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IT Wallstreet News

IT WallStreet News is our quarterly newsletter providing articles and information about the staffing industry, human resources, and financial services.


Volume 5, Number 1



Feedback: Rare & Priceless

Though many corporate firms protect themselves by providing a generic response, working with a recruiting agency is one way to improve your chances of feedback. Furthermore, even generic feedback can shed light on how to improve your weaknesses.  Here are both sides of the story. 

Interview Feedback: Two Versions Of The Same Interview By Carl Mueller

The job interview tends to be where the job is won or lost.  Often, you don't get a lot of valuable feedback from a company after you've interviewed with them but have been told you didn't get the job.  Sometimes they will simply tell you they've decided to hire someone else who they felt best suited their requirements, other times they might throw you a bone and give you a hint as to why you didn't get the job.  The fewer details you get regarding why you didn't get a job, the harder it becomes to actually figure out how you can improve your performance during interviews in the future.  At the end of the day, job interviews are how you separate yourself from other job searchers and having as much information at your disposal is how you will win the job.

As a recruiter, I've taken many phone calls from hiring managers where they have explained why one of my candidates did or didn't get the job. In many cases where the candidate didn't get the job, the feedback the hiring manager gives me is often the complete opposite of what the candidate told me after the interview.  In other words, the candidate told me the job interview went great. The hiring manager told me the opposite.  Since you can't always guarantee being told why you didn't get the job, here is some typical interview feedback that I get from both job searchers and hiring managers regarding the same interview.  In other words, here are both sides of the story so you can ensure you aren't making mistakes during interviews that you might not even be aware of: READ MORE

Natural Networking

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIN…  None of these social networking platforms existed when Ralph Waldo Emerson declared, “The only way to have a friend is to be one,” and nothing holds truer.  The key to utilizing a productive and active professional network as a valuable resource is maintaining one’s professional associations. Those who don’t view networking as a chore may  find that combining business and pleasure can open doors, proving that it’s not just what you know but whom you know.   

Got a job? You should still Network By Rayna Katz
If you’re still among the ranks of the employed, consider yourself lucky. But don’t rest easy just yet.  Job security is a thing of the past and worker bees need to stay one step ahead of their employers. That means staying plugged into one’s industry and aware of who’s hiring. In other words, it takes networking, even while working.

Getting out there
Don’t have time or don’t see the need for networking? Worried about getting caught by your boss? Experts say there are many reasons, and ways, to successfully get out and meet people.

“The best time to start networking is when you have a job, because you don’t have the pressure of being unemployed,” said Marisol Berrios, career coach and president of Career and Life Matters in the Bronx.  To start, Berrios suggests joining a chamber of commerce or charity organization.  It’s also essential to attend networking events, join your professional association and attend industry events, or even one-on-one meetings to hear what industry innovators are doing.  “Get involved with a group of diverse professionals and showcase what makes you valuable,” Berrios said. “Find groups aligned with your goals.” If membership is too expensive, she suggested looking out for free webinars and classes. READ MORE

Showing Face & Avoiding Layoffs

Downsizing may appear an inevitable and impersonal route when turning around declining organizations, but as Jane Cranston, an executive career coach  puts it, “When it comes down to it, it's hard to fire a face."

Dodging the Ax: How to Avoid Layoffs 

As professionals working in financial-services witness the ax drop around their companies, many are living in fear that they could be included in the next round of layoffs. However, there are measures you can take right away to help safeguard your position and make you seem indispensable to management.

Personal Relationships
Strengthening personal relationships within your company is integral when layoffs loom, because you never know when one of your connections will serve as an advocate for you. The first, and most important, relationship to work on is that between yourself and your supervisor. "When the word 'recession' is used in conjunction with layoffs, it's a blank check for supervisors to fire anyone regardless of merit and performance reviews," says Stephen Viscusi, author of "Bulletproof Your Job." With that in mind, managers may be more likely to add problematic employees or hires that are always raising complaints to the layoff list and attribute it to the economy, he says. Bolstering your relationship with your manager doesn't equate to brown-nosing, but is as simple as sharing anecdotes about your personal and family lives, which will make you more of a face to him or her rather than just another employee .Personal relationships should also extend beyond your manager and into other departments, divisions and locations. Acting as a connector and bringing people together can help get more influential members of the company on your side, says Anat Lechner, professor of management at NYU Stern. She suggests initiating get-togethers and attending other after-work functions which may help raise your profile.



CS Degree, 5-7 Years of Experience, Not a Jerk. . .

Often candidate’s interpersonal skills can overshadow their qualifications, but as more firms adopt 'No Jerk' Hiring Policies, simply rubbing someone the wrong way could jeopardize what should be an impartial evaluation of someone’s ability to do a job.   In some instances candidates are being vetted by up to 20 interviewers to unsure ego is checked before an offer goes out.

'No Jerk' Hiring Policies - Do They Work? Memos From The Chairman by Alan C. Greenberg 

Now much has been written recently about firms like Barclays Capital, who have so-called 'no jerk' hiring policies. According to no less an authority than The Financial Times, BarCap takes this philosophy 'seriously from the top executive suites on down'.
But how does this policy manifest itself ? Indeed, just what is a 'jerk' ? Well, according to journalist Sydney Harris, 'a a man (or woman) who is utterly unable to see himself as he appears to others. He has no grace, he is tactless without meaning to be, his is a bore even to his best friends, he is an egotist without charm. All of us are egotists to some extent, but most of us - unlike the jerk - are perfectly and horribly aware of it when we make asses of ourselves. The jerk never knows'. (Ed's note - Hmm, that description sounds familiar!). READ MORE

Smart or Driven?

Marc Andreessen, investor, startup coach, blogger, and a multi-millionaire software engineer breaks down what he looks for when hiring.  Hint: this Silicon Valley guru thinks “intelligence is highly overrated”. 

Hire The Smart, Or Hire The Driven? Andreessen Has The Answer By Adario Strange
Since one of our favorite evangelists has proven that Web 2.0 may be too much for him to handle, we’ve been looking for a new evangelist beacon of tech verisimilitude. Based on his latest post “How to hire the best people you’ve ever worked with,” it looks like Marc Andreessen might fit the bill. Explaining some of the criteria he looks for when hiring, Andreessen writes: 

UK Setting Data Storage Technology Trend

Over half of CIOs in the UK are counting on major improvements to their existing data centers in an effort to save money on operational costs.  Streamlining applications and virtualization are at the forefront.  Will we see the same in the US?  

Financial firms likeliest to update data storage technology, new survey reveals 25 March 2010

Firms working within the financial services industry are the most likely to upgrade technology surrounding data storage, a new report has revealed.
Findings from a study by nlyte Software revealed that 58 per cent of chief information officers (CIOs) working for financial companies in the UK are intending to make improvements to existing data centre arrangements.
More than a third of the companies are expecting to focus on making cost-effective changes to their IT provision including streamlining applications and virtualising.
Saving money on operational costs and increasing IT sustainability were cited as the main factors behind the changes.
Robert Neave, co-founder and vice-president of sustainable IT initiatives for nlyte Software, said: “Trends like the cloud may be all hype now, but there is no doubt they will become a reality.


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