Hiring blues

Finding good engineers is getting increasingly more complex. It’s clearly an employee’s market. Even in an employer’s market good engineers are tough to find, they all are gainfully employed. Today, finding a job for a good software engineer, is like shooting fish in a barrel, s/he can get multiple offers in a matter of days. And we, the hiring managers, are facing a race against all odds, and, as if competitive pressure was not enough, we have to deal with an incredible pollution of the candidate pool. For every decent candidate, we see dozens of people who are not remotely qualified, or worse than that, frauds or con artists:

  • A Java developer who did exceptionally well on several phone interviews, including deep dive technical discussions, relocates to IL and arrives in the office. Turns out he is not capable of doing any of the tasks he so eloquently explained over the phone. More so he cannot answer the same questions he did just a couple weeks ago… Amnesia? Don’t think so. Lesson learned – use a webcam for the interviews.
  • We hire a contract developer after several rounds of webcam interviews. He asks to do work from home in Seattle since relocation to MN is very difficult for him at the moment. After a few hiccups in onboarding he starts and right from the get-go begins missing one meeting after another. It goes on for a few weeks till one of the team members notices that when we talk with the contractor during morning hours we can hear a great deal of background street noise, and during day time calls the street noise subsides. A little bit of research discovers the reason behind the phenomena – the contractor is connecting from India. Lesson learned – bring them onsite.
  • Ok, we learned our lessons, we interview a great BA, she offers superb skills, personality, and experience. We fly her to Chicago for f2f, she does even better. We put out an offer, moving as fast as we can… We pull all the stops negotiating a great package. And finally, drumroll please, the candidate accepts the offer… from someone else. I guess we covered the tickets for her to interview with a few competitors as well. Lesson learned – you can’t win…

Of course, it’s not all gloom and doom, as a matter of fact we recently bought in some fantastic talent. I am just a bit grouchy after talking a with senior candidate who told me that “AWS is a not-a-sequel database” and a senior QA automation candidate who after “7 years of experience in white, gray and black box testing of web applications” cannot name a single http method.

Well, TGIF, I am sure the next week will be great and I’ll meet someone who can tell the difference between an abstract class and an interface or at least tell a green field from a cold steel rail…

Key Differences between VA’s and Regular Employees

Key Differences between VA’s and Regular EmployeesWhen deciding to hire a VA rather than a traditional employee, it is easy to overlook the fact that this is a radically different hire. The biggest difference is not simply that the VA works outside of your regular office, but rather that is simply one component of the drastically different working relationship that exists between you and your VA. In this blog, we will take a look at some of the key factors to keep in mind when hiring and managing virtual employees. Continue reading

13 Tips for Becoming a Rock Star Freelancer

13-Tips-for-Becoming-a-Rock-Star-FreelancerA couple days ago I received an email from my friend’s son, a relatively junior web developer who was looking for ways to make money and build experience working as a freelance developer on Elance or oDesk. Some of the questions he asked me were in line with questions I hear many times:

  • How can I get my first project given that competition is extremely high and I have no reputation/ rating?
  • What can I do to keep my clients happy and coming back to me?

Here are a some of the tips I gave to him, hopefully you will find them helpful: Continue reading

Outsourcing SEO – When to Do It, When to Stay Away

pros-consSEO, online marketing, social media exposure, PPC management, brand journalism … all are buzzwords used today to include everything someone interested in doing marketing on the Internet must know about. It looks like a lot of work and it is definitely not easy. SEO alone will have you think that you have your work cut out for you. The main question that comes to mind when evaluating how much work SEO entails is whether you should outsource, do it in house or do it on your own. Each of these options has its pros and cons and to make the right decision we need to take a few criteria into consideration.

When to outsource SEO

The first question

Outsourcing, as a field, is a great alternative to many boring things you do not want to do in house, or you do not want to waste precious resources – human, as well as material – on. SEO is a very particular area of interest, and getting someone in your company to become a SEO expert overnight, even if they are some kind of whizz-kid, is hardly doable. Continue reading

Traveling to China? Check this post first!

shanghai-chinaChina attracts visitors in swarms every year. With a monumental 26.29 million visitors in 2013, China is gradually becoming the hub of tourism for the rest of the world despite the language barrier. Estimates suggest that in less than a decade, China will eventually become the world’s top tourist destination attracting the largest number of tourists every year.

Are you planning on visiting your provider or looking for a new vendor and thus travelling to China any time soon? Then this is the right blog for you. Read on to find out a few tips on the customs, traditions and the routine of the Chinese people and what you should avoid doing whilst on your sojourn to this exciting outsourcing destination.

The Do’s and the Don’ts to Be Mindful of When Traveling to China

Continue reading

Where To Find A Great VA

where-to-find-a-great-vaIf you have ever hired a Virtual Assistant you would probably agree that finding a good VA can be a daunting task. And if you haven’t, I assure you there is nothing easy about it! There are a ton of websites, companies and agencies that all promise to connect you with the best Virtual Assistants available.

Truth be told, a fantastic Virtual Assistant means different things to different people. They could all offer high quality VAs (not every one does) but their skills, availability or rates might not be what you need. It is important to understand the differences between the wide range of VA sources. You wouldn’t shop for new shoes in a grocery store, right? This is exactly the same with hiring Virtual Assistants. The best source completely depends on what you are looking for.

Let’s take a look at the 7 best places to find a Virtual Assistant:

  • Freelancing marketplaces
  • General purpose job boards
  • Temp agencies
  • VA Agencies
  • VA Recommendation services
  • Blogosphere
  • WOM

Now, let’s take a close look to see what we can expect from each of them:

Continue reading

2015 KPMG study on outsourcing for technology-related services

Articles covering outsourcing topics by analysts such as Gartner and consulting firms like Accenture often stay at such high level that their practical application requires engaging these firms. Once in a while these articles could be very informative and helpful The latest KPMG study is worth taking look at. That study covering outsourcing for technology-related services shows some radical changes and interesting trends in the marketplace, to which both companies and service providers will need to adapt.

2015 study by KPMG covers over 2,100 contracts across 23 countries with an annual contract value of US$12 billion+. It provides insights into service provider performance as well as extensive insight on IT services market trends, and provides predictions on the future state of the IT services market and projected buying patterns.   The study highlights the following key findings:

  • A shift from cost reduction being the biggest challenge for IT functions to one in which IT services are increasingly viewed as an enabler for improved business service delivery and transformation.
  • Greater focus on enabling innovation via IT outsourcing, especially via enabling greater organizational agility and accelerating the pace of investment into technologies such as cloud
  • The above being said, cloud adoption remains sluggish, with the majority of clients spending less than 10 percent of their IT spend on cloud. Data location, security or privacy are the biggest barriers to cloud adoption.
  • Governance and management of IT services and outsourcing efforts remain a major problem with mixed satisfaction from service integration and management

To access the study materials click here to download the management summary. (The full report is only available to those organizations that have participated in the survey). You can also find an infographic summarizing the key findings from the report by clicking here.