Karli Glodowski, an Applications Technical Recruiter at TEKSystems, has a solid idea of what Omaha’s tech talent ecosystem looks like.
Glodowski specializes in IT staffing and says TEKSystems has over 120 clients in Omaha alone, including big-hitters like TD Ameritrade, Union Pacific and Werner Enterprises.
At TEKSystems, specialists complete extensive training before they begin recruiting. Glodowski says that there’s more that goes into matching employees with jobs than just aligning skills and getting someone to fill a position.
“Our biggest goal is build relationships with people because you want people to be happy.” said Glodowski. “It’s not just about filling a spot. Things more often than not, are about finding the right cultural fit.”
AIM Careerlink asked Karli to sit down for a Q&A to discuss the future of tech careers, coding as a career, and how to stand out in a job search.
AIM: You said that there are 5 Java jobs for every 1 candidate. Why is there a shortage of Java candidates? Have you seen this gap widening over the years?
KG: 97% of the IT workforce is working. Companies try to remain competitive and retain their employees, so that limits the pool of candidates looking for new opportunities. Our statistics show that the average consultant changes positions every 18-24 months. The gap has been pretty steady from the last couple of years, Java is in high demand and we don’t see that changing anytime soon.
AIM: As a tech recruiter, what are some other general industry trends you’re seeing?
KG: Since we are nearing the end of the year, a lot of companies are looking to bring on additional consultants to help move their current projects along in order to make deadlines. There are still a few openings for Entry/Junior level developers around this time of year, but companies are really looking for pretty high Senior Level developers to come in and hit the ground running.
Many of these types of positions are contract positions with allocated funding as opposed to direct placement opportunities. The types of projects we’ve been seeing recently, is that a lot of companies are looking to transition from their older, Legacy systems, into newer technologies. Focus on user design and business interaction/communication skills is becoming increasingly important as well.
AIM: What short and long term impacts does it have on a company’s growth when they have Java openings that they can’t fill?
KG: Unfilled positions result in delayed project completion times, increased workload on current team members and can result in a very large financial burden for the company. In order to stay competitive, these companies are always trying to create new products and add functionality to their main products. This allows them to attract and retain customers to generate more revenue.
AIM: How can more people be encouraged to explore Java or tech/coding as a career path?
KG: IT is a booming industry, there will always be positions open and new avenues to explore. The way to be successful within this industry is to keep up with learning the newer technologies. If you can stay relevant and bring in fresh ideas to the projects you’re working on, you will remain a valuable asset to your company.
Find something that you are passionate about because it does take some time for you to build yourself up to be in high-demand. If you like traveling, you have the option of contracting so you can gain exposure to many different companies and learn new skills to build up your portfolio.
AIM: What are a few things about candidates that really stick out to you during the recruitment process that either help or hinder their prospects with your company?
KG: The biggest thing, outside of having the appropriate technical skills for the job, is finding a candidate that is a good cultural fit for the company. Take the time to speak with the hiring managers to get details on what the team environment is like, dress code, business challenge, what the impact is to the internal/external customer, etc. Not every job is going to be a perfect fit, so really asking those questions and meeting with people who currently work at the companies you’re interested in will help you determine if you even want to work there (I wouldn’t just trust Glassdoor reviews).
With that being said, candidates are expected to have opinions on technologies and be able to explain them. Know your strengths, acknowledge areas for improvement. Hiring Managers want to hire people who have passion and room for growth, very rarely does the person who “can do it all” gets selected.