Finding the Best SQL Talent

SQL, or Structured Query Language, is the highest demand language, and with industry wide shortages, it’s sometimes difficult for businesses to find the talent they’re looking for. This results in temporary decreases in productivity, which can affect overall for employers who are implementing increasingly more cloud computing solutions. The question remains, how do you find the right SQL candidate?

  1. Don’t limit your search.

SQL skills are used in web development, computer systems analysis, software engineering and many other positions. Candidates with SQL experience may have the skills needed to be successful in a range of positions.

  1. Look for open source projects that use SQL.

This can be a very unorthodox method to find talent. Because there’s no pay involved, open source projects will often attract those who enjoy their profession and have a high level of expertise. Having both, and not just technical expertise, makes a major difference in work performance.

  1. College campuses are potential areas to recruit.

Many seniors are close to graduation, and are very enthusiastic about the prospect of working for your company. The downside to this is that they won’t have the experience many companies are looking for, and it will take a while to yield results. It is, however, a great way to find a large pool of entry level talent.

  1. Partner with a staffing agency.

An experienced recruitment agency knows where to look, and already has established relationships with top talent. Your staffing partner can help you fill vacancies, even in high-demand and shortage jobs such as SQL. This allows you to focus on the tasks at hand, rather than spending time worrying about recruiting.

10 Things Candidates Need To Bring On A Job Interview

Ever wonder what to bring on a job interview? There’s a lot more than you think! Here are 10 things you should have with you:

  1. Several hard copies of your resume. You never know how many people you will be meeting. Also, many hiring managers forget to print out your resume in advance, so it’s a plus to have a copy at hand.
  2. Plain, professional notebook. You may find yourself needing to take notes. If so, you want a nice, clean notebook.
  3. Professional image. When dressing for an interview, make sure that your hair, makeup, jewelry, attire and shoes send the right message. Stay clear of anything that is outdated, or over the top. Keep the colors in check. The focus should be on you and what you have to say, not what you’re wearing.
  4. List of questions to ask the employer. Do your homework on the company and come up with at least half a dozen questions you can ask that relate to their business and plans for growth and profitability. The questions you ask will show just how focused you are on adding value to the organization.
  5. List of references. If the interviewer asks you for your references, that means they are interested in moving you along in the process. You want to be able to provide those references on the spot. Type up the name and title of each individual, their relationship to you and their contact information. Having this available will show the employer that you are confident in your professional reputation and the information those references will share with them.
  6. Cell phone that is turned off. Do not answer your phone during an interview. In fact, turn it off. The fastest way to be eliminated in an interview is to use your phone. Nothing is more disrespectful of an employer’s time.
  7. The facts, and only the facts. It is very important that you not lie in an interview. If there are difficult moments from your past, you must be able to talk about them in a calm and objective manner. Employers will not call you back if they get any sense that you are withholding the truth. At the same time, be sure to keep your emotions in check. If you act too emotional or share your feelings towards former employers in a way that is anything other than professional, you will be eliminated.
  8. Examples of your work. This is particularly important if you are in a field that requires you to show design elements. You never know when an employer might want to actually see examples of the work you mentioned in the interview. You should only offer these when they ask for them. Once again, it shows preparedness.
  9. Your best eye contact and smile. Body language, facial expressions, eye contact, and hand gestures tell a lot about you in the early moments of the interview. Even if you aren’t the most expressive individual, solid eye contact and a genuine smile will convey the positive attitude hiring managers are looking for. Bringing a warm smile and looking into their eyes will help them see you are a good fit.
  10. Belief in yourself. You must have confidence in yourself and your abilities if you wish to prove to an employer you are the right candidate for the job. Be proud of your skills, and don’t be afraid to talk about yourself. You must sell an employer on the fact that you believe you can do this job better than anybody else.

7 Tips for the Hiring Manager

Often, it is only the HR recruiter who knows what to ask during an interview, and this is simply because that is part of the job description. Hiring Managers don’t interview people for a living, and because of this, they hardly have the necessary experience to conduct proper interviews. Here are seven practical tips to help the Hiring Manager:

  1. Prepare and standardize your questions

It is very important that you have a consistent set of questions to ask all the candidates interviewing for the same position. This ensures that everyone is measured against their ability to answer the same questions.

  1. Prepare your scoring criteria

Always have a scoring criteria. Assign weights to specific criteria. Decide on this before your first interview so that you don’t get bogged down and miss out on areas that might be relevant to your candidate search.

  1. Review each resume before the interview

Reviewing the resume helps the Hiring Manager spot areas in the resume that are of interest to the organization. These can be similar activities or skills that might be needed by your organization at a future date. Take notes on things that pop out or things that you need clarity on. Write on the resume itself if you need to.

  1. Validate the resume

As we all know, there is a tendency for people to exaggerate their accomplishments and position on their resume. It is important for the Hiring Manager to sift through that in the interview process. Ask the person what he or she does on a daily basis to get a feel of what the current role and responsibilities are. Often times you will see from that what the real work is all about.

  1. Let the candidate speak

At times the Hiring Manager spends so much time analyzing and talking that there is not enough time for the candidate to talk about his or her experience and knowledge. The less the Hiring Manager speaks, the more that can be gotten out of the candidate.

  1. Avoid discriminatory remarks

At all cost, do not ask questions that discriminate candidates. It is not a good practice to ask questions that touch on topics such as gender, religion, ethnicity, etc. In the same light, Hiring Managers should also avoid making comments about a candidates’ previous job, work experience, and educational background.

  1. Sell your organization

Always put a positive spin on your organization. Even if you’ve concluded that the candidate is not a fit within the first 30 seconds of the interview, ensure that you treat the candidate as if you really want him or her on board. The candidate may not be the person you want, but may have friends or colleagues that are. The last thing you want is someone saying how awful their interview went with your organization… and how rude you were as the Hiring Manager.

6 Technical Interview Q&A For .NET Developers

With demand for skilled .NET Developers on the rise, recruiters and hiring managers are asking the kinds of technical questions that assess a developer’s proficiency level. Here are some of the questions and answers that separate rookies from experienced pros.

  1. When is it beneficial to use an IoC Container?
  • Answer: “Although I use IoC Containers in a variety of situations, I most often use them for dependency injection. If I have a third party dependency, I’ll inject it. Doing so lets me swap implementations or isolate that dependency behind a facade. Dependency injection allows you to modify a behavior without modifying services and use different implementations in different environments and situations. In addition to facilitating changes by decoupling your program, IoC allows independent testing of components.”
  • Rationale: From a manager’s perspective, dependencies are problematic. You want to initiate changes to an application without modifying vast amounts of code or waiting for developers to finish another part of the program.
  1. When and how do you use an interface?
  • Answer: “Interfaces reduce compatibility problems because they let you develop enhanced implementations without jeopardizing existing code. I also use interfaces to facilitate the mocking of dependencies in unit testing.”
  • Rationale: Architects like interfaces because they provide control. They let you change products or programs with only minor coding modifications. Architects ensure optimization of the app while coders and developers are responsible for implementation decisions.
  1. What’s a static class and when should you use one?
  • Answer: “A static class is a way to organize methods not associated with particular objects. With a static class, you don’t have to create an object in order to call its methods, so it’s inherently faster. The math class in the system namespace is a good example of a well-thought-out static class.”
  • Rationale: Creating static classes requires a higher proficiency level with .NET. Experts employ static classes throughout an application because they use a single line of code.
  1. What’s the difference between a base class and an interface?
  • Answer: “A base class can contain an implementation. An interface cannot.”
  • Rationale: All classes are made up of base classes or interfaces. Knowing how they differ and when to use each one is a sign that you understand .NET.
  1. When and how do you use reflection in your projects?
  • Answer: “System.Reflection namespace, together with System.Type namespace, allows you to obtain information about loaded assemblies and the types defined within them, such as classes, interfaces and value types. Also, reflection can be used to create type instances at run time, and to invoke and access them.”
  • Rationale: .NET is based on a common type system that performs a variety of functions. Reflection enables you to build types at run time and implement enhancements and improvements in real time.
  1. Where and when do you use an Assert.AreEqual statement?
  • What You Should Say: “I use an Assert.AreEqual statement during unit testing. I typically use one of the common unit testing frameworks like NUnit or Microsoft’s testing framework MS Test.”
  • Why You Should Say It: An Assert.AreEqual statement is an integral part of unit testing. Debugging is only 10 percent of the answer. Unit testing reports the correctness of the code’s behavior, but only if you include Assert statements.

Five IT Hiring Trends This Year

According to Information Week, this year has been shaping up as a bright one for Technology and Engineering professionals. In a survey of 860 tech-focused hiring managers and recruiters, 73% reported planning to hire more candidates in the next six months, and 24% percent said their additional hiring will be substantial. The increase in IT Hiring Trends is good news for anyone looking to make a change this year.

But expect the IT landscape to change as well. Here’s a look at five predictions on technology skills, evolving roles, and how social media will change recruiting.

  1. The Need for Big Data Skill

Big data demands a new breed of data scientists, and advancements in mobility, social, and sensing technologies rely on resetting the design and architecture of applications and user interfaces. Data scientists and data analytics leaders will be essential, especially in the consulting, retail, and banking markets.

  1. SAP Voids Are Still Hard To Fill

There is still a high demand for SAP database skills. Assigning full-time resources to the SAP space is very difficult for businesses, but the demand for these people and skills will still be high. It’s hard to find database people now and it will become harder.

  1. CIO Roles Expand With More Responsibilities

The CIO role is undergoing an evolution that positions it as more critical to most organizations than ever before. The CIO’s focus has migrated from the back office to the boardroom, making the role more visible, in greater demand than ever before.

  1. Recruiting Gets More Social

Today everyone has a social footprint, and all this information offers a richer profile of candidates than ever before. Your social footprint can be a pro or con when you’re looking for a new job. Be wary of how you present yourself online, and take steps to improve your online presence. This might include answering questions in forums related to your profession or starting a blog. The goal is to provide Google and other search engines with a signal of your professional self, rather than silence when recruiters or hiring managers search for you.

  1. Talent Management Becomes Social

Although social media has changed how businesses recruit talent, it is also changing how they retain it. Organizations are searching for a means to not only recruit the right candidates, but more importantly, retain and nurture the talent to become passionate, engaged, and loyal. In 2014, we’ve begun to see organizations tapping social and behavioral data to better understand what is important to employees, what motivates them, and why they stay with an organization.