How to Hire the Best Tech Talent

When it comes to finding/hiring the best tech talent out there, many recruitment assumptions and strategies need to be abandoned. For one thing, techies are different in many ways from so-called “typical job seekers.” In spite of a bad economy, for example, experienced, talented technical professionals are still in high demand.

These people are not as desperate as others to find a job; additionally, they are “different” personality-wise and job-expectations-wise. Christine Lagorio, for example, in her article 7 Unconventional Ways to Hire the Best Tech Talent suggests that companies not overlook candidates with autism/Asperger’s Syndrome symptoms. The funnel-like, intense attention necessary for software development makes such persons ideally suited for the job.

Looking at Resumes Doesn’t Cut it Anymore

For one thing, many of the most talented technical professionals are already employed. Those that are not will fall into one of these categories: educated but inexperienced; recently graduated and young (and, therefore, easily overlooked); freelancing; or not able to survive the traditional job applicant pre-screening protocols.

As one recruiting expert pointed out, talented techies are more likely to be working on their craft than on coming up with a perfect resume. Recruiters/employers, knowing this, should employ unconventional methods and, in essence, disregard the resume. Paul Sawers, in fact, suggests that looking at a candidate’s “hobbies and interests” may be more useful than simply looking at listed skills/previous job responsibilities. He also suggests infiltrating online communities (e.g., GitHub, Dribbble, and StackOverflow) where you can informally assess potential job candidates.

If Not through Traditional Channels, Then How?

As Lary West (in the article “How Big Companies Recruit and Hire for IT Skills”) points out “There is no magic app for attracting top talent and ensuring employee satisfaction, yet a few leading technology companies have succeeded in creating a winning combination of salary, benefits, and work environment and company culture.” The idea is to study how some of these companies have done it and then, as closely as possible, imitate them.

Some of their recruitment best practices include:

  1. If possible, buy a smaller company (“acqui-hiring”), thereby acquiring an already trained staff (e.g. PayPal buying Critical Path, Inc.)
  2. Attract employees from competing firms.
  3. Implement hacker competitions; competitors are potential employees.
  4. Give rewards for useful referrals.
  5. Be willing/ready to train new personnel.
  6. Pair inexperienced developers with seasoned programmers.
  7. Use HireLite-in essence, a “speed-dating” applicant-interviewing service.
  8. Attend technology conferences/seminars; they are recruitment opportunities.
  9. View universities as on-going rich candidate resources.
  10. Utilize information code streamlining/analyses systems like HireVue to sift out best candidates from pools of applicants.
  11. Employ job applicant tracking software/services.

Without question, the companies that will come out on top in terms of finding the best technical talent are those that avail themselves of the newest technologies and best job applicant tracking services/systems.

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How to Combat Tech Obsolescence

In 2012 we witnessed the retirement of the space shuttle as well as the near-death spiral of Blackberry. Technology obsolescence has occurred throughout time. Specifically in regards to software and technology, obsolescence is a serious issue that subconsciously motivates every product development cycle. How does a company retain customers for their existing core competencies, while venturing into progressive product development for the years ahead?

Already in 2013 we have seen the problems associated with technology obsolescence manifest itself in the reorganization of Blackberry (formally known as RIM) as well as the buzz surrounding wearable computing devices (most notably the iWatch and Google Glass). In order to compensate for the continuous paradigm shifts occurring in the realms of technology, it is best to take advice from technology veteran and futurist guru Raymond Kurzweil:

“I’m an inventor. I became interested in long-term trends because an invention has to make sense in the world in which it is finished, not the world in which it is started.”

His approach can best be understood through a viewing of Transcendent Man. By anticipating the trends in technology, brands can best compensate for obsolescence down the road by creating product ideas beyond their technological capabilities. When it comes to software applications especially, new design as well as new features are emerging by lunchtime. It is a difficult challenge to avoid tech obsolescence and it requires an entirely different, almost philosophical, type of thinking.

When it comes down to it, hugely successful companies such as Kodak and Polaroid for instance, had all the resources in the world to create something along the lines of Instagram, but why didn’t they follow through? Also consider Steve Jobs’ envisioning of the iPad back in 1983, what is the key differentiator that prevents a brand and their products from becoming obsolete?

After boiling the issue down and focusing on Kurzweil’s philosophy, the common differentiator has to be culture. The culture of a company such as Facebook and Apple compared to that of MySpace and even Microsoft is glaringly obvious. One CEO went to venture capital meetings in pajamas, another left Atari for a vision journey in India, while the guys on the other side of the aisle remained content with their immediate success.

In regards to the attitude and vision of the founders and CEOs that run such companies, culture means everything. And it is fair to say that the construction of culture within an enterprise rests at the feet of its founder.

Icreon Tech is an IT consulting firm based in NYC. We have worked with prolific enterprises such as Pepsi Co., New York Road Runners, National Geographic and more. Take a look at our services and speak with one of our consultants today:

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Custom Software for Businesses, the Light and the Dark

Competition is fierce in the world of business. Each company in their respective fields compete against one another in efforts to grow. In such a world, carving out one’s niche becomes all the more valuable.

Maintaining one’s niche and remaining a unique force while providing excellent services is becoming increasingly difficult as more companies arise and technology advances. Software is now a near must for business management. Due to the fact that businesses, even in the same field, have different requirements for software, the notion of purchasing generic programs to help run a company is now being reconsidered. This, in turn, leads to businesses purchasing custom software.


What advantages does using custom software offer? For starters, custom software is tailored to suit each business’ specifications. This means the program or programs will run as intended and only as required. The demands of each company varies amongst each other. To put things in perspective, a carpet cleaning company’s desired functions in a software would vastly differ from a company that specializes in construction. By having software customized, businesses can be assured that their specific needs are met and are therefore, capable of operating the company more smoothly.

Occasionally overlooked, the utilization of tailored software can help to reduce costs. Because the programs are made to suit the business’ essentials, the software will be created to run smoothly on the company’s operating systems. This eliminates the need of purchasing any supplementary hardware that generic software packages often require to run effectively. As the extraneous purchases are eliminated, further spending is spared.

Another great factor regarding custom software is its scalable feature. To delve a little deeper, one of the many goals of businesses is to grow. As businesses grow, their software necessities may change. A smaller company turned larger would have more clients and workers to oversee. Thus, a change in how the software management runs may be in order. The provider of the custom software will (the reputable ones anyway) continue to maintain the program for as long as the company requires. When purchasing generic software, however, the company runs the risk of facing compatibility issues down the road as these types of programs are designed for one-off purchases and usages. Furthermore, consumers of such products may have to rely on a manual for troubleshooting or general tech support offered by the company.


Though brimming with benefits, custom software does have its drawbacks. One of the most prominent flaws is the cost. For the reason that these programs are specifically designed for the client, a great amount of time, effort, and communication is put into the work. This denotes to a higher product price when compared to the generic, off-the-shelf programs. Often times, these companies require a monthly fee as opposed to a singular payment. And so, the investment in using custom software could potentially be quite considerable.

Aside from the monetary costs, the programs would (almost customarily) increase complexity. Complexity is an issue, due to the fact that it would require training in order to effectively use. As the software was made specifically for its client, manuals and search engines will rarely provide a solution to trouble shooting. Thus, the user will have to rely on training and tech support for any problems down the road.

Conceptually, switching from an old generic program to a new customized program is a reasonably radical change. As custom software is designed per company, the feel and control of the program could be a vast difference, likely leading to a feeling of overwhelm for employees. In turn, dissatisfaction could spread within the company amongst workers and efficiency hampered until the employees are once again, comfortable.


While greatly beneficial, custom software does indeed have its cons. This tailored technology may not suit every company. In some cases, a generic, off-the-shelf product will certainly suffice. Before integrating such a far-reaching change, one should research the products and weigh in all other options. As custom software is a costly investment in terms of money, time, and effort, choosing the right type becomes absolutely imperative.

Potential Solutions

Among the many software solution companies out there, ProDBX stands out. Though on the smaller side, this company offers customizable, cloud-based software to its clients, designed to suit their needs. Along with providing free demonstrations, this company is willing to sit down and discuss what functions the business is looking for and adjust the software to their clients’ liking.

Other notable mentions that are capable of just about the same are Axmor, Izeni, and IntexSoft with the latter two developing mobile apps as well.

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IT Support Vendors – The 10 Biggest Promises You Are Likely to Hear When Looking For Tech Support

The choice of a technology support partner has become one of the most important for companies, small or large. Because of the intrinsic nature of I.T. throughout an organisation, the effects of a bad decision can be felt from top to bottom. So what should you be on the lookout for? Here is a list of things you are almost certain to hear and how to see through them:

1) It’s cheaper to outsource your I.T. support to us than stay in-house

This may be true, except that most companies charge by the hour, so there is no cap on how much your support budget may run to. If you really want to be sure it is cheaper than having your own in-house team, choose an I.T. support vendor that offers a fixed cost.

2) We don’t believe in hidden costs

All well and good, except that often vendors hide “hidden” costs out in the open. Mark-ups, transport costs, delivery fees may all be openly discussed, but if you aren’t sure when or how often these might crop up, they are just as bad as hidden costs. Make sure your vendor can tell you what these unexpected (not hidden) costs might be and when they are charged.

3) Our solution fits your requirements

Customisation is a promise that every vendor will make. The only way to make sure that you actually get a customised service is to check what kind of documentation a vendor will provide. To offer a solution tailored to you, a vendor must have first documented your systems structure (existing and proposed), so look for that.

4) You can communicate with us at any time

Communication is key for any I.T. support relationship. Problems must be explained quickly and clearly so they can be solved efficiently. Look for multiple communication channels and availability time to test how beneficial this promise will really be. Also, the best I.T. support suppliers will outline their communication processes, so that all your staff know who to contact in any given situation.

5) We offer emergency support

There is Emergency Support and there is emergency support. What you need is immediate support that includes an on-site visit if required. Without this, emergency support is just plain old run-of-the-mill support, which doesn’t really do much good when your staff are in a panic over a lost connection or a faulty server.

6) Minimal downtime guaranteed

The word “minimal” hides a multitude of sins. The only thing you can do is get a specific minimum time limit. Also look for vendors that have processes for a worst case scenario, which includes setting you up with a new machine that is pre-installed with the software you need and access to your work files in the quickest time possible.

7) Our service follows you wherever you go

Many vendors offer remote service support, which can therefore follow you no matter what city you may visit, but this is only limited to remote support. Check to see what kind of on-site support a vendor can offer when you go travelling. The best will have a network of support engineers in multiple cities, meaning they can really support you in an emergency when you are travelling.

8) We offer the latest in disaster recovery

Scratch beneath the surface of whatever disaster recovery process is on offer. It usually comes down to frequency of back-ups, which in this time of fast connections, should be done remotely and automatically. Further ensure that the back-ups are checked regularly, or you may find a vendor has not realized that an automated back-up process no longer works properly when you need it.

9) Our package includes many additional services that you don’t even know that you need

This basically comes down to anti-virus and spam protection, but you must check what is included. Anti-virus must be updated regularly and reliably and spam software should be adaptable to your level of risk. Make sure that management of this is included, so that you don’t need to worry about it. Remember, your tech support is supposed to make your life easier, not introduce more complexity.

10) We grow as you grow

Of course, all I.T. support vendors will hope to continue a long relationship with their customers, but the fact is, as a company grows, their computing and network requirements change greatly. Ensure that your vendor has processes in place that go beyond your existing requirements, with specific knowledge of how to handle larger companies. This means multiple offices, perhaps across multiple countries and the ability to scale all their services.

This list is designed to help you dig a little deeper into the most common services that are offered by tech support vendors. It will allow you to separate the really good vendors from those who just promise a standard list of computing services.

Jason Dibbin manages JLD Tech [], an I.T consulting company with offices in Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan. He had more than 10 years of experience as a consultant before creating his own it consulting firm [].

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Convenience and Accessibility Over High-Tech Features

Wired Magazine recently published an article that describes the current ‘low-tech’ revolution that is reshaping the technology sector. The article highlights several recent examples of how the ‘quality’ of technology is being redefined to favor accessibility over high-tech features.

Wired describes the MP3 as the classic example: the music format first broke ground as an accessible and portable file that users could share and publish online. Music aficionados and record companies denounced the MP3, saying that it provided inferior sound quality to the CD. What the music industry didn’t understand was that ‘quality’ was in the eye of the beholder; Internet users around the world used MP3s because of their accessibility, which was more important to them than an apparent decrease in sound fidelity. Today, the MP3 has surpassed the CD because of its convenience.

The Wired Magazine article goes on to point out several other products and sectors that are riding the ‘low tech’ wave, from point-and-shoot Flip Video Cameras to the easily accessible Google Documents. Each of these products could be considered inferior to their competitors in a side-by-side feature comparison, however, they have proven successful due to their lack of bells and whistles. I’d like to take this opportunity to share several other unmentioned products and industries that are benefiting from convenience over features. Feel free to add to the list if you think of anything else.

1. Documentary Film

The documentary is the polar opposite of the special effects-laden blockbuster movies that we became accustomed to in the 90s. In the place of A-listers and huge explosions, documentary film utilizes real people and relatively simple editing to tell a convincing story. In the recent decade, documentary has proved not only to be a durable art form but also a cost-effective box office draw.

Films like ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ and ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ grossed huge numbers and cost a fraction of what a typical blockbuster takes to produce. Documentary film is on the rise and represents a low-tech and efficient way to connect the audience with relevant stories. Off-shoots of documentary, like reality TV, have also proven to be incredibly successful despite the cliche formatting and relatively low production value.

2. ‘Back to the Basics’ Sports Philosophy

In the past decade we’ve seen championship teams arise not based on their huge star power but on teamwork and a philosophy in succeeding at ‘the basics.’ Whether it be getting that extra base on a sac-fly or finding four different receivers with an array of screen passes; the little things are what have been winning games.

The New York Yankees, with an all-star-studded lineup and astronomical pay grade, have failed in many respects to live up to their ten year potential due to a lack of concentration on the details. The Yankees are akin to a high-def. video camera that touts numerous features, but lacks the basics to make it convenient and usable.

3. Applicant Tracking

In the world of corporate recruiting, there is a complex maze of collaboration and applicant tracking steps that proceed a hire. Many software solutions for this in-depth process offer a wealth of features to improve a company’s ability to track potential job applicants. These many bells and whistles often only slow the process though.

Some software developers took a different route and decided to cut out the extra features and instead concentrate on accessibility and collaboration: the basics for a more efficient applicant tracking solution. These simple but convenient solutions are quickly making headway due to their ‘get-to-the-point’ nature and ‘anytime, anywhere’ online accessibility.

4. Twitter

In a world where we have social networks for every possible niche, many laden with high tech features to ‘increase social communication,’ Twitter has proven again that simplicity is king. Essentially, you can follow, be followed and tweet. Twitter is successful because it has latched onto our basic need to ‘publicize’ even the most menial events of our lives.

applicant tracking

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