STEAM Vs STEM: Adding Tech Skills to Your Resume

STEAM — science, technology, engineering, arts, and math —  is becoming a popular topic of discussion in educational institutions, but there is somewhat of a disconnect between education and the workplace. STEM careers prioritize technical skills, especially in the hiring process, which can make students rightly wonder what the point of additional arts and humanities training is.

In an educational environment, adding the “A” to STEM means students gain vital critical thinking, discourse, writing, and leadership skills, as well as greater understanding of arts and culture. This makes them excellent candidates for leadership and mentorship positions, and key allies in reducing employee churn. But when it comes to job applications, they know that recruiters and algorithms are both looking for mainly technical skills-related keywords.

The value of STEAM educated employees

Employees with a background in the humanities have a ton to offer, even (and especially) in technical roles. STEAM is about much more than learning art; the arts, humanities, and languages teach students about thought, logic, argument, ethics, and many other aspects of humanity. According to Concordia University the STEAM job market in the United States will grow by 14% by 2020, and even employers in highly technical fields are beginning to see its value. The arts give students a grounding set of both soft- and social skills, and arms them with different modes of thinking about the world. However, not everyone is convinced yet, and graduates entering the job market can be hesitant to express these skills in a job search.

If you’re into recruiting leaders, and people who improve the work environment around them, STEAM candidates are highly prized — or should be.

People don’t need to be in leadership roles for their leadership skills to be valuable. There are many different styles of leadership, and some of them don’t require a position of authority to be effective. Transformational leadership, one of the most effective styles, involves lifting up other group members and transforming the work environment to better achieve organizational goals and uplift other employees. Some of the most important characteristics of these types of leaders are emotional intelligence, mediation, and the ability to think in new and transformative ways. These are all skills honed in the study of the arts and humanities.

Another key trait possessed by people who have training in the arts is increased exposure to new and foreign ideas. These are people who have been taught how to learn, and learning is a skill in and of itself. So if you’re looking to hire people who will make learning new things a priority, who seek experiences outside of their comfort zone, and who will respond well to internal uptraining, the answer is STEAM.

If you’re looking for employees that will stick with you, and improve the performance of everyone around them, hire people with additional background in the arts and treat them right.

Attracting STEAM candidates

The trick is convincing students and job seekers that employers see those additional skills as valuable. It’s not enough simply to start looking for those skills. There are new generations of tech workers going through their training that need to be convinced to invest time and energy into the arts, or simply told that those interests are valid to pursue.

This means outreach during college career fairs, on websites, and on job descriptions. Start actively supporting and looking for the “A” skills in candidates by putting them into job posting descriptions. Start highlighting the value of these employees internally and externally, at company events and conferences, and build a culture of support and confidence.

As you build out culture and PR that values soft skills as well as technical skills, it may be necessary to retrain recruiters, interviewers, and adjust any keyword scraping algorithms. Many people groom their resumes specifically for certain keywords they believe companies want to see. A common strategy is to pick out keywords from the job posting into their applications. So changing those keywords is a great start.

In the end, the people you hire create your company culture. A culture infused with not only the skills that come from the arts, but the beauty and soul that comes from communities who are passionate about arts and humanities — that kind of culture sets employees and companies up for long-term success.

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How to Write a Thank You Letter After a Job Interview

If you’ve never been in an interview before, the idea of a thank you note might seem a bit silly.

After all, once the face to face interview is complete, it’s customary for both parties to thank each other for their time on the spot—so what purpose does a follow-up email serve?

Sending a follow up thank you letter will reinforce and reiterate your enthusiasm for the open position. Additionally, a thank you letter is a great way for you to remind your interviewer of your talents as well as demonstrate that you’re a professional who is willing to go the extra mile.

However, there is a right and a wrong way to write a thank you letter. In the below article, we provide best practices for writing an effective thank you letter following an interview.

How to Write a Thank You Follow Up Interview Letter

The great thing about thank you emails is that they aren’t too complicated. However, this doesn’t mean they aren’t intimidating. Below is a simple outline to help you get started with writing your post job interview thank you note.

  1. Pay Attention to the Subject Line

When creating the subject line, remember to include your name, the position you’re interviewing for, and the phrase “thank you”, as this will help the interviewer remember who you are and what you’re applying for.

  1. Include the Name of the Interviewer in the Opening Line

Since this is a professional email, make sure to include a courtesy title (e.g., Mr., Ms., etc.,) and the last name of the interviewer.

  1. Thank the Interviewer

Your opening paragraph should consist of a couple sentences that express your appreciation for the interviewer’s time during the interview and your interest in the position/company.

  1. Reiterate Your Strengths in the Body

The body of your thank you note is where you will express why you feel that your unique skills and talents would be a great fit for the company and for the open position.

  1. Thank the Interviewer Once More

Finally, end the thank you note by once again thanking the interviewer for their time and by briefly reiterating your excitement to work for the company.

Should You Write a Thank You Note?

Unless your interviewer specifically requests that you do not follow up with a thank you note (highly unlikely), it is always a good idea to send a short thank you email after the interview.

Thank You Follow Up Interview Tips

To help you perfect your thank you email, below are some Do’s and Don’ts for writing a thank you email:

Do:

Send your email within 24 hours

Sending your thank you email within 24 hours is important for two reasons: first, the company was willing to give you a shot at the open position, so showing your appreciation is a courtesy that must be extended in a timely fashion.

Second, interviewing candidates is a time-consuming process, and the hiring manager conducting the interview has tasks of their own to complete; therefore, by showing your genuine appreciation, they will be more likely to remember both you and your talents.

Remember to include all interviewers in your email

Many companies use multiple interviewers to evaluate the true fit of a candidate, so sending a thank you note to all interviewers is a good idea.

Restate why you believe you’re an excellent candidate for the position

As mentioned above, it’s critically important that you reiterate as concisely as possibly why you believe your skills and talents are a perfect match for the open position.

Remember, the interviewer reading your email should be able to quickly recognize who you are (by name) and scan your thank you note to see what specific talents you possess.

Make it easy for your hiring manager to find your work

After reiterating your qualifications, provide the hiring manager with links to your portfolio, social media accounts, or personal blog so that they can quickly find your work.

Following this information, remember to include a reliable phone number so the interviewer can reach you if they have any additional questions.

Keep it brief

Interviewers don’t have time to read a short autobiography about your life and work experience, so your thank you note should be no longer than 3-5 short paragraphs.

Don’t:

Harass Your Interviewers

Once your follow up email has been sent, there is no need to send a second thank you note or make a follow up phone call (at least not right away).

The interviewers will likely be busy with their day-to-day tasks and interviewing other candidates. They need time to sort through all the new information being thrown their way, so once your thank you note has been sent, it’s time to preoccupy yourself with other tasks.

After a week or so has passed, you can then consider sending another email or following up with a phone call.

Include typos and grammatical mistakes in your email

Nothing stands out more to an interviewer than a thank you note littered with typos and grammatical errors.

While no human on Earth is perfect, your thank you note absolutely needs to be perfect, so even if it takes reading it over five times before you hit send, it’s still better than sending the interviewer a note filled with glaring grammatical and spelling errors.

Be too casual

No matter how casual your interview might be, your thank you note still needs to be professional and well-thought-out.

Interviewers want candidates who are serious about landing the job, so being informal in any sense of the word is a risk not worth taking.

Come across as desperate

Finally, interviewers are quite aware of the difference between candidates who are motivated and candidates who are desperate.

Don’t be the desperate candidate.

Being desperate makes you look both unprofessional and unqualified. Instead, be cool and confident in the fact that your interview provided a good representation of you as a candidate.

Looking to Streamline Your Recruitment Process?

Are you a hiring manager or recruiter looking to streamline your hiring process? Having an applicant tracking system in place will ensure you never let another follow up email go unanswered or miss an interview due to lack of communication. Candidates are trying to make the best impression on your business, so make sure your business makes the best impression on them.

Is Video Screening the Next Big Thing in HR Tech?

Is Video Screening the Next Big Thing in HR Tech?

The guest blog post by Optimize.
Video Screening
An image from Dean Drobot’s portfolio on Shutterstock

As many companies know, it’s costly to bring candidates to interview, costly in time, and for the candidates themselves to travel to your location; as a result, all efforts should be made to reduce those costs for all involved. If your recruiters or HR managers have to spend hours on the phone conducting phone screening interviews, or worse, have to chase phone calls and emails, that costs money too. There has to be a better way right?

Video Screening is a relatively new process and has been used to successful effect by several companies. 50% of companies who have implemented it have said it has improved their cost to hire significantly.

Screening process through the ages

Gone are the days of walking in an office door, chatting with the manager, and landing the job. In the past, there wasn’t a great deal of need to “screen” candidates as there weren’t such a high volume of applicants per role. There wasn’t as much social mobility so jobs were much more predetermined, and competitiveness – to a small degree – was decreased. Besides, roles themselves were different, so if someone had an accounting degree and you were hiring an accountant, and their references checked out, you were good to go. It was very likely if you had a degree in a certain subject you’d get a job in that area. Now it’s not so simple.

Presently, the job market is much more open and changes of career are commonplace. With a higher volume of (on paper) qualified applicants with secondary and tertiary skills, it means most graduates can quickly train in a wide range of surface level roles rather than an immediate specialism – and their initial skills are less important than how they can learn, think, and grow with a company.

This now dynamic workforce has increased applications to city centre roles and larger corporations. The modern candidate has a wider range of skills on offer and the ability to apply online at many different companies with ease. To deal with higher volumes, and simply to narrow down the candidate pool, an effective screening process becomes necessary. Companies may have dozens, even hundreds of qualified applicants to a role, so how does each candidate distinguish him- or herself from another?

To keep up with demand, companies implemented processes such as phone screening interviews, email exchanges, and informal face to face chats. But these techniques are limited in their effectiveness to see the ‘real’ person – and they are very time consuming. These past processes – chats, phone calls, and so forth – certainly have the benefit of being personable, but when your company hires in large volumes, it no longer has the time. It’s also impossible for larger businesses (high street retailers, for example) or someone like the Post Office to hire for busy, seasonal work – like at Christmas – where they can typically expect to receive thousands of applications, and need to turn the process around in weeks (if they even have that long). Centralisation of the recruitment process – having a set process, quality control, and set standards predetermined for each role – allows a head office to have visibility in the managing of high-volume applications.

In the past, a warehouse manager might have been the one to hire with vastly differing results, which can cause efficiency and staff turnover problems down the line, whilst also limiting head office’s ability to control the quality of their workforce.

The growing need to screen candidates

Hiring has changed drastically over the years because – in the past – people stayed put. It wasn’t uncommon for people to mark their 20th, 30th, or even 40th anniversary with a company, but as the job market has changed with the need for say more tech jobs than ever, hiring processes have needed to evolve to keep up with demand and time constraints. Today’s worker currently stays in a role for between one and two years. This shorter timeline means your company – through no fault of its own – will inevitably see staff turnover as a part of everyday life, and it will subsequently need to hire more people, more often. Processes, thus, need to keep up.

Video Interview
An image by Optimize

The current landscape of video screening

Video screening is still in its infancy – not in the sense that the technology is primitive, but in that it’s relatively new to the scene and many people might not know about it as an option. Many HR managers and recruitment companies do realise that the way they hire now isn’t efficient enough, but they may not know how to remedy that lack of efficiency.

A Monster study revealed that most recruiters spend over 70,000 minutes on the phone each year. With faster turnovers, does your company really have that time? Think of what you pay your HR manager or recruiter per hour and multiply that number by the number of candidates you usually have to screen for each position. That’s the figure it will cost you only to reach the interview stage, which costs more time and money.

Companies who implement video screening find that it reduces time to discover who they want to bring to interview. They can collaborate as a team on which candidates are most suitable to interview. Candidates are no longer simply reduced to the black and white of their CV paper; they can come alive on screen. Their personalities can shine through, and they can take the time to impress you and your hiring team. It’s like those old days of people walking in your offices for a job, but better – because you can decide in front of them without actually being in front of them (you know, because it’s a video)!

The advantages to screening

Once you’ve combed through CVs and shortlisted you candidates – or narrowed them down through them using software, whichever – then you’ll send them the pre-screening questions. You set the questions, set time limits for the answers, and set a deadline, and send them to your shortlist. Candidates will feel like they’re moving forward in the process from the moment they submit their application, but this step is virtually hands free for your company. Questions can be sent out immediately – or after you’ve verified their CV. Video screening is perfect for high volume, decentralised industries such as seasonal warehouse jobs – but also works especially well for customer facing roles as you’ll quickly determine how a candidate’s personality matches your company’s core values or personal preferences.

If hiring for customer service roles, you’ll want to see how well candidates can handle potentially tricky questions on the spot, and video screening is a perfect opportunity for candidates to showcase their ability to think on their feet. You can ask the applicant a troublesome question like how they’d deal with a customer that would like to return an item without a receipt or how they’d handle logging a complaint about a fellow colleague (who is currently off shift)? Keeping the problems agnostic of your company vertical will test the quick thinking and experience of the application. It’s often more about how the candidate delivers an answer than the answer itself.

The big sell with Video Screening is that you will see candidates before they come in – in animation – not in the social stalk kinda way where you have to check out their LinkedIn or Facebook profile pictures before you phone them! Seeing someone in person and viewing how they hold themselves and interact with the questions you set – even if it’s not physically – can help you gauge their suitability. Some could argue that human bias could sway results based on attractiveness alone, but, again, if you need a front-facing position, and you need someone confident and bubbly you can see that on a video interview, looks aside. Besides, companies will do themselves a disservice only hiring those deemed “attractive,” because – at the end of the day – you want people who are good at what they do and are the most qualified for the job outside of attractiveness level.

That sounds great – but is Video Screening really the future?

As mentioned before, processes are clearly not good enough. Just ask anyone who hires large volumes of staff – it’s tough. Many companies turn to some sort of tech whether it’s computer tests or computerised CV combing, but those processes are imperfect and still fail to show you the ‘real’ person behind the CV. You may have someone who can pass computer tests, or put in keywords in white font on their CV, but they aren’t very good in person; they don’t fit with your office culture, or they aren’t confident enough for a front-of-house role. That’s where video screening helps the process along in an innovative way. Sure, for some roles, you may just need that shy guy or girl who can code really well, and maybe for those applications video screening seems less appropriate, but, either way, if your candidate will be in the office, you need to make sure he or she fits in and works well with others (and has a modicum of confidence).

And, let’s face it, videos are everywhere these days! Video is the fastest way to get people’s attention – that’s why YouTube and those Facebook videos are so popular!

Okay, but what about those people who feel uncomfortable with video screening? Will it put applicants off? Is it too edgy and too new to try out? The truth is it may put some applicants off, sure. It may not appeal to older generations, but most candidates are willing to go through the hiring process no matter what it is. Most people have been to group interviews where you spend time building something out of paper with bits of blue tac and string (or some such exercise that is measuring a metric that has nothing to do with what you can build out of paper with ten strangers). Those people may not love that group activity, but if it’s part of your interview process – and they want the job with your company – they’ll endure the task – not that we’re trying to liken video screening to group interviews. Candidates who apply to large retailers often have to undergo computer testing, and they do that too. The point is that the most motivated candidates will be willing to go through the process of video screening even if it’s a little unusual or different for them. Therefore Video Screening works well as a deterrent to those not wholly invested in the role, again improving the efficiency of your process.

Furthermore, younger candidates will especially love this method because they are far more comfortable using a smartphone, taking a selfie, seeing themselves on screen. Enabling the next generation of skilled workers to apply in a way that suits them is going to put your company one step ahead of the competition in 2017 and beyond. Video screening is here to stay. It’s making processes better, faster, and cost-effective, so it’s best to jump on the video bandwagon before you get left behind.


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Future of Work Trends, Part 4: Future of Training in HR | Featured Image

Future of Work Trends, Part 4: Future of Training in HR

hard-work-with-a-book-picjumbo-com

With the introduction of video sharing sites like YouTube, Vimeo, Daily Motion, etc. the employee training has transformed forever. Online video sites have enabled many companies to upload their training videos and making it available to their employees. Companies which previously have to schedule personal training sessions by matching a time as per the availability of trainer and employees which were a tedious task and even time-consuming at times are now switching to online training. Online training & career development facilitates employees to take up the training as per their schedules and from their comfort zones.

Recently many companies are re-configuring learning and development to become less campus-based classes and more of on-demand online training. This way it becomes easier for both the trainers and trainees. Trainers record their training videos once and do not have to take training sessions again and again. Trainees can choose a topic for training as per their requirement and interest, saving them both time and efforts. This makes employees more independent as they can choose a topic to develop a particular skill of their choice rather than what management thinks is best for them, although most time the curriculum is set and is also best especially for early stage careers.

Constant technological up-gradations have made the online video sites to become more user-friendly. These sites often remind users about an unfinished video so the person doesn’t miss out on something he left midway. They also suggest similar videos to enhance user’s skills and increase their understanding on the topic through different video perspectives. Online training videos are also setting up a benchmark in the employee assessment program. Nowadays many companies are evaluating employees by undergoing a specific training and assessment program. Employees are trained on a specific process by taking up online workshops and then are made to give tests based upon which they are promoted to specific positions.

Online Training

This way a fair evaluation procedure is followed giving only the deserving ones the much-needed promotion. Even employees find themselves in a win-win situation as they get to upgrade their skills. With tremendous growth in the online employee training and workshops which is slowly transforming how we learn & evaluate, it is not wrong to say that in a few year will see a more advanced and efficient ways into learning & assessments, and maybe this is a job within HR that can be taken away by machines that may be able to assess faster and smarter without the human error and provide more accurate assessments.

Just like online video sites are setting up a new trend in the workplace, similar growth can be seen in the online human resources functions in particular with training/learning and development. We shall continue with the next trend in the fifth and final part of the series where we will focus on how human resources functions are rapidly moving online, and that is a fascinating thought but also slightly scary as we ought to maintain the human and machine balance in what is needs to be a personnel function.

To read more on similar topics explore our blogs; to speak with us about employer’s hubs and how we can help transform your contractor talent management by bringing efficiencies through our simple cloud platform, get in touch.


If you want to share this article the reference to Bhumika Zhaveri and The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.

Social Media Icons Logo Wallpaper

Future of Work Trends, Part 3: Social Media, Decisions & Jobs

Cute Wall-E Wallpaper

Human Beings are social animals and we love to socialise, that was never a surprise! Social networking is making use of Internet-based social media platforms to connect with friends, family and other people. Social Networking is done mainly for the sole purpose of socialising or for business. Various social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. are popular these days among people. It’s become our alternative lives, and as scary it sounds it is as much real too. Apart from socialising, these social networking sites are rapidly growing for various other purposes like commerce, knowledge sharing, marketing, relationship building, employment, etc.

Social Networking is playing an important role nowadays in the recruitment process. Both employers and employees are making use of the social networking sites to achieve their job goals.

Apart from job search engines & company career portals, social networking sites are helping employers find the right candidate for the positions. Professional networking sites like LinkedIn help in establishing connections between the employer and employee where they get to know each other.

Depending upon the job requirement, a selected group of people are filtered through the interview process and although mainly for perm jobs this has been one of the most successful platforms, until recently. Other social networking sites like Facebook & Twitter help in evaluating the social lives of candidates. The social life reflects candidate’s extracurricular activities which is increasingly becoming an important deciding factor in the selection process. Now although I do not support this mechanism of shortlisting or decision making there are organisations that heavily advocate and implement this.

Social networking helps employees in building connections with people in their online & real-life circle. This helps them in finding a job at a company they want to work with. People now built their resumes including all the keywords which best describe their skill sets, which in turn helps employers to find them on the job portals or networking sites like LinkedIn. This way it has become easier for both employers to search candidates and job-seeker to find the right job.

Social media hiring is also greatly increasing in temporary and contract or project based workforce as it mainly works on referral and recommendations, which is another great aspect and so in order to reflect the change in attitudes even these forms of job providers and holders need to improvise on how they can create their brand fan following on relevant platforms, like ours to start moving towards a more real-time candidate and data flow, getting rid of the old systems and processes that are both manual and complex for no real reason.

But like we know, with good comes the bad too. Social networking at times can be disadvantageous too for a company as due to networking, hiring committee does favouritism towards people they know, or like based on their personal biases. This kills the overall objective of the company to be culturally more diverse & of giving equal opportunities for all irrespective of background, culture, religion, age or gender. Hence many companies are coming up with new laws to counter favouritism, gender biases and racism but these are so qualitative that it needs serious thinking and implementing.

Social Media Influence

One quick advice to all organisations is that regardless of how much social media influence you may think you have or not, ensure you have a policy in place that protects your business but also allows an individual to have an opinion on a certain culture and/or process etc. It is fair to promote freedom of speech internally and externally, without really naming and shaming brand as it can be a great part of feedback learning and loop.

Finally, with every employee recruited, it’s important to train them as per the company policies and business demands. This involves a lot of on-job training and assessments at regular intervals in order to achieve company’s organisational objective, perm as well as interim colleagues. As per the recent trend, employee training & assessment is increasingly becoming online, facilitating affectivity saving time & efforts. In the next part, we will try to elaborate more about the increasing trend of online employee training & workshops.

To read more on similar topics explore our blogs; to speak with us about employer’s hubs and how we can help transform your contractor talent management by bringing efficiencies through our simple cloud platform, get in touch.


If you want to share this article the reference to Bhumika Zhaveri and The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.

7 Recruitment Metrics Essential For Your Hiring Success

7 Recruitment Metrics Essential For Your Hiring Success

7 Recruitment Metrics Essential For Your Hiring Success

As employers continue to face falling candidate availability and rising demand for staff, understanding your recruitment metrics is vital to attract, source and retain the talent your business needs. Metrics are used to measure and monitor the progress and success of your talent acquisition strategy. Here are 7 you need to know:

Time to hire

For companies new to recruitment metrics, measuring time to hire should be your priority. On average, it takes employers four weeks to fill an open job but talent disappears from the job market within a matter of days. A prolonged time to hire indicates a number of issues including a repetitive application process or poor decision making on final candidate selection. Reduce your time to hire by tagging your referred or priority candidates through your applicant tracking software and offering a registration of interest to capture the contact details of qualified candidates.

Source of hire

Understanding the source of your most successful hires enables HR to focus on those channels to fill future jobs. Candidates enter your recruitment funnel from a variety of sources including your careers website, employee referrals, social media, your own talent pool and job boards. Focus on the sources that provide the most qualified candidates for a better response to your next vacancy. Ideally, employee referrals should provide your top source of quality hires.

Candidate drop-offs

An estimated 90% of candidate drop-offs are a direct result of a poor time to hire. If your HR analytics reveal alarming levels of candidates abandoning your hiring process pay attention to that metric. A prolonged application process and failure to engage with applicants in your pipeline and a negative candidate experience all affect this vital metric.

Quality of hire

Under a quarter of UK employers are confident in measuring their quality of hire. The easiest way to gain insight into your quality of hire is by measuring your attrition rates among your most recent recruits. Incorporating pre-hire assessments, reviewing your screening parameters and carrying out exit interviews with your departing employees will enable HR to gain clarity around this issue. With an estimated two out of every five hires now failing, understanding your quality of hire is essential.

Retention

The problem of retaining new hires is shaping up to be one of the major recruitment trends for 2017. A new report from CV Library found that one in five new hires leaves either during or before the end of their probationary period. If your recruitment data shows a disproportionate level of early departures focus on your interviews first. Unrealistic expectations result in your candidate leaving early but the problem may also lie in your decision making. 75% of decisions are based on the interview alone, leaving your process at risk of unconscious bias and bad hires. Support your decision with the evidence in your recruitment analytics.

Cost of hire

A recent report from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) found that 85% of hiring managers admit to making a bad hiring decision but one third believe there are no costs relating to this decision. One in five also have no idea how much a bad hire costs their business. The report suggests that, an unsuccessful hire in a position with a salary of £42,000, for example, costs your business over £132,000. Your cost of hire will include job adverts, internal hiring costs, interviews and agency fees. The final cost should also be measured in terms of both the financial impact and the impact on the morale and performance of your existing employees.

Job acceptance ratio/Reneged job offers

Job hoarding candidates became a very real problem for UK employers last year, particularly for graduate recruiters where the number of reneged job offers meant that 1,000 graduate jobs went unfilled. A poor job offer to acceptance ratio will be affected by a number of issues, including an irresistible counter offer, a poor candidate experience, a salary which doesn’t reflect market rates or delays in making a decision on candidate selection. Reneged job offers also suggest a potential problem with onboarding. Your onboarding process should begin as soon as your job offer is accepted to prevent your new employees going AWOL on their first day.

Advorto’s recruitment software provides workflow and structure across the entire hiring process and offering a dynamic database of candidates and analytics. Used by some of the world’s leading organisations, it provides a straightforward first step into people analytics and big data. Contact us today.


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5 Contract Careers That Were Non-Existential Just 5 Years Ago

5 Contract Careers That Were Non-Existential Just 5 Years Ago

Last year in December, whilst I was reflecting on the future of careers and jobs, I wrote this article focused on the most exciting career paths of 2017. So now as we are half way through, I wanted to investigate a little bit more on this but only from an interim/contract jobs perspective.

Contract jobs аre basically flexible on timescales, mostly full time and uѕuаllу leave уоu а choice tо continue wіth thе contract fоr as long as feasible оr leave wіth nо extension. This flexibility works both ways, which is why this form of employment is so much more popular amongst futuristic organisations and professionals. What is important here is to learn the difference between these longer term independent contract jobs and freelance jobs, as freelance jobs оn thе оthеr hand аrе nоt long term unlеѕѕ agreed аѕ such and does not provide the stability that a full time contracting can provide, so it is a lot more sporadic, can be performed from anywhere in the world and usually is less hours not more.

In thе remaining part оf thіѕ article, wе wіll bе discussing the rise of contracting jobs especially by focusing on five types of professions in contract jobs thаt didn’t exist іn thе lаѕt fіvе (5) years.

Big Data Architect

Big Data job roles hаvе surfaced іn thе lаѕt fеw years аlоnе thаt wоuld nоt hаvе bееn thought оf fіvе (5) years ago; big data scientists, big data architects, big data visualizers, data virtualization аnd cloud specialists, tо nаmе but а few. Sо іt іѕ fair tо ѕау thаt іn аnоthеr ten years frоm nоw thеrе wіll bе еvеn mоrе Big Data jobs thаt don’t exist today.

UI/UX Scientist

Thіѕ role thаt requires а professional thаt understands hоw tо create fantastic user experience whісh dоеѕ nоt оnlу depends оn design elements, but аlѕо user perception, user requirements, аnd оvеrаll user expectation саmе tо thе limelight fеw years back. These roles existed prior to 5 years but let’s say the expectations and format have changed substantially since.

Cloud Computing Specialist

Aѕ technology continues tо advance, thе nееd tо introduce solution tо bеѕt manage resources аѕ аlwауѕ bеіng оn thе forefront. Thіѕ аlоnе led tо ѕеvеrаl big companies thаt hаѕ thе tendency tо work wіth а lot оf data tо adopt thе cloud computing technology. Aѕ such, thіѕ nеw challenge requires professionals tо step іn tо hеlр manage thіѕ resources called cloud computing. Thе cloud computing specialist contract jobs again had a very different profile prior to a few years ago, but as more and more businesses and individuals rely on cloud day to day, this is becoming an increasingly important career direction.

Drone Operators

Aѕ thе global market fоr thе unmanned aerial vehicles аlѕо knоwn аѕ UAVS continue tо grow steadily, thе ѕеrіоuѕ nееd fоr operators tо fly thеm аѕ surface. Thіѕ job role јuѕt саmе іn nоt long ago and it is also a brilliant role for people who love flying objects or have a keen interest in handling almost any kind of remote controlled or otherwise device that works wonders. This role is in its infancy in many countries, but who knows in the next 5 years could be one of the most desired roles too.

Driverless Car Engineers

Wіth thе rесеnt innovation іn thе automobile sector thаt іѕ set tо kick оut taxi driver’s аnd couriers. Thе nееd fоr Engineers tо handle thіѕ driverless cars is rising. Thе Driverless cars won’t bе аblе tо mend themselves, ѕо engineers, mechanics аnd software developers whо work оn vehicles wіll bе increasingly іn demand іn thе not-too-distant future. Thіѕ role јuѕt rесеntlу саmе tо thе fold too, and whether everyone agrees with driverless car philosophy or not, it is certainly a technology that will emerge in the next decade.

May be with so many emerging career paths schools, universities, government and parents need to be a lot more openminded in terms of career choices graduates or school leavers may take. In fact, it is pivotal that they get supported in choosing these key careers on the growth so it does not leave the industries developing these careers deprived of great future talent. If you would like your school, or college or university to learn more on this especially on how to choose non-traditional careers, I am happy to deliver a talk as part of my mission to help the young and innovation along the way.

To read more on similar topics explore our blogs; to speak with us about employer’s hubs and how we can help transform your contractor talent management by bringing efficiencies through our simple cloud platform, get in touch. We are a free platform for interims with thousands of jobs refreshed daily, join us today.

About the Author:

Bhumika Zhaveri’s expertise lies in business strategy, change, human resources and talent management. Her experience is built over years in varied sectors where she has worked within Recruitment, Resourcing and HR. Now as Founder & CEO of InteriMarket a platform for Contract/Interim Talent Management. She is a firm believer of success through people, change and culture!


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Unemployment in Changing Times – Are Seasonal Workers Protected?

Written by Jackie Edwards, specially for The HR Tech Weekly® ▸

Unemployment in Changing Times - Are Seasonal Workers Protected?

In many industries, there is an ever shrinking demarcation of the traditional working day. The fact is, we live in a 24/7 consumer society, and those demands are cascaded through to businesses throughout the value chain. This is particularly the case in the tech industry, where the growing trend in flexible and remote workers means the boundary between home and work balance is becoming ever more blurred. When it comes down to it, the 9-5 working day and 35 hour week with time off for good behavior that was the norm for our parents and grandparents is actually quite a rarity today.

But flexible working practices do not just mean fitting hours to suit personal and business needs, and seeking that holy grail of 21st century existence, the mythical work life balance. Seasonal work is also becoming more common in industries outside the traditional farming and recreational sectors, and is starting to be seen in everything from retail to back office to academia. Here, we take a look at how employment law applies to workers falling into this ever widening category.

Claiming Unemployment Benefit

Even for those who have been in regular employment within the HR tech industry, the rules might seem complex due to variations between states, but the underlying principles are simple enough. If the worker has been laid off through no fault of his or her own, and meets the requirements for the amount of time he or she was in work, then benefits are available.

For seasonal workers, the same principles are in play, but they are a little more complicated to navigate. Specifically, the lack of work at certain times is an understood and acknowledged part of the deal. As such, workers are not actually unemployed, and so many states will not subsidize them during this “lull” period.

States that have a more generous attitude towards seasonal workers, typically those with a significant tourist sector and therefore a larger proportion of people falling into this category, calculate the amount payable on the basis of what was earned during the base period, just as they would for someone who had been in full time employment.

How about Contractors?

Almost three quarters of employers use contractors to provide tech support at one time or another, so how is this sector affected? Only an employee can claim benefits, and in the vast majority of cases, contractors are considered to be self employed, and are therefore ineligible. Even more complex is where the contractor hires seasonal assistance. In this case, however, the key word is “hires” – the assistant is not considered an employee any more than the contractor is, and therefore is not generally going to be able to claim unemployment.

If in doubt, ask

The above all suggests that where unemployment benefits are concerned, the deck is clearly stacked in favor of full time workers, and it could be argued that seasonal employees are not as fairly treated as they could be. Ultimately, though, it is important to remember that rules can vary significantly, so if you are unsure regarding an individual’s eligibility to claim, it always makes sense to check with your state unemployment office to get specific advice.


Not everyone fits the traditional, eight-to-five, year-round job scenario. Seasonal employees work for defined, often short periods of time during specific times of the year. This phenomenon is created by variations in certain industries that are affected by seasonal shifts in demand or weather-related impediments.

Click here to learn more: Unemployment Rules for Seasonal Workers | AboutUnemployment.org

Employee Experience – The XXI Century Corporate Super Power

Written by João Duarte, Content Director at Tap My Back.

Interviewing Jacob Morgan

Jacob Morgan is a 3x best-selling author, keynote speaker, and futurist. His latest book is The Employee Experience Advantage: How to Win the War for Talent by Giving Employees the Workspaces They Want, the Tools They Need and a Culture They Can Celebrate (Wiley, March 2017) which is based on an analysis of over 250 global organizations. Jacob’s work has been endorsed by the CEOs of: Cisco, Whirlpool, T-Mobile, Best Buy, SAP, Nestle, KPMG, Schneider Electric and many others.

Tap My Back, a tool that provides the simplest way to provide work recognition recently had the opportunity to talk with Jacob Morgan about the concept relying beyond his latest book, employee recognition. Jacob advocates this concept should be the major focus of companies aiming to attract and retain talent. This article provides a summary of the main ideas explored on the interview. Alternatively,  you can read or listen the full interview here: Employee experience – The XXI century corporate super power.

Nowadays, we’re living in such a rapidly and demanding world that the skills gap issue is turning into a big thing. Therefore, more than ever before the need to attract and retain talent is a huge issue for corporations around the world. In the end, “every organization in the world can exist without technology but no organization in the world can exist without people”. Bearing this in mind, the concept Jacob Morgan approached in his last book, employee experience, comes in the perfect timing. Companies need to seek out to provide the best possible interactions with their workforce, that is the only way to guarantee they have people delivering their best and sticking for the long run.

On the interview Jacob explained that employee experience is sort of the next step in what regards the way company’s manage workforce. It appears as an answer to the fact that “employee engagement has always acted as kind of an adrenaline shot inside of our organizations” –  Jacob Morgan.

He goes through a few best practices that major companies with the likes of Facebook, Google or Microsoft are adopting to improve their staff experience, highlighting three major aspects culture, technology and physical space. Jacob also confessed to Tap My Back that this concept of employee experience is something that the whole company should be aware and responsible for, even though he sees mainly HR related roles pushing it into company’s’ culture.

In the end of the interview, Jacob Morgan was questioned about the best advice he would provide to SMB companies looking to start from scratch implementing and improving the employee experience they provide. You can check his tips and the full interview here: Employee experience – The XXI century corporate super power.


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How will Brexit affect Businesses, HR Teams and Contract Job Seekers?

How will Brexit affect Businesses, HR Teams and Contract Job Seekers?

Brexit, whісh іѕ а portmanteau оf “British Exit” refers tо thе United Kingdom’s decision tо leave thе European Union. Thе European Union іѕ аn economic partnership bеtwееn 28 countries thаt formed аftеr World War II tо hеlр cultivate economic prosperity аnd cooperation. Fоllоwіng аn advisory referendum held іn June 2016, U.K. citizens voted 52% tо 48% іn favour оf splitting frоm thе European Union. Thіѕ result, а surprise tо pundits, hаѕ hаd а substantial impact оn thе economy оf thе United Kingdom, global markets, аnd increased volatility іn thе United States economy.

Thе Brexit process hаѕ caused а sense оf uncertainty аbоut economic growth іn thе United Kingdom аnd саn affect interim job seekers іn thе UK frоm gеttіng job wіth thеіr desired company. I was interviewed on this topic last year in September, you can check out my advice on the post-Brexit effect on recruitment here. I also remarked many times last year on how the “real impact” will be seen not immediately as was asked on many occasions but longer term, starting now, including the sudden election which with all due respect only hinders and hurts taxpayers.

Brexit. What's Next?

Some of the effects highlighted here are: thе decision tо leave thе European Union hаѕ increased thе tension bеtwееn thе United Kingdom аnd іtѕ international trading partners, аnd іt соuld саuѕе mаnу Multinational Corporations tо move operations tо оthеr countries. HSBC, а global bank wіth а major presence іn London, ѕауѕ іt mау move 1,000 trading jobs tо Paris due tо thе Leave Vote. Thіѕ іѕ bесаuѕе thе U.K. wіll nо longer bе аblе tо tаkе advantage оf “passporting”, аn arrangement whеrе а financial institution headquartered іn thе European Union саn perform permitted activities іn аnу оthеr EU member state whеrе іt maintains а branch. Anоthеr major effect thаt Brexit hаѕ hаd іѕ thе depreciation оf thе British Pound аgаіnѕt оthеr major currencies. Thе impact thіѕ hаѕ оn thе British market іѕ а bit discrepant, mоrе specifically thе impact оn businesses thаt operate іnѕіdе thе country whісh саn аlѕо tеll оn what’s in-stock fоr interim job seekers whеnеvеr thеу gеt hired.

Although, mоѕt business owners thаt аrе іntо exporting wіll benefit frоm thе declining pound bесаuѕе thеіr domestic costs wіll decrease whіlе thеіr exports wіll proportionately increase іn value. At thе ѕаmе time, domestic producer’s thаt import component parts wіll experience аn increase іn costs аnd а significant decrease іn profits. In addition tо thе significant drop оf thе Pound, thе exchange rates bеtwееn thе pound аnd оthеr major currencies hаvе reached unprecedented levels оf volatility, whісh соuld result іn mоrе selloffs іn thе medium tо long term.

Whеn іt соmеѕ tо interim/contract jobs and self-employment, thе intakes welfare matters а lot. However, thе Brexit ѕееmѕ tо bе а treat іn thіѕ rеgаrdѕ due tо thе high level оf uncertainty оf whаt thе economy stand tо offer thе interim and contracting job seekers іn thе future. Who knows which directions the gig economy shifts with Brexit, but for now every business that is considering flexibility and risk aversion may want to look into more direct ways to engaging with top interim/contract talent through solutions like InteriMarket without competing agencies as we can help empower businesses and save them the eyewatering agency and managed providers fees. Business leaders, HR & Recruitment leaders can contact me directly for a confidential conversation around our solution.

About the Author:

Bhumika Zhaveri, CEO of InteriMarket

Bhumika Zhaveri’s expertise lies in business strategy, change, human resources and talent management. Her experience is built over years in varied sectors where she has worked within Recruitment, Resourcing and HR. Now as Founder & CEO of InteriMarket a hybrid SaaS platform and an online marketplace for Interim Talent and In-House Recruitment & HR Teams. She is a firm believer of success through people, change and culture!


If you want to share this article the reference to Bhumika Zhaveri and The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.