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.
Working with or in IT, you’ve undoubtedly encountered contract-to-hire. Since gaining popularity around 2010, these opportunities have been purported as “win-win” solutions for employers and employees alike, allowing individuals to contract with a company for a defined period under the mutual intention of considering a more permanent arrangement when the contract is over. But while many find this middle-ground arrangement to be the best of both worlds, others have concluded that perm-only or contract-only arrangements are their best fit. That’s why it’s important for both parties to consider the positives and negatives before pursuing a contract-to-hire arrangement. Who knows – after considering all the facts, you may find yourself making an unexpected choice.
As an IT consultant, your professional career is marked by many choices, changes, and adjustments. While these career choices don’t consist of choosing between the light and dark sides as is the case for your favorite Star Wars characters, you must strive every day to ensure that your actions and decisions are in line with your ultimate professional goals. In light of the tech talent shortage, which has led to increased opportunities for IT pros, deciding on your path may be more challenging than ever before – particularly if you find yourself faced with multiple contract opportunities. While navigating these multiple offers or opportunities can be tricky, these tips from the battlefront experts will help you “use the force” and land your best IT gig:
Though your IT adventure isn’t taking place a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, it’s filled with some of the same exciting twists and turns that the on-screen story brings to life. Like your favorite Star Wars characters, faced with choosing between good and evil, your choice to become an IT pro set the course for your future. It also meant that you’ll have to make many more difficult decisions in the years to come. For some, these decisions may not only have included considering one offer, but choosing between two or more opportunities. Due to the tech talent shortage, IT pros may frequently find themselves in such a position during their careers when planning to move into a new full time role. Knowing how to professionally navigate the process, from communicating with IT hiring managers to making a sound decision, will be key to helping you land the best opportunities. Before entering the “battlefield,” consider these tips from the Star Wars big leagues:
Sifting through applications is one of the most important first hurdles for an IT hiring manager to overcome in the selection process. Unfortunately, this first step can also be the downfall of the hiring process due to one key mistake: prioritizing applications with greater years of experience instead of looking for contenders whose experience shows potential. Instead of focusing your screening and interviewing energy on selecting the “Most Experienced Candidate,” consider which prospects stand out for their work in the following four categories.
Whether your plans for 2016 include searching for new IT gigs, advancing your career by acquiring additional IT certifications, or going after an Academy Award, a strong personal branding strategy is essential to launch you into the next season. While you may not be able to spend the millions of dollars on your personal branding campaign that Hollywood invests in the Oscars each year, you can gain valuable insight by seeking self-promotion and marketing tips from the film industry experts. Keeping these 4 tips in mind at your next IT interview will help you to improve upon and spread the word about your professional reputation by focusing on those unique attributes and soft skills which make you the right fit for a new gig.
We know the holidays can be a challenging time for employees. So, while the ESP IT team is busy wrapping-up both projects and gifts, we like to reward them for a year of hard work by throwing a holiday party. Not only does this event promote one of our core values, “have fun,” but it also increases employee engagement and satisfaction at a time when productivity can be at its lowest.
The traditional “office holiday party” sometimes gets a pretty bad rep, but when you approach the celebration with consideration and excitement, we’ve found it can lead to a yearly highlight. Check out these four easy tips we’ve cultivated to make our celebration a blast.
There’s been a recent trend in workplace “total wellness” initiatives to shift emphasis from work-life balance, to work-life integration – and we think IT pros everywhere should rejoice. Though the work-life balance camp is well intentioned, the movement still has professionals seeing “work” and “life” as two mutually exclusive, competitive facets. Instead, work-life integration sees “life” as an interaction with multiple domains, work, which has resulted in increased productivity and greater personal satisfaction. For IT pros in particular, the shift comes with many benefits, ultimately resulting in the potential to strengthen your reputation as a consultant.