TEKsystems is one of the largest staffing and recruiting companies in the U.S. With over 100 offices located around the world, the firm places candidates with companies who are seeking to fill IT positions.
Nicole Risinger has been with TEKsystems for four years, and is currently a recruiter for its digital and creative services team. With a wealth of experience working within the technology industry — and a knack for helping people get jobs in this market — she shares insights about the company and her advice on what it takes to break into this field.
What does TEKsystems do?
TEKsystems is part of the international talent management firm Allegis Group and has several different sister companies. It was previously part of Aerotek, which centered mainly around the business side of staffing in the tech industry. Over 20 years ago, it broke off from Aerotek to focus on the IT side.
“We have different types of skill sets that we look for in candidates,” said Nicole. “We essentially place anyone who is capable of working on an IT project including Java developers, data analysts, front end developers, designers, project managers, cloud architects, help desk professionals and more.”
TEKsystems works with a wide range of companies to help them hire talent that fits their IT needs. Bank of America, Wells Fargo, FedEx, Hulu, and Amazon are just a handful of the companies that TEKsystems works with — and with such a diverse range of companies comes the need for a diverse pool of talent.
“There are nearly always gaps in IT, and most companies want the most senior-level people because then they don’t have to worry as much about training or mentoring,” she said. “But there are only so many people who have that level of skill. We make sure capable people from all backgrounds get hired, and we help facilitate that process.”
This means that TEKsystems thoughtfully places candidates who will be right for the company and the culture. The TEKsystems team works directly with clients and candidates to ensure a mutual fit, and help with any onboarding or training necessary to build a good dynamic.
The process includes conducting assessments and screenings to determine candidate skill level, helping candidates refresh their resumes and portfolios, and administering whiteboard challenges. Whiteboarding is when recruiters ask candidates different coding questions and candidates have to write the code on a whiteboard. TEKsystems practices this with candidates so they’re prepared when it comes time for an interview.
“Once we know someone’s strengths, we talk to their instructors or mentors to get references that speak to how well they performed in a boot camp or previous role, and then we talk to our managers about why we think certain people are a strong fit for the position at hand,” she said.
Who does TEKsystems help get jobs?
Recently, the tech space has shifted toward hiring people who have completed technology boot camps. In the past, Nicole’s role was to attend these boot camp courses, whether virtually or in person, to work with people who were about to complete the programs. She helped them with resume building, practice interviews, and more to set them up for success in a future role.
“As these boot camps and classes become more common, companies have been realizing how well the students perform, and hire accordingly,” she said. “It might take a little bit more work initially to get them up to speed, but they do a really good job because they’re passionate about wanting to learn and succeed.”
One thing that has happened as a result of hiring from these boot camps is more diversity and inclusion within the tech space. These efforts are important to TEKsystems, and they have multiple initiatives in place to promote diversity in the workplace, including conducting what they call “conversations that matter.”
“We hold groups where people from different backgrounds are chosen to speak about their stories,” she said. “We’re able to hear about their experiences, what they’ve gone through, what they still go through, and it’s very eye-opening.”
The diversity and inclusion (D&I) team at TEKsystems actively hires a diverse range of people, and takes this into consideration when offering promotions. Additionally, they help their clients work on internal D&I efforts so they can start having these conversations and making these changes within their companies, too.
What can we expect for the future of IT hiring?
Nicole also advises developers to always continue learning. Even when you complete a boot camp or master a new skill, it’s important to keep practicing while you’re applying for jobs.
“Keep putting yourself out there, even if you’re just working on your own coding projects,” she said. “Practice whiteboarding at home to prepare for interviews, post work on your GitHub, and be active in the market.”
Networking is key in this industry, and Nicole says there are tons of conferences and meetups being held all the time that offer perfect opportunities to get a foot in the door.
What’s the one skill that will take aspiring developers far? Being a team player. “People sometimes think of developers as people who just want to sit, put their headphones in, and not talk to people and just code, but a lot of companies have started moving towards being more collaborative,” she said. “It’s important to ask questions and communicate, especially for those who are just starting out.”
To learn more about technology boot camps that can help you launch an IT career, check out the Trilogy Education Blog.