Cray, the global supercomputing technology leader, has been partnering with ESP IT since 2011. ESP IT started working with Cray through Blaine Ebeling, Senior Software Manager. Blaine was searching for engineering consulting talent with very specific experience in Linux Systems. Throughout the years, we at ESP have learned about Cray’s particular technical needs and fantastic work culture, helping them find the strong, self-motivated engineers they’ve needed. In fact, many of the contractors we’ve placed at Cray have converted to full-time roles. Cray reaches out to consulting firms when they’re unable to find resources through their own HR recruiting staff – meaning the roles they send to ESP are especially challenging due to the competitive IT labor market Minnesota is experiencing. We’ve been able to deliver because we took the time to listen and truly understand the skills and traits needed to be a successful team player at Cray. Thanks for the years of partnership and the kind testimonial Blaine!
Our history with Darin Lynch goes way back. He was once a group manager at ESP Software Services, a division of ESP IT sold to Cotelligent in 1996. Darin started Irish Titan, a company specializing in designing and developing e-commerce platforms, websites, and digital strategy in 2004. Darin and Bob Hildreth (CEO of ESP IT) reconnected several years ago and now talk often to discuss ideas and challenges they face as leaders of fast-growing entrepreneurial technology companies.
ESP believes that a great culture fit is as paramount to a successful team as a skill fit. We know the Titan team well. We have invested the time on the front end to understand their organizational needs with each hire, and we find the best technical talent to meet those needs. We understand Irish Titan’s unique culture, Darin’s leadership and brand philosophy, and what it means to be a part of the Titan family. That’s why Irish Titan has partnered with ESP IT to help grow their technical team in development and engineering.
Culture fit became a huge buzzword around 2012, and has since ingrained itself as a requirement for job seekers, consultants, and employers alike. But what do we mean when we say we are looking for a person—or opportunity—that is the right “fit” culturally? And has this concept become so commonplace that we’re losing sight of why it’s really important?
Whether in the tech industry or not, full-time employees spend more waking hours at work than anywhere else. This should incentivize companies to promote great cultures and compel professionals to work with businesses that align with individual values, practices, attitudes, and norms, creating a more positive workplace, better social interactions, and higher productivity. Ultimately, having a compatible tech team helps to create a thriving career for technology professionals and a flourishing company.
The Minnesota High Tech Association’s monthly workforce reports show between 7,000 and 10,000 tech job openings in Minnesota, with the top 5 skills in demand being Java, SQL, QA, SDLC, and Linux. Chances are, you’re looking for IT professionals in Minneapolis with those same skills, which means you have competition. Project Managers, Java Developers, Software Engineers, and .NET developers are “most wanted” by you and everyone else in the Twin Cities. They’re hard to find and they aren’t cheap to come by, so you have to be strategic when looking to fill these top tech roles. Luckily for you, we’ve compiled some tips that have helped many of the Minnesota companies we’re fortunate to call our clients fill their IT talent needs.
As a leader, “Does my team trust me?” is a question to ask on a regular basis. Trust isn’t inherent. It must be earned and shared. As a leader working with technology professionals in the midst of a talent shortage, earning the trust of your team becomes even more imperative. Tech execs play a pivotal role in the success of their team, overall workplace satisfaction, and ultimately, retention. Because of this, trust has always been a core value for our company. ESP has learned that implementing trust tactics not only is essential for doing business with our clients, but it also helps foster positive relationships within our in-office team, and with our consultants.
Are IT consultants your best solution to the talent shortage?
Demand for tech talent is fierce. The Twin Cities alone boast 164,500 opportunities for tech pros, and that number is projected to keep growing. Unfortunately, high competition also means that employers face high tech talent turnover. Though many have implemented retention-driven strategies and launched specific perks designed to hold onto these fleeting IT pros, reports still reveal a turnover rate of between 9.1% and 10.6% for employees in the tech industry.
From weddings, to family vacations, to daycare needs, the summer months demand more time of your tech employees than any other season. Not only can these busy schedules pose a threat to your team’s engagement, but conflicting vacation schedules and availabilities can also lead to lost productivity and delayed project timelines. However, the opportunities presented by this season far outweigh its challenges. Tech employers who strategically leverage the summer months by offering additional workplace perks and tactically navigating schedules create an open environment conducive to employee happiness – a key factor to increasing retention and engagement throughout the year. Rather than panicking over the obstacles that lie ahead, consider the following strategies and perks that you can use to boost productivity and keep things running smoothly.
The Millennial members of ESP’s team weigh in on how their own professional experiences and their recruitment interactions with Millennial IT pros have shaped their view of the Millennial generation, and provide some advice to their peers in the tech field
In many ways, the challenges of a Millennial workforce have already been addressed. The internet has produced extensive myth-busting content about the Millennial generation, as well as tips to help bridge the gap between Millennials and older generations. We’ve learned that there are gaps even within the Millennial generation that can cause workplace tension, and that ultimately, Millennials are comprised of individuals with unique needs in much the same way as their predecessors’ generations were. But the question remains – why do Millennial stereotypes persist, and how can we end them for good? Perhaps the answer involves Millennials looking inward to identify the ways they are perpetuating these stereotypes, and seeking solutions that will turn the talk in their favor.
That a gender gap exists in tech is an undeniable fact, though not a new revelation. Groups such as Girls Who Code and Women Who Code have made efforts to draw awareness to this issue, sharing research proving the number of women graduating from college with computer science degrees has dropped from 37 percent in 1984 to 18 percent today, along with other startling findings.
But an underlying question, the big “so what?” remains largely unanswered. As a result, many in tech are left wondering whether the hot-button issue has received more hype than it is worth.
For a fourth year in a row, we’re thrilled to be on Minnesota Business Magazine’s list of 100 Best Companies To Work For. This award is a special honor, because we were selected thanks to the anonymous survey responses of our very own ESP team! In order to determine which companies are “the best”, the survey’s questions seek to identify whether a company’s work environment, employee benefits, and overall employee happiness exceed those of “standard” employers. We’re proud to stand out from the rest, and to better understand what makes us great, we asked our team to share a few of the things we’re doing right in each of the three categories. Here’s what they had to say: