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San Francisco and Massachusetts Prepare for July 1 Salary History Ban Enforcement

June 5th, 2018

The State of Massachusetts and the City of San Francisco are the latest jurisdictions to adopt salary history bans. These bans take effect on July 1, 2018.

In 2017, the City of New York, the State of California, as well as others, have started enforcement of these types of bans.  These laws attempt to eliminate the pay gap and perpetual underpayment that can occur from using salary history as a gauge for hiring decisions or pay determination.  Most of these laws tackle the pay inequality by prohibiting questions about current or past salary (and in some cases, all compensation).

An amendment to San Francisco’s Parity in Pay Ordinance will affect employers and employees in the City of San Francisco.  Likewise, those in San Francisco are also subject to the rules set forth by the state’s Fair Pay Act (part of California’s Equal Pay Act).  Both sets of legislation prohibit employers or agents of employers (like staffing agencies) from asking a potential employee about their current or past compensation.  Applicants can voluntarily disclose their salary as long as it is disclosed without prompting.  Additionally, employers are prohibited from sharing any salary information about current or former employees unless they have received express written consent from the employee or applicant in question.

Two main differences between the Parity in Pay Ordinance and the Fair Pay Act include the time to file a complaint and requests for a pay scale.  Applicants or employees in the City of San Francisco will have up to 180 days to file a complaint for a violation where as the State of California will allow up to two years for filing.  Second, under reasonable request by an applicant, California requires employers to provide a pay scale for a specific position.

On July 1st, Massachusetts will also start enforcement of their salary history ban under the Massachusetts Equal Pay Act.  Salary cannot be sought after or inquired about through the application or interview process.  However, once an offer with compensation has been made to an applicant, the employer can confirm wage or salary history.  Claims for suspected violations can be filed up to three years after the incident in question.

These laws place the burden of proof on the employer.  Employers should ensure that they have taken the appropriate steps (within the applicable law or ordinance) to educate their employees and interviewers of these changes. Likewise, training or educational notices will also aid an employer in proving their good faith effort.

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Posted in Talener Blog

The World of Highly Organized Hacking

May 17th, 2018

Takeaways from Hack NYC 2018

“For me, the biggest take away from this event was how well organized the hacking world is,” says Tade Reen, Talener’s Information Security Business Development Manager.  Reen attended Hack NYC  at Microsoft’s NYC headquarters last week to learn more about various types of cyber-attacks and situations that organizations are dealing with today.

“Every minute of every day, the ‘bad guys’ are developing new ways to compromise networks and applications, while the ‘good guys’ are constantly trying to figure out how to stop them,” explains Reen.

As companies and governments go completely digital, the security risks are almost unquantifiable.  It’s a game of cat and mouse; where the mouse has a highly organized infrastructure that rivals many companies and governments.

Many of these hacking operations are in Eastern Europe and across Asia.  But don’t expect dark basements or dodgy back alleys.  The majority of these operations occur in office suites full of employees who are on payroll and have insurance plans.  Many maintain similar lives to your standard sales role; meeting KPIs and generating revenue for the organization. High performing hackers are rewarded with the best working hours, including the holiday shopping season or hours when purchasing traffic is high (especially in the United States).  The competition is fierce.

An event speaker broke down his experience covering, guarding, and shadowing one specific hacker in the Ukraine. The speaker’s client, a big box retailer, hired him to defend their system against this single hacker.  Like playing defense in a one-on-one game of basketball, he had to anticipate the hacker’s next move to ensure he was a step ahead.

Security breaches in financial institutions or eCommerce are at the forefront of everyone’s mind.  But there are much scarier implications to these types of hacking incidences.  In the medical technology field, Reen noted, “Hospital systems can be easily compromised.  From patient records to digitally ordering & mixing IV medications, these new systems and practices open the medical community up to potentially deadly threats.”

One session described how, at the push of a button, doctors can digitally input IV medications.  This means that hackers could replace an intended medication with any cocktail of their choosing.  In 2016, a case from the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center proved just how easily hackers can digitally lock down their target.  A hacker demanded 40 Bitcoin (approximately $17,000) after seizing control of the hospital’s systems.  Due to the gravity of the situation, the hospital paid the hacker to regain access.

This case was one of many that prompted a wave of cyber-attacks. In 2017, WannaCry, a widely known ransomware worm spread through networks across the world. It infected computers and encrypted files, paralyzing users until ransoms were paid.  One widely publicized WannaCry attack locked down the UK’s National Health Service.

Companies are digitizing at a record rate; making the opportunities for hackers endless.  Information security experts are in high demand and a step behind.  The days of filing cabinets and floppy disks have been replaced with cloud-based servers and mobile tap-to-pay.  Every day presents new challenges and tests the information security industry’s ability to outwit, outpace, and outlast a new generation of highly-organized hackers.

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Posted in Talener Blog

10 Questions Job Seekers Should Ask Before Accepting Remote Work

April 16th, 2018

Partial or full-time remote work ranks as one of the top benefits that job applicants seek in a new role.  Employees are seeking to take back their time – either through flexible working hours, reducing their commute, or work from anywhere options.

There is a debate about productivity, retention, and the overall benefit of allowing employees to work from home. Last year, IBM recalled many of its employees back to the office – ending a benefit that was once touted for increasing productivity.  On the other side, Dell aspires to have 50% of its workforce in remote situations by 2020.

So how do organizations that offer remote opportunities make this perk mutually beneficial? They set expectations.  Regional Director Austin Douglas says that setting expectations ahead of time will eliminate a lot of headaches in the long run.

And it isn’t just employers who need to set expectations, Douglas says.  Employees also need to be proactive in asking about and conveying expectations.

  1. How am I expected to communicate with the office or others on my team?
  2. What apps, communication systems, or software am I expected to know or learn?
  3. Am I able to work when I want or are there specific hours that I need to be available?
  4. Do I need to log hours or keep track of projects?
  5. Is there reimbursement / stipend for my internet, phone, or mobile bills that are associated with working remotely?
  6. Who covers the cost of travel if I am required to come into the office?
  7. Do I have the option to work from the office if I do not want to work from home?
  8. Is there anything in the foreseeable future that would cause circumstances to change as it applies to remote work?
  9. Who is expected to install or provide the equipment that I will use to work remotely? What if there is an issue?
  10. Are there any location restrictions to my remote work? I.e. Can I be out of the country?

Based in Los Angeles, Douglas estimates that about half of all job seekers that he works with are looking for some type of remote work. The dreaded Los Angeles traffic means that the commute is one of the top reasons for which an applicant will accept or reject a job offer.  Some type of remote work, even partial, is highly desired.

“It is important to know exactly what you want,” says Douglas. “And it is also important to treat remote work as if you are at the office in order to be successful.  Create a work-only space, structure your day, log your hours, and get dressed as if you are going to work.”

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Posted in Talener Blog

The Candidate Experience

March 1st, 2018

Talener is committed to providing every candidate with an experience unlike any other technical recruiting agency. In 2017, Talener celebrated it’s 10th anniversary. This milestone gave us the opportunity to reflect on the business. We look back on those years; trying to improve every aspect of Talener. This starts internally as we continue to build our culture and develop our staff.

Taking care of our candidates and providing the best for them means that we must create an internal environment where we provide our people with opportunity, growth & purpose. This team is engaged and inspired by the work they do. This dedication and engagement means that they can provide better service to you and our clients.

As a company, and as individuals, we are committed to your experience.   We strive to provide you with:

A Strong Relationship

A resume doesn’t tell the whole story. Building a relationship by meeting you in-person is standard practice. We are representing you, as a person, not just a piece of paper.  Resume algorithms and keyword percentage matches remove the human aspect.  Finding a job is much more than technical skills. It is about building a relationship that allows us to find the right fit for both you and the client.

Local Jobs

Our teams operate locally. We focus on local talent with local companies. Our desire to build relationships in-person cannot be achieved if we are not operating locally. Our teams know the market, the types of roles available, have relationships with local companies, and live where you do.

Specialization

We work in local teams that focus on specialized technical verticals.  It is important that every team member understand how their technology stack applies to you. And, it is imperative that we can relay back our client’s needs and ask the right questions when we are speaking with the direct hiring managers.  These conversations with the person with whom you will directly report are paramount to understanding who the company wants to hire vs. the skills in which they are interested.

Communication & Feedback

The interviewing and application process can be daunting. Our goal is to take some of the stress out of the process by ensuring clear communication at every step of the way.  We provide interview feedback (good or bad), explain how the interview process is progressing, communicate timelines, and let you know where you stand as it pertains to other applicants.  We want to help you to improve and be successful.

Preparation

We will prepare you beyond the job description.  From company information to team intricacies, we are committed to prepare you for every challenge you may face.  Preparing you for technical interviews or quirks of a particular hiring manager, means giving you a leg up against fellow applicants.

Being Your Advocate

We are your advocate. We are here to market your experience, understand you job desires, and build your brand on your behalf.

Coaching

Coaching goes hand-in-hand with communication and preparation.  We’ll help you to answer tough questions like why you were fired or what your salary expectations are.

Managing the Interview Process

In addition to communicating how the interview process works, we will also help to manage the timeline and multiple interviews. We know how hard it is to take time from your busy day to interview, so we strive to make this process as seamless as possible.

Every day, we focus on building great, lasting relationships in our market and our community.  While the goal is ultimately to find you a role – the path and the experience getting there can be just as crucial. Ensuring that you are placed at the right company with in the right role means that we have done our job.  Jobs open and close and the technology market changes rapidly.  We want to be on your side, helping you to navigate these changes, be prepared for the unknown, and give you the expertise you need to be successful.

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Posted in Talener Blog

The Entry Level Resume: Making it Count

February 21st, 2018

Snagging your first job out of college or an entry-level role in a new industry can be tough. You research the organizations, look at their networks, and check their reviews.  But after you have applied, is your resume being seen at all?

Software programs search for keywords – meaning there is a chance that your resume may never make it into the hands of a recruiter.  Recruiters and HR sometimes have hundreds of resumes for one position.

Every day, the Talener Talent Acquisition Team strives to give dozens of applications the attention they deserve. They look for key elements that help them decide whether an applicant will receive a call back.

Objective Statement

Sometimes it is a goal, a mission statement, or an objective. But most of the time, it is not a make-or-break on your resume.  If you’re running out of space, nix the objective. It’s a few more lines that may keep a recruiter from going further down your resume.  If you think your objective statement is unique and a key part of your personal brand- don’t leave it out.

Information Overload

Creating narrow margins, minimizing font size and, tightening spacing can be just as detrimental to your resume as misspelled words or poor grammar.  Your resume should provide a flow and easy reading for the recruiter.  Keep sections neat, organized, and in chronological order.

Keywords

Whether we like it our not, we are programmed to pick up keywords and phrases that support the necessary skills for a role.  What qualifications did that job description ask for? Do your keywords compliment or complete these requirements?

Skills

Skills build over time.  As an entry-level applicant, it is important to show how you have used your education, previous jobs, and time to maximize your skills.  Do your skills illustrate your willingness to learn new things?

Quality Over Quantity

Most resumes receive less than 60-seconds of facetime.  Important information should always be first and stand out. The amount of jobs you’ve held or clubs you’ve been a part of are less important than what you did during your time.

Leadership

Taking a leadership role always stands out. It shows your ability to juggle time constraints, oversee projects and interact with people.  Highlight where you made the biggest impact and how you got to your position.

Education

Education can be a sensitive topic. Many people who do not follow traditional education routes may feel boxed out of certain positions.  Use your resume to show your path and how it has made you what you are today.  Never discount your non-traditional background- but be prepared to qualify your experience.

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Posted in Talener Blog

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