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!

Be Rare and Remembered.

feedback225AM encourages developing mentors. 225AM believes that cultivating a strong social and professional network is an important, if not critical, dimension in how you build and strengthen (or lengthen) your career path. I have referenced opinions and called out advice that supported the same. So this leaves room for Steve Tobak’s recent post on Entrepreneur. He summarizes what generally appeals to us, as a society and community, in the relationships and associations that we make — our coterie of friends and business colleagues. Then he offers his observations.

He laments that what he sees trending now are people who behave or appear one way to the public but are completely different personalities on the inside. He doesn’t take a deep dive into the theory of ‘why’ and I get that because THAT is a much bigger question and Entrepreneur is not the proper forum for such a discussion. But I like that he has made a call for ‘authenticity’ in our collective engagement with each other.  I believe introducing that practice into ones own life, for the most part, is good. I am not advocating, nor is he, any extremes here. In other words, being genuine or authentic shouldn’t narrow or reduce your social graces to the point where you tend to offend. But such self-awareness may be an invaluable quality that in time and practice will make you stand out from the crowd in your private and professional life.

Tobak gives his opinion of the 10 Behaviors of Genuine People. How many of these describe you? Do you think he has overlooked one? Let me know.

 

Dormant doesn’t mean Dead, it means Weak

Ok, ok, OK! I’ve been trying to encourage you to get up and get yourself out there to begin, build and bloom new relationships with people that will, at least, become good friends and even better, a great connection for your next career move. I brought up the notion that your most useful connection may be one that you think is your worst and introduced to you The Strength of Weak Ties as a reference point. I have since discovered that this concept has not only proven itself effective but has gained momentum in principle and practice. I have come across a lot of different opinions and ideas about how to improve the quality of ones network thereby cultivating a more valuable cohort of contacts.

adamgrantSo, it seems perfectly reasonable that I continue to share. This is a good one, too, because it’s a short video with the provocative title, Forget Friends: You’re 58% More Likely to Get a Job Through Weaker Ties that discusses how a dormant tie is simply another flavor of a weak tie and equally potent. The speaker is Adam Grant, well-respected Wharton professor and author of the bestseller Give and Take, a book that looks at how human interactions affect outcomes, successful and unsuccessful. Check out what he said and let me know if I’m convincing you yet.

It’s all about that Base

There’s no catchier tune currently on the radio than the song not-so-subtly referenced in my title. And there is just a dead beat for all of you out there who cannot find the rhythm of networking because you are struggling with a sense of interpersonal angst. Well, you gotta snap out of it!  And you know that, too, because finding a job, never mind a career where you feel you will make a difference, requires getting into the ‘power pile’ of resumes sitting on any hiring manager’s desk and staying out of their InBox Spam folder. Remember the power pile? It’s the short pile, the pile that gets read.

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What’s that you say? You don’t know how to get started? Well, the one sure thing is that you must try because the only other ‘sure thing’ is that ‘you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take’ (Wayne Gretzky). So, I thought The Ultimate Guide To Networking For Introverts would be a good place for you to start. Olivia Gamber takes you through her journey out of the shadows to networking enlightenment. It may seem a bit long but stay with her on this. You’ll benefit from at least learning one, if not more, traits for self-development, if not self-awareness.

Of course, merely mastering the art of networking (or being a social lion in meet-ups) won’t yield instant results for you. You must provide value to the new relationships that you have cultivated. You have to genuinely, sincerely, engage with the people that you meet who are directly or tangentially part of the career community into which you want to join. When you show your authentic self in conversation, over time, you will earn the trust and mind share of your network base.

Stop networking…is one person’s opinion.

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I have met many millennial junior, senior and post-graduate students who are so enthusiastic, capable and eager to throw themselves into the workforce. Juniors are anxious to land that summer internship and seniors and post-grads (as well as new alums) are singularly focused on finding a living-wages job. One expects that with such determination and drive our gatherings would be a lively discussion and sharing of networking experiences and ideas for developing industry mentors or employee referrals. (A recent study conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of NY reported that candidates who are referred to the hiring manager are twice as likely to get an interview — the holy grail of the job hunt — with 40% more likely to be hired over other applicants — winning!)

Instead, dead air filled the room and the enthusiasm was replaced by tentative silence. What I discovered is that most millenials think that the invitation/acceptance of connecting or friending someone on LinkedIn or Facebook is all there is to ‘networking’. There seemed to be no recognition that the very term ‘networking’ defines exchange of information, in short, communication. What I saw in the room was anxiety and puzzlement.

orgchartNetworking is fundamental to the art of getting a job. The silence was ultimately replaced with a question that was, apparently, common to the group: ‘But how do you network with someone in your network?’  So, I thought I would share a post I recently stumbled upon that attempts to answer that very question. Keeping in mind that it is one person’s opinion but I think that it is worthwhile to take it in and use it to introduce some self-awareness toward your next networking opportunity. In fact, it may take the anxiety out of networking.

Don’t list your Responsibilities | State your Accomplishments

Here are my 4 top takeaways from a segment of the Leonard Lopate Show, Pro Tips to Grab a New Gig for the New Year, that I was listening to on my car radio a few days ago:

1. Getting a personal referral from someone in the company to which you are applying is worth their weight in gold.

2. Develop mentors and advisers from your network and get feedback from them about your cover letters, resumes and other supporting documents – hiring managers will not help you with improving your resume.

3. Low quality, sloppy grammar and spelling mistakes on a resume is the fastest track to rejection by a hiring manager.

4. Always, always be truthful on your resume and in your interview.

His guest is an HR executive, Victoria Humphrey, author of Clueless Emperors: How to Overcome Problem People and Not Be One Yourself, and the just over 28 minute piece provides job-seekers, from soon to be graduates to nearly retired, a forum to disclose their experiences and listen to real life hiring managers share their advice and cautionary tales.

You might not agree with everything that you hear, or you just might learn some new things, too. Nevertheless, please take a moment to listen, then I invite you to share what your top 4 takeaways are with me.

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.