Pilot Recruiting Program: DRAFT DAY — Yay!!

Washington Technology Industry Association will launch their Pilot Recruiting Program this month.3.16.16_Draft-Day-Heather-Craig-1-680x380
Brett Greene, Gina Phillips, and Eric Osborne participated in the Diversity & Disruption brainstorming session during FullConTech 2015, where the idea for WTIA Draft Day was first conceived.

We are pleased and excited to share Heather Craig‘s post from the Washington Technology Industry Association’s blog about the WTIA‘s pilot recruiting program, artfully titled, Draft Day. What’s the ‘big deal’,  you ask? Read on and consider the possibilities for talented candidates, from all backgrounds, when their career and life skills and experiences are presented anonymously. Need I say more? Read on.

Tech Recruiting is at a crossroads.  With startups and mid-size companies face stiff competition from big budget tech giants, companies of all sizes face budgetary, logistical and need constraints that have forced them into to an increasingly shallow talent pool. When discussing how they invest in recruiting, many companies admit to the unsustainable practice of sourcing from a limited pipeline of ‘trusted’ schools such as Stanford and MIT.

Meanwhile, a deep pool of talented students, veterans and candidates with non-traditional backgrounds are going unnoticed. To bridge this gap, WTIA is playing matchmaker to these two ships passing in the night, by building a unique Recruitment: Draft Day and Interview Prep Program: Training Day – to connect a diverse tech talent from underrepresented schools and training programs with local tech employers.

Draft Day aims to introduce candidates to a wide variety of tech companies; increase viability of under-represented schools as recruiting sources; and expand the talent pipeline for industry.

THE BLIND ROAD to DRAFT DAY, June 25: As the unifying voice for the tech community, WTIA assembled an impressive Advisory Council from local tech companies to help guide the application and future candidate selection process.

WTIA is partnering with regional Tech Ed program leaders who will nominate potential Draft Day participants. Nominators will submit an online questionnaire detailing why the candidate was selected, while candidates will submit resumes and answer three brief essay questions.

Here’s the twist. Applications will be stripped of the names of both the candidate and their respective college or training program before being reviewed by the Advisory Council. Neither the applicant review panel nor the potential employers will be privy to the information prior to the interview process. #LevelThePlayingField.

Top candidates will be selected to enter Training Camp. A one-day intensive interview-prep program providing resume review, mock interviews, panel discussions and other perks. After weighing resumes, essay questions, nominator testimonials and Training Camp performance, final candidates will then be selected to move on to Draft Day.

AN EYE-OPENING EXPERIENCE: On Draft Day, candidates will rotate through employers in a speed-dating format. At the end of each round, both candidates and employers will score each other. Concluding final rounds, all will be revealed as names, evaluations and matches will be shared at a networking reception.

If you’re interested in recruiting talent at Draft Day, Speaking at Training Camp, sponsorship opportunities, volunteering or keeping up to date on our progress please contact: hcraig@washingtontechnology.org or let us know here.

What do you think about this idea? We want to know that, too!

The ‘Double Whammy’ in Employment

v2_1pagerDo we, in America (and worldwide), have a people or a talent shortage? This is not a simple question to toss off now that baby boomers are slowly but surely exiting the work force and the fresh faces coming on board seem to only aspire to join the over-served and very crowded service economy. These same job seekers seem to ignore or may even deride the skilled trades sector — which, according to ManpowerGroup, has taken the No. 1 spot for U.S. jobs most in demand, for the fourth straight year. This year’s incoming college freshmen may want to take note of this.ManpowerGroup_jobdemandWhat the heck? Why is this even important to bring up? Just consider this. Manufacturing Institute (MI) predicts that 2 million factory jobs will go unfilled because of a shortage of manufacturing engineers and experienced skilled trades and production workers. MI did some math to support their assertion that effort should be made to address why there is a manufacturing skills shortage. They claim that every dollar spent in manufacturing adds $1.37 to the U.S. economy. Every 100 manufacturing jobs creates another 250 jobs in OTHER SECTORS. That, on its face, is an obvious benefit to our economy and our future.

Of course there are a host of related political issues and structural causes for this apparent mismatch of people and skills and this is not the forum for such analysis. But are you at all interested in going a little further in thinking on this subject? Then check out this Ticker Tape to read some more, not as market investment research but, perhaps, for the investment in your own career.

To BARELY KNOW You is To HIRE You

I put quite a bit of time into looking at what the folks on the other side of the job-search desk, aka hiring managers and recruiters, have to say about their outlook. It’s hard, they say, to find people who are viable, never-mind qualified, as job candidates. One would think that with the abundance of apps, analytics, tools, platforms, job-boards and social media at their disposal that a torrent of topnotch talent would be cascading over the transoms of every HR office door but a recent post by Lou Adler has fitfully quieted that notion.

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It seems that people on both sides of the job-search desk are frustrated and struggling to keep faith in the job hunting and hiring process. Adler asserts his 9 reasons for why its so hard to find success. Since there was no particular order to his list, I will take the liberty to lead here with his #2, which is what 225AM believes is the trigger event toward getting an interview — the first step of getting a job is a referral. He writes:

A different process is used to hire acquaintances than strangers. People who are personally known or referred get a few free passes: 1) they always get to the top of the resume pile so they get the first shot at all new jobs, 2) they are judged on their past performance rather than being filtered first on the depth of their skills, 3) jobs are often modified to fit their strengths and offset their weaknesses. This leads to a major job-seeker strategy: Become an acquaintance rather than applying directly.

Adler supports his ‘better to be an acquaintance’ thesis pretty well and you may want to revisit the value and the strength of weak ties again to restore your enthusiasm and outlook. He covers a lot of ground in his other 8 reasons and observes that both sides often contribute to their own lack of success.

I started out with his #2 reason for this post but start with his #1 in Why Acquaintances Get Better Jobs than Strangers. It may also put you in a better position to learn about that ‘hidden’ job that never makes the light of a job post and enjoy the reward of getting that job. More about that later.

 

Finding the Backdoor to your Interview

Spend at least 80% of your time finding a key to the back door. Unless you’re a perfect fit you will not get an interview by applying directly to a job posting. So don’t waste your time. Limit this effort to one hour per day.cropped-cropped-silho_teaser221.png

This call out is from a recent article written by Lou Adler. It’s here because we think it’s important to hear from a recruiter and influencer especially when he is telling you to stop applying directly to job postings and clicking anonymously on the ‘submit’ button. It’s what 225AM has been saying since our ‘Day 1’ and why we give our users a way to search across your social networks that sorts your connections by company, job title, location or industry. If you are looking to transition from your current job or searching for your first one then you really ought to refresh your perspective in the job hunt by considering what he says here.

By the way, ‘a perfect fit’ for a job is only in the mind of an eager candidate, never in the ‘eyes’ of the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) for the reasons illustrated in the infographic linked below.

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 from lifehacker.com

Extending Your Social Network by Your Personal Network

Add_New_Connection

This is Chantal’s first 225AM report of the new year and she has discovered why we give our users the ability to add a single new connection [read: someone hands you their contact information or business card in a meet and greet setting] to her 225AM aggregated, searchable, network. It’s a short little clip wherein you’ll hear how this simple tool has already helped her stay organized and networking.

Common Core: Networking in College

Our blog has a category titled Work My Network. It is where we collect our thoughts and ideas in support of the fundamental truth — referred candidates are more likely to be successful in getting an interview. This remains true no matter where you are on your career timeline.

But what does matter is when you start to build your network and we, at 225AM.COM, believe that freshman year in college is a great place to start. So when I read a post by Haley Osborne titled WANT A JOB? START NETWORKING IN COLLEGE on theundercoverrecruiter.com, I thought it would be useful to share it here.

Osborne reaffirms our assertion that networking is the first and critical step to winning a job. And she continues to encourage the reader to actively engage with network connections to develop mentors and advisers. The 225AM platform allows users to aggregate their LinkedIn and Facebook networks as well as add their personal contacts into their 225AM account. Our users can search across all three networks at once, using one of our 4 main filters, Industry | Position | Location | Company, to find relevant connections that have the potential to become referrals or advisers. Being able to organize your entire network within these categories provides a new way of ‘seeing’ who you know and insight into relevant relationships for your career development.

Take a minute to learn how Chantal is networking using 225AM:

Chantal

If you are serious about getting a job or an internship in the Summer of 2015 please take a few minutes to read the article and then get to work on building your network.

Getting a Job: Now & Later


Hey, here’s a neat article about what’s next for the Stanford class of 2014! Oh, what’s that? You’re part of the tiny demographic known as “People Who Didn’t Go To Stanford.” Weird! Well then, take a look at this New York Times article about Brooklyn College graduates. Didn’t go there either? Too bad! This is all you get!

Now, a lot of these numbers and stories can be depressing, but bear with me. The reason I’m posting this stuff is two-fold.

First, if you’re a recent college graduate who’s struggling to find a new job, YOU’RE NOT ALONE. Even graduates of a place like Stanford are having a hard time in this market. Does knowing that make the process easier for you? No. But hopefully it will bolster you to keep your spirits up, because if there’s one thing that really slows down a process like the job search, it’s self-doubt. So, take a look at these articles and rest assured, the problem isn’t you.

Second, if you’re not graduating college yet, start your job search now. Start seeing what you need to get the kind of first job you want. Look into internships. Volunteer. Don’t just put the whole process off until later. Do SOMETHING even if it’s just research… or daydreaming. Any amount of thought is better than no thought at all.

So, go ahead: read up, chin up, start up (early).

photo by Flickr user www.guigo.eu, used under a Creative Commons License.