If you’re in the IT industry you’ve probably wondered at one time or another about working as a contractor. IT companies utilized contingent workforce strategies earlier and continue to do so at higher levels than many other organizations and industries, so the opportunities have been around for a while. Furthermore, the freelance or gig economy trend is frequently in the news and brings more attention to contract or project based work.Read More
There’s a lot of attention paid to the beginning of a contract assignment and most of us are aware that there are things that must be done to get off to a good start. Once you’re on the job though, your attention is rightfully on getting the work done and it can be easy for the end of your assignment to catch you off guard.Read More
Recently, Global Knowledge, a leading learning services and professional development solutions provider, released the results of their 2015 IT Skills and Salary Survey. They received responses from more than 11,000 IT and business professionals in North America, and the survey has a number of interesting findings and information to report. One that caught our eye right away was the 15 Top-Paying IT Certifications.Read More
InformationWeek’s Annual Salary Survey is out and for a few columns now I have been looking at different parts of the report and thinking about what some of the results mean to me, ATR International, and our clients. I have one last thing that I wanted to share with you in case you missed it.
Unless you have been living under a rock, you’re aware of the problems with the launch of HealthCare.gov, a key part of the Affordable Care Act. It is a debacle and largely seems to be the result of some common IT project mistakes – mistakes that those of us who work in the industry have seen before, unfortunately too often.
There are many examples to choose from but let’s start with these:
- Incomplete understanding of the business
- Uncertainty regarding the specifications
- Unrealistic deadlines
- No proper end to end testing and verification
- Ignoring warnings that things were not well
There’s been lots of interesting stuff in the news recently. I’d like to highlight several articles that discuss different but related issues facing CIOs, HR, and any others responsible for staffing and managing an IT department or company.
“Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink” wrote Samuel Taylor Coleridge in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. With national unemployment hovering above 8% but employers still reporting significant trouble in filling open positions, it seems an apt description of the current labor market. We’ve heard the terms “talent mismatch,” “skills gap,” and “talent shortage” repeatedly in the news, and I’ve written on this before on Staffing 360. There is no shortage of stories on the topic. Recently, ManpowerGroup released the 2012 results of its annual talent shortage survey revealing that “49% of U.S. employers are experiencing difficulty filling mission-critical positions” and CareerBuilder's new Talent Crunch Study reports that 38% have open positions for which they can’t find qualified people. Their study also highlighted some of the many reasons that companies should be concerned about those unfilled spots:
- 34% of those surveyed reported job vacancies led to low quality work because of overworked employees;
- 23% cited a loss in revenue;
- 33% of employers said vacancies have caused lower morale; and
- 17% saw higher turnover rates.
ManpowerGroup reports that in the US the top 10 hardest jobs to fill were:
- Skilled Trades
- IT Staff
- Sales Representatives
- Accounting & FinanceStaff
- Machinists/Machine Operators
Some don’t give much merit to professional certifications, but a growing number of employers prefer consultants who are PMP holders. It can be argued that after years of schooling and actual professional project management experience, a PMP accreditation will not teach you anything new, and this may be true in a sense. However, in this competitive economy where employers receive a multitude of resumes for a single job opening, a PMP certification acts as a sort of “proof of competency” which often speaks for itself and can be the difference in making the first cut. There are other benefits to consider as well: