Category Archives: Bridge Tech Talent

When to Hire a Consultant

This Post was written by Christopher Hughes
Date posted: May 7, 2018

Image https://pixabay.com/

Businesses bring on consultants for a variety of reasons. Whether they’re looking to save time or they need a third party’s opinion, consultants offer a range of services. But, how do you know when to hire them? If any of the below paragraphs resonate with you, it may be time to add a consultant to your team.

  • You’re doing something new and need expertise
    • New software, technical experts, no one in house and you’re missing the core tech
  • Need more capacity
    • Understand how/when it will be done, but you just need extra help
    • Keep reputation for being fast and on-schedule, making deadlines

What’s ahead overwhelms you
Is your project running smoothly, but you know your team could still use an extra set of hands? Is the project about to require more manpower than what you have available? That’s where consultants come in. Remember, consultants are highly skilled, temporary employees who are there to focus on your business’ request. You won’t have to call upon any of your permanent employees. They can concentrate on their work and stay productive while the consultant focuses on the task at hand.  

You need an outsider’s perspective
It’s not uncommon for businesses to bring on consultants simply because they need an unbiased opinion. Whether you need a solution to the problem you’re trying to solve or you need some innovative ideas to revamp your project, adding an outsider’s perspective can make a world of difference.

You’re ready to hear the truth about your business/project
Consultants have to be honest with you about the business strategy you’re working on or the direction of the project, and you have to be ready to listen. Occasionally, people in leadership positions become defensive when a consultant delivers his/her opinions. Remember, you hired a third party to objectively review the situation and offer their expertise. Now it’s time to hand them the reigns and learn about what needs done.

Reach out to us if you’ve decided it’s time to hire a consultant! Don’t forget to follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter for job postings and industry insights.

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10 Ways to Go Green in the Workplace

This Post was written by Joe Devine
Date posted: April 16, 2018

go green in the workplace

Image: https://pixabay.com/en/moss-green-dashing-the-background-2990563/

Today, sustainability is more of a necessity than a choice. Many people are adopting new habits in their homes and personal lives, but it shouldn’t stop there. Workplaces can also make a difference. Even the smallest changes create a healthier, greener, more productive work environment. Whether you’re an employee or the boss, start promoting green practices in the office. I’ve put together 10 ways to go green in the workplace:

Start by using less paper. Make an effort to use electronic sheets whenever possible. Allow laptops in meetings, or use a projector for important documents instead of printing out copies for everyone. You can even invest in a fax modem so you can send and receive paperless documents. Try using Google Docs or Dropbox to start sharing files throughout the office.

Update your printing habits. When you absolutely must print, do so in draft mode since it uses far less ink. Also, set your default to print double-sided. Buy recycled paper and only print what you know you’ll need. Accidentally misprint? Use this as something to take notes with, or shred it for use as packaging material instead of packaging peanuts.

Change your commute. If it’s a possibility for you to walk or bike to work, do it! It’s an easy way to add more exercise to your day and avoid the frustrations of rush hour traffic. If you have to drive, consider setting up a carpooling schedule with your coworkers. Research public transportation near you, or think about investing in a hybrid. Even better, work from home if your office allows it. One day a week can greatly cut down gast waste.

Turn off your computer. Some people don’t completely shut down their PCs when they leave work for the day, and this is a huge waste of energy. When you know you’ll be away for a little bit, switch it to sleep or hibernation mode. If possible, replace your PC with a laptop since they use 80% less energy and are much easier to transport. When it’s time to get rid of your computer, recycle it! Look for a local e-waste drive or find an organization that properly disposes of electronic waste.

Take advantage of natural light. During a bright sunny day, don’t waste electricity on the lights. Turn them off and just enjoy the natural light. If it’s too dark to do this, invest in LED or fluorescent bulbs. Many offices have motion sensor lights that only turn on when someone walks in the room; when there hasn’t been any activity, the sensors turn the lights off. If you don’t have these, post reminders near light switches so people turn off the lights when they leave.  

Decorate with plants. Greenery around the office makes the space look more inviting, plus it offsets CO2 and VOC emissions. Pro tip: save used coffee grounds and use these to feed the plants.

Use reusable water bottles and containers. Instead of packing your lunch in a paper/plastic bag or aluminum foil, package it in tupperware. Don’t waste money on buying water in plastic bottles – get a reusable bottle! Bring a coffee mug from home into your office so you can cut back on using paper cups.

Dress in layers in cold weather and use fans during warm weather. Ceiling and desk fans are a great way to cut down the use of air conditioning. In colder months, dress in layers so you can avoid turning up the heat.

Place recycling bins around the office. Provide ways for people to properly dispose of paper, cans, and glass. Placing these around the workspace will make recycling as easy as throwing something away.

You can even go green with your wardrobe. Avoid buying clothes that need dry cleaning. If they do, look for shops that have green methods. Buy used clothes, and look for items made of organic fibers like cotton, silk, hemp, or wool. You can even find clothing made of recycled materials.

There are lots of ways to go green in your workplace, you just have to put in a little bit of effort. Your clients will love hearing about your green practices, and you’ll find that people work better. In fact, a study from Harvard found that when offices adopt more sustainable practices, employees get a 26% boost in cognition and 30% fewer sickness related absences. As the study states, “The increased productivity of an employee is 150 times greater than the resulting energy costs.”

Enter into spring with the goal of creating an environmentally friendly workplace. Make it a team effort by encouraging your coworkers to take part. If you’re local, help us work to go green with our e-waste drive!

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Twitter Chat Recap: Discussing Resume Tips with Workopolis

This Post was written by Bridge Technical Talent
Date posted: March 23, 2018

At the start of the month, we took part in a Twitter chat with Workopolis, a Canadian-based job search site. Each month they host a Twitter chat where HR experts, job seekers, and other professionals join in to discuss the job search.  As “hiring season” approaches, now is a great time to review your resume and update a few sections where necessary. We’re highlighting moments from this month’s discussion on resume tips:

What, in your opinion, is the biggest resume mistake?

As you can imagine, the majority of participants cited typos as the biggest resume mistake. Typos and grammatical errors are the easiest mistakes to fix, so if they are there it shows a lack of attention to detail.

What’s your best resume writing tip?

What are some overused words on a resume (and what can you use instead)?

We were very intrigued by this question. It’s easy to become caught up with trying to look your best, but words like “hard worker” and “results oriented” are far too overused. As one participant put it, your resume should show those qualities, you shouldn’t have to spell it out. Avoid “I” statements and use action verbs to describe the work you’ve done.

How do you know if your resume is too long?

The general consensus concluded that two pages is the absolute limit. Unless you’re in the academic field or something else that requires extensive, detailed work experience, don’t go over two pages. One effective page is ideal.

What are some creative resume ideas?

Do you think including hobbies and interests can help you stand out?

Many people struggle with this question. Some resources suggest adding hobbies, while others say it detracts from your professional accomplishments. As long as you include subjects that are directly related to your field and could potentially lead to conversations about your specific skills, it’s okay to include.

If you’d like to take part in the #Workopolis chat, join us next month! Stay tuned for the topic of the April 4th discussion.

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Women’s History Month: How Hiring Managers Can Accelerate Change in the Tech Gender Gap

This Post was written by Joe Devine
Date posted: March 8, 2018

Image: HackerRank

March is Women’s History Month, and what better way to recognize it than sharing recent data that shows the gender gap between men and women learning to code is shrinking. The data comes from a survey conducted by HackerRank, featuring 14,616 developers, almost 2,000 of which were women.

The survey results show that young women today, considered under the age of 25, are 33% more likely to study computer science compared with women before 1983. More students are starting to learn how to code before turning sixteen. Consequently, students taking computer science 101 courses start out on more equal footing. Before now, there was a 20 percentage point gap between men and women over 35 years old who began coding before they were 16 years old. Now that gap has shrunk to seven percentage points.

Even more encouraging, women represent 53% of new computer science graduates entering the workforce. When it comes to skills, women report knowing Java, JavaScript, C, C++, and Python the most. According to their 2018 Developer Skills Report, it turns out these are the most in-demand languages for front-end, back-end, and full-stack positions.

Women in STEM work in a diverse range of fields from hardware and security to automotive. The most common industries are technology (53.2%), finance (10.7%), and education (4.7%).

However, women are still more likely to hold junior positions
While this data is extremely encouraging for the future of women in STEM, there is still more work ahead. The survey found that women of all ages are still more likely to hold junior positions than their male counterparts. Over 20% of women over the age of 35 still hold a junior role. This survey defines junior developers as Level 1 software engineers. Senior developers included positions with the title senior, manager, director, VP, or C-level. As HackerRank states:

In other words, women over 35 are 3.5x more likely to be in junior positions than men. Although it’s not clear when these women started their careers, it is interesting that either women are starting their careers relatively later in life or are, generally, stuck in junior positions.

Hiring managers can be part of the solution
There is an opportunity here for hiring managers to be a part of the change. They have the power to create diverse, inclusive workplaces. It’s important to be aware of unconscious biases with hiring decisions, such as racism, ageism, and sexism. However, there are ways to reduce these biases.

Have an open mind and do your research. Acknowledge there is change that needs to be made, and embrace the role you play in driving that change.

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