Kranectablog

updates, tips & tricks from the pros.
22 Jul 2015
by Sara Kramer
Comments are closed
5 things you should expect from staffing

5 Things Clients Should Expect From Staffing Agencies

Let’s face it, there are a lot of staffing agencies out there, and specifically their recruiters, that are giving the industry quite the bad rap in the IT world. Computer professionals are starting to consider us annoying, unhelpful, and overall not worth their time. Which is a shame, because a software developer’s dream job could be sitting in a recruiter’s inbox as we speak. This, in turn, is making it harder and harder to get you, the client, on board with just how valuable staffing agencies should be. Here at Kranect, we believe in the local, small business touch when it comes to staffing. And while IT professionals are getting used to a certain kind of treatment from their staffing agencies, we’re here to let the clients know what kind of organization they should really be working with.

1. Personal candidate attention

One of the most important things you should start expecting from staffing agencies is their attention to detail when it comes to the candidates they’re sourcing. Recruiters shouldn’t be sourcing for one job, or sourcing to meet a metric they’ve been assigned. Every candidate should be treated as if they are an asset to the agency’s company, because they are! Whether they’re happily employed in their current spot, looking for work, or don’t quite have the right right number of years experience in (insert any IT skill here), each candidate is a valuable connection. Now, as a client, you may think that this is going to result in an agency taking even longer for them to find you your perfect candidate fit. That’s not true! In fact, it’s the exact opposite, if the recruiters have been doing their due-diligence over time, then the second you submit a job that needs to be filled, someone should pop right into the recruiter’s head. Building and fostering more personal relationships with candidates makes everyone’s job easier and more pleasant. It creates more of a you-scratch-my-back-I’ll-scratch-yours relationship with the candidate that results in more quality candidates for the clients that need them. Eventually, you’ll start trusting your agency more as well. They’ll start sending you people who fit in with your culture and get along with your team just the way you’d imagined, and isn’t that why you decided to outsource finding talent in the first place? Any computer can generate resumes that match keywords, but the beauty of a staffing agency is that people have screened, questioned, prodded, and then tied up a package with a pretty bow containing your perfect employee that not only has the skills you need them to have, but can kick your butt in ping-pong and enjoys afternoon beers from the keggerator as much as you do. Not only should your staffing agency actually boast this trait, but they should be able to explain to you their step by step process about how they go about screening candidates for that ever elusive culture fit.

2. Recruiters that are also good sales people

Recruiters have one of the toughest sales jobs of all: they have to convince people to leave their jobs to entertain the possibility of a new one (well, sometimes). Changing jobs is a scary thing! It comes with a world of unknowns and it’s hardly an easy decision to make, especially when it comes with things like a longer commute or more travel time. This is why whichever staffing agency you chose has to have recruiters that are not only good at recruiting (duh), but also have a little bit of sales in them as well. You’re trusting them to find the best people in the field and bring them to your organization, and trust us from experience, a lot of the best candidates are already happily employed because of how good they are at what they do. This means you have to trust a recruiter to communicate to a potential new employee just how awesome your company is, and why they should want to come work for you.

3. Your staffing agency should be annoying

Especially when it comes to the big guys, it seems that a lack of communication is a major complaint among both clients and candidates. It’s a good thing if you have an email or two from your staffing agency almost everyday. Whether they’re asking for feedback about an interview, or they’re letting you know that maybe finding a Systems Engineer with 10 years experience for only $30 an hour isn’t going to work out, too much communication can never be a bad thing. We know as the client you’re busy and you have other things to do all day besides answer emails from your staffing agency, but it’s always nice to have a little reminder to communicate when things get hectic on your end.

4. A value-add relationship is essential

You are hiring a staffing agency to do what you cannot do. Therefore, they should have a unique and proven process for finding and screening candidates than you don’t have. Sure, they’re going to have more experience, and unlike you or your HR team, they have all day to look for people who want to work for you, which is clearly an advantage. However, they should do something different, something innovative, something you wouldn’t think of to find the perfect fit. And they should be able to articulate this to you easily. These are the kinds of things that you should know by listening to a vendor’s pitch. This is how they’re going to convince you to hire them, and if they don’t touch on these points, these are the kinds of questions you should be asking. Make sure you understand what they’re doing in order find you who you need.

5. Honesty is key

Many staffing agencies have a tendency to over-promise, especially when it comes to what they can do for you. Sometimes hiring managers are actually looking for the impossible, and if your staffing agency is any good, they’ll know what they can and cannot find. That’s not to say that they won’t try, but chances are if the agency’s recruiters have been sourcing for numerous years, they might have a better idea of what’s out there than you do. Again, this is why you’re deciding to outsource, because agencies bring knowledge to the table and access to a network that you don’t have. If an agency has a tendency to always say “yes” to you and continue not to deliver, not only are they clearly a bad agency, but they may be over-promising the kind of value they can deliver. Vendors should be candid about which roles they can fill and what is a realistic expectation for the type of candidate they can find.

 

We hope this gave you a better idea about what to expect from your staffing agency, because we know you deserve the best. There are some great vendors out there, so don’t get discouraged if can’t find one that is meeting all of your expectations. New hires play a key role in both the present and future state of your company, so don’t settle on quality when hiring someone to find those new employees for you.

 

-Sara K

08 Jun 2015
by Sara Kramer
Comments are closed

Why You Should Learn How to Code, Regardless of Your Career

In case you haven’t noticed, computers run our world today. Every man, woman, and child in America knows how to use a computer, and probably a tablet or phone of some sort as well. Computers are central to almost every business, every social interaction we have now, and a ton of tasks we perform in our daily lives. Computers are important, and if you’re not convinced of that already, I don’t think we can help you. 🙂

Regardless, we are to convince you that you should learn how computers work behind the scenes, and how its possible for people to create computer software, apps, and websites. Or, in other words, coding. Learning how to code is going to benefit you in a ton ways. That’s the good news, too: you don’t even need to be a computer science major or want to be a software engineer to reap the benefits of this skill. Whether you’re going into marketing, the medical field, or agriculture, knowing how to code can do nothing but help you.

 It will benefit your career

As previously mentioned and terribly obvious, computers are running every kind of business you can think of these days, and everything’s a business. If you’re running the social media for a company, doing accounting on Quickbooks, or just learning how to enter things into your company’s CRM, being able to program a basic webpage is going to help you. Not only will you understand computers better, but if there’s any problems, you’ll be able to quickly and efficiently fix them yourself. It’s like knowing chemistry: while it doesn’t always affect your everyday life because things still operate the same on the surface, when you need to know how things work on a deeper level, you will. For reasons beyond trouble shooting and cool design, knowing to code makes you a valueable asset to any employer. It’s a skill that people only tend to have if they specialize in computer science or engineering, and thus having it even if you’re not in those fields makes you marketable as an employee. It fosters a deep understanding of the world we live in and how it operates. It can help you learn new software more quickly and keep you ahead of the technology curve. Just like those who have grown up with computers their whole lives can find things faster, use them to their fullest potential, and solve problems they encounter quicker than older generations who did not grow up with computers, knowing how to code can offer you plenty of these same advantages over those who cannot code. If you can learn to use a computer better and more efficiently, no matter what field you work in, you will advance in your career.

It will stretch your thinking

Like with math, not a lot of people see the value in learning algorithms and formulas. And yes, this is going to help you in your career for the reasons listed above, but, in addition to that, knowing how to program will teach you logic and problem solving skills that can translate over to other areas of life. Math, for example, is not about having the quadratic formula memorized whenever you’re asked, but rather, it’s about knowing how to take pieces of information you have, put them where they’re supposed to go, and solve a problem. Coding works in a very similar way, it teaches you how to think about the world. It’s a way of solving problems and using logic. It gives you the skills to work things out for yourself.

“Learning to write programs stretches your mind, and helps you think better, creates a way of thinking about things that I think is helpful in all domains.”-Bill Gates

Programming also gives you a better idea of what you’re being sold when buying electronics and technology products. Coding fosters creativity in thinking and daily tasks. It’s an incredible way to stretch your mind and explore what it’s capable of. The world is beginning to think it’s so important that code.org is starting a petition to have it included in school circulums around the United States. Other countries like Australia and the UK are also debating this issue, and plently of celebrities and politicans have come out in support of adding computer programing as a subject right along side math, chemistry, and reading. The world is beginning to see the importance of learning this skill as a core and fundamental principle to thinking, and thus, like young elementary school children of the future, you will, too benefit from the learning that coding will bring to your life.

You’ll make the world a better place

Put aside the purely selfish reasons, more people like yourself learning how to code is going to benefit the world in a variety of ways as well. Like I said, you will no longer be a blind consumer of technology and this will in turn keep big tech companies like Google and Facebook from having control over society. It will force innovation and creativity in the free market in order to impress customers who now know exactly what’s good technology and what isn’t. You could easily build the world’s next useful computer program or software, or understand how to put an idea you have to help the world into place on a computer. Learning to code creates an educated country that understands what shapes the world the world around them. It helps keep power out of the hands of the few. It allows for broader conversation between departments within businesses and between businesses, as well as communication between businesses and consumers. It streamlines processes and makes the world more efficient. Learning to code not only helps you, but the world around you.

 How to learn in your free time

Now, hopefully we’ve done a good enough job convincing you that you do, in fact, need to know how to code in order to advance your career, the world, and your thinking. There are a ton of quick and easy ways to learn how to code in your free time, so whether you’re a student or already in the work world, there are no excuses! Check out these top sites for learning how to code on your own:

 

  1. Codecademy. This is one of the more popular coding academies. It’s easy to use and you can learn tons of languages and skills to learn including web fundamentals, PHP, Javascript, and even APIs. This site also allows you to get your hands dirty and learn by doing.
  2. Code Avengers. The is one of the more fun ways to learn how to code. It is deisnged to keep you entertained the entire time, so you hardly feel like you’re learning. It offers HTML5, CSS3, and Javascript for now.
  3. Code School. Not for the faint of heart, Code School kicks things up a notch. There are 4 main categories you can learn here including: Ruby, Javascript, HTML/CSS and iOS. This one should be saved for if you’ve mastered the basics but are looking for more.
  4. Treehouse. This one lets you build projects rather than just aimlessly learning skills. It’s designed for a person with more of a purpose in mind.

 

Now, go forth, and make the world a better place, and yourself a better person…

Happy coding!!

29 Apr 2015
by Sara Kramer
Comments are closed
images

Fitting Round Pegs in Round Holes: Why You, As a Candidate, Should Use Staffing Agencies

When most people think of staffing agencies, they usually think of those incessant phone calls they get from recruiters on a daily basis. First of all, if you’re getting a lot of attention from recruiters, you should be flattered. It means you’re good at what you do, and good at being found. Second of all, most of us are just here to help, I promise. Whether you’re currently on the market for a new job, or you are employed but maybe not happily, there are a lot of advantages to using a staffing agency to land your next gig.

 Companies actually use them

The fact that staffing agencies even exist in the first place means they work. There are a ton of reasons that companies decide to outsource looking for talent, it takes a lot of pressure off them, and they usually end up with better candidates. Paying other people to do your heavy lifting is all the rage these days. This is why the best jobs at the best companies are usually not on job boards. This also means your dream job is probably sitting in a recruiter’s inbox right now. While we’ll be the first to admit that there are some recruiters who don’t do their job as well as others, there actually is a fighting chance that phone call you’re getting could connect you with a really cool opportunity. First rule of sales is to always pick up the phone when it’s ringing, right?

 Less work for you

Looking for a full time job is a full time job these days. Even if you’re not looking, switching jobs is a lot work. There’s so much that goes into the whole process. This is where the staffing agency comes in really handy. They’ll format your resume so it looks perfect, help you write a compelling cover letter and even train you in the whole process so you know exactly what to expect and what to say. They even take care of sending the polished package over to the company for you. You can just sit back and relax knowing that it’s all taken care of for you. How nice is that?

Prolonged-Job-Search-Applicant-Evaluation-Interview-Feedback-Slow-to-Hire

 A better fit. On both ends.

 Our favorite saying here at Kranect is that our goal is not to try to force round pegs into square holes. That’s what we live by, and one of the main reasons candidates should be utilizing staffing agencies to the fullest extent they can. Recruiters (the good ones anyway) aren’t interested in trying to match a generic job description with resume key words. That’s not going to add value to the client or the candidate. Matching a candidate to a job is about so much more; it’s about company culture and personality, and it matters whether or not the office has a ping-pong table. These are the kind of things that you as a candidate won’t know about a company just by reading their job posting on Monster, and where working with a recruiter can give you a better result in the end. Regardless of the job, people want to work with people they like and people that are like them. Recruiters gather information about what kind of person the company is looking for, not just their skills. Finding that perfect fit is not impossible to do on your own, but working with a staffing agencies can save you a lot of time interviewing for companies you simply won’t fit into.

 Recruiters care about your success as much as you do

It’s nice to have someone in your corner throughout the job-hunting process, and that’s what recruiters are there for. They care about how good your resume looks, how good your cover letter sounds, how your interview goes, and whether or not you get the job just as much as you do! Recruiters who are in this business for the right reasons are genuinely happy to see people land their dream job, and feel good about being a part of that process. Recruiters are willing to put in the time to coach you on what to say, how to dress, and to overall just be there to help you with anything you might need. Use this to your advantage as a candidate! The best part, it doesn’t cost you as a candidate anything but time, and you can never learn too much about how to improve your job-hunting game. There really are no downsides.

There are countless ways you can use staffing agencies as a resource in your job-hunting journey. Don’t ride off a few bad experiences with a few bad recruiters and/or agencies; there are a lot of awesome people out there who just want to see you land your dream job. Next time you get a call from a recruiter, do us a favor and humor them for a minute or two. You never know what kind of opportunities a simple conversation could bring you.

-Sara Kramer

06 Nov 2014
by Rolf
Comments are closed

Music to our ears

One of our contractors sent an e-mail to his hiring manager after his assignment ended.  The hiring manager shared it with us.  “ In my 20+ years as an independent contractor I also need to acknowledge Kranect for being a superior business partner.  Easily the best sub contractor I have ever dealt with.”

Reinforces that paying attention to the details pays off!!

12 Nov 2013
by admin
Hot Cover Letter

Hot Cover Letter

Happy Independence Day from Kranect! Here are some tips to make your next cover letter as hot as the fourth of July. Let the fireworks begin!

In a nutshell, your cover letter should be interesting and show the reader how you can add value. Everything should be positive about you and the company. You should tailor the letter specifically to the opportunity and company you’re targeting. Here is the recipe.

• Paragraph 1: In two or three sentences, explain your purpose and get the reader’s attention. If your cousin is the CEO of the company, it’s a good idea to name drop.

• Paragraph 2: Everyone’s favorite topic is themselves, and that goes for companies too. Spend three to five sentences explaining what you like about the company. Visit the company website and review the “about us” and “mission statement” sections. If you have time, look over their recent press releases or blog updates. Use this information to show the reader that your values and personal mission line up with the values and mission of the company.

• Paragraph 3: Now you get to talk about yourself, but only a little bit. The point is to get the conversation started, not write a biography. Keep it to a short paragraph of only three to five sentences and focus on the value you can add. It may be helpful to use the job description. If the job description says that Exchange Server 2008 migrations are important as well as a “can do” attitude, you might say something like this: My specialties include problem-solving, Exchange Server migrations, and saving the day.

• Paragraph 4: Time to say goodbye. Close out the cover letter in two or three sentences. Say thank you, repeat your interest, and add contact information.

• Finally, I don’t recommend saying something like, “I’ll follow up next week” in your cover letter. Actions speak louder than words; just follow up in 10 business days or so to check in. If you know the CEO, you should also let that person know you applied for the job and check back with that person if you don’t hear back in 10 days or so.

Example cover letter:

To whom it may concern:

I’m contacting you to express my interest in your Helpdesk Administrator opportunity. John CEO is a relative of mine, and that is how I heard about this exciting opportunity with your IT team.

Fireworks Company’s mission of making safety a priority lines up with my own values. I recently read about Fireworks’ partnership with the Red Cross for the first annual Safety First Event and have volunteered to help them set up their AV equipment. I’m really looking forward to being part of this important event!

My specialties include problem-solving, Exchange Server migrations, and saving the day. In a recent project, I was working on a migration of Exchange Server 2008 when the whole system had a melt-down. Rather than panic, I worked with my team-mates to complete the migration successfully. I know I have what it takes to keep Fireworks Company up and running.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you about your Helpdesk Administrator opportunity. Please contact me at 303.333.3333 or email@address.com. Thank you for your time!

Sincerely,
Sandy Candidate

Happy job hunting, America!

02 Aug 2013
by admin

I

Two months ago, I joined the Kranect family, and I’ve enjoyed coming to work every day since. No, no, I’m not being conned into writing this blog post, rather, it’s something I’m proud I can say. It’s something I feel everyone should be able to say.

 

With four months left in the year, I put together a list of goals to accomplish by the close of 2013. This phrase was at the top. Also up there, helping others say it, too.

 

I decided to make a list of how I can enjoy coming to work each day, and I want to be able to check each one off, every single day.

  • -Love the work I do and continue to take pride in it.
  • -Like the people I work with and constantly learn from them.
  • -Be a valued member, and add value, to the Kranect team
  • -Balance my time at work with my time outside of it.
  • -Eat breakfast.

 

What am I missing? What makes you happy to go to work every morning?

26 Jun 2013
by Rolf

Digital Etiquette

I have been wondering about digital etiquette and how it relates to modern communication. I recently read an interesting article on this topic. It asked; how it can be OK in today’s society to sometimes completely ignore electronic forms of communication? Complete silence inevitably leaves the sender wondering if the recipient even got it or read it. How awkward would it be if you were standing in front of someone or on the phone with them, you ask them a reasonable question and the other person is completely silent? Yet it seems perfectly acceptable to ignore an e-mail that contains a reasonable question from someone you know. I consider myself somewhat old-fashioned in that my first preference is to have a business conversation face to face, my next preference is to talk on the phone. I can completely understand if you have no relationship with the sender of the e-mail and it is completely unsolicited, ignoring that seems perfectly acceptable. But what if it’s a referral or you have some sort of relationship with that person, shouldn’t we at least spend the ten seconds to reply with something? Even if it’s just saying “I don’t have time to respond to this.” If you are a fast typist you could write that in way less than ten seconds. Who doesn’t have ten seconds to be civil? I personally try to respond to every voice mail and e-mail I receive, even if it’s unsolicited. I figure the sender appreciates it and you never know who they know or how they may fit into your life sometime in the future. That being said, I fully embrace the digital age and the efficiency it helps us gain by being able to communicate with someone virtually at just about anytime and anyplace. I can only hope that some sort of decorum develops around responding.

07 Dec 2012
by admin

Tis the season

Welcome, December! Considering the weather in Colorado this year, it’s hard to believe that the holidays are upon us and it’s “Networking Season.” Rolf and I have been out and about to at least 2 networking events each week since Thanksgiving and we have many more on the calendar. Rolf has even nicknamed this string of events the “Pro Networking Tour.” You job seekers out there who have been attending these events have the advantage for finding great jobs right now. While others are off in a food coma, you are rubbing elbows with hiring managers, recruiters, and new friends. Building your network is the fastest and most fun way to make your job search more effective, plus the contacts you make today will be a solid support system to propel your career for years to come. But it’s not all one-sided. Networking, like everything else where people are interacting, is a collaborative activity. Offering advice, war stories, success stories, book recommendations, or referrals is always appreciated when it comes to networking. In the networking season spirit, we have a need for your input here at Kranect. We are debating a critical networking issue of etiquette. At networking events you typically get a nametag. Which is the most appropriate shoulder area to attach your name-tag and why? Tweet us @Kranect or post to our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Kranect ) and let us know what you think!

Kranect © 2017