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    Tech Candidate Spotlight – Glenn Engstrand, Staff Software Engineer

    Can you share a little bit about your educational background?

    I have a Bachelor’s in Computer Engineering and I completed Cooperative Education. I have a traditional degree and many years on various teams in companies ranging from mid-stage startups to Fortune 4 for products in the B2C, B2B, and B2B2C spaces.

    Which educational opportunities made the biggest impact on your tech career?

    A quality college education teaches you how to learn because you never stop learning. Trusted online collateral, esteemed professional conferences, and open source are the best places to go for continued education in software engineering.

    What would you like to learn more about?

    On the technical side: data structures and algorithms, programming languages and tech stacks, code complexity and readability, and DevSecOps. On the non-technical side: corporate culture, team dynamics, Conway’s law, and cross-functional communications skills. These are never-ending learning journeys!

    What led you to pursue a career in tech?

    I realized what I wanted to do while I was in high school. The idea of writing a program (mostly conditionals, looping, and glue code) that (at best) could delight and inform, serve humanity, and make a difference (or anger and obfuscate, betray humanity, and perpetuate the dystopian status quo at worst) seemed magical to me.

    How has your skill set evolved throughout your career?

    If I could go back in time and describe to my recent college graduate self what programming is like in my present and would be like in the future, then I doubt my younger self would even believe me or recognize what I was describing.

    Related: Ready to Start Programming with AI? A Quick Guide for Software Engineers

    If you choose to specialize in one area, what was it and why?

    I focused on business-oriented systems which, today, is mostly about backend microservice development. I do have some frontend knowledge but mostly web SPA or cross-platform.

    Is your new role different from previous ones?

    I prefer to serve on teams producing products that help humanity. That hasn’t changed. My previous role was in the domain of medical health and wellness and my new role focuses on financial health.

    What are you most excited about in your new role?

    The mission is all about helping others rise out of poverty. The people are smart and driven and care about what they are delivering. I have only been there a week but the culture seems to be humble and dedicated to service. The tech stack is pretty cool too.

    What was your job search experience like before you joined Hired?

    The job search experience before Hired was frustrating. It took time to prepare for each interview and involved making lots of cold applications, which is very much a numbers game. You need to have pretty thick skin and be okay with getting into the mindset of companies who may not even have, in reality, any open positions to fill.

    Related: 9 Smart Tips for Jobseekers to Identify & Avoid Job Scams in 2023

    What’s your best advice for jobseekers on the Hired platform? 

    It’s all about the resume. Think about the kinds of problems the companies you want to work at are facing. How can you present yourself in a way that shows you can help them solve those problems?

    Related: Get Employers’ Attention: How to Craft an Effective Hired Jobseeker Profile Headline

    What would you tell someone who’s curious about Hired?

    I really like Hired’s approach compared to its competitors. The number of companies you end up applying to is smaller. But the fit is better so you end up getting more call-back interviews. It feels a lot more productive and positive.

    Any general advice you’d like to give other tech professionals?

    Don’t only focus on job security. It’s all about career security and satisfaction. Where are you now? Where do you want to be in the future? What is a satisfying way to get there? The pace of technical innovation never stops. If you dislike learning, you are in the wrong profession. You will burn out so you better start planning that transition now.

    Thanks for sharing, Glenn! Looking for a tech or sales role? Complete your free Hired profile today!

    Looking for tech talent like Glenn? Get a customized demo customized.

    About EarnIn

    EarnIn is reimagining the way money moves to empower everyone’s potential. Founded in 2012, EarnIn has 201-500 employees and is headquartered in Palo Alto.


    401K plan, stock options, health/dental/vision/life/disability insurance, unlimited time off, flexible working hours, mentorship opportunities, and more.

    Tech Stack

    C#, .NET, Java, Kotlin, Python, Go, Scala, Javascript, Kubernetes, Kafka More

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    Phone Interview Tips: 19 Keys to Landing a Second Interview

    Phone interviews are the first step to getting hired – and it’s a daunting first step for even the most seasoned jobseekers. These calls are typically with a recruiter and aim to determine whether a candidate meets the minimum qualifications of the role. Here’s our checklist of 19 game-changing phone interview tips for before, after, and during your phone interview.

    Before the phone interview

    1. Practice your elevator pitch

    You can (and will) always go into more detail about your work experience in follow-up questions from the interviewer. But you should first and foremost prepare an elevator pitch for your career. Once you’ve written out a compelling (and brief) professional narrative, test it on friends to make sure it’s as clear and captivating as possible.

    Related: Why Your Career Narrative Is Just as Important as Your Work History 

    Tailor the pitch to the job description and be sure to give examples of alignment. For example, if you have experience in the role’s industry, highlight that. If you know a specific product type or technical skill, share that.


    2. Prepare projects or examples of your work to share

    Another way to up your game is to have examples or projects specific to the company or job.Example phone interview questions:

    Describe a project or position you held where you used Python

    Describe a project where you collaborated with other people/teams. What was your biggest hurdle?

    We recommend preparing the answers as stories following the STAR or SAIL frameworks. Choose these stories based on what’s most relevant to the job description. Don’t try to pick too many. Instead, focus on the most impactful ones.

    3. Draft answers to common behavioral questions

    You’ll also want to prepare what you’ll say to questions that touch on soft skills. Also known as behavioral questions, they help interviewers get to know you better and whether you’re a good fit (or add!) to team dynamics. 

    Example questions include:

    “Describe a time you faced a challenge.”

    “What do you consider your biggest weakness?”

    Related: 30 Behavioral Interview Questions You Should Be Ready to Answer 

    4. Make a brag list

    In addition to rounding up examples of your work, make a list of all of the results and projects where you drove the most impact – especially as it relates to this new role. You might be really proud of a project with no relevance to the job you’re applying for. We wouldn’t recommend bringing it up in the interview in that case.

    Talking about how and why you are good at what you do can feel awkward and overzealous. This will help remind you to highlight your successes and also, by documenting your wins, keep them top of mind. Bonus points if you have metrics, such as “My suggestion shaved 22% off our timeline, which helped us hit our goals 10 days early.”

    5. Take Hired Assessments

    Speaking of bragging, if you’re a jobseeker on the Hired platform, Hired Assessments are a great way to show off skills. In fact, high-intent candidates who earn technical assessment badges are 3X as likely to get hired! 

    6. Research the company and the person interviewing you

    Before the interview, research the company’s mission statement, recent news (type the company name into Google News), product/service offerings, and funding history (on Crunchbase). 

    You should also take time to research the person interviewing you. Look up their LinkedIn profile and find their posts, blog or other published writing. Take note of the words they use to talk about what they do. How can you mirror their language to describe what you do in a way that connects with them?

    7. Always have questions prepared to ask the interviewer  

    Having trouble thinking of questions to ask or did your interviewer answer all of your questions by the end? Make sure you do not say “No, I don’t have any questions.” This might signal to your interviewer a lack of interest in or curiosity about the role. In this situation, you can always ask the person interviewing you “Why do you like working at XYZ Company?”

    Questions also offer you a chance to demonstrate your competency in a particular role or domain. If you can use your past experience to ask more probing questions, you’re demonstrating another way to show off your qualifications for the role. These questions will heavily depend on the role but here are a few examples: 

    “In my past role, we ran into XYZ challenge. Is this something this team is facing? How are you handling it?”

    “How is this team evaluating XYZ new technology?”

    For these types of questions, keep in mind that if the call is with a recruiter, they will likely be unable to answer so many in-depth questions about the specific team or work.

    Lastly, at the end of the interview, consider asking: “Is there anything else I can clarify for you?” or “Are there any concerns about my background thus far?” These closing questions show engagement and the ability to self-reflect, helping you end the interview on a good note. 

    8. Ask what you need to bring/prepare

    You should also ask the interviewer or recruiter what to expect or prepare for before the call. Ask your contact what you should expect generally during the call and if you’ll need to have any materials handy. This is a good time to figure out if you’ll be asked any technical questions or need to address specific technical topics.

    9. Double-check contact information

    Make sure the company has your correct contact info. The contact info on your resume, in your signature/emails, and on your application should all match. Verify the company is initiating the call and how they are doing so (phone, Zoom, etc).

    During the phone interview

    10. Find a quiet place with few distractions to take the call

    If your phone interview is during the workday, plan to work from home and take the call from there. If you have to be in the office that day, find a quiet place nearby (outside of the office) to do the interview. Friends who work nearby might be able to lend you a conference room. Or look to a rentable workspace like Deskpass or WeWork for privacy. Sometimes libraries have conference rooms to reserve. 

    Reliable phone reception and/or internet is super important – perhaps most important. You don’t want to have your call drop or struggle to make out what your interviewer is saying. Do some due diligence and make sure you have good service in the location you plan to take the call.

    Keep in mind that the phone screen might actually be a video call. This is all the more reason to find a quiet and private area to do the interview. Be mindful of what’s in the background or if you’re using a Zoom background, it’s appropriate. 

    Related: Video Interviews 101: How To Impress In The Digital Age 

    11. Get an energy boost

    Make sure you have an upbeat tone to your voice, which can be accomplished by simply smiling through the phone during the conversation. Because the interviewer can’t see your facial expressions or body language over the phone, your voice is your only way to emote. 

    Practice with a friend to figure out how to most effectively sound cheerful – without sounding maniacal. To help build that energy you can also try getting (physically) big before a call: Move around and stand or sit up straight.

    12. Keep materials to reference on hand

    Have your resume and the job description in front of you during the call. Other helpful information you might want close by: the company’s about page, the interviewer’s LinkedIn profile, and the company’s Crunchbase or Glassdoor profile. Maybe even make a cheat sheet with this important info as part of your preparation process. That way you don’t have 10+ tabs open during the call!

    13. Take notes

    These will help you retain the information and ideas discussed. They will likely come in handy when you’re writing your follow-up thank you notes too. If you’re pausing while writing or typing, simply say, “I’m making a note of that,” or “Let me jot that down.” This is especially helpful on a phone or video interview, when you may seem or look distracted otherwise.

    14. Try not to interrupt

    Wait for the interviewer to finish speaking before you speak. Practice active listening. This is common sense but worth keeping top of mind. It’s easy to get excited during the conversation and want to interject with brilliant insights or ideas. Remember your mantra: cool, calm, collected (at least on the outside).

    15. Avoid negativity

    It’s important to put a positive twist on all of your responses. Even if you harbor hard feelings or had a bad experience it’s important to provide a tactful answer. Avoid speaking negatively about your previous employer or coworkers – keep those thoughts to yourself. 

    Related: How to Handle an Employment Gap on Your Resume (Flip the Script!) 

    For example, the interviewer asks, “Why did you leave your last job?” (This could also be phrased as “Why are you looking to leave your current job?”)

    Positive answer: “The position did not offer the growth opportunities that I am looking for and I want to be in a more positive and collaborative environment.”

    Negative answer: “My last company didn’t appreciate me and everyone was very standoffish. I also want to make more money.”

    16. Stay focused and on topic.

    Pro tip: Write “talk slowly” on a Post-It and keep it in front of you as a reminder. Here’s an example of an answer that keeps it short, but tells a powerful story:

    Q: “What would you say are your strengths & weaknesses?”

    A: “My strengths are that I’ve worked as a frontend and backend engineer making me a valuable teammate and effective collaborator. My weakness is that I can get very focused on projects and procrastinate on smaller tasks, but I am quick to remedy any oversight so that I do not miss deadlines.”

    You should also include examples of this in action to paint a clearer picture of how this is true. It’s also nice to describe actions taken to remedy “weaknesses.”

    After the phone interview

    17. Send a ‘thank you’ email

    Include the person and/or people who interviewed you right after the interview or before the end of that working day. Thank them for their time and reiterate why you’re excited about the position (bonus points for referencing something that came up during the conversation!). This is also an opportunity to “correct” or clarify an answer from the interview if you don’t think it went too well, or if you have an additional thought you didn’t get to share. 

    18. Do a post-mortem

    Basic project management, right? This is also a valuable time to reflect on what you think went well or didn’t go so well in your interview. Interviewing is a great way to get better at interviewing, of course. But it can also help you learn more about what you want and don’t want out of your next job.

    Write down as many interview questions you can remember and your responses. Make note of what you think went well or areas you might change or improve next time.

    19. Be patient

    It’s tough to be patient after an interview while you wait for the company’s feedback. Make sure to give the interviewer three to five business days after your interview to get back to you. 

    At that point, if you haven’t heard back, it is acceptable to write them a quick note. You can let them know you’re still interested in the position and look forward to hearing back from them soon. On Hired, we encourage companies to respond within two to three days.

    Originally written in November 2019. Updated by the Hired Content Team in November 2023. More

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    Are You Burnt Out (Or Do You Really Just Hate Your Job)?

    The difference between the two and what to do about it

    Your career may be a large part of your identity. It takes up many of your waking hours and might even feel like your life. This is especially true when it feels like work stress is creeping into your subconscious.

    If you mention how drained your job is making you to a coworker or friend, chances are they’ll start nodding knowingly. They’ll probably ask if you’re burnt out. But not all symptoms of panic and dread about going to work in the morning are created equal. 

    Many signs of burnout could just be signs you hate your job and are ready for a change. It’s a tricky distinction, and much of it relies on your intuition. 

    Understanding burnout

    Burnout is more than just a bad day. It’s a chronic state of stress leading to physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion. You might experience: 

    Feeling tired and drained most of the time

    A sense of detachment from your job

    A feeling of ineptitude and a lack of achievement

    Understanding job dissatisfaction

    Job dissatisfaction is deeper than the occasional work annoyance – it’s persistent. It’s a fundamental mismatch between you and your job. Perhaps you relate to the following: 

    Your job doesn’t align with your personal values or career goals

    The environment has a toxic culture, lack of support, or poor management

    Feeling stagnant with no scope for advancement or skill development

    Differentiating burnout and job dissatisfaction 

    Now, let’s get into the reflective questions that will help you determine whether you need a break from or a break up with your job. To differentiate between the two, consider these questions.

    1. Are your symptoms physical?

    Yes, doing something you hate every day can take a toll on your body. But a dislike of your job is less likely to manifest itself in your body the same way true burnout would. If symptoms like headaches, backaches, panic attacks, or stomach issues are weighing you down, it’s likely burnout you’re dealing with. It sounds trite to say, “If you think you might be experiencing burnout, ask your doctor!” However, it can be clarifying nonetheless.

    2. Does your work monopolize too much time?

    Are you expected to have your phone on and accessible at all times? Are you regularly working 60+ hour weeks? Is the ability to take time off limited? Burnout can be caused by plain old exhaustion. It’s easy to feel fatigued when your job demands more time from you than is healthy. Of course, it’s possible to be burned out on any job, even if you’re just working part-time. But if the time constraints of your work are low and your dread of doing it is still high, you might just hate your job.

    3. Can you see yourself being happy in another job?

    Whether you’re burnt out or over it, writing a traditional pros and cons list likely isn’t too helpful. However, brainstorming what might make your work situation feel more palatable might give you helpful insight into what the cause of your distress is. Sometimes processing your thoughts on paper really helps come to a conclusion.

    The level of ease with which you create this list (if you can create it at all) is a good clue as to whether your distress comes down to dislike or burnout. The apathy and fatigue uniquely associated with burnout make coming up with ideas about how to improve your situation a supremely difficult task. So, if you’re struggling to create even a basic list, you’re likely burned out.

    Related: Leaders Share Tips to Build Career Resilience as a Woman in Tech 

    4. Does a mini break help?

    Taking a tiny break should give you a clue as to whether your feelings toward work boil down to burnout. Take a three-day weekend. Sleep in. Hang out with your family. Put a little time into your passion project or a hobby. Turn off your phone. 

    Check in with yourself on Monday morning and see if the dread of going in to work subsided at least a tiny bit. Three days isn’t enough to eradicate burnout, of course. However, if you haven’t gotten at least a slight amount of relief from a short period of recharging, it’s probably not burnout.

    Dealing with burnout and job dissatisfaction 

    Managing burnout requires a focus on self-care and possibly professional help:

    Are you taking enough time for yourself outside of work?

    Would speaking to a professional offer new perspectives and coping strategies?

    Have you established healthy work-life boundaries?

    Addressing job dissatisfaction involves more drastic changes:

    Are there changes in your current job that could improve happiness?

    Is it time to consider a change in career direction?

    What skills can you develop to open new opportunities?

    Related: Is It Time to Quit Your Job? How to Leave Without Burning Bridges 

    Advice from a career coach on making a change

    We asked Certified Career Coach, Resume Writer, and Interview Professional Christy Rosen, to weigh in on facing burnout and job dissatisfaction.

    She says, “I believe job dissatisfaction largely stems from being in a job where you’re not using the skills innate to you. This relates to the Japanese philosophy of ikigai. It’s a concept referring to the reason for being. A lot of times, you’re not where you’re meant to be. This should lead to deeper reflection on thinking about and finding your purpose.

    Examine the job as a whole and what you are and aren’t good at. Then, align. What does it look like to move in a different direction? Rather than fixating on grand or drastic shifts, explore self-discovery, reflect on your ideal daily life, and implement gradual habit modifications.”

    As a starting activity, Christy suggests you rate yourself on a scale of one (not good) to five (great) in these categories:






    Life satisfaction

    Creativity and transformational experiences

    Purpose and gratitude

    Harmony and connection


    Roles and relationships

    Presence and hopefulness

    Work, hobbies, and interests

    Interviewing while burnt out or dissatisfied

    If you interview for new roles during this time, exercise caution. Be sure you’re in the right frame of mind to project the image you want. Your mental health is important and if you’re miserable, it will show. It’s not about “faking it,” but an attitude of “I’m ready for a role with more autonomy (or XYZ) is going to come across better than “I hate my job – get me out of here.”

    Take some time for self-care through meditation, journaling, or anything that allows you to reset and find some joy. Then use that to launch yourself into a better place. 

    Related: Phone Interview Tips: 19 Keys to Land a Second Interview 

    When it comes to job dissatisfaction, finding a better one that brings you fulfillment and joy is worth working toward. It’s not just about enduring your job but about thriving in your career. However, if it’s burnout you’re dealing with, give yourself a much-needed recharge. 

    Originally written by Lauren Hoffman in September 2016. Updated by the Hired Content Team in November 2023. More

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    Get Employers’ Attention: How to Craft an Effective Hired Jobseeker Profile Headline

    Your Hired candidate profile headline is the first impression you make on potential employers. It establishes the lens through which they’ll review your profile and resume. So you want to make it count! It provides a snapshot of who you are, what you do, and how much value you might add to an organization in just a sentence. It should be impactful, catchy, and clearly state what job you currently have and/or are pursuing. 

    On the Hired platform, data tells us that your headline can even impact the number of interview requests you receive. The quality of a headline matters. If an employer views your profile, they are 5% more likely to send you an interview request if you use our new AI-generated headline feature and make tailored edits from there. Hired’s Candidate Experience Manager sums up this feature for candidates:

    “Candidates can now craft a compelling Hired profile headline with AI. It’s generated based on profile info, resume, years of experience, and skills. The new feature writes a 150-character sentence. We encourage candidates to edit and get creative from there!”

    We want to emphasize AI alone is not enough to create a captivating headline. It needs your personal touch. Follow these tips for guidance on how to craft a headline that catches employers’ attention. 

    Related: Want More Interviews and Better Matches? 8 Key Tips! 

    1. Don’t restate what’s already in your profile

    While it’s great to use keywords relevant to your role and field, avoid repeating exactly what employers will see in your profile. Instead, think about how you drive value. Why is your work meaningful to you? How do you impact the lives of others? Are there impressive accomplishments that you want employers to see first? 

    2. Be clear and concise

    Remember, your headline should be a snapshot of your professional identity. It needs to be clear and to the point. Avoid jargon or overly complex language. Instead, focus on the core elements of your professional expertise. For example, “Skilled backend engineer focused on performance and ensuring that users’ needs are met efficiently and effectively in the FinTech space” is specific and gives a clear idea of your expertise and industry focus. 

    3. Showcase your unique value proposition

    What makes you different from other candidates in your field? This could be a unique skill, a notable achievement, or a specialized certification. Instead of saying “Technical lead at X,” say, “Technical lead designing scalable software for millions of users” or “Expert in recommendation and personalization systems.” 

    If you are early in your career and don’t have an area in which you are a deep expert, showcase another part of your abilities. Even something like “Three-time hackathon champion” elicits thoughts of competitiveness and creativity around your profile. 

    4. Be specific about goals or aspirations

    Adding context around a specific career goal or aspiration shows prospective employers your ambition and direction. For example, “Aspiring data analyst committed to leveraging big data for business solutions” indicates your career trajectory and commitment.

    If you are currently an individual contributor but are looking to grow into a team lead role, mention this in your headline. If you have multiple years of experience, your headline should highlight key skills and what you’re looking for in your next opportunity.

    Related: Dear Developers: Coding Languages That Will Set You Apart in 2023 

    4. Highlight talents and hobbies

    Have interesting side hustles or unconventional hobbies? Let’s hear it! Maintain human connection by sharing what you do outside of work, especially if it aligns with your field or job skills. This makes you unique and memorable. Caution: No TMI. Stay professional and avoid getting too personal. 

    5. Invite employers to learn more  

    You’ve got a small space but there’s a lot to your story; spark employers’ curiosity by inviting them to learn more. This invitation could open a point of conversation later down the line – perhaps in an interview! 

    6. Continue optimizing your headline

    As your career evolves, so should your headline. Regularly update it to reflect your most recent accomplishments or shifts in your professional focus. 

    It’s time to update your Hired profile headline

    Don’t just be a “Senior Full Stack Software Engineer at X company” when you’re actually a Senior Full Stack Software Engineer, parent to a rambunctious three-nager, and developing a crypto app in your free time. This makes you an intriguing candidate and adds a human touch that employers will surely notice. 

    By following these tips, you’ll create a headline that not only attracts the attention of employers but also accurately represents your professional brand. Remember, your headline is more than just a title — it’s the first step in telling your career story. More

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    New Research Exposes the Dog-Eat-Dog World of Big Tech Recruiting

    A recent study from Switch On Business delved into the dynamics of talent recruitment and retention in the competitive tech industry.
    It provided detailed insights into the transfer of talent among rival tech giants like Google, Meta, IBM, Amazon, and Apple. For instance, it showed that 26.51% of Meta’s workforce has previously worked at another tech giant. At the same time, the study highlighted how Apple’s recruitment policy is driven by poaching staff from Intel, Microsoft, and Google.
    The main takeaway for tech recruiters is straightforward: There are so many opportunities to bring in talent from rival firms. However, recruiters must take a proactive and creative approach to capturing and holding the attention of highly skilled professionals who know they are in high demand.
    You can find the full details of the study in the charts below, as well as some tips and advice on becoming a more successful tech recruiter.
    The challenge of being a big tech recruiter
    Recruiting top talent for big tech roles presents many challenges.
    Firstly, the demand for tech talent far exceeds the supply, creating a severe talent shortage. The competition is fierce, with tech giants and startups vying for the same pool of candidates. This scarcity forces recruiters to think creatively and proactively reach out to passive candidates who may not actively seek new opportunities.
    The rapid pace of technological innovation means that the skills required for these roles are constantly evolving. Keeping up with these changes and accurately assessing a candidate’s proficiency in emerging technologies is now an essential part of any big-tech recruiter’s job.
    Then there’s the critical issue of diversity and inclusion. To satisfy big tech’s commitment to diversity, recruiters must actively seek out underrepresented talent and ensure their hiring processes are inclusive and unbiased.
    Why big tech recruiters should be headhunting from rivals
    Recruiters for big tech companies target talent from rival big tech firms for several reasons, including:

    Industry-Specific Expertise: Employees from rival firms come with relevant industry knowledge and technical expertise, reducing training time and allowing for a smoother transition into new roles.
    Proven Track Record: Professionals from other big tech firms have a proven track record of success in high-pressure, innovative environments. They’re the kind of people who can hit the ground running.
    Cultural fit: Having worked in similar corporate environments, these individuals are more likely to adapt quickly to the culture of another big tech firm. They’re also more likely to stay long-term, which is good for them, the company, and a recruiter’s bonus structure.

    How to entice big tech talent away from rival firms
    Software engineers, coders, and data analysts are never short of offers. As any recruiter will tell you, big tech recruitment is the epitome of a buyer’s market.
    So, if recruiters want to poach the best talent for their clients, they need to understand what that talent is looking for.
    Here’s a list of top tips for recruiters on the hunt for big tech talent:

    Understand the Candidate’s Motivations: Research what motivates candidates. Ask about career advancement, better work-life balance, exciting projects, or a more attractive compensation package.
    Personalize Outreach: Customize communications to show that you’ve done your homework about the candidate.
    Highlight Unique Opportunities: Emphasize unique opportunities that the candidate might not have in their current role, like working on cutting-edge projects or a more relaxed corporate culture.
    Offer Competitive Compensation Packages: Be prepared to offer add-ons to compensation packages, including benefits, bonuses, stock options, and relocation expenses.
    Stress Cultural Fit: Show how the candidate’s values and work style align with your company’s culture. This is often as important as a big salary.
    Prepare for Counteroffers: Be ready to negotiate if the candidate receives a counteroffer from their current employer because this will happen.
    Be Patient and Persistent: High-caliber candidates often require a more extended courting period. Be patient, keep the lines of communication open, and regularly check-in.

    Recruiting for big tech roles is a complex process defined by talent shortages, evolving skill requirements, and intense competition.
    Recruiters must adapt and employ innovative strategies to identify and attract the best candidates in this ever-evolving landscape. It’s not an easy job. But those who master the process will smash their targets and make some very nice monthly commission payments.
    Ashley Murphy graduated with a BA (Hons) in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Manchester. He began working as a freelance content writer in 2015. He covers technology, business and careers for Switch on Business. 
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    How Cleo Fosters Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) in the Workplace

    In June, Cleo sponsored Hired’s Breaking Through Bias event to help jobseekers understand the state of DEI and advance their careers despite systemic bias in hiring. Today, Cleo joins us to share how and why they are actively working to embed DEIB in their organization.  

    What tech team roles are you actively hiring for, and what differentiates a good candidate from a great one? 

    We’re actively hiring across most areas at the moment. We have open roles in Data Science, Engineering, Product Management, Design, Marketing, and People.

    You can check out our open roles here: 

    In terms of what we look for in candidates, we look for people who align with our values:

    Make it Happen: we look for people who are willing to take risks. We want to see how you’ve used your initiative to solve problems.

    Learn at Speed: we look for people who don’t mind failing. We always use data, research, and A/B tests to make decisions that impact our users. Show us how you’ve done this in previous roles!

    Bring Good Vibes: we want people to bring their whole, wonderful selves to work. We’ve built an inclusive and respectful environment where we help each other, every day. We’d love to hear examples of how you’ve done so. 

    Preparation is often the key differentiator between good and great candidates. 

    We like to see that candidates have taken an interest in Cleo. Great candidates clearly demonstrate that they’ve done their research by asking interesting and probing questions across a variety of topics (the role itself, the company product/mission, etc.).

    What does DEIB mean to Cleo?

    We’re solving problems for millions of different people. We can only do that with different opinions around the table. Building a diverse and inclusive workplace is at the top of our agenda for this reason. 

    We want everyone to feel like they belong at Cleo. How do we measure this? Well, we ask. 

    When we last asked our employees, 89.5% of our employees agreed that they feel they belong at Cleo. We think that’s pretty good, but we obviously want that number to be at 100%.

    How do you foster an open, communicative environment for your employees, particularly about DEIB?

    We have an opt-in DEIB working group, who set aside 10% of their time to work on initiatives that will make Cleo a more diverse and inclusive space. This group set OKRs just like a squad would, to make sure that DEIB is a priority, not a side-of-desk activity. 

    The group focuses on topics like employee engagement, analysis of DEIB data, hiring and onboarding practices, and awareness activities. 

    We offered diversity and inclusion training from an external expert, to all employees on an opt-in basis. The sessions covered unconscious bias, allyship, and financial inequality in the US, the last of which is particularly relevant to our mission. 

    We encourage an open and transparent culture, where anyone can speak up at any time, whether that be IRL, over Zoom, or via Slack.

    What initiatives and goals does the company have around DEIB, and how do you measure their success?

    For the past couple of years, we’ve been working hard to improve the gender split within our technical teams. We’re proud to say that overall, 50.6% of our employees are women. However, we know that we have a way to go in evening out our gender split in tech, where 33.8% of our people identify as female or non-binary. 

    We are making steps towards improving this. In 2022, over 40% of our tech & data hires identified as female or non-binary. We’re aiming to maintain this high bar as we scale, and we’re happy to say that it’s going well. This quarter, 42% of our current engineering hires identify as female or non-binary.

    How does your company ensure diversity and inclusion in the hiring process? 

    Together, we’re aiming to create a more inclusive and impactful team that reflects the diverse society we’re aiming to help with our products.

    By embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion in our recruitment efforts, we aim to foster an environment where everyone at Cleo can contribute their unique perspectives, collaborate effectively, and push the boundaries of innovation. 

    How do we do this? 

    We include a DEIB statement at the top of every job advert. It belongs at the top, it shouldn’t be hidden at the bottom of the page. Oh, and we put our job adverts through gender-decoders too, to make sure the language is appealing to everyone. 

    Every interviewer at Cleo goes through two sets of interview training. The first session focuses on expected behaviours and standards, covering unconscious bias and best practices for inclusion and candidate experience. The second session is discipline-specific interview training, as each discipline’s interview process looks slightly different and is tailored to the needs of the team.

    At the interview stage, we aim to provide diverse interview panels to allow all interviewees to feel comfortable, and to have a level playing field. 

    We always ask every candidate the same list of questions, to ensure that our interview process is fair for everyone, with standardised scoring rubrics used to ensure objectivity. We never ask questions irrelevant to the role someone’s applied for. Sure, your hobbies might be interesting, but they don’t prove whether you’re great at your role! 

    Related: Want to Ace Behavioral Interviews? A Guide to Prep Jobseekers

    How does your company’s commitment to DEIB extend beyond the internal organization and into the community? 

    We partner with multiple organizations and meetup groups that aim to increase access to tech. This year, we’re proud to be sponsoring RailsGirls London for the third year in a row. Their two-day event sees 200 people learn to code, for free, mentored by coaches from partner companies.

    We’ve also partnered with The Early Careers Foundation, to provide mentors for 16-17 year olds from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. We hope that partnerships like this will increase the visibility of the range of careers available in tech companies. 

    Cleo is an AI money assistant on a mission to fight for the world’s financial health. Founded in 2016, Cleo has 51-200 employees and is headquartered in Bellevue, Washington. 

    Tech stack

    Ruby, Ruby on Rails, Rails, React, SCSS, Postgres, Redis, Heroku, React Native, JavaScript, TypeScript, Python, SQL More

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    Tech Candidate Spotlight – Stefan-Daniel Petcu, Vice President Lead Software Engineer

    Start by telling us about your educational background!

    I went to the Polytechnic University of Bucharest where I studied Automatic Control and Computer Science. Having that Bachelor’s degree when I entered the job market 10+ years ago really helped me get shortlisted as a candidate.

    What has made the biggest impact on your tech career?

    Almost all that I’ve learned since starting my first job has been through practicing my profession and learning from my colleagues, going to conferences, reading books, and watching free videos online. I recommend people set time away to research highly rated books, interesting videos, etc. Aim for things that you can immediately apply in your work. Sometimes you’ll learn about stuff you didn’t even know you were missing out on.

    What would you like to learn more about?

    I’ve worked as a tech lead for about two and a half years now and I’m excited to continue improving, and then see what’s next. Aside from that, I’m passionate about making the value delivery loop faster – everything from an idea to a live product that can be evaluated and iterated on.

    What led you to pursue a career in tech?

    I started studying programming in middle school. I used to hate it. It might have been because we started with C and C++. Those are not the easiest languages for a newbie. My brother led me to pursue a tech career. He inspired me to start building websites in PHP and around my last year of high school/first year of university, I realized I enjoy programming in a more beginner-friendly language.

    Related: Dear Developers: Coding Languages That Will Set You Apart in 2023

    How has your skill set evolved throughout your career?

    I spent the first few years of my career as a full stack PHP developer and moved deeper into the backend stack later on. After I moved to London, I got the opportunity (through Hired) to start working as a Senior Consultant at a leading global technology consultancy. I jumped at that opportunity because the company was technology-agnostic and I was eager to develop my skill set beyond PHP. From there, I started working cross-functionally with Java, JavaScript, IAC, and DB technologies. I also improved my Agile development and communication skills.

    Related: Code Your Career: Staying Competitive in the Developer Job Market (VIDEO)

    What did you choose to specialize in and why?

    I prefer to have a holistic view of a product, domain, or business. The larger picture is more interesting to me. I like understanding how different bits and pieces integrate with or affect each other.

    Is your new role different from previous ones?

    I’ll work in the same role as before (tech lead). I’m staying in finance but moving from an open banking start-up to one of the oldest traditional banks. I think some things might change.

    What are you most excited about in your new role?

    I’m excited about working from the office for part of the week. Let’s get one thing straight: I’m not looking forward to the crowded commute! However, I am really looking forward to getting face-to-face time with my team and having a clearer separation between work and personal time.

    What was your job search experience like before you joined Hired?

    I joined Hired almost six years ago. I loved the platform from the beginning because the candidate experience is far more curated than what I was used to on other platforms at the time. First off, you have the opportunity to speak directly to recruiters from the companies reaching out to you. I prefer that over having to go through headhunters.

    Hired Candidate Experience Managers will also reach out to provide help and support. Interviews progress at a more predictable rate on Hired compared to other platforms. Plus, you’ll know what the outcome of your interview is – no more being left in the dark halfway through the interview process. All in all, my conversion rate (if you will) with Hired is on a different level.

    What’s your best advice for jobseekers on Hired? 

    Follow the tips and advice their website offers. Talk to the Candidate Experience Managers and see how they can help. Some tips from me are to respond to recruiters quickly and pause your profile promotion if you are getting flooded with interview requests.

    What would you tell someone curious about Hired?

    To try it out! I’ve already recommended Hired to all of my friends in tech. Hired has an official way to refer people too. Guess I’ll start finding more friends!

    Related: How to Earn Referral Bonuses on Hired

    Any general advice for other tech professionals?

    Always allocate some of your personal time to learning things, staying up-to-date with tech, and developing your skills in ways that you can easily showcase. Invest time and effort into writing an eye-catching, clear, and concise CV/resume. Keep up with market trends and what compensation you’ll accept for the value you provide. Don’t let more than two years pass without evaluating your salary against the market.

    Related: Try Hired’s Salary Calculator

    About JPMorgan

    JPMorgan Chase & Co. is a leader in investment banking, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. Founded in 1858, JPMorgan has 5000+ employees and is headquartered in New York.


    401K plan/matching, stock options, health/dental/vision/life/disability insurance, paid time off, flexible working hours, tuition reimbursement, management training, mentorship opportunities, and more.

    Tech Stack

    JavaScript, Java, Python, MongoDB, Cassandra, Kafka, Hadoop, NoSQL, Access, Microsoft SQL Server, ASP.NET, Spark, C#, jQuery, Splunk, Cloud Foundry, MySQL, Ember.js, Spring, C++, Scala, React, Promtheus, Azure, DB2, Oracle, TensorFlow, SQL, Grafana, Kubernetes, MariaDB, AngularJS, Node.JS, .NET, Swift, Dynatrace, AWS, DevOps, Big Data, Mobile, Natural Language Processing (NLP) More

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    Tech Candidate Spotlight – Nathaniel Stephenson, DevOps Engineer

    Can you share a little bit about your educational background? 

    I have a Bachelor of Honours Degree in Animation Computerization and also have a certification in Terraform practice from QA Ltd. Additionally, I do self-guided learning via online platforms like Coursera and Pluralsight.

    Which has made the biggest impact on your tech career? 

    My involvement with a forward-thinking business that invests in personal development offers me exposure to a wide range of industry tools. This experience has not only deepened my interest in the industry but has also allowed me to broaden my skill set significantly.

    What would you like to learn more about?

    I’m interested in delving further into home server automation. This pursuit aims to establish a local environment to serve as a testing ground for implementing emerging technologies, including concepts like IAD (Intelligent Automation and Digitalization) that are making their way into the industry.

    What led you to pursue a career in tech?

    With a deep passion for technology and a strong desire to be a part of an ever-expanding industry, my journey in the world of technology has been fueled by an unwavering fascination with the endless possibilities it offers. This profound interest has been the driving force behind my career choices and the catalyst for my continuous growth. From the very beginning, my interest in technology was ignited by its power to transform the way we live, work, and connect with the world. The rapid pace of innovation and the potential to create innovative solutions to complex problems has captivated me.

    Related: Adapting and Advancing in a New Era of Tech Careers (VIDEO)

    Is your new role different from previous ones? 

    In my new position, I work with a different application and use a distinct cloud provider compared to what I encountered in my previous employment. This transition represents an exciting shift in my professional journey, offering new challenges and opportunities for growth.

    What are you most excited about in your new role?

    I am excited about collaborating with an enthusiastic team, where I can freely exchange innovative ideas and contribute value to a thriving business. This environment provides a unique opportunity for me to enhance and refine my skills, preparing me for future growth and success.

    What was your job search experience like before you joined Hired?

    The job searching experience was satisfactory. I had frequent notifications about job opportunities. However, it was not consistently reliable in terms of maintaining a steady flow of opportunities.

    What would you tell someone who’s curious about Hired?

    Hired is a fantastic platform with an enthusiastic and genuinely supportive team that guides you through every phase. It provides an excellent opportunity to showcase your skills and promote yourself effectively. I highly recommend it as a valuable resource for career advancement.

    Related: Meet Hired’s Candidate Experience Team: Supporting Jobseekers Every Step of the Way

    Any general advice you’d like to give other tech professionals?

    I emphasize the importance of continuously expanding your knowledge and skills. By doing so, you open doors to numerous job opportunities that align with your aspirations and capabilities.

    About The Access Group

    The Access Group is more than just a software provider. They’re redefining what it means to partner with a technology provider. Founded in 1991, The Access Group has 5,001+ employees and is headquartered in Loughborough.

    Tech Stack

    .NET, C#, ASP.NET, SQL Server, AngularJS, React, Python, Java, VMWare, Hyper-V


    Paid time off, management/job training, work from home flexibility, maternity benefits, diversity program, and more. More