Cray Inc. Case Study

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! 

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Irish Titan Case Study

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.

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5 Steps to Succeed on a Scrum Team as a BA

5 Steps for BAs to Succeed on a Scrum Team

Originally written by Trina Silverglate, IT Consultant; Abridged August 2017

In Scrum methodology, the BA is not a defined role, but often companies decide it will be most effective to include one on their teams. Because of the lack of definition around the role, as a Business Analyst Contractor, you can end up with a wide variance of responsibilities. To set yourself up for success on your next Scrum project, ESP has identified these 5 simple steps:

1. Learn About The Team To Know Where You Fit In
Ask if the project will have individuals that are dedicated to the roles of Product Owner and Scrum Master. If not, a BA with Scrum experience or certification may be asked to help fill one or both of those roles. If there is a dedicated Product Owner and/or Scrum Master on the team, find out how she or he will perform that role on the project. Know where you’ll be needed, and avoid confusion concerning responsibilities.

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ESP IT Welcomes Tim Schinke as VP of Sales & Recruiting

Tim Schinke VP of Sales for ESP ITWe are pleased to announce that Tim Schinke joined ESP IT in June as VP of Sales & Recruiting. His responsibilities include providing effective and inspiring leadership, creating and developing new sales strategies for ESP’s future growth, and ensuring ESP’s clients always receive the highest level of care.

Prior to joining ESP IT, Tim gained 25 years of leadership experience, holding several Vice President of Sales positions within the technology and software industries. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated success in teaching and mentoring technology and sales professionals and shown expertise in ERP software at companies including PeopleSoft, SAP, and Salesforce.com.

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What Do Millennial IT Pros Need to Know?

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

What Do Millennial IT Pros Need to KnowIn 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.

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Our Team Weighs In On Why ESP’s The Best

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:

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Screen Top IT Talent For Potential, Not Experience

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.

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Why ESP IT Holds An Annual Holiday Party: 4 Tips

We know the holidays can be a challenging time for employees. So, while the ESP IT teamHoliday Party 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.

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“Back To The Future”: IT Systems That Have Traveled Through Time

In 1989, the second installment of the popular “Back to the Future” movie franchise sent Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) into the future – where he arrived on October 21, 2015. In honor of the film series, we’d like to celebrate five IT systems that have traversed time and remain essential to the industry.

Mainframes

In the first film of the franchise (from 1985), Marty McFly travels back to 1955 to change his parents’ future. That same year, engineers were busy developing a computer model that would change the future of IT. By the late 1950s, developments in hardware and software led manufacturing companies toward building bigger models. Though IT thinkers predicted that such “big iron” mainframe technologies would be retired by 1996, the unforeseen February 2008 release of the z10 by IBM gave this technology an avenue that has kept mainframe use relevant to a wide range of users and networks.

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Undercover Interview

Before you arrive at an interview, the hiring manager and the company are watchingUndercover you. From the way you interact with others to the way you portray yourself online, these kinds of spies are everywhere. And in light of the new James Bond movie, Skyfall, we decided to identify these spies for you and show you how to best handle them.

The Decoy: the receptionist        

The smiling face you see when you first enter the building represents your first mission. Remember that if you are hired you will be seeing the receptionist every morning, so this impression counts. While you want them to like you, Vault Blogs calls attention to the mistakes that can be made by being too friendly. You could give the impression that if hired you would become an employee who “has no respect for their time.” US News MONEY says that “many interviewers will ask the receptionist what they think of you,” and while they won’t have fancy spy gadgets like Bond’s ring camera to prove anything, you’ll still want their answer to be positive.

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