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Communication and Feedback: Case Study – Emergency Communications Client

October 16th, 2018

CLIENT OVERVIEW

Based in New York, this emergency communications startup has built itself as a leader in their industry over the past several years. They have addressed common issues that people face in cases of emergency. Recently, they have partnered with several large global tech companies.

THE CHALLENGE

The company needed to scale out their engineering team in order to support upcoming partnerships with large technology companies. Because there were only a few dozen employees at the helm, time was of the essence. There were several permanent positions across the board that needed to be filled; including Back End, Front End, Product Management, DevOps & QA Engineers.

In addition to the time constraints to scale out a world-class engineering team, they had very specific and measurable requirements for every new hire. Candidates needed to understand the intensity and scope of working with a startup that desires top-tier engineers. For Talener, these constraints were a challenge, but were also clearly outlined to foster success.

THE TALENER SOLUTION

Talener understood the importance of constant communication and feedback. Following the first two placements, the Talener team met with the client to communicate feedback and debrief to ensure that expectations were being met. Talener provided information about the candidate interview experience, competition, other offers candidates were receiving, and presented advice moving forward. Taking the feedback seriously, the client provided additional selling points as well as their own comments regarding future placements.

Talener pitched the importance of the Company In method, in which the client came on-site to Talener to interview several candidates in succession. The Company In method allowed for immediate feedback from the candidates as well as the VP of Engineering. Likewise, they were given the opportunity to reinforce their mission, vision, values, and selling points in-person.

RESULTS

Early communication and expectation management led Talener to place 10 permanent engineering and product management employees in just over one year. The Company In method was utilized and successful for eight different positions. Two positions used phone screening and on-site interviewing.

Talener’s local, tech-specific teams could readily handle each candidate and position individually; supporting the client’s needs across several technology disciplines. Likewise, constant follow-up and feedback means that Talener has created an enduring relationship with the client based on open communication and honest evaluation.


If you would like to learn more about Talener’s Company In method, please reach out at 917-720-1080.

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Posted in Talener Blog

Leveraging Talener’s Company In Method

October 10th, 2018

CLIENT OVERVIEW

Located in New York, this not-for-profit organization has over 100 years of experience in the entertainment industry.

THE CHALLENGE

The incoming CTO conducted a review of the current technology teams and structures. It was determined that an on-shore QA team was needed; including both manual and automated QA Engineers. The client desired to fill these contract-to-hire positions quickly. They knew what type of talent they desired, had a clear idea of the qualifications needed, and had defined the contract duration and hourly pay rates.

Talener had an existing relationship with them through the Product & Project Management team in New York. When Talener’s QA recruiting team became aware of an open QA position, it was a seamless transition from one Talener team to another.

THE TALENER SOLUTION

Talener sourced three automated QA Engineers through its database of existing candidate relationships as well as traditional recruitment methods. With specific requirements given from the client, Talener was able to turnaround these candidates quickly. After meeting three candidates for the automated QA position, the client decided to hire all three for the team.

Additionally, they had a need for a manual QA Engineer. Talener encouraged the Company In method. The Company In allowed the client to come into Talener’s office for an afternoon and meet six candidates in succession. Talener received immediate feedback from both the client and each of the candidates, leading to quicker turnaround time. This method was appreciated by the hiring managers since Talener set up all of the interviews in one block time. They were able to compare and contrast candidates more efficiently.

RESULTS

The Company In was successful in providing qualified candidates in a short period of time. The one manual QA position turned into three contract-to-hire job offers due to the caliber of candidates recruited by Talener for the Company In.

In total, eight candidates were hired through Talener by the client within 10 days. Additionally, the trust and success of the Company In prompted them to ask Talener for two additional QA positions to be filled one week later. These positions were filled through two phone interviews after being recruited, screened, and pitched. Knowing the company’s methods, desired candidate skills, and their hiring structure, Talener was able to secure two additional hires for the QA team.


If you would like to learn more about Talener’s Company In method, please reach out at 917-720-1080.

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Posted in Talener Blog, Uncategorized

9 Ways to Compare Job Offers

September 18th, 2018

When it rains, it pours. Receiving multiple job offers at the same time puts you in a great position.  But it also means having to decide which job is the right match for you.  And it might not be apparent if you’ve only interviewed at places where you could see yourself building your career.

1. Make a List

Before your job hunt, make a list of non-negotiable items that you need to accept a job offer. This list will give you an opportunity to objectively look back and understand why certain benefits, compensation, or job environment are right for you.  In the moment, it can be easy to compromise with an offer in front of you; but there is a reason that these sticking points are important to you.

2. Evaluate the Commute

Are you taking public transportation, riding a bike, or driving? How long are you willing spend on your daily commute?  And what are you willing to pay? If your commute has you going in and out of a large city, public transport costs can run several hundred dollars per month.  Or, if you’re driving, is parking included, or are you expected to pick up the cost? When all else is equal, factor in the commute to determine how valuable your time is.

3. Compare Health & Retirement Benefits

Don’t be afraid to ask to speak with HR to evaluate the health benefits or retirement plans.  Know whether your health plans are paid by you, the company, or both.  And evaluate things like deductibles, out-of-pocket costs, and the overall quality of the plans offered.  Does the company offer a 401k and match it? Or will you need to put more money away to reach your retirement goals?

4. Company History

Dig into the company’s background to determine the stability and viability of the organization.  If they are a startup, what type of funding have they received? How has it been used? The way in which bankruptcies, mergers, or re-organization have been handled can give you a clearer picture of how these events may be dealt with in the future.

5. Learning Opportunities

Is it important in your line of work to know the latest cutting-edge technology? Will you fall behind professionally if you take a higher paying job but aren’t learning new systems or techniques?  If you are concerned that a job won’t provide you with the opportunities to learn and stay at the top of your field, add this to your list of must-haves.

6. Growth Opportunities

During the interview process, learn about how individuals have built their career path during their time at the company.  Does your growth depend on someone else leaving the organization?  What type of system is in place to ensure that you are challenged and working towards your own growth goals?

7. Evaluate the Perks & Benefits

From parental leave to paid vacation, look at your must-haves list to determine how these perks and benefits will impact your work-life balance or bottom line.  If you are expected to be at the office late, will the company pay for a car service home? Does the company offer disability insurance or employee wellness benefits?  How important are free catered lunches in your decision-making process?

8. Culture & Values

How do your values align with the organization?  Do you feel that their mission and vision reflect what you respect and expect from a company?  Look at how their mission and vision parallel their core values to decide if it is the right culture fit. Likewise, if you’ve had a chance to interview with your direct manager, consider the rapport that you built with them during that time.

9. Go with Your Gut

Take your time assessing all offers objectively – but also listen to your gut.  Take a few days to consider what’s important to you, ask questions, and get clarification on anything in the offer that is nagging at you. Chances are, your gut is right if you have lingering hesitations.

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Posted in Career Tips, Talener Blog

H-1B Premium Petitions: USCIS Extends & Expands Suspension

September 13th, 2018

Employers should adjust hiring time frames when preparing to onboard H-1B employees.  The suspension of the premium H-1B processing means that employers should factor in normal petition and approval time (2-6+ months), particularly if they are considering a time-sensitive hire.

What does this extension & suspension mean?

The United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) will no longer accept initial petitions for premium H-1B visa processing as of September 11th, 2018.  This will apply to most of the H-1B visa petitions that are filed at the California and Vermont Service Centers.

The California and Vermont Service Centers are responsible for initial petitions for a nonimmigrant worker (H-1B specialty occupation).

When does it take effect?

The expansion and extension of the current policy took effect on September 11, 2018 and is currently slated to remain in place until February 19, 2019.

What is a “premium” H-1B petition?

A premium H-1B petition is a way for an employer to pay an extra premium processing fee to the USCIS to have the H-1B decision within 15 calendar days.

As an employer, what does this mean?

Employers who are willing to sponsor an H-1B applicant after September 11, 2018, will not be allowed (in most cases) to file a premium H-1B visa petition to expedite the process.  Potential employees who require the H-1B visa through the employer will be required to submit their H-1B petition through regular processing.

What if I have an H-1B employee and they need to change their status or extend their visa?

Services will still be available to employers for status changes and extensions of current nonimmigrant H-1B visas.  The suspension of the H-1B premium petitions only applies to those who are beginning a new petition process.

How long does the USCIS take to process a “regular” petition?

Every situation is unique. Average processing times can vary between 2 and 6 months, but it could be longer.

Does the expansion and suspension of H-1B premium petitions affect me if I don’t reside in California or Vermont?

Yes. Only the California and Vermont Service Centers process these types of initial H-1B visa petitions.

Are any employers exempt from this policy?

Yes. Cap-exempt employers, typically higher education institutions or non-profit organizations associated with a higher education institution are excluded from this policy.

Can an employer make an expedited request during the time that premium processing isn’t available?

Yes. They can make expedited requests but the USCIS will generally not approve the request unless there is a compelling reason, backed by supporting evidence.

 

To find out more information about your specific situation, please visit the USCIS website.

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Posted in Clients, Talener Blog

Interviewer: Do You Have Kids?

August 28th, 2018

Handling Unexpected Interview Questions

 

Imagine you’ve spent weeks applying to new jobs, doing research, and preparing for interviews.  You’re ready for potential questions about the position and have an impressive list of questions to show your interest.  Interview day comes, and it’s going great.  You’ve established rapport and have confidently answered questions.  Then the interviewer asks you if you have children. You think they’re just trying to continue to build the relationship, but when you answer ‘yes’, the conversation turns.  The interviewer expresses that he doesn’t think that you will be a good fit for the role because the long hours required by the job just aren’t compatible with children.

What do you do?

Unfortunately, this isn’t a scenario. And the candidate wasn’t sure how to react to the situation. She didn’t want to lose out on the job opportunity, but she also knew that what he did was wrong – intentional or not.

Influencing Employment Decisions

Federal law prohibits employers from making hiring decisions based on race, sex, national origin, age, veteran status, religion, disability, pregnancy, genetic information, and more.  Likewise, state and local laws may also apply based on your location.

Interviewing on your own

If you are conducting your job search on your own, you could face situations like this more often than you’d think.  It can be hard to know how to react to a situation where you are in an interviewee position; trying to sell yourself as the right fit with all the necessary qualifications.

While uncomfortable or embarrassing, you have several options to advocate for yourself.

  • Refuse to Answer: While potentially awkward, you can refuse to answer a question. Explain that the question isn’t relevant to your expertise as it pertains to the position.
  • End the Interview: If there is a pattern of these types of questions, politely choose to end the interview. Thank the interviewer for their time and explain that it may not be the right fit for you.
  • Say Something: If no one has ever challenged the interviewer’s questions, they may not think twice about asking potentially inappropriate questions.
  • Report the Situation: If you feel that the questions go beyond inadvertent discrimination or display a pattern of behavior, you have every right to report the situation. Contact the HR department, the interviewer’s supervisor, or the US EEOC. Be aware that you may need to prove that a negative hiring decision was made based on an answer to a question about a protected class.
  • Deflect: Do they want to know if your current (or future) kids will keep you from working late? Instead, ask what their expectations are regarding time demands or reassure them that you are prepared to meet necessary work schedules no matter your family situation.

Staffing Agencies: Your Biggest Advocate

Staffing services go beyond helping you find a job. In fact, in the situation the candidate faced above, Talener took the reins on the issue to advocate on behalf of the candidate.  This direct line of communication with the organization took the candidate out of an awkward situation. It allowed us to educate them about why the question was inappropriate and potentially illegal; particularly since they confirmed that they would make a hiring decision based on the answer. Likewise, we coached them on how they could formulate questions in the future if they are concerned about employee availability.

Be honest with your recruiter. If something happened during an interview that you are uncomfortable with, let them know. Take advantage of their experience and allow them to insert themselves into these types of situations.  Intentional or not, interviewers who ask these types of questions will continue to do so if no one speaks up.

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Posted in Career Tips, Talener Blog

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