Why Open Source Projects Set Candidates Apart

March 25th, 2016

When you review job candidates, their employment history isn’t the only thing you should look at. Their activities outside work giveyou insight into their interests and motivations. When those outside activities include open source projects, you should view that as a strong positive factor. Here’s why:

  • Contributing to an open source project shows a candidate has strong motivation and is self-directed. There’s no requirement for a candidate to work on an open source project, so their participation is entirely voluntary. And once they’ve signed up, their work is entirely self-directed; there’s no specific work assignment and no project manager assigning a deadline.
  • Shows a candidate keeps current technically. If they’re working on a widely used open source project, they’re also implementing leading-edge technology. Most open source projects focus on packaging new software techniques to make them easy for wider use.
  • Working on open source projects require strong communication skills. Open source projects are highly collaborative; they’re also highly distributed. The workers aren’t in a common location and communicate almost entirely through collaboration tools.
  • The candidate understands agile development. Almost all open source projects are structured as agile projects. Besides being comfortable with working in an incremental fashion, working on an open source project makes developers familiar with the typical tools that support that methodology, including source code control tools and bug trackers.
  • Boosts the candidate’s technical ability. The best way to learn to code better is to write more code. Contributing to open source projects lets candidates write more code, plus have it reviewed by a community of top programmers. That feedback can only help them become a better developer.
  • This type of work showcases passion. The candidate probably already has a job they spend at least 40 hours per week on. They wouldn’t spend their free time working on more technical projects unless they really loved it. Bringing their enthusiasm for technology into your workspace can only boost morale.

When you need to hire a new employee, consider all facets of their experience. At InReach IT Solutions, our candidates have strong resumes, including work at their jobs and contributions to open source projects. Contact us to learn more about how our Dallas IT staffing professionals can help you find the right employees for your open positions.

Tips for Managing Remote IT Employees

March 18th, 2016

IT projects are collaborative efforts. There usually isn’t a solo programmer sitting alone in a room, cranking out code. Even if there is a single programmer, getting an application from concept to deployment requires other people to perform testing, packaging, and support.

When the tech workers are remote from each other or from the product owner defining the project requirements, coordinating and collaborating becomes more challenging and effective management of a team is even more critical. Use these tips to ensure that your remote IT workers are able to succeed despite being separated from the rest of the organization.

  1. Make sure local and remote employees communicate about the project. Include the remote team in team meetings through videoconferencing and conference calls. Solicit input from the people on the phone as well as the people in the room. Use other collaboration tools to encourage team members to communicate no matter where they’re located.
  1. Make sure remote employees know what their responsibilities are. Because there’s less opportunity to intervene with a remote team, it’s important that they know from the beginning what they’re expected to do and how they’re expected to respond to problems they encounter, particularly if they’re in a different time zone from the rest of the team.
  1. Don’t expect a remote team to perform functions that are best handled locally. Some IT functions, like requirements analysis, require spending significant time talking with a business expert. It’s best to perform that task in person, so that nuances of tone aren’t lost in static during a bad connection.
  1. Take advantage of time zone differences. When possible, assign work so that dependent tasks are in different time zones. For instance, if testers and coders are in different time zones, testers can send a bug report at the end of their day and find fixes ready to be retested when they come back in the next morning.
  1. Make sure remote employees have all the technical tools they need. It’s hard to work effectively when you don’t have the tools. Give remote employees the software and licenses they need to perform their tasks.

Whether you need to staff a local office or want to hire a remote employee, InReach IT Solutions will apply its 20 years of IT recruiting experience to help you find the best possible worker. Contact us to learn how our Dallas IT staffing services can help you meet your hiring needs.

IT Hiring in Dallas

March 11th, 2016

Dallas is ranked number two in the technology job market. Technology employers and job seekers in the Dallas area will find the search for employees and employers in 2016 impacted by national and local trends that are both positive and negative.

Trends Indicate More Competition for Top Employees

One survey placed both Dallas and Plano among the top 25 cities for job seekers, with Plano actually topping the list. While that’s good news for job hunters that means employers may need to work harder to convince candidates to accept their offers. Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that hourly wages for computer systems analyst in Dallas-Fort Worth are currently slightly below the United States average for these workers, though surveys by other firms report salaries that are higher than average for the most in-demand technical skills.

A contrary trend is due to Dallas’ dependency on oil and energy firms; the current low prices for oil may reduce job growth in Texas, according to the Dallas Fed. Although the energy slowdown started in 2015, the effects will continue to be felt through 2016 and even into 2017.

Most companies report that technology staff will stay level or increase in 2016; an emphasis on digital transformation is forcing companies to increase their IT budgets. For employers, the biggest challenge remains finding quality employees. Unemployment in Dallas remains relatively low.

Staffing Agencies Help Employers Beat the Competition

Working with a staffing agency is an effective way for companies to identify top talent in a competitive job market like the one in Dallas. Staffing agencies have large databases of candidates and actively network to expand their contacts. By working closely with their client companies, staffing agencies reach a deep understanding of the requirements for each open position and are able to effectively screen candidates. Only the most suitable applicants get passed to the company for further evaluation. Staffing agencies also know what the market rate salaries and benefits are for every job title, helping companies generate attractive offers that candidates are likely to accept. Through these skills, staffing agencies reduce the time and cost of a company’s recruiting efforts.

InReach IT Solutions has more than 20 years of experience recruiting information technology specialists. We focus on helping companies and candidates find the best match for their needs, placing the right candidate in the right job to benefit both the employer and the employee. Contact us to learn how our services can solve your Dallas IT staffing problems.

Evaluating an IT Candidate’s Personality

March 4th, 2016

Sometime in the future, robots may replace all workers, even IT workers. When that time comes, employee personality won’t matter. If a robot worker doesn’t fit in, you’ll just have them reprogrammed. Until that time comes, though, employees are people, not robots. Personalities can’t simply be reprogrammed, and an employee whose personality doesn’t fit in can have a surprisingly large impact on the rest of the team.

Conflict With Employees and Job Responsibilities

There can be a personality conflict between employees and their bosses, between employees and their co-workers, and even between employees and their customers. All of these conflicts make it difficult to work together to achieve the goal of a project. Conflicts with customers can even result in a company’s losing business.

Even if an employee’s personality doesn’t cause conflict with others in the workplace, it can get in the way of performing the job. For example, a very introverted worker wouldn’t be a suitable fit for a position that requires lots of public interaction, even if they are experts in every technical skill the job needs.

Assess Personality Before Hiring the Candidate

To ensure the candidate has the right personality for the job, make sure your hiring process doesn’t focus only on technical skills. Certainly, keywords on a resume may suggest you should bring in the candidate for an interview, and the interview should prove the candidate’s expertise in those skills. But the interview is also a time to evaluate the candidate’s soft skills and interpersonal capabilities.

Personality tests can rate candidates on measures including intro- or extroversion and ability to lead or propensity to follow, and behavioral interview questions can help you understand how the employee would react in specific situations they’re likely to encounter at work. You can also learn about the candidate’s personality by finding out how they spend their free time away from work.

Because the candidate will likely work as part of a team, have more than one person interview them. Getting multiple perspectives from different members of the team will give you a sense of how well they’ll fit in to your organization.

Work With a Staffing Agency

Staffing agencies like InReach IT Solutions understand both the formal qualifications needed for a job as well as the personal characteristics needed to succeed. With our 20 years of experience and a deep pool of potential hires, we can help you find a candidate who will excel both technically and personally. Contact the Dallas IT staffing professionals at InReach IT Solutions to learn more about our services.