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From now until 2030, about 10,000 baby boomers in the United States are turning 65 every day. This means that a lot of people are preparing for retirement. As a company, it’s important to know how your workforce will be impacted when these baby boomers actually do retire. Here at Atlas Consulting, our recruiters have prepared this post to help your organization determine if it’s ready for baby boomer retirement.

 

Who exactly are baby boomers? Baby boomers are the population born between 1946 and 1964, between 41 and 59 years old. As this group retires, the US workforce will face a major shift, and your company should be prepared to survive, and hopefully grow, during this time.

 

It’s important to know the demographics of your company’s workforce. How old are your employees and what types of positions do they hold? How many years have they been in their position? This should give you a good base as to when the baby boomers of your company are going to prepare for their retirement. Other questions you need to answer include:

 

  • What is your company policy on retiring? Is early retirement encouraged or discouraged?
  • Are there any programs your company can implement to capture the crucial knowledge of baby boomers who will be leaving?
  • With retirements happening around the same time, will your company face a labor shortage that may interfere with your ability to operate successfully?
  • How will you train the workers taking over for baby boomers?

 

Depending on the answers to these questions, you should have a good idea on what areas you need to focus on as the baby boomer population begins to retire. A recent survey by the AARP and the Society for Human Resource Management found that 72 percent of HR professionals saw the loss of baby boomers as a problem or potential problem to their organization, yet only five percent had policies and practices in place to address these potential losses. The main focus of the survey was strategic workforce planning for companies in preparation for possible skill gaps once baby boomers retire.

 

With all of this information, what should you do next? Create a strategic plan to address the issue of retiring baby boomers and involve C-suite executives. The strategy should be a long-term plan and not only address the needs of your company, but the needs of your industry. For more information on preparing your company for baby boomer retirement, contact one of our recruiters today.

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Today, more females than ever are leading the technology departments at Fortune 500 companies such as Mobil, Dell, Bank of America, and GE. This is great, right? On one hand, yes, this is awesome! But according to the data from just two years ago from the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, women made up 57-percent of the country’s professional workforce, yet only 25-percent of the jobs were in the technology field. What about the leaders we just mentioned above? They account for only 12-percent of the total!

 

Women in IT provide competitive advantages for corporations. According to Chief Technology Officer at Xerox Sophie Vandebroek, “Beyond making it easier to recruit other women, adding women to engineering and design teams makes those teams better able to address the needs of Xerox’s customer base, which worldwide includes more women than men. Just one example: Women are more likely to be users of the company’s multifunction office devices.” Plus, workforces made up of both men and women are much more innovative, creative, and productive. This is because the group is diverse and not everyone is thinking the same way. Technology companies need to be innovative to be successful.

 

So why aren’t women making up more of the IT sector? A lot of it may have to do with the culture. Many women want to work in careers where they are able to have and raise children. When you’re a developer, you may have to work on long, up-all-night projects that really aren’t conducive to raising a family.

 

To encourage women to join the technology sector, many nonprofits have been created in recent years to expose high school girls to programming, app development, and more. These nonprofits tend to be sponsored by major tech corporations, such as DigiGirlz, a group sponsored by Microsoft. The goal of these groups is to get more women studying technology in college and graduate school.

 

To be successful in the male-oriented field, women need to know what they want and go for it. Tina Rourk, CIO of Wyndham Vacation Ownership advises women entering the technology field, “I knew IT was male-dominated from the outset. That didn’t change the decisions that I made. You need to make sure others know what you want; you need to raise your hand for further opportunities. I had to learn to do that.”

 

If you’re looking to break in the the IT field and want some tips on how to do so successfully, contact one of our recruiters today!

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Employee engagement plays an important role within organizations, and engaging employees is not always an easy task. But engaged employees means increased profitability for companies. If a company is going to successfully engage its workforce, it needs to understand what exactly employee engagement is. The definition of employee engagement: the emotional connection an employee feels towards its company.

 

Depending on how employees feel, their connectedness towards their particular job (and organization as a whole) can either increase or decrease productivity levels while at work. Of course organizations want their employees to be productive, therefore it’s important to consistently engage them. Our expert recruiters at Atlas Consulting have compiled some key strategies to help you engage your workers to increase profit.

 

Openly Express the Company Culture. Company culture is definitely important when trying to engage your employees. What does your company believe? Is this communicated to your employees? Let your employees in on your company culture, and show them what is important to the organization as a whole. Allow employees a chance for input because they want to feel as though they are being listened to.

 

Communicate. Having open communication between senior management and employees is also important in getting employees engaged. Employees don’t want to be seen as a number, but rather a working member of a team and contributing to a company-wide goal. When employees go above and beyond their job duties, publicly appreciate and recognize their good work. This shows that their hard work and effort will not go unnoticed.

 

Show the Importance of Professional Development. Most individuals don’t want to be stuck in the same exact job for the next 30 years, especially employees from the antsy generation Y. Employees want to feel like they are able to advance with their company; climb the corporate ladder. Offering professional development opportunities shows employees that you are invested in their future.  Plus, the best employees are the ones who like to learn, so do what you can to help them along.

 

Employee engagement is not something that happens overnight, but it is definitely essential to a happy workforce and increased profits. When employees believe in the organization in which they work, they want to do the best job possible. Stay consistent in your efforts because employee engagement takes time. Contact one of our recruiters today for more tips on engaging your workers.

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As the New Year quickly approaches, we want to take the time to review our top posts from 2013. It has been a busy year for job seekers and companies, and we want to reflect on what we think were our most important tips for landing a job.


How to Dress for Interview Success

We published this post in October for all of the job seekers looking to improve their appearance for interviews. The question of “What do I wear?” is a surprisingly important one that many interviewees don’t give enough thought. When you’re choosing your outfit, be mindful of the position you’re interviewing for, who you’re meeting with, where the interview takes place and, most importantly, what image you want to convey. It’s always safe to dress a bit dressier than the normal work attire. You can read the full list of tips by clicking the link above.


Big Data Job Opportunities are Everywhere!

The next post we want to highlight directly discusses big data job opportunities. Demand for big data skills is expanding, and according to a recent report by Dice, big data jobs have shown a triple-digit-surge annually. Many companies are seeking big data IT pros whose skills include consulting firms, defense contractors, financial firms, and more. To help you get a better understanding of big data and what it means for job opportunities, read the full post above.


Short-Term Employees Deserve Rewards Too!

The final post we want to emphasize is for the HR professionals and short-term employees. More often than not, short-term, temporary, and seasonal employees get the short end of the stick when it comes to incentive plans. Although they may not be your employee for the entire year, short-term employees still deserve benefits and incentives, which will increase morale and in turn increase productivity. Creating an environment that encourages and reinforces good work ethic will pay off in the long run. This post discusses non-traditional benefits and incentive plans for short-term employees.

These posts are just few of the many we’ve written throughout the year. After all, our goal is to help you. Visit our blog archive for a complete list of posts in 2013. Anything you’d like to see us write about? Contact one of our recruiters today!

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Congratulations! Your hard work has paid off and you have landed your first management job. This is a sign that you are excelling in your career. Now, not only do you have to worry about your performance, you have to worry about the performance of your team. Your team may consist of former peers, and maybe even friends, so it might feel a little weird that you’re in charge. Don’t worry, everyone faces challenges when supervising others for the first time, especially in the IT industry. Our team at Atlas Consulting has compiled helpful tips to help you survive as a first-time IT manager.

 

  • Accept that you’re still learning, too. Yes, you have worked very hard to get where you are, and have plenty of expertise in your field, but taking charge and leading others requires an entirely new skill set. Be prepared to learn from others, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  • Communicate. Don’t you hate when you’re not in the loop on the project? It’s something that happens, but try to avoid it happening with your team. Keep your team fully informed of projects, goals, and expectations and communicate throughout the entire process.
  • Ask for feedback. If you’re struggling on a project, ask your team for feedback on how to get things rolling again. Some employees don’t like to offer up information on certain issues unless they are prompted to do so. Plus, this shows your employees that you care about their ideas and opinions.
  • Recognize the accomplishments of others. We’re not saying to have a formal ceremony every time someone does a good job, but you should publicly acknowledge your employees when they do well.
  • Make everyone apart of the big picture. Take time to tell your team how their work directly contributes to the company’s overall objectives and goals. Employees want to feel that their work is valued.
  • Be patient. Being a first-time manager isn’t easy, so it’s important to be patient with yourself and with your team. Don’t be afraid to ask for guidance from other leaders within your organization.

 

These tips are just a few to get you started on your new endeavor. For more information on being a first-time IT manager, contact one of our recruiters today!

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Today’s job market is an excellent one for employers, as they tend to get an abundance of qualified candidates for a single job. For job seekers, this makes the market a bit tough. To get through the stack of resumes, employers often ask candidates to participate in a phone interview. This post is designed to tell you more about phone interviews and what the employer is looking for and how to prepare.

 

Here are some of the objectives for employers and phone interviews:

 

Check your knowledge of the job. Yes, you’ve read the post online and you applied, but do you know what the job actually is? Do you think you’ll be doing one thing when really you’ll be doing another? Employers want to set real expectations for the position, and need to know if you understand and accept them.

 

Check on basic logistics. One question employers want (and often need) to know is when you are available to start. Is it your basic two weeks and then on to the next job? Or, do you have something planned that won’t allow you to start for another month? Employers also want to know your salary expectations. This can be tricky for job seekers, as you don’t want to give a too high or too low range. Do your research and see what the salary averages are for comparable jobs in the area. Pair that information with what you bring to the table and you should have a fair range.

 

Establish basic qualifications. Employers want to know more about your skills and experience. Be prepared with examples that relate directly to the skills you listed on your resume. A sample question you may receive could be, “tell me more about a time you had to deal with a difficult customer and how you resolved that problem.” This is also the time where employers will clear up any questions they may have on your resume. So be prepared to explain anything that may seem out of the norm.

 

Check to see if you’ll say anything to put you out of the running. If you sound uninterested in the interview, or possibly distracted, employers may take your name right off the list. Speak clearly, be friendly, and listen to what the employer is saying.

 

Don’t let phone interviews intimidate you. Prepare, research, and treat it like an actual in-person interview. For more information on acing your next phone interview, contact one of our IT recruiters today!

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Job searching is a challenging task, and certainly not for the weary. Luckily, our team at Atlas Consulting knows exactly what entry-level skills are in high demand in the Information Technology field. We have created this post of the top five skills every entry level IT candidate should possess to help you ace your next interview.

 

Strong Communication Skills. It’s crucial to be able to interact and communicate with your coworkers, supervisors, and clients on a regular basis. Employees with strong verbal and written communication skills are valuable to organizations.

 

Collaboration. Collaboration is important to most companies today, especially in technology departments. Projects will come up that an entire group needs to work on, and as an entry-level employee you need to be able to work in a group. Communicate in the interview that you are able to work on a team and work well with others.

 

Ability to Solve Problems. Who are the employees that answer all tech questions, upgrade systems, and fix software bugs? If you answered IT employees, you answered correctly. The ability to solve problems is essential in an IT position.

 

Understanding the Industry. If you don’t know the industry in which organization operates, then you don’t offer much of an advantage. As an employee, if you understand the industry you provide a competitive edge by identifying what can be done to make your company rise above the competition.

 

Adaptable to Change. Change happens and it’s inevitable. An employee who is able to go with the flow is good for a company, as these people usually maintain a positive outlook on the situation.

 

These skills are not out of the ordinary, and can be honed through time and practice. When interviewing for a job, make sure to give the interviewer examples of how you possess these skills. For example, instead of saying you are “excellent at collaborating with others,” share a story about a previous experience you had working with a group. Include why you were working on a group project, what role you played, and what you learned. Contact one of our recruiters today for more information on entry-level skills for IT candidates.

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Balancing your work and home life can often be a challenge for most people, considering most of us have lives outside of the office. We spend approximately 40 hours each week at work, but what about those hours that we aren’t there? Many people try to aim for a perfect balance for both, but it’s not always attainable. You can’t please everyone all of the time, so our team at Atlas Consulting has gathered some helpful tips on achieving the work/life balance.

 

Stick to your set hours. This is especially important for those who work from home or have the option to telecommute a few times each week. Just because you get an email at 9 p.m. on a weekend, doesn’t mean to have you respond to it. Work with your boss and create a system for when you should answer emails outside of your set hours.

 

Have some you time each day. When you are overworked, your productivity decreases. Find some time during the day where you can log off and do something for you. Even if it’s just a 15 minute walk around the block, creating time for yourself will help you avoid exhaustion and increase your efficiency.

 

Turn your phone off. How many of you shrieked at the thought of that? We know it’s a difficult concept for some people, but find a part of your day when you are phone free. This could be before you get to work in the morning, or when you’re home having dinner with your family. Set a period of time where your phone is off and you are truly in the moment.

 

Don’t be afraid to say no. Let’s face it, you can’t say yes to everything. There aren’t enough hours in the day. When you are always saying yes, your coworkers and your boss will take advantage of you. When appropriate, delegate tasks to others.

 

Discuss telecommuting with your boss. For some people, it’s not always necessary to sit at a desk all day. Plenty of work can be done from home. Have a conversation with your boss about a trial period of telecommuting one day each week. If you prove to your boss that you’re just as productive outside of the office, you may be able to telecommute or often and have the flexibility to balance life at home.

 

Get healthy. By exercising and eating well, you will boost your energy levels and become a more productive employee. We aren’t saying hit the gym every day, but take some time to stretch at your desk, drink more water, and eat healthier foods.

 

Incorporating these strategies into your everyday life will help you achieve a healthy work/life balance. It might not happen overnight, but try to stick it out. The results will pay off in the long run. If you’re looking for other ways to achieve a successful work/life balance, contact us today!

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Starting in September of 2014, for children in the UK ages 5 to 14, there will be a significant change in their education; the addition of rigorous computer science programs. This isn’t too shocking because when the personal computer revolution started, the BBC was promoting its own computer and making programs about learning to program.

 

After the initial buzz about the computer revolution was over, Britain took a step back and only focused on Information Communications Technology (ICT) in school. The reason being that most people argued that children didn’t need to know the back-end computer knowledge, only how to work one. This is when students began learning Windows programs such as Microsoft Word and Excel. There were some speculations that the real reason students weren’t learning to program is because it was too difficult to find teachers to teach the high-level subject.

 

Well, times have changed again and ICT is out and new computer sciences courses are in. According to the Education Secretary Michael Gove, “Our school system has not prepared children for this new world. Millions have left school over the past decade without even the basics they need for a decent job. And the current curriculum cannot prepare British students to work at the very forefront of technological change.”

 

He went on to say, “The best degrees in Computer Science are among the most rigorous and respected qualifications in the world… and prepare students for immensely rewarding careers and world-changing innovations. But you’d never know that from the current ICT curriculum.”

 

A great thing about this change is the example it’s setting. This huge shift in education is showing others the importance of computer programming. It’s also showing the need to prepare students for the real-word at a young age. Of course there are some worries as part of this new program, including the lack of teachers with expertise. There are programs through the education department and British Computer Science to help get new teachers to teach programming, but it might not be enough. Many teachers will have to be retrained.

 

Overall, this is opening worlds of opportunities for young people in Britain, which is always a positive thing. For more information on this new curriculum, contact Atlas Consulting today.

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Most healthcare providers have high-quality patient safety and care at the top of their goal list, yet achieving those goals isn’t always cut and dry. Depending on the methodology and type of technology used, there are many paths to reach those goals. This post is designed to help you understand the correlation between IT in healthcare and better patient care.

 

Healthcare providers are looking to automate their clinical functions as a patient safety measure. Just think how convenient it would be for a hospital to have their various provider systems, including billing, scheduling, and electronic medial records in one place. It allows them to find the gaps in the system and create solutions to effectively close them.

 

Here are some of the ways IT experts can help healthcare providers:

 

Virtual Instruction. Continuing education for medical professionals is crucial. The best way to do so is use real-life scenarios from actual patients. It allows medical professionals to learn from their decisions and leads to changing behaviors. It is also beneficial when medical professionals see actual successes as a result of their decisions.

 

Product Tracking. Electronic product surveillance gives an extra sense of safety and security. Staff should know the location and status of lifesaving devices, and be able to tell whether or not they have been properly decontaminated. It allows staff to track the path of the equipment and where it traveled and who utilized it.

 

Data Warehousing. The more information medical professionals have at their fingertips, the better. Storing clinical data for medical professionals to have instant access to is extremely important for patient safety purposes.

 

Patient Motivation. Even with all of the access medical professionals have to help ensure patient care, patients themselves must take responsibility for their own well-being. Educational videos and other multimedia presentations help patients to do so by helping them understand their disease type, care team, and treatment schedules.

 

These are only a few of the many ways technology integrates seamlessly into the healthcare field. If you are interested in working in IT in the healthcare industry, contact one of our associates today.