Timing is a powerful influence and determining factor in many important happenings in one’s life.
As a Technology Recruiter, I zero in on the importance of timing during the career search and hiring process. I’ve concentrated my discussion in this post on the Software Engineering world, particularly the FinTech arena.
Why is timing everything?
Tech firms are always in an arms race to improve their product, service, online user experience, and other evolving technological advances and abilities.
Successful firms, who are able to control a stable share of the market, need to grow at a nominal pace while not sacrificing on the talent they employ.
Bottom line: today’s hires need to be better than yesterday’s.
On the other hand, job seekers are not as predictable or as competitive as the increasingly fast-growing demand for technology engineers. If you are an accomplished Software Engineer who can prove yourself through today’s difficult interview processes, you are a hot commodity in a high-demand market.
As you approach a career search, it’s important to have a game plan and timeline for beginning and ending your search.
Let’s start with college graduates.
For Computer Science (or related) graduates who are looking for their first job, these can often be the most challenging and time sensitive moments in your career.
Most companies want experience — you have none — and you need to find a job soon before your graduation date fades in the dust.
As a Recruiter, when I find a candidate with a strong academic resume who has been struggling to land an opportunity, I always ask myself, “why has this person not found a job yet?” It may sound like a negative approach to take but as recruiters, we do not do our job well by showing our clients less than special candidates. Again, our clients want candidates who are better than the last individual they hired!
What about an experienced Software Engineer?
For an experienced and more accomplished Software Engineer seeking to work with, and learn from, newer technologies and more advanced colleagues, you’ll need to set aside more time and put in more effort than a candidate entering the working world for the first time.
For example, many of the well-regarded technology firms require Software & Systems Engineers to complete “take home” or paired-programming/coding exercises, whiteboarding, and live problem solving scenarios which can be both relevant and irrelevant to the position at hand.
These “take home” programming/coding challenges are typically timed at 2-4 hours each. The more reputable (and better paying) FinTech firms generally have onsite interviews which can last a full work day or longer.
When a candidate calls to debrief me after an onsite interview, the later in the day they call, the better.
Timing is Everything.
FinTech companies never stop interviewing technology talent, and they shouldn’t.
The advancement of technology and presence in our everyday life, isn’t slowing down, it’s constantly changing and improving. Tech-driven companies must follow the pace of innovation and hire talent accordingly.
Vacations, paid-time off (expiring as well as newly granted), annual bonuses, budgets, reorganizations, promotions, tenure in your current role, expertise developing within your skill specialty, etc. are all time-sensitive variables to consider when entering the job market.
The influence time has on a career search is a critical variable and often overlooked. Remember, as you approach your next career search, having a game plan and a timeline in place will help you stay on track and get the offer for the job you’ve waiting for.
Jordan Zmick is an IT Recruiter and Account Manager at Objective Paradigm in Chicago, IL. His focus is centered in the Capital and Financial Market space where Jordan builds and maintains relationships with qualified, educated, and motivated candidates. He understands our clients’ needs and opportunities, coordinating candidate interviews, and becoming a reliable resource for quality profiles. Connect with Jordan on LinkedIn.