Start Taking Ownership of Your Engineering Career!

August 27th, 2015

Do you depend on other people to help you succeed in your engineering career? If so, it is time you stop doing this and take ownership of your career in a big way. The more ownership you take, the more successful you can be in your career. What does it mean to take ownership of your career? Well, you can get out of a bad situation such as receiving less-than-adequate pay, working for a bad boss or working a job you hate.

Here are some tips for making your engineering career better by taking charge of it.

Make a List of What You’re Good At

Sit down and ask yourself a couple of questions. What am I good at? What are my best accomplishments? What are my best skills? What are my best qualities? Start making a list as you answer all of these questions. Do this for about 20 minutes, writing down everything you do better than others. Once done, organize the list into groups of accomplishments, skills, qualities and more. You will now be able to sell yourself to employers.

Start Being Proactive

If you really want to take ownership of your engineering career, then you must start being proactive immediately. Being reactive in your career will get you nowhere, and it has probably already happened, or hasn’t happened. When you are reactive, you wait for your boss to promote you or you wait for a recruiter to contact you about a potential job opportunity. Turn this around by asking about a promotion or contacting a recruiter about what they have available. Or go out and get more education in an area of interest, then looking for a new contract job elsewhere.

Meet New People

The old adage, “It’s not what you know, but who you know,” is incredibly true here. Take time out of your busy schedule to meet new people who can help your career. This means attending conferences and other networking events on a regular basis. Or taking on temporary engineering jobs to find a better company. Even if you are not yet ready to make the switch to a new job, having new people in your corner can make the move much easier when the time comes.

Leave Your Comfort Zone

Part of being proactive is leaving your comfort zone. People often don’t take steps forward because they worry about what others think of them. Make as much of an effort as possible to meet new people, attend events and schedule informational interviews. Do all of this with people who are like-minded so you can pick their brains and figure out how they are taking ownership of their careers.

Start taking ownership of your engineering career today by putting some of the tips above to good use.

 

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Do Your Engineers Come Through Inbound Recruiting?

August 21st, 2015

Companies that need to hire engineers do so using a variety of different methods. Those methods include normal job postings, partnering with staffing firms, employee referrals, and headhunting. But, there is another option out there that companies should be taking advantage of today; inbound recruiting. This hiring method will make it easier for your company to regain its competitive edge in hiring within the industry.

Inbound Recruiting Drives Consideration

You might have the attention of engineer job candidates, but who is to say that they will actually hit the “Apply” button on the careers page of your company website? The thing is, there is no guarantee that they will apply. Because of this, you should use inbound recruiting, as it drives consideration for your open engineer jobs.

The strategies employed with inbound recruiting prevent you from taking advantage of your candidates’ time. You can drive consideration by having members of the company write blog posts about culture, be engaging on social media accounts and create content that proves why candidates should choose the company.

Inbound Recruiting Helps to Create Awareness

When companies utilize inbound recruiting to find engineers, they are able to attract candidates to their social media accounts and their website. Companies do this by creating valuable content that the candidates also find relevant to themselves. If your company needs to find talented engineers for open jobs, consider creating content that will be relevant to candidates by researching what they are searching for online. When this happens, candidates will find your company and hopefully view it as a valuable resource even if they are not searching for a job at the moment.

Inbound Recruiting Makes a Candidate’s Decision Easier

A third advantage of using inbound recruiting to find engineers for your company’s open jobs is that it makes a candidate’s decision easier. By reading your relevant content, the candidate will be able to determine if you are a viable employer. Once this stage is reached, the candidate will then be able to decide if they would want to work for your company.

This part of the process is very important because the company must create a very positive experience for the candidate when it comes to applying and interviewing for the job. The candidate might not apply for the open jobs right away, but could do so in the future because you helped guide them through the job search process. Perception is major at this point in the process for the company, because it wants to be viewed as a viable employer.

Inbound recruiting to find engineers for open jobs is an effective method of finding the right candidates. The next time your company is ready to hire, be sure to use inbound recruiting.

 

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Stop Turnover in Its Tracks – Engineering and Technical Recruiting

August 14th, 2015

The engineering and technical industries can be tough enough to recruit for, but when there is frequent employee turnover, it becomes an uphill battle. Employee turnover is often a symptom of several things, most of which can be corrected with the right strategy. Learn how to win the war for talent by stopping turnover in its tracks.

Evaluate your current compensation structure

According to the PayScale Compensation Best Practices report for this year, the number-one reason why employees leave is for better pay. If you are not offering enough in terms of salary and benefits to your engineering and technical teams, they will be looking for other jobs in short order. Use current salary data for your company, and improve the starting salary and the merit structure for all your employees.

Scan through previous exit interview notes

You can learn a lot about turnover from past employees who have mentioned salary during exit interviews. Read through a handful of these exit interviews (with the HR manager) and see what reasons were given. Then take steps to improve these areas in the business to prevent more employees from leaving.

Review all your job descriptions carefully

It could be a good time to review all of your job descriptions to make sure employees are not burdened with tasks they should not be doing. This can lead to burnout and frustration. You may need to reassign some tasks to the right people, and create new positions to handle some of these tasks more efficiently.

Understand what makes people stay

Send out a confidential employee satisfaction survey to find out what employees like about working for your company and what they don’t like. Encourage managers to get full participation from employees. Use this data to improve the workplace and retain more people.

Give employees career development support

Many employees choose to leave companies because they do not feel they can go any higher in terms of their career growth. They leave “dead end” jobs for more challenging roles with other companies. This is a huge value for engineering and tech employees. Make sure your company has a system for promoting people and supporting their learning goals.

Make the work environment better

The work environment itself may be depressing, unsafe, or just uninspiring, which is causing engineering and technical employees to quit. Conduct a full audit of the property, making corrections to hazards, updating work areas and break rooms, and reducing clutter in common work areas. This can help to boost employee morale enough to make more people stay.

 

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Ways that Your Engineering Office Culture Could be Better

August 7th, 2015

Nearly every company is concerned with making the workplace culture better, nowadays. But despite free coffee, casual attire, and cool technology, many engineering offices leave much to be desired. There’s a lot more that can be done to make the engineering work environment and the culture better for all employees.

Remember, office culture is more than just appealing to new hires – it’s about keeping them on board once they join your company. Here, we will disclose a list of the factors that can be included to improve the engineering office culture.

Fair Compensation

One way to improve the general office culture is to make sure that all employees are compensated fairly for their skills and experience. In the PayScale 2015 Compensation Best Practices report, it was revealed that the number-one reason employees leave for greener pastures is because they feel they are underpaid for their talents. Make pay transparency and salary equity a part of your workforce culture to retain your best engineering staffers – especially your females, who are statistically paid less than males in the same careers.

Meaningful Perks

On a similar note, be sure that your benefits and perks are geared towards your engineering employees. Instead of handing out cookie-cutter employee benefits programs, design flexible benefits and perks that appeal to workers across diverse backgrounds and needs. Younger employees have vastly different personal goals than those nearing retirement, so make sure there are perks and benefits that they can take advantage of.

Better Learning Opportunities

To make the engineering office culture more pleasant and productive, include support for ongoing learning initiatives. When employers invest in the knowledge and career development of their employees, this effort is returned through better work performance, innovations, and industry growth. Make education and learning the heart of your engineering work culture with onsite training and generous industry certification programs.

Embrace Diversity

Engineering is changing every day, and it has a huge impact on a global scale. Make diversity in the workplace culture something that takes center stage. Recruit from a more-diverse pool of candidates, using a temporary staffing model and adding at least a few more independent contractors to your teams. This intercultural approach to recruitment and team building benefits the company in countless ways, bringing valuable skills and experiences to the table.

Using the above methods, your engineering work culture can go from boring to brilliant in very short order.

 

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Looking to Enter the Tech Workforce after Graduation? Here are Some Tips!

July 29th, 2015

If you are on the hunt for a job in the rapidly expanding technology market following graduation, you are not alone. Experts estimate that in 2015, technology and related careers will produce the highest number of college graduates all focused on getting hired with the nation’s leading companies.

According to an article in Fortune magazine, “the best graduate degrees are in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields, with median, mid-career salaries topping at $131,700.” Says Katie Bardaro, the Director of Analytics and Lead Economist at PayScale, “The top of the list has consistently been dominated by STEM degrees, especially statistics and computer science in the last five years.”

4 Tips for Getting a Job in Tech Following Graduation

Ready to enter the technology workforce after graduation? Read on to get some great tips from Venteon Technology, a leading staffing agency in Troy, Michigan.

1. Put together an outstanding cover letter and resume

The way you present yourself to potential hiring companies in the tech world matters. Therefore, you need to develop a professional cover letter and resume that reflects your best skills, your education, and your work and internship history. Work with a qualified resume writer or career coach to accomplish this.

2. Establish your personal brand

As early as you can in your new career, take the time to recognize what makes you stand out as a job seeker from your peers. It could be a special interest you have in the industry, a project you’ve completed, and voluntary service you’ve done – for example. Use this to create a brand around yourself, which will be present on your social networking accounts.

3. Get networking and noticed

Getting a job in tech can be just as difficult as any other career path, but one thing that really works well is connecting with others at the companies you want to work for. Use LinkedIn and career associations to do this. Stand out with active participation in forums for your area of interest in tech. Ask current employees to refer you to their companies, once you get to know them.

4. Develop a strong portfolio of work

Your job in technology may just be starting, but this is the best time to start working on contract jobs and freelance projects to build a strong portfolio. This can help you land bigger and better assignments in tech. Go after the work that’s out there and see where it leads you.

Keep focusing on your career and stay active with temporary assignments and internships to become visible to the best employers in tech.

 

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Can Your Remote Team Get Their Work Done?

July 24th, 2015

If you have never managed remote employees before, you are in for a surprise. No, they don’t sit around in their pajamas eating snacks and playing video games all day. These are professionals who, for whatever reason, have chosen the convenience and flexibility of working from a home office – but they do work and they probably work harder than some of your onsite employees. This is why it’s important to make the most of the extra productivity that remote workers provide to the company by supporting their efforts to get their work done.

How can you help? Here are some ways to make sure your remote team has the ability to complete work and achieve their career goals.

1. Provide remote workers with the technology tools they need to get their tasks done

This is the top reason remote workers fail. If there are continual technology issues or resources are not shared with all who need it, imagine how frustrating it can be for someone who works thousands of miles away in another state or even country? Make sure all remote employees have what they need at all times to do their jobs. Consider tools like webinar software, conference lines, live chat tools, cloud project management, and file sharing systems vital to remote work.

2. Develop an open and regular communication system between remote workers and management

Schedule a weekly meeting for all remote teams and managers to connect on projects and tasks. If someone drops off the face of the earth, find out why. It’s up to managers to work hard to create a system for keeping the lines of communication open so don’t assume that your remote employees will always take this on themselves.

3. Plan ahead for the worst-case scenarios, and have alternative projects to work on

Problems will come up from time to time that can set projects and work back somewhat. If you want your employees to get their work done remotely, then you need to have backup systems in place. For example, if the company internet connection or a server goes down, have a backup cloud based project system for staying on task.

4. Set up a team atmosphere in which everyone is given the same level of respect

Remote employees are often the victim of in-house employees who view them as “lazy” or not part of the team, therefore they get a lot of disrespect. It is your job as the manager to make sure that respect is a part of your corporate culture and the team. Never let any employee treat another with disdain or disrespect. Enforce this rule with all employees.

5. Hire remote workers with a strong sense of accountability and past successes

To have the most impact as a manager of remote employees be sure to carefully hire only those who have been able to do this well in the past. Remote workers must be resourceful, self-driven, and have a strong sense of accountability for their work. Make this a value that you share with all new hires, and work with a staffing agency that specializes in placing remote employees if you find it hard to find these types of professionals.

 

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You Can Close the Tech Skills Gap — For Good!

July 16th, 2015

For years, recruiters have been struggling to find the top technology talent, particularly in the software markets where growth has been high. There have been multiple theories as to how to close the skill gaps in the technology sector, from partnering with colleges and universities to building large candidate pools filled with tech talent.

Here we will look at some of the ways your organization can support the cause for greater access to skilled technology employees in the near future.

Create more attractive technology educational programs for candidates

Many of the best technology jobs are for those with four-year degrees in computer science, which virtually leaves out all of the folks who are earning two-year college degrees, but are equally talented. Why not open up the job market to those who are headed in the right direction with technology education that’s more attractive? Programs can be part of an overall partnership between companies and colleges, with internships that place high achieving candidates into jobs sooner.

Retrain the lost workforce to handle the challenges of the tech market

Since the recessionary period of 2007-2011, there have been thousands of good people displaced by company shutdowns and restructures. This has left a large candidate pool of folks of all generations who are eager to learn new skills so they can land good careers again. Why not open up programs that take career-changers in and teach them job-specific skills? This would help companies to fill many entry to mid-level positions, while supporting the local economy in a big way.

Make succession planning a regular part of technology recruitment

Many companies face shortages of technology skills because they are not developing their current employees effectively. It costs 20 percent less to train in-house employees for better positions than to recruit new candidates. Succession planning should be an effort made to develop in-house employees while bringing in entry level employees to transfer this knowledge too on an ongoing basis.

Augment tech gaps with independent contractors and temps

Closing tech gaps is made easier by companies that bring in at least 25 percent of their workforce through indene pent contractors and temporary employees who have specialized skills. These folks can work on short and long term projects, giving more flexibility with project management and fluctuations in the industry. It’s also more cost efficient, because temps and contractors do not require the management of taxes and benefits.

By using the above methods, your company can help close the tech talent gaps that exist, while maintaining an actively growing business.

 

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Help Your Employees Keep Their Cool in a Stressful IT Environment

July 9th, 2015

The Information Technology (IT) industry is known for being unique in many ways. Above average job growth, high earnings, and exciting projects are typical in IT. But one of the other aspects that comes along with all this is stress.

A study by GFI Software indicated that stress in the IT market comes from increasingly long work hours to meet project deadlines, missed time with family, and lost sleep. As many as 40 percent of the 200 IT professionals polled said they missed time with their kids, and nearly as many missed sleep on a regular basis. 30 percent said they were currently suffering from stress-related illnesses. Some blame it on the work values of a multigenerational workforce, others blame it on long-held habits of the IT field.

Unfortunately, some IT professionals will find it difficult to deal with stress, while others will learn ways to blow off steam from this occupation. In order to develop a highly productive IT workforce, it’s important to put some measures into place to help everyone keep their cool. Here are some ideas:

Create a stress-free environment

Your workplace can become an “oasis of calmness” by taking a few steps to improve the environment. Set up a few soft seating areas for staff meetings. Improve the lighting and open up workspaces. Bring in some cool artwork, plants, and a coffee bar.

Set realistic IT project deadlines

Stress often comes from over-the-top project deadlines that put too much pressure on IT professionals. Manage your projects better to include some wiggle room, which creates more workable timelines and expectations with clients and work teams. Avoid letting scope creep affect projects too.

Have the right skills in the right roles

When assigning tasks to IT employees, make sure you have matched the right projects to the right people. You would not expect a coder to be designing web content, nor a software engineer working on project management, right? Get job requirements and project needs handled at the start, and bring in IT temps with specialized skill gaps.

Give the IT guy some more respect

Every workplace has at least one IT guy who is always there in the background picking up everyone’s slack. He may even live here because it seems that he never takes time off. Give this guy (or gal) some respect and make sure that everyone gets time off for better work-life balance.

Provide casual and flexible work arrangements

Stress in the IT industry can come from too stringent work schedules and outdated work attire demands. Let your employees focus on their work more and their wardrobes less. Give them a flexible schedule that helps them to prioritize the things that matter to them the most.

Support a healthy work culture

Corporate cultures that want to reduce stress often have a healthy focus, in the form of onsite health and wellness programs. Give your IT teams the ability to unwind from their daily stressors with plenty of physical fitness perks, onsite massage therapy, and a break area where they can find free snacks, beverages, and comfortable seating to relax a little.

 

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FINANCE CANDIDATES – TROY, MI – AVAILABLE NOW

July 9th, 2015

Senior Accountant

  • Sox, GAAP experience
  • Strong technical accounting experience.
  • Big 4 public accounting experience.

 

Audit Associate

  • High potential 2+ year Audit Associate currently working with one of the Detroit area’s Big 4 public accounting firms.
  • CPA assigned to multiple large multi-national clients.
  • Very good grasp of new accounting standards and brings a conceptually strong knowledge of US GAAP to the table.

 

Senior Financial Analyst

  • MBA and Master’s Degree in Finance from Walsh College
  • Bachelor’s Degree from Wayne State University
  • 7 plus years of financial analysis experience; Budgeting, Forecasting, Variance Analysis, Financial Modeling, Planning & Analysis
  • Highly skilled in SAP Global Business Warehouse and Supplier Relationship Management
  • Expert of Microsoft Products
  • Skilled in financial valuation tools

 

IT Audit/Controls Manager

  • MBA, CISA Certification
  • Big 4 Public Accounting Experience
  • IT General Controls Audit & Assurance
  • Business Process Audit & Controls Assurance
  • Sarbanes Oxley Compliance Reviews
  • Project Management
  • Cross Functional Team Leadership
  • Process Improvement Identification & Implementation

 

Manufacturing/Automotive Controller

  • MBA, CPA Certification
  • Public Accounting Experience
  • Fortune 50 Automotive Experience
  • Internal Controls/SOX
  • Corporate Accounting
  • Global Close & Consolidation

Are You on the Wrong Career Path? Here’s How to Turn Yourself Around!

June 26th, 2015

Ever get the feeling you are walking down a career path that’s headed nowhere fast? Many working people feel this way at one point or another. This can happen for a number of reasons. You may have started out in a great career, but then one day the industry changed and turned into something you no longer like. You may have found something else you are more passionate about. Or maybe your work skills have become obsolete, and you are stuck in a dead-end job.

Whatever the case may be, right now you feel like taking the next exit off this crazy highway. The good news is that anyone can get back on the right career path by taking a few steps now.

1. Work with what you have now

You may not be in the ideal job now, but there are bound to be some redeeming qualities you can find to focus on (instead of your misery). Maybe it’s a certain task you enjoy doing, a client you like working with, or some of the perks of your job. Make the most of what you have now and it will make it easier for you until you have found the right career.

2. Don’t quit without a plan

No matter how frustrated you may feel right now, it’s never a good idea to quit (or get fired from) your current job until you have a career lined up. Put away some extra money in your savings account, and try to do your best to deal with the job you have now until you have identified what it is your heart desires. You’ll be glad you made a plan first.

3. Get the training you need

In many cases, to jump into another career means needing to refresh your skills in some area. Take a night class or find an online certification or degree program now. Use this to learn new skills, software, and even to take on a few projects to improve your abilities. Leverage the industry knowledge you already have, plus your newfound skills, to find a better career path.

4. Find a career coach or mentor

Now is also a good time to identify a career mentor and a career coach to help guide you through the next steps in your career journey. Tap into this knowledge and the connections you need to get ahead in your new career. You can find career coaches and mentors on social networks and through industry associations.

5. Connect with a staffing agency

Ready to take the leap? Get registered with a staffing agency in your area of interest so you can “try before you buy” a new career path. Temp assignments give you a chance to get your feet wet and see if you truly want to go in a particular direction, while you are still earning a paycheck. You may be able to work in a part time role around your present job until you are sure about the next move.

By taking the above steps, you will be able to move in the right direction in your career, and get off the road to nowhere.

 

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