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Posts from the ‘Networking’ Category

Hackathons: An Innovative Trend That Can “Shortcut” IT Recruitment

hackathon

laura-tarrant_headshot_finalLaura Tarrant is a Senior Account Executive for Roevin Technology— Adecco’s specialized IT division. Laura’s focus on IT recruitment and career coaching has led her to become a true expert in the field. Her monthly blogs dedicated to the IT field receive 2,400 followers from within the technology industry.  She understands that talent is more than just a skill set; her innovative and engaging recruitment strategies minimize inefficiencies of the recruiting life cycle while delivering stellar IT talent to her clients.

Below, Laura provides Adecco Lēad Blog readers with cutting edge IT recruitment trends.

Many innovative companies—particularly those in tech—rely on hiring big-picture thinkers to propel their organizations forward and keep them on the cutting edge. Many, unfortunately, are experiencing a technical talent shortage. In order to capture talent that thinks outside the box, employers need to implement creative recruitment tactics to match.  One such method that has proven incredibly successful and popular in recent years is the hackathon!

What are hackathons? They sound sinister…

Despite their name, there is nothing dubious about them. Started in Silicon Valley, hackathons are usually two-day (or sometimes week-long) networking events where like-minded people gather to solve development or organizational problems, grow their knowledge and produce impressive technology.  Many are hosted by think-tanks, tech companies, incubators, NGOs or major corporations. Brilliant young developers, designers and systems architects take part while industry veterans judge their work. Savvy recruiters and employers can take advantage of these events by connecting with both sets of attendees.

Why are they useful for recruitment?

They are an inexpensive recruitment strategy which can give you access to on-a-dime interviews with a variety of brilliant technical talent, let you see their soft skills and problem-solving abilities “in the wild” and get a sense of how they will perform on the job. In fact, many participants take part precisely to impress recruiters or employers who may be monitoring the event. Often, a job position or internship is marketed as the “prize” for taking part!

In addition to the recruitment and networking opportunities these events offer, hackathons can be held internally to introduce fun, creativity and competition into otherwise non-stimulating workplace processes.

Below is a peek into the types of hackathons that have become popular, tips for tech candidates on taking part and advice for employers and recruiters on sponsoring existing hackathons or organizing their own.

Virtual Hackathons

Virtual hackathons take place online and often for the purpose of sourcing international talent.  During these hackathons, participants are given programming concepts to contemplate or a programming challenge to solve—allthewhile competing for the overall title of “champion” and a spot on the leaderboard.

Recruitment Perspective: Organizations are given an inside look at how developers, scientists, students, entrepreneurs and educators from around the world approach problem-solving and compete against each other. If you are a small team with a limited budget—but have the ability to advertise and create brand awareness overseas—this recruitment ‘hack’ is highly recommended for your recruitment efforts.

Tip: For step-by-step instructions on attending and setting up a virtual hackathon, visit: http://www.the-hackfest.com/tips-virtual/

Interactive Hackathons

Interactive hackathons are conducted at pre-defined locations and begin with a presentation about the rules and theme of the event. Attendees are giving an opportunity to brief participants on a project they are working on with an obstacle they need help overcoming. Talent in this battle-of-the-brains ranges from “junior” to “subject-matter experts” who join together to unlock problems and suggest ideas while working in teams based on their individual interests and skills. At the conclusion of an interactive hackathon, a collaborative wrap-up session gives each team a chance to present and explain their findings, execution and achievements.

Recruitment Perspective: Let’s face it—traditional interviews with developers don’t always reveal how a candidate will fit into a company’s culture or if they will succeed in a real-time work environment. Interactive hackathons not only offer the ability to discover these unknowns, they are a less intimidating approach to recruitment and give employers the opportunity to perform on-a-dime interviews while networking with upcoming talent.

Tip: For a step-by-step guide on successfully running an interactive hackathon visit: https://hackathon.guide/

In-House Hackathons

As mentioned, hackathons are not exclusive to external recruitment efforts. They can be a great way for your staff to tackle an organizational problem together, solve development challenges or address your clients’ issues.  Your employees can also use them to prove their skills, management abilities and try out new roles. It’s no wonder that internal hackathons are increasingly being used by major corporations such as Manulife, Deloitte and many others.

If you’d like to administer your own internal hackathon, start by coming up with a project collectively and then setting up small teams of 2-5 employees.  Deliver the challenge and watch as the creative juices begin to flow. Fight the temptation to direct your team on how to do things during this event. While it may be hard to resist, you will boost participation by allowing your team to have a hand in every detail along the way to the solution.  By utilizing internal hackathons, you will foster a work environment that breeds innovation and challenges employees to build things creatively without a specific roadmap.

HR Perspective: Never underestimate your ability to unleash the hidden talents of your internal teams. Hackathons work as a tool for getting one’s feet wet into new ways of thinking.  They spark innovation, foster trust, engage employees, strengthen communication, encourage interaction and build strong collaborative teams who work towards a common goal. When a solution is constructed together, it is much more likely to stick.

Tip: For a step-by-step on running your first in-house hackathon visit: https://stormpath.com/blog/running-your-first-internal-hackathon

In today’s “Talent War”—in which people change jobs frequently, competition is global, salaries are competitive and opportunities are everywhere—smart, tech-savvy, agile workers are highly in demand, yet hard to recruit. Companies want to hire the best and brightest but rarely devise an innovative hiring process to make them stand out from other potential employers.  Hackathons can be a great tool in your arsenal to get you the forward-thinking IT talent you’re seeking.

Get more IT recruitment tips from Laura on Twitter @Recruiter_4_You and LinkedIn.

How to make a good first impression in a new job

We’ve all heard the old adage that you will never get a second chance to make a first impression. When you’re starting at a new job, it’s even more vital that the impression be a positive one.

When you set off at a new workplace – whether it’s at a manufacturing plant or a Fortune 500 firm – there are always new names to learn, new processes to understand, new technologies to master and new teams to work with. On top of all the novelty, there is added pressure to impress your boss, forge relationships with coworkers and pass the probationary period. Every workplace is different and job expectations vary from employer to employer, but there are good judgments you can exhibit to ensure you get off on the right foot no matter what your role, including:

  • Arrive on time and work full days
  • Introduce yourself to everyone you meet
  • Have a positive attitude and open body language
  • Dress professionally and appropriately for your new position
  • Ask questions, take notes and seek training
  • Take initiative and prioritize tasks
  • Respect company time
  • Proofread your emails
  • Keep your desk area tidy and observe kitchen etiquette.

Along with the common sense behaviors listed above, there are also steps you can take to not only make a good first impression, but also excel in your new role!

Michael D. Watkins — author of  The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter — spoke to Forbes about impressing managers and colleagues during the crucial first 3 months of a new role. Book: The First 90 Days

Watkins recommends that you place as much emphasis on building relationships with coworkers and managers as you do focusing on technical job skills. Networking across departments and roles will help you fit into the company culture, find a mentor and connect with people who can help you as you’re learning the ropes. It will also give you a head start on forming lasting and beneficial work relationships.

Some of Watkins’ other important suggestions are:

  • Do not brag about your accomplishments at your past company.
  • Build trust by delivering on your commitments.
  • Consider temporarily rearranging your work-life balance while you prove yourself and gain speed.
  • Know your weaknesses and try to strengthen them through training. Offer a skills exchange to someone who can teach you.
  • Prioritize the tasks that will let you succeed in the job, not necessarily the ones you like to do the most.
  • Work within your boss’s managerial style and expectations – especially in the first 3 months. Communicate honestly and frequently. Ask him or her for advice when needed. If a problem arises, approach your boss early and be prepared with solutions.
  • Be flexible and adaptable. Your skills and ways of doing things from your past role may not be what is needed for success in the new position.
  • Try and secure “an early win”. Take on a project which you can lead or be heavily involved in. Include and learn from the relevant stakeholders. Try to make demonstrable improvements or success in the project within your first 90 days.

First impressions are essential and can often be lasting. A good impression can lead to a thriving career, whereas bad impressions may unintentionally make your new role harder and keep you from future opportunities. The mindful steps above will help build a good rapport with colleagues and gain respect from mangers as you undoubtedly become more comfortable and confident in your new position.

Benefits of Submitting Your Resume Online

Looking to have your resume fall into the hands of recruiters? The more career websites and staffing sites you submit your resume to, the easier it will be when it comes time to securing job offers. A simple way to have your online information working for you is by submitting your resume for job postings online.  Employers and staffing companies utilize portals which store your resume and contact information in one location for them to access later. Have you ever considered setting up a profile? Let’s take a look at some of the benefits to establishing a profile on a staffing website or employer’s career portal.

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What I’ve Learned (So Far) – Career Advice from an Adecco Summer Intern

Adecco’s Proposal and Marketing Intern Katelyn Reischke is sharing her advice on how to take advantage of career opportunities as a student seeking relevant employment. Check out her tips below.

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How to Engage in Casual Networking

How do you dress and behave while out and about on a daily basis? Keep this in mind: go about your daily activities looking and acting your best, because you may not know who you’ll be running into. The same goes for family BBQs, waiting for the bus, attending community events or doing your daily grocery shop – the potential to network with people while carrying out these activities is always possible, it just depends on how open you are to welcoming the opportunity. How can you take advantage of networking in a casual surrounding and do so effectively? We’ll go over a few suggestions and key points to consider when engaging in casual networking.

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Using Social Media to Boost Your Career

Attention students: don’t let your career aspirations dwindle because you’ve been told you aren’t qualified enough for a role. Your career is bound to flourish if you take advantage of the tools that exist to help you leverage your current career situation. Need a place to start? Leverage social media and the power of influence.

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