Blog Archive

  • Lessons From Sears: The Peril Of Maintaining Status Quo TechnologyDecember 3, 2018Someone recently came into my office with a background in database management for the financial industry over many years. He asked, "I'm not seeing a lot of needs that entail the use of Oracle products…why is that?"… Read More
  • From Amazon To Google: West Coast Outposts May Shift Chicago's Hiring StrategiesNovember 1, 2018A few months ago, Facebook signed a new lease in the Loop comprising a whopping 263,00 square feet – a space that many speculate can hold 2,000 employees or more.… Read More
  • Winning "The Lottery" On Your Own TermsOctober 10, 2018In our last post, we talked about how some people are drawn to the idea of making it big in an expensive area like New York or San Francisco while working for one of the top companies in the tech space. We often refer to this idea as "winning the lottery."… Read More
  • Picturing The Movie Version Of Your CareerSeptember 24, 2018I've written before about the concept of "The Lottery" as it pertains to certain people who want to have it all in their careers. What's winning the lottery to them?… Read More
  • Why Silicon Valley Is Looking Hard At Chicago For ExpansionAugust 24, 2018I was reading a fascinating story in the Wall Street Journal focusing on a very large software-specific private equity firm that has a unique strategy – when they buy a company that happens to be based in a high cost area, they subsequently try to diversify the geographic location of their talent.… Read More
  • Average Job Tenures Are Shrinking But There's A Hiring Strategy For That.August 9, 2018If there's one observation that can be made in regard to the average employee's longevity at a company, it's that these days, people generally don't stay in one place for very long. By now, the assumption is made by many hiring managers at tech companies that within two or three years, the person they hire today will leave.… Read More
  • Picking Winners In Tech's Next Stage And Building A Career Around OneJuly 13, 2018There's a school of thought among some in the technological space that as advanced as we humans have become at coding, code generated by machines is getting better all the time. Still, the future lies with people who can leverage the code that machines are generating for us. We still have such a fundamental role to play in the relationship with machines, as in what we can actually train machines to learn and do for our benefit.… Read More
  • All Signs Point To Chicago Sitting Atop Crypto SpaceJuly 2, 2018The cryptocurrency business continues to grow and it might actually be reaching its highest level here in Chicago. We're seeing a number of companies growing or moving to Chicago in that space.… Read More
  • Not Loving That Programming Language? When To Move On And Find A New One.May 9, 2018An annual survey was just done by a developer-focused website that offered up a variety of insights to me, but one in particular caught my eye and showed there may be a distinctive gap at times between what programmers like to learn and use what they should want to use.… Read More
  • Your Tech Skills Have A 3-Year Half-Life: Where Do You Go From Here?May 3, 2018In many cases, the vast majority of our clients considering a software developer for hire these days may ask that developer to do a project as a test. During one of those situations recently, a client remarked about a solution that our candidate came up with involving some very modern code. Frankly, that's not something you hear every day.… Read More
  • How To Gauge Your Quality Of Life In The Next JobApril 4, 2018One of our recruiters was recently talking to a candidate who used to live in Chicago and now lives in San Francisco working for one of the top five eCommerce Internet companies in the country. During their conversation, a question came up for the candidate: "I'm curious – if you don't mind me asking, what are the living conditions there in San Francisco for your wife and two kids compared to where you used to be?" His answer: "We live in one bedroom – and we're paying $3,000 a month in rent."… Read More
  • Thinking Like da Vinci: How To Approach Problems As A Genius WouldMarch 22, 2018One of the more fascinating books I've been reading is Walter Isaacson's latest about Leonardo da Vinci. Most of us know Leonardo as a painter and sculptor. However, beyond that, Leonardo's notebooks show us that he also had an incredible level of curiosity and an exceptional ability to represent visually what his eyes would perceive. He was able to discover things on his own that scientists wouldn't discover for hundreds of years. Perhaps the most extreme example of this was when he figured out how the valve of the human heart closes, because a vortex is created when the blood rushes past it.… Read More
  • Could Bitcoin Pave A New Career Path For You?March 13, 2018Being as close to the financial trading sector as we are at Roy Talman & Associates, we can see that a number of financial trading companies are jumping on the bandwagon of trading cryptocurrencies. The core of expertise of trading companies is, of course, trading. For these companies, it's often much more profitable to trade something with high volatility than little volatility. Despite the fact that there are lots of stories about how 2017 was one of the least volatile market years on record, that simply doesn't apply to cryptocurrencies.… Read More
  • The Next Phase Of AI: Beyond The “Hype”March 8, 2018I was recently watching two luminaries in the area of artificial intelligence talk about where AI is at this point. It wasn’t really presented from the point of view that “one algorithm is better than another algorithm," but rather more in terms of how someone in business can make sense out of this new machine age we’re entering.… Read More
  • Moving Your Company At The Speed Of GoogleJanuary 16, 2018For as long as we can remember, Google is held up as a shining example of innovation in many respects. Yet, just as they admire Google, many people will say in the same breath, “Of course, I’m not Google and I don’t have Google resources.”… Read More
  • How Machine Learning Is Heating Up Tech Opportunities In Financial TradingJanuary 9, 2018I was recently part of a panel at the Global Derivatives Conference here in Chicago in which the topic was the application of machine learning. Interestingly, it became clear during our discussion that there are several people who believe machine learning is, basically, the be-all-end-all “Holy Grail” for success in quantitative finance.… Read More
  • When Did We Get So Satisfied With 10% Innovation?December 20, 2017I came across a research study recently that, frankly, surprised even this industry veteran with deep knowledge of the tech space. The study found that of a large business’ typical technology spend, 90% is devoted to preserving the existing state of technology at the company while only 10% is spent on doing something new.… Read More
  • Why Are Some Jobs Open Forever And What Can We Do About It?December 11, 2017Company A has a job that needs to be filled. After the opening becomes available, one month passes. Then another month and another. Before long, it’s well over six months, which begs the question: Why isn't this job getting filled? On the surface of it, it would look like the company can’t find a qualified candidate. However, my take is that it's probably something else.… Read More
  • Seeing, Not Imagining, The Candidate Is BelievingNovember 30, 2017It’s natural to assume that finding a new role can take a while, especially if the candidate has been with the same company for a very long time. There may be many resumes sent out, a number of interviews with various firms until an ideal match is found and – let’s face it – in cases where a company values youth over experience, being over 40 years old doesn’t necessarily make the job search any easier either.… Read More
  • In Recruiting, Personalization Beats "Blasting" Any DayNovember 10, 2017In Recruiting, Personalization Beats "Blasting" Any DayFrom where I sit, having an inside view of what's going on in the recruiting space, traditional contingency recruiters have expressed how they're having a hard time in their line of work in recent years.… Read More
  • Do You Need To Be Unhappy To Leave Your Job?October 19, 2017There's this fallacy that I find time and again, that a recruiter – a really good recruiter – can somehow approach a person who is perfectly happy in their job and talk them into leaving that job to work for their client. In practical terms, that rarely works.… Read More
  • Will Hiring Managers Respect Online Education Anytime Soon?October 2, 2017The more that people are truly motivated and self-driven, such as those who put the effort into utilizing online education, the more they will be in a position to do really well. Yet, upon their graduation from an online learning environment, many candidates face an uphill climb for respect on the same level as those who have graduated from a traditional learning environment. Why does this occur and when might it change?… Read More
  • What If Machines Evolve Our Jobs Rather Than Take Them?September 14, 2017What If Machines Evolve Our Jobs Rather Than Take Them?A lot of the discussions I see around machine learning and AI appear to assume that, when we talk about a shift of any kind, there’s going to be a complete replacement of 100% human work with 100% machine work. However, I don’t necessarily see that picture the same way people paint it. Instead, I see new opportunities on a grand scale potentially opening up for people. Here’s why: What we’re seeing is not an overnight transformation but a multiple step progression that will happen over time. As it does, there’s room for a smooth transition period to occur in which people adapt into new roles that meet new demands. This seems far more realistic than the idea that jobs will suddenly vanish one day and leave millions of people without career options the day after.… Read More
  • What’s The Real Story On Chicago’s Tech Hub Status?August 28, 2017There seems to be some real disagreement in the press lately about Chicago’s place in the world as a technology hub. Is our city truly the next Silicon Valley and one of the rising tech hubs in the world? Or are we allowing news of the latest tech success stories to cloud our judgment?… Read More
  • Why Coding Bootcamps and Online Learning Matter More Than EverAugust 16, 2017Why Coding Bootcamps  and Online Learning Matter More Than EverIn recent years, computer coding “bootcamps” in which students can get up to speed quite quickly on a particular programming language have seemed to become a hot trend. Even so, I’m sure there are some who ask, “Are these bootcamps and online learning environments a viable option to consider alongside some of the more traditional avenues of education?” In my opinion, the answer is an unequivocal “yes.”… Read More
  • Will Tests And “Brain-Teasers” Reveal Your Next Golden Hire?July 20, 2017Recently, I came across a promotion by Jaguar that was designed not to sell cars but to highlight how the brand plans to hire thousands of new engineers this year. How so? It starts with a challenge for the potential hire using an app that’s been developed by the company and in the process, seems to be a unique way to gamify the recruiting process. Obviously, a name like Jaguar lends a slick appeal of working with such a recognized brand. But don’t let that fool you. At the end of the day, it’s still about the test, not the brand.… Read More
  • They Can't Advertise To Customers So How Do They Promote Themselves To Candidates?July 11, 2017In a perfect world, most companies would like the person to work for them not because they get paid a lot, but because they love the job. On the other hand, there is a reason why Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple pay more than just about anybody else.… Read More
  • Slow Down!: Why More Patient Job Candidates Beat The SpeedstersJuly 3, 2017Slow Down!: Why More Patient Job Candidates Beat The SpeedstersNot long ago, we were working with a candidate who had a PhD in machine learning from a very reputable west coast institution. Impressive, right? He could write his own ticket anywhere! Or so you’d think.… Read More
  • The H-1B Visa Program: Everything You Know Is About To Change (Maybe)May 25, 2017The H-1B Visa Program:  Everything You Know Is About To Change (Maybe)As we’ve written here before, the H-1B visa program that caters to foreign hiring is hardly a perfect one and has been in dire need of a revamp of its design. Why? Take your pick from a multitude of reasons: The process is chaotic. Far more H-1B visa applications are accepted than those that can actually be granted. Candidates can apply to multiple firms and accept multiple offers, effectively pulling a bait-and-switch on one company choosing to sponsor that candidate in favor of another company.… Read More
  • Monumental Computing Shift #3: Machine Achieve "Next Level" Learning-From UsMay 11, 2017Monumental Computing Shift #3: Machine Achieve "Next Level" Learning-From UsWhile programming in our current day and age isn’t going away – and probably isn’t even shrinking anytime soon – there are exciting new opportunities on the horizon for programmers to come. Namely, with machine learning becoming ever more important, we’re sure to see new “trainer” roles growing and eventually becoming part of the profession that deals with artificial intelligence. What exactly do we mean by that?… Read More
  • Monumental Computing Shift #2: The Changing Role Of Traditional MathMay 1, 2017As part of a multi-post series, we’re taking a closer look at three monumental shifts in computing on the horizon, including how AI will create new roles for programmers, the shift from traditional architecture to memory-based computing and our featured topic here, the changing role of formal math in contrast to the path of building new models so that machines can learn from one other.… Read More
  • Monumental Computing Shift #1: Traditional Von Neumann Architecture Pushed AsideApril 18, 2017Monumental Computing Shift #1: Traditional Von Neumann Architecture Pushed AsideAs part of a multi-post series, we’re taking a closer look at three monumental shifts in computing on the horizon, including how AI will create new roles for programmers, the rise of mission-based learning as opposed to solely programming and our featured topic here, the shift from traditional Von Neumann architecture to memory-based computing… Read More
  • Could Low Cost-Per-Hire Cost You “A-Level” Talent?February 1, 2017From time to time, a company will think of reducing the use of outside technical recruiters. In fact, it may completely cut out the function altogether. Later on, it will compile statistics in which it claims three people in the recruiting department facilitated 50-100 hires a year and the cost-per-hire was fairly low. Sounds great, right? There’s just one problem.… Read More
  • If The Interview Is Too Easy, Is That A Red Flag?January 24, 2017You get a call from a recruiter from a company where somebody you know works. What should you do? Don’t jump on it just yet.… Read More
  • What Ideas Must Die To Achieve Progress?January 12, 2017What Ideas Must Die To Achieve Progress?Max Planck, the influential German physicist and Nobel Prize Winner in Physics, once said, “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents but rather because its opponents eventually die.”… Read More
  • “Alexa, Find Me A Great Candidate.”December 12, 2016“Alexa, Find Me A Great Candidate.”The more we see the advancement of personal digital assistants (first Siri, now Amazon’s Alexa), the more we’re going to ask, “What else can they do for us?” As of right now, the application of these digital assistants is largely on a business-to-consumer level, such as calling you a cab or ordering roses.… Read More
  • Should You Be Doing More Video Interviewing?November 22, 2016Should You Be Doing More Video Interviewing?We notice that a lot of companies are now starting to use video interviewing. At face value, it would seem that this would be a very efficient tool to use as part of the interview process once you’ve identified a certain candidate. However, there are a few challenges associated with video interviewing that you should be fully aware of, so you incorporate it in the right manner if you’re going to go that route.… Read More
  • How To Become An All-Star Interviewer Even If You Aren’t A “Natural”October 28, 2016How To Become An All-Star Interviewer Even If You Aren’t A “Natural”A programmer walks into an interview with a company, one of several he has scheduled in the next few weeks. After each one, he has some thoughts about what he did well and learns what he might’ve done differently. He gains a better insight on the types of questions a hiring manager will ask, from the ones he expected to the occasional curveball he didn’t see coming.… Read More
  • If A Profession Dies, Is That Always A Bad Thing?October 10, 2016There’s a book I’m reading right now called, “The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts.” To be honest, when I was just listening through it early on, my first reaction was that the book should have been called, “The Death of the Professions.”… Read More
  • Have Job Boards Officially Become Yesterday’s News?September 12, 2016Once upon a time, Monster was, well, a real monster in terms of online recruitment. That was about 15 years ago. So when Monster was recently acquired for $429 million by Randstad, an HR and recruitment specialist, it marked yet another significant shift we’re seeing in the online recruitment space.… Read More
  • The New Era Of Non-Traditional Learning And HiringSeptember 7, 2016The New Era Of Non-Traditional Learning And HiringQuite often, the recruiter’s job can feel like it’s all about rejection. You may go from a pile of 1000 resumes to something much more manageable, say 50 resumes, which that recruiter will actually read. However, in many instances, larger companies don’t have these luxuries at all.… Read More
  • Why The Future Is More About Viv Than LinkedInAugust 12, 2016When the news broke last month that Microsoft was to acquire LinkedIn for a little over $26 billion, it sent shockwaves through the tech world as one of the most expensive deals of its kind in history. The question is: Why did it happen, what was the potential gain for each side of the table and where do we go from here?… Read More
  • Winning With A Company That Owns NothingJuly 28, 2016The biggest shift in your career may be coming right around the corner by the entrance of a new player offering a platform of nothing. Yes, you heard right: They own nothing.… Read More
  • How Chicago Is Like The New “Silicon Valley.”July 19, 2016Over the last couple of years, it’s been a popular topic among business publications to ponder whether Chicago’s tech growth makes it a bit like a new “Silicon Valley.” I believe it is becoming one – the HBO version of “Silicon Valley” at least.… Read More
  • From Physics To Finance: How Great Minds Make Surprising Career TransitionsJune 17, 2016From Physics To Finance: How Great Minds Make Surprising Career TransitionsHow is it possible for a person to appear to know so much about their chosen field of study, yet know so little about the other career possibilities near it? When candidates have such tunnel vision, even brilliant people who have been referred to as “geniuses” back themselves into a corner and can’t find the way out by themselves. Fortunately, with a little guidance and a lot of passion, they can not only be aware of new fields but even more importantly cross over into a more enjoyable environment.… Read More
  • Who’s The Genius Here?June 16, 2016Who’s The Genius Here?The term “genius” is used in association with extremely intelligent individuals so often yet the term is one that we use as we look backward rather than the present moment. We read stories of people who eventually turned out to be geniuses, but early on, it’s rarely clear at all.… Read More
  • Which League Are You Playing In?June 6, 2016Which League Are You Playing In?In certain areas of life, it’s not that difficult to know the league you belong to. In professional baseball, if you’re paid $100 million over several years as a major league pitcher, you’re in a special league. In the arts, if you get paid $20 million for a painting, you know which league you’re in. However, in real life, understanding the league your company plays in isn’t anywhere as clear.… Read More
  • Humans Can Still Teach Machines A Thing Or TwoMay 4, 2016Humans Can Still Teach Machines A Thing Or TwoI do believe we’re about to see many more success stories in predictive analytics and big data going forward. We can point to instances like the recent success of AlphaGo, a program developed by Google, which was the first of its kind to beat one of the best human players in the world in the board game Go.… Read More
  • What Could Tom Brady Have To Do With The Future Of Big Data?April 25, 2016Lately, I continue to see a variety of articles with a “Big Data Is Doomed!” theme to them. My view is that, frankly, people making those statements are probably doomed themselves. I suspect that most data that is actually useful is not the data that is already there. Making sense out of historical data that’s been collected over time might not be the primary use of the predictive analytics. Let’s focus on the term “predictive analytics” for a moment.… Read More
  • Your Entire Company Is The Ideas DepartmentApril 7, 2016Your Entire Company Is The Ideas DepartmentIs there a connection between a company’s diversity of ideas and its subsequent output of innovation? Absolutely. Yet, in some companies, there’s a kind of thinking that only this or that department or person with a certain title could possibly have ownership over an idea that moves the company forward.… Read More
  • Predicting Your Next Career Stop Without A Crystal BallMarch 16, 2016Predicting Your Next Career Stop Without A Crystal BallFor many reasons, it can be hard for a candidate to predict what they’re getting into just prior to being hired. Sure, they’ve probably read a fair amount about a company online or in the press, but what do they really know about that company’s culture?… Read More
  • Where Passion, Persistence And Pushing Yourself Gets YouMarch 1, 2016If you spent 20 years doing something that you hated every day, would you continue doing it? Probably not. Yet, there are some people with great technical and personal skills who enter jobs that appear to be a fit…but aren’t. Talk to some of these folks after 20 years of writing someone else’s code. It’s clear that something is missing - in fact, it’s been missing for a very long time. They’re just not very happy.… Read More
  • Will A Machine Or Human Help You Find Your Best Job?February 8, 2016Will A Machine Or Human  Help You Find Your Best Job?As someone who is always fascinated by the possibilities of machine learning, I ask myself how computer intelligence will seep into the recruitment world and in what form. In today’s current climate, there’s no doubt in my mind that a human recruiter can deliver a lot of insight on the company culture for a candidate’s benefit. A machine can’t fully comprehend certain elements that make for an outstanding fit like culture. Yet.… Read More
  • To Find The Best Career Path, Take The Long Way.February 5, 2016To Find The Best Career Path, Take The Long Way.In the recruitment business, I’m always talking to a lot of people who are trying to figure out what to do next in their professional lives. They’ll frequently say, “I think I should be doing something different but not sure what.” Not long after, they’ll proceed to talk about a variety of options they’re considering.… Read More
  • Find Your Hidden Superpower Learning Like Elon MuskJanuary 22, 2016Find Your Hidden Superpower Learning Like Elon MuskIt’s interesting that so much of what we know seems to be defined by the past rather than educating ourselves on what the future holds. It’s natural that we’ll have accumulated a lot of knowledge through school and our experiences, but if we don’t know how to think about what’s next out there for our industries and our own professional goals, what happens? We get comfortable. Too comfortable.… Read More
  • A New Year’s Career Resolution You Can Stick ToJanuary 11, 2016A New Year’s Career Resolution  You Can Stick ToHere it comes again – it’s that time of year when millions of Americans make their annual New Year’s Resolutions on January 1 and frankly, abandon them not long after. I’d love to see more people stick to these resolutions, particularly when they’re made from a career perspective. Fortunately, I do think resolutions are more achievable if we plan and act in a different way than we typically do – think of this as a resolution to make a better resolution. Where do we start?… Read More
  • How Much Can One Leader Influence Company Culture?November 20, 2015It seems to me that everybody is looking for the “next Steve Jobs” or trying to emulate him in many ways. The recent movie on Jobs’ life only reinforces what a master he was at commanding an audience. But can I tell you something? Trying to be Steve Jobs isn’t necessary for a company’s leadership and it often isn’t right for that particular environment. In many cases, a leader can have a tremendous influence on a company culture with their own style – not Steve’s. In today’s Talman Tidbit, we’ll explore how candidates may give greater weight than ever to finding a fit based on culture. One person at the top can make all the difference in not only what that culture looks like but the prospects for recruiting and retention as well.… Read More
  • Careers Poised To Win From Financial Trading’s Tech JumpNovember 12, 2015We’re certainly seeing our fair share of Watson, the brilliant machine learning system developed from IBM, in the media lately. There’s Watson on television, talking to everyone from Bob Dylan to Ken Jennings, one of the biggest winners on “Jeopardy!” ever. I open the Wall Street Journal and what do you know? There’s Watson again, featured in a very large insert touting the various APIs that Watson now has – including text to speech and speech to text. Through these APIs, the machine will be able to better understand what the user is literally saying.… Read More
  • Spring Chickens: How Established Industries Use Machine Learning To Feel Young AgainOctober 27, 2015Industries like insurance and healthcare have been around for as long as we can remember. Yet, while they may feel very old, established and unchanging, new developments are showing us that machine learning is creating a fountain of youth, so to speak for these fields. Due to these fresh technological approaches with the help of machines, it’s very good news in the way of new opportunities for us human beings too.… Read More
  • When Outlearning Leads To OutearningOctober 2, 2015By now, this may be the most common interview question ever. And in the technical realm, you may want your answer to that question to be: “Learning something completely different than what I know now.” Allow me to explain. As we consider the know-how we accumulate over the course of a career, we understandably think of it in huge chunks. 15 years of experience here or 25 years of experience there. There’s a lot to be said for the wealth of knowledge we obtain from experience, so I don’t want to discount the power of that – but we simply can’t ignore the fact that in the technological world, the rules are changing. Even as you read this. How so?… Read More
  • Find What You Enjoy At Work This Very MinuteSeptember 25, 2015Find What You Enjoy At Work This Very MinuteI was catching up with a gentleman named Pete recently, a candidate who I’d helped to make a career move about 10 years ago from a very large organization to a very up-and-coming entrepreneurial company. In hindsight, he said this was a fantastic opportunity because he’d learned a great deal and had a substantial role.… Read More
  • Why We’re Not Ready To Let The Robots Take OverSeptember 11, 2015Why We’re Not Ready To Let The Robots Take OverWhen entrepreneurs like PayPal founder Peter Thiel or Tesla Motors’ Elon Musk speak, many others listen due to their proven ability to think outside the box. So as both have recently commented on their fear of artificial intelligence, it might’ve caught several people off-guard. Particularly since we so often see the “rosy” view of the future in all the advantages we’ll have once robots can function independently without our instruction. It’s a future that has many positives, but Thiel and Musk urge caution – and in my view, common sense. They have called for a formal ban on self-guided lethal force – in other words, any device that is capable of exerting lethal force that operates fully autonomously. If anything, we’re only going to see more discussion on self-autonomous robots – in fact, our discussion on the topic continues when you click here. Check out what companies like Google and Apple might have planned for this area as well as how our very definition of robots could change dramatically in the near future.… Read More
  • Beyond The Resume: How Does Your Ecosystem Match?September 4, 2015After being in a business for over 30 years, I look at finding the right talent as a bit of a 3-D puzzle. When we talk about any kind of candidate, we are talking about a person with certain skills, interests and passions. Their talent might fit into certain organizations but not others. But the story doesn’t just start and end with your talent alone. There are a number of people that you’ve worked with historically, creating an ecosystem of sorts. It’s a relationship ecosystem that you’re able to carry around with you. For example, you worked for a certain type of boss. You know that that boss has a certain management style, personality and likes working best with people of a particular type. When you think about your entire ecosystem’s people, styles, backgrounds and more, it can shape some very important decisions about your next career move - including how to tell if a company’s ecosystem is in sync with yours.… Read More
  • Finding And Nurturing Talent The Google WayAugust 27, 2015Have you ever wondered how Google always seems to be able to attract the right people? They’re ultra selective, they get great people to come work for them and they hold onto those people for a very long time. Now we’re able to peer behind the curtain to learn more on how Google goes about recruiting, motivating, evaluating, selecting, managing and promoting their people through a book called “Work Rules!: Insight from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead,” by Laszlo Bock. It’s an eye-opener for anyone who’s ever worked in a Fortune 500 company as there is much to be learned from the way Google does things. What’s the real secret to Google’s success in luring the right talent? Just be prepared to see an approach to hiring that’s far but traditional.… Read More
  • Being Curious Is A Lifetime JobAugust 20, 2015“A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life” by Brian Grazer (the Academy Award-winning producer), talks about how curiosity is a concept that’s been underpinning most of the things in his life. Because he is constantly curious about people, things and stories, he’s made it a point of meeting with a variety of people. In fact, when Grazer started in the movie business, he wanted to meet with one new person a day. Later on, he modified this to be one new person per month – outside of the film industry. He’d meet with fascinating people such as two CIA Directors, which probably influenced his production of the movie “J. Edgar.” He met with Jonas Salk, Steve Jobs, Condoleezza Rice, Oprah Winfrey, two CIA Directors and more. What does this have to do with career development? Quite a lot, actually.… Read More
  • The Next Best Thing To A Crystal Ball On Your Future EmployerAugust 6, 2015The Next Best Thing To A Crystal Ball  On Your Future EmployerAs recruiters, we’re seeing a pattern of change when it comes to the number of offers that a candidate is receiving. Just 1 or 2 years ago, it wouldn’t be unusual if a candidate had 1 viable option to consider as they were looking for a new opportunity. Today, that very same candidate may find themselves with 2, 3, 4 or even more offers. On one hand, it’s good news because they have more choices. On the other hand, it doesn’t make it any easier and in fact, makes the decision more cumbersome. We’re no longer talking about a “Yay” or “Nay” choice on one offer but rather a situation that calls for a lot more due diligence to make the right choice. Now, some may ask, “Well, wouldn’t you always want to do your due diligence on a company anyway?” You’d be surprised by how few candidates actually follow through on that concept.… Read More
  • Why Your Bank, Commute And Vacation Photos Are Like A Taxi CompanyJuly 17, 2015I was having lunch recently with a bank senior manager and in the course of our conversation, we discussed how technology might soon disrupt the very nature of banking. I happened to say, “As time goes on, the bank will find it’s the equivalent of a taxi company.” Why? They’ve got regulations to follow, licenses necessary for operation and they’re well established. Nonetheless, they’re often very inefficient. Still, everybody lives with it because if you want to get from Point A to Point B and don’t have a car, you figure that you need a taxi. That is, until an outside-the-box innovation like Uber comes along.… Read More
  • The 30-Minute Interviewing Mistake You May Regret Much Longer.July 2, 2015There are plenty of people right now sitting in their office who have come to the realization that they’ve made a big mistake in their career direction. It feels like they didn’t know enough about what they were really getting into and they’re stuck in a role they shouldn’t have been in in the first place. Sounds like someone who might be experiencing newcomer’s regret after accepting the job a couple weeks ago, right? It does – except this person has been on the job for 2 years. How did they get here? Could this have been avoided earlier on? And why did it take them so long to discover they were such a square peg in one very round hole?… Read More
  • Candidates Playing H1B Visa Games And More Employers Are LosingJune 26, 2015We recently wrote about the chaotic process behind the H-1B visa program in the U.S. that enables employers to fill highly specialized positions with foreign employees (“Are H1B Visas Taking American Jobs?”). With 180,000 H1B visa applications accepted last year – 3 times the number than those that could be actually be granted – the system seems in need of a serious fix and soon. In just one month since we pondered this, The Wall Street Journal had a story explaining how the system really works. Now we’re already getting an excellent idea of why designing a better system is so important – because if it isn’t designed correctly, people will “game it.” Which is exactly what they’re doing.… Read More
  • How Great Candidates Stay One Step AheadJune 1, 2015How Great Candidates Stay One Step AheadWhy is it that some candidates seem well equipped to shift with the times while others can be completely caught off guard? I’ll give you the two P’s that separate the two: Preparedness and proactivity.… Read More
  • Flat Organizational Structures Rising FastMay 21, 2015I’ve spoken with a number of people dealing with the organizational structure of technology firms and departments who have noticed that their firms are getting flatter all the time. Why is this happening?… Read More
  • Are H-1B Visas Taking American Jobs?May 14, 2015I was reading recently about Microsoft’s very nice outpost in Vancouver, which enables them to hire a variety of individuals on foreign soil that they can’t give H-1B visas to. I suspect we’re only going to see more of these company outposts popping up to accommodate such workers until some important changes are made regarding the H-1B program in the United States. Let’s start by understanding what this program entails.… Read More
  • Why Counteroffers Don’t WorkMay 7, 2015With the job market becoming very competitive this year, it’s fairly common for candidates to juggle more than one offer. An increasing number of people in demand are at least willing to “look around” compared to the past couple of years. What we’re seeing in both the Chicago and New York markets are exceptional candidates with a general confidence that even if the new role doesn’t work out for any reason, they will find other opportunities they won’t have to wait forever for. Quite often, once they go to resign from their current position, their companies want to hold onto them. So the company provides a counteroffer. Problem solved, right? Not so fast.… Read More
  • The Real Reason Apple Is Expanding Its Product LineApril 16, 2015Apple is enjoying a whole lot of press for the impending release of its Apple Watch on the market. There’s also a great deal of chatter that Apple is very interested in producing a car (will we call it iCar?) in the years to come and that it’s more than just a concept at this point. What’s this? Wearables? Cars? What’s next? And why would the company that gives us laptops, tablets and smartphones go for what appears to be such a reach in this extension of its product ecosystem?… Read More
  • How Oculus Rift May Show Your Career’s FutureApril 9, 2015"Oculus Rift is taking years of virtual reality research and putting it into a package that everyone can use.” – Mark Bolas, Director of USC ICT MxR Lab When we speak with software developer candidates, we encourage them to consider those technologies that are emerging so rapidly that they may open up an entirely new industry. It’s more than a new product or a new type of code. It’s a new world. We’re seeing such possibilities with Oculus Rift, a virtual reality head mount primarily designed for gaming. When you wear the Rift, you’re immersed in a wider field of the game, one that continually creates the virtual environment around you based on which way you’re looking.… Read More
  • Riding The Right Rocket For Your CareerApril 2, 2015Many candidates have a challenging time of being able to keep their eye on the future when they’re so focused on the present. The question is typically less “Where is my industry going?” and more “Who is hiring right now and who can I interview with?” I understand the desire to find a job, obviously. Yet when you wander from one job to the next based only on the open positions today and if you’re a fit for the job description, that’s not necessarily a path with purpose. You could be setting yourself up for having even more questions about your career direction. The key to shifting that course of thinking for a more positive career experience is to be more future-focused while developing a passion that you may not even know you had. Where do you begin on that?… Read More
  • Move Where The Puck Is Going To BeApril 1, 2015Move Where The Puck Is Going To BeAbout a year and a half ago, we placed an accomplished software developer in a job. He called us up recently and told us that he needed a replacement for himself because he was going to have a new set of responsibilities within the organization. What makes him unique versus a lot of other people is that he doesn’t ask, “How do we get this done?” but rather “What aren’t we doing that we should be doing?” or “What technology is going to be available soon that we can deploy?”… Read More
  • How To: Handle A CounterofferMarch 27, 2015You've successfully completed the interview stage and have been offered the job. You’ve negotiated a package you are happy with and now it’s time to start thinking about your exit strategy. You arrange a meeting with your boss and start planning your resignation. How do you approach the subject? You start explaining your decision process and how you’ve decided to leave the company to go to another opportunity. Then your boss surprises you with a counteroffer: Your current employer explains how you were just about to get that promotion they’ve been promising, along with the overdue pay raise and more responsibility you’ve requested. You’re the only person who can make the final decision. Will you stay or will you go?… Read More
  • How The Patient-Physician Relationship Is Changing ForeverMarch 26, 2015I’m reading a fascinating book entitled, “The Patient Will See You Now,” by Eric Topol, M.D., which gives an appreciation for how much of a new body of knowledge is being created every year. In the view of many people who attend college, they feel they’ve learned what they could in that period of higher education and upon graduation, they need to apply that learning to the real world. Sure, they may learn a bit additionally here and there, but it’s implied that what they need to learn after college is a fraction of what they’ve already learned while in college.… Read More
  • How Resume Blasting Can Blow A Job SearchMarch 19, 2015It’s very tempting. A new, shiny tool comes along promising you the ability to get your resume in front of hundreds of hiring authorities. The idea behind a tool like this is that if you’re throwing things against the wall really fast, that’s going to do you a world of good in your job search. Right? Wrong. If you went to a doctor, would you love it if the physician started prescribing you one medication after another even before you were done explaining your symptoms? Not an ideal approach.… Read More
  • What’s The Harm In Artificial Intelligence?March 12, 2015Ironically, some of the people who talk about the potential danger of Artificial Intelligence, like Elon Musk, are also some of the most informed people on the subject too. They’re much more aware of how fast our ability to solve problems with the help of computer software is progressing. Whether we are close to a “danger point” or not on that is hard to tell. But one thing is an almost certainty - the pace of progress is grossly underestimated by a majority of the population.… Read More
  • Are We Going On A Big Data Diet?March 5, 2015In the past few years, it seems the phrase “Big Data” has been on everyone’s lips. But recently, we’ve found the talk has shifted to slightly less revolving around big data and more focused on a new term - predictive analytics. What can organizations do with analytics that are more predictive and what does it spell for the kind of people they need? And why are we lately not seeing as much use for digesting Big Data?… Read More
  • The Other Immigration Battle The U.S. Needs To WinFebruary 19, 2015At the center of the current immigration debate are a group of millions of people who already live in this country. Yet, there’s another group that isn’t covered by the media nearly enough in this immigration challenge – nearly 1 million foreign-born graduates with the necessary skill set to contribute top technological skills back to the U.S. but is being lost due to a dysfunctional immigration system.… Read More
  • Keeping Your Skills Out Of The “Marked Down” BinFebruary 12, 2015When people talk about a skill shortage as it pertains to software technology, we have to think of such a shortage as perpetual. This is not as bad as it might sound on the surface. Why? It’s describing a cycle that comes from the emergence of new software. Let me explain.… Read More
  • What “House Of Cards” Has To Do With Digital AccelerationFebruary 5, 2015Labeling a DVD. Sticking the DVD in a package. Storing said DVD on a shelf. Mailing it to a customer. It’s not the most efficient way of doing things. In fact, wouldn’t it be much easier to put the content from that DVD online? After all, the cost of transmitting a gigabyte has dropped from $8 to about 2 cents in the last several years. When you can stream video for pennies, you can begin to understand why Netflix and Amazon are depending less on movie studios and turning more to a model that draws from producing original content through shows like “House of Cards.” Such shows encourage us to watch content in “binge”-sized chunks as opposed to one movie at a time. For Netflix, it has resulted in the largest grossing drama for adult programming in the last 8-9 years.… Read More
  • Help! A Recruiter Spammed My Resume.January 12, 2015Not long ago, a candidate contacted me in a bit of a panic. A recruiter he had no formal contract with had sent out his resume to a wide variety of potential employers. So what was the problem with that? Plenty.… Read More
  • Beyond Firewalls: What The Sony Hack Teaches Us About CybersecurityJanuary 10, 2015Beyond Firewalls: What The Sony Hack Teaches Us About CybersecurityDue to some very timely events, a major discussion is taking place within companies around the question, “How do you secure cloud systems?” In the past, we’d secure systems from invasions by creating a firewall that protects everyone. Of course, if that firewall is breached, that’s kind of “open season” as Sony Pictures painfully realized during the monumentally damaging hack that took place against their company.… Read More
  • Who Needs 2-Step Authentication? Everyone.January 1, 2015Who Needs 2-Step Authentication? Everyone.In our recent post, “Help! A Recruiter Spammed My Resume,” we talked about how some less-than-ethical recruiters will send resumes to companies without properly checking with the candidate first. But with some checks-and-balances in place regarding the candidate’s permission, such as the company receiving the resume asking the candidate directly if they consented to have their resume presented, some of these issues could be minimized.… Read More
  • Are Machines Coming To Take Our Jobs? (And If So, Which Ones?)December 18, 2014I’ve been watching fascinating videos lately from DeepMind (recently purchased by Google for $400 million) that show us how computers are learning how to play video games – progressively getting better and better until they eventually win – across 15 different games. Needlessly to say, the results from the computer are dramatically better and faster than practically any human could achieve in the same period of time.… Read More
  • Why It’s Time To Forklift Your Data Center Into The CloudDecember 11, 2014Within the next year, I see cloud-related knowledge taking off. We continue to read about “forklift”-style projects, in which a mainframe is picked up and moved out. In its place is…nothing. That’s right. Nothing else is physically brought in to replace it because it all goes into the cloud.… Read More
  • SaaS Makes Its Big Move In 2015December 3, 2014As we think about the coming technology and hiring trends for 2015, I believe that we will see an increased demand for all kinds of software people, including our core financial services / trading arenas but also in Software as a Service (SaaS). Let’s consider a look at the “inside” of SaaS first – the primary use for Big Data is in predictive analytics or for that matter, any analytics. Even though cloud computing as a concept has been around for several years, we’re actually just beginning to see people start to get serious about “The Cloud.” The technologies that software people in this space are using tend to be less hardcore C++ and more Java, Ruby, Python or any kind of front-end user interface tools.… Read More
  • Financial Market Volatility Breeds More Talent NeedNovember 26, 2014People have noticed that the stock market has been somewhat volatile lately. At Talman, what we expect to see come out of it is a bit of an uptick in jobs in the financial market. Our financial clients, as a rule, benefit from high volatility and for a very long time, volatility and volume was low. However, over the last several months, we’ve seen consecutive days in which the Dow goes up 300 points, then down 300 points and so on. That probably will result in improved profitability for a number of our financial trading clients, which in turn will likely result in a demand for more talent in technology, quantitative thinking and trading.… Read More
  • The Trouble With Learning The C++ LanguageNovember 25, 2014Proprietary trading companies in the past have been looking for C++ developers but didn’t have high expectations in finding ones with that skill set. However, these days, demanding C++ has become almost mandatory because they want a combination of quantitative and programming skills. Meanwhile, we see a de-emphasis on slower languages such as C Sharp.… Read More
  • Surprise! You’re At Least 20% Robot.November 12, 2014In the movie, “Transcendence,” Johnny Depp plays a scientist who uploads his consciousness into a computer. Whether or not you actually cared for that movie, there seems to be a fascination with how much of our lives are becoming digital – or in fact, how much we are literally becoming digital ourselves. We can’t yet upload ourselves onto a system like they can in a movie, but the merger of human and machine is a lot closer than what people realize. In fact, wrap your head around this concept: It’s already happening.… Read More
  • Your Coding Skills May Be Due For “Boot Camp”November 5, 2014I fully believe that writing software as a profession will continue to grow dramatically. However, what’s currently slowing it down is the difficulty of learning to understand software languages and various tools and how to use these languages and tools to create new software. For all our advancements, we haven’t figured out how to make it easier to create software that is useful, so the threshold is still very high.… Read More
  • The Trouble With Salary SurveysOctober 28, 2014From time to time, hiring managers will tell us, “This is the job we’d like to fill and based on a recent salary survey, this is what we are willing to pay to fill it.” That may sound like a reasonable statement to make - except that almost always, the amount they’re looking to part with in order to bring aboard the right person for the job isn’t nearly enough. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re intentionally “low-balling” a candidate but more likely that they’re basing their expectations on a salary survey.… Read More
  • What’s Hot: Big Data, Python and JavaOctober 27, 2014In our regular monitoring of industry trends at Roy Talman & Associates, what we’re finding is that Open Source, large-scale projects are gaining more attention among companies working on newer, “Big Data”-type problems.… Read More
  • What Candidates Can Learn Upon Visiting GrokOctober 12, 2014I’ve been fascinated by a number of interviews that Jeff Hawkins of Numenta (also the founder of Palm Computing) has given about the company’s first commercial product called Grok. With a background in neuroscience, Hawkins has wondered for many years how to create products that model what the brain actually does. Grok concentrates on analyzing metrics coming from servers running on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Not only does Grok detect anomalies in those servers but it also keeps learning on a continuous basis, discovering time-based patterns in data points and automatically adapting to necessary changes. As I’ve read about Grok, it appears to be yet another breakthrough in machine learning.… Read More
  • What The Interview Guides Aren’t Teaching YouOctober 12, 2014“Look your interviewer in the eye.” “Don’t slouch.” “Have a firm handshake.” By now, there are a billion “how to interview” books to teach you how to improve in these areas. There’s nothing inherently wrong with many of them, but when it comes to technology interviews, you’re going to need more than sounding confident and having a nice smile.… Read More
  • Online Learning May Bring Explosion In New Tech OpportunitiesOctober 5, 2014Recently, I was approached by a candidate who was seeking a job associated with machine learning. There was just one problem as I saw it – he had very good technical skills but no work experience in the area of machine learning. Still, the one thing that struck me about him was how much online learning he had done on the subject. He talked at length about the classes he had taken from Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, Cal Tech and MIT, just to mention a few.… Read More
  • A More Encrypted World Is Coming (And Necessary)September 1, 2014Just an ID and password. It’s a mere one step. And in too many systems, that’s all it takes for someone to get their hands on your information. With that single line of “defense,” is it any wonder that sensitive online information is being regularly compromised? With the news stories we see on the subject all the time in regard to large companies being under cyber attack, some may start to wonder if there’s anything we can do.… Read More
  • Are We Ready For The Second Machine Age?September 1, 2014I’ve been reading a book called The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies, that envisions a time in the near future in which more and more high-end work will get done by computers. If this concept comes to fruition, the logical question becomes, “Well, if computers are doing all the high-end work, what will this mean for the low-end work that needs to get done?” If greater competition ensues for the low-end work among people, what will be created is more of a chasm in which more people will be competing for fewer jobs and many of those will be jobs that offer less compensation.… Read More
  • New Frontier Of Wearable Data Creates Skill Set OpportunitiesAugust 19, 2014There’s a state of mind in some developers that they can go to school, learn one language and be done for the rest of their career (or even a really long time). Well, those individuals may find themselves facing a bit of a problem. Because I suspect that the pace of change in terms of new environments, new languages and new operating systems is going to heavily accelerate like never before.… Read More
  • The Danger of Wearing Rose-Colored Glasses During Your Job SearchAugust 11, 2014When you’re engaging in job research on a particular company, there’s always going to be pros and cons you discover on the firm if you’re being entirely honest with yourself. The other reality is that as a candidate, you’re only going to be able to collect so much information on your own.… Read More
  • How Well Does Chicago Get The Successful Startup Formula?August 3, 2014There’s something exciting about not only launching a startup but I also get the sense that such stories make for very good press too. You have the promise of tomorrow, aspiring entrepreneurs and a unique concept that seems like a sure-fire success. How could anything go wrong? Without raining on that parade, we could also use a little more perspective.… Read More
  • How Machine Learning Is Changing Traditional Education TooAugust 1, 2014In our post, “New Frontier Of Wearable Data Creates Skill Set Opportunities,” we took a look at how technologies in what we wear will not only create a lot more data points for brands to learn about potential customers but also new career possibilities in machine learning as well. So how are our academic institutions responding to this?… Read More
  • Is Looking Inside Your Network Limiting Your Search?July 31, 2014When they begin a candidate search, the first tendency of a company’s hiring manager is to look inside their network. This isn’t completely unexpected – but in most situations, the manager will realize sooner rather than later that they’re limiting themselves by pursuing this route and can only get so far in terms of identifying a suitable number of quality candidates. It’s at this point that they may turn to a recruiter who is relatively low cost and provides a large pile of resumes (i.e. 200 resumes or so), feeling that quantity equals quality. A win-win, right? Not exactly.… Read More
  • Becoming A Fly On The Wall: Your Best “Insider’s Look” At A CompanyJuly 30, 2014Even with more online resources than ever at their disposal, there’s one element that’s still often challenging for candidates to get a feel for when they’re researching a company – that’s the company culture. Think about a large brand name such as Google or Apple. How hard do you think such names have to work to receive applications from qualified candidates? If anything, they have to work hard to sift through the mountain of applications for positions they receive, thanks to their wonderful brand recognition. Probably long before they’ve even applied for a position, most candidates know more about the company’s approach, their history, their leadership, their product development process and yes, their culture. Other companies, naturally, have to work much harder to establish powerful brand recognition to attract recruits - which can also be an expensive proposition in itself.…
  • Fresh Tools: Swift and StormJuly 20, 2014There is a wave of new technologies surfacing all the time. For example, Apple has a new programming language named Swift that might be more in demand in the next year and give those who understand this language a higher level of marketability. It won’t be one of those issues where you need 20 years of experience, so a junior person who gets a jump on understanding Swift may be in as good a position as someone senior.… Read More
  • How Great Candidates Stay One Step AheadJuly 1, 2014Why is it that some candidates seem well equipped to shift with the times while others can be completely caught off guard? I’ll give you the two P’s that separate the two: Preparedness and proactivity.… Read More
  • Why Is More Wall Street Talent Moving To Madison Avenue?May 1, 2014Ilya Talman was recently asked in the Wall Street Journal how often he sees a trend of candidates going from a career in Finance into other areas such as Advertising or Marketing (“Why Trade Bonds When You Can Trade Ads?”) as well as hiring managers in these fields outside of Finance looking for the talent that Finance tends to attract, then trying to entice that talent to move into their industry.… Read More

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