be one of the most significant business challenges of our time, and as the rate of new inflections declines in New Zealand, it appears the inevitable return to the workplace is on the not-too-distant horizon. But as organisations begin planning this transition back to the office, things are going to be different, and detailed preparations will be vital for helping employees adapt to new ways of working post-pandemic.


While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to planning your team’s return to work, we’ve outlined some key considerations that may help you when facing these unprecedented challenges:

Orchestrate a Phased Return to Work

For most businesses, it will take many months for them to return to the way they worked prior to COVID-19, if it happens at all. Having large numbers of employees in a shared office space is a big risk for spreading the virus, so managing the number of people present at one time will be critical to maintaining workplace health, particularly in the initial weeks and months.


A staggered return to the workplace is the best way to address this issue, and it will likely be prudent (both practically and financially) to continue some degree of remote and flexible working practices for the coming months. As you begin planning the transition, speak to your employees and find out their preferences – some may want to come back to the office full time, some may choose to work in the office for part of the week and the rest at home, and others may prefer to continue working from home for the immediate future.


Once you establish where your team is at, you can develop a process that suits your needs and the space that’s available. One option could be rotating the employees who are working from the office every few days to accommodate more people in the workspace, preferably spreading them across functional lines. 

Rethink the Use of Space

Even when workplaces open, some restrictions will remain, and businesses will need to be proactive in adapting their physical work environments. To accommodate social distancing, reconfigure the floor plan to increase the space between workstations, determine the maximum capacity of each area and remove excess seating to help people follow the guidelines. Limiting the number of people attending in-person meetings will also be important for reducing the risk of virus spread.


It’s a good idea to clearly assign desks and track who sits where (whether that’s permanently or for each shift) to reduce unnecessary contact. Where possible, designating bathrooms and breakrooms for smaller groups can also help with this, and will make it easier to prioritise the cleaning of spaces being used.

Increase Hygiene Measures

In addition to social distancing and capping the number of employees in the office at one time, developing and communicating solid hygiene protocols is key. Depending on your business and the nature of the space you work in, this could include:   


                                                                 

Maintain Communication


Most organisations will have increased the level of communications during the remote working period, and returning to physical work environments isn’t time to relax this. Good communication is essential for a successful transition back to the office and establishing the “new normal,” as without employee buy-in, even the best-laid plans are likely to fail. It also helps to provide reassurance to employees, who will naturally have questions about the measures being taken to protect them in the office and the future of the business and their roles.


As you return to the workplace, make it a priority to not only continue the broader communication you will have been doing throughout the crisis, but also to openly advertise protocols for hygiene, social distancing and visitors. Make use of platforms that enable employees to connect, communicate and collaborate, utilise methods such as employee surveys to gauge morale, and provide informal forums for open discussion and feedback.

Closing Thoughts

The eventual return to the workplace may provide a sense of normality for many, however, planning that return can feel both complex and overwhelming. As we proceed towards our “new normal”, we hope these considerations can guide your preparations, supporting the balance of business continuity and employee safety of workers.


For more advice, or help with your Tech recruitment needs, please contact the Sourced team – whether you’re in the office or working from home, we’re here to support you.

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Tips to Help Candidates Relax in Job Interviews

29 Nov 19 by 87


Your IT recruitment search involves many essential facets, from crafting the right recruitment materials, to ensuring you have an expert interview panel that will help you make that all-important candidate choice. But have you given much thought to how vital it is to put candidates at ease during interviews?


There are a host of reasons why it’s imperative to understand how to make someone feel comfortable during an interview. The most obvious is that a comfortable candidate is more likely to open up and show you their true self, allowing you to accurately evaluate their personality, experience and skillset for your role.


Learning how to give a relaxed interview also presents you with an opportunity to keep your employer brand and reputation intact. Candidates will be assessing you just as much as you’re assessing them, so it’s in your best interest to ensure your recruitment experience stands out above others. This way, when it’s time for top tech talent to pick between job offers, you will likely be the employer of choice. 


Here are five essential interview tips to place your interviewees at ease and allow you to make an informed decision about the right one for your role.

1. ‘Pre-Prep’ Candidates

Nerves are natural. But they can sometimes stop a great candidate from conveying their true personality and potential. One way to alleviate this is to provide interviewees with a short rundown of what your interview process involves.

Aside from the basics (date, time and location), consider telling them:

  • Who will be on your interview panel and their role within your company
  • The types of questions they can expect
  • Whether they need to complete any tests or assessments
  • Any extra tips you can offer in relation to logistics, such as parking (after all, finding an easy parking spot can go a long way towards reducing excess nerves!)

2. Ensure Your Interview Room is Comfortable

IT recruitment interviews may take an hour or more, so it’s important to consider the space you’ll be using. Do you have comfortable chairs? Is the lighting right (i.e. no flickering bulbs or blinding sunlight)? Is it overly hot or cold? Will staff be able to interrupt you?


It’s also a good idea to think about your interview seating configuration. Setting up interviewers in panel formation with the candidate facing you can be quite intimidating for them. Instead, think about using a setting that’s similar to how IT teams actually work. Mirroring this set-up may help put the candidate at ease. Perhaps you’ll all be seated at a round or rectangular table, or you might opt to do away with the table entirely and set up chairs next to each other in a semi-circle.


It’s also essential that interviewees have your undivided attention, as this clearly illustrates the respect you have for their time. It’s very easy to get distracted by a text message or email notification, so switch your phone to silent, and shut down your email and messaging systems on your computer. If you need to keep in contact with colleagues, aim to do so between interviews.

3. Nurture Their Nerves on the Day

When greeting candidates for an interview, try not to keep them waiting for an excessive period. This only allows those dreaded nerves to build up. If you are running late, arrange for a staff member to let them know.


If you can see the candidate is visibly nervous, you can say something along the lines of ‘We understand you might be nervous, but that’s perfectly fine. Just take a steadying breath and we’ll get to it.’ Then set about establishing a rapport with some small talk about their journey in, or the classic, ‘Tell me what you like to do in your spare time’. As they speak about something relatively low stakes, their nerves should abate somewhat, so you can then move onto the meatier questions.

4. Practise Active Listening

Active listening is a fantastic way to show the interviewee you’re 100% engaged in what they have to say. This gives them a wonderful confidence boost. This is done non-verbally and with positive body language such as natural eye contact, smiling, nodding and angling your body in their direction.


But it is also done verbally by utilising these communication mechanisms:

Refrain from over-talking – It can be very easy to over-talk about your role. But the more you talk, the less you learn (which is the main point of a recruitment interview).


Activate your listening time – When the candidate is talking, listen and absorb. It can be hard not to get distracted by what you want to say next but doing this may mean you miss golden opportunities to ask follow-up questions, or crucial information imparted by the candidate.


Use open-ended questions – For example, the question “Do you enjoy programming in Python or Java?” will likely elicit a shorter reply. But “What is your favourite programming language and why?” should get the candidate talking in more - and often animated - detail, allowing you to remain quiet and actively listen.


Avoid interrupting or ‘sentence-stealing’ – When an interviewee is responding to a question, try not to jump in, or finish off their sentence so you can ask the next one.


Ask clarifying questions – If the candidate says something particularly interesting or unexpected, ask them to elaborate on their answer to ensure you’re clear. For example, “Can we go back to what you said about your time working with the large Scrum team? Can you tell me more about that?”


Another technique is to paraphrase their answer by saying “So I think this is what you’re saying …. Am I correct?” This gives them ample opportunity to restate to ensure their meaning gets across.

5. End on a Positive Note

While the formal interview may be over, the impression you and your company leave on the candidate endures. Therefore, it’s important that you advise them of the next steps, including when they should expect to hear back from you or your recruitment agency, and stick to it. Dragging the process out may spoil all the great work you’ve done during recruitment to form a stellar impression of your company.

Need More Help?

We hope you enjoyed these five interview tips about how to make someone feel comfortable during an interview. By following these steps and putting candidates at ease, you clearly show top IT talent you’re invested in who they are and what they offer your company, exponentially increasing the chances they’ll want to come on board.


Should you need further advice about interviewing tech candidates, please let us know as we’d love to help. You might also like to review our articles about how to spot interview fraudsters, and assessing candidates for cultural fit to ensure you’re making the most of your recruitment interviews.

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7 Top Tech Podcasts You Should Be Listening To

29 Apr 22 by 85

7 Tech podcasts to listen to


As a tech recruitment agency, we understand that the value of continually building your industry expertise cannot be overstated. And though we may not want to consider it, one potentially constructive by-product of the restrictions we are now facing is the time we now have to focus on developing our knowledge and improving our skill set for the challenges to come. One of our top recommendations is following podcasts from industry thought leaders, here are a selection of our favourites to get you started.

New Zealand Tech Podcast

The number one podcast for iTunes NZ, host Paul Spain and his guests chat about the biggest changes in technology news, products and more. Although the pod is local, their discussions often touch on international innovations and product launches that are set to make waves in NZ.

Over the Air

Every Tuesday listen for sharp, unfiltered conversations with executives about their IoT journeys — the mistakes they made, the lessons they learned, and what they wish they’d known when they started. In each episode of Over the Air, our expert guests will make bold predictions, reveal unpopular opinions, and share stories you won’t hear anywhere else.

IT Visionaries

Presented by Salesforce platforms, the podcast, hosted on Mission, was awarded “Best of 2018” by Apple. The IT Visionaries pod focusses on conversations with Fortune 1,000 leaders, CIOs and CTOs – giving a rare insight for tech professionals at every level.

TechStuff Podcast

This easy-going pod covers all things tech-related; starting with how it all works through to the people behind the technology that shapes our lives. With a new episode hosted by Jonathan and Lauren every weekday, there’s something for everyone.

Boys of Tech

Another Kiwi pod, Edwin Hermann and his panel of regular guests discuss tech developments big and small, looking to spark our imaginations and inspire a conversation about the industry today. As an independent podcast, the topics Edwin and Co. talk about are well-rounded and full of insight.

The Vergecast

Nilay Patel and Dieter Bohn tackle the news of the week with a refreshing sense of humour, chatting with a prestigious catalogue of tech experts to inform on what’s happening now and what could be coming next.

This Week in Tech

This Week in Tech (also known as TWiT) is one of the top tech podcasts in the business. It gathers prominent tech pundits to discuss the latest trends in high tech, using a roundtable format to ensure a diverse set of opinions and expertise. Recorded live every Sunday, TWiT can help you get the week started in the right mindset for success.

Summary

With a wide range of different subjects and styles, these pods are sure to inspire further learning. If you’re still hungry for more, take a look at some of our articles or get in contact with any of our expert tech recruiters.

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Should You Include a Photo in Your CV?

6 Jul 20 by 86


Should you include a photo on your CV? We have had many candidates ask this question during their IT job search, as this was once considered best practice. While there are still some industries where a professional photo is still accepted, today, they are few and far between. So, when it comes to a CV photo, our advice is to leave them out. Here’s why:

It’s Not Relevant

A well-written CV will include the pertinent skills, qualifications and experience that showcase why you are the best candidate for the job you’re applying for. All of this vital information needs to fit within a couple of pages, so why use that precious space for a photo that is ultimately irrelevant to the role? Will knowing what you look like add any value to your ability to carry out the position’s tasks? Certainly not.

Instead, utilise that space to sell your personal brand through related achievements and abilities. Let your CV leave a lasting impression through quality content and the skills that align with the job description – not your appearance.

It May Trigger Unconscious Bias

Despite their best intentions, there is a chance that a CV photo could lead to unconscious bias on the part of the reader. An image may lead to assumptions on the basis of appearance and distract from your actual skills and experience. Let your CV stand as a tool to secure an interview for the job you’ve always wanted by shining light on your capabilities and accomplishments as opposed to how you look.

The Alternatives

Although your CV should remain image-free, there are a few times when adding a professional photo is appropriate. On social media platforms such as LinkedIn, posting a photo can actually help build a more comprehensive career profile and assist with networking within your industry, as it makes you more personable. The same also applies to professional websites.

There are some factors to consider when choosing a photo for such platforms to ensure they serve their purpose effectively. The image needs to be well-lit and of a high resolution, as well as taken without a distracting background. Dress suitably so that the photo is aligned with your career and is preferably cropped around your head and shoulders. Getting the photo taken from a professional should tick all the right boxes and will optimise the quality.

Summary

Your CV should offer an insight into the attributes you can potentially bring to an IT job. Ultimately, a CV photo adds little value to your application and is irrelevant when it comes to promoting your skills and experience. If anything, it can lead to an unconscious bias that may sabotage your chances of securing a position rather than allowing your capabilities to shine through.

For more CV writing tips or if you’re looking for your next IT job, get in touch with the IT Recruitment team at Sourced.

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Keep New Employees Engaged Early Tips

7 Jan 21 by 1105

Keeping New Employees Engaged


Once a candidate accepts a job offer and signs on the dotted line, a whole new phase of the recruitment process begins (one that is crucial to the success of the hire) – preboarding. In many cases, the new employee will be required to serve out their notice period at their previous job, meaning there could be a period of several weeks between when they accept the offer and their official start date. This time period can either make or break the engagement of the employee – they will continue to be excited about their new role in your company or start second-guessing their decision and considering other options.

With this in mind, we’ve put together a preboarding checklist to help you get off to a good start with your new hire and ensure they’re engaged before day one.

Invite Them to Social Events

Starting a job and meeting new people can be extremely nerve-wracking, so to alleviate some of the anxiety, we recommend inviting your new hire to an event such as a company social, Friday drinks or even an organised lunch or coffee catch up with the team. Social events are fantastic opportunities for a new employee to become “part” of the team before their official start date. This will also be a great chance for them to build crucial bonds with their new colleagues and managers, making their first day more relaxed and helping them to integrate successfully.

Occasionally distance can be a problem, as some new employees will be in the process of relocating across cities or countries. Where time differences and schedules allow, another option is to organise a Skype or Zoom chat with the employee and the team to give them a chance to get acquainted.

Send Prep Material and Team Communications

A lack (or breakdown) of communication during any stage of the recruitment process could cost you a great candidate – and even more so during preboarding. While you do not want to bombard your new employee with unnecessary information, it can be helpful to email them any useful material in the lead-up to their first day, such as organisational charts, relevant company information, a copy of their job description and resources that will set them up for success. Another option is to send them a welcome pack along with their contract, containing company-branded gifts such as pens, water bottles or mousepads.

It will also be beneficial for the new employee to get up to speed with communications within the team, so, where appropriate, consider adding them to the company’s group chat and include them in any “need to know” team emails. Keep the communications relevant and insightful – just enough to give them a glimpse of what they can expect when they start work and what projects they will be involved in.

Include Them in Training

One of the most valuable pre-joining engagement activities to consider is including the new hire in team training days or activities. This should not be considered as onboarding or a standard induction (which the new hire will complete once they start) – rather, it is a chance for them to be part of any professional development that the team takes part in, such as a webinar hosted by a team member, formal team training on a new piece of technology or an IT industry event. Keep in mind that while they are still working in their previous role, their time may be limited and they may not be able to attend. At the end of the day, it’s the thought that counts, and the gesture will show that you are committed to investing in their growth and development.

Final Thoughts

Finding a great candidate who ticks all the boxes in the IT and technology market is like finding a needle in a haystack, so it is crucial that the new hire is kept “warm” between the time they accept your offer and their official start date. When preboarding is done correctly, you are not only setting your new hire up for a successful start in their new job, but setting up the company and the team for a long-lasting relationship that will benefit everyone involved.


For more information on preboarding best practice or support with navigating the IT recruitment process, contact the team at Sourced.

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Simple guide to upskill this festive season

29 Nov 20 by 1103

Upskill in 2021


Since technology is constantly evolving and transforming, new skills and abilities are continuously required to fill new positions. With the IT industry having such a huge focus on skills, it’s important to stay a step ahead and expand your own skillset. There are many resources available both online and in-person to do this, and the summer is a great time to get started. When you give yourself time to upskill, you can give your career the boost that it needs and help yourself to stand out to potential employers.


The festive season is a great time to take new skills on board in your spare time, or at work. So we’ve put together a simple guide to upskill yourself for the New Year and beyond.

Think of Yourself as a Brand

In our previous blog, we talk about giving yourself a personal branding check since it's such a key part of a tech professional’s toolbox. Cultivating a personal brand that gains the attention of the people you want to reach can play to your advantage. Branding is all about positioning, so it’s important that you demonstrate and reinforce your personal brand qualities and traits to your colleagues, clients and stakeholders whenever possible. Social media has become an active tool in the recruitment process, with employers and recruiters using different platforms to source, attract and screen candidates. Setting social media goals, such as posting to LinkedIn at least once a week, will also help establish your personal brand. Remember, your personal brand is all about authenticity so it’s important to be yourself. This is not an overnight exercise, it’s something you’ll have to keep working at and that will grow and develop with time.

Simple upskill guideHow Can You Upskill?

There are various ways to stay productive over summer if you’re looking to pick up new skills. Whether you have a thirst for more knowledge, or you want to get involved with online tech communities, here are our four top ways to upskill yourself.


Learn a New Programming Language

Whether you’re already a programming whiz or you’re looking to get started, you may enjoy learning a new programming language. Codeacademy is a free service that allows you to start at a beginner level and work your way up to more advanced functions. There are many tutorials on Codeacademy, from learning how to code in Python, to building a game with JavaScript or creating a basic website. Similarly, Laracasts is a platform that hosts many tutorial videos and webinars on Testing, JavaScript, and advice for Web Developers.


Find a Great Tutorial

In your spare time, tutorials can be a great way to learn new information and expand your knowledge. Tutorials can be found both in-person and online. In-person workshops are a great solution if you’re looking for a more social learning environment, or alternatively, if you’re short on time, online tutorials can be more convenient for your schedule. With so many online learning platforms out there, it can be hard to pick just one, but the great thing is that you don’t have to. As well as the aforementioned Codeacademy and Laracasts, some notable names include, CourseraUdemy, and O’Reilly Media, which hosts a range of downloadable technology books, magazines, research, and tech conferences.


On the other hand, if you enjoy podcasts, check out our 6 Top Tech Podcasts You Should Be Listening To.

Get Involved in the Online Community

Although finding great tutorials is a great way to help you expand your knowledge and skillset, putting those skills to the test by getting involved in the community is another way to sharpen your expertise. Open SourceGitHub and Stackoverflow are all big platforms that encourage collaboration between developers, users, and organisations. These platforms give you the freedom to work on your own projects, share your current assignments, and to work alongside talented and like-minded individuals who are passionate about technology. As well as enabling you to give back to the community by opening up your own work to new ideas, you’ll often find yourself stumbling across innovative solutions that you can bring with you into your own career.

Work on Your Network

Whether one of your New Year’s resolutions is to find a job, or if you’re an experienced professional simply interested in gaining more knowledge about your industry, networking can connect you with valuable opportunities. With that said, it’s near impossible to attend every networking event. Instead, think of which events cater to your specific needs and career goals. Once you’ve determined the events that seem worthwhile to you, note them down in your calendar.


Over the summer period, there are many networking opportunities in Christchurch. Canterbury Tech NZ has a number of monthly Meetup groups around the Christchurch and Canterbury areas. There are also a number of national events that attract crowds each year which are worth keeping an eye out for.


Another way to improve your network is to find a mentor within your industry. Our Mentor Connection Programme connects talented IT professionals with skilled and experienced people. These mentors are able to provide guidance, expertise, and knowledge to people that are looking to advance their careers. If you’d like to find out more about getting involved as either a mentee or mentor, please get in touch with us at Sourced. 

Hottest Tech Skills for the New Year

Generally, the skills needed for IT continue to change due to new demands and new roles constantly cropping up in what is a very dynamic sector. Staying informed of what employers want is more important than ever, and can be hugely beneficial for your job search. By keeping this in mind when you’re looking to expand your skillset, you’ll give yourself options if and when you look to move on.

Summary

Learning new skills over the festive season doesn’t have to be a chore. There are proactive and engaging ways to get involved with the community, build your network, and grow your skillset. Using the festive season to upskill yourself can be beneficial to your career and your own personal development. Find something that works for you and, most importantly, something that you enjoy! 

For more resources or advice on how to upskill yourself and boost your career, don’t hesitate to get in touch today.  

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Three Ways to Build Your Personal Brand

2 Aug 19 by 84

Building Your Personal Brand


There was once a time when brand was a topic that only concerned organisations. Although, in recent years – particularly with the prominence of social media – impressing prospective employers has become much more than just having the perfect CV. With personal branding being such a key part of a tech professional’s toolbox, you don’t have to be an influencer, nor do you need to be head of a global organisation, to cultivate a personal brand that gains the attention of the people you want to reach.  So, why not use it to your advantage? Here are three personal branding tips to get you started and further your tech career.

Think of Yourself as a Brand

When you think about some of the world’s most famous brands, you automatically associate them with specific qualities or traits. Apple is linked to lifestyle and innovation while Volvo conjures up images of safety and quality.

So, what do you want people to think when they hear or see your name? You may prefer to be known as someone who is great with people and a master at building relationships. Or perhaps you want your technical skills to shine, and be thought of as the “go to” person for a particular program or piece of software.


To determine your brand qualities, start by listing your strengths and weaknesses. Be sure to do a completely honest assessment because your personal brand needs to be an authentic reflection of your true self. Identify areas you want to improve in the future, projects where you’ve been recognised by colleagues or bosses and topics that you feel passionate about.


Once you have a strong understanding of what you want your personal brand to be, you can actively start promoting it to the right people. Remember, branding is all about positioning so it’s important that you demonstrate and reinforce your personal brand qualities and traits to your colleagues, clients and stakeholders whenever possible.

Harness Your Social Media Profiles

Social media has become an active tool in the recruitment process, with employers and recruiters using different platforms to source, attract and screen candidates. The question is – what would employers find if they Googled your name, right now? Can they find you easily? Have you clearly demonstrated your professional skills and experience? Is there any content that you would prefer not be publicly available?


Of course, this can be fixed by altering your privacy settings to suit, but you still need to consider the content you are posting. This includes platforms like Facebook and Instagram; although not always intended for professional use, prospective employers may still be able to see photos and comments you’ve shared with family and friends.


Once you’ve completed a general audit, have a fresh look at your LinkedIn profile. Do you have a professional photo? What about an up-to-date job history? Have you listed your key skills so that connections can endorse you? This can happen organically, but it wouldn’t hurt to ask your colleagues as well (those people you feel comfortable asking). You can then build out your profile by including additional training and courses you complete, volunteer activities, and a couple of recommendations from highly regarded connections in the industry.


While it’s important to cover the basics above, what else can you be doing to boost your online presence? From writing blogs/thought leadership pieces for your channels, to sharing valuable articles (whether that’s third party or a colleague’s) and posting about the industry events you’re attending, there is a range of things you can be doing that show your expertise and industry involvement. Setting social media goals, like posting to LinkedIn at least once a week, will help too.

Network, Network, Network

Promotion is key to building a strong personal brand and one of the best ways is networking within your professional community. Social media sites like LinkedIn are ideal for connecting with people and companies you’d like to work with in the future.


Joining relevant groups is an opportunity for ongoing professional development, and also a platform for establishing your own personal brand. Through active engagement in discussions and comments, you can demonstrate experience and capability while connecting with a broad range of professionals in your field. You may also uncover tech jobs and other opportunities that haven’t yet been broadly advertised through these networks.

Final Thoughts

Like all branding, your personal brand is all about authenticity so it’s important to be yourself, be human and engage with people in a way that reflects your style and personality. Building a personal brand is not an overnight exercise. It’s something you’ll have to keep working at and that will grow and develop with time.


If you need more advice on the importance of personal branding, or if you’re looking for help with your next move, contact the team at Sourced.

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Handling Salary Negotiations: Knowing your Worth

2 Aug 19 by 83

Negotiating a Salary


We’ve all heard the saying ‘money isn’t everything’, and while the likes of culture and workplace flexibility are becoming increasingly important for today’s candidates, in a lot of cases salary remains the deciding factor. If you’ve found what seems to be the ideal technology role but the offer on the table doesn’t quite match your expectations, you’ll be faced with a crucial (and often dreaded) task –salary negotiation.


The good news is that you don’t have to accept the first offer you receive. While working with a recruiter can help take the stress out of salary negotiations, it always pays to be well-informed and have a strong understanding of your own worth to an employer. Do you know your worth? To ensure you’re being offered a fair salary, here’s our best advice.

Recognise the Value You Offer

Receiving an offer is often met with a sense of relief and excitement (especially if it is for your dream role!), leading some people to completely bypass any discussions around asking for more money. However, salary negotiations/counter offers are a normal part of the recruitment process. Everyone has something unique to offer, whether it be previous work experience, education or a certain skill set, and are therefore hired on a basis that those unique set of qualities will be beneficial to the role and the wider organisation. Before heading into any salary negotiation, it is a good idea to have a good grasp of the following:


Professional Experience

Your salary level will depend on past professional experience. This includes the years you have spent in similar roles, the experience you gained from them and being able to identify the skills you gained from those roles which can now be transferred to the new role.


Education

Formal qualifications aren’t always required to be successful at your job, however, having relevant qualifications or training can be great indicators of one’s worth. Keep this in mind if you have:

  • Tertiary Education or formal qualifications such as a bachelor’s degree or MBA
  • Diplomas or certificates you have completed or are currently working on
  • Additional relevant training completed (or currently completing)


Skill Set

In order to ask for more than what an employer is willing to pay, it is important to prove that you not only have the relevant skills to be successful in the job but that you will also be an asset for the company as a whole. Highlight what differentiates you from other candidates and how those skills go beyond what is required for the role to be a success.

Do Your Research on External Factors

Salary negotiations can sometimes feel like preparing and presenting a sales pitch, with the only difference being that the “product” is yourself. It is therefore vital that you go in prepped and prepared with as much information as possible. Having a firm knowledge of the current market conditions will help you benchmark your own salary expectations, so research such information as:

  • Salaries of similar jobs being advertised online
  • Industry salary guides (keep in mind your location)
  • What the market conditions are like - are there more candidates than jobs? Are there certain skill shortages? Is the industry performing well or is it in a lull?
  • Have you spoken to colleagues or mentors? Getting a second (and trusted) opinion can add perspective or a point of view which you may not have thought about previously.

Consider the Whole Package

While salary is important, it sometimes pays not to get fixated on a particular figure. Rather, look at the entire package and other factors and benefits that come with the opportunity. Consider the location and commuting costs. Likewise, look at what training opportunities are on offer and any prospects for advancement. What about work / life balance and flexible working arrangements? These benefits sometimes add up to more than just a monetary value. The most important thing to remember is to be flexible and think about how you and your new employer can come to a compromise. At the same time, don’t forget your worth and be confident in the skills and experience that you will bring to the organisation.

Summary

Remember if you’re working with a specialist tech recruiter, they’ll be able to guide you through the salary negotiation process; providing you with industry, market and salary insights, while also acting on your behalf in the negotiations themselves. Although, if you’re going it alone, it’s down to you – show a firm confidence in your abilities and expectations (within reason, though!) and it would be hard for any employer to take the risk of losing you.

Looking for more salary negotiation tips? Or looking for support in your tech job search? Get in touch with the team at Sourced.

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Tips for People Who Dislike Networking

24 Apr 19 by 81

A solid network of professional connections is a valuable asset in the IT industry. But what do you do if you hate networking? Meeting new people can be intimidating, especially in a professional context, so it’s no wonder that some IT candidates find themselves with sweaty palms when faced with this kind of social situation. The good news is that, with the right conditions, anyone can network successfully.


Here are a few tips to help you make new contacts that will boost your IT career, even if networking is not your favourite pastime.

Reframe Your View of Networking

One of our best tips for people who dislike networking is to reframe how you see networking in order to make it less daunting. Networking can sometimes feel like putting yourself out there in front of a stranger and asking for a favour. However, the most useful professional connections are those of mutual benefit to both parties. 


Rather than viewing it as a one-sided encounter, focus on the value you can add to the other person. Even if it’s just acting as a sounding board that they can bounce ideas off, you have something to offer. Remembering this will help you feel more confident and view networking as a two-way partnership.

Adapt Your Approach

Whilst formal networking events and large tech conferences are great places to find new contacts in the IT industry, don’t feel pressured to step out into a setting that intimidates you. When it comes to networking tips for introverts, we often advise our candidates to adapt their approach and find environments where they can put their best foot forward. Whether it’s a casual chat over coffee or discussing innovation with a peer at a tech expo – identifying situations where you feel comfortable will help to set you up for networking success. 


Similarly, if the idea of meeting other IT professionals alone makes you anxious, consider bringing along a friend or colleague (where appropriate) who can help you strike up a conversation and then bow out when you get more confident.

Find a Point of Connection

At the end of the day, networking is about finding something in common. During every interaction, look out for topics or issues around which you have shared interests. You’ll be surprised how simply saying “I feel the same way” can quickly establish a connection and give you a topic for further conversation.


This helps you to see the acquaintance as a person, not just a contact, and makes it easier to build a valuable long-term relationship. Keep in mind that the people you meet are in the same situation as you, and have similar interests in your industry, which can help calm your nerves and avoid feeling too overwhelmed to strike up a conversion.

Summary

Networking may not be enjoyable for everyone, but it doesn’t need to be a dreaded task, either. By finding ways to play to your strengths, changing your approach to suit your needs and being understanding with yourself, you can successfully build professional connections that will go a long way toward growing your IT career.


For more professional networking tips or support with your search for IT jobs in Christchurch, get in touch with the team at Sourced.

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Should You Include References on Your CV?

1 Mar 19 by 79

Should You Include References On Your CV?


After spending hours crafting a great CV, you have finally reached the last page, only to be stumped by the longstanding dilemma: “Should you include references on your CV?” There are many possible answers to this hotly-debated topic – you could include the contact details of your referees, finish with “references available on request,” or leave them out altogether. But which option is the best? References are valuable assets that can vouch for your professionalism, experience and, ultimately, desirability as a candidate, so it’s important to think carefully through the options when writing a CV. To ensure you have all the facts, here are a few things to keep in mind…


Thinking around this issue has changed over time. In previous years, it was standard practice to include the contact details of at least two referees. There are a few benefits that can be reaped from this approach – for example, if the referee is well-known in the IT industry, this can be an impressive way to round-out your CV.


However, including references is now often considered unnecessary. Providing them too early in the process means that you can’t go back and make changes if you subsequently determine a different referee might be more suitable. As a result, leaving them off gives you more options later.


References can also make the CV overly long – space is a valuable commodity in this age where employers often prefer to scan through and make a fast decision, so don’t waste it. A middle-ground that a lot of people end up using is “references available on request” – it shows that you can back up the strengths you’ve already listed and allows you to maintain your referees’ privacy, should they decide to withdraw their consent at the last minute.


Don’t forget to consider other alternatives to addressing references in your CV, such as creating a reference list in a separate document or including up-to-date references and endorsements on LinkedIn.


So, are references necessary on a CV? The short answer is no. As the industry keeps moving forward, it’s important not to get hung up on old ideas. Remember, the best way to stand out is to create a CV that compels employers to reach out for more information.


For help with looking for IT jobs in Christchurch, get in touch any time – we’re here for you at every step of your IT job search journey.

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How to Choose Between Two Great IT Candidates

18 Dec 18 by 77

Choosing Between Two IT Candidates


In New Zealand’s IT recruitment market, it’s often a challenge to find team members who tick all the right boxes. However, in the event that an employer finds themselves with more than one promising applicant on the table, how do they determine which one is the best for the team? The team at Sourced knows only too well how crucial it is to make the right hiring decision. That's why we've put together a few methods for deciding between two equally qualified candidates.

Get An Alternative Viewpoint

Whilst the final decision will rest with you, sometimes, a fresh set of eyes can help make the right choice. It can be beneficial to ask the opinion of existing team members, as they're the ones that will have to work with the new hire on a daily basis. You could also consider arranging one of your trusted team members to meet with the candidates in a different environment to gain a fresh view of them. For example, a causal meeting over coffee will provide a different insight into their personality than you get through a formal interview.


If you're still having doubts, don’t hesitate to seek expert advice. Specialist Recruiters have extensive experience matching businesses and candidates. They will be able to provide additional insights and an objective, outsider's point of view to help with choosing between two candidates.

Consider Culture Add

For the candidates to have gotten this far, you have probably already established they will fit into the existing team and their principals align with the business’ values and mission. However, solely looking at culture fit doesn't necessarily help to further businesses or make the best hiring decisions, as too much similarity can lead to groupthink and stagnation in the team.


Consider looking at “culture add”, as well as culture fit when deciding between candidates. Employer's should ask themselves what the candidates will bring to their company culture that may not already be there. Look at areas the company could improve or how the unique characteristics of each candidate could help the business grow and continue to be innovative in the future. Hiring for culture add not only gives employers the opportunity to strengthen their team, but enables them to take advantage of the benefits that diversity can bring to an organisation.

Weigh Up Their Potential

Traditional hiring strategies have often focused solely on whether or not candidates meet the requirements of the current role – an ultimately short-term focused solution for how to decide between candidates. Just because a candidate has the necessary skills at present, it doesn't guarantee they will continue that upward trajectory.


When deciding between two equally qualified candidates, look beyond the black and white nature of the job requirements and instead consider how candidates could continue to add value to the business later down the track. Compare how each candidate aligns with the company's long-term plans. Is one more motivated to develop their technical skills than the other? Does one candidate have greater leadership potential? It is also vital to compare their overall levels of motivation and enthusiasm. After all, someone who genuinely enjoys coming to work and doing their job will always continue to be an asset.

Summary

While it may be a rare occurrence, finding yourself torn between two great candidates can be incredibly stressful. However, by considering aspects such as culture add, thinking long term and getting an outside perspective, you can be confident in making the most well-informed choice possible.


For more insights on making a decision between two candidates or to find out how we can help with your IT Recruitment in New Zealand, get in touch today.

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Three Mistakes to Avoid at Your Next Interview

9 Feb 21 by 76

Interview Mistakes



So, you’ve got your foot in the door and landed that coveted interview. While it's easy to get caught up in the stress of the big day itself, the key to giving yourself the best shot at success lies in doing all of the hard work in the lead-up. The way that you prepare for a job interview is critically important and can make the difference between an average interview and a fantastic one. Below, we’ve used our expert knowledge and experience in the IT recruitment industry to guide you through a few of the most common interview preparation mistakes we see candidates make, so that you don’t fall into the same trap.

Lack of Understanding of the Organisation

Knowing how to research is arguably the most important skill you need to interview successfully. Arriving on the day without an understanding of the organisation doesn't look good, and you’ll likely find yourself ill-equipped to answer the questions that are put to you. Especially in today’s world, where the basic information you need is almost always easily accessible online, you risk the interviewer interpreting a lack of understanding as a lack of commitment.


Employers want to see that you are genuinely interested in working for them, so be prepared for questions that gauge what you know about the organisation. As a baseline, get familiar with what the company does and the products and services it offers. Add to that an awareness of the history, key stakeholders and any other relevant information, such as recent developments in the industry, and you'll be well armed for your interview. The good news is that with company websites, social media and industry press publications, researching and preparing for an interview has never been easier.

Not Researching Your Interviewer

Another one of the biggest mistakes we see candidates make is not knowing the person who is interviewing them. Prior to the interview, it's likely that you will have had some level of correspondence with the interviewer, if only to set the interview up. As soon as you know their name, a quick search on LinkedIn or Google will help gain an insight into the person who they’ll be sitting opposite. It might only take a few minutes of your time, but chances are there will be plenty of useful information available.


Details such as how long they've been at the company and what they were doing prior to that will not only offer insight into their professional background and personality but can also help to break the ice – maybe you both went to the same university or had similar roles in the past. In addition to this, if you’re working with a specialist recruitment agency, we’ll be able to help you prepare for upcoming interviews and provide insight into your interviewer as well.

Using Stale Answers

It may be tempting to read a few articles online and memorise seemingly 'perfect' answers to interview questions. The problem with this approach is that all too often, the interviewer has heard them before, and they know exactly where you got them from. Not only that, but it demonstrates a lack of thought, interest and originality. An experienced interviewer will be able to spot fabricated answers a mile away, which is why it's crucial to provide genuine answers that relate back to real experiences instead.


When answering interview questions, reflect on your work experience and identify a number of examples that you can use. Think carefully over past achievements, positive feedback, successful projects and value added, and use this to stand out from the competition. On top of that, don’t be afraid to discuss previous mistakes and the lessons learned, as this demonstrates your ability to improve and grow professionally.

Summary

No matter the level of your career, when it comes to interviews, the importance of preparation cannot be overstated. To give yourself the best chance of landing the job you want, put aside the time to research and prepare. Remember, the more insight you are equipped with, the better your answers will come across.


For more advice on how to prepare for an interview or if you're looking for your next IT job, get in touch today – we're always happy to help.

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Assessing Candidates for Cultural Fit

22 Sep 20 by 78

Assessing Candidates for Cultural Fit

Much has been said about the importance of cultural fit, and it’s an issue that is just as prevalent in IT organisations today. Without cultural fit, a new hire that looked perfect on paper can easily deteriorate a few months down the line when it becomes apparent that they don’t align with the company’s core attitudes, ideals and goals. However, there’s more to it than simply finding someone that shares common traits with the rest of your team. So, how do you assess candidates to ensure they not only meet your requirements from a skills perspective, but also complement your culture as well?

Values vs. Priorities

When hiring, one of the most prominent mistakes that employers make is to focus on a candidate’s personality. It’s widely believed that hiring people that fit into the existing culture will help them settle faster and gel with the team, but there is a flipside to hiring people with identical mindsets. After all, you don’t want a team of carbon-copy employees who all think in the same way, particularly in the IT industry, where innovation is the lifeblood of the business. Instead, consider a wider approach. Ideally, you are looking for someone who can challenge the company’s (and team’s) thinking, encourage positive change and implement new solutions or ways of doing things. Whilst personality definitely plays its part in deciding whether a candidate is the right fit or not, as long as the fundamental values of the company and candidate align, you should be safe.

What to Look for When Assessing Cultural Fit

Here are four key elements to consider when assessing candidates for cultural fit:

  1. Managerial style – Understand the management style in which the candidate will thrive under. How have they worked with managers in the past? What motivates them? What do they perceive to be a good manager?
  2. Success in previous work environments – Consider where the candidate has thrived most. For example, if they have been successful within an innovative tech startup, it may suggest that they prefer smaller organisations over large ones, or that having access to the latest technology is a priority for them.
  3. Structure of the role – Whilst the wider company may offer a great fit for the candidate, it still comes down to the structure of the role itself, such as its pace, level of autonomy and team focus. For example, if the role requires working with stakeholders outside of the IT team, is the candidate equipped to do this?
  4. Referrals – Though it is important to do your own assessment, considering a candidate who has been referred by a trusted source (who also understands the values and culture of the company) can often be a good indicator of fit.

Common Interview Questions to Assess Cultural Fit

Asking behavioural and situational questions are often designed to delve into a candidate’s motivators, preferences and ethics, helping you to paint a clear idea of their values. So, lets take a look at some specific questions to add to your list to ask:

  • What are some of the things that you liked most about your previous job and the environment that you worked in?
  • Can you give an example of a time where you were in charge of completing a complex IT project? How did you minimise downtime and reduce disruption to the business?
  • How would you describe your ideal work environment?
  • Describe a time when you had to communicate highly technical information to non-technical personnel. How did you handle this?
  • Have you ever been faced by an ethical issue at work? How did you work through it?
  • In order to be successful and happy in your job, what would you consider to be the most important factor?
  • Can you think of a time you implemented an innovative IT solution that improved business processes?
  • Is there a particular management style that you find motivates you to work harder?

Summary

As with any relationship (work or otherwise), if the fit is wrong, the relationship is bound to fail. Whilst it may seem a challenge, being aware of the nuances involved with cultural fit will help you to find the people you need to create a well-rounded team. To understand more about cultural fit, or for help with your IT recruitment needs, get in touch with the team at Sourced.

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The ‘F Word’: Understanding Flexibility at Work

12 Oct 18 by 75

Understanding Flexibility | Sourced - Christchurch IT Recruitment


Often when we talk to candidates, the word 'flexibility' is offered up as an indication of what they are looking for in their job search – sometimes even more so than remuneration! In our latest Sourced Report, which provides insight into the trends and changes occurring in the Christchurch and Auckland IT sectors, work/life balance and the importance of flexibility really came to the fore. However, what does flexibility actually mean to candidates and how should it be approached by employers?

Understanding Employee Needs

As changes to daily work patterns and new technology open up the opportunity for flexibility in the workplace, it's become more important than ever for employers to understand what their employees are looking for.


This was certainly something we noticed when comparing respondents who were not currently receiving flexibility with those who were. Of those in roles where they were not receiving flexibility, 46.32% stated that they were currently seeking a new role, as opposed to 30% of those who were. This emphasises just how much the use of flexible working initiatives can impact retention. Work/life balance and flexibility have featured highly as an employee priority ever since we started surveying IT professionals four years ago, so it’s a trend that is likely to stick around long-term.

The ‘F Word’

However, when we talk about “flexibility”, what do we mean exactly? The word is often shrouded in a great deal of ambiguity, prompting understandable concerns from employers, who fear that it’s solely about remote working, which can have a significant impact on the day-to-day running of a business. In reality, from the conversations that we have with IT professionals, it’s clear that the idea of flexibility means different things to different people. Remote working is just one strategy amongst a wide range of flexibility options that are being explored by employees, and we’ve found that the majority of people aren’t even looking to work from home on a regular basis.


Research from the UK shows that key reasons for wanting flexibility include having more control over work/life balance, cutting down on commuting time, opening up more time to pursue study, and caring for children or other dependents. People don’t necessarily want to replace the time the have in the office, but rather, re-order it so that it works better for them overall.


So, for employees, rather than just labelling it the ‘F Word’, it’s important to be specific with what flexibility means to you. Sometimes it can be as simple as having the freedom to pick up the kids after school, spending slightly longer at the gym at lunch time, having more time to pursue further study, cutting down on commuting time, or taking a few leave days during winter to go skiing. As with any negotiation, clear communication is key to getting the desired outcome.

Navigating Risks and Obstacles

Employer concerns around the ‘F Word’ almost always comes from a ‘how business actually works’ perspective. Employers are looking to build tight-knit, agile teams that can thrive in a Tech environment where change happens quickly and constantly. A heavy remote-working component – which is often the assumption of what flexibility entails – can be a threat to this if it isn’t implemented in the right way.


When it comes to flexibility, our research shows that the value is there for employers when it comes to retention. The challenge once again lies in the communication; opening up the conversation with team members and understanding what they’re actually looking for and how that aligns with your needs as an employer.


Remember, neither party in a discussion thinks that they’re the bad guy, it’s about negotiation and compromise. Be clear and simple in your communications, and take the time to listen to what the other is saying. Appreciate their perspective (or ask them questions until you do!), offer alternatives and be accommodating where you can, and you’ll likely end up working towards a solution that works for both parties.

Summary

As flexible working becomes a key requirement for IT professionals, it becomes more important for organisations to weigh up how flexible working can benefit them. Although our research has shown the impact that it can have on retention, it’s clear that working from home isn’t the be all and end all of a flexibility working policy.


To understand more of the trends and changes affecting your local IT market, view our latest Sourced Report here. Or for help with your IT recruitment needs, get in touch with the team at Sourced.

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How to Write the Perfect IT Cover Letter

24 Jan 20 by 88



As an IT specialist, writing a cover letter may feel a little unnecessary. More often than not, your skills are highly sought-after anyway, so why put the effort into one when your experience speaks for itself?


However, as the unprecedented stagnation caused by the COVID-19 outbreak begins to ease, we are likely to see a flood of talent into the job market, looking to make up for lost time and consider new opportunities quickly. A succinct and compelling IT cover letter can help you stand out from the crowd to your employers of choice. And in a time where remote interviewing is swiftly growing to become a new fact of life, they’re often the hiring manager’s introduction to you as a candidate. Investing some time to showcase your passion and personality – as well as your experience – can go a long way. Next time you’re applying for a job, give your application the very best chance to succeed and follow these five key cover letter tips.


Tailor Your Content

It’s all too easy to think that you can simply send through your CV with a standardised cover letter that summarises your experience. However, the purpose of a cover letter is to demonstrate your interest in working with a particular company, delivering a particular role. Instead of sending a generic document, take the time to consider the recruiter or hiring manager who is trying to narrow down their shortlist. What are they looking for, and how can you demonstrate you have it in your letter?


When writing an IT cover letter, focus on the requirements of the role and showcase your skills and experience specific to that position. You’ll want to tell them exactly how you can add value through your specific set of skills, and while this can sometimes feel like “showing off”, it’s all about meeting their needs.


Include Relevant Keywords

With highly competitive roles, one of the best ways to get noticed is to include keywords in your cover letter, particularly when relating to technical expertise or qualifications.


Read through the position description and circle any keywords or phrases you think are important. Then ensure you tick them off as you include them in your cover letter, showing the hiring manager that you have experience with the systems or software that are critical to succeed in the role.

For example, you could start your letter with “My experience with SQL, Javascript, CSS and Bootstrap makes me the ideal candidate for your recently advertised role of Front-End Developer with XYZ organisation”.


Or if you work as a Project Manager, you can highlight your experience and understanding of different methodologies. For example: “As Project Manager with XYZ company, I have worked on large-scale software upgrade projects using best practice methodologies including Agile, PRINCE 2, MSP and JIRA.”


Keep It Short and Sharp

The length of Tech cover letters is often debated but remember – the hiring manager will likely be reading through a stack of them and only spend a minute or two reading yours. With this in mind, aim for between three and five paragraphs, and definitely no longer than a page. A great structure to use covers the following:


  1. Introducing yourself and demonstrating your interest in the role and the company
  2. Addressing key requirements in the position being advertised and how your experience matches this (including keywords and phrases)
  3. Wrapping up and providing contact details

If there’s a lot you need to address in the cover letter, or if you have been asked specifically as part of the application process to include certain information, consider using bullet points to provide it in an easy-to-digest format. Including a bulleted list of your credentials and technical skills will also help you hit the keywords and phrases outlined earlier.


Sell Yourself and Your Achievements

In addition to your skills and qualifications, try to include at least one example that demonstrates results. It can be all too easy to focus on experience, but nothing makes candidates stand out better than providing measurable metrics.


Again, review the position description and see if you have any relevant examples that you can include. Think about key points such as delivering on time (or early), managing a project worth $X million, overseeing a team of X people, or building a website that achieved X visitors in the first month.


Proofread It

This one is obvious, but it’s a step that is often forgotten in the rush to submit applications quickly. Communication is a core skill within many jobs in the IT industry, and your cover letter not only shows how well you can write but is also an insight into your attention to detail. Before you send it, make sure to proofread for spelling and grammatical errors. Better yet, get a second set of eyes to review it for you too.


Summary

While it may be a part of the process you wish you could skip, the humble cover letter is a critical part of the recruitment process, so it’s well worth taking the extra time to make yours really shine.


If you need help fine-tuning your IT cover letter for your next Tech job application or are on the lookout for new opportunities, get in touch with our specialist team at Sourced.

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Do these before applying for your next IT job

30 Aug 18 by 74

Key Things You Should Do Before Applying For Your Next IT Job


When you’re just starting out in a job search, it’s tempting to jump headfirst into the market without too much thought; sending out CVs and applying for any job that’s relevant to your experience. There is one problem with this approach though; preparation will often be overlooked.

  

Outlined below are four key things to do before applying for a job in the IT industry. 


Update Social Media Accounts

If an employer is interested in an application, the first thing many will do today is take a look at the applicant’s social media presence. A lot of what we say and do online can end up in the public domain and it’s surprising how much can actually be found out online.


Before sending off any applications, it’s important to check your LinkedIn and other social media accounts. Are they up-to-date and accurate? Would you be happy for a potential employer to see what’s visible?


When updating your LinkedIn profile, ensure that it’s aligned to your CV and representative of any experience, achievements and career goals. If you have recommendations from previous managers and clients, it can also help strengthen your personal brand.


It’s not just about LinkedIn though. Read through recent posts on other social media platforms (anything that can be seen publicly) such as Twitter and Facebook. If you wouldn’t be comfortable having an employer see what’s there, take a look at the privacy settings and then do another check.


As an extra precaution, it can also be a good idea to Google yourself to find out what someone else would see. 


Review Your CV

The CV is still one of the most important parts of the recruitment process and will usually be one of the first things that a potential employer reads about you and your application. That’s why it’s crucial for it to be in the best shape possible.  


Have you reviewed the content before sending it out? This is especially important for IT professionals who have been in the same job for some time, as it will most likely need a refresh.


Make sure it’s updated to reflect the value that you’ve added in recent positions, as well new skills and experience gained during that time. Emphasise any key accomplishments that are going to stand out on a page. After all, this is what employers will be looking for. 


Don't Forget About Networking

Today, more and more tech jobs are being filled without being advertised at all, so be aware that conventional methods might not cut it when it comes to your job search. This is why making connections with people and building your network is more important than ever. Whether it’s through social media, local industry events or meetings, making connections can help open doors to future opportunities.


Even if a new job isn’t currently on your radar, it’s a good idea to continually build your network; it’ll help to strengthen relationships and raise your profile in the industry! With that in mind, ask for introductions, keep in touch with old colleagues and reach out to specialist recruitment agencies and other contacts.


Check in With Referees

How does your referee list look? Especially if you haven’t been in the market for a while, it’s the perfect time to reconnect and update them on your employment situation. Make sure they’re still relevant to the roles that you’re applying for and ask yourself whether there is anyone that could be added who might add more recent value.


Although references are unlikely to be checked until later in the recruitment process, it’s good practice to get in touch with any potential referees early. This not only gives them a heads up, but the more prepared they are, the better the reference will be. No one likes to be called up out of the blue! If you check in with them early, you can also gauge their feedback on strengths and areas for improvement, which might help during your job search.


Summary

Before making yourself available and starting a job search, make sure you’re well prepared. Taking the time to follow the four steps outlined above and bringing everything into shape will be sure to give you the best start possible and help set you up for success in your job search.


For further advice to help you prepare for your job search, or if you’re in the market for a new IT role, get in touch with us here.

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Two Simple Tips To Finding A Job You Love

28 Jun 18 by 71

Two Simple Tips To Finding A Job You Love


Although most of us aren’t necessarily unhappy with our current job, being in a job that you truly love is another story.  We spend a fair amount of time working (in fact, most of us spend over 2,000 hours a year) so being in a job that you’re passionate about can make all the difference to your overall happiness. At Sourced, we’re pretty good at matching people with their dream IT jobs, so if a change is on the cards for you, here are two simple tips to finding a job you love. 


Discover What Makes You Happy at Work

Two Simple Tips To Finding A Job You LoveBefore starting a job search, take some time out for a little personal reflection. What makes you happy at work? There are a number of factors that contribute towards job satisfaction, and their importance will vary depending on you. Perhaps it’s job security, autonomy, engaging work, the team culture, or a combination of these. Either way, knowing what makes you happy at work is the first step to understanding what you’re most passionate about.


Think about your current job. Are you happy in it? If not, why and what would need to change to make you feel happier? What goals have you achieved and where have you fallen short? 


Reflect back on your career and take a look at your skills. What is it that you love doing? What do you do best? What do you take pride in? Whose career do you admire and why? The answers to all these questions may provide some clues to the path that you want to take and help map out any long-term goals.  


Take Steps To Move In This Direction

The next step is to work out a plan to move in the right direction. Think about some of the answers to those big questions and set yourself some realistic goals, working backwards and breaking it down into actionable steps.


You don’t necessarily need to quit on the spot. If you’re working towards a long-term goal, it might mean starting out as a hobby on the side. Remember that the grass isn’t always greener and the more research and preparation you do, the more beneficial it will be in the long run.


Here are a few of our tips to get you started:


Reach out to people who hold similar roles to the job you want. Perhaps you’re a Web Developer looking for a move into Big Data. Speaking to someone in this space will help with inside information and understand the steps that need to be taken, whilst highlighting any mistakes to avoid along the way. Building relationships with people in the industry is also a great way to get yourself in front of more of the right people, learn about openings and find out what’s happening around you.


Two Simple Tips To Finding A Job You LoveTake charge of your own development and make a habit of obtaining as much knowledge as you can. Learning and development is a continuous process and you have the most to gain from growing professionally. Look at skill gaps and upskill where necessary to help you move in the right direction.


Find a mentor who can support you in reaching your goals. A great mentor has been in your shoes and can offer guidance and support to help you get to where you want to be. They can expose you to new ways of thinking, and although you don’t want to rely on them for contacts, mentors can be a great asset to networking.  


Consider freelancing to further expand your experience. A lot of technology companies not only support this now, but actively look for candidates who freelance.


Volunteer in an area to get further exposure. You’ll not only gain valuable experience, but it’s an opportunity to try out certain jobs before committing yourself completely.


Closing Thoughts

By discovering what makes you happy and taking some steps to move in that direction, you can get a lot closer to being in the job you love! If you’re hoping to find your perfect IT job, we’re here to help so get in touch with the team at Sourced.  

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6 Ways to Mitigate Recruitment Risks for Tech

18 May 18 by 70

6 Ways to Mitigate Recruitment Risks for Tech Companies


Techweek kicks off on 19 May and over the next nine days, there is a whole calendar of events in and around Christchurch (and the rest of the country) in support of New Zealand’s annual festival of innovation. If you’re looking to get out and make the most of next week’s events, take a look at what’s happening in the city during Techweek. When we were looking at the line-up for the upcoming week, there was one in particular that caught our attention.


Recruitment can be a Risky Business

In an increasingly complex and changing environment, the event, "With New Innovation Comes Great Risks", looks at the transformational journey in business, and the value killers (or risks that have the greatest impact on tech companies). Reading over the summary got us thinking about some of the risks in the recruitment process when hiring – here are a few that are having the greatest impact on tech companies, and how to avoid them:


6 Ways to Mitigate Recruitment Risks for Tech Companies


Relying on the Current Job Description and Previous Data

Does the job description actually reflect the current demands of the role, let alone the future challenges within this role? A job description and previous hiring data are great places to start, but you need to go beyond this to consider where the business is going, what problems you’re trying to solve and what skills are really going to get you there. This could be a very different proposition altogether. 


Wanting to see a Certain Number of People

Having a number in mind to aim for may seem like a reasonable approach to ensure you’re seeing the best in the market, but it is more important to find someone who meets your expectations, whether they happen to be the 2nd person you’ve interviewed, or the 5th. Especially if you’re after a specialist IT skill that it’s short supply! Being clear on essential and desirable criteria from the outset and having a flexible shortlist will ensure you don’t risk missing out on a great hire simply because you hadn’t seen enough candidates, and they’d moved onto another opportunity by the time you realised.


Only Considering People Who Respond to Your Job Advert

Relying on a single approach (such as job adverts), will provide an inaccurate representation of available candidates in the market, resulting in many candidates being overlooked. Instead, open your search up to a variety of different channels. Have you reached out to your network, or asked for referrals internally?


Forsaking Culture-Add for Culture-Fit

We are big fans of culture-fit, in fact we’ve written a blog on this topic before.  The benefits of diversity have been widely talked about, so our cautionary tale would be to check that you’re not hiring “sameness” in the guise of culture-fit. Be rigid on values-fit but embrace different thinking and seek this out.


Only Considering Candidates with the Best CVs

If a CV is the key determinant for success, why bother with an interview? Although it may be tempting to restrict your search to certain criteria found on paper, it pays to open up the competition and consider a wildcard candidate. Ensure you have phone screening in your process, it might just help you uncover a gem!


Moving Too Slow or Too Fast

In the race to hire top IT talent, speed to hire is vital. A lengthy process with impractical steps, multiple interview stages, work tests and samples can often lead to a process that take weeks, even months before a final decision is made. Dragging your feet will only see the best candidates picked up by more nimble competitors. It’s a balancing act, though, as not having enough rigour in your process, can be costly.


Judgement Reigns

Although there are definitely a few risks to avoid, there are also some that can be worth taking. It might be a job history with too many temp or contract jobs, or a lack of industry/New Zealand experience. On the surface, they may seem like red flags but digging a little deeper often pays off when new capability is gained through global IT experience, new industries and challenging IT projects. Consider how this will add value to your business.


Summary

If people are the greatest asset in any organisation (and we think they are!), recruitment remains the most important yet often the most challenging task for any leader. There is no one right answer, and there’s always going to be an element of risk in hiring, but by reassessing some of your hiring processes, you can avoid getting into some of the traps discussed above.


“With New Innovation Comes New Risks” is just one of the many events taking place across Christchurch during Techweek. If you’re going to be out and about next week, see the full programme here.


To get the most out of the events, check out our resource guide, here.

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Women in Tech in New Zealand – The State of Play

15 Mar 18 by 68

Women in Tech in New Zealand – The State of Play


Every six months, we conduct a survey of IT professionals in both Christchurch and Auckland for our Sourced Report, asking a range of questions around their roles and the sector at large. With International Women’s Day last week, we thought it was a great time examine the state of play when it comes to women in the Tech industry in New Zealand, so we split the data we’d collected by men and women and compared the results. This produced a number of interesting findings, and showed that while great progress is being made, there is still some way to go before true parity is reached.


What Women Want

In what may come as a surprise to some, when looking for an IT role, women and men both look for the same three key things: challenges, work/life balance, and career opportunities. These are the three pillars that IT professionals find important in a role no matter what gender they are, although there is some discrepancy between men and women in Auckland. Men in Auckland tend to value career opportunities (74.24%) above challenges (68.18%) and work/life balance (65.15%), whereas women put work/life balance first (77.43%), with career opportunities (62.44%) and challenges (50.71%) in second and third respectively. In Christchurch, results are virtually identical – with work/life balance coming in ahead of challenges and career opportunities.


These priorities are reflected in what women find important when it comes to culture. Flexibility again ranks highly (#2 in Christchurch, #1 in Auckland), as do support from management/leadership teams (#1 in Christchurch, #2 in Auckland) and professional development (#3 in both areas).


The overarching story here is that there’s little difference between what men and women actually want out of their work, and yet, when we look at benefits, we can see a fairly significant difference in what they end up getting. In Christchurch, the types of benefits and the level to which they’re received is fairly comparable. In Auckland however, this isn’t the case, with a third of women respondents stating that they do not receive any of the benefits listed, as opposed to just 20% of men – despite both men and women essentially wanting the same things. Yet, across the board the percentage of women receiving each benefit was less than the percentage of men. In some cases, there was a fairly dramatic difference. For example, just 16.81% of women stated they received professional development as a benefit, as opposed to 34.85% of men – less than half.


Ongoing Challenges

This brings us onto the key issue often discussed when it comes to gender differences in the workplace: salary. While unhappiness with salary is a trend across the whole dataset, in Christchurch we can see a clear disparity in the percentage of men who are happy with their salary. 44.12% of women said that their salary was lower than their expectation, as opposed to 38.13% of men. 


It’s not as if salary is less important to women in either. When we asked our respondents to rank the importance of salary on a scale of one (very important) to five (not important at all), women actually came in as slightly more salary driven than men (a 2.31 average versus a 2.54 average for men). Comments reflected this, with many emphasising the importance of being paid fairly for their skills.


I am presently looking for a new job because my employer would not meet the market rate when I specifically outlined this and demonstrated exceptional performance.

[Salary is] very important, as it is the reward of the hard work and needs to match the responsibilities under the current role. A very good and fair salary allows you to have a good standard of living and plan for the future.


In Auckland the issue was less pronounced. Less women than men stated that their salary was lower than expectation (41.67% vs 47.69%) however, not one woman in Auckland stated that their salary exceeds their expectation. Once again, there was little difference in how important salary was between men and women, with men scoring 2.24 and women scoring 2.25, and comments around the importance of salary made this even clearer.


Within IT there are always changes and unknowns. As I need to be on standby or work overtime, unplanned time away from family must be compensated for with a fair and good salary. Above the average market salary.

Salary is very important. When issues arise in the workplace it is nice to know you are being paid well.


Unique difficulties faced by women didn’t just exist in relation to salary either. When asked to rate how easy or difficult it was to progress a career in IT in either Christchurch or Auckland, a greater percentage of women than men stated that it was more difficult. In Christchurch, 14.29% of women stated it was extremely hard, compared to 7.91% of men. In Auckland, this number sat at 34.23% of women, as opposed to 19.70% of men. In both cases, we can see a very significant difference.


Closing Thoughts

While the above might make for some alarming reading, it’s important to remember that progress is being made. More women than ever are moving into the IT industry, with organisations recognising the strong link between diversity and success, and we’re also seeing progress with the gender pay-gap and opportunities for women in the Technology sector. 


However, while big-picture progress is good, it’s important to remember that we’re still not there yet. There are still inequalities to be overcome, and it’s only by remaining focused on those and working together that we’ll be able to build an industry where everyone has the opportunity to succeed. 

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Zoom Video Interview Tips For Success

5 Jun 20 by 69

Zoom Video Interview Tips for Success


The use of remote interviewing has grown significantly, with a large portion of employers now regularly incorporating it into their recruitment processes. Video interviews offer a number of benefits, from cost and time savings to improving the screening process and providing a positive candidate experience. This makes it a popular choice for tech-savvy employers, but the method also comes with its own set of challenges for both interviewers and interviewees alike.


So, whichever side of the virtual table you’re sitting on, here are the key “dos” and “don’ts” for how to give a good zoom video interview.

Zoom Video Interviewee

Prepare notes for a zoom video interview

Do: Prepare Your Notes

One of the best things about a Zoom interview is that, due to limited visibility, you can have your notes in front of you. Prepare notes with research on the company, the people interviewing you and industry developments, and have a copy of your CV handy. That way, instead of scrambling to remember all your research under pressure, you’ll have a reminder. Aim to keep your notes to one page to minimise paper shuffling, and use bullet points to make them easier to read at a glance.

Don’t: Forget That it’s a Job Interview

While it’s easy to feel more relaxed because this interview is taking place “on your own turf,” it’s vital you take it just as seriously as a traditional interview. That means dressing appropriately and doing all the things you would do to prepare normally.


Ideally, you should ensure that your background is as plain and unobtrusive as possible to encourage the interviewer to focus on you. Remember to keep good eye contact by looking into the camera lens when speaking and ensuring it is at eye-level or slightly above will provide the best camera angles. Keep kids and pets at bay and make sure you do it somewhere well lit. All of these steps will help you come across professionally and give you the best shot at acing the interview.

Listening skills are important in a zoom video interviewDo: Make it Clear You’re Listening

Just like with a traditional interview, it’s good etiquette to ensure that you are paying attention to your interviewer. Your concentration needs to be on the screen, so close your internet browser and put your phone on silent. Another great tip is to use headphones, even if you’re in a quiet room. Headphones momentarily block out the world and signal to the interviewer that they have your attention.

Zoom Video Interviewer

Do: A Pre-Interview Technology Check

Check your technology prior to your Zoom video interview

The one big downside when conducting a Zoom video interview is the reliance on technology. No one is a stranger to technical issues, but as the party running the Zoom video interview, these issues can make you look unprofessional and unprepared. Run a test call with a colleague before you call the candidate. Ideally, make sure that the colleague is using a different internet connection in order to get a more accurate idea of what the candidate will actually experience.


Also be aware of other technological factors, such as the potential for the video to lag and freeze, which is important to anticipate when conducting the interview. Always have a plan B, whether that’s a phone interview, FaceTime or another alternative. You and the candidate have both carved out precious time to do this interview, so try to make sure the time isn’t wasted.

Don’t: Conduct the Interview in a Crowded Place

Try to find a quiet spot to do the interview, whether you're in the office or working from home, noise can be distracting to everyone involved and isn’t a great look for your organisation. Ideally, find a room that you know you won't be disturbed in, and ensure that you have an appropriate professional background. Double-check that no one can be seen walking behind you and ensure that you have the best lighting possible – daylight actually provides the best light for on-camera work.

Organise a follow up to your Zoom video interviewDo: Record the interview

Naturally, the first part of this will be obtaining the candidate's permission. Zoom video interviews differ from face-to-face interviews in many ways – one often overlooked difference is the greater difficulty of keeping focused and staying present. Recording the meeting gives you a safety net in case you have missed anything, as well as the ability to share the results with colleagues to get a second opinion. 

Summary

While a good Zoom video interview is similar to a traditional interview in a lot of ways, it pays to be prepared. Interviewees and interviewers alike should remember to get ready ahead of time, including preparing notes and ensuring the technology is functioning correctly. The setting might be slightly different, but neither party should forget that this is still a job interview.


With these Zoom video interview tips, you should be off to a great start. To see how we could help you prepare for your next interview, get in touch today.

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Tips - Turning Your ‘Offshore’ Status to ‘Onshore’

27 Feb 18 by 67

Tips for Turning Your ‘Offshore’ Status into ‘Onshore’


New Zealand boasts a coveted lifestyle with a tapestry of incredible landscapes, rich culture and a burgeoning tech sector which employed a staggering 120,000 people last year, according to a report from the New Zealand Digital Skills Forum. Software programmer jobs were especially highlighted with an 11% increase in demand annually. This heralds IT as the fastest growing and third largest proponent of our economy. Given that, it’s unsurprising that Immigration NZ has placed it on the long-term skills shortage list, making it an attractive option for overseas talent looking for a change. With an overload of information out there, where do you start? What do you need to know? Where do you need to look? The following tips can help you start to plan your passage from an offshore candidate to an onshore one. 


Opportunities Abound for Offshore Candidates

Last year New Zealand had an annual net migration of 70,000, with an 11% increase in those arriving on work visas. Many have prescribed to the skills-shortage list, which is updated annually. Chronic talent voids in Christchurch and throughout NZ are seen in positions such as: Systems Analysts, Software Engineers, Software and Applications Engineers, Computer Network and Systems Engineers, ICT Project Managers and ICT Quality Assurance Engineers to name a few. Before embarking on your life-changing journey, take the time to research this list as well as the advertisements on job boards to ascertain what you want and especially what you can offer. What sort of impact will your suite of skills, qualifications and experience have on a prospective employer here? Are these attributes reflected in your CV and cover letter? It may be a good idea to explore the Sourced evaluation of Top Tech Trends in IT at the moment. This little bit of planning will get you ahead of the game in a competitive marketplace. 


With Labour in the hot seat after the election, we will see a tech friendly government, with grants for young start-ups and some big investments in infrastructure projects, which will trickle more revenue into the IT sector by default. The Sourced Report from September last year showed a clear pattern of growth in hiring due to new work and projects. In Christchurch alone 81% of employers have hired someone in the last six months. What is even more interesting is that 24% of these recruited for five or more positions. With another Sourced Report due to come out this month, we will gain an even greater insight into the patterns of growth in not only Christchurch and Canterbury, but Auckland as well.


Find the Right Person to Oversee Your Move

There is a certain amount of research and planning that you can undertake to steer your rudders the right way. However, the most important box to tick is enlisting the help and advice of a licensed immigration adviser. The New Zealand Government’s Immigration Advisers Authority has some guidelines in ensuring your consultant is licensed and how to go about getting one.


Tips for Turning Your ‘Offshore’ Status into ‘Onshore’


With the aid of an immigration adviser, you can deduce which type of working visa is best suited for your circumstances as there are many and each have their own criteria for approval. The New Zealand Immigration website hosts a variety of useful information on the visa options available, from Skilled Migrant Visas to Temporary Visas and Residence from Work Visas. 


Most companies adhere to strict legislative requirements and in most cases must make an attempt to fill a vacancy locally first before seeking an offshore candidate. The silver lining here is making contact with an established recruitment company who may be able to offer some guidance whilst you’re still at home. Researching the companies that you would like to work for could reap opportunities as well. Use LinkedIn or websites to gauge their culture and hiring trends.


Research Life in New Zealand

How much do you really know about ‘The land of the long white cloud’? It may be all well and good revelling in the prospering IT industry, but life can’t be based only on salary – can you actually live here? Is there a particular city that has piqued your interest? Search the Internet and cherry-pick anecdotes as well as testimonials from forums to see what type of lifestyle awaits you. Ask questions of people who may have at least visited before and get some candid opinions. 



With Christchurch and Canterbury providing offshore candidates with some of the best IT roles, you may wish to read up on living here. Not only are the vistas breathtaking, but it includes an international airport, great schools and the University of Canterbury, which offers world-class courses such as Computer Science and Software Engineering. Given the average salary for an IT professional can range from $65K for a Data Analyst to $130k for an IT Manager, renting affordability is quite achievable with average rents advertised at $1,600 per month. Arming yourself with this critical information will help you to make a better-informed decision. 


If the grass does look greener and you’ve joined forces with a licensed immigration adviser, don’t forget to tie up some loose ends:

  • Update your resume with the correct style and a focus on achievements.
  • Know what to expect from a Kiwi workplace and understand your employment rights.

Summary

With such an array of jobs beckoning in the tech Christchurch and tech Canterbury marketplace, and such a large volume of information to work through regarding migrating, we urge offshore candidates to go through the practical steps first to ensure the best chance for success. When it comes to the crunch a licensed immigration adviser is the only one who can give proper, detailed, legal information on the process of migration. After that, feel free to get in touch with the team here at Sourced to discuss making your next career move count. 

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Unhappy in Your Job? Map Your Next Move in IT

1 Dec 20 by 66

Unhappy in Your Job? Mapping Your Next Move in IT


Are you suffering from a serious case of “new year, same job”? Going back to work after the holidays and realising that you aren’t on a satisfying career path can get anyone down – especially in an industry like IT where there are so many different career paths to choose from. Whether or not you love what you do, you’ve likely given some thought as to what you’d like to do next. Should things change in your current workplace, or if you’re ready for a fresh start right now, it’s important to position yourself well for this change and be prepared. If you’re ready to shake things up, then follow these three steps and get yourself set for success in 2021.

Assess Where You Currently Are 

Consider your job right now, and if you’re happy in your position. Have a look at your past year; what goals did you achieve and where did you fall short? Be honest with yourself and assess what you’ve accomplished. If you didn’t hit the goals you wanted to, don’t despair – you can start today with a renewed focus on where you want to go!


Maybe you’ve found that you crave more responsibility and want more challenge in your current role. On the other hand, it’s possible that you might prefer a new position altogether. Is your lack of interest due to a fundamental issue with your current employer or your daily duties? Consider whether the source of your unhappiness is your actual job, or if it’s something external to the work itself.


Take note of the job tasks you enjoy, and those that make you drag your feet. Going through this process can help to zero in on what exactly you find fulfilling. Then explore options that include those attributes.


Where Do You Want to Go?

Once you have an idea of what you’ve done well, what you can do better, and what you like and dislike about your current situation, you can start thinking about how to take steps to get you where you want to go.


First think about your long-term career goals, and then work backwards, keeping your goals front of mind. Whether it’s getting in touch with a recruiter to explore job options, or going back to university to study a whole new field, there is no better day than the present to start on your way to a fulfilling career.


If you are looking to jump into an entirely different field, do your research. It’s easy to idealise a job that’s different to yours as glamorous or exciting, however things almost always aren’t what they seem. Interview people who have experience in what you’re interested in. Are you currently a Web Developer but aspire to work with Big Data? Speak to someone who does and ask them questions about their daily routine, struggles and triumphs. Not only will this give you further insight into the role, but it will also give you more realistic expectations, and an idea of what it would take to get there.

Addressing Potential Skills Gaps

If you’d like to stay in your field and develop your skills within your workplace, speak to your manager and express your desire to advance, so they can help you identify ways to expand your responsibilities. Check what training programmes are available within your current workplace; some organisations offer excellent refresher courses, such as systems administration, digital marketing, or even training in cloud management, as well as sometimes offering more formal professional development programmes.


But don’t stop there. Maximising work opportunities within your present company is a great way to gain wider recognition and display capability, not to mention your ambition to further develop. Look into wider personal leadership endeavours, like facilitating a mentoring programme for junior staff, or driving community or fundraising initiatives. This would showcase your take-charge attitude, confidence, and ability to lead. A desire for continuous personal development outside of your immediate job is a key characteristic of many influential business leaders, so you’d be following a successful example!


All these actions send an important message to colleagues and management, exemplifying your emphasis on personal development and indicating that career advancement is something you take seriously. In addition to helping you stand out internally and strengthening your expertise, external courses also prepare you for further study should you choose a new path, and look great on a CV, should you decide to make the jump to another company.

Starting the Conversation

Like most journeys, there is rarely one path to your career goals. Think about the different options you have, and which ones work best for your current situation. Would you be better served by staying with your current company, perhaps in a different role, or is it time for a bigger change?


It’s worth considering whether your current company could offer you a fresh challenge, in a familiar environment. If it’s a secondment or internal move that you’re looking for, book a meeting with your boss, and be transparent about your aspirations. Even if you’re unsuccessful in gaining an internal move, at the very least management will appreciate your proactive approach to address the issue instead of becoming demotivated.


If the problem is interpersonal, such as with a manager or team member, seek advice early on from someone you trust as to how best improve communication as you don’t want to discount fulfilling work because of an unhealthy professional atmosphere.

Making the Big Move

If all else fails, and you’ve decided that your only option is to leave, then don’t rush into anything too quickly. Carefully weigh up your options. Working with a recruitment agency will help introduce you to new opportunities, plus, speaking with someone who better knows the industry or sector you’re looking to break into might help to shed light on options you hadn’t considered.


Remember to take everything in your stride, be patient, and evaluate potential roles against your plan. Keep in mind that the period immediately after the new year can be intensely competitive, so any preparation will be a great investment. If you’re offered a position you’re not excited about, ask yourself why – after all, you don’t want to wind up just as unhappy somewhere else. Aim to find a new role that is worth your time investment, and will bring you the happiness and professional satisfaction you deserve.


As always, if you need to speak to an expert in the Christchurch IT market, feel free to get in touch with the team here at Sourced to discuss making your next career move count.

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Top Tech Trends for 2018

14 Dec 17 by 65

Top Tech Trends for 2018


As another year goes by, we've seen some significant changes to the tech landscape as old technologies come into their own and new technologies open up opportunities for IT professionals. As the importance of technology in our daily lives continues to increase, and more industries go through digital transformation, the tech sector itself grows too. With a number of exciting trends on the horizon that have the potential to disrupt the market, we're taking a look at the areas we expect more demand for in 2018 and beyond.

VR Becoming Viable

While VR has yet to actualise its full potential, it's starting to find its feet as it works its way into applications outside of just entertainment. VR is atech solution in its truest sense, allowing users to immerse themselves in virtual realities and problem-solve in new and innovative ways. Its applications are not just limited to the tech industry, or even just for product-driven industries. More and more industries are finding a use for VR as part of their training programmes. VR not only allows employees to live out a nearly real-life scenario, but also to learn from their mistakes in a safely in a sandbox environment. There are an incredibly wide range of applications for VR, and it's a classic example of how far-reaching technology can be, with everything from entertainment to HR to education having the potential to be augmented by VR. 


As VR becomes a more viable option for more industries, the skills that go along with it, like 3D modelling, game development and UI/UX, become increasingly more transferable. We wouldn’t be surprised to see the number of startups developing VR focused products, or established companies adding VR as a specialisation, drastically in increase in 2018 as organisations look to add this capability to their repertoires. While understanding the concepts behind development and programming would naturally be useful, there will likely be an opening for people joining the industry with animation or 3D modelling backgrounds.

Blockchain

If 2017 was the year of anything, it was arguably the year of Bitcoin, with the cryptocurrency's value raising by over 1000% since this time last year. The result has been a significant but divisive impact on the financial services sector, and an increasing number of organisations are looking for people with the right knowledge to help them understand and harness this disruptive force. Not only will they need to understand it, but as more services flirt with the decentralised nature of Bitcoin, people with the skills and knowledge to integrate it into new or existing platforms are going to become exceptionally valuable.


However, while Bitcoin has been one of the year’s most visible successes, the technology behind it – the blockchain – is a concept with arguably even greater potential. Blockchain is a technology that could possibly revolutionise much more than just the financial market, but it is still in its infancy and is a while away from coming into its own. However, it is growing, and as a platform that breeds trust by cutting out the middle man, it's likely that a greater number of forward-thinking companies will look to using this as an alternative. To give an insight into exactly how the blockchain can provide innovative solutions in a variety of different contexts, one only need look at the already enormous range of blockchain solutions for various different problems. For example, Primalbase uses blockchain technology as a way of simplifying rental relationships, whereas CarTaxi uses the technology as the backbone for an automated car towing service.


While a healthy degree of scepticism should be taken as an investor, if you’re an IT professional then it's a good time to get ahead of the game and get to grips with the tech behind the cryptocurrency. Understanding the concepts behind blockchain is critical (so get studying!) and a basic knowledge of economics and financial services is a nice-to-have. A number of blockchain and cryptocurrency startups have already started to pop in New Zealand, so there’s no time like the present to get acquainted. After all, the applications of blockchain are seemingly limitless.

AI and Internet of Things (IoT) Continue to Grow

Gone are the days when AI was the purely the stuff of science fiction; welcome to a world where it's here and it's here to stay. While AI in the Top Tech Trends for 2018context of drawing insights from big data analytics is still a key trend, the advent of Air New Zealand's "digital human" Sophie is a clear sign of what's to come. And while large corporates are embracing more developed forms of AI, it's in your home as well. As tools like Siri and Alexa become more consistently more advanced, smart appliances become more common, and more self-driving-capable cars hit the market, AI becomes more deeply imbued in the our now-connected every day devices, and AI becomes more tightly woven in with our ever-expanding Internet of Things. It’s a match made in tech-heaven, with the vast amount of data generated by IoT devices needing to be disseminated and delivered in real time. When working in tandem, AI and the IoT could allow companies to solve new problems and draw fresh insights.


However, there are drawbacks to the increasing connectivity we're seeing. With numerous examples of hacks, leaks and poor security throughout 2017, it's clear that something needs to be done. We predict that organisations will go into 2018 and beyond with a renewed focus on security, which means that experience in this sector will become hugely valuable. Those who have focused on organisational security in previous roles, especially in directing and implementing new security systems and processes, will find themselves in high demand.


Furthermore, self-driving vehicles (another big story in 2017), are also an AI-driven innovation. As the production of these increases and more of them arrive on our shores, our roads need to be fully prepared for a large-scale introduction. That means smarter infrastructure, smarter laws and guidelines, and smarter road rules – all of which will need input from those with tech backgrounds, both in the planning and implementation stages. We’re already seeing the impact of this in Christchurch with the launch of Ohmio Automation, a company that makes driverless shuttles, which are currently being trialled at Christchurch airport – so there are job opportunities in this space locally.

Summary

With so many technologies coming into their own this year, it's clear that next year could see real demand for IT professionals who can help organisations to embrace the new technologies that can help them drive their businesses forward. 2017 has been an exciting year for tech and it looks like 2018 will bring with it more developments and opportunities – and hopefully a few more interesting trends we can write about next year!


If you'd like to discuss this further, contact us today.

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Investment in IT: Post-Election Wrap Up

10 Nov 17 by 64

Investment in IT: Post-Election Wrap Up


Well, it’s all over. National is out, Labour is in – and so are Winston and the Greens – and New Zealand has  voted for change. With the election still fresh in the minds of people across the country, we wanted to recap on our previous blog looking at what each party’s policy platform might mean for the IT sector. When that blog was written, National were odds on to trample their opposition on their way to an easy majority in Parliament. However, after Jacinda Ardern, replaced Andrew Little as Labour leader, the momentum shifted drastically. With a three-party coalition toppling National’s nine-year government, the future certainly looks different for New Zealand. But what does this all mean for our industry?

Labour-Led Future

As we stated in our previous blog, Labour’s main message during the election was about providing a fresh direction, something that saw no change under Ardern’s leadership. The key points in their policy when it comes to technology – the Future of Work commission and their Young Entrepreneurs policy – should provide some stimulus to the sector. Under the Young Entrepreneurs plan, New Zealanders aged 18 to 23 will be able to apply for up to $20,000 to start a business based on an innovative idea; odds are that most of these ideas will be driven or supported by the Tech sector, if not within it.


The new government will also see the Green Party hold their first ministerial portfolios, with Green Party leader James Shaw taking up roles as Minister for Climate Change and Minister for Statistics, along with Eugenie Sage becoming Minister for Conservation and Julie-Anne Genter becoming Minister for Women. This bodes well for the Technology sector; conservation and technology are inextricably linked and Green Party influence on policy will likely drive greater investment in renewable energy and other sustainability initiatives – many of which are powered by our IT community.


This raises the question of whether we’re really missing out on anything in tech, under a Labour-led government as opposed to a National-led one. Truthfully, in terms of pure budget expenditure towards the tech sector, there likely won’t be much difference, but the progressive Labour and Green outlook may give them the edge as a tech-friendly government. That said, there is also the matter of economic and social policy on a macro level. It’s not unfair to say that National is generally the more business-friendly party, and much has been made of the decisions to increase the minimum wage (to $16.50) and slash immigration (by 20,000-30,000), with a lot of speculation about how this will affect businesses.


While wage growth will likely have little impact (this is an industry where very few professionals are earning the minimum wage), migration cuts could have a serious effect. Many technology professionals in New Zealand have come from overseas, and we sometimes rely on these people to bring knowledge of technologies or projects that local talent simply hasn’t had the chance to have experience with. That said, it could all turn out to be much ado about nothing. Little has been given in the way of detail around where these migrant cuts are actually coming from, and Labour’s pre-Election rhetoric around the policy targeted low-skilled workers and students. While it may become more difficult to bring people in from overseas (and equally, it may not), any talk of these changes gutting the technology sector of its talent and pushing New Zealand back to the Stone Age is premature at best, and drastically overblown at worst.

The Winston Effect

As seen in many aspects of this past election, Winston Peters continues to be a talking point here. With the Deputy Prime Minister being a 72-year-old man representing the rural Northland region, and many of his voters coming from the same demographic, you may think it’s difficult to see him as a someone who is going to be an advocate for the tech sector. However, this isn’t necessarily the case. While he might not be the most affable character, Peters is an astute politician who understands the importance of technology to the future of New Zealand.


While it’s unlikely that all, or even most, of his policies will be implemented, Peters has shown a willingness to be progressive when it comes to technology. Some of his policy points in the lead-up to the election included enhancing access to telecommunications infrastructure for consumers and businesses, standardising digital privacy controls, and increasing the digital literacy of senior citizens.


Peters’ influence on the new government has already made itself apparent, with Labour’s mooted $200m regional development fund being increased to $1billion after Peters’ involvement. While a great deal of this money will be going towards infrastructure projects like new rail connections, it’s not out of the equation to suggest that the regions could benefit from some investment when it comes to technology. While our major cities are the hotbeds for technology in New Zealand, providing support for tech startups or initiatives in the regions could promote innovative ways to solve the problems that these regions face. It would also have the added benefit of creating pathways for work and learning in areas that are traditionally challenged when it comes to employment and education. Just an idea!

Moving Forward

Love it or hate it, we have a new government. While we’ve seen a few hair-trigger hot takes from the perennial media panic brigade (Minimum wage?! Immigration?!), as of yet there is nothing to suggest that our nation’s change in leadership will have a significantly negative effect on the state of the Tech industry. If anything, signs are that things will continue as they have been, with technology continuing to become one of our primary exports and IT being a key sector for national growth and development. All in all, there’s no need for alarm. Let’s see where we are in 2020.

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How to Handle a Request for a Pay Increase

1 Nov 17 by 63

How to Handle a Request for a Pay Increase | Sourced Christchurch IT Recruitment


I have met many managers and employers who agree that one skill they will inevitably need (and at times, dread) is being able to respond effectively when a staff member eventually makes the overtures for a pay rise. Now that we’re heading into the end-of-the-year Christmas bonus territory, you may be facing a spate of such requests! Often, having an employee policy that addresses pay review frequency will manage this for most organisations. However, there may be times when employees ask for a pay rise outside of the usual annual pay cycle for various reasons. Even if the company policy states that remuneration is reviewed at a certain time each year, there are always those who feel that it is too far away. Each scenario is unique, and the individual merits of the situation should be considered. Before the request comes out of the blue, here are some pointers on how to achieve a positive outcome for all involved.

Why Do People Request a Pay Rise?

To create an optimum result for yourself, the employee and the business, it is best to understand the reasons why your employee has initiated negotiations for a pay rise in the first place. There can be a single justification or a combination of many. Some of the common ones we see include:

  • The employee feels the raise is warranted due to quality performance, going beyond what is required and what is measured by KPI’s.
  • The market is offering more, and this is further intensified by conversations with external peers. This is especially prominent in competitive markets like IT, where salary isn’t as much of a taboo topic (though many people still find it difficult to raise with their employer).
  • Finding out the salaries of colleagues who do similar work – this could include gender pay gap issues.
  • The work they are now undertaking has changed from when they were hired and may encompass extra responsibilities or the need for an increased set of skills.
  • Could be based on a change in the company’s fortunes and a better ‘bottom line’.
  • They have been offered another job but would rather stay. Although this is not the most ideal circumstance and may need a counter offer, it still happens.
  • For any number of reasons, they are experiencing financial hardship.


There is a common thread of fear amongst employers, where they feel they can’t say no in case they lose their team member. But what are the wider implications for other members of the team if you say yes? What needs to be deliberated? Are your employee’s intentions clear and are they staying for the right reasons? What if the pay rise is refused? How can you ensure that morale doesn’t wane and there is no disgruntlement? There are steps you can take to navigate what can be an emotional minefield and help reinstate the equilibrium.

Steps to Take:

Take Time to Respond

Try to refrain from the urge to respond straight away. This is the time to actively listen and understand the reasons behind the request that may justify the pay rise. For most, asking for a raise can be quite stressful, so empathising with your staff member can go a long way in strengthening relationships, which can help if the pay rise is denied later. You may need to consult with other departments before a decision can be made, so don’t feel pressured to give a definitive answer immediately. What’s more, be aware of your body language, tone of voice and facial expressions so they don’t betray your initial emotions. Thank your employee for bringing this to your attention and offer them an acceptable time-frame or date which you will get back to them.

Request More Information

To make an objective and well-informed decision, you need as much information from your employee as possible. On what grounds do they feel they deserve a pay rise? What are the key drivers for their request? Discuss their performance reviews and the current remuneration policies of your business. By getting as much information as you can from them, you are further showing that you are taking their request seriously and not dismissing their concerns. Continue to remain neutral and assure them that you will carefully consider and manage their request.

Acknowledge the Request

Let your employee know that you appreciate their courage in bringing their pay issue to your attention. Remember the levels of anxiety the last time you had to put yourself in such a sensitive situation. Most of us find the money conversation difficult, so conveying gratitude for the opportunity to have these discussions goes a long way to develop trust and confidence regardless of your ultimate decision.


Evaluate the Request

Once that initial discourse is over, it is time to examine and deliberate all the information and facts. Evaluate the value the person offers not just to the role but to the team and organisation. Consider how their pay compares with their internal peers and the external market, and what they might be paid if they were working for another company doing the same work. What are the current market rates for the industry you are in? Will the employee still be driven to be successful and challenged if they are assured of a pay rise now?

Assess any Limitations

Sometimes it simply isn’t prudent or financially viable to increase pay for certain positions. There may be budgetary constraints, or the job may have reached its pay peak, and the employee may need to move to a different role to receive the benefits they are after. For those who excel in specific projects as opposed to consistent high performance, offering a one-time bonus, or other reward offers the recognition they deserve. You may also need to consider other pros and cons of your decision to award a pay rise. Will others in the team start doing the same? Is your stance reflective of market expectations? Is the business able to sustain the pay rise?

Involve the Relevant People

In many organisations, HR teams are involved in evaluating increased pay requests and can offer the best advice regarding such cases as well as the fairness of your employee’s remuneration. Involving your boss or other key decision makers can also help to make the process more equitable. If you believe you have a great performer who deserves a pay rise, then be prepared to put together a business case for granting it. Communicate this to the relevant departments and people to bring the raise to fruition. They don’t know your employee like you do and sometimes it is worth going to bat for something that is outside current policies if you have solid rationale. From here, there are two possible outcomes.

Time for the Good News

You might be tempted to tell them the good news and rapidly move onto the next thing on your plate, but best practice involves a more conservative standpoint. Position the acceptance of the pay rise as a shared decision involving the HR department, management or other key decision makers. Emphasise that it was an in-depth analysis and not a conclusion that was made flippantly. You want your employee to feel as though they have earned their reward through continual achievement and added value, rather than relentless lobbying. This is also a great time to offer accolades for a job well done and to reinforce their compensation with positive acclaim.

Time for the Bad News

Delivering bad news can be worrying and challenging. The best approach is to be as candid and as honest as possible and start a discussion outlining how the decision was made through all the pertinent channels of the business, be it HR or senior management. If you can, share all the collated facts and research that were used to come to a decision, such as external industry data demonstrating comparable compensation. Your employee will appreciate the transparency and processes involved and will be assured that you have taken their request seriously. Avoid any negative commentary about their performance and continue to reference the business’s pay and performance policies, as well as giving them an outline of what they need to do to reach the level they’re aiming for.

How to Handle a Disagreement

You may find yourself in a situation where you are certain that your above average team member is justified in the raise they are after, but it simply isn’t granted. You have battled for them and demonstrated all the facts to the key decision makers. Unfortunately, they don’t agree with your argument. Remain neutral when speaking to your team member and deliver the message as a united front. As mentioned earlier, engage in open discussions explaining the steps the business took in coming to that decision. Showing your employee how much you appreciate their contributions to the team and business can bolster low morale. Shift the focus to the future. Devise a career plan with strategies to be implemented within reasonable timelines that can increase their chance of compensation down the track. Avoid making guarantees, but do adhere to these timelines and your employee’s career growth.

Handy Hints

You shouldn’t wait until your top performers ask for a pay rise if you can reward them earlier. This helps to show them that they are valued in the business and there will be no need for them to seek greener pastures. If you’re dealing with a counter offer situation, then that’s a whole other story!


Increased compensation is not the sole reward you can use. There is a vast array of tools that can be utilised as sweeteners to show gratitude and acknowledge achievements. You can add a treasure trove of ways to appreciate your employees and boost morale without pulling on the monthly purse strings, for example, supplier discounts, travel allowances, vouchers, or work from home days.

Final Thoughts

Mediating pay rise requests and attenuating the emotions that embrace it are some of the fundamental challenges facing a leader in an organisation. Take time to understand the reasons for your staff member’s enquiry and treat them with respect. It can be intimidating and difficult for many to have the courage to initiate this type of negotiation, so ensure they are aware of the steps and parties involved in coming to a decision, the research undertaken, as well as the business’s remuneration policies. When you punctuate the dialogue with praise and positive reinforcement, and provide transparency regarding your decision, the outcome can be positive regardless of whether the pay rise is approved or not.


If you’d like to discuss this article or any of your recruitment needs, contact the team at Sourced today.

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Traditional Leadership Approaches in IT?

28 Sep 17 by 62

Do Traditional Leadership Approaches Work In IT? | Sourced Christchurch IT Recruitment


Up until quite recently, the commonly held view of working in a business environment was that it was hierarchical, middle management obsessed, and filled to the brim with red tape. Whether that was accurate or not, in recent times, things have started to change. This has more than a little to do with the rise of the technology industry as a cornerstone of our working environments, expanding its reach a long way beyond Computer Science graduates and hobbyist programmers. Companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon are famed for their company cultures, which put an emphasis on making all employees feel like part of the bigger picture. Gone are the leader/follower archetypes of the past, with terms such as “servant leadership” coming en vogue. Watching the IT landscape, a rapidly advancing and changing environment that is at the forefront of our new knowledge economy (where employees know more about their task than their managers do), it is clear that the sector is in a prime position to lead the charge for leadership change.

The Weaknesses of Traditional (Authoritative/Directive) Leadership

Most of us would have worked under this leadership style at some stage, a style of, essentially, “because I said so” management. This is the old school, traditional model going back centuries. A style where the success and/or failure is dependent upon the one person to drive things through. While this style does have its benefits (it’s especially useful in times of crisis), it also has a number of shortcomings.


Let’s face it, unless you are the person who is the authoritarian or dictator, this style of leadership is not that much fun. It doesn’t empower employees, with the focus being almost entirely on doing as you’re told. There is little required in the way of thinking, and instead success is achieved by effectively following instructions, which makes it a difficult environment for innovation to flourish within.


Another key issue is communication. With communication essentially being one way, the assumption is that the people in charge are best suited to make every decision. While leadership should take responsibility – at least to a significant degree – it’s also important to know where your knowledge ends. In these environments, tasks are deferred for approval constantly, which makes for inefficiency, and means there is little room for higher level process improvement.


The calibre of leadership also becomes a limitation in these scenarios. Outside of just making the decisions, employee motivation is entirely down to management due to the style of communication involved. If this motivation isn’t there, then it tends to undermine the whole system, with performance often suffering as a result. This can also provide a platform for negativity and conflict to grow internally.

How IT Has Changed Things

IT is a disruptive industry by nature. This means that innovation, agility and creativity are key to driving forward – things that are often stifled by authoritative leadership. Because of that, we’ve seen a number of alternative approaches to leadership be showcased at some of the world’s biggest companies. Use of alternatives like servant leadership, “distributed leadership” at Google, “transformational leadership” at Facebook or a “holacracy” as trialled by Zappos are becoming more normal as companies strive for a better way forward.


On a more local level, we’ve seen the same kind of impact – albeit potentially for different reasons. As New Zealand isn’t filled with the likes of the Facebooks and Googles of the world, our IT sector is dominated by small to medium businesses. In these smaller organisations, the authoritative style simply isn’t as practical when it comes to working with a smaller team, as well as not promoting growth as effectively.


As an industry with a tendency to lean younger, IT is the industry at the forefront of our current generational shift. With digitisation bringing sweeping change to the world and the way we work, we’re not starting to see digital natives take up high-level roles in organisations. Workplace priorities are changing and leadership approaches are starting to reflect what employees are looking for at work.

Being Careful in the Future

It’s often tempting to look to implement these new working styles just because they seem to be leading edge methodologies. “Hey, Google does this, Facebook does that, it has to be great, right?” while potentially sounding like good reasoning, doesn’t mean it will work for everybody. Even the case of Zappos’ “holocracy” can be seen as a cautionary tale, with attrition heavily increasing after its introduction.


The key here is to not disrupt or innovate for disruption or innovation’s sake. In some organisations or departments or teams, authoritative leadership will be more effective due to the nature of the work or the make-up of the teams. There isn’t anything wrong with that. You must ascertain what is right for your team or business.


Bringing change as such into an established organisation can be a long, tedious and painfully drawn out affair, so it is not surprising that a lot of these implementations are attempted in the start-up and SME world. While it might be an exciting thing to talk about, even (in fact, you could argue, especially) the more democratic or laissez faire leadership styles still require a framework around it. Without it there are risks of an organisation becoming chaotic, putting businesses in serious trouble – with our recent Sourced Report showing that start-up churn is a serious issue for small businesses in the competitive IT market.


At Sourced, we love seeing innovation in play and are intrigued at all the different models, which are turning up in our environment. Change is possible and achievable, if you are brave enough to try. If you’re inspired to try something different to the norm, or you’re looking for someone to lead change in your business, call us here at Sourced. We’d love to hear about it and talk to you about what we have seen.

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Job Hopping Vs Stability and Your IT Career

24 Aug 17 by 61

Job-hopping vs stability

As more IT businesses grow increasingly receptive to employees with varied and transient job histories, the concept of ‘job hopping’ has become more acceptable throughout New Zealand. However, when it comes to your career, is it better to periodically change jobs every few years or find stability with one employer?


Of course, how you answer that question would depend on what stage your career is in. For example, research from Statistics New Zealand found that the average tenure for 25-34 year olds was only three years, whilst employees aged between 55 to 64 stayed with a single employer for more than three times longer. Whilst this isn’t surprising, it does highlight that your career stage could change your view on tenure. We’ve created this guide to help you understand the benefits of each approach and whether job hopping or greater stability could help you move your career forward.

Long Tenure

Working with one or two businesses for several years can provide great benefits to your IT career but also come with its own challenges. Sticking with a single company for a long period of time can promote commitment and loyalty with that employer and in return, can give better job security, particularly during an economic downturn. Your commitment could also be financially rewarded, as a survey found that Australian employees with five or more years’ experience in a single company received higher raises compared with those who job-hop.


A key risk, however, is that professionals with long tenure can often be negatively perceived as having stagnating careers or difficulty adapting. To ensure this isn’t the case when you’re looking for your next role, it’s crucial that your CV reflects how you’ve evolved. Over the span of your career, your role’s demands, responsibilities, challenges and success indicators would have changed and you may have moved around the business as a result. Showcasing how you’ve reacted to these changes, whether it was through changing roles or taking on more important responsibilities, can help show prospective employers your potential, adaptability, and ambition.

Job Hopping

As expectations and attitudes change within the workplace, more employees are deciding to take a hands-on approach to their career and reshaping their relationship with employers. In fact, half of New Zealand employees who earn salaries or wages have been in their current role for less than 18 months, with a higher rate of turnover in younger workers. The reality is that the national skills shortage has created a candidate-centric market, which means most people who job-hop find plenty of opportunities, but many employers still perceive those with short-term tenure as unreliable or untrustworthy.


If you’ve worked for several companies within a year or two, it’s important to ensure you’re presenting yourself in a way that highlights your achievements, skills and qualifications, and not just your tenure. When you’re discussing your previous work history, put yourself in a prospective employer’s shoes and ensure you cover for any shortcomings. This includes using your cover letter to address any problems by connecting the experience you have with what the advertisement has asked for, and also highlighting any actions that you’re taking to develop skill gaps. This could include explaining each role’s purpose, responsibilities and outcomes, and your motives behind key moves and how the new position has further developed your skills and career.


Another example is if you’ve had several short-term roles because you’ve been contracting. In this case, ensure you group these together on your CV and if you’ve worked for the one organisation for a long period of time, but have had a number of roles within this company, ensure you list all of them. If you think these questions are better covered through a direct conversation, call the employer to discuss.

References

Possessing excellent references is a great way to negate many challenges both job hopping and long tenure can present. Having your previous Manager testify to your abilities and skills can squash any concern an employer might have over a stagnating career or skillset. At the same time, a solid reference can also attest to the fact that you left your previous employer on great terms and not because you were hard to work with or unreliable.

Summary

As modern-day workplaces continue to change, it’s easy to get caught up in the debate between job hopping and stability, but you shouldn’t lose sight of what’s important: your career. Career satisfaction looks different for everyone so it wouldn’t be true to say that one approach is better than the other. Whether you’ve been with the same business for years or periodically change jobs, evolving your skills to keep pace with your career aspirations should always be your priority.


Asking yourself whether your current role is helping you to develop yourself professionally can help you reach your own decision. If you feel like you are stagnating, find out if your current employer has any internal opportunities you could pursue and if there aren’t, then it might be time to return to the market. If you are ready to move your career on, speak to us today to find out how Sourced can help you find your next great IT role.

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Invest in IT: What the Election Means - NZ's Tech

18 Jul 17 by 60


In case you haven’t been following the news, this year is an election year in New Zealand. As industries continue to become more digitalised, technology is a major policy point for parties in the lead up to voting day (and not just in relation to hidden cameras). With these policies having a significant potential impact on both employers and professionals in the IT and technology field, we thought it’d be a good idea to dive into each party’s plans and find out what they have in store for the IT sector – without telling you who to vote for of course!

National

As the incumbent, and current odds on favourite to come out of the election as winners, National’s key focus is on achieving surpluses and building a stronger economy. Naturally, technology is a big part of that, and the sector is a key area for business innovation which leads to growth – with the likes of Xero, Vend and TradeMe being some shining examples of that. Their 2017 Budget has significant investments in the technology and science fields, and their commitment to free trade could be a win for Kiwi startups looking to make waves abroad.


They also have a plan in place to update the education system and introduce children to digital technology as early as possible, earmarking a $40m investment to ensure that children are digitally fluent. With digital disruption being such an important topic in the world of employment, making sure that the next generation is prepared for these changes is key to success in this field. This could open up opportunities for businesses aimed at integrating technology into the education system.


Labour

As National’s main opposition to power, the Labour party’s main message is about providing a fresh direction after 9 years of National-led government. When it comes to technology, Labour’s key policy points are their Young Entrepreneurs’ policy and their involvement in the Future of Work commission.


The Young Entrepreneurs’ plan is essentially a way for young New Zealanders to dedicate themselves to a business idea instead of pursuing further education. In their words, any New Zealander aged 18 to 23 will be able to apply for up to $20,000 to start a business based on an innovative idea; provided they have been through an accelerator business training programme, have engaged a business mentor, and have their plan approved by an independent panel of experts. This grant could be a massive incentive for young technology entrepreneurs and would give them the support to see their ideas through.


In December 2014, Labour leader Andrew Little announced the Future of Work Commission, aimed at understanding our changing workforce and putting a plan in place to ensure sustainable employment. The commission had input an independent, external reference group, comprised of economic, tech, and employment experts; with the committee also involving members of other parties. You can read the report here. Whilst not an immediate investment in the technology sector at the surface level (although their plan to turn Dunedin into a digital hub shows that they are prepared to do this to some degree), the report recognises the changing employment landscape, and the need for a long-term investment in technology to get it right.


Greens

The Green Party have been the perennial dark horse in the past two New Zealand elections, growing in profile and moving away from strictly environmentalist policies in favour of providing a broader left-leaning alternative to the Labour Party. However, as the country’s third largest party, a Labour and Greens’ coalition government isn’t out of the equation as far as election outcomes go.


For the technology sector, that may also come with some benefits. Technology and environmental sustainability are often closely intertwined, and investment in clean energy will create opportunities for innovative New Zealand businesses. However, the most interesting tech-related Greens policy, is their plan to institute a Minister for Manufacturing in cabinet. This would provide leadership across the sector and continue a push towards technological innovation, whilst still looking to preserve jobs. To this end, the Green Party have also been involved with Labour’s Future of Work plan. 


Fringe parties

However, there are more than three parties contesting this election, and some may have significant influence depending on the result: with NZ First, the Maori Party and a resurgent ACT likely to have the most significant impact on the coming campaign. Unfortunately, the Maori Party’s 2017 manifesto wasn’t available to access at this time, but we’ll likely have further insight on that closer to the election.


New Zealand First (another party that contributed to the Future of Work) commission, are focused on changing the way the telecommunications sector operates, with the aim of dividing infrastructure more evenly between providers. Another key point for them is to ensure that New Zealand businesses are given the first opportunities for Government ICT tenders, as well as introducing stricter immigration policy which could impact access to overseas talent. ACT, on the other hand promise support for businesses in the form of free trade agreements, as well as wanting to review regulations to ensure the viability of autonomous vehicles.


In Closing

There are a variety of other parties, all of whom will have some kind of outlook on tech (including the very much tech-focused Internet Party!) – but each of them has one thing in common: the understanding that investment in technology is crucial to the future of New Zealand. While they have may have different ways in which they will make that investment, it’s certainly an exciting time for the New Zealand technology sector.

For now, it’s up to you. 

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How to Pick Out Interview Fraudsters

13 Jun 17 by 59

How to Pick Out Interview Fraudsters | Sourced IT Recruitment


It’s hard to spend even a moment online without someone giving you advice on how to find the perfect candidate, and yet, every hiring manager we talk to has a story of a poor hire. Someone who was instrumental in them reviewing or changing their recruitment process, as well as keeping them up at night, full of regret. In reality, it’s just not that easy. Sometimes, you have to accept that poor hires happen. We are dealing with people after all! However, hiring someone who dupes you by seducing you with the power of their personality, convincing you that there was no one better than them available, perhaps even persuading you to cut your process short because they left such a great first impression – that can leave a particularly bad taste in one’s mouth.


Another thing to consider is that, just as we as Interviewers prepare for interviewing our candidates, candidates are (well, should be) preparing to be interviewed by us. A keen candidate will do various types of research, and the Internet holds all kinds of information on us. People can and will find out about us, tailoring their answers to their perception of what we will love. Employer review sites like Glassdoor.com are gaining more traction too. These sites allow people to rate and rank employers, even sharing interview questions asked in interviews.


Finding out through the fullness of time that confidence and personality weren’t the only things they were full of, is a horrible lesson to learn. Interviewing is an imprecise process, but you can improve your ability to evaluate candidates by asking questions that elicit facts instead of opinions and charisma. We are always on the lookout for fraudsters or for “professionals” who have the depth of a puddle and no substance. Here are some of the signs that can start alarms for the prudent.

Buzzwords

If you’ve heard enough jargon to make your head spin after 10 minutes, take pause and think about what exactly the candidate is trying to say. If there is nothing in the candidate’s answers but well-placed buzzwords designed to make person sound hip and smart, ask more questions. Dive deeper to find out if they really know what they are talking about, or if the words are just filler. Einstein was quoted as saying “If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.” It’s just the same if people have a need to dress their answers up to make them seem smarter than they really are, which is a big red flag when considering someone for a job.


Over-talking

Ever been in an interview where the person just tries to baffle you with long-winded, tangent filled answers? Whilst they may eventually get to the point, these tangents fill you with doubt, and invite more questions than they answer. Don’t get bored into submission, assuming that somewhere in that answer was what you were looking for. The length of answers does not always equal quality, and 1.5 hour interviews aren’t always a good sign, so watch out for candidates who veer from the point.

Name dropping

Whilst this is used at times to showcase strength of network and connections, if not done in an appropriate manner it can feel insincere and inauthentic. Sure, they may be awesome names to drop and hear, does it really make a difference towards their potential success in your role? Often you may find that these names are being dropped to impress, and mask other short-comings.

Taking over the interview

If you notice a candidate trying to take control of an interview, this could be a sign that they’re trying to hide their imperfections by bluffing. Be careful, as this can happen a lot, especially if you’re less experienced as an interviewer. If you feel like the candidate is guiding the conversation towards questions that they want to answer, rather than questions you want to ask, then don’t hesitate to get the interview back on track. A great way to do this is to go back and get them to expand on another answer, for example by asking “You mentioned earlier that you had experience with managing people, can you tell me a little bit more about that?”

Follow up questions, ask for specifics

If you notice a candidate using the word “we” a lot, you might want to take heed. Whilst it could imply they are a great team player, it could also mean that they didn’t really do anything in particular. Like that person in your group projects at school, who got that great mark you all deserved, but maybe only wrote up the bibliography. Sales people, for example, must know the budgets they were working towards and how they are tracking towards them. Managers, must know the budget they control and the teams they manage, and cite difficult decisions they had to make. If you feel someone is being vague, don’t hesitate to ask the hard questions, dive in further, and gain clarification.

Too much charm

Do you know that person who relies on smile, charm and general personality to coast through life? In an interview, you’ll often find them flattering you and the company, making the interview all about you rather than themselves. Whilst it is fun to be the centre of someone’s attention, you’ll end up getting to the end of an interview feeling really good about it, only to realise you have absolutely no idea about the person’s capability for the role. Be aware!

Prepare

Is your interview structured in such a way to allow you to find what you need? Is the interview the best way to make a great hiring choice? Have you thought about different ways of assessing candidates? Audition style? Role simulation? Put the time into your preparation, know what you are looking for, and structure your meeting to find this out. Going in cold, with just a resume and a “I’ll know what I’m looking for when I see it” attitude, will not get the results you want.

Too scripted

If someone is sounding really scripted, and overly prepared, throw them a curve ball, ask them something different. Get to find the “real” person. Sometimes, you need to shake things up to get to reality. Although this might confuse people, you’ll gain a better understanding of their true self and their capability for your role.

Get a second opinion

This is not a failing, it is a necessity. If the role is really important to your company, get a cross section of people involved in the meeting, all with an equal voice. We do not want to elongate the process, but only having one point of view is a genuine risk when hiring.

Don’t be afraid to check references to confirm or deny your initial thoughts about an interview. Interviewing is an essential and important part of your recruitment and business process. Every hiring decision you make will have current and future ramifications for your business, and it’s a decision that’s too important to allow yourself to fall victim to fraudsters.

In Closing

Whilst hiring is definitely a business decision, there is also human emotion involved, and it is hard remove that factor from an evaluation. To take the persuasive charmer on the basis of what they have achieved, not on how they have made you feel, is challenging. To admit, that we may have been charmed, bullied or duped and have based our hiring decision on no tangible reason is humbling. However, it’s better to do this before you hire, than to see your mistake reflected in a distinct lack of performance, costing the business more money and potentially harming your reputation. We have helped businesses to hire hundreds, if not thousands of people over the years, if you ever feel you are getting too close to the process or the candidates, talk to us, we will help you navigate these tricky seas.

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How to Write a CV for the Digital Era

5 May 17 by 58

How to write an IT CV | Sourced - Christchurch IT Recruitment

There is a whole lot of CV writing advice out there, but all of it would agree on one crucial point: keep things up to date. After all, it is your key to getting your foot through the front door and into job interviews. However, as an IT professional, unless your CV works in synergy with your online brand on sites such as GitHub, LinkedIn or Dribbble, you’re missing a big opportunity to add value to your next job application.


The world is more connected now than it has ever been. The Internet of Things is driving the inter-networking of essentially anything electronic, from your car, mobile phone to even your house’s security system. Many managers in the technology sector are now expecting the same level of synergy from your CV.


In fact, it’s almost inevitable that employers will look you up online so it’s important you direct them to the content you want them to see. To ensure your already good CV doesn’t let you down when applying for your dream job, here are several things you should consider the next time you’re re-writing it.

The Basics of a Great Curriculum Vitae

No matter how much technology changes, it will always be good practice to tailor your CV to be easy to read with all the basic elements. So, here’s a quick breakdown of what your CV should cover in chronological order:

What Should a CV Include? | Sourced - Christchurch IT Recruitment

Click here to download our CV template.

Bringing Your CV Into the Digital Age

As a professional in the IT space, you likely own one or more online accounts that showcase your professional skills, examples of your work or status within your industry. Below are a few examples of several accounts that we’ve seen included in strong applications, providing different types of cv experience to the reader.

LinkedIn

Should LinkedIn be on my CV?  | Sourced - Christchurch IT RecruitmentTo get the most out of your LinkedIn profile, it is a good idea to consider it as an extension of your CV. This means that it should go beyond showcasing the same information that could be found on your CV but it’s essential that you make sure both are consistent especially regarding dates of employment. One way it can do this is through having strong recommendations from previous managers and clients that you have worked with who can vouch for your skills, experiences, achievements and work ethic.

If you want to fully leverage your LinkedIn profile, it’s important to be as active as possible. LinkedIn is a fantastic platform that enhances both your network and your personal brand when used correctly. Frequently liking, commenting and sharing content is a great way to build your personal brand and posting your own articles and keeping your profile updated will make you more visible to recruiters, which in turn can lead to more career opportunities.

GitHub or Bitbucket

If you’re a Developer, your GitHub or Bitbucket account is a fantastic resource to include on your CV because it demonstrates examples of your work. It can also provide insight into your community and industry reputation through the contributions you’ve made and the number of people following you. When employers have a few high calibre candidates to choose from, this extra level of detail can often help to influence their decision.

It’s also worth noting that even if you don’t include links to your accounts on your CV, managers and recruiters can still find your code repositories online. So, our advice is to check what is publicly available and keep your portfolios clean by removing any old or forgotten repositories. Finally, if your GitHub or Bitbucket are bare and you’re not working on any commercial projects right now, it can be worthwhile to include any personal projects that positively reflect your skills.

Dribbble or Behance

Dribbble and Adobe’s Behance are both excellent networks for anyone specialising in design. They are both great platforms that can be used as your online portfolio. Including a link to your account on your CV provides managers with the chance to see clear examples of your web or graphic design and illustration work. A few examples include:


Building a strong Dribbble or Behance account can take dedication and a lot of hard work but the payoff can be huge. As with many social media networks, the key is to build up your follower count and the best way to do that is through actively posting new work so your account is more likely to be seen, promote the work of others and become associated with other great designers.

What should you avoid?

This can be a little tricky as it does depend on the person you are sending your information to, however, these are some simple points that will most likely do more harm than good:

  • Contact email address or social media handles that are a little unprofessional - particularly things that can be construed as offensive. Remember that hilarious ideas from high school will probably not translate well into a professional space.
  • Irrelevant social media profiles. Not only will this be confusing to the recipient, but if the profiles are also outdated they may also do little to help your cause.
  • Spelling mistakes and poor use of language. There are so many browser plugins and automatic software features that will work with any of the sites mentioned above, that this should not be an issue anymore. Spelling and grammar issues are probably the biggest turn-offs when reading someone's CV
  • Too much content! If you are fresh out of school, make a call on just how relevant that summer holiday work experience or paper round you had as a 12-year-old is. Similarly, if you have had a wide variety of jobs and work history, keep it relevant to the position you are applying for. You don't have to exclude it all of course, but some things may be better in a bullet point/work history type list.


Summary

In that first moment when a prospective employer scans your CV, you need to leave an impression that’s going to make them want to know more. In today’s world, your great CV can’t do everything you need it to on its own, so solely relying on it will rarely achieve that. Instead, you should use social media like GitHub, Dribbble or Behance to create an experience that highlights why your skills and experiences make you a great fit for the job description. Also, don't forget to keep an up to date Linkedin profile with good activity and meaningful engagement - many people even use their profile as a template or easy access online version.


We wish you every success in job hunting, but if you’d like to know more, don’t hesitate to contact us today.


PS: Don't forget about the Cover Letter to match!


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Annual Performance Reviews are Dead.

27 Apr 17 by 57

Performance Reviews are DeadAs you'd expect, it's our business to know why people are looking to move on from their current employer. One of the most regularly cited reasons is that they want a new challenge, yet when we strip away the platitude, often they are looking for better, more meaningful feedback about their work performance and their contribution to the business. Annual reviews, whilst designed to provide meaningful feedback, are often the least popular time of the year among employees and managers. So, if the crucial method of delivering feedback in an organisation doesn't work - is there a better way to manage these conversations?

Why Annual Reviews Aren't Enough

In many companies, annual performance reviews remain the only thorough one-on-one discussion employees have with their managers throughout the year. So is it little wonder that they often become one-sided with the manager dominating the conversation, because they are more prepared with more to say, as they focus on reviewing the KPIs they've been tracking. If the annual performance review is also linked to annual pay reviews, don't expect your employees to offer up too much in the way of areas they need to develop. They've too much riding on them presenting themselves in the best possible light to have honest and frank conversations about performance, job satisfaction and future development.


Another problem is that performance reviews are usually set for the specific time of year for all employees which can exacerbate the pressure to just get through the process if you have a large number of direct reports. It's not uncommon that managers lack the performance data from the whole year, or that the data is inconsistent or irrelevant due to the fact that the business strategy has changed. Even if they have the evidence needed, it can be skewed due to the effect of primacy and recency. Having a discussion about year-old performance keeps the focus of the review in the past, instead of the future. Because of a lack of feedback during the year, some of the conclusions (and usually it's not appreciating the employee's accomplishments) can come as a surprise and leave a bitter taste with both managers and their team members.


As an industry, we've been talking for years about why, despite the best of intentions, annual reviews don't work. Research from Deloitte, conducted in 2014, states that 58% of companies don't see annual reviews as an effective use of time and research from CEB (now Gartner) suggests that 95% of managers aren't satisfied with the way performance management is done in their organisation.


Adobe, Microsoft, Dell and Juniper Systems, are a few examples of the businesses who have substituted annual performance reviews for more frequent informal sessions. Following the principles their IT teams applied at work, these changes have made them more agile and responsive to change, while it has also encouraged greater collaboration and efficiency of work.

Implementing Real-time Feedback into Your Business

As annual reviews fail to deliver the constructive feedback employees have been longing for, more frequent conversations on performance could be the way to encourage a trusting and coaching environment within teams. Moving away from annual appraisals to having more regular performance conversations may seem counterintuitive and it isn't easy, however, once regular appraisal sessions become a natural part of work, they quickly pay dividends. After all, companies that did away with performance reviews entirely saw a 28% drop in the performance of their top performers, and the quality of management conversations fell by 14%. Here are a few points that may help you begin your ad-hoc feedback journey.


Focus on the Discussion

Focus on the Discussion

Keep your ad-hoc feedback sessions informal. Focus on the discussion rather than the process of how the review should be done. The conversation must feel natural and aim to help the employee to develop their competencies. The session doesn't always have to be based on the hard data. Sometimes, it's more checking how they are doing and getting them comfortable in discussing their performance with you.


Run Them when Needed

Run them when Needed

It's good practice to have feedback sessions as soon as there's a need. This helps to avoid the feedback being based on a lack of evidence or when the most recent (excellent or terrible) performance overshadows the overall yearly results. Link your feedback discussion to the recent situation and make it feed forward - focus on what to keep and what to leave in the future.


Be Available

Be Available

Setting a regular time for individual feedback keeps the door open for your employees when they need it, so they play an equal role in driving the performance discussions.


Consider Group Feedback

Consider Group Feedback

Group feedback works especially well in project based work. Stepping back and facilitating the discussion, rather than leading it, helps the managers to promote open feedback where the team members come up with their own new ideas and suggestions. The insights managers gain from these discussions work as the valuable points that they can build on during the individual review they will have with each team member.


Embrace Technology

Embrace Technology

In the past few years, we've seen a boom of the technology tools that enable feedback collection. Some companies use online apps for ad-hoc reviews or even develop their own. At GE, they started using their own PD@GE app in 2015 and IBM launched their own ACE (Appreciation, Coaching, Evaluation) app for their internal use in 2016. There are many off-the-shelf tools that vary in complexity - some enable simple polls for quick feedback (Polly for Slack), others are fully featured feedback tools (Impraise, Reflektive). Make the most of the reporting functionality of any technology you use; dive into the analytics to look for trends across your team, and your business. Is there a predictive element to this? Are there times of the year when your team is under more pressure, where adding an extra resource could help lift performance and improve engagement as well as results.


Summary

Back in the days when talent was in abundant supply and you had to decide which employees to keep, reward or let go, the process of rating and ranking employees in terms of their performance may have had a place. In the tech sector, where having the best people and keeping them is a key source of competitive advantage, listening to and developing your people is the overriding objective. Although granular feedback is a great idea, formal reviews (at the end of the quarter, biannual or annual) still have their place. Ad-hoc reviews significantly help to collect enough evidence along the way, support continuous conversations and ensure negative feedback doesn't come as an unwanted surprise.


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Interviewing in the Information Age

27 Mar 17 by 56

Interviewing in the Information Age | Sourced - Christchurch IT Recruitment


If you’ve recently applied for an IT job, chances are you’ve done so expecting an invitation for an interview. Being prepared is the best advantage you can have before walking into the interview room. With so much helpful information now freely available, you’re undermining your own chances by not taking advantage of this accessibility and finding out as much as possible.


Although being prepared to respond the employer’s questions is crucial, your research can also help you find out whether the organisation is one you want to devote a major part of your life to. That should be a huge motivation to spend some time doing your research, no matter whether you’ve applied for the job or if you’re being presented with a job opportunity by a Recruiter.


What Company Are You About to Join?


Obvious resources, like company website, should serve as the first source of information. Besides core business related information, bigger companies often have careers sites where you can find all job-related information: current job openings, perks and some of the key few people representing business (not necessarily the board members, but people who may be your managers or others you might interact with on a daily basis).


Problem with a static company website | Sourced - Christchurch IT Recruitment

Although these resources can be useful, the issue is that they only express what the company wants to tell you. Ideally, what your future employer claims reflects what they actually do. But how can you look behind the public persona to find out what everyday life in your future workplace looks like?  If you’re lucky, you can find some company reviews on Seek, Indeed and Glassdoor. However, bear in mind there aren’t many of these yet, as these reviews are quite new to NZ (although you might expect IT companies would be amongst the first ones to appear there). Another way you can get a broader view of the organisation is to find out about their presence in the wider IT community. One way to do this is by seeing whether they feature in any mainstream IT related news; whether that’s as a thought leader in the industry or due to other initiatives they’re involved in. The likes of ComputerworldCIO and even the Technology section of the NZHerald or the Central Canterbury News are good places to start your search.


Social media is another basic source of information that can give you an insight into your prospective employer. When searching for information about the company, don’t stick to what they post. Invest your time into scanning the comments that the company’s users (customers) leave. The overall impression customers get, and the way company responds to them, may give you an interesting perspective on your future employer’s company culture. While these responses are often carefully crafted by a marketing department, the way the company deals with their customers often reflects how they interact with their employees too.


What Exactly Are You Going to Do?


Technology dinosaur | Sourced - Christchurch IT RecruitmentBefore the interview, ensure that you know the job advertisement inside out and you’re aware of the job requirements. What technologies, systems, methodologies, application servers and platforms are you going to encounter? What’s the level of process automation? What database servers do they use? These are critical IT questions that may be important to you. You probably don’t want to join a technology dinosaur and deal with technologies that should’ve been forgotten by now. Thorough information about your future job is usually hard to get unless you know somebody from the company. If that’s not the case, IT related forums like Geekzone, might also be of help.


If you’re working with a Recruiter, you’ll get a detailed brief either in person or by phone, highlighting the exact requirements of the role, both technical and non-technical as well as further insight into what they’re looking for in a candidate. As they already have a relationship with the organisation, Recruiters will also often be able to give you the inside word as to how the team works, what the culture is like and the opportunity the role presents to you.


Who Are the People You’re About to Meet?


No matter how much autonomy you may have in your new role, or the degree of isolation, your future colleagues matter. Your Managers and the people you work alongside can make your 9-to-5 job a pretty good place to spend your day or ruin it completely. Nowadays, you no longer have to wait for the interview to get an insight into your future Manager. Take on the role of investigator (but not stalker!) and do some research beforehand about your hiring Manager, for example; who they are, what they’ve done throughout their career, what they do in their spare time to see if you share any interests or industry involvement. You’ll then have advantage of approaching the interview as a discussion between real people rather than simply names and titles, which can help to build rapport early on in the interview process.


Sometimes, obvious resources like Google, LinkedIn and other social networks or company websites (although all of these are a great place to start) don’t tell you all that much. Not all people share their lives (both professional and personal) with the rest of the world. Local technology events such as IT conferences, meet-ups or workshops may sometimes serve you as a useful resource as you may find the person among speakers or attendees; and you may meet other employees of the company at these events who can answer your questions and create a clearer picture of the work environment.


Summary


Research takes effort, but done right it will reap huge benefits. You will end up with useful information to help you feel more confident within the interview, and enable you to make a well-informed decision about your working future. If you’re struggling to find information in this digital age, this absence of information could also tell you a lot about the company and its current requirements or its future direction. Don’t forget that the interview itself is also a good space to find out more about your job and team. Here are some great questions to get you started or you can always contact our team at Sourced for up-to-the-minute market advice. 

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Flexible Working: Is It Right for Your Business?

22 Feb 17 by 55

Does Flexible Working work?

As working from any location suddenly appears more realistic through new technology, flexible working has become an increasingly popular idea. As an employer, it is tempting to offer this as a benefit, because it appears to be the right thing to do for your employees' wellbeing, many of your talent competitors have embraced it and the technology to support its implementation now exists. However, what’s now clear is that flexible working isn’t always right for every business or isn’t right for each employee. 


Is Flexible Working Right for Employees?

The general consensus is that flexible working arrangements are a major employee benefit and allow people to juggle their work and life responsibilities more effectively. In practice, however, the reality can often be quite different.


The first issue is that many people actually like having a clear divide between their work and personal life. Going to work every day at regular hours provides routine and allows other events to be planned around this. This said, knowing the flexibility exists to collect the children early one day due to sickness, or to work from home for a couple of days due to an unexpected personal situation, is nearly always a positive.


If routine isn’t an issue, then the other two big issues can be personal performance and isolation. Whilst work output may be consistent or even higher, if an employee spends more time out of the office than in it, there is the risk of going unrecognised. With achievements undervalued and progression opportunities being missed, isolation is a fairly obvious risk. The interaction within a workplace often creates friendships and inspires social events due to shared interests. To an extent, this can be replaced remotely but technology isn’t quite at a level where it can substitute the relationships built up in person. 


Is It Right for Your Business?

There are a few published cases that suggest positive flexible working policies have a substantial effect on business results, and it’s generally agreed that having some form of flexible working arrangement adds to your technology business’ ability to attract top talent. These two points don’t mean you should flip the switch and immediately embrace a flexible workforce. These are just some of the considerations that you should review.


Role Type

This is the most important element to consider because not every role is suited to flexible work. Firstly, the most obvious role type that is suited is one where the individual works alone and doesn’t have to complete any physical work. For example, this could be a Software Tester completing a repetitive test and then sending these results off to be analysed by another party.


Yet even in this scenario, there could be areas where team interaction is required. This is the most common constraint to flexible work. It is possible to communicate remotely through project management and chat tools such as Trello and Slack but neither of these products nor their peers, have yet been able to replace one-on-one contact. Too much reliance on these more often than not leads to the death of a cohesive team environment. The only exception here could be gamers, as this group of people are the furthest ahead when it comes to effective online collaboration! 


Jobs that require any variety of physical labour are currently impossibly suited to remote work. This doesn’t mean this group of people can’t receive a certain amount of job flexibility, for example, flexible hours but they can’t be completed from home. This could all change in the next few years as telerobotics (people in one place operating machines in another) has a significant amount of research dedicated to it. 

Management is the last category that isn’t easily suited to flexible working. Unfortunately for Managers, communication is the biggest restrictor for them. Working remotely for a period of time or having varied working hours is likely to massively impact their ability to effectively manage people. 


Summary

If you’ve made the decision to roll-out a workplace flexibility policy, ensure you’ve carefully thought through how this may apply to all areas of your business. Considerations should include; the roles within your company, your existing company culture, the availability of required technology and also the ability to manage this change.


Then, whether it’s during an interview or a conversation with an existing employee, discussions around workplace flexibility often tend to be fraught with emotion. It’s therefore important to approach individual requests on a case by case basis and to ensure that both parties clearly understand what each other is trying to achieve.

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6 Critical Traits - Breaking into IT Management

12 Aug 22 by 54


How to move into IT ManagementFor many experienced IT professionals who’ve set their sights on moving into management, it’s often difficult to work out how to take that first step. Ultimately, your goal is to prove that you have potential to be a leader by showing you have the right mentality and skillset. To help you do exactly that, here’s our six tips for breaking into IT management.


1. Be Results-focused

Be results-focused as ManagerPutting it simply; delivering results and showing you understand the importance of meeting targets and expectations is paramount as a leader. To be more results-focused, think with the end in mind and look at what actions will lead toward your objective. When you’re identifying what tasks should take priority, consider the 80/20 rule and focus on the 20% of tasks that provides 80% of your results. It’s also important to turn everything you do into a case study and find a way to measure your outcomes. Doing so will help you to promote your own work and analyse where you can make improvements.


2. Be a Problem-solver

Be a problem-solver as ManagerStrong problem-solving skills are the amalgamation of resilience, logic, and creativity, and it is crucial for Managers to possess these. Many talented IT professionals are great at analysing what’s in front of them to reach out-the-box solutions. However, before using your own analytical skills to showcase you’re a problem-solver, you need to develop the level-headed and proactive mindset of a leader.


To develop this mindset, consider changing the way you approach an issue. Instead of telling your boss that a problem exists and waiting for direction, take the time to identify obstacles and examine your options. Doing so will enable you to provide a series of solutions when you present the problem to your Manager. It can also be a good idea to use the same mentality with your role, and find ways to improve your productivity by testing solutions and supplying evidence. This forward thinking will highlight your proficiency as a great problem-solver.


3. Show You Can Listen

Listening Skills as a ManagerIf good leaders talk, great leaders listen. Being mindful of those you work with and actively listening to them can help you to receive better information and make better decision. When you converse with people, consider the impact your body language and attentiveness has. Show that the person in front of you has your full attention by removing any distractions whilst being mindful of your posture. Negative body language, such as crossing your arms, can have a detrimental impact on how comfortable the other person is talking to you.


Keep an eye out for the other person’s body language as well during the conversation. Does their posture make them seem hesitant? Are they avoiding eye contact with you? As you pay more attention to their body language, you’ll become better at spotting these nonverbal cues. Understanding what is and isn’t being said is key to becoming an attentive listener, and will enable you to gauge what people are truly thinking and feeling.


4. Expand Your Vision

Expand your vision as a ManagerAn effective leader needs to have a 360-degree view of their employer and industry. Although this can be a challenge for IT specialists with specific roles, do what you can to actively expand your vision. Start with the basics and research your employer as if you were interviewing for a job; find out your employer’s mission, business objectives, and goals to get a sense of the direction they’re headed in. Then, compare your employer to its competitors to get a sense of the position your organisation is in within the industry.


Next, consider the internal workings of your organisation beyond your team or department. Identify which areas of the business you don’t understand and find professionals you know in those areas. Ask for a chance to work in projects that involve the cooperation of other teams or departments, or to be involved with your employer’s Health & Safety committee. These opportunities will enable you to learn about the other key business functions and people throughout your company. Showing that you’re interested in more than just your own job will help impress your Manager, and build a better understanding of how each department comes together to contribute to your employer’s success.


5. Gain a Reputation of Integrity

Have integrity as a ManagerFor a leader to be taken seriously, their peers need to respect them for their integrity. For you, this means to show exemplary behaviour to your peers. Even though you’re not a supervisor yet, display a great work ethic by being respectful, approachable, reasonable, punctual, and honest, at all times. Avoid office gossip and aim to build a reputation of being someone everyone can trust and depend upon.


6. Take on Small Management Opportunities

Take on small management tasks

One of the best ways to show your capacity to be a leader is to take on leadership responsibilities. When you’re ready to start managing, ask your direct report for the chance to take on small opportunities to manage people or projects. Ask your Manager if there’s anything you can take off their plate to help them, such as training new hires or leading meetings. This will help you to build your management skills and you’ll start being viewed as a leader yourself.



Summary

Soft skills can often be difficult to improve, hence why taking that first step towards becoming a leader can be strenuous. However, I hope the above short guide has helped to give you direction so your Manager can see you as the right choice when a leadership opportunity next arises. If you need more leadership advice or you’re looking for great management jobs in New Zealand, don’t hesitate to contact us today.

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How to Break Into IT Management

17 Nov 22 by 2136


For many experienced IT professionals who’ve set their sights on moving into management, it can be difficult to work out how to take that first step.


The trick is to demonstrate you have the right mentality and skillset to take on that extra responsibility. That way, your superiors won’t be taking a risk, and will know through proven experience that you have the potential to be a strong leader.


To help you do exactly that, here are our six tips and leadership traits needed for breaking into IT management.

1. Be Results-Focused

Putting it simply; delivering results and showing you understand the importance of meeting targets and expectations is paramount as a leader. To be more results-focused, think with the end goal in mind and look at what actions will lead toward your objective.


When you’re identifying what tasks should take priority, consider the 80/20 rule – focus on the 20% of tasks that provides 80% of your results. It’s also important to turn everything you do into a case study and find a way to measure your outcomes. Doing this will help you to promote your own work and analyse where you can make improvements.

2. Be a Problem-Solver

Strong problem-solving skills are the amalgamation of resilience, logic and creativity, all crucial things for a managers to possess. Many talented IT professionals are great at analysing what’s in front of them to reach out-the-box solutions. However, before using your own analytical skills to showcase you’re a problem-solver, you need to develop the level-headed and proactive mindset of a leader.


To develop this mindset, consider changing the way you approach an issue. Instead of telling your boss that a problem exists and waiting for direction, take the time to identify obstacles and examine your options. There’s nothing a manager likes more than a team member who shows initiative and presents proposed solutions rather than just problems.


It can also be a good idea to use the same mentality with your own role, and find ways to improve your productivity by testing ideas and supplying evidence. This forward thinking will highlight your proficiency as a great problem-solver.

3. Show You Can Listen

If good leaders talk, great leaders listen. Being mindful of those you work with and actively listening to them can help you to receive better information and make more informed decisions. When you converse with people, consider the impact your body language and attentiveness has. Show that the person in front of you has your full attention by removing any distractions whilst being mindful of your posture. Negative body language, such as crossing your arms, can have a detrimental impact on how comfortable the other person is talking to you.


Also, keep an eye out for the other person’s body language during the conversation. Does their posture make them seem hesitant? Are they avoiding eye contact with you? As you pay more attention to their body language, you’ll become better at spotting these nonverbal cues. Understanding what is and isn’t being said is key to becoming an attentive listener, and will enable you to gauge what people are truly thinking and feeling.

4. Expand Your Vision

An effective leader needs to have a 360-degree view of their business and industry. Although this can be a challenge for IT specialists with specific roles, do what you can to actively expand your vision. Start with the basics and research your company as if you were interviewing for a job – find out your employer’s mission, business objective, and goals to get a sense of where they’re headed. Then, compare your employer to its competitors to get a sense of the position your organisation has in the market.


Next, consider the internal workings of your organisation beyond your team or department. Identify which areas of the business you don’t understand and find professionals you know in those areas. Ask for a chance to work in projects that involve the cooperation of other teams or departments, or to be involved with your employer’s Health & Safety committee. These opportunities will enable you to learn about the other key business functions and network with people throughout your company. Showing that you’re interested in more than just your own job will help impress your manager and build your understanding of how each department comes together to contribute to your employer’s success.

5. Gain a Reputation for Integrity

For a leader to be taken seriously, their peers need to respect them for their integrity. For you, this means to show exemplary behaviour in front of your peers. Even though you’re not a supervisor yet, you can display a great work ethic by being respectful, approachable, reasonable, punctual and honest at all times. Avoid office gossip and aim to build a reputation of being someone everyone can trust and depend upon.

6. Take on Small Management Opportunities

One of the best ways to show your capacity to be a leader is to take on additional leadership responsibilities. When you’re ready to start managing, ask your direct supervisor for the chance to take on small opportunities to manage people or projects. Ask your manager if there’s anything you can take off their plate to help them, such as training new hires or leading meetings. This will help you to build your management skills and you’ll start being viewed as a leader yourself.

Summary

Soft skills can often be difficult to improve, hence why taking that first step towards becoming a leader can be strenuous. However, this short guide has provided some initial steps to ensure that your manager sees you as the right choice when a leadership opportunity next arises.


If you’d like more leadership advice or you’re looking for great management and tech jobs in New Zealand, don’t hesitate to contact us today.

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How to Make a Good First Impression at Work

24 Nov 16 by 52



How to Make a Good First Impression at Work  | Sourced: Christchurch IT Recruitment

Although starting a new role can be exciting, it’s important not to get caught up in the moment and forget to make a solid first impression with your new colleagues, Manager and employer. The way you’re dressed, how you speak, and your overall attitude can have a big impact on how others perceive you. Presenting yourself in a positive light from day one can set you up for a successful career start. Follow our top tips and discover how you can make a positive first impression at work.

How to Make a Good First Impression | Sourced: Christchurch IT Recruitment


Maintain a Positive Attitude


With a new role, there will be new challenges, responsibilities, and tasks. Although learning new systems, processes and skills combined with meeting new people might bring stress, showing that you can keep a positive attitude is a great sign. Remaining positive demonstrates that you can handle pressure in a professional and upbeat manner. Remember your strengths and focus on what you hope to gain from the overall experience.


Do Your Homework


A great way to set yourself up for success is to understand what your Manager wants from you. To do this, try to find out what is important to your Manager, and familiarise yourself with the company’s overall mission, goals, and objectives. What are your Manager and colleagues trying to achieve and what direction are they heading in? Knowing more about the company, colleagues, and your Manager’s strategy can put your role in context and help you see how you’ll fit in, and what value you can add to the role.


To know more about what your company does and who they are before you start, it’s good to do some research ahead of time. If you’re active on social media and LinkedIn, you can easily check out the company’s presence on those channels, as well as looking at their website to find out more about their background and activities. Are they a leading voice in your industry? Do current and former employees give positive testimonials? There may even be positive news coverage on your company for getting involved with charitable causes or doing other work in the community. If the company’s values and mission are important to you, and if they are in sync with your own values as well, then try to find out about these in advance.

How to Make a Good First Impression | Sourced: Christchurch IT Recruitment


Dress to Impress


Whilst starting a new job may not necessarily require a wardrobe overhaul, it’s a good idea to double check the dress code of your new employer. Think back to the interview; how was everyone dressed? Was everyone wearing formal attire or ‘smart causal’ clothing? If you’re struggling to find this out, check with your Manager or Recruiter who can help ensure you don’t over or underdress on your first day.


Be Mindful of What You Say


Ego and personality clashes are two of the primary reasons for workplace conflict, hence why getting off on the wrong foot with a colleague is best avoided. Instead, try to be mindful of what you say to everyone because you might offend someone without realising it. To avoid this scenario, steer clear of office gossip or controversial topics. Overall, what you say (and what you keep to yourself!) is part of the good first impression that you’re trying to make, so be sure to be considerate and respectful to everyone.

How to Make a Good First Impression | Sourced: Christchurch IT Recruitment


Learn the Formal and Informal Office Rules


Familiarising yourself with the company culture can help you adapt to the formal and informal office rules. Begin by learning how others behave in the office, such as each employee’s day-to-day routine, and what the environment is like. Observe what software, equipment, and programs are regularly used. For example, does the workplace provide devices such as laptops and tablets? Perhaps the office is quiet and reserved, or louder and upbeat. Look at how people communicate with each other, and what procedures are followed. As the new employee, it’s essential that you learn and adapt to the new company culture as best as you can.  


Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Feedback


Over your first few weeks in the role you’ll be taking in a lot of information, but keep in mind that you aren’t expected to remember everything in one go. Your colleagues and Manager are there to help you succeed, so they’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have. After three months at your new company, it’s a great idea to ask your Manager for a performance review. Then you can discuss your accomplishments and challenges, as well as a plan for how you can improve and further develop. 
 

How to Make a Good First Impression | Sourced: Christchurch IT Recruitment

Get to Know Your Co-workers


When you meet new people, it can often be daunting trying to remember everyone’s names. Reading your team’s bios on the company website in advance will help you to get a general idea of who each person is and what they do. Either way, learn each person’s role in your team and get to know them. Something as simple as grabbing a coffee with your team on your lunch break can make you feel more comfortable and familiar with each person. Having positive interactions with your team is bound to be noticed by your employer as well.


Summary


Before you begin a new role it’s good practice to reflect on how others may perceive you from the way you speak, dress and approach other people. With any new role, remember to be yourself. People will respect you if you’re honest, transparent, and present your likeable personality upfront. If you need any more advice on how to leave a good first impression or have any questions, feel free to get in touch with our expert Recruiters at Sourced.  

 

How to Make a Good First Impression| Sourced: Christchurch IT Recruitment

 

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Defragging Your Career

15 Nov 16 by 51

Career Review | Sourced: Christchurch IT Recruitment


As the end of year approaches, many are doing their best to tie up any loose ends at work so they’re prepared for the new year ahead. Whilst the Christmas season can be quite busy, it’s crucial to use the down-time to defrag your career and work out if you’re headed in the right direction. To help you get a fresh start after the holidays, take a read of our helpful guide on how to give yourself a career review.


Spotting the Obvious

It can sometimes be difficult to differentiate stress from career dissatisfaction, especially when you’re working hard over a busy period. To help you work out which is which, take a step back and look at your job and ask yourself how satisfied you are with what you do and where you are. Are you constantly bored? Do you lack passion and dread coming to work? Do you feel you don’t fit into your employer’s culture? Is your performance suffering, or do you feel you’re not living up to your full potential?


Whilst answering yes to any of the above questions is not an absolute certainty that you’re in the wrong job, frequently experiencing them could be a sign that something is amiss. The Christmas holidays, although they can be a busy period, can also offer an opportunity to take a closer look at these signs and decide if a change of job, employer or industry could be the answer. If you do need to change jobs, it’s worth noting that a lot of vacancies start appearing now for the year ahead, so this is the perfect time to ponder if you are thinking of looking at other options.


Think About Your Career Goals

Career Review | Sourced: Christchurch IT Recruitment

If you haven’t already put together your own career plan, it can be useful to sit down and jot down your short-term and long-term goals. Evaluating your career goals can help you visualise what you’ve accomplished so far compared to last year, and it can help you prepare for the year ahead. Short-term goals are often based on personal development, and can range from reaching a target to undertaking more responsibilities within your role.


On the other hand, long-term goals are often the “big” goal of where you want to be with your career in the next few years. Regularly reflecting on your progress can be a great tool for self-assessment, tracking your own performance, and seeing what goals you’ve achieved so far. Ask yourself: "is what I'm doing helping me reach these goals?" If not, change it.


Consult Other People

Having your own career review and checking your own performance is a great start, but it can also be helpful to get an insight from other people. Colleagues, your peers, and your managers can give you an unbiased opinion of what stage they think you’re at in your career. To achieve this, you can request regular performance reviews with your employer, or fill in your own self appraisal forms. From here you can receive constructive feedback and be made aware of anything that you might need to improve on. Bear in mind that formal annual reviews only focus on your performance, rather than your overall career aspirations and long-term plan, so these might not give you what you’re looking for.


For extra advice and an honest assessment, you can also consult a respected and reliable person in your industry. This person can act as a mentor and someone that you can trust for advice. At Sourced, we have a great mentoring programme which aims to match experienced professionals with emerging IT talent.  


Working Out What’s Next

Before you decide to jump ship, you need to find the root of what’s causing your dissatisfaction. Start by examining what’s right and wrong with your job, employer and career. Focus on what you enjoy about your job as much as what you don’t. This will enable you to write down specific and honest reasons for what’s causing your dissatisfaction. Does your job not challenge you enough? Are you under too much pressure from your workload? Perhaps you work in an industry or for an employer you’re not proud to be a part of? Or maybe the morning commute just makes you sick to your stomach. All of these are valid reasons.


Career Review | Sourced: Christchurch IT RecruitmentOnce you’ve highlighted the specific reasons behind your desire to move on, you can start planning what you need to do to solve those problems. For example, would a job with more flexible working arrangements solve your commuting problem? Perhaps a role with more leadership responsibilities could take your career to the next level. Once you know what you’re looking for, you can start taking the steps to find it.


Moving On

At the start of your job search, make sure you research the industry. Google and Seek are good starting points, but the best advice always comes from specialists. Industry specialist Recruiters spend every day networking and connecting professionals to great IT Jobs, so even if they can’t directly help you, they can certainly point you in the right direction.


Look at your current skills and expertise in relation to the IT industry and decide whether you need to upskill yourself. For example, use LinkedIn to find people who currently hold jobs you want, and look at what skills they’ve learned and the paths they’ve taken to get there. A Recruiter can also help here by providing an insight into the kind of skills and experiences that are currently in high demand in the IT sector.


Summary

Giving yourself your own career review, and putting a plan together can be a good way to hash out both your short-term and long-term career path. It can also help you get back on track and remain focused on what’s important to you. Above all else, if you aren’t truly happy within your role, it may be time to move on. A new role can be invigorating and it could be exactly what you’re after to reignite passion for your work.


For an extra hand with your annual career review, or if you need help to be pointed in the right direction with your career, feel free to get in touch with our experts at Sourced. 


Career Review | Sourced: Christchurch IT Recruitment

                     

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Get the most out of Local Tech Events

4 Nov 16 by 50

At Sourced we are passionate about the local Christchurch technology sector and our team loves to get involved with a variety of local events. We often get feedback from both candidates and clients that they don’t know where to find out what is on or crucially how to personally get the most out of these events.


The Canterbury Tech Cluster (CTC) does a great job of providing an overview of the events and Meetups in our local region, so rather than re-invent the wheel we thought we would share this information with our network. In addition we have provided information on events not included on CTC and our guide to getting the most out of professional networking.


Canterbury Tech Event Listings

Events generally fall into three categories: informal get-togethers, workshops and professionally organised conferences / speaker sessions. 


The best place to find out information on local get-togethers is Meetup. Meetup is an online network dedicated to getting people with similar interests (professional or personal) to meet up offline. There are a wide range of well-established Meetup Groups in Canterbury, CTC have compiled this list of 25 Groups which includes most of those related to the Christchurch technology sector. In additional this CTC page keeps track of the events that are planned over the next 30 days.


Other Events

The annual Canterbury Tech Summit (formerly Canterbury Software Summit) is the South Island's largest Tech event, and is well worth a visit. Besides this, we have a number of upcoming technology events to watch out for this year, including SingularityU NZ Summit on 14-16th November and Christchurch Hacker Conference on 12th November.


There are also four workshops run by the IT Professionals (ITP)

these include:


Getting the Most Out of Events

As you can see there is always plenty going on in Canterbury. Your reasons for attending events such as these will obviously vary depending on your professional and personal goals and interests.


Often events are a great place to learn and hear from others who may be working on something similar to you but know a different way of doing it. They can also be a great place to relax and talk with like-minded people outside of a work environment.


The most significant other reason for attending events is to network with the objective of finding new job opportunities or to learn more about a company you are potentially interested in working for. With this in mind Sourced has prepared a short guide to help make your networking efforts a little easier.


Event Networking

Do Your Homework

The days of going to events without knowing who else is attending are long gone. Sites such as Meetup allow you to see all attendees prior to the event. If you can’t locate an attendee list, research the people at the companies that are sponsoring or hosting the event.


Once you have found an attendee who could be of interest, spend a little time reviewing their LinkedIn profile and GitHub account to understand their work experience and projects. You can also often generate warm leads by engaging with attendees on Twitter in advance of the event, or use it to find potential areas of shared interest outside of work. This follower list is a good place to start looking for Christchurch Technology people who are on Twitter.


Interact / Move Outside of your Comfort Zone

To make yourself noticed be prepared to ask questions of the speaker and contribute to the group discussions. Also try to speak to at least one new person at every event you attend.


Make Conversations Personal

People don’t always wish to talk about their work, often the best conversations are about subjects that have nothing to do with the event itself.


Attend the After Event Drinks

Post-event there is often a smaller group of attendees that will head out for dinner or drinks. By attending you will likely get the opportunity to have one-on-one conversations with people who have been otherwise engaged during the event itself.


Connect Online

To get the most out of an event, it is helpful to continue to network afterwards. The easiest way to do this is to remember to connect on social networks such as LinkedIn with the people you interacted with at the conference. This way you will both have a method for getting back in touch and they can also find out more details about you.


Speak / Present

This takes networking a step further, but if you are really keen to get noticed then volunteering as a speaker or organiser of an event is a great way to do this. Your expertise will be on show to a captive audience, making it more likely people will approach you to talk and hopefully other attendees may even blog or tell their employers about you.


Help is at Hand

We understand that all of the above points can take up a lot of time and effort, which as a busy technology professional you likely don’t have in available in abundance. If you would prefer someone else to represent your brand on your behalf please feel free to get in touch. We are connected with a wide range of local technology employers and are always happy to promote you as part of your job search.  




Download the Sourced Event Networking Infographic

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Managing a Multigenerational Workforce

28 Oct 16 by 49


The number of New Zealanders aged 65 and over is predicted to almost double in the next 10 years. More than ever, these older workers are now staying within the workforce, either by choice or out of necessity. At the same time, the first of a new generation – dubbed “Gen Z” – are just beginning to reach employment age.


We are now in an unprecedented time where we have four generations in the workforce simultaneously, and addressing and managing the potential conflicts and benefits that arise from a multigenerational workforce is becoming a major focus for organisations. But what are these conflicts and benefits? Does having a multigenerational workforce really change anything?


New Generations, Same Old Workforce

With a wider range of generations, and thus people, represented in the workforce than ever before, organisations are predictably panicking about how to handle this situation. “How do we cater to the needs of our experienced, long-serving Baby Boomers, whilst also making sure that Millennials are kept happy?”


Essentially, the debate is about focusing on the past (your veteran presence who have perhaps taken a step back in the business), present (your current leaders and key contributors) and future (the bright sparks in junior positions who you’ve earmarked for future success) of your organisation. However, does choosing between them really need to be an option?


Though the emergence of this multigenerational workforce has created much in the way of workplace trend hyperbole, nothing much has really changed. Though it may not have been so pronounced previously, there have always been people of different ages within organisations. The key is that each person within those generational groups is different, and can’t all be compared under a catch-all term like “Gen-X” or “Millennial” that handily sums up their motivations, skills and preferences.


Age is just one changing aspect of workplace that’s becoming more diverse across the board. In reality, you can’t manage a generation in the workplace, so ensuring that you’re communicating effectively with individuals and providing them with the resources and environment to thrive is crucial.   


Managing Your People

As our workplace becomes more diverse, leaders need to break free from old, rigid leadership models and embrace greater flexibility so they can better understand each individual in the workplace. In turn, this will allow them to unleash their potential and encourage a better environment for employees to collaborate in.


In practice, this means carefully considering each employee’s traits, including their strengths and weaknesses. For example, although Millennials might be seen as the “tech savvy generation,” doesn’t make it a blanket rule. If you have a Baby Boomer employee who is tech-savvy and a quicker learner, then you may well want to buck the trend have them be the first to test a new system or technology. Similarly, if a Millennial is showing more in the way of leadership potential than a Gen-Xer, then you may want to give them more responsibility within the team over other, older employees.


Across your organisation, from business practices to performance reviews, tweak your approach to cater to the wants and needs of the individual, regardless of which generational group they belong to. Though it may read like pandering, it’s far less condescending than treating “Millennials” differently from “Baby Boomers.” Really it’s just common sense: do your best to make an employee feel comfortable and that will probably be reflected in their performance.


Summary

Beyond the panic and bluster, your multigenerational workforce is much the same as any other workforce you’ve ever had. At the end of the day, if you promote an environment where everyone feels comfortable enough to bring their own views and ideas to the table whilst feeling respected, you’ll have a healthy and successful internal culture; no matter how many Gen-X-Y-Zers you might employ.


Don’t forget to check out our blog for more recruitment and job searching advice, and our LinkedIn for the latest industry trends and insights.

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Four Crucial Soft Skills for Success in IT

10 Oct 16 by 48

crucial soft skills to ensure success in IT


The IT industry can be a challenging and dynamic environment. So, in order to be successful, IT professionals often have to go beyond focusing on just their technical expertise. Skills such as effectively explaining a complicated product to an end user, or quickly adapting to challenges from an unexpected service outage, can be extremely valuable.


Whether you’re just starting out as a Junior Programmer or you’re already a Senior Developer, possessing the following four soft skills will significantly help you to achieve your career goals. 


Communication Skills

In the IT industry, communication is one of the most vital soft skills to possess. From the perspective of an IT employee, you’re going to have to explain complicated problems, solutions and processes in way that’s clear to understand. At the same time, whether it’s a new piece of software, technology or a product ready to be rolled out, there’s always something new to learn. Knowledge share is crucial within this field. A lot of learning occurs on the job and hence, being able to teach and explain things to others with clarity and patience can really bolster your career.


As well as being able to convey an idea in a way that can be easily understood, intently listening to others is equally as important. Listening closely to exactly what your client or manager wants is key to ensuring you deliver precisely what is expected. If there’s anything within a brief you don’t understand, don’t be afraid to clarify it before you begin working.


Honing your communication skills can have a positive impact on your career. Being able to better communicate with your peers, managers, clients and stakeholders, can enable you to build better and stronger relationships all-round. This can have a direct influence on opportunities later on in your career and serve as a stepping stone to leadership responsibilities.


Flexibility

A career within the IT sector can come with a lot of sudden changes, whether from setbacks caused by technical problems or last-minute issues with vendors. If you’re someone who is adaptable, positive and keen to immediately find a solution, then you’ll be highly sought after. In an industry which faces frequent disruption due to the latest innovations, embracing changes head on can help lead you to stronger career opportunities later down the line.


Due to the dynamic and flexible nature of the IT industry, contracting has become hugely popular. Developing your own adaptability whilst being quick on your feet can hugely benefit you if you’re looking to strike a better balance between your work and personal life, through being a contractor. If you already have these soft skills but not sure if contracting is the right career choice for you, read our guide to discover more.


Teamwork

It can often be tempting for an IT professional to isolate themselves at work, preferring to work alone to get a job done. However, a group of experts can bring a huge variety of talents, skills and perspectives to the table. It’s for this reason that a strong team will always accomplish far more than what one person can do alone. Demonstrating you’re a team player can allow you to work achieve great results whilst highlighting your communication skills, especially your ability to negotiate.


When you’re working as part of a dynamic IT team in a high results driven environment, there can occasionally be conflict. Being able to find common ground, negotiate and resolve issues are excellent skills to have in this, or any, industry. Practicing them can go a long way in helping you stand out for possible team leader positions or roles which require conflict resolution, such as Account Management.


Innovation

The IT industry is constantly at the forefront of innovation. To stay ahead of the game, employers need to be creative and develop solutions and products that meet the constantly changing needs of consumers. This has led to innovation and creativity to become a critical skill for employees to possess. If you can prove that you’re a creative innovator, then you’re much more likely to stand out from the crowd.


However, it’s one thing to be able to create a great product to a brief, it’s another entirely to offer an innovative solution to a problem. An employer will want someone who is a creative problem solver, who can think on their feet and take the initiative to offer creative solutions, and not just temporary fixes. Don’t allow your creativity to be stemmed, instead embrace it and use it to get ahead in your career, as this can really set you apart from the crowd.


Summary

When it comes to being successful throughout your career, proving you have the technical skill is half the battle. Demonstrating that you’re excellent at communicating, a flexible team player and a creative innovator can highlight you as a strong employee and a potential leader. If you need some help with getting connected to fantastic roles that will let you utilise both your technical and soft skills, get in touch with one of our recruitment specialists today.

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How to Hire For Team Fit

28 Sep 16 by 47

Hire for Team Fit | Sourced: Christchurch IT Recruitment


When hiring, you may come across a candidate that has great qualifications, experience, and skills – but there is one final question left to answer: are they a good fit for your team? Hiring someone who is a team fit means that the new employee’s personality fits in well with the company culture. When you’re working with someone every day, team fit is just as important as getting the job done. The wrong fit can have an impact on your company and your team, so knowing you’re hiring the right person is crucial. But how do you know if the person you’re hiring is a good fit? We’ve put together our best tips to get you on the right track.   

How Do You Know if an Employee is a Good Team Fit?

Happy Employees | Sourced: Christchurch IT Recruitment

Before you can measure a candidate’s cultural fit, you need to be able to define your organisational culture – it’s values, goals, and practices. Then you can incorporate this into the hiring process. By doing this, you’ll have a good idea of what characteristics and personalities would fit your company. You want someone that is comfortable working in an active setting. as opposed to someone who prefers a quiet and small office space. You need someone that can adapt to your work environment and also remain productive. 


Also, take your current employees’ specific personalities into account; Is there a mixture of personalities? Can they work effectively together? Do they each help the team to function? If an employee feels like their personality contributes to the company, they’ll be happier in their job, which can lead to a 12% increase in employee productivity. Bear in mind, not everyone has to be exactly the same and a new kind of personality whether they’re quiet, loud or lively, can help to balance a team out. 

Make the Most of the Interview

As the interviewer, try to keep an open mind and don’t just rely on your intuition unless you have evidence to back it up. Remember that how you perceive others comes from your own unique point of view. For example, if you believe someone comes across as smug in an interview, someone else might describe them as confident and determined. 


Employee Turnover | Sourced: Christchurch IT Recruitment

Looking through a wider lens to ensure you’re representing your company, and the team the candidate will be joining, is crucial. With research indicating that total costs associated with employee turnover can cost 90% to 200% of that person’s salary, hiring someone who isn’t a fit for the company is not a risk worth taking. You cannot know for sure if someone will fit in with your organisational culture, but using the interview process can help you get a feel for the person’s personality and decide if they’re a good fit for the job. 


The interview is where you’ll get a feel for the kind of person that candidate is and whether they’ll be a good fit for your team. Get the most out of the interview process and use your organisational culture to form your behavioural questions. This will show you whether a candidate aligns with your company vision or not, and whether they’re a good fit for your organisation’s values. Understanding this is crucial, as personality doesn’t tend to be something you can change or teach, unlike technical skills. However, by using the interview process to ask behavioural questions and carry out assessments, you can discover the core elements that make up the interviewee’s personality.

Behavioural Interview Questions

Interview | Sourced: Christchurch IT RecruitmentThe focus of behavioural interview questions is to uncover a candidate’s soft skills. These soft skills are skills that are part of a person’s personality, such as teamwork skills, problem solving skills, and communication skills. Whether you require much in the way of soft skills depends on the role you’re interviewing for. For instance, when hiring a Software Team Lead you would be looking for excellent communication, leadership, and problem solving skills.


Based on your requirements, ask the interviewee a time they demonstrated the skill you’re looking for in the workplace. For example, “Tell me about a time where you struggled to meet a project deadline?” or another question, “Tell me about a time you overcame a conflict within a team.” By getting specific examples and understanding how they have reacted you’ll be able to determine whether their approach will be a suitable fit for your company. If you’d like to know more about which interview questions to ask, you can take a look at our previous blog on this year's top 10 technology interview questions.

Psychometric Assessments

Psychometric assessments can be very useful when hiring, however there seems to be a bit of misinformation, and unfortunately, misuse, of what is otherwise a very powerful tool. Understanding when and why an assessment is to be used is critical, as is the selection of the type of assessment you're going to use. Remember that these are not 'tests' to be passed or failed, and psychometrics should not be used for selection purposes in the way you might assume.  


Personality assessments are a helpful tool in understanding aspects of personality and preference, but first consider what you’re getting from the experience and define some profiles that you are and aren't looking for with your assessment provider. To ensure assessments are evaluated in an appropriate context, a lot of pre-work needs to be done. There are a wide number of different types of psychometric assessment available, but most centre around cognitive and personality questionaires that measure a candidates’ personality, behavioural preferences and sometimes, knowledge, against an appropriate group of peers and respondents. They bring a scientific approach to the art of team building and selection, and can give you a better insight into the needs of your preferred candidate in a range of work related and interpersonal scenarios.


Psychometric Assessment for Team Fit | Sourced: Christchurch IT Recruitment


The end result is that you can develop more tailored training initiatives, and ensure the new employee will be supported to contribute to your company long term. Although for employers, psychometrics can be a helpful hiring tool, they can also be used as a development tool for both employer and employee, identifying aspects they may need to improve on and helping both parties long-term. Before conducting any assessments, we recommend asking for expert advice. A specialist recruiter, such as Sourced, can discuss with you which assessments (or one of Sourced's talent solutions) best suit the needs of your company and hiring process in order find what you’re looking for when it comes to team fit. 

References Team Fit | Sourced: Christchurch IT Recruitment

References

Although interviews can give you an idea of a candidate’s personality, that idea is only based on one interaction. By effectively using a candidate’s referees, you can back up any data or evidence that you’ve gathered. The referees a candidate provides will have built strong professional relationships with them throughout their career. Though it might seem obvious, getting in touch with referees can give you testimonials from former employers, colleagues, or tutors. While able to back up the candidate’s skills and experience, referees can also speak on their personality.

Summary

When you're hiring someone, the most important thing is to have a strong understanding of who your team and your company are. Although you can never know for sure when it comes to team fit, using facts and evidence to augment your own brand awareness give you a better idea of what to look for. A good hire is someone who is competent, motivated and a successful team fit. When you have all three of these components, they’ll add something special to your team and contribute to your company long-term. If you need assistance and want to feel more confident with your hiring choices, get in touch with our experts at Sourced.

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An Onboarding Guide for IT Employers

26 Aug 16 by 46

 

What is Onboarding?

In the fast paced IT industry, making a good first impression when it comes to welcoming a new employee on-board can be crucial to getting them off on the right foot. The purpose of onboarding is to make employees feel connected and informed as quickly as possible. This is a process that should get underway before an employee starts, continue throughout their first three months and continue as long as needed beyond this.


As an employer, you will be able to evaluate technical skills and get an idea of cultural fit during the interview process. However, all this good work can be wasted if an employee is not given an onboarding plan. This makes good onboarding an essential platform for new starters. If done poorly, onboarding can lead to confusion and an unhappy employee, who may well leave before they really begin to add value. A successful onboarding strategy in the IT industry can help you retain top talent whilst decreasing staff turnover.


Before an Employee Starts | Sourced: Christchurch IT Recruitment

Before an Employee Starts

As part of onboarding, you can keep the candidate interested by moving through the hiring process quickly and smoothly. One of the main concerns for candidates during this process is that they don’t know what it’s like to work at your organisation day in, day out. Address this by clarifying their role before they start. Let them know how they will contribute to the organisation and how they’ll fit into the big picture. You can even invite them into the office before their first day. Introduce them to their team and the people they need to know before they start, in order to familiarise them with the environment.


Another way to ensure a new starter has a great onboarding experience is to take a more strategic approach. Put an onboarding plan together in advance, and learn from your previous onboarding efforts. Speak to current employees who have been onboarded and are now fully embedded with the company. Get their feedback on your processes. Based on this feedback you can decide which tactics were the most effective for current employees, and what might have been lacking in their experience. If necessary, switch it up and make changes to your onboarding plan to achieve better results for future employees. Some initiatives you could use in your onboarding process may include: mentoring, a buddy system, FAQ guides or a company handbook. 


IT Equipment | Sourced: Christchurch IT Recruitment

IT Equipment

IT is often a very hardware-heavy industry. That means that new employees will need all of the devices and tools they require to be in order on the day they start. If you offer a range of options for workstations, make sure the new starter communicated their choices before you set anything up; for example, Mac or Windows or a laptop versus a desktop. It might seem obvious, but ensuring that your new starter's workstation is set up, the necessary software is installed and all of their equipment is ready to use will go a long way to getting them off to a successful start. If you're using a cloud system such as Dropbox, making sure that new employees have access to all of the files they'll need access to avoids the risk of them not being able to find what they need; even if it can be a bit of an information overload at first.


Of course you will also need to provide any login or set-up details for emails, phones, as well as security access. Consider the impact if your new hire is left to chase various people around the office if various software isn’t installed. Aside from the obvious productivity issues, your new starter could end up feeling alienated, and more of a hindrance than a contributor. By getting the basics right and ensuring that an employees workstation is ready for use, you strongly increase the chances that their first day will be a positive experience. 

Week One | Sourced: Christchurch IT Recruitment

Week One

The first day is a crucial chance for you to interact with your new employee through training and orientation. Ensure that the basics are understood. Clarify job expectations once again, discussing the purpose of the position and who they will be reporting to. To keep a new employee engaged, put the initial focus on orientation and socialisation, meeting people and generally getting involved, and leave any non-essential paperwork until later.


For the rest of the week it’s a good idea to arrange some fun activities for an employee. When it comes to the company tour, don't be afraid to stray from the norm and have a more social focus. Putting together a welcome package that might include some company branded merchandise is another way you can immediately make the employee feel more at home. In IT, it can be a good idea to include some tech-related items in the package, such as company branded flash drives, headphones or a keyboard, in order to set yourself apart from the t-shirt crowd (although t-shirts are a proven people-pleaser!).


Working in an unfriendly environment can take its toll on everyone involved, so welcoming a new employee into the fold effectively can have a significant impact on their future at the company. If an employee has already been introduced to their co-workers prior to starting, make sure to refresh their memory so that the new starter feels like part of the team. Pictures are a good way to remember names, and can also be worked into the onboarding process. At Pinterest, for instance, every new hire takes a group photo centered on a theme, which then goes into the company yearbook. Encouraging this social atmosphere can result in a much more positive environment, and make new employees feel more relaxed.


The First 90 Days | Sourced: Christchurch IT Recruitment

The Next 90 Days

After ensuring that a new starter has a great first day, following this experience through over time is key to getting the most out of their skills. Making sure that communication within the workplace is clear and open is the most important step in achieving this. Using upward and downward communication effectively will give new employees the support they need from others within the business. Socialisation, job instructions, and feedback are the key points to focus on when it comes to this. Continue to communicate what needs to be done and by when. Provide regular feedback through meetings and debriefs to keep the new starter up to speed.


Setting up a mentor for the employee can be a great way to help an employee settle in and socialise with new people. 

Effective upward communication helps an employee to raise any concerns with their manager, whilst directing technical questions to their mentor or buddy. The key part of making these communications successful is to set up regular meeting times to get your new hire comfortable in talking to you, as well as talking about their performance.


The first three months for an employee is where a crucial part of their development and learning will take place. Creating a plan of measurable milestones that an employee can work towards as part of a Personal Development Plan is a key step in rounding out your onboarding process. Hold one-on-one meetings every few weeks to keep up contact and check progress, and arrange for a comprehensive three-month meeting to evaluate performance and plan the next steps.

Summary

When implemented well, onboarding can be the difference between a happy employee who can fulfil company expectations and a dissatisfied employee who'll look to leave much sooner than expected. Effective onboarding can have a significant impact on staff retention, as well as protecting and enhancing your employer brand. The IT industry and technology scene is constantly changing. If you are having difficulty onboarding technical talent and are in need of some guidance, download our Sourced Onboarding Checklist here, or get in touch with one of our specialist IT Recruitment Consultants.  


Onboarding Guide | Sourced: Christchurch IT Recruitment

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A Guide to Choosing a Winning Reference

11 Aug 16 by 45



Regardless of how far down your career path you are, you would have regularly experienced a need to produce one or more referees for a job application. Depending on the role, you may be asked to put down a character reference, a professional reference, or a combination of both. So, how do you ensure that your referees can give you a competitive edge? Well, here are some tips.

Before you begin searching for suitable referees, you should be aware that there is a significant difference between a professional reference and a character reference. Your professional reference confirms your previous experiences, level of expertise and work ethic. This type of reference should come from your former managers, colleagues or any other professional connection.


How can my referee influence whether I get a job | Sourced IT Recruitment

Shortlisting Referees

On the other hand, it‘s possible to include industry associates or contacts from volunteering or personal projects outside of work as your character reference. Although not many employers would ask for a character reference, when they do, their aim is to discover more information about your personality, soft skills and cultural fit.


When you’re looking for a professional or character reference, it’s a good strategy to reflect on your performance and what your referees may say about you. Is there any particular feedback, or a comment that stands out in your mind? Even the smallest comment about your work habits can influence a Hiring Manager’s decision, so make sure your referees can testify positively on your punctuality or reliability. Furthermore, if you’ve previously had conflicts with other team members, it may limit what your referees can say about your teamwork skills.


You may also wish to take into consideration the length of your employment, the job title you held, the responsibilities of your role, and reasons for leaving that position as well as your performance on the job. If you are considering a career change, try to find a referee who can explain how your previous skills or experiences can give you an advantage in your new role. If your previous workplace did not suit you well, choose a referee who understands this and is able to represent you fairly. 


Referees Can Help You Boost Your Professional Reputation

When you’re going through a list of your previous managers and team members, you’ll begin to have a better understanding of how others see you as a professional. You can take this opportunity to reflect on your professional reputation, which is a first step toward creating a better reputation for yourself and can help you become more authentic in your communication with Hiring Managers. This is a great way to showcase your integrity and earn the confidence of your prospective employers.


Checklist for choosing a winning reference | Sourced IT Recruitment Asking for Permission

It is much better practice to get in touch with your referees first and ask for their permission before including their contact details in your CV. In fact, if you don't ask a referee for permission and they are subsequently approached by the employer, the employer could be at risk of breaching the privacy act. Gaining a reference's explicit permission in advance will avoid this risk and can have some benefits for you as a job seeker. Doing this will also give you the chance to ask them about your strengths and weaknesses. This approach will give you valuable insights about how to improve your professional reputation, as well as giving referees a chance to gather their thoughts before they provide a formal reference. If it’s been a little while since you had last been in touch with your referees, you should consider forwarding them your latest CV and a copy of the job description. After that, update your referees about your progress, and thank them for providing a good reference.


Managing Weak References

If you’re worried about weak references, it’s much better to be upfront about the issue than to let it come as a surprise. Tell your Recruiter or the Hiring Manager that one of your referees may comment on a situation in the past, a lack of expertise, or any other concerns about your performance on the job. Explain why you anticipate this, and describe how you have improved your professional standards since. For example, if there was a particular manager that you didn’t work well with, describe the steps you have taken in order to improve your relationship with the manager and improve your performance. However, double check that your referees are fully aware of your endeavours, so that they can support your case.


Can your social media presence undermine good reference | Sourced IT Recruiter

Social Media May Trump Character References

According to research, 93% of Hiring Managers will now review a candidate’s social profile as part of the recruitment process. 55% of respondents also report having reconsidered their hiring decision based on what they found on social media channels. Even if your formal reference has been excellent, your professional standing could be undermined by a poor social media presence.


This means that you should be wary about what you put out on social media. Hiring Managers may use your social profile to find out the same information that they would get from your character references. 38% of Hiring Managers report being influenced by what they found on social media channels, including the background information that supports professional qualifications, so make sure that your online presence is up to professional standards.


Summary

While you’re on the job, don’t be afraid to seek feedback on your performance and your interaction with team members. There’s no need to feel that you have to maintain a perfect professional reputation. In the long run, your career prospect can improve significantly from identifying and overcoming your weaknesses.


What your referees say about you has the power to make you win or lose the job you’re applying for. So, choose your reference carefully and take time to reflect on your professional reputation. If you need more information about the topic, please don’t hesitate to get in touch

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Retaining Your High Performing People

28 Jul 16 by 44


A lot has been said about the trend of tenures becoming shorter and staff turnover increasing, with much of the blame for this being placed at the feet of the relatively-newly emerging IT industry (and, of course, the job-hopping “millennials” within it). Whilst it may not be fair to lay the blame squarely on our industry, it is clear that job tenures within IT tend to be shorter than elsewhere. In New Zealand especially, job tenure is generally low, with government statistics showing that half of the population has been in their role for less than 18 months. With people who are high-performers or those who are early in their career, it’s not uncommon for us to hear about them staying in a role for a year, or sometimes even less, before moving on elsewhere.


In today’s job market, with the often talked about “talent shortage” plaguing employers, retaining top staff is more important than ever. So, with that in mind, what can employers do to keep their best talent with them for longer?

Engaging in the Right Way 

Having a strong retention strategy starts with a great first impression | Sourced - Christchurch IT Recruitment

Having a strong retention strategy starts with a great first impression. When it comes to engaging talent, consulting with a specialist recruitment agency can be a great idea. We can handle many of the time-consuming and complex stages of the recruitment process, resulting in a far simpler and less stressful hiring experience for you and the candidate.


Throughout the hiring process, it’s important to be honest with the candidate about what working with you is going to be like. If what they encounter once they start working with you doesn’t match what you had promised during initial discussions, then you could run into an immediate trust issue.


This is why it’s so important to have a strong employer brand and be able to back it up. With the support of your employees as brand ambassadors, you’ll be well placed to get that top talent through the door. We’ve written in-depth about the importance of employer branding, which can be found here.


Another key part of getting off on the right foot with top talent is to have an effective onboarding programme. Ensure that the candidate has everything they need to settle in and that you and your team are supporting them in doing so. We’ll be covering onboarding in greater depth in one of our upcoming blogs, but If you’re looking for onboarding inspiration in the meantime, take a look at what other successful companies are doing. There is a lot to be learned about the process from famous examples such as Netflix and Zappos.


Creating a Culture 


Though it’s important to get off to a good start, in the long-term it’s essential to maintain that level of support. While the need for support will be lessened once the person is settled in and comfortable in their new role, maintaining an open line of communication is an important step in making someone feel like they are part of the team. This communication is a significant part in creating a good environment and fostering a strong company culture. At Facebook, management (including CEO Mark Zuckerberg) work alongside everyone else in open offices to further reinforce that sense of unity.


Your internal culture should be a fundamental part of your organisation | Sourced - Christchurch IT Recruitment

Culture is one of the aspects we hear most about, with employers telling us that cultural fit is a crucial part of their criteria. Many candidates are also telling us that a good workplace culture is the main thing they’re looking for in a new role, sometimes even more so than salary. In IT especially many of the ‘dream’ workplaces include companies who are famous for their culture, like Google, Facebook and Apple.


Despite the many misconceptions, workplace culture in IT isn’t all foosball tables and flexible working hours. People are quick to latch on when culture is just window dressing, rather than part of a company’s ingrained ethos. That means that your internal culture should be a fundamental part of your organisation, and constantly reinforced from the top-down.


It might seem obvious, but when people enjoy coming to work they’re less likely to leave and more likely to produce better results. However, workplace culture isn’t a one-size-fits-all concept, and one approach likely won’t work for everybody. Find out what makes your office tick, whether that’s putting on regular social events or putting incentives in place for good performance, and see how you can integrate this in your day-to-day operations.

Reward & Progression 

Rewarding success with internal progression is a powerful incentive | Sourced - Christchurch IT Recruitment

One of the key ways of doing this is to implement system to reward top performers. Everyone likes to be recognised for their hard work, and even though you might be used to a certain standard from your top performers, that doesn’t mean that it should go unnoticed. Recognising and rewarding success is a key driver for employees; whether that reward is intrinsic to the role or financial in the form of bonuses or other incentives. Much like with your culture however, these rewards are not one-size-fits-all. Finding out what drives each specific person is critical in being able to effectively reward them for their work.


These rewards will only serve to further motivate them, which will produce better results and increase their morale. However, for top performers, one of those drivers at work is ambition. That means that regardless of being rewarded for performance, these people will likely move on if their desire for growth isn’t being satisfied. Giving that opportunity is one of the most effective ways in which you can ensure that you retain your top people.


When employees can see a clear path towards the role they want in an environment they are comfortable in, taking that path will always be a better option than moving on elsewhere. If you already have people in high-level roles who have moved there from other areas or progressed from other positions in the business, showcase them as an example of the kind of upward mobility that is possible within your company.


Other ways to nuture progression for top performers include: helping them undertake courses or other kinds of professional development, or simply by giving them the freedom to take up other responsibilities within the business. This type of support is crucial in helping top performers develop and reach their goals; which can in turn help you achieve your business objectives. Creating your own internal development framework where your team can experiment, innovate and grow, like companies such as MYOB have done to great success, will increase employee engagement and happiness at work.

Summary

In and around the hysteria of a talent-tight market, retaining the best and brightest has taken on a new level of importance to employers. However, in a high-turnover industry such as IT, organisations who successfully hang onto their top performers are invariably those who engage in the right way, have a strong internal culture and reward their people effectively, along with providing clear pathways for career development and progression.


If you’re looking for help in building the structures to retain and attract top talent, or you’re looking to work for an organisation who does those things well, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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8 Tips - Stay Productive When In-Between Jobs

14 Jul 16 by 43


Depending on how you spend your time, being in between jobs can be either the most refreshing experience you’ll ever have or the worst. From an employer’s perspective, the way you spend that time can say a lot about your work ethic and how you’ll fit into their organisation. Although it takes a lot of determination to stay productive while you’re out of work, here are eight tips on how to take advantage of your free time and increase your chance of finding the job of your dreams.


Many jobseekers are familiar with the cliché that job searching is a full-time job. Although it is true that job searching takes a lot of time and effort, scrolling through job boards for 24 hours a day is not the way to go. Focusing your efforts on your priorities can make a world of difference to finding that next job. If you’re looking for a job in a specialist industry, you should focus on the companies operating in that market and free up some time to perfect your personal branding.


First Tip on How to Stay Productive When You’re In-Between Jobs | Sourced IT Specialist Recruitment

Focus Your Efforts on What is Most Important

Many jobseekers are familiar with the cliché that job searching is a full-time job. Although it is true that job searching takes a lot of time and effort, scrolling through job boards for 24 hours a day is not the way to go. Focusing your efforts on your priorities can make a world of difference to finding that next job. If you’re looking for a job in a specialist industry, you should focus on the companies operating in that market and free up some time to perfect your personal branding.

Second Tip on How to Stay Productive When You’re In-Between Jobs | Sourced IT Specialist Recruitment

Identify Key Elements You’re Looking for in a Job

This is your chance to dream a little. Think about your ideal job: what are the aspects that you cannot sacrifice and which can you compromise on? It doesn’t hurt to be ambitious, and your dream may lead you to very exciting opportunities.


Third Tip on How to Stay Productive When You’re In-Between Jobs | Sourced IT Specialist Recruitment Continue Your Professional Development

Take the time you have away from the daily grind to reflect on who you are and who you want to be. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What are your goals and how can you reach them? Take the time to assess the areas you need to improve on  and see how you can address these weaknesses to become more well-rounded. You should also look for  courses or other self-improvement exercises that can help you upskill.


Fourth Tip on How to Stay Productive When You’re In-Between Jobs | Sourced IT Specialist Recruitment Keep Up to Date

Keeping up to date with the latest developments in the industry will keep you sharp and demonstrate your strong work ethic. This is especially important in the fast-changing IT industry, where new technological breakthroughs can shake up the entire industry sector. It is a good idea to subscribe to LinkedIn groups, the official communication channels of well-known companies or blogs of industry thought leaders.


However, you should be careful when choosing which information channels to follow. There’s a lot of information out there, so it’s important to be selective about what you read and sieve out unreliable sources.


Fifth Tip on How to Stay Productive When You’re In-Between Jobs | Sourced IT Specialist Recruitment Contracting, Interning and Volunteering

It’s also a good idea to look for other ways to keep your skills sharp. Is there an opportunity to take on short-term contract work? Another good strategy is to seek an internship, freelance or a volunteering opportunity with the companies you would like to work for. Though it’s not guaranteed, there’s always a chance that these opportunities may turn into a full-time role. In fact, surveys reveal that you have a 7 out of 10 chance of being hired by the company you interned with.


Sixth Tip on How to Stay Productive When You’re In-Between Jobs | Sourced IT Specialist Recruitment Stay Alert

The most obvious advice is to keep a close eye on job boards and career sites by setting up job alerts. If you employ the service of a recruitment agency, it’s important to keep in touch with your Recruiters. It’s quite easy to miss the opportunity of a lifetime just because the opening was filled before you had a chance to apply.


Seventh Tip on How to Stay Productive When You’re In-Between Jobs | Sourced IT Specialist Recruitment Expand Your Network

Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to let your insecurities get in the way of networking in a room full of strangers, especially if you’re in-between jobs. However, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be bold, so get out there and talk! The Canterbury Software Cluster offers a great opportunity to meet other professionals in the IT industry. If there are specific companies you’re interested in, see if you know anyone who’s employed by them through the grapevine and talk to the employees about what it’s like to work there.


Eighth Tip on How to Stay Productive When You’re In-Between Jobs | Sourced IT Specialist Recruitment Follow Up

When you’re applying for jobs, it’s crucial to follow up after interviews or initial phone calls. If you don’t hear from your interviewer by the time they said you would, then don’t be afraid to ask for an update. This will demonstrate that you’re proactive, which will give you an edge above other candidates.


Even if you receive that dreaded rejection call, a good follow up can turn that rejection into an opportunity. Take time to find out why you didn’t get the job, and what you should do differently next time to increase your chances. You should always ask for direct feedback from the interviewers, rather than making your own assumptions.


Summary 

Too often jobseekers choose to work with a company that isn’t aligned with their personal values or career objectives because they cannot afford to be out of work. However, your job satisfaction is an integral part of your personal well-being, and your performance on the job can have a lasting impact on your self-confidence. Many of these jobseekers end up leaving again, only more frustrated than before.


Do not despair! By taking a proactive approach, you can turn your downtime into an opportunity and find the job that you always dreamed of.


If you need help finding the best match for your skills and expertise, we can help you explore your options and discover opportunities in the IT sector. Please feel free to get in touch with us today.

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3 Steps to Closing the Deal on Technical Talent

9 Jun 20 by 42


Talk of a talent short market and the difficulty of sourcing great candidates has been stirring up debate in the technology recruitment space for quite some time now. In one of our previous blogs, we focused on the secrets to recruiting top candidates in a tight talent market and discussed how, as an industry, we need to stop looking at how the market must change, and start looking at what we could be doing better.


However, sourcing a great candidate isn’t the end of the road. The ways in which people are interviewed and engaged with can sometimes prevent an IT company from closing the deal and securing a great hire. The whole recruitment process has a strong impact on candidates’ impressions of your business, and thus their likelihood of accepting the offer. These three steps can bring you closer to closing the deal, and retaining that top candidate by creating a great candidate experience.

1. First Impressions

If you were to go to a job interview, what would you expect? Just as your first impression of a candidate plays a part in how you assess their employability, a candidate’s first impression of you will play a significant part in whether they want to work for you or not.


Closing the Deal on Technical Talent

As with all first impressions, a lot of hard work goes into making a good one. Having a clear and concise job description on the initial application, which highlights all of the necessary information, is a good place to start. Including some information on your company – with an explanation of what you do and a little insight into the culture – can also be very useful, as the crux of all of this is to make your company stand out and explain to the applicant why they should work for you. Remember that during this process, it’s important to communicate clearly with all applicants. Communicating with those you have rejected – and those who have rejected you – can also be very valuable in giving you good feedback on your recruitment process, which you can then use to optimise your approach.


Having a clear application process with strong communication throughout will put you on the front foot by the time you get to an interview. When conducting interviews, try not to wear out the candidate with a one-hundred-step process. With 83% of professionals stating that a negative interview experience can put them off a role, it’s important to carefully consider every aspect of the interview and the purpose it serves. Ensure that the vacancy’s important stakeholders are involved in the interview process, as 53% of professionals mention that the most important interview they can have is an interview with their prospective manager.


It’s a good idea to even think about where you’re holding the interview; how this reflects your company and the impression it might leave. If you’re a fun and dynamic IT start-up, give them a tour of the office and showcase the work environment. This will also give them a first-hand look at where they’ll be fitting into the team and the style in which the team works.


2. Presenting the Offer

After the interview process is complete and a preferred candidate has been identified, the matter of how an offer is presented comes to the forefront. Research has shown that whilst 65% of professionals want to hear bad news by email, 77% of want to hear about good news over the phone – so if you’re giving someone good news, make sure to give it with a personal touch. Courier over your job offer along with a gift, or branded collateral such as stationery or a t-shirt. Follow this up with a phone call – or even better, a face to face meeting – and run the candidate through the key elements of the offer. An agency can assist you with this by being a point of contact between you and the candidate throughout the process, and providing that clear communication if you don’t have the resources or capacity to do so. Don’t rush them into accepting the offer, but do give clear timeframes.

Closing the Deal on Technical Talent

When making your offer, think beyond just the position in terms of what you can offer the candidate, and look at your culture and the opportunities within your company. Review your interview notes to remind yourself of their key drivers, and ensure that these are addressed in the offer. Also bear in mind that although these intrinsic factors are important, your remuneration package must also satisfy the candidate. It’s important to make a credible offer when making your initial approach so that the candidate doesn’t get an unwelcome surprise when the offer comes in. If this isn’t possible, then you may need to readjust your expectations and look for different kinds of candidates.


It’s always a good idea to make an initial verbal offer at first. This way you can test the waters a little and revise your offer if necessary based on the candidate’s reaction. Liaising with a recruitment agency can help you formulate an offer that doesn’t risk insulting the candidate in any way, and jeopardising the hard work that was put into making a good impression.


This is another part of the process where you can implement a strong feedback loop. If the candidate accepts your offer, follow up with them and ask them how they felt the offer was presented; what they expected, what you did well and where you can improve. Candidates who didn’t accept the offer can also be great sources of feedback. Ask them what about the offer, or its presentation, caused them to not accept it, and look at adapting your strategy to address this. This is another point where an agency can help, following up with the candidates and keeping those lines of communication open.


3. Post-Acceptance

It’s easy to fall into the trap of not speaking with the candidate until the day they start work. However, if you’re looking to keep that candidate engaged and further improve your chances of retaining them, it’s vital that you continue to communicate even after the offer is made. 


How to successfully hire a tech candidate, What's important after a job offerOne idea to do this is to keep in touch with the candidate beyond their acceptance of the offer by inviting them to company social events or gatherings. This will lessen the lead time when they start and also has the benefit of your team getting to know the new starter. Doing things like getting the candidate to come along for drinks on a Friday afternoon can be a big help in maintaining their enthusiasm to start, and increasing their affinity with the workplace before they even turn up for their first day.


Consider the unique circumstances of your candidate too. For instance, if you’ve recruited an international candidate, or your candidate has had to relocate in order to take the role, then you might be able to assist them with their move. Even just speaking with them about the area, giving them tips on places to live, nearby facilities and things to do, can make them feel more comfortable in their new environment – which will help when the time comes for them to start.


When that time does come, having a strong onboarding programme will help your new team member settle in and be more productive. Ensuring that their desk is fully set up and that they receive some kind of company welcome pack, for instance with a company-branded t-shirt and notebook, will immediately make them feel welcome and valued. In addition to this, try to leave the drab paperwork until later in the week to put all the focus on getting embedded in the team. Composing an effective plan for the new starter’s first 90 days, and ensuring that there is a strong feedback loop in place, will improve productivity immediately and give everyone the best experience possible.


Summary

When it comes to closing the deal, ensuring the candidate has a positive hiring experience is just as important as being able to source top talent. If you want to secure these top candidates, it takes a strong first impression, a well-presented offer and clear communication and follow-through after the offer has been accepted. If these elements aren’t present, it becomes difficult to attract this talent, and to retain them even when you do. The way in which you control, manage and develop your recruitment process itself will often be the difference between closing the deal or falling at the last hurdle. Engaging a recruitment agency can solve a lot of these pain-points, especially when communication with candidates is so vital. If you’re looking for help with this, please feel free get in touch with us today.


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How to Resign Without Burning Bridges

12 Jun 16 by 41


Picture this: you’ve developed a great set of skills, worked alongside some excellent people, and really enjoyed turning up to work every day to fulfil your role. But now it’s time to move on. Whilst it may be the right time for a change, jumping ship after being an extremely loyal and dedicated employee can be a tough call to make.


Taking the wrong approach when leaving your current employment can put those important bridges you’ve spent years building in jeopardy. With so much on the line, how can you gracefully exit from your employer without damaging your reputation and your career’s future?


Honesty is Still the Best Policy

Always be honest with yourself and work out why you want or need to leave, and avoid making any rash decisions by talking it through with trusted friends and family, and if possible, even your Manager. The best career decisions are usually carefully thought and planned out. Moving out of a familiar environment and towards the unknown can be daunting. Don’t underestimate the value of conducting research on where you may move on to so you can be confident you’re not making a mistake, as there may not be any guarantee you can return.


However, if you do decide that resignation is the only way forward then make sure you do so properly and professionally; without burning bridges or lowering your level of performance. Write a resignation letter and hand it to your manager; Friday afternoon is often a good time to do this, as there is rarely much time for them to react immediately to your resignation, and gives them the weekend to take it in. This curtails the immediate, emotional reaction, which can sometimes result in conflict, before allowing you to come together on the Monday and discuss the matter calmly.


There is a chance that you will be presented with a counter-offer, but if you have chosen to resign then stick to your guns. Accepting a counter-offer often turns out badly for both employer and employee, as the employee’s initial problems are rarely addressed and the employer ends up having to persist with a disengaged employee. For more on counter-offers, take a look at our blog on the topic.


Avoid going public straight away and wait for all the details to be ironed out first, as providing feedback or criticism that wasn’t asked for can land you in hot water, and sharing negative messages about your previous employer on social media account never paints you in a good light. If you feel the need to speak your mind, your exit interview will give you a chance to clear the air. In your exit interview, explain the reasons you want to leave and how you think the company can address them. Be careful to be objective and to provide constructive criticism, otherwise it is very easy to come across as if you’re complaining.


During the TransitionInfographic on How to Resign Gracefully | Sourced - Christchurch IT Recruitment

Whilst notice periods can vary, the rule of thumb is that you should always work the length of time noted on your contract. Although, if you are in a crucial role, you could offer to stay slightly longer to help find and train a replacement. This avoids leaving your employer in a tough situation, and lets you leave in an even more positive light. If you need to, and if you can, offer to continue working after your notice period to show you’re doing everything you can to smooth out the transition process.


Don’t forget to leave with a good impression by finishing strongly. Decreasing your contribution during your final weeks at a work place can reflect poorly on you in the years to come, especially if you need a good recommendation. Keep in mind that your last four weeks is the thing that most people at your workplace will remember, so it pays to work even harder than before in order to leave a good impression. Remain focused on keeping your head down and getting work done. Disrupting the natural order of things and talking about your issues with the company with former or current employees could risk damaging your reputation and career if passed back to your Manager.


You want to make sure you leave on as good a note as possible, as this will have a positive impact not just on your current work environment, but also on your job search and potential new workplace. Giving 110% until you start elsewhere will leave you with a good reference, and continue your own personal culture of success.


Recognising Those Who Have Helped You

Throughout your career, there would have been a number of people who have helped you achieve success and played an important role in getting you where you are today. Whether it be in person or through a personal note, thank them and describe how they have had a positive impact on your working relationship. Even if you had a difficult boss, it can be worthwhile to find the time to thank them and show your appreciation whilst remaining genuine.


Doing all of the above will ensure you leave on great terms and maintain the connections you made throughout your time there. Keep in touch with former colleagues and bosses where possible in case your new job doesn’t play out as expected and you’d rather have your old one back. The key to not burning bridges when leaving is staying positive with everyone, from start to finish.


Recommendations and Endorsements

During your final days, you’ll have the unique opportunity to get real feedback on the areas you need to improve on. Approach your boss and those who have had to manage your performance since you started working with them. Ask them for their feedback, and take note of it so that you can implement it in your next role. Before you consider asking your Manager for a letter of recommendation, look at your employer’s policy on providing references, as you may have to go through your HR department in order to get one. If this is the case then discuss the possibility of requesting a personal reference on your performance instead, perhaps in the form of a LinkedIn recommendation.


Summary

Focusing on the best way to approach your boss, tell your co-workers and prepare to move into a new job whilst leaving a good impression, can be an extremely difficult thing to do when you’ve worked with the same people for years. However, if you find yourself leaving your current employer, but haven’t yet had a chance to secure the next step in your career, then speak to one of our specialist IT Recruitment Consultants in confidence about where you can see yourself going next.

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Using Job Rejection to Empower Your IT Career

27 May 12 by 40


Almost all of us have been rejected from a job we’ve applied to. In fact, despite New Zealand’s unemployment rate at its lowest in six years, securing a job isn’t a given.


Finding a new role in the IT industry can be a painfully long process, which can make post-interview job rejection leave you deflated and disheartened. But knowing how to handle this rejection whilst taking feedback on board, is key to moving forward in your job search and making yourself more appealing to employers.


It’s Not Personal, It’s Process

The interview process isn’t personal to employers and it shouldn’t be to you either. Avoid falling in love with a job description, even if it’s your dream job. Just in the same way you sell yourself during an interview, employers can sometimes over-sell the position. This makes it imperative that you properly weigh up the pros and cons before you start envisioning yourself working for the employer, which can result in the rejection hitting you twice as hard.

Job Rejection quote graphic 1 | Sourced - Christchurch IT Recruitment


In fact, it’s likely that after reviewing the vacancy, you may be less convinced the employer’s culture or working environment was the right fit for you, and being rejected could turn out to be a blessing in disguise. Whilst being a blessing for you, not choosing to hire you could turn out to be a mistake for the employer; as a staggering 95% of employers admit making bad hires every year.


Despite making it through the application process and various interviews, receiving a phone call from your Recruiter regretfully informing you that you didn’t get the role is when you are most in danger of letting rejection cripple your job hunting efforts. Whilst it’s only natural to question whether you did something wrong when talking to the employer face-to-face, it’s actually far more likely not to be a reflection of you as a professional, as employers fill more than 41% vacancies with internal candidates.


When Asking for Feedback

When you receive that dreadful rejection call, the first question on your mind should be; should I ask for feedback? If you think it can help you refine your skills or help you come across more confident in an interview, then the answer should always be yes.


Feedback is an excellent way to further yourself as a candidate, and if you’re not using a recruitment agency then you need to carefully consider the way you approach an employer. The golden rule of thumb is the timeless phrase we were taught as children: ‘If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.’


Job Rejection quote graphic 2 | Sourced - Christchurch IT RecruitmentRemember, this is still a business communication and it can have an impact on your personal brand. It’s a good idea to always start by thanking the employer for the opportunity to learn more about them and their role, and end by asking them to keep you in mind should a position that better fits your experience come up.


Keep in mind that you’re asking for feedback, not a second chance, as interviewers are most likely to make their decisions within the first 15 minutes of you walking through the door. However, if their first choice is no longer available, you’ll be in their mind.


Improving Through Self-Evaluation

The feedback you receive is a great tool for self-improvement. If you find out you lack certain experience or skills, that gives you the opportunity to look at how to acquire them. Alternatively, you may have a problem with how you interview, such as talking too much without really answering the interviewer’s question. In this case, you could listen to their feedback and better prepare yourself for the next time you’re in this position.


You can cut out the process of asking an employer for feedback altogether by using a recruitment agency. If you are rejected from a role you interviewed for, your Recruitment Consultant will notify you over the phone and discuss your options going forward, as well as any available feedback.


Although, not every employer will offer you feedback on request, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn something from your experience. Self-evaluation is another particularly important part of improving yourself.


An interviewer will attempt to focus on your key strengths and weaknesses to get a complete picture of you. Ask yourself if they seemed satisfied with your answers or did they keep pushing the same question? Were they focusing on a particular section of your work history or skills? Paying attention to what questions they ask you can provide good indicators to what you may need to improve on.


However, if you find yourself being rejected before having a chance to talk to an employer then you may have an issue with your CV, and should consider the assistance of a specialist Recruiter to help secure an interview.


Summary

Being rejected when you’re just looking for a chance to prove yourself or wanting to move on with your career can hugely impact your confidence and motivation, but don’t think you’re alone. Most of us have been rejected for a job we wanted, but remember that every rejection is an opportunity to learn and move forward stronger.


As a specialised and experienced IT recruitment agency offering guidance to IT professionals in Christchurch, Sourced can help you overcome job rejection and move your career forward. If you need help with your CV, interview technique or you’re just in need of general advice on your IT career, get in touch with one of our specialist Recruiters today. 

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What Talent Shortage- Recruit Top Candidates

22 Apr 16 by 38


The main point of discussion in the recruitment industry at the moment, especially in the technology sector, is the talent shortage. There seems to be constant outcry, and a mass media hysteria, around how hard it is for companies just to find talent now, let alone engage it.


However, here at Sourced we haven’t experienced this. Sourcing great talent has always been difficult, but recently it hasn’t become more difficult than usual. Although finding and placing talent is our area if expertise, this does show us that the idea of there suddenly being a shortage of talent is slightly misguided. This would suggest, for example, that the growth of the New Zealand technology industry is stymied by a lack of ability for all companies to immediately scale (right now), and this is not representative of what we are seeing. As always, great talent is open to moving around / into the country when presented with a great offer; fair pay, a great working environment with great people, and projects that they can be passionate about.


The fact is, there is no one particular market factor or candidate motivation that is preventing employers from finding talent. With the tech industry bigger than ever, and still growing, perhaps one issue is not that the talent does not exist, but that the strategies companies are using to attract and engage this talent are falling short. Perhaps we need to stop looking at how the market needs to change, and start looking at what we can do better.


A Reason to Move

We’ve long been proponents of the power of a strong employer brand. In today’s market, with information being so readily available and candidates having an expectation to be able to access it, companies need to recognise and address this demand for transparency. Like in other industries, the tech sector’s top talent is likely already employed elsewhere. Partnering with a great recruitment agency is a good start on the sourcing side, but if you truly want to attract the cream of the crop then you’re going to need to give those top candidates a reason to move. That means you need to showcase your company’s culture, people, the role you want them to take and the work they’ll actually be doing.


Tom Peters Quote - What Talent Shortage? | Sourced: Christchurch IT RecruitmentShowing off your swanky cafeteria or impressive array of ping-pong tables might be a good strategy to attract the freshly graduated engineers straight out of University, but if you want to get those higher, senior level candidates, you have to offer more than that. Autonomy, day-to-day diversity and being granted some flexibility in where and how they work are key motivators for that level of candidate. If these aren’t a part of your employee value proposition, then you’re already at a disadvantage when it comes to engaging this talent.


To satisfy those needs and bring these candidates in, you need to make your company a great place to work. Although it might sound simple, it’s certainly easier said than done. A key point is to find out what your employees want in a workplace, and to try and build your culture to reflect that. Create an environment that your employees enjoy being in and you will find that they will be happy about coming to work, and won’t be able to wait to tell others about how much they enjoy working with your company.


To find out more about how you can tailor your employer brand to attract top talent, take a read of our guide to employer branding.


Compromise

John Sullivan Quote - What Talent Shortage? | Sourced: Christchurch IT Recruitment

Changing your talent attraction strategy is one thing, but the job isn’t done after getting top talent interested. You still have to close the deal and bring them in. It’s at this point that we can often see a disconnect, as companies have different expectations to the talent, which can create friction between the two parties. It's at this stage where compromise becomes key to getting the right person.


Part of the issue that companies are having engaging talent is that they aren’t able to find talent at the level they need for the price they are willing to pay. We're not suggesting that you have to bend to a candidate's every whim, but we are in a candidate driven market and we can't keep using the same old strategies. The interview process is the perfect place to address this. Interviews have changed, and are now more two-way than ever. Candidates are looking for more information when speaking to a potential employer, and they aren't afraid to ask an interviewer about anything they might want to know about. Because of this, you need to be prepared to be interviewed yourself when you’re interviewing a candidate. They will want to ask about your company’s culture and work environment, and are savvy enough to shrug off generic answers.


5 Questions Candidates Will Ask You - What Talent Shortage? | Sourced: Christchurch IT RecruitementWhen you’re asked these questions make sure to have a specific example in mind, or go one further if you feel like you want to progress with the candidate. Don’t be afraid to give them a taste of what it’s like to work at your company. Show them around the office, and introduce them to the team (especially the people they’re working with) and think about inviting them round for an informal event or gathering. There’s nothing wrong with inviting them around to the office on a Friday afternoon so that they can get familiar with the people and the environment before they start.


These are all great ways to get great candidates excited to join you, but you probably won’t get the chance to implement them if your interview process is long and strenuous. The hiring process is taking longer than ever, and the patience of top talent is starting to wear thin. Although it’s understandable that companies want to undertake aptitude tests to ensure they’re making the right hire, unnecessarily putting candidates through the wringer leaves a negative impression on applicants and leaves you with a vacant role. Keeping the number of interviews and testing procedures as low as possible avoids both of these, and may actually result in better hires. Top candidates don't tend to be on the open market for long, so speeding up your hiring process will make sure those high-demand candidates stay engaged throughout.


Summary

In every scenario involving top talent, compromise is key (to a degree). The talent is out there, but employers need to adjust to the current market conditions and take the steps necessary to thrive in it. If that means that companies need to review and overhaul their employer brand, or be more flexible in the arrangements they offer to candidates, then that’s what it takes. We are not suggesting that you change anything that is core to your values or existing team, but simply that If you make yourself an attractive proposition to candidates, by understanding what you are offering, their motivators and the state of the market, you’ll find yourself asking the same question we are: “what talent shortage?”


A great first step in doing this is to give a read of our guide to employer branding, which is full of useful knowledge and advice to help you discover, implement and share your employer brand.


For some extra reading, we also recommend visiting our friends at Concentrate and downloading one of their free eBooks covering principles that apply as much to your internal brand as they do to the external: http://info.concentrate.co.nz/fix-your-foundations

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Beat the 10 Technology Interview Questions

18 Jan 16 by 35


Job interviews take a lot of time and practice to get to a point where you are comfortable. However, most of us are lucky enough to not have to do too many of them, which means that they remain a daunting prospect for a large number of people.


With whiteboard exercises and code sample requests becoming fairly commonplace, IT interviews are adding another layer of complexity. On top of this, many companies have introduced “curveball” tactics, asking candidates unusual questions just to view their thought process.


This guide is designed to even up the scales by preparing you for some of the key interview questions you are likely to face in 2016.


The Staple Interview Questions

Some things never change. We’ve probably all heard these interview questions before, but they get asked for a reason. These questions are the basis for any interview and the way you answer them can be the difference between getting the job and not. These questions are designed to test your soft skills and the way you communicate.


1. What do you know about us?


It’s important to do your homework on the company you’re applying to work with for many reasons – not least because it’ll give you some hints as to what you’ll actually be working on. Not knowing anything about the company can lead many interviewers to just writing off the candidate then and there, figuring that if they haven’t bothered to do their research on the role, they probably don’t want it enough. However, showing off too much knowledge can backfire, so make sure you don’t go into obsessive levels of detail. Finding out what the company does, what field they operate in, the product or service they provide, what your role would entail and what technology or methods they use is sufficient in most cases.


Whilst we’re talking about research, these days it is also possible to research the person who is interviewing you. This will give you more of an idea of what to expect, and provide topics of mutual interest. Sites to start your research are the company About Us pages, LinkedIn and Twitter.


2. Why do you want the job?


This question is often a tricky one to answer. Answers often vary so much dependent on the candidate and the job, but there are certain things you should avoid saying in an interview situation. Saying that you want the job for the pay or benefits package is a big mistake. Though some interviewers might respect your honesty, others will see you as someone who does not care about the work or company itself, meaning that you will move on the moment a better offer comes in.


Think about the things that attracted you to the role in the first place; are you looking for a new challenge? Is the company in a particular sector or field you would like to work in? Does the role have any unique traits you’re interested in? Is the company renowned for having a good culture? These are all great reasons that any interviewer likes to hear. However, if your biggest priority is the salary or perks, there are still ways you can express this. For instance, if the role offers flexible hours or remote working, talk about how you like the flexibility and work/life balance that the role offers.


3. What is your biggest strength and your biggest weakness?


When thinking about your biggest strength, think about both technical and soft skills, and what skills are best suited to the role. You might have many great strengths, but if they aren’t applicable to the role then the interviewer will likely find them irrelevant. If you’re interviewing for a programming role, perhaps you could talk about your C++ skills, whereas if you’re going for a project management position, it would be better to talk about your communication skills.


Though you might be tempted to say that your biggest weakness is that you’re a perfectionist (don’t be that person), it’s important to answer this question honestly and not bluff or beat around the bush. However, that doesn’t mean you should rattle off everything you’re bad at and leave it at that. Pick one or two weaknesses and make sure to follow it up with the actions you’ve been taking to address them. For instance, if time management has been a problem for you then say that, but follow it up by saying that you’ve been tracking the time you spend on each activity in order to improve yourself. This shows that you’re honest enough to admit when you have a fault, but also that you’re motivated and self-aware enough to address it yourself, which is a great combination.


Top Behavioural Interview Questions | Sourced - Christchurch IT RecruitmentBehavioural Interview Questions

Behavioural interview questions are now a standard part of job interviews. These are the kinds of questions that are  based around specific situations, designed to make candidates reveal how they act in certain environments. These questions are asked on the principle that past behaviour is a good predictor for future behaviour.


4. Tell me about a complicated problem you’ve had to solve


This question is aimed at understanding your method of problem solving. The way that you identify issues and implement solutions is central to the way you work, especially in IT, where problem solving makes up significant proportion of most roles, particularly the more technical ones.


Think about a specific example and prepare it before you go into the interview, this way you’re ready if the question is asked. The best kinds of examples for these questions are complicated issues that you tried to tackle multiple times before succeeding. Talk about the times that you failed, what you learned and how that knowledge helped you to come up with a better solution. With this kind of answer, you demonstrate your willingness and ability to learn from your mistakes and make something better.


5. Tell me about a time you worked in a team


Expect an interviewer to ask you about a project you worked on as part of a team, how you functioned within that and how successful your role, and the project itself, turned out to be. Do you need a lot of direction when in a team, or do you work self-sufficiently (even though it may be at the detriment of others’ work)? Are you a good communicator and easy to collaborate with? It pays to ask yourself these questions before you walk into the interview too, so that you can give yourself an honest appraisal of how you work in a team and answer this question in more detail.


6. Tell me about a time you’ve overcome a conflict


Whether it’s how you dealt with a particularly difficult co-worker, or how you reacted to an approach you disagreed with, this question is all about understanding how you handle adversity.


Like most behavioural questions, you should try to prepare an example in advance. Think about a project where you ran into some kind of interpersonal conflict, and talk about what you did to remedy the situation and create the best outcome for the project. Just try to avoid making yourself look bad with your example, so avoid examples where something you did caused the conflict in the first place, or times when somebody else solved the conflict. Remember that the focus here is on you.


Technical

If you are interviewing for a technical job, most of the time you can expect to have some technical questions thrown at you.


7. Let me just grab this whiteboard…


This method can take a number of forms, from asking candidates to explain concepts on the whiteboard, to solving mathematical or thought problems, or straight up writing out code. These kinds of exercises are used to test whether you can come up with something useful, or solve a problem, on the spot.


Getting you to write out code on a whiteboard might seem slightly pointless at first, considering that you’re going to be using a computer for all of your coding. However, it tests how you write code without the safety net of an IDE, and also forces you to give reasoning about the code you’re using. This shows that you have a deeper understanding of the code beyond just what it looks like.


8. Do you have a sample of your code?

Cracking the Coding Interview | Sourced - Christchurch IT Recruitment


Most companies will ask you for a code sample if you’re applying for a programming role. Make sure that you submit this, or make it available online, in advance of your interview, so that the interviewer has enough time to look over it. Expect questions to be asked of your code, and understand that this isn’t necessarily because it is bad. Most of the time these questions will be asked simply to check your reasoning and make sure you understand the code you’re writing.


When you’re asked for a code sample, you need to ensure that you are actually allowed to share it. Normally, work you’ve done for a client at another company remains their intellectual property. This means that you cannot share it with another party, or risk being sued. However, if the code is publicly available, like an open-source app or a public website, then you can use this code as your sample. Using code from your own projects is also a good idea, as you own the code and it shows the interviewer that you have the drive to construct something in your own time.


Curveball Interview Questions | Sourced - Christchurch IT RecruitmentThough we are expert IT recruiters, we aren’t expert coders or web developers. Books like Cracking the Coding Interview, which covers every kind of technical question you could run into, and sites like Interview Cake, are great resources for practicing questions before an interview.


9. The Curveball


The curveball is becoming a more and more popular tactic amongst interviewers. After companies like Apple and Google started to ask questions like “How many gas stations are there in America?” and “How many windows can I wash in a day?”, many started following in their footsteps by asking other odd, slightly off-putting questions. And of course, the point of these questions is to be odd and put the candidate off. They are meant to put you off your guard, just to see how you react to being surprised by such a question.


When you’re asked a question like this, don’t be thrown. These questions are meant to test your creativity and ability to think on the spot. Being able to improvise and have a little fun with your answer can have a real positive impact on your prospects.


And finally…

10. Do you have any questions?

This question is going to be asked in every interview, and it’s an opportunity many candidates don’t take advantage of. It’s your chance to show you’ve been paying attention by presenting thoughtful questions and showcasing any strengths that may have been missed, and it’s also an opportunity for you to interview the interviewer and make sure the role is right for you.


Guiding the conversation to the company again is another good move. Asking about the organisation’s long term plans, how any recent developments might change things, future projects, and about your own long-term career path with the company, will show that you’ve done your homework and that you’re looking further than the next paycheque, and will end the interview on a positive note.


Summary

With so many new job opportunities opening up already this year, we hope this guide helps you to get your job search off on the right foot, and walk into that interview more confident and ready to succeed. If you’re looking for more interview advice, or you’re looking for a new role in the Christchurch IT market, feel free to get in touch.


Good luck.

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9 Things to Consider - Evaluating a Job Offer

26 Nov 15 by 33


Getting a job offer is always an exciting prospect. Getting that call can often feel like all your hard work searching for a job has paid off. However, this in itself shouldn’t be the main reason for accepting the opportunity. Even if your situation is pressing, taking a job offer without carefully thinking about it is almost always a bad idea. Before you accept an offer, here’s our top nine things that you should always consider.


Role - 9 Things to Consider When Evaluating a Job Offer

1. Role

Most importantly, you need to make sure that the role is something you’re looking for, or willing to do. This is what you’ll be doing every day, so make sure that you’re going to be happy with it. What kind of role is it? What will you be doing day-to-day? If you’re currently in a job, is this prospective role an upgrade? These questions will likely have been answered in your interview, but it pays to look back at these answers when considering the offer to ensure that you are clear on what the new role entails.



2. Fringe benefits

Many employers offer other benefits as part of their remuneration packages. It’s wise to consider these, as these benefits can often save you significant amounts of money. Whether it’s a phone or a laptop/Mac that you can use for personal use, training schemes, healthcare benefits, monetary bonuses, stock options, or even just a car park, some of these benefits can be far more valuable than they first appear.


Culture - 9 Things to Consider When Evaluating a Job Offer

3. Culture

Naturally, one of the most important things to look at when evaluating a job offer is the company itself. During your interview you’ll have likely been able to do a little people-watching, and got a sneak peek at what the company is like to work at. Is it more formal or casual? Is it an isolated, cubicle divided office, or is it more of an open plan, collaborative environment? Furthermore, what are the people like? If you know anybody there already, probe them about who you’ll be working with, what management is like, and whether there’s much in the way of office politics. A great salary and benefits package is nice, but if the cultural fit is all wrong then the paycheque can quickly fall by the wayside.




Methodology - 9 Things to Consider When Evaluating a Job Offer

4. Methodology

One of the most important parts of a company’s culture is their methodology. In IT, this often comes down to Agile versus Waterfall, two distinct methods of development. Both have their pros and cons and thus cater to different types of people and projects, with Waterfall being a very linear, planned process, as opposed to the constantly iterative Agile method. Considering that this is the way you will be working in this new role, it’s important to think about which approach you prefer, and whether this company offers that.


Challenge - 9 Things to Consider When Evaluating a Job Offer

5. Challenge

Another thing to consider is whether or not you’ll be challenged in this new role. Though being overworked and overstressed is never a good thing, a role that provides new challenges, learning opportunities and a platform for professional development is a big positive for your career. If you’re going to get bored quickly in your new role, it might not be worth the move, as you’ll find yourself wanting to move on sooner rather than later. Moreover, being in a role for a long time and not being challenged may have a negative effect when it comes to getting your next role, as your skillset will not have developed as it should have.




Technology - 9 Things to Consider When Evaluating a Job Offer

6. Technology

Another important point in IT is the kind of technology you’re going to be working with, and the level 

that it’s at. If you’re working with the latest and greatest tech in your current role, then think about the consequences of downgrading on that front. Though it may not seem like an important point at first, getting used to a new workflow, and dealing with the possible slowdowns and compatibility issues that may come with that, may well make you more frustrated than you first imagined.



Location - 9 Things to Consider When Evaluating a Job Offer

7. Location

Even if the company has a great culture, and offers you all the latest and greatest technology in an agile environment, you still need to physically get there. A commute might seem like something you can shrug off, but it soon starts to become a draining process when three hours of your day is taken up in travel time. If you need to re-locate for this role, think about how much time, effort and money that is going to cost, and whether your new employer will make allowances for that.




Work/Life Balance - 9 Things to Consider When Evaluating a Job Offer

8. Work/Life Balance

Recent Sourced Reports have shown that work/life balance is a huge motivator for IT professionals. Priorities have shifted from financial rewards towards more intrinsic, life-focused motivators, so ensuring that your new role allows for a healthy balance is important. Will you still have time to continue all of your outside-of-work activities? Are flexible hours an option? When do you start accruing holidays? These are all questions to ask if you want to know how this new role will affect your work/life balance.



Salary - 9 Things to Consider When Evaluating a Job Offer

9. Salary

This is often the first thing that people look at when they get a job offer, but it’s last on this list as it ties into each of the above factors by posing the question: is it worth it? A $3,000-5,000 rise in your annual salary may not be a significant enough increase to encourage a move, as that number quickly gets smaller when looked at in terms of your regular paycheque. Some employers are open to negotiate salary for all but entry level roles, so don’t be afraid to open up the conversation if you’re not happy with the initial figure (as your recruitment partner, we will happily help you with this). Remember that you’re likely going to be on a set pay level for at least one year, so make sure it is enough to support you or your family before accepting it.




Take your time when going through the pros and cons of an offer. If you’re hesitating to take a job offer, feel free to get in touch with us here at Sourced and we’ll help you with your decision. 

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The Sourced Guide to Contracting

22 Jun 20 by 32


So maybe you’ve made the leap and have decided to ‘go contracting’, or perhaps you're currently in a permanent role and trying to find out more information. Who can blame you? Contracting is an excellent opportunity to capitalise on your experience and expertise in a particular field, and in most instances, be well rewarded for it. But is it all it’s cracked up to be? How does it work? What are the benefits and where do you start? This blogs aims to answer these questions, hopefully allowing you to decide whether contracting is right for you.


What is a Contractor?

By definition, an independent contractor is somebody who runs their own business, works for clients on a temporary or fixed term basis, and has a well-developed set of specialist skills. Contractors can often work for multiple companies each year, and on occasion work for more than one company at once.


The concept behind contracting is that you see yourself as a business rather than an employee, and charge out your services to clients. In the current market there are usually a range of different contracts available, providing a wide variety of work options. Contracts can be anything from a few weeks through to more common 6-12 month arrangements.


The major noticeable difference is that as a contractor you aren’t entitled to the same benefits as employees, such as sick pay, holiday leave, ACC contributions and Kiwisaver. To compensate for these factors, and the increased levels of role insecurity, contracting nearly always carries higher rates of pay. 


What are the Benefits?

Depending on where you are in your career, contracting can come with many advantages over traditional employment. For more experienced professionals with a proven track record and a well-honed skill set, the benefits include greater flexibility, exposure to varied and high profile projects and less involvement with company politics.


Benefits of contracting - The Sourced Guide to Contracting

On the contrary, if you don’t have a wealth of experience but feel like going independent might be for you, then contracting could be a viable option for a number of reasons. For example, contracting can give you the opportunity to ease yourself into the workforce. If you’re straight out of study or coming back into the workforce, contracting can give you a chance to start off part time, or on a fixed number of hours per week. This can be extremely useful if you’re feeling unsure about immediately working full-time after a break.


It's always worth considering if contracting is right for you. The IT market is exceptionally busy meaning skills are in high demand and expected to remain this way for the foreseeable future. Our experience has been that most contractors regularly have their contract extended and if not, can pick up a new contract within a number of weeks, effectively leaving no gap in employment.


In addition to this, with the advent of cloud computing, so much of what we previously had to be in the office for is now accessible from the comfort of your home. This allows for even more flexibility than contractors previously had, and gives many the opportunity to work from home for at least some portion of the week.


Is Contracting for You? 

Though there are many benefits to contracting, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t bring its own responsibilities. There are certainly things you need to know before venturing out. First, assess whether you could conceivably not work for a proportion of the year, or be without work at relatively short notice. Contractors are also often the first people to go if redundancies are being made, as they are usually higher paid and it is easier to cancel a contract than to dismiss a full time employee. It’s also important to keep in mind that contractors are only paid for the hours they do. So, for instance, if your company is shutting down over Christmas, you won’t be getting paid for that time.


Contractors are responsible for paying their own taxes. You will need to choose the appropriate withholding tax rate for deductions to be paid to IRD on your behalf from your pay through an IR330C form, and you will be responsible for ensuring the correct taxes are paid at the end of the financial year. This way of earning can be stressful, and requires sound budgeting. If you don’t pay your year-end tax bills, even by accident, you can get into serious legal trouble, so it is wise to consider getting an accountant. Contractors also need to cover their own liability insurance, which is an added cost. However, if you contract through an agency (such as Sourced!) then this is often covered.

The Pros and Cons of Being a Contractor - The Sourced Guide to Contracting


Take things like the time of the year, or the projects currently happening in your area, into account too. Are there certain projects going on around you that you can contribute to? Is there a certain time of the year where your skills are more in demand? If so, try and plan out how much you’ll be earning in that time.


Because of this whole new world of taxation, levies and insurances that contractors have to manage, you’ll need to get the right advice early on (alongside some careful budgeting) to ensure you’re protecting yourself and your future earnings.


You also have to think about your skills and the demand for them. By positioning yourself as a business, you have to present yourself like a business. Make sure you’re able to demonstrate to clients that you have a deep set of specialist skills that are worth paying for.


Part of this is being able to sell yourself, as your personal brand is a vital part of contracting. Work on that elevator pitch, and get your skills across clearly and succinctly. For more on this, take a read of our guide to personal branding to get yourself off on the right foot.


If you cannot see the demand for your specific skills in your geographical area, then you also have to think about whether you’re comfortable with working remotely, or, more likely, moving to somewhere that you are more valuable.


How do You Start? 

Contracting is an excellent career choice for those seeking a more flexible working arrangement, and who are confident enough to manage themselves as a business and handle everything that comes along with that. In addition to the above, networking and strengthening your personal brand are also great pieces of advice for anybody looking to step into contract work, and our guides to those topics may be of use to you.


Contracting through a recruitment agency carries several benefits. For a full guide on what it is like contracting through Sourced please click here. If you’re looking for a contracting opportunity, feel free to get in touch with the team here at Sourced, and we’ll see how we can help you take charge of your career.

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Boosting Your Career: Sourced’s 6 Top Tips

27 Oct 15 by 31

Here at Sourced we interview a large number of technology professionals every year. Many of these are in full control of their career and looking to make their next strategic move in line with their goals. We also meet a number of people who aren’t so satisfied, and worry that they aren’t achieving their potential, are stuck in a rut or in the wrong job altogether.


We have noticed that those in the in-control category share a lot of similar traits and attributes. If you’re one of those who isn’t currently career satisfied, here are the top six influencing factors that are regularly mentioned to us as positively affecting people’s careers.

1. Give Your Career a Warrant of Fitness

The feedback we’ve received has shown that making sure you regularly check how your career is tracking against your goals is one of the most important things to consider when looking at giving your career a boost.


As we’re coming to the end of the year, this is a great time to do just that. To give yourself an effective review, our advice is to use some of the holiday period to review the following for your job, team and employer:


Sourced - Career Warrant of Fitness / Career Review


Once you have reviewed this information you will have some indication of the changes you need to make in order to achieve your career goals. This could result in the decision not to change anything, to look for somewhere new to work, to seek a new type of job, to stay where you currently are but transfer into a different department or to try something completely different altogether.  


2. Seek Out Additional Skills

With technology changing so quickly these days, it’s always good to keep up to date with the latest trends and technologies. After your review, if you’ve decided you need to expand your skillset, a good idea is to pursue additional certifications or training.


Tertiary studies, whilst expensive and time-consuming are the obvious option. We’ve noticed that advanced degrees are becoming more and more desirable, especially when it comes to applying for management positions. Postgraduate education will not only develop your skillset, it will often also expand your business network.


However, learning new skills doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money. It’s easy to take a little time out of your evenings or weekends to learn something new. Free video tutorials on YouTube, like TastyTuts, can help you get up to speed with Adobe products, which can be very useful if you’re looking to diversify your skillset. There are lots of other online courses available such as Seek Learning or Udemy, and Google also provides official certifications in AdWords and Analytics. These all provide tangible qualifications that you can use to take on new roles and responsibilities, and to propel your career forward.


Gaining new skills isn’t just something you can do outside of work. Put yourself forward at work and volunteer in different departments to find out more about what you enjoy and what you’re good at.


3. Improve Your Soft Skills

Your degrees and certifications might have made you skilled in coding languages, but if you can’t speak the same language as your colleagues or clients, you’re going to run into trouble at some point. We’re not saying that you need to learn German, Chinese and French, but being able to translate highly technical concepts into ideas that every day, non-specialist people can understand, is an immensely valuable skill.


Joining Toastmasters or Pecha Kucha groups can significantly improve your public speaking and presentation skills. Going to and presenting at Meetup events, though these often have more specialist audiences, can also help to improve these skills. You can also start writing blogs, which not only builds your personal brand and credibility, but will also develop your ability to turn your ideas into something everyone can read and understand. Taking these actions will improve your confidence when speaking to other people whom you may not know, presenting ideas that others may not be entirely familiar with, or managing people in your workplace; all of which can open up new career opportunities.


4. Find a Mentor Sourced's Guide to Finding a Mentor

Having someone who is available to bounce ideas past and also to give you advice/tricks of the trade is hugely valuable when shaping your career. By sharing their experience, achievements and failures, a mentor can help you emulate their successes and avoid making the same mistakes as they have.


Seeking out a mentor is something that many people find challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. To find a mentor, identify someone you respect in your industry or region who is realistically attainable (i.e. don’t try to approach Richard Branson). Then see if you can identify a mutual connection that can put you in touch with them.


Whilst if asked, many experienced professionals are happy to share their knowledge and expertise, be careful to be very clear about what you are looking for in a mentor. You may even want to consider informally interviewing a number of prospects to find the person best suited to helping you. Also, remember that their time is a limited resource, so make the most of the time you spend with them.


5. Network and Brand Yourself

In today’s constantly connected environment, it’s not just your LinkedIn network that you should be trying to maintain. Your personal brand exists outside of social media too, and networking in person builds trust and credibility, along with putting you in touch with people who can have an impact on your career. In the past we’ve written some great blogs about personal branding and local industry events, so give those a read if you need help with your branding and networking strategies.


6. Follow Your Passion

The key feedback from people who are in-control of their career is that they have all followed their passion. Very few of them were working in roles that they weren’t passionate about or would at least help them progress towards a role that they are passionate about. The good news is that experience with technology is currently a high-demand skill-set, this means that it is possible to be more selective in the type of roles you undertake.


Summary

Being in control of your career is crucial. Hopefully these tips will help you to start to regain control, however if you’re looking for more tips or if you’ve realised your not currently following your passion, give the team here at Sourced a call, we might be able to help!  

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An IT Pro's Guide to Christchurch

12 Aug 15 by 29


Christchurch has a lot to offer for IT professionals


Christchurch has a lot to offer for IT professionals. With its amazing surroundings, booming technology sector and exciting lifestyle opportunities, there’s plenty of reasons to move to the Canterbury region if you’re an IT professional in New Zealand, or abroad.

 

Introducing: Canterbury

The Canterbury Plains, the Southern Alps, the Pacific Ocean, Arthur’s Pass; Christchurch is beset by the incredible on all sides. Here at Sourced, we’re always hearing from people from all over the world who we’ve helped find work in Christchurch about how they’ve fallen in love with the region. The beautiful landscape, laid back atmosphere, friendly people and amazing lifestyle opportunities always get a glowing review from recent movers, and it’s easy to see why.


In the winter, the mountains and ski slopes are just a couple of hours away, and any extreme pursuit you desire, from hang-gliding to water-skiing, is readily available. In the summer, the weather presents a wonderful opportunity to hike or cycle through the nearby national parks, and the west coast beaches offer soft sands and great surf.


The recent earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 devastated the community, but the rebuilding that has resulted from it has made inventive solutions a necessity, as demonstrated by the Cardboard Cathedral and the Re:START Mall. This mentality has turned Christchurch into a hotbed for inspired start-ups and technological innovation, and working here gives you the chance to be a part of something very special by helping to get this great city back on its feet.


IT in Christchurch

A recent report by Flux profiling the companies in the Canterbury innovation and technology sectors identified that there are over 500 firms in the region. These firms employ around 7,000 people and contribute 6% of Christchurch’s GDP, triple what they represent as part of the population. 

Christchurch has a lot to offer for IT professionals and expats heading home


The Christchurch IT sector is projected to grow significantly, and is expected to employ over 10,000 people by 2031, contributing to an increase in Christchurch’s GDP from $12.4Bn to $21.7Bn. This growth is down to a commitment from the council and government to invest in the city; with $40bn being spent on construction and infrastructure costs (including first-rate utilities, digital networks and services).


As we know, IT is a diverse industry, and Christchurch is no different. This graph (right) highlights the split across core sectors. At Sourced we work with clients in each of these, ranging from leading healthcare providers such as McKesson to a global travel provider in House of Travel.


The IT community in Christchurch is also very active, as can been seen in our last blog post on the number of technology events taking place locally in the next six months.


Custom-Built Christchurch

One consequence of the earthquakes is that many commercial buildings in Christchurch have become uninhabitable, forcing many companies to move further out from the city. This has resulted in many companies building modern, custom-designed offices in areas like Riccarton and Addington. These areas lie just a few kilometres outside of the city centre, and have become conducive environments for both established and up-and-coming tech companies in the wake of the earthquakes.


As the city’s recovery continues however, tech companies are starting to move back into central areas. One of the trailblazers in this regard has been the Enterprise Precinct Innovation Centre, or EPIC. EPIC houses 20 high tech, innovation focused IT companies in its state-of-the-art, centrally located building, and has managed to turn a heavily earthquake damaged area into a hub for innovative start-ups.


With a wide variety of tech companies in the region, Christchurch covers a broad range of professional preferences. Whether you like the funky, independent, small office start-up approach, or prefer a larger, more organised corporate environment; there really is something for everyone.


Working in Christchurch

The average annual salary in the Christchurch tech industry is $74k NZD. This level of salary, coupled with the lowest overall cost of living in New Zealand’s largest three cities, make Christchurch a very affordable city to live in. Rent for a three-bedroom house outside of the city centre comes in under $2,000 per month, and the average house price is around $450,000.


Looking internationally, we see a similar story. Christchurch house rentals are 60% lower than London, and yet salaries are only 12% lower.


Outside of the technology sector there are plenty of jobs for the rest of your family. There is a large demand for construction and engineering, but also for healthcare, accounting, HR, marketing and tourism professionals. The median household income citywide is $65,000 NZD.


Living in Christchurch

Aside from the incredible landscape, lifestyle benefits and career opportunities, Christchurch is also a great place to live from a practical point of view. There are great schools at every level, one world-class university in the city, and another one within reasonable driving distance in Dunedin.


Living outside of the city centre is a far smaller stumbling block than it is in larger cities, as the average commute time in Christchurch is only 25 minutes. Public transport is efficient and affordable, and although most international air traffic in New Zealand goes through Auckland, Christchurch is well connected. Its international airport offers direct flights to 9 major cities in New Zealand and Australia.


In addition, high-speed fibre Internet is available in Christchurch. Over 80,000 homes are fibre-capable right now, and fibre uptake has increased enormously in recent months, more than trebling in the past year. So, whenever you’re not skiing or hiking, you have world class internet at your disposal.


Summary

The IT sector in Christchurch has a very prosperous future ahead of it, and the excellent talent that gets drawn to Christchurch from across the globe will only enhance this. Here at Sourced, we’ve seen many fantastic candidates make the Garden City their home, so if you’re an aspiring expat have a look at our guide on relocating to New Zealand, or view these useful links below. If you’re in New Zealand already and would like to explore the possibility of living in Christchurch, please get in touch with us today.


https://www.newzealandnow.govt.nz/move-to-nz

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How a Recruitment Agency Can Help You

19 Jun 15 by 26

Choosing an Agency That’s Right for You.

If you’ve ever used recruitment consulting services, you've probably noticed that there are many options to choose from.


The fact is, utilising the services of a recruitment consultant will have vast benefits. Some examples include that you’re tapping into a huge network of people (and therefore job opportunities) through that consultant. You can get advice from the consultant, who should know the company well, as to what they’re looking for in an interview and what the work culture is truly like. However, this article isn’t to convince you to use an agency. The fact that you’re reading this means you are probably already aware of the benefits of doing so.

What we would like to do is give you a few tips on how to choose the best recruitment consultant or agency for you.


The reality of it is that there are numerous recruitment agencies throughout New Zealand. Some people choose a scatter gun approach and fire their details through to anyone and everyone. The problem with this is that you may not be giving yourself the best opportunity possible by doing so as some agencies do not take a quality service approach with their candidates and won’t assess them properly for each role. If this happens and you’re sent through to companies willy-nilly then you may come across as a serial applier in the market which can give your name a reputation you don’t want. So choosing to work with one or maybe two agencies that suit your needs is very beneficial.


Some agencies are small, some are large in size. Some specialise in a certain sector or region. Some work internationally. Of course, no one size fits all, however, there are pros and cons to the aspects of agencies and consultants that you’ll want to consider before choosing who you’d like to have representing you to potential employers.


Here are our key tips to finding a suitable agency/consultant and maximising your chance to find the best job opportunity possible:


  1. Find an agency that meets your needs and wants

    What kinds of job are you wanting? Are you set on a specific sector (like IT) or are you open to other areas as well. If you’re set on a specific kind of work, like most, then you’ll want to work with an agency that specialises in that space as well. You can uncover this by asking around with people currently in that industry or at networking events or just doing a bit of research online. You want to work with a recruitment consultant who's got strong industry knowledge - number of years in the industry is important when you’re talking network size. If you’re open to a variety of industries, a generalist agency may be the way to go, or working with a couple of agencies that specialise in those areas which interest you most might be effective too.
     
  2. Only work with a consultant you feel comfortable with.

    This isn’t just about being able to have a conversation with someone. It’s about feeling listened to and understood. A good recruitment consultant should be working to uncover not only what you’re interested in but also what you’re suited to. They’ll be matching that with their clients requirements and culture. Of course, bear in mind, that if you have expectations of the jobs market that are unrealistic, a good consultant will bring that to your attention. One key is to listen to your gut feeling. If you don’t feel that this person has your best interests at heart, feel free to withdraw your application. Remember you are in control of where your resume goes and have the right to ask an agency not to represent you anymore. No explanation needed.
     
  3. Find someone who has a reputation for success.

    You want to work with someone who’s genuinely concerned about your wants and needs. The best way to uncover the quality of a consultant is by asking people you trust. Talk to people that have gotten work through the consultant and ask about how things worked out for them.

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Don't hide your current location

29 May 15 by 25

Where exactly are you?

The quantity of applicants we often get for an advertised vacancy is huge. Effectively managing and screening the large number of applications is one of the reasons companies come to Sourced in the first place and we view this as one small way our experienced Consultants add value to the recruitment process. We do our best to work through the applications as quickly as possible, our clients are often wanting to fill the vacancy promptly and we fully appreciate that you, the applicant, wants to know where you stand as well.


There are things you can do to help us with our assessment process:


1 - Don't hide your current location.

You do not need to mask the fact you are not currently living in Christchurch. We often receive CVs with a NZ phone number and an email address but absolutely no indication of where the applicant is currently domiciled. Knowing this information up front helps us in many ways (like not calling you in the middle of the night, wherever you are) and does not necessarily make the applicant unsuitable if they are not in Christchurch.


Mentioning your location in your cover letter is definitely recommended if you are moving around NZ and don't want to keep updating your CV.



2 - So you want to move to Christchurch?

That's great!  Now, more than ever our city is dependent on people bringing their expertise to Christchurch.


It is often very surprising how many applicants say they "Love Christchurch" and have done their research but upon further questioning, have never visited our city and  don't even  know about the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes and the myriad of challenges the city and its people still face.


If you want a competitive edge over and above other applicants who possess similar skills and experience then you need to back-up your application with a compelling and honest reason for your intended move.


We understand that some applicants are in urgent need of finding employment and will move to the first location from where an offer is made, however, how  you present your reasons for moving to Christchurch is really important as our clients will need to be convinced that you will move if you are offered employment and that you have the knowledge and support networks to settle quickly.

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Want to work in New Zealand?

21 Aug 14 by 22

I’m interested in working in New Zealand. Where should I begin?


Candidates who are based outside New Zealand are constantly approaching us for work opportunities - excited about the prospect of living here, and understandably so! New Zealand has world class qualities as a place to live and work in. Some of these include:

  • a strong reputation for being a stable and well-governed country. The national budget is in the black afterall!

  • holds work-life balance as a core value.

  • ranked #1 in the world for quality education (for the second of the year in a row by the Legatum Institute’s Prosperity Index).

  • a reputation for being ‘clean and green’. The scenery is particularly special (not to mention, usually very close by)!

  • an economy that has held well through the Global Financial Crisis and remains strong.

  • strong medical coverage for residents.


So, what steps should I take in considering a move to New Zealand?


  1. Work out what what is important in your work and the way you like to live.
    The last thing we want is to see you moving to a city or taking a new job only to find in 6 months that it’s “not really you”. You need to know what matters to you and figure out whether New Zealand could match those priorities before you make any life changing decisions.  Think about what kind of lifestyle you’ll want to have, how you’d like to spend your time, where you’d like to be located and, of course, how you’d like your career to progress. Bear in mind that there’s no perfect job or living situation, but there is often ‘better’ jobs and living situations.


  1. What is required of you, immigration wise.
    Before looking too far into further details, you’ll need to assess your immigration options to make sure you can actually move here legally. The easiest way to do this is with a certified Immigration Advisor (see our recommendations below). They can give you all your options in an easy to digest discussion and will often do all the paperwork for you. Alternatively you can visit the Immigration New Zealand website, figure out your options through the information provided online and apply yourself. This is absolutely achievable, but if speed and accuracy is of high importance to you, you’re probably best to go with an agent. A certified Immigration Advisor can give you tips for getting through the process faster and optimising your chances.


  1. Research your costs.
    This is vital. You’ll need to do homework on the living costs of the area you’d like to live in, the cost of transport you’d use once here and the cost of housing. You’d also be wise to look into the average price of food bills for a family of your size, schooling costs and medical costs. For goods and services, browse the internet or online stores for price lists and compare generally. Expense may not be as much of an issue for some people, but we still recommend getting a feel for living costs so there are no surprises. See our links below.


  1. Talk to the people. 
    There’s really nothing that beats hearing what living in a certain country is like than talking to people that actually live there. Bear in mind that opinions will vary. Your best chance for finding out what it might be like for you is to talk with someone who’s relocated to New Zealand from the same country or region as yourself. There are numerous facebook pages and websites dedicated to helping people understand from their own countrymen’s perspective. This should highlight any potential issues or confirm your thoughts about moving here.


After these four points, you should be able to answer the question “do we want to move to New Zealand?” and “can we move to New Zealand?”. If the answers to these two questions are “yes” then you’ll want to start taking steps to make this happen. In terms of finding work, contact the recruitment specialists in your field of work that are working in the region you’d like to be based in. They’ll be able to tell you more about where your skill set fits into the market and should be able to advise you on the best opportunities for you within the market.


Helpful Resources

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Do you need a new role, and fast?

21 Aug 14 by 21

We understand that finding a new job is crucial, but there is a 'right' way to go about it

There are a wealth of reasons why people apply for a new job, a seriously considered career move, boredom, learning opportunities, the chance to join a high flying company  or perhaps it just comes down to the fact that the person next to them is a constant sniffer or a pen clicker.


All of the above scenarios are the “lucky ones”, the candidates who are in employment, they enjoy a regular salary and can take their time to plan their next move.


But what about the candidates who are not quite so lucky, those who are currently not working or perhaps their work / student visa is about to expire and for whatever reason would quite frankly  take the first job that comes their way.


We see this often, the same candidate applying for every job we have advertised without a cover letter explaining their interest and seemingly regardless of their qualifications, skill set, experience level or general suitability.


Here is the issue - A scatter gun approach to applying for jobs does not demonstrate to recruiters (and in turn the hiring company) a planned and streamlined employment search.


Applicants who do this will always be in competition with and fall short against candidates who can exhibit a targeted employment search or career path.


Yes , there are candidates out there with a very broad skill set, who may choose to specialise with one particular skill set or domain area. An experienced recruiter will be able to identify the relevance of their application.


As professional recruiters, we are engaged by companies to find the most suitable candidate for them.  It is that simple. We take the time to learn about the company and its culture, the team, the project, the technologies used and the skill set required.


This isn’t one sided - we do this for both the company’s and the candidates benefit. Our aim is to facilitate the best match possible for both parties with a long, healthy and successful employer / employee relationship in mind.

So, what do you need to do?

Our simple advice is: When you apply for a job add a succinct cover letter or email to your application, show some interest in the role and within a few points highlight your relevant experience and skills.

Give us a reason to call you!

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Job application and that initial phone call

5 Jun 14 by 20

So we have arranged to call you on the telephone (or Skype for that matter) to discuss your job application; what do you need to think about?


The telephone screening is as important as a face-to-face interview, as it is your first formal interview contact with the organisation. A telephone screening can be used to ‘screen’ a candidate for a face-to-face interview or can replace a face-to-face interview if the organisation is located outside of Christchurch or New Zealand. You may have one or more interviewers on the telephone.


Below is the list of tips you can take to prepare for a phone screening:

  • Prepare the same as you would for a face-to-face interview.
  • Ensure the telephone number you give is correct.
  • If the telephone connection is a bad one, ask the interviewer to call you back in an attempt to secure a better quality line.
  • Make sure that on the scheduled day and time of your interview you are in a private room i.e. one that is free from noise, distractions and interruptions.
  • If you use a cordless telephone ensure that the battery is fully charged.
  • If you want to have notes in front of you during the interview, make sure they’re easily visible. Rustling through papers while the employer is listening does not give a good impression.
  • Visualise the interviewer asking the questions and respond as if they were in front of you i.e. smile and make gestures. Finding an object to focus on, such as a picture on the wall, may assist you in this.
  • Vary the tone of your voice and ensure you have clear pronunciation and are matching the voice pace of the interviewer.
  • Dress for the telephone interview as you would for the face-to-face interview to help you get into an appropriate frame of mind for the interview.
  • Consider standing up. This helps you stay alert and can impact the energy you project to the employer.
  • Do not feel obliged to speak if there is a silent patch during the telephone interview as the interviewer is likely to be processing your answer and taking notes.
  • Finally, take a deep breath and relax. Let yourself be the best you can be on the day.


Employers use telephone screening as a way of identifying and recruiting candidates for employment. Phone screenings are often used to screen candidates in order to narrow the pool of applicants who will be invited for in-person interviews. They are also used as a way to minimize the expenses involved in interviewing out-of-town candidates.


While you're actively job searching, it's important to be prepared for a phone screening on a moment's notice. You never know when a recruiter or a hi