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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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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4 Tips To Market Yourself To An IT Interviewer

Whether your plans for 2016 include searching for new IT gigs, advancing your careerimages 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.

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College Degrees: The Incomplete Picture

Pros and Cons to Consider Before Screening for Your Contract Needs

When a company finds itself in need of an IT pro, hiring managers and IT recruiters begin Collegesifting through a variety of resumes – weeding out candidates based on predetermined requirements for the role they are hoping to fill. In the past, one such requirement has been a consultant’s acquisition of a 4-year degree. However, many new initiatives and developments in the world of IT have necessitated a change in that mode of thinking. While we certainly wouldn’t turn this prerequisite on its head (screening for IT pros without a college degree) in many cases it has become an outdated mode of elimination. So before beginning the search to fill your upcoming contract needs, consider these positives and negatives to an IT pro having or not having a diploma. Doing so can help you make an educated decision about what you’re REALLY looking for, and can help you find the best resource for your needs.

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How To Get The Most From Your Skype Interview

skype-interviewIn the same way that seasons change, so do our interviewing practices.  Conducting a Skype interview doesn’t have to be difficult.  Take advantage of the medium and avoid distractions.  Get the most from your Skype interview with these tips:

Turn It Off

One of the easiest mistakes to make while giving Video interviews, or phone interviews for that matter, is to leave other electronics running that distract us from the task at hand: discovering if the person interviewing is a good fit for your company.  Respect your time and theirs by turning off notifications, setting your cell phone to the side, and giving your undivided attention to the interviewee. Don’t miss a key sentence or opportunity to learn more because of an email notification.

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3 Skills Every IT Pro Should Have

job-interview- soft skillsYou may have the best technical skills of any IT pro in the market, but if you’re missing these three important soft skills, you could be in trouble on the job front.  While some soft skills are universally important, others take greater precedence depending on the industry in which you work. Whether you’re getting ready to interview or working to develop your skills, these three attributes are especially important for the tech professional.

Be Flexible

Ask any seasoned IT pro, and they’ll tell you that a flexible nature is a must-have in the tech world.  Flexibility means maintaining a positive attitude and reprioritizing as issues arise.  Software doesn’t always function properly, computers crash, and humans error at inconvenient times- like outside of business hours.  An ability to go with the flow is a great way to impress your employer and make you an invaluable part of IT.

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Make A Big Bang In Your Interview

Big Bang Theory PictureHaving the right equation can make all the difference in your job search.  Take some of these lessons from the Big Bang crew to make positive and long lasting impression with your interviewer, from making a bold move to learning the right non-verbals. We have some insight from all your favorite characters for your next interview.

What we learn from Leonard:

Leonard may fit into the “nerd” or “geek” category, but he’s constantly open to trying new things, even encouraging his friend and roommate, Sheldon, to break out of his rigid routine. Break out of your normal routine for job searching.  Take a chance and go after a job that might be “out of your league”.  Interviewing for a job out of your league requires you to stretch yourself and prove you have what it takes.  In your interview, make a bold move by sharing how you can be a successful addition to the company.  It’s often bold moves that impress an interviewer.

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Research A Company Like A World Champion

brauca-world-cup-ball-header

Every athlete competing in the world cup had to prepare and work hard to advance to the next level.  You should prepare for your next interview in the same way.  Research the company well to make it to the next level.

Get the specs for your World Cup ball

This year’s World Cup ball, the Brazuca has excellent aerodynamics, and consistency of shape, and was designed specifically for the host country,Brazil. When preparing for an interview, take into consideration the different elements of the company you’re researching like the interviewer, competitors, and the overall industry.

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Lessons from the Jetsons: Skype Interviews

jetsons videophoneWho would have believed that the Jetsons’ prediction of video calls 50 years ago would have been spot on? Or almost.  Just like George would talk to his boss Mr. Spacely, we now have Skype Interviews and video meetings. Although video interviews are not quite as second nature as they were in the Jetsons’ home, you can follow these tips for video interviewing like a pro.

Help out the house like Henry Orbit.

The Jetson’s house is always illuminated thanks to their maintenance man, Henry.  To begin preparing for your interview, look at the lighting in your space.  You want to make sure you’re not a shadow to your interviewer.  How can you avoid shadows?  First, maximize the use of natural light by positioning yourself near a window. You can sit facing the window, or to the left or right of it to optimize that natural light.  Second, turn on lights in the room and move them so that the light fills in the darker spaces.  If you want to do lighting like a pro, use a softer light aimed toward your face, a backlight to add dimension to your space, and fill lights to balance the light on either side of your body.

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What’s the Big Deal About ‘Culture Fit’? Part 1

Considering Culture Fit

ESP Team shares laugh at quarterly meeting

© 2013 ESP-IT. All Rights Reserved.

You spend more waking hours at work than at home, but when you’re evaluating a potential employer, do you think about the culture you’re getting yourself into? A company’s culture is its values, practices, attitudes, and norms. While getting hired is the end goal, it’s important that you don’t lose sight of what kind of culture the hiring company has to offer. In addition to the information you can uncover before a job interview, you can find out a lot about a company’s culture during the interview itself; just observe and ask.

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