Tag: IT management

The HR Dilemma with IT

The HR Dilemma with IT

By Stephen Van Vreede (@ITtechExec)

Defining the Role of HR

HR serves many purposes in the corporate world. In most cases, HR helps to set strategy, plan the organizational model, define roles and responsibilities, set compensation levels, manage employee relations, handle orientation (or onboarding as it’s now called), ensure employment compliance, and monitor regulatory and legislative reforms. However, to the business or operating teams, HR is really in place to help them recruit, hire, train, and retain high-quality talent. For IT organizations or departments, the function of attracting, hiring, and keeping technical talent is more specialized than most other operating areas. Thus, IT presents HR with some unique challenges in this regard.

The IT perception of HR

In most corporations, HR is viewed by the IT team as an impediment to achieving their objectives. True or not, this seems to be the prevailing attitude from IT operators about HR. It seems that HR departments, or at least the HR representatives that engage directly with the IT team, are more focused on mitigating liability than anything else. These liabilities include equal employment opportunity (EEO) lawsuits, wrongful firing cases, sexual harassment cases, and the like. Human Resources takes a firm stance that the IT group cannot fire someone without reams of documentation. They are very committed to this. Yet, when it comes time to hire people so that IT can support and enable the business, there seems to be no sense of urgency.

Truth or reality?

So what’s real and what’s perception here? Experience indicates that it’s a bit of both. The real issue stems from the Information Technology Department’s unclear understanding of everything HR must do as well as HR’s unclear picture of what IT truly needs to be effective.

Communication

Really, it all boils down to communication and goal alignment. IT executives must come to the realization that it is one of their primary responsibilities to cultivate a strong working relationship with HR. In this way, HR executives can relate to their team the importance of the manner and expediency with which they recruit and hire for IT. Furthermore, this collaboration between HR and IT must extend to the onboarding and organizational development initiatives as well as compensation. Only by a joint effort will the company be able to generate a strong base of technical talent that is compensated appropriately, well equipped, with a clear sense of purpose and a career direction within the company that impels them to stay and incents them to perform to the utmost of their abilities.

IT executive, start building this kind of relationship with your HR executive today. The fruits of your labor will be rewarding.

The ITtechExec Way

To arm yourself with more tools in your technical job search arsenal, we offer a free Technical Jobs report & Online Identity Assessment to our followers. We also offer a 10% discount to our followers. Take advantage of our offer just by signing up to follow this blog or go to our website ITtechExec (be sure to indicate in the “How did you hear about us?” box that you found us through our blog).

Challenges HR faces enabling IT and tech departments

Challenges HR faces enabling IT and tech departments

IT career adviser cartoon 11Our #TCFchat discussion this week (held 8/22 on Twitter at 3pm Eastern) was centered on the unique challenges that HR faces when working with tech departments, particularly IT. Many IT folks feel that HR doesn’t do nearly enough to support them properly, especially when it comes to hiring and retention. Is this perception or reality?

Here are the discussion points:

1. How do HR professionals keep up with the emerging trends to properly recruit, hire, and develop?

2. How often does HR need to review and update job descriptions, compensation, etc.?

3. How does HR keep its policies and procedures up to date?

4. HR is a roadblock to success for the IT department…perception or reality?

5. Many IT executives believe HR doesn’t invest enough in developing talent internally? How is this problem solved and is promoting from within the answer?

If you’re unable to join us for the live chat, you can check out the Storify recap, go to our Tech Career Forum LinkedIn Group page to post comments.

Or feel free to weigh in here. We’d love to hear from you.

Great Leadership Part II

Great Leadership Part II

 

your career how to make it happenIn our review of this week’s #TCFchat discussion (held 8/15 on Twitter at 3pm Eastern), we’ll look at the topic of leadership . Here are some of the highlights:

1. What traits define a great leader? Are they different in business from other areas of life?

  • Perseverance
  • Willingness to Get Hands Dirty
  • Willingness to Take on the Risk of Failure
  • Innovation and Inspiration
  • Influence

2. Many point to Steve Jobs as a great leader…was he? Who are great leaders in history?

  • Jobs was a great innovator, not necessarily a great leader
  • Picking leaders–like Washington, Reagan, etc–really depends on how leadership and success are defined

3. What are prime examples of poor leadership you’ve experienced in your career?

  • Not listening
  • Taking credit for others’ ideas

4. What can a great leader do for the tech and IT organizations?

  • Lead innovation
  • Set vision and road map
  • Define roles

5. How do you present leadership skills on a technical resume?

  • Describe success of others
  • Include quotes from others

If you’re unable to join us for the live chat, you can check out the Storify recap, go to our Tech Career Forum LinkedIn Group page to post comments.

Or feel free to weigh in here. We’d love to hear from you.

Great Leadership: In History and Today’s Tech Organizations

Great Leadership: In History and Today’s Tech Organizations

IT careers in demand cartoon 7Great leaders inspire us. All it takes is a look back at history for validation. Our Founding Fathers like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and others are a primary example of strong leadership.

For this week’s #TCFchat discussion (held 8/15 on Twitter at 3pm Eastern), we’ll dig into the concept of leadership a bit more. Here are the questions:

1. What traits define a great leader? Are they different in business from other areas of life?

2. Many point to Steve Jobs as a great leader…was he? Who are great leaders in history?

3. What are prime examples of poor leadership you’ve experienced in your career?

4. What can a great leader do for the tech and IT organizations?

5. How do you present leadership skills on a technical resume?

If you’re unable to join us for the live chat, go to our Tech Career Forum LinkedIn Group page to post comments.

Or feel free to weigh in here. We’d love to hear from you.

Discrimination in the Job Search: Part II

Discrimination in the Job Search: Part II

IT jobs search cartoonOn Wednesday, August 8th, the Tech Career Forum held their weekly #TCFchat discussion. The topic was discrimination by employers in the job search and hiring process.

Our panel concluded that discrimination does occur in various forms. Some are insidious and some are not. In fact, much of what candidates typically perceive as discrimination is actually an employer recognizing their right to be discriminating (picky as a result of preferences and an understanding of the personality type that fits best).

Also discussed were some new ways employers were checking candidate backgrounds and the methods job seekers can employ to avoid such things or use them to their advantage.

To view the full recap of the chat, go to our Tech Career Forum LinkedIn Group page to view the recap or go to the Storify page.

Or feel free to weigh in here. We’d love to hear from you.

#CIO vs. #CTO Faceoff: Part II

#CIO vs. #CTO Faceoff: Part II

The CIO vs CTO - A technical recruiter can help with your IT manager resume 3

Do you understand the difference between CIO vs CTO?

The CIO vs CTO roles are often confused as being the same. Far from it! They are quite distinct.

The discussion, held on twitter’s #TCFchat, included whether a technology leader can be both a CIO and a CTO; the type of innovation important to a CIO vs CTO; whether a CIO and a CTO should have similar brand messages; the qualities important in a CTO; and the personality differences between CIOs and CTOs.

The full recap of this great discussion is available on our Storify page.

Or feel free to weigh in here. We’d love to hear from you.

What Is Leadership Anyway?

What Is Leadership Anyway?

By Stephen Van Vreede (@ITtechExec)

Where have all the leaders gone?CIO resume shaky 2

What is true leadership in business? Would we recognize it if we saw it? You bet we would! There aren’t a lot of leaders, but there are a ton of people in leadership roles. What gives?

Join the discussion

Join us on Wednesday, July 25th at 3pm Eastern for the Tech Career Forum discussion on this great topic. To be a part of the action, simply follow the #TCFchat stream on Twitter and be sure to include the #TCFchat hashtag anytime you want to give someone a piece of your mind.

Driving the discussion

To “lead” the process in a structured manner, we pose questions to provide a framework for discussion.

The questions for the leadership discussion include:
  1. What does “leadership” mean to you?
  2. Who can be a leader and how does one become a leader?
  3. In the IT world, what should leaders be focused on?
  4. How do you convey leadership capabilities on a resume or online profile?
  5. Can you describe what you learned about leadership, good or bad, from those that led you?

If you’re unable to join us for the live chat, go to our Tech Career Forum LinkedIn Group page to view the recap or go to the Storify page.

Career Success: Where Have All the Lemonade Makers Gone?

Career Success: Where Have All the Lemonade Makers Gone?

By Stephen Van Vreede (@ITtechExec)

When Life Hands You Lemons…

careers in IT cartoon image 3

My whole life I thought that most people creative in that they found a unique way to make something good happen from a potentially bad situation. They saying, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade” was something people seemed to live by. My career wasn’t any different, as I often found myself in situations that were less than ideal. Perhaps it was all the underdog movies like “Rudy,” “The Karate Kid,” “Ghostbusters,” “Trading Places,” and “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” that made society realize the path to success wasn’t always a straight line.

Early in my career, I had a boss give me a stellar performance appraisal followed by comments that I was too aggressive in my desire to get promoted. I should just be patient because promotions in our industry did not occur in the summer time. What? Are you for real? Just because it’s warmer and the days are longer, no job changes can occur? Needless to say, a promotion taking me from the D.C. area to Northern New Jersey happened, you guessed it, that very summer.

What Happened?

I’m not sure exactly when this outlook changed, but it most definitely has. Today, the prevailing attitude is to whine, complain, and give up when faced with a challenging career situation. This attitude has carried over into everything people do. Think about customer service for a moment. Can you remember the last time you had a problem with a service and the person with whom you addressed the problem cared enough to figure out a way, any way, to resolve the issue for you? If it happened for you recently, that’s great! In my personal experience, it doesn’t happen very often.

Are You a Lemonade Maker?

Take a close look at yourself. Can you honestly say that in most situations you’re a lemonade maker? Or are you a Kool-Aid drinker? Some people are lemonade makers at their job but not their career. Some are with their friends but not their family. You get the point. Identify your areas of weakness and look to strengthen them.

Lemonade Maker as a Brand

As you progress in your career and look to position yourself for the future, consider situations in which you were handed lemons. How did you respond? What did you do that was unique and innovative? Maybe you took things a step further, adding ingredients to make a new drink altogether. Believe me, in today’s market, having this attribute can set you apart from the crowd. Be sure to document these things as successes in dealing with life as it comes at you. Let’s face it, life is almost never ideal. In fact, it’s usually quite messy and certainly not linear. It’s how you respond and perform in the midst of these lemons that demonstrates your character.

The ITtechExec Way

To arm yourself with more tools in your technical job search arsenal, we offer a free Technical Jobs report & Online Identity Assessment to our followers. We also offer a 10% discount to our followers. Take advantage of our offer just by signing up to follow this blog or go to our website ITtechExec (be sure to indicate in the “How did you hear about us?” box that you found us through our blog).

Why IT Needs a New PR Campaign

Why IT Needs a New PR Campaign

By Stephen Van Vreede (@ITtechExec)

IT as a Road Block to Business SuccessIT Brand Perception

Let’s face it, IT departments have been notorious over the years for squashing the dreams and aspirations of folks in the rest of the organization. So much so that many operations people think they hear the response “No” from IT almost as much as they hear it from the legal department. If you’re a techie or an IT manager, and you’re thinking “No, you’re wrong!” well, there you go again.

The BYOD Phenomenon

Consider it from the perspective of other people in the organization. Why do you think the Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) issue is so huge today? Simply put, people have tools and applications that work and that they are comfortable with already available on personal laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc.

Now I am not necessarily advocating for or against a BYOD policy. I’m just using it to demonstrate the fact that if IT were delivering all the technologies, tools, and services in a format that worked well for the business, people would not feel the need to bring their own technologies to work to get things accomplished.

Should IT Always Say Yes?

No. I’m reasonable… relatively. I know that people will make the strangest, most absurd requests. I would never recommend trying to fulfill those just to improve the perception of the IT department. It would be a huge waste of time and resources. What’s clearly lacking in most organizations is a clear strategy. For IT, it’s difficult to develop a plan if you don’t understand the role of the IT organization within the company as a whole. Setting a clear direction that everyone, in IT and across the company, can fully understand has to come first.

Building the IT Brand

Now IT can go about developing their brand message and communicating it across the company. This includes communicating it to the IT resources. In fact, the focus on this brand, or the value IT provides the business, should be ingrained as part of the IT culture, new hire training, team member development, performance management, and all similar areas. With this approach, you go beyond simply talking about a theoretical value and begin demonstrating your commitment to it by practicing what you preach and holding everyone in IT accountable for ensuring it gets fulfilled.

Over time, the rest of the organization will buy in to this model. IT may not be able to say “yes” to every pipe dream, but people will know that reasonable requests will be fairly evaluated by IT. This is especially true if IT responds to the requests by firmly stating what can be done, in what time frame, with what number of resources, at what cost, and at what level of involvement from the business unit.

The concept is fairly simple, but fostering this kind of change in a legacy IT environment is no small feat. But you must start somewhere. By putting the right talent with the proper mindset and effective leadership in place, you’ll make a great start.

Personal Brand Impact

Of course, for IT pros, you can use similar concepts to develop or enhance your personal brand statement. Think about it. If most organizations don’t do this well, it provides you with the opportunity to differentiate yourself by developing such a culture within your IT department or specialty area. When hiring managers read about it on your resume or in your online profile, they will understand how difficult this culture is to achieve and will be impressed with what you’ve accomplished.

The ITtechExec Way

To arm yourself with more tools in your technical job search arsenal, we offer a free Technical Jobs report & Online Identity Assessment to our followers. We also offer a 10% discount to our followers. Take advantage of our offer just by signing up to follow this blog or go to our website ITtechExec (be sure to indicate in the “How did you hear about us?” box that you found us through our blog).