How to Assess a Job Offer

How to Assess a Job Offer

An interview reveals a lot about a candidate; it also shows candidates a little bit about the employer. Though we often focus on the job hunt – seeking, applying and seizing positions – the moments before signing with a company are all about reflection and evaluation. To confirm that a new job is suitable, assess the job offer by critically examining the following areas of a contract.

  • Title. This is not a trivial detail. Titles bear roles and responsibilities, so yours should represent the position accurately: Ensure that you receive credit for the work expected of you.
  • Schedule. What hours will you work and from where (i.e. commuting or telecommuting)?
  • Salary. Understand your base rate as well as the payment schedule. Can you maintain or improve your current lifestyle with the offering? Some suggest moving jobs only if the salary sits 10-15% higher.
  • Bonuses. Does the contract include any other factors that add value? This may include perks for out-of-office enjoyment (gym memberships, parking/travel reimbursement, day care, education and so on).
  • Benefits. Consider both medical (health and dental) and financial (pension plans, retirement plans, insurance, severance packages and so on) in your job assessment. Do employees receive stock options? If so, what is the vesting schedule?
  • Review. Businesses should conduct both performance and salary reviews for the sake of career advancement.
  • Vacation. How many days do you get off a year? Inquire about sick days, personal days, maternity/paternity leave and other less common circumstances.
  • Start. Do you have enough distance from the start date to transition smoothly into the new position?
  • Culture. Not everything is about money and perks – you need to enjoy yourself too. For this reason, evaluate the company’s culture to ensure that you fit in and agree to its ideals.

About Us: FlexStaf-IT is a Canadian-based organization that connects qualified I.T. personnel with companies offering short- or long-term contract assignments, permanent placement positions, and fully managed end-to-end I.T. project solutions.

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Can IT Training Land You a Higher Salary?

IT Training

Our recent post “Where to Next? The Workforce or Classroom” discusses the value of experience over education. As much as it’s hard to gauge the preference of one employer, staying up-to-date in your field can only improve your candidacy for a job. In fact, when browsing the market, a list full of credentials can help you land a senior role along with a higher salary.

For those already employed, acquiring IT certifications shows initiative in the workplace, which can lead to more opportunities for career advancement and compensation. Employers recognize those who excel at their jobs and who boost an operation’s productivity. In fact, some businesses even encourage their employees to learn more by offering classes and workshops in-office. Others simply reimburse employees for relevant schooling taken after hours.

Job seekers too can readily find on-demand IT certificates online. That said, use good judgement: Government-run classes, for example, strengthen a resume, unlike suspect or unheard of services. Sometimes, the best place to start is a corporation’s website that you frequently encounter in the workplace (i.e. Microsoft). Depending on the course, however, IT professionals may need to pay heftily for texts, exam fees and other related tuition expenses. Consider this an investment towards your career, so pick courses directly relevant to your experience.

If you would like to explore IT certificates available, visit Tom’s IT Pro and click on one of the following areas: Backup and Data Recovery, Big Data, Cloud IT, Mobility, Virtualization, Wireless Networking, Telecommunications, Computer Hardware, Project Management, Database, Linux, Enterprise Architect, System Administrator, Information Security and various others.

Candidates who seek employment in any of the above fields, we invite you to get in-touch. FlexStaf-IT is a Canadian-based organization that connects qualified I.T. personnel with companies offering short- or long-term contract assignments, permanent placement positions, and fully managed end-to-end I.T. project solutions.

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The Most Popular Programming Languages of 2014

Programming Languages

IT professionals need to seize every advantage when career hunting. Despite the importance of soft skills and experience, workers can surpass their competition by adding a few new programming languages to their resume. But which language to start with?

Below you will find a list that illustrates the most popular programming languages of 2014. Identify with one or two, and then look to branch out to others that are familiar. In most cases, programming skills are transferrable.

  • Python (Average Salary $83,000)
  • Java (Average Salary $95,000)
  • Javascript (Average Salary $88,000)
  • C++ (Average Salary $94,000)
  • C# (Average Salary $91,000)
  • Objective C (Average Salary $93,000)
  • Ruby (Average Salary $94,000)
  • PHP (Average Salary $81,000)
  • Perl (Average Salary $93,000)
  • Scala (Average Salary $100,000)
  • HTML5/CSS (Average Salary $81,000)
  • XML (Average Salary $92,000)
  • SQL (Average Salary $90,000)

*Average salaries based on Computer World statistics
**List compiled using CodeEvel, eWEEK (A website that in turn references Dice, Stack Overflow’s Careers, Indeed, FlexJobs the TIOBE index), Lynda, and Jobs Tractor databases

Programming Languages

Note: CodeEval, a frequent host of app building competitions, ranks Python as the single most popular programming language on the market. eWeek, however, believes that C-based languages are among the most important. Programmers should further research jobs pertaining to all items listed above in order to find those most pertinent to their search.

If any of the popular programming languages interest you, contact us to find related jobs currently available. Alternatively, view our Twitter Feed on the right-hand side, where we advertise many leads and open positions.

FlexStaf-IT is a Canadian-based organization that connects qualified I.T. personnel with companies offering short- or long-term contract assignments, permanent placement positions, and fully managed end-to-end I.T. project solutions.

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Job-Hopping in the Tech Industry: Good or Bad?

Job-Hopping Tech

Only one decade ago, employers viewed job-hopping negatively. Those carrying a short, hefty employment history looked indecisive, incompatible and undependable. In other words, such candidates were unfit for hiring. Today, however, companies not only forgive job-hopping, but many also appreciate it. Consider the fact the majority of Canadians stay in a position for a maximum of two years. What does this say about the market?

Job-hopping is the product of a confident, aggressive generation. It has become a way for young IT professionals to acquire technical knowledge in various corporate climates, staying up-to-date by going where the best technology is. In this sense, job-hopping serves as a means to upgrade and transfer one’s skills, all the while developing larger professional networks. A jumpy history now indicates the ability to learn quickly and bend to the will of any environment.

Despite the aforesaid advantages, IT professionals should understand the dangers of job-hopping. In some cases, it eliminates security: The newest employees may be targeted first in the case of layoffs. Similarly, companies may put less of an investment in one’s career because of a flighty resume. Some even argue that job-hopping leads to professional dissatisfaction; though, others claim the complete opposite. At any rate, it depends entirely on what the employer wants, so before replacing your current job, do some research and/or speak with a career advisor/recruiter.

About: FlexStaf-IT is a Canadian-based organization that connects qualified I.T. personnel with companies offering short- or long-term contract assignments, permanent placement positions, and fully managed end-to-end I.T. project solutions.

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Networkers Lead the IT Market Forward

IT Networking Job Market

Picking up on our last post, “Hiring Survey Forecasts a Prosperous Second Half,” Robert Half Technologies predicts that IT hiring will hold steady in Canada until 2015. The company’s most recent survey reveals that 82% of CIOs feel confident in their company’s growth over the next six months, while 63% believe their firms will likely invest in IT projects, both hardware- and software-related, this year.

Despite this optimism, it seems that companies still face recruitment challenges: 27% of respondents claim to experience difficulties in finding skilled candidates. Of these obstacles, CIOs rank “capability gaps” as a leading problem. The increasing turnover rate too affects companies’ talent search. Robert Half forecasts the average employee turnover rate will hit 23% in the next five years, totalling $36.7 worth of departures by 2018.

In terms of hiring habits, 14% of CIOs look to expand their IT teams, 67% of which intend only to hire for open roles. On the other hand, 17% of executives contemplate putting hiring “on hold” for the remainder of 2014; only 1% look to downsize. Overall, however, IT salaries will see the biggest gains at an anticipated 5.5% hike for new hires.

Wrapping up the survey, respondents comment that wireless network management and desktop support positions are in the greatest demand. This means that IT workers seeking jobs should improve the following skills: virtualization, unified communication, security and risk management, monitoring, cloud management, and access control. If you have any questions about jobs in this field, please feel free to contact us here.

About: FlexStaf-IT is a Canadian-based organization that connects qualified I.T. personnel with companies offering short- and long-term contract assignments, permanent placement positions, and fully managed end-to-end I.T. project solutions.

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Subscription Update

Now that we’re into July 2014, Canada’s “Law on Spam and Other Electronic Threats” is in effect. For those unfamiliar with the legislation, click here for the plain language version. In light of these changes, we’d like to remind all readers that you can unsubscribe at any point to stop receiving newsletters. Follow the steps below to do so:

  1. The bottom of this email will read: “Unsubscribe to no longer receive posts from FlexStaf-IT. Change your email settings at Manage Subscriptions.” Simply click the link and save your preferences.
  2. Alternatively, visit the newsletter’s home page (https://flexstafit.wordpress.com/) and click “Manage,” an option located on the left, directly under “You are following this blog.”

Moving forward, we invite readers to participate in the discussions by dropping comments and/or connecting via social media. Articles will continue on schedule this Friday.

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Best Cities in Ontario to Work in IT

Job Market

In light of Computer World’s newest release, “100 Best Places to Work in IT 2014,” a survey that examines various economies and employers in the US, it is only fitting that we too investigate a few of Ontario’s best employment cities.

The following information comes from the Canadian Business Best Jobs 2014 report. As of July, some of the values below will have likely changed. That said, note each city’s year-over-year progress as this helps to predict future markets.

Telecommunications, Media and Technology (CB’s Best Jobs Data)

City Total Job Postings % of All Job Postings Year-over-Year Change
Barrie 63 5 -6
Burlington 349 14 -13
Guelph 233 11 7
Hamilton 279 9 -19
Kitchener 463 9 -10
London 189 8 -12
Oshawa 40 3 -47
Ottawa-Hull 672 13 -3
Toronto 6,482 13 -4
Vaughan 107 6 -33

Sadly, 2014 doesn’t look the best for Ontario overall. According to Adzuna, the province’s industrial heartland is home to six of the ten worst employment spots. This particular study weighs the number of job seekers to jobs advertised (salaries included), parsing over 110,000 listings in the process. Since said data reflects the market generally, perhaps the information in the chart above represents IT cities more accurately.

For those interested less in the cities and more in the employers, these Canadian IT companies ranked well in the 2014 Great Places to Work roundup:

  • 360incentives
  • Autodesk Canada Co.
  • CDW Canada Inc.
  • eXplorance
  • Habanero Consulting Group
  • Hitachi Solutions Canada, Ltd.
  • IndustryBuilt Software
  • Intelex Technologies Inc.
  • Intuit Canada
  • Klick Health
  • Microsoft Canada Inc.
  • NetApp Canada Ltd.
  • Online Business Systems
  • Protegra
  • PYR Software Limited
  • Sandvine
  • SAS Institute (Canada) Inc.
  • Softchoice
  • T4G Limited
  • The PEER Group Inc.
  • Traction on Demand
  • Wishabi Inc.
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