The IoT Skills that Pay the Bills

posted by NextGen'rs |

It’s more than a trend, the push to get everything connected and “smart” has intensified, and companies are rushing to line up talent to meet the demand. Here are eight roles to consider if you want skills that are in high demand according to CIO.

Circuit design

Devices need custom designed circuit boards to achieve crowd-pleasing things like longer battery life.

Microcontroller programming

Microcontrollers are low cost, low power, embedded chips that have programming and data memory built onto the system. This is what makes something “smart”.

AutoCAD

Product designers are constantly changing the way they make things and they’re using AutoCAD to quickly make adjustments.

Machine learning

Companies need their devices to use the data they collect in effective ways, machine learning enhances or makes “smarter” connected devices.

Information Security

No one wants to be the company that develops a toy or a garage door opener that can be hacked leaving their customers vulnerable. Information security is extremely valuable to companies right now.

Big data wranglers

Data scientists and back-end engineers who can collect, organize, analyze and architect disparate sources of data are of very high value in the IoT era.

Electrical engineering

As companies dig into their devices they need help from electrical engineers.

Node.js

Node.js is an open-source environment for server-side web development used to manage connected devices such as the Arduino and Raspberry Pi, among others. Node.js is rapidly becoming the language and platform of choice for IoT.

If you see anything interesting above, you should go for it. You’ll be in high demand to employers who need to fill some very specialized roles so they can wow their customers and step into the IoT era.

About NextGen

NextGen is the brainchild of longtime telecom professionals with nearly 50 years of experience and millions of dollars in Telecom Recruiting Services. We focus on establishing long term relationships with our clients and candidates so we can recruit the best and the brightest in the telecom industry. This ‘quality over quantity’ approach is at the heart of everything we do and has resulted in successful job placements at Fortune 1000 firms worldwide.

Employers: Meet the Class of 2016

posted by NextGen'rs |

Look at those shiny faces full of promise, or is that just the glow of their mobile devices? The class of 2016 may surprise you. They might not want what you think they want.

Let’s start with money

They consistently respond that it’s not a primary concern. Of course their loan officers probably haven’t contacted them just yet. Still, they are willing to trade salary for a fun and exciting place to work.

There could be less to choose from

About 25% of graduates already have a full-time position lined up, that’s up quite a bit from last year. If you’re a hiring manager, this means you may want to get in the market earlier if you want a fresh graduate.

They prefer full time employment

A significant portion of new grads want to be a part of something and find a place for themselves. While open to freelancing, they’d prefer not to join the gig­economy. The challenge for recruiters and hiring managers will be demonstrating the benefits of contract work [link to
blog Labor -­ On Demand] .

If it’s not on mobile you won’t be found

Not unexpectedly, the class of 2016 has gone mobile. They’ve done everything on their phones for a while now. You won’t reach them if you’re not accessible.

Value-Driven

It shouldn’t be surprising that recent graduates are ideological and want to work with a company that has strong values. What might be surprising is that they see corporate life as viable and can align with their values. They’re willing to help shape the system, as opposed to rejecting or avoiding it.

About NextGen

NextGen is the brainchild of longtime telecom professionals with nearly 50 years of experience and millions of dollars in Telecom Recruiting Services. We focus on establishing long term relationships with our clients and candidates so we can recruit the best and the brightest in the telecom industry. This ‘quality over quantity’ approach is at the heart of everything we do and has resulted in successful job placements at Fortune 1000 firms worldwide.

Labor — On Demand

posted by NextGen'rs |

The companies that win, or at least should win, are the companies that best supply what the market wants through the least expense. What does this mean for workers as companies move towards this “frictionless” economy? It means that temporary or project work has to be part of the plan for companies to become smarter and more adaptable. Think of it as talent on demand, and the Guardian recently made the case that the labor market has borrowed from the Netflix model.

Ten years ago 10% of the workforce was temporary or working on a per-project basis. Today it’s about a third of the workforce, and projections for 2020 are for about half of the workforce to be temporary or working on a project basis. This might seem a little scary, but new dynamics to the economy often seem scary, to the point where you can’t see the benefits. Healthcare is a concern, but with the Affordable Care Act in place, coverage costs are coming down for the self-employed. There are tax breaks too. When we start seeing incentives like these that signals that the market/government is trying to carve a path and ease a transition, in this case, to an economy that’s more dynamic and needs more self employed workers to handle changing demands.

How is this Good for Workers?

The stigma of “office temp” is gone, so you can feel free to move from company to company and your thoughts and ideas will be respected. In fact, smart companies will try to use your outsider perspective to get a better view of how their operations could be improved. You are the disrupter, which as we all know now, is a good thing. You are the maven, cross-pollinating best practices from company to company. But back to the benefits for you: You get more control over the hours you work, the vacation you take and the type of work you do. There’s no awful boss or company policy forcing you to accept anything you don’t want to. However, you also have to take a front seat in organizing your finances and ensuring you’ve got everything covered long term.

Flexibility is key

The better you are at adapting, the easier it will be to find ways to get paid. Employers have to meet changing demands and therefore tasks aren’t static. Having a skillset gets you in the door, but being able to apply that to more and more business needs makes you harder and harder to replace, and that’s the goal.

About NextGen

NextGen is the brainchild of longtime telecom professionals with nearly 50 years of experience and millions of dollars in Telecom Recruiting Services. We focus on establishing long term relationships with our clients and candidates so we can recruit the best and the brightest in the telecom industry. This ‘quality over quantity’ approach is at the heart of everything we do and has resulted in successful job placements at Fortune 1000 firms worldwide.

Temp Workers Can Bolster Your Business

posted by NextGen'rs |

As a company, it’s not a good practice to turn down business. If you can do it great, you’re in a position of luxury. If what’s stopping you is simply bandwidth then maybe it’s time to think about ramping up with contract workers.

A New Mindset

Ten years ago about 10% of the workforce was temporary or contract workers. People on maternity leave, vacation, etc. It was something to plug a temporary hole. Today the number is closer to a third and some projections have it as high as half in the next five years. What the numbers show is a shift in business strategy. Temporary workers are not just filling in for vacations; they’re addressing the fluctuating demands of a very dynamic economy. One of the biggest barriers for hiring managers to take on temp workers is the idea that it threatens quality, but the reality has changed. Temp workers bring keen skillsets and experience, and it’s easier to research and evaluate them, especially when you have a good recruiter who understands your industry.

On Demand

The Guardian recently published an article around how the workforce has become a lot like
Netflix — an on-demand resource that you can just plug into. Maybe that’s a little drastic, but it certainly seems to be heading that way. And it needs to in order to meet the fluctuating needs of businesses today. Workers are starting to benefit from the situation with greater flexibility and more opportunities to try out different offices in hopes of finding that perfect job. They can continue to look while drawing good pay.

Hiring Strategy

Temp-to-perm is win-win. You can attract a lot of good talent through a temp-to-perm path. Recent reconfigurations in health care and considerations of work-life balance make contract more attractive to really talented people. And why not get to see how they’ll perform in your office and take whatever learnings they have to add more knowledge and experience to your force? The economy is incentivizing this path, why not take advantage.

About NextGen

NextGen is the brainchild of longtime telecom professionals with nearly 50 years of experience and millions of dollars in Telecom Recruiting Services. We focus on establishing long term relationships with our clients and candidates so we can recruit the best and the brightest in the telecom industry. This ‘quality over quantity’ approach is at the heart of everything we do and has resulted in successful job placements at Fortune 1000 firms worldwide.

Closing the Hiring Manager-Recruiter Gap

posted by NextGen'rs |

It happens. As companies grow, the recruiter and hiring manager start moving in different directions and start working more closely with different groups. But if you want to hire the best people, you have to get these two roles aligned. Here are some quick things you can do to close the gap.

1. Hiring Managers Need to Know Labor Conditions.

Hiring managers are not going to be experts on industry employment trends. The recruiter has to work to keep the hiring manager abreast on all relevant positions so that proper salary and experience expectations can be set. Mapping out what a successful hire looks like in the beginning helps everyone move more closely to a realistic picture of it.

2. Everyone Must Understand What the Open Positions Are.

Sometimes an old job description gets passed to the recruiter or the recruiter just completely misunderstands the needs of the hiring manager. If this goes on too long into the process, you end up with very unhappy people and a lot of wasted time. Make sure the open position is very well understood. Reiterate the shared understanding as often as possible.

3. Video Screening.

Consider video screening candidates either through a Skype interview or a video resume. It saves a ton of time and keeps you away from the really bad stuff.

4. Hiring Managers Should Attend More Launches.

It takes time to onboard talent and you can’t afford to miss deadlines. This means you should bring your hiring manager more into the fold, especially at launches so they can see where they’re really going to be pressed for resources. The sooner there’s vision of this the better off everyone will be.

5. Talk after Hiring.

We can’t tell you how often communication stops after the hire. This is crazy! It’s so important to debrief and see what worked well and what didn’t. Maybe it seemed like a messy process, but it wasn’t just luck that made it all turn out well or poorly. Find out what works.

Like many business problems a lot of the static comes from a lack of transparency, and it’s not that people are purposely hiding facts. It’s that forums haven’t been created to share the right information at the right time. Save your company some stress and build those points of communication into the process.

About NextGen

NextGen is the brainchild of longtime telecom professionals with nearly 50 years of experience and millions of dollars in Telecom Recruiting Services. We focus on establishing long term relationships with our clients and candidates so we can recruit the best and the brightest in the telecom industry. This ‘quality over quantity’ approach is at the heart of everything we do and has resulted in successful job placements at Fortune 1000 firms worldwide.

Six Things You’re Doing Wrong in Your Job Search

posted by NextGen'rs |

Most of the mistakes people make when job hunting stem from a lack of self-awareness and rigid thinking. The people who get jobs are the people who understand what employers are looking for and present themselves best in that light.

1. Don’t waste time applying online.

The internet pushes so many things at you that it can lull you into a state of pure reaction. You click, you read, you respond to an email, you like a few things, you send a message. All of these things have very little meaning when it comes to finding a job, and yet they kind of feel sort of like work so it’s easy to waste a bunch of time. Avoid the pitfalls, but stay tuned for number 5.

2. Your Resume isn’t a list, it’s a communication tool meant to position you as the ideal candidate.

Too many people fail to think about how their achievements will be received. They don’t make it easy for people who are hiring to see that they would be a great candidate. They present the person they want to hire with more work to do, as opposed to providing a solution — which is what they want!

3.Talk about how you overachieved.

Maybe you can get a job by showing how you do only what’s expected of you, but most employers don’t want to have to keep working to find you work. They want to see that you took an active role and forwarded the company’s strategies and objectives on your own steam.

4. If no one’s returning calls, re-examine your approach.

Maybe you’re telling your friends you really need a job because your boss is such a jerk. Well that’s probably not going to strike a positive cord. Maybe you need to express positive curiosity and don’t make people feel like they have to solve all your problems. Ask if they can introduce you to so-and-so or have lunch with you to discuss the type of work they do.

5. Back to the online thing: Ok you need an online identity.

Liking things on Facebook does not create an online identity. However, you should have some sort of footprint online for people to learn more about your skills and talent especially if you’re angling for a higher position.

6. Be as specific as possible when talking about your success.

Any good storyteller will tell you that it’s the details that seal the deal. It’s what people remember. It’s what makes everything real. So it’s important to have backstories and context to all the challenges you met head on.

You may not think of any of this as fun, but given how dynamic our economy has become and how the path to real career growth is laid out, these are skills you are going to need to build on. You can’t do it all overnight. Work at these things and hone them. This is what gives you power over your own destiny, yeah, it’s really that important, but don’t worry. You can do it.

About NextGen

NextGen is the brainchild of longtime telecom professionals with nearly 50 years of experience and millions of dollars in Telecom Recruiting Services. We focus on establishing long term relationships with our clients and candidates so we can recruit the best and the brightest in the telecom industry. This ‘quality over quantity’ approach is at the heart of everything we do and has resulted in successful job placements at Fortune 1000 firms worldwide.

IoT and the Entrepreneur

posted by NextGen'rs |

The Internet of Things probably still sounds like expensive toys for Silicon Valley types, but that’s soon gonna change, and the greatest impact will be felt by entrepreneurs and startups. Here are four ways IoT will enable the best ideas to get to market more quickly.

1. Understanding your customer better.

One of the most infuriating unknowns to businessmen is how consumers feel about your product and how they use it. Big companies spend a lot of money going after this data because a product changes when it hits the market. It rarely stays inside the bounds of first intent. With devices tracking how and how often their products are used, developers will get a better sense of how to refine their products to better serve their customers.

2. Agile Teams.

While this might not bode well macroeconomically, smart devices will allow entrepreneurs to hire fewer people. IoT will allow for more automation over the rote office tasks small businesses face.

3. The Dashboard.

Every company big and small dreams of having a dashboard into all of the projects going on without having to have a meeting with alll the department heads present. IoT will allow more measuring and reporting on processes with little effort. This puts more power in the hands of the people you want making the decisions. At least we hope so anyway.

4. Better Health.

Skipped lunches, missed sleep, lack of physical activity. All of these things can be monitored now and you can set alarms for yourself so you don’t rut out into bad patterns when work gets demanding.

Used the right way, IoT devices will make your business much more productive and it will allow you to focus on the big ideas while the everyday stuff gets managed more precisely with automated systems. Investing now into these processes could put you ahead of the curve.

About NextGen

NextGen is the brainchild of longtime telecom professionals with nearly 50 years of experience and millions of dollars in Telecom Recruiting Services. We focus on establishing long term relationships with our clients and candidates so we can recruit the best and the brightest in the telecom industry. This ‘quality over quantity’ approach is at the heart of everything we do and has resulted in successful job placements at Fortune 1000 firms worldwide.

Bad Hiring Manager Moves

posted by NextGen'rs |

If you’re hiring, there’s a chance your office is understaffed and you’re paddling upstream against hundreds of emails. But no matter how bad it is, avoid multitasking during interviews and come prepared. You shouldn’t be reading their resume for the first time while they sit across from you smiling in their nicely pressed clothing.

Don’t Read Emails or Texts While Interviewing

You’d be surprised how accustomed people are to working through their screens instead of giving face-to-face meetings preference. To avoid this, block out your calendar for the interview but also for fifteen or even thirty minutes ahead of the interview.

Be Prepared

As an interviewer you have to see how the prospective employee conducts themselves and you have to get him or her off script. You can’t do this if you haven’t done your homework. Even if it’s only one or two questions. You have to prepare in advance. Again, block of at least a half hour on your calendar and use the time to research the candidate.

Know Exactly What You’re Looking for

You’re not just putting a body in a chair. Every hire is a huge opportunity to forward your firm’s strategies. This means you have a clear understanding of the tasks expected of the position but more importantly the results and how the candidate will be held accountable for those results. Only with this context established can you look at past experience and see if the candidate will be a good fit.

It’s Not about You

It’s a really bad sign when the interview’s focus moves away from the interviewee and onto the hiring manager. It sounds silly but it happens all the time. People like to talk about themselves, and it’s good to share a little, but the interview has to be about the position and the candidate. Everything else is tangential at best.

Hiring takes time. It’s not easy, and for many, it’s simply stressful and unfun. But if you do it right, it’s likely that you’ll be doing it less. Or at least you’ll be doing it for happier reasons, and it’s like anything else, you’ll get better at it. But you’ve got to put the time in.

About NextGen

NextGen is the brainchild of longtime telecom professionals with nearly 50 years of experience and millions of dollars in Telecom Recruiting Services. We focus on establishing long term relationships with our clients and candidates so we can recruit the best and the brightest in the telecom industry. This ‘quality over quantity’ approach is at the heart of everything we do and has resulted in successful job placements at Fortune 1000 firms worldwide.

Let’s Talk about Facebook and the Job Search

posted by NextGen'rs |

Move over LinkedIn. Sure you’re good at giving me the stats and seeing if I know anyone who knows anyone who knows anyone at a company. But when it comes to the most important thing (besides money) and that is cultural fit, then Facebook is the place.

Here’s what you should look for in prospective companies’ Facebook posts and why:

Photos:

Do you see a bunch of gray cubicles under cold fluorescent lighting with a birthday cake all sweaty and sad under an AC duct? Or does it seem a little more lively and that people generally care about how the place looks?

Hot Tip:

Wondering what you should wear to the interview? Take a look at what people are wearing in a candid office shot — of course, make sure the photo isn’t from Hawaiian Shirt day.

Why are They Posting:

A lot of companies like to post about volunteering initiatives. If you see a prospective company that posts a lot of these then you know how to answer the common interview question: What sort of projects have you been a part of that you’re really proud of? Go ahead and talk about the charitable, community-building work you’ve done.

Effort.

There’s no right or wrong answer here. Some people want to work for organizations that really make an effort to get their culture out there on social media, while others are maybe slightly annoyed by it. Whatever the case, you can usually gauge by the engagement what sort of an effort is there, how much of it feels organic and how much feels slightly forced.

OK, so we waited till we were far into this post before we introduced this word: Millennial. But before you click away, think about research that shows what millennials want. Whether you are one or not, it might be important that you’re working for a company that is gearing up for the great millennial workforce takeover in 2020 (most workers will be millennials by then). And while you’re looking at companies on Facebook it may be important to note how well they are positioning themselves on social media for this shift. Just a thought, there’s merit in getting behind a Facebook-savvy company and there’s merit in “liking” the separation of social media and work. Go for the one you like.

About NextGen

NextGen is the brainchild of longtime telecom professionals with nearly 50 years of experience and millions of dollars in Telecom Recruiting Services. We focus on establishing long term relationships with our clients and candidates so we can recruit the best and the brightest in the telecom industry. This ‘quality over quantity’ approach is at the heart of everything we do and has resulted in successful job placements at Fortune 1000 firms worldwide.

Job Hunting Tips for Baby Boomers

posted by NextGen'rs |

Baby Boomers have so much to offer workforces filling with millennials who need good mentors, but there are some things hiring managers are afraid of when considering boomers. Here are some great ways to play to the advantages of your experience and talents.

You don’t have to know every technology

or app, but you do have to be able to talk about the technologies that affect the work you do. It helps to know the hands-on stuff, but that’s getting more into tactics and as a boomer you probably belong more in strategy. The big thing is don’t be afraid or intimidated if you don’t know everything, and don’t dismiss tech.

Networking is critical.

It’s grown in importance and for boomers this could be an Achilles Heel. Let’s face it boomers are probably not hanging out with friends as much as people in their 20s. Some might be and that’s great, but the important thing to know is that your network is what’s’ going to bring you the best opportunities. Grow it at every opportunity.

Use Your Organization Skills.

One thing boomers often have as an advantage over youngsters is better organization skills. If this is true for you then it’s time to put it to use by drafting a plan and getting a schedule together (a spreadsheet is even better) that outlines your plan of attack. Sticking to this is what gets people jobs.

Think about Temp and Part-Time.

It’s a bonus to employers if they don’t have to hire you full time. If this can work for you then by all means embrace it. Temporary work is a great way to get back into the force and start feeling the excitement and variety that different workplaces offer.

The big thing for Boomers seeking jobs is being open to change and opportunity. It’s easy to pigeonhole yourself, and that’s not a good idea in an economy as dynamic as ours. The more you’re able to embrace it and the more fun you can have with it, the better off you’ll be. And companies need boomers just like playoff teams need veterans—to get them through the really trying times when things aren’t clearly laid out.

About NextGen

NextGen is the brainchild of longtime telecom professionals with nearly 50 years of experience and millions of dollars in Telecom Recruiting Services. We focus on establishing long term relationships with our clients and candidates so we can recruit the best and the brightest in the telecom industry. This ‘quality over quantity’ approach is at the heart of everything we do and has resulted in successful job placements at Fortune 1000 firms worldwide.