How do I set a target salary for an interview?

One of the main challenges when looking for a new job is setting the salary that we want to earn in the new company.

This is a very personal decision but it is important to do some research and find out what is being offered in the market for similar job positions to the one we want. If we do not take this into account, we might ask for a salary much higher than the one being offered and the chances of getting that much-wanted salary increase may decline dramatically.

There are websites that show us salaries for different job positions in different countries. In some countries, the data is relevant and up-to-date while in others it is not.

The aim of this article is not to criticize and analyze other sources so we will not consider these websites and we will focus on other alternatives that might help you.

First things first

Although it can be a bit awkward sometimes to ask about income, one very important source of information is your colleagues and friends in the field of expertise (former university classmates, work colleagues, etc.). Asking them is the first step, not without mentioning always that you are asking because you are looking for a new job and you need help! Not everyone likes sharing their income but if it is for a good cause they might be more willing…

Another good source is during the job interviews that we have. In practice, one should have a number in mind before going to the interview but after the interview, we can ask the interviewer, as we are facing a specialist that knows exactly how much is being asked by candidates and paid by companies in the market. It is important to clarify that the question is not only for the job proposed in that interview.

Once we are happy with all the information gathered, we can calculate the average and use it as a reference. After considering how salaries are set in the market, we suggest that your desired salary is not 20% above the average estimated, otherwise it might be over the amount being offered at the time.

 


When is it time to hand in my notice?

When you are about to change jobs there is the dreaded moment of leaving the stability of your current job and moving to a new one.

This is a process involving not only working issues but also contractual issues.

Therefore, if you are about to make a move, timing is of the essence. As it will allow you to finish your current employment well and start a new one in the best way.

First and foremost: You should not tell your current employer that you are about to leave your job before having confirmation from the new employer that your new job is going ahead. You should give your notice only once all the stages of the selection and recruitment process have finished.

It is worth mentioning that all the companies have different processes, thus it is important to ask which is the last stage. Some companies offer the job by means of a phone call, others by email and some others require a contract to be signed. It is essential to be 100% sure that all the selection stages have finished and that you will start the new job.

Once you have received a notification confirming the new position, you should give notice to your current employer. From that moment, you should ask for at least 10 working days to your new employer to neatly close all the duties that you have opened.

Your new employer may ask you to start the job immediately, before those 10 working days after confirmation of the new employment. In general, depending on the case, it is good to ask your new employer to respect that period. Beyond your future employer’s needs, it’s generally perceived as a good candidate quality to respect transition periods as it shows commitment to work. In the future, when you change jobs again, your new employer will be happy if you provide them with two weeks’ notice.

 


How to increase the chances of finding your first job in the IT industry (or of changing jobs)?

The search for a job in IT is unique as, unlike other industries, the demand is bigger than the offer, i.e., there are more employers looking for candidates than candidates interested in changing jobs.

This produces an interesting behavior in the market... Candidates tend to receive job offers instead of having to look for them!

Interesting fact: In March 2019 we took a random sample out of 200 candidates that we interviewed and we asked them how many offers they have received in the last week, the result was striking: 93% answered that they have received between 1 to 10 offers!

The challenge then is in getting those offers and here we focus on that.

From a recruiting point of view, we work with the assumption (partially true) that the IT market is replicated on LinkedIn. Therefore, your presence in that network is essential so that when recruiters carry out their searches your profile shows up and shows up in the first place.

In this case, to increase the probability of getting a job in IT it is very important to have an updated LinkedIn profile with some special features, making the most of the details.

Let's go from the most obvious to the less obvious:

  • Have all the experience and training related to your job search uploaded in your profile.
  • If you speak Spanish for example, have your profile also in that other language. Once you’ve done this, LinkedIn will activate an option that allows the person viewing the profile to choose the language. You can find how to create your profile in another language here.
  • Searches in LinkedIn are done by keywords, and the place where we put the keyword will have an effect on the searching algorithm. It is important not to misuse these keywords as LinkedIn may activate its SPAM filter and you will not appear in any of the searches. You should only add keywords in places where it sounds natural -making sure you don’t miss any of them!
  • Add recruiters to your contact list: This network has three different types of connections (1º Degree, 2º Degree, and 3º Degree) and this has an impact on the search results as well as the information available to recruiters. This article explains everything in detail, but in general, a 1º degree connection allows you to send direct messages, a 2º one allows you to view profile information and a 3º degree allows you to view a very brief version of the profile. By adding recruiters you will be a 2º degree connection to all the contacts in their contact list and recruiters, as they work a lot on LinkedIn, tend to have plenty of contacts. This will put you in the first place when searching and recruiters will know about you when they accept your invitation.
  • Once a recruiter has accepted your invitation, write them a message, it’s a great opportunity to let them know you are looking for a job.

Finally, outside the LinkedIn network:

  • Let all your network in the industry know that you are searching for a job. Give them some information so that if they see a suitable job offer, they can send it over to you. Also, there are many employers that offer bonuses to employees that refer to candidates. Therefore, if they share your profile in their office, they will be happy to help and they will also be rewarded.
  • At We Recruit IT we have different newsletters divided by technology where we advertise each week the main job offers that we have in each field. If you would like to receive the job offers for your field of expertise, you can request them here.

Bonus track: If you would like to know more about SEO in LinkedIn this article has very interesting facts.


Boolean Operators: the tip of the iceberg

Nowadays being an IT recruiter and not working with Boolean Operators is like climbing up the stairs to the top floor of a 20-floor building! Knowing and learning how these operators work is only the beginning. In this case, going back to the building analogy, it will be like knowing how to use the lift but not knowing which floor we want to go to...

The key is to be able to develop a combined advanced search strategy. To get the most out of LinkedIn, we combine different searches with the help of the Boolean operators. We can set our plan and organize our process. This way, we will be able to efficiently reach EVERY candidate that meets our criteria!

-Before we continue, if you are not familiar with Boolean operators, the following article in LinkedIn explains which ones are the most important and how to use them.-

How can we make the most of LinkedIn enhanced searches to contact every candidate that meets our criteria?

Firstly, once we have the job description, we need to define which are the Must have and the Preferred skills/experience of the profile. From there we´ll carry out a LinkedIn enhanced search combining the skills/experience and we will contact the resulting candidates. If a candidate is not found after the first set of interviews, we will carry out another search but, this time, we can take out of our search one of the preferred skills/experience and include it in the excluded list. If we still have not finished the process of finding a candidate, we will continue to take out the Preferred skills/experience until we find ourselves in the last search with only the Required skills/experience.

By doing this, we have set out a plan that considers all the possible candidates for our search!

Let’s see an example: the development leader asks us for a Full Stack Developer with the following skills/experience:

Now, if we use these keywords with the LinkedIn advanced search, we can organize it in the following way:

Once all is set, we begin to create a query path that will include all the candidates.  We use all the skills/experience for our first advanced search, both the required and preferred:

If we contact all the candidates resulting from this search without success, we will carry out another search on LinkedIn. This time, we will take out from the list a preferred skill/experience (NodeJS) and we will ask the search not to show candidates that include that skill/experience in their description (as these candidates have been contacted previously):

If more candidates are needed, we will continue to take out skills/experience one by one in each new search. The following search will be:

Finally, once we have carried out all the searches taking out the preferred skills/experience, we are left with only the required skills/experience, omitting all the preferred ones:

By following this process, we would have managed to contact all candidates available on LinkedIn meeting the search criteria requested. As a result, the assessment of all the possible individuals resulting from our search and, ultimately, the finding of our candidate are guaranteed.


Language in the recruitment industry: how to best write an IT job description?

In this article, we will only focus on how to transfer the technical requirements to the job description.

As in every life scenario, when communicating information, the speaker (recruiter) should be considered. In this case, as the recruiter is generally a non-technical specialist, the requirements should be conveyed with the purpose of spreading the information to be understood by both specialists and non-specialists.

- I am probably reading your mind at the moment -

Why isn´t the IT recruiter a specialist?

The answer is: of course it is!

In my case, I am an IT candidate recruiter specialist but I am not an IT specialist.

I once heard the following phrase which represents us all:… we are a sea of knowledge, but a sea of one-meter depth...

Therefore, the job description has to be easy to understand and also to be measurable, to assess the requirement.

If the requirements are measurable, then we will be able to:

  • Prepare a simple evaluation for the candidate.
  • Forget about the grey areas for the search criteria.
  • Assess the recruiter's performance objectively.
  • Set parameters for all the interviewed candidates.
  • Simply increase or decrease the demand for each criterion.

But, how do we get an easy to understand but measurable description?

We base it on candidates´ experience and for this we summarise the requirements in yearly criteria, to make it easy to read and measurable. For example:

Fullstack Developer

  • Java: 5 years
  • Spring (Jave Framework): 3 years
  • JavaScript: 3 years
  • Angular 2+ (JS Framework): 1 year

This way, we can produce a table that allows us to compare the interviewed candidates:

In this scenario, Candidate Nº 5 meets all of the experience requirements. But if none of the candidates were to meet the requirements, we would promptly analyze the table and determine where there could be flexibility in the years of experience to consider other candidates.

It is worth mentioning that this example is based on the technical aspects but we could spread this table to include all the relevant aspects of an interview, such as salary, languages, geography, interests, etc. By doing this we hold objective data of a portion of the market that will allow us to communicate in a more straightforward way!

Bonus track: In case you are a fan of statistics, with the data we receive from the process, we can check the correlations between the different variables and deeply understand if the criteria are well set.


Can you change your expectations during the selection process?

Of course, you can!
But at this stage, you can face different challenges. The main one being that the process may be dismissed completely. This may be due to many reasons: the new expectation is not aligned with the company´s offer or it’s not well received.

If you are willing to take the risk, you should bear in mind the following:

  • It is not the same to change your expectations as soon as the process starts than at its last stage when you are about to start the new job. Experience has shown us that the chance of rejection increases the further we are in the recruiting process, as they are not appreciated.
  • If you want to change your salary expectation please consider these results from a brief study that we carried out: we researched into the number of candidates increasing their salary expectation by 20% during the recruiting process. 73% of the cases were dismissed. Therefore, if you are looking into increasing your salary expectation by 20% there is a high chance your request will be dismissed.
  • When you are asking for the new expectation it is important to justify it. The justification may increase the possibility of it being understood and accepted. On the contrary, a bad justification may trigger the end of the search process.

All in all, expectations can be changed and the variables that will have an effect are the scale of the change, the time of the request and the way it is requested. You should bare these three variables in mind to increase the chances of having your new expectation accepted.

 


How to coordinate dozens of interviews and not lose track - or a candidate!

One of the main tasks we do most here at Recruiting is, without a doubt, to coordinate interviews with candidates. We make calls and exchange lots of emails which, by the end of the month, end up being hours invested in administrative work.

In order to save us all this work, lately, lots of new applications have emerged -which are truly worth it- that allows us to share in a simple way our calendar availability.

They synchronize with our Calendar and, by means of a link, allow us to share our availability. We can then send to the candidate that we want to interview a link that allows them to see all the available options being offered.

Then the candidate will be able to choose the time of the interview and this will automatically generate an event in our Calendar and that of the candidate.

By doing this, we will save all those emails asking for availability and confirmation of each candidate!

Of all those available, the one we recommend is Calendly, which also has many other features that will ease our administrative work even more.

Finally, here is a video that will show you more how it works.

Bonus track: It also allows you to add questions that the candidate has to reply before booking the interview. Thus, when you see the event in your calendar, you can also see their answers long before the interview.