Monday, March 31, 2008

7th Annual Sources of Hire Study

Looking for a job? A new study provides insight into the most productive strategies.

Nearly 50 large employers were included in the survey. These employers filled more than 300,000 openings in 2007.

SOH Highlights

The CareerXroads 7th Annual Sources of Hire (SOH) Study reveals the following breakdown on how job openings were filled:

  • positions filled by internal candidates (30%)
  • positions filled by external candidates (70%)

So, if you are already on the inside, it pays to perform above average work and establish positive relationships with your coworkers.

And, if you are not on the inside, it pays to know someone who is.

Here are the two primary ways that external candidates land new jobs:

  • employee referrals (28%)
  • job boards (26%)

Agency placements (3%) and temp-for-hire arrangements (3%) accounted for a combined total of six percent of new hires arriving from an external source. Other strategies that yielded relatively low results included the following:

  • responding to print ads (5%)
  • attending career fairs (2%)
  • attending open houses (1%)

Job Boards

Which job boards are most popular with these large employers (percentage of employers with contracts to post jobs and review resumes)?

The top "niche" site was Craigslist.


The report concludes as follows:

"Good or bad, we advise job seekers to never apply to a company without first networking to an employee in that firm for a referral. The difference in probability of getting 'up to bat' is too large to ignore."

A press release of the CareerXroads 7th Annual Sources of Hire Study is available for review along with a more detailed breakdown (pdf) of the survey findings.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Web Innovators Group | WebInno17

If you are interested in previewing the latest innovations on the Internet and mobile devices, check out the next gathering of the Web Innovators Group.

This 17th installment (WebInno17) will feature the following presentations:

Main Dishes

  • Good2Gether | a new search and social media Web service that connects people to causes through a broad network of websites

  • PicMe Photo Sharing | a tool for letting you easily see, view, share and enjoy your thousands of pictures.

  • Jack Cards | "Jack" is an imaginary correspondence butler who takes care of your special occasions by sending paper greeting cards in a timely manner

Side Dishes

  • Traackr | track your songs, videos, photos & measure your popularity

  • Moborazzi | a social content sharing platform for the on-the-go mobile generation

  • Lingro | the coolest dictionary known to hombre!

  • Yamli | search the Arabic web using English letters

  • | an easy way to network with other blog owners

  • FLIMP | create sophisticated audiovisual messages that zoom through every bandwidth

  • StylePath | Shop with Style -- find what you love from thousands of sites in under a minute


Wednesday, April 2, 2008, 6:30 pm

Royal Sonesta Cambridge

Registration is FREE and the networking could prove invaluable! Check out the Attendee List of several hundred pre-registrants to determine if this networking event is right for you.

Friday, March 14, 2008

2008 Job Satisfaction & Retention Survey

More than half of employees surveyed report that they are likely to intensify their job search in the next three months. Amid the chaos, opportunities appear for those who are prepared to take advantage of them.

More than 7,000 employees and 200 company representatives participated in's third annual Job Satisfaction and Retention Survey. A press release is available for review.

Money Talks

The five most common reasons for leaving a job according to employees who completed the survey are the following:

  1. inadequate compensation | 27%
  2. lack of career advancement | 19%
  3. insufficient recognition | 17%
  4. boredom | 11%
  5. no professional development | 11%

". . . compensation may be a key factor as to why employees would consider leaving a job but it's not the top reason they stay in their current job," according to Bill Coleman, a spokesperson.

So, why stay? Here are the top five reasons:

  1. relationship with co-workers | 25%
  2. relationship with manager | 25%
  3. desirable work hours | 22%
  4. attractive compensation | 20%
  5. attractive benefits | 20%

Employee Walks

At least an 8% pay increase is needed to entice most employees to change employers.

When an employee does walk out the door, it costs an employer an average of $21,000 in replacement costs.

Employers seem to understand the cost of turnover. Counteroffers, when made, average 7% above current salary. This finding is interesting given that most annual pay increases average half that percentage and many workers receive no annual pay increase at all!

How likely is an employer to counteroffer?

  • almost always | 14%
  • sometimes | 51%
  • never | 35%

A more detailed summary (pdf) of findings is available for review.

Opportunity Knocks

Here are three strategies workers might consider to leverage these findings:

  • If you are currently employed and like your work and employer, keep your eye on internal openings that might be created when a co-worker leaves for greener pastures. Make key decision makers aware of your willingness to take on additional responsibility.
  • Initiate a dialog with your supervisor during your next performance review (or sooner) to discuss non-compensation issues -- career advancement, recognition, and professional development.
  • If you are currently seeking greener pastures initiate a conversation about these non-compensation topics to learn more about how green this new pasture might really be. is headquartered in Waltham, MA. Their website currently features 23 job vacancies.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Manpower Employment Outlook Survey: Q2

Despite less-than-rosy economic headlines, the bottom has not yet dropped out of the employment market. Three new job surveys reveal that companies are still hiring, albeit at a more cautious rate.

Manpower Employment Outlook Survey

"A slowing in hiring intentions reflects a widespread wait-and-see approach among employers," according to a spokesperson with Manpower, a global employment agency.

The company surveys 14,000 U.S. employers on a quarterly basis. This quarter's survey reveals the weakest employment outlook outlook since the first quarter of 2004. That said, fully 26% of employers expect to increase their workforces during the second quarter of 2008, while only 9% expect staff reductions.

While employers anticipate a decline in hiring for the second quarter of 2008, the survey data points to "a gradual and measured downshift, not a sudden and overwhelming change."

Monster Employment Index

The Monster Employment Index for February reveals a moderate increase in overall U.S. online job availability following a three-month downward trend. "It's an encouraging sign of stabilization after three consecutive months of decline," according to a spokesperson. A local Boston Index (pdf) is also available.

The upward tick in online employment postings confirms Boston Market -- March 2008 findings.

Conference Board Help-Wanted Online Data Series

The Conference Board measures online job ad placement across the United States. February 2008 showed a three percent increase over February 2007. While the growth is positive it represents the smallest annual growth rate since this series began in May 2005.

The New England Region, in particular, posted a decline in annual labor demand for the fifth month in a row. None-the-less, the metro areas across the nation where the number of advertised vacancies are plentiful in relation to the number of unemployed include Boston.

Also, "technical occupations continue to be in high demand in February," according to a summary of the Help-Wanted Online Date Series. A more detailed analysis is also available in pdf format.

Next Steps . . .

With three employment surveys revealing sluggish job growth, now might be time to increase your network of professional contacts. You never know when you might need employment help and you can always lend a helping hand to someone else who might be looking for an opportunity.

Here are two Web-related networking opportunities in the Boston area to consider:

You'll walk away from either event with new knowledge and new contacts. Even better, both events are FREE!

NOTE: If you live in the Washington, DC area check out a new Web Development certificate program being announced this Saturday at the campus of the Center for Digital Imaging Arts (CDIA) at Boston University.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

2008 IT Salary & Skills Report

The national average salary for an information technology (IT) worker with a college degree is $76,400. The national average salary for an IT worker with a certificate or degree from a technical school is $65,700.

The average pay for an IT worker in Boston, regardless of education or training, is $75,500.

This data is presented in a newly released survey of more than 7,000 IT professionals coordinated by Global Knowledge and TechRepublic.

In addition to salary, nearly 50% of respondents receive a bonus and annual bonuses average nearly $4,000.

Average Salary by Job Function

Here are the average salaries by job function for Web-related professionals:

  • Project Leader | $90,800
  • Database Manager | $87,300
  • Database Administrator | $78,500
  • E-business Specialist | $77,400
  • Database Analyst | $70,000
  • Web / Internet | $62,700


The most popular certifications are offered by Microsoft, as selected by 34% of respondents.

Those Web professionals who hold a CIW (Certified Internet Web Professional) certification earn, on average, $71,000.


Here are a few demographics from the survey:

  • average age | 43
  • years in IT | 14
  • male vs. female | 3:1 ratio

Nearly 80 percent of respondents were either "very" or "mostly" satisfied with their career choice.


What concerns IT professionals the most?

  • "Keeping up with skills" | 57%


By far the single most important factor in determining salary is experience within the field. Survey results broken down by experience reveal the following salary data for those workers transitioning into technology with less than two years of experience:

  • 25 and under | $39,800
  • 26 - 35 | $45,600
  • 46 - 55 | $46,100
  • 56 and over | $44,700


Nearly one in four respondents stated they are considering changing employers within the next year. The full cost to replace a professional is 150% of annual salary. Therefore, a company will have to invest $110,000 to replace a worker valued at $74,000. These costs include recruiting, vacancy costs, productivity losses and training.


The survey concludes as follows:

"The level of your success in satisfaction and in salary is a direct result of your investment in yourself. The demand for the IT professional is increasing, but since critical technical skills are constantly changing, long-term success is achieved by broader education and experience."

A full copy of the report is available from TechRepublic. Registration is required and it is free.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Boston Market -- March, 2008

"IT employment remains strong . . . demand for IT professionals remains robust," according to Mark Roberts, CEO of the National Association of Computer Consultant Businesses (NACCB).

NACCB Survey

Information Technology (IT) employment reached an all-time high in December 2007 and was essentially unchanged in January 2008. On a year-over-year basis, IT employment grew nearly eight percent from January 2007. More than 3.8 million workers are employed in the IT marketplace in the United States. A press release (pdf) is available for review.

CIO Survey

In addition, recruiting skilled IT workers remains a challenge for many Chief Information Officers (CIOs), according to a new survey developed by Robert Half Technology.

CIOs were asked the following question:

"Of the following staffing issues within the IT department, which do you consider to be your greatest challenge as a CIO?"
The top two responses were as follows:
  • Finding skilled technology professionals (24%)
  • Providing staff with adequate professional development resources to keep skills current (23%)

Beantown Web Findings

These two surveys confirm Beantown Web's findings that the technology marketplace in the greater Boston area remains strong, despite an apparent slowdown in the economy.

The monthly Beantown Web survey of the Top 20 Web Technologies in Boston reveals that 18 of the top 20 skills all posted increases in job postings from early February to early March. The only two skills that were mentioned less frequently in job postings were Perl and PHP. This may be partially reflective of Microsoft's marketing efforts to promote ASP.NET as an alternative server side scripting environment.

The Big Winner

Ajax was the biggest mover of the month jumping three spots from #16 to #13. Ajax was mentioned in 40 more job descriptions this month than last!

The Top 20 Web Technologies in Boston can be found in the right-hand column along with a new indicator of movement (up or down) from the previous month.

Training Opportunities

Adobe officially launched Flex 3.0 and AIR 1.0 late last month. While these technologies hold long-term promise for Web developers, neither skill demonstrates a strong demand currently. Neither skill cracks the Top 40 with Adobe Flex being mentioned in only 10 job descriptions and Adobe AIR mentioned in zero. Nonetheless, check out Adobe Developer Week 2008 to learn more about online training opportunities for these technologies.

On the other hand, SQL Server, C# and ASP.NET remain three of the Top 10 Web skills most in-demand. To get an overview of how these technologies work together to create interactive Web-base applications, check out a FREE online course offered at the HP Learning Center.

ASP.NET 2.0: Building Applications offers the following lessons beginning this week:

  • Lesson 1: Take advantage of ASP.NET
  • Lesson 2: Designing an ASP.NET application
  • Lesson 3: ASP database tutorial: design your database
  • Lesson 4: Create a connection to your database and retrieve data
  • Lesson 5: Manipulate data
  • Lesson 6: Understand application security and deployment, and widgets

NOTE: The Center for Digital Imaging Arts is announcing a new Web Developer certificate program at its campus in Waltham this Saturday at 10:00 am.