What Linkedin’s Redesign Tells Us About the Future of Hiring

This week, Linkedin launched the redesign of their website, which includes easier-to-use chat windows and encourages users to start conversations directly with connections at companies. What can the redesign tell us about hiring trends? Candidates and hiring managers are focused on immediate ways to connect instead of going through traditional, lengthy applications. This is both due to an increase of hiring needs, especially in the technology sector and frustration with traditional methods of hiring.

The redesign emphasizes how traditional hiring methods are no longer working for companies. Job seekers are bypassing traditional methods of online applications and connecting immediately with hiring managers. We’re seeing the traditional cover letter, resume and application process disappear, especially for in-demand roles like software developers (the most desired role in the technology sector), where hiring managers have to move fast.

As the analyst, Tim Bajarin said in Time in 2016, “the technology sector is set for explosive growth in 2017 from new wireless technologies to innovations in healthcare,” and this explosive growth also indicates rapidly increasing employee needs. For companies to meet their employee needs, they need to interact with qualified candidates in a more direct way, instead of wasting time shuffling through candidates who are not a fit and spending unnecessary time scheduling interviews.

Linkedin also announced a new newsfeed model that looks similar to Facebook’s and uses a smarter algorithm to recommend the right content and opportunities for users. This is indicative of how job seekers and companies value a smarter, social experience applied to hiring. There’s a shift happening in the hiring process, information is being brought to candidates and hiring managers, instead of the reverse.

Overall, hiring is becoming immediate and on-demand and Linkedin’s redesign is one indicator of how the job market space is evolving. We can continue to expect this in 2017, as companies look to make their hiring process smarter and more efficient.

 

So, You Want a Higher Starting Salary….

Negotiating salary is point of nervousness and anxiety for hiring managers and candidates alike. Hiring managers want to make sure they can provide the salary level needed for desirable candidates and candidates want to make sure they are competitively compensated for their work. We’re here to make the job search process easier, so we’ve put together are few tips that can help candidates in their negotiation as well as the job search.

Be prepared to take on more responsibility, deliver more than expected and work longer hours

If you’re hoping to make a higher starting salary, be prepared to take on a role with more responsibility and go above and beyond previous or current roles. Salary increase is directly related to the amount of responsibility and work a job demands. When negotiating an offer, discuss with the hiring manager how you are prepared to take on x,y,z added responsibilities and why this also merits a higher salary.

Always know what your desired salary is, you don’t want to be caught off guard if the recruiter or hiring manager asks

When starting the job search process, be prepared with what your desired salary is and your dream salary. A hiring manager could ask at anytime for the desired salary and an unprepared job seeker could start off discussions asking for a lower amount than what they really want. If a hiring manager does ask for a desired salary, always offer a range instead of a specific number or say you are looking to make “above a specific amount.” This still leaves the door open for further negotiation.

Don’t be afraid to pursue multiple opportunities and compare different offers against each other

A job seeker in demand is obviously more desirable for companies (we always want what we can’t have!). As a job seeker, it’s a smart idea to pursue various career opportunities in order to find the best fit. Pursuing various options also provides the job seeker with an upper hand when it comes to final negotiations. While job seekers shouldn’t aggressively pit opportunities against each other to start a bidding war, they should make hiring managers aware that they are considering a variety of opportunities and are in demand. If a company really wants an in demand candidate to join their team, they will be more forthcoming with a competitive offer.

Good luck in the job search! You got this!

 

2016 was the Year of the Software Developer; Who will take 2017?

We’re always aiming to make the job search process easier for users, so we took a look back at our job data in 2016 to see what trends job seekers and hiring managers experienced. Some we expect to continue in 2017, while others won’t make it past the stroke of midnight.  

Here’s a few of our top findings...

In technology, the top 5 desired roles hiring managers are looking to fill are:

  1. Software developers

  2. Saas, enterprise and ad sales executives

  3. Acquisition marketers

  4. Visual and UI designers

  5. Brand, content and media relation marketers

It wasn’t a surprise for us that software development roles have the highest demand. Large companies in almost every industry are using their own proprietary software tools, in addition to the technology they are creating, and this all requires software developers. The tech sector continues to expand, with new investments into brand new technologies. Take AI alone, CB Insights reported that 140+ startups using AI as a core part of their products raised $1.05B in funding in Q3’16 and deals reached a 5-year high this year. 2017 seems like the year of AI, drones and self-driving cars, but who knows what’s in store for 2018 and how many software developers we’ll need to build the technology.

Marketing was the most competitive field in 2016. On average, there are 50 applicants for every available marketing position.

For aspiring and current marketers, the job search is getting more competitive and we expect it will continue in 2017. Technology companies are focusing on filling technical roles first, especially start-ups and small companies. Hiring managers will continue to receive a pool of engaged, qualified candidates for marketing roles. For marketers, this may mean looking at nontraditional career paths.

In fact, the number of freelancers grew in 2016 and we predict this will continue in 2017.

Upwork’s study found 35% of the workforce was freelancers (study) in 2016, and we predict this will continue to grow in 2017, especially in competitive marketing and creative fields. Job seekers are looking to nontraditional paths, taking on contract or “gig” assignments. In 2016, services like Obamacare, made it easier for individuals to manage health benefits that were previously taken care of by a company, contributing to individuals feeling more secure with taking the risk of a nontraditional career path.  Additionally, as millennials continue the trend of working anywhere via a laptop and leading minimalist lifestyles, we’ll see freelancing continue to increase as more of an emphasis is put on lives full of experiences instead of the traditional 9-5.

Job seekers are favoring small to mid-size companies that were founded later than 2002.

In technology, the startup reigns supreme for job seekers. We predict this to remain true in 2017, mostly due to the culture and workplace style that job seekers desire. Culture fit was one of the top reasons job seekers chose to accept a new offer in 2016 and this will continue to have a major impact on job acceptance in 2017. The traditional culture of a startup with flexible hours, an open workspace and employees who are excited about new technology remains desirable for job seekers in the technology industry. Equally, hiring managers will need place importance on evaluating job seekers for culture fit or workplace style when distributing job offers, because often a misfit in culture is one of the main reasons employees look to leave.

Lastly, we expect job tenure will continue to shorten in 2017.

The technology industry has the lowest average employee tenure, and this will continue to be an issue in 2017 (article). This can be attributed to the increase access job seekers have to information about available job opportunities, via multiple portals.  In demand candidates are bypassing traditional application methods, either being recruited from their current roles or using technology tools to immediately connect with hiring managers. Hiring managers no longer see job hopping as a red flag when hiring employees, but rather a commonality. As the technology sector continues to boom and companies are looking for top-level candidates, employee tenure will continue to shorten as candidates hop from one job to the next.

One thing is certain, the technology sector is continuing to rapidly grow and we expect this to continue in 2017. Who know’s what new tech we’ll be reflecting on this time next year!

 

11 Offbeat and Revealing Interview Questions

Working for an early-stage startup can be hard. New companies need teams that are agile and active, resilient in the face of setbacks, and cool under pressure. Startup employees wear many hats and need to be dynamic enough to fit wherever they're needed. At the same time, they need to be fearless and opinionated, capable of working on a small team while willing to challenge the status quo.

Needless to say, it isn't easy to hire people who fit that bill. Not only are the right candidates hard to find, the standard interview questions aren't very effective at helping you find them. These 11 questions can help you dig deeper to see whether a candidate is the right fit for a fast-paced startup environment where culture is so crucial. Of course, they might not be as applicable everywhere, so adjust your questions or look for different answers depending on your own work culture.

1. WHAT DID YOU LIKE AND DISLIKE ABOUT YOUR LATEST BOSS?

I prefer to open with a question that forces the candidate to be thoughtful and opinionated. I’m not looking for them to slander their last or current employer, but I want to find out what the candidate values in a work culture. If the candidate complains about his or her supervisor’s micromanaging, for instance, that sends up a red flag for me. In my experience, micromanaging usually happens when employees require it. Startups are intimate environments, but that's all the more reason I need to trust my team's autonomy.

2. DO YOU WORK DURING YOUR COMMUTE?

This question might seem like a a preemptive assault on a candidate's work ethic, but I’m less interested in whether they're a workaholic. I'm more curious about their passion for their job and desire to be prompt and responsive. Since startup hours can stretch long after normal quitting time, an employee whose passion keeps them on the ball is critical.

At a young startup, a team's needs can change on a dime.

3. WOULD YOU RATHER TACKLE ONE TASK AT A TIME OR JUGGLE SEVERAL?

You can learn a lot about a candidate from this one. Single-track minds tend to be more focused, but they can get bogged down in details. At a young startup, a team's needs can change on a dime, so I prefer employees who thrive on transitioning quickly between tasks—developing, communicating, innovating, doing—all while keeping up a standard of excellence.

4. HOW WOULD YOU RESPOND IF YOU HAD TO START OVER AFTER GETTING 90% DONE WITH A PROJECT?

This question measure how a person reacts to a sudden change in direction after putting in an enormous amount of effort. Do they see the new challenge as a fresh battle to wage or get frustrated and shut down? Or do they take a middle path, learn from what they’ve already done, and bring as much of it as they can to bear on the latest undertaking?

5. DO YOU KEEP YOUR WORK EMAIL ON YOUR PERSONAL PHONE?

This is a tough question for candidates to answer, and that’s why it’s so important to ask. I’m worried less about the "yes" or "no" than the "why." A candidate who says they don’t do so isn't immediately disqualified as long as they offer a confident, convincing reason for it. By the same token, if someone says they do check work email on their own device, but then explain they only do that because they’re too disorganized to also manage a company phone during working hours, that could be a problem. The point is that I'm looking for an employee who's easy to reach, even if just to bounce an idea off of them now and then—and I care less about how they keep the channel of communication open.

6. HOW LONG DO YOU LIKE TO GO ON VACATION?

Many startups don’t have a set vacation policy and tend to encourage staff to take the time they need. Still, I'm interested in learning how long candidates feel comfortable spending time away from the office. It can also be helpful to learn whether they tend to vacation for pleasure, for education, for personal growth, etc. Which leads to the next question...

7. DO YOU CHECK YOUR EMAIL ON VACATION?

People don't join startups because they just need a job—they join startups because they're excited to create something from the ground up. That, of course, means all hands on deck. Every opinion matters. So if an employee takes too much time off, there typically isn't someone else who can take over their workload or match their expertise. By all means, I want a candidate who feels comfortable stepping back and recharging. But even if it's just for an hour each morning during vacation, a willingness to check in and stay involved shows me an employee is committed to pulling their weight.

8. WHAT ARE YOU REALLY GREAT AT?

This is a more direct way of asking someone to describe their strengths and weaknesses. Do they emphasize hard or soft skills? And how long do they take to respond? A quick answer might indicate more confidence, someone who chooses a path and blazes it. Slower answers hint at someone who's thoughtful and deliberate, but also maybe a little deferential.

9. WHERE DO YOU STRUGGLE?

The answer to this question should always be longer than the previous one. Startups need employees who are confident of their strengths but equally aware of areas where they can grow and improve. The ideal candidate doesn't hesitate to let you know how eager they are to hone existing skills and build new ones.

10. WHAT DO YOU HATE ABOUT THE WORKPLACE?

A quick answer might indicate more confidence...Slower answers hint at someone who's thoughtful and deliberate.

No working environment is all rainbows and butterflies. Startup workplaces can be especially intense, and some employees might resent the pressure. I want to know what kinds of things a candidate doesn't deal well with. Do they hate being micromanaged? Can't stand loud colleagues or a strict dress code? No one gets eliminated based on this question, but it does help me get a fuller picture of a candidate’s preferences—and maybe even help improve our office environment.

11. DO YOU GENERALLY PREFER STRICT STRUCTURE OR FULL CREATIVE AUTONOMY?

This question presents the two ends of a very broad spectrum. I'm not looking for a candidate who operates at one extreme or the other but one who's malleable enough to succeed in either. Startup workplaces are fluid. Employees might work in complete isolation while designing an app, for instance, only to spend the next day breaking it apart during a marathon brainstorming session. Being able to adapt matters most.

Asking the right questions during the interview process can not only help you better understand potential candidates, it can also help your candidates understand you. However you adjust these questions to suit your own company's needs, keep in mind that a finding a culture fit is about striking that balance. Each question should say as much about you as the responses do about the candidates answering them.

Article originally appeared on Fast Company 

Business Development Representative at SignPost (NYC)

About Signpost

Backed by serious names (Twitter, Tumblr, Google Ventures and more), Signpost helps businesses get the most out of their marketing spend and their customer relationships. With a proprietary engine that captures consumer emails, calls and other crucial data, this thriving, well-funded company is called by Forbes one of America’s Most Promising Startups.

Office Life

Signpost offers all the energy, great perks and camaraderie-boosting events you’d expect from a fast-moving startup. What makes it stand out from the rest is a flexible, independent, self-motivated and no- micromanagement culture that led to Crain’s naming it one of the Best Companies to Work for in New York.

Responsibilities:

  • Contact prospects via telephone and e-mail daily

  • Manage and qualify inbound lead traffic

  • Complete due diligence on prospective clients

  • Research prospective clients and verticals

  • Be a brand champion and educate prospective clients on Signpost

Professional Requirements:

  • Undergraduate degree from a 4-year university

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

  • Experience conversing with C-Level executives

  • Knowledgeable about digital marketing

  • Experience selling SaaS products

  • Salesforce.com and Google Apps (preferred)

What We Expect from You:

  • Hungry and driven to make an impact

  • Very organized and detailed oriented

  • Have a track record of over-achieving goals

  • Possess 1+ years of trained inside sales experience

  • Want to win individually and as a team

  • Speak clearly and persuasively in positive or negative situations

  • Listen and get clarification, respond well to questions

  • Ability to thrive in an ever-changing, upbeat environment

Working at Signpost:

  • Ranked in Inc. 500 as one of the fastest growing private companies in the U.S.

  • We believe a healthy employee, is a happy employee! Signpost offers competitive health, dental, and vision benefits for both employees and their dependents

  • Pre-tax commuter and 401k contribution benefits

  • Unlimited PTO

  • Stock options

  • Monthly lunches, happy hours, and team building activities

  • Upbeat office space with bagel Tuesdays, a stocked kitchen, a kegerator, and ping pong table in the heart of downtown!

Sales Development Representative at Narvar (SF)

About Narvar

A rapidly growing early stage startup, Narvar offers a complete platform of shipping and delivery solutions for retailers. Narvar is passionate about dramatically improving the online shopping experience, creating loyal customers for top retail brands. Its team blends diverse backgrounds and a passion for exceptional customer experiences. Collaborative self-starters who love building important things will thrive at Narvar.

Office Life

Narvar’s San Francisco office reflects its innovative spirit and passionate mission -- a brand new, large and open space that drives collaboration and fresh ideas. Every week sees recognition for efforts above and beyond the usual. Weekly happy hours build and maintain a strong sense of teamwork and camaraderie.

Sales Development Representative at Narvar - San Francisco

Narvar is looking for their first sales hustlers who will be on the front line driving our growth. You will be working on qualifying inbound leads, closing warm leads and building our sales pipeline. This is an amazing opportunity for someone who is looking to grow with a truly unique Silicon Valley startup. Their ideal candidate is hard working and highly motivated to execute the sales plan. You are scrappy, a quick learner and comfortable selling a technical product. Above all, you are passionate about innovating in the retail space and delivering the best possible customer experience.

  • Conduct online product demos

  • Cold call leads and close deals

  • Review sales progress in weekly sales meetings 

Qualified Candidates

  • 1 to 2+ year of experience in executing sales plans

  • Relentless drive to meet or exceed goals  

  • Strong self-starter

  • Excellent attention to detail and follow through