Sunday, June 30, 2019

Random thoughts on a job fair

Random thoughts from a tech expo that I attended just now, not in any particular order. And some thoughts might have nothing to do with a tech expo, I am not apologizing.

Image result for job fair

  • Today I learned that there is career fair, and then there is job fair, each with a slight distinction from the other. The one I went to was probably more of the latter. But really, it was mostly about mascot costumes and freebies. So just.. fair?
  • If you are a company, and spend anywhere between some and shit lot of money for a booth, make sure your representative can represent something.
    • Recruiters should know about their company business nature, organization structure, and for what their job titles actually stand. The use of buzz words like partnership, innovation, or opportunities is bad communication and can't be used to replace solid understanding on business model, job description, or career path respectively.
    • Developers coming to support recruitment are great helps. But they should know that while being there, they are effectively salesmen. If they can't articulate, with a hint of passion, what their job is like in a day, a month, and a quarter, they are just wasting oxygen and space.
    • If you think that's a lot to ask for, you are right. It should be. Hiring is the most impactful task one can make to his organization. Bring your highest caliber executives in, because otherwise TinyPulse is bringing their Director of Technology and awe your potential hires with insightful thoughts and sincerity.
  • If you are a recruiter, you should have a plan to deal with people who have zero interest in your vacancies. The very best candidates are seldom between jobs, they are more likely to be employed and well-paid, you need to poach them to stand any chance. They might not be hooked in the positions, but you can still get them interested in the company. Getting one's contact info doesn't mean shit, people are just polite. Being accountable for answering queries on business model, offering career development path, or simply representing your culture are all significantly more important. And as far as I can tell, nobody is keeping tabs. Be different.
  • If you are an attendee, don't get annoyed if people shove flyers into your hands. They most likely didn't mean any harm. They are just trying to do a good job within their capacity, given the little or zero training they received before hand. Be kind, take flyers, and enjoy a small conversation. You might learn something new while making someone's day.
  • If you are looking for a job, reading between the lines of job titles and their descriptions is a great way to learn about a company's modus operandi, tech stack, and drawbacks. For example:
    • If one is hiring multiple data analyst positions, it has a data-driven culture.
    • Tech stack is revealed through job description and requirement is self-explanatory, but also pay attention to what is not written. Overwhelming mentions of batch processing indicates a lack of stream processing.
    • A company's drawbacks might get reflected in job requirements precisely because issues happen and the company is working on resolving them with fresh meat minds.
  • Similarly, if you want to follow a particular career path, however vague, look at a company's vacancies whose jobs rely on yours. The number of vacancies shows how mature the company is in your chosen field and how much support you gonna receive. For example, big data engineers can look for vacancies of analytics and ML; front-end developers, product and design; product managers, any sign of customer interaction. There should be a healthy combination of both business and technical vacancies for a good network effect. Nothing is worse than spending your time one something with zero impact on anyone.
  • People in outsourcing industry should get panic if they aren't working on hard problems. That you can code the same CRUD operation in 5 different languages is a waste of resource rather than something to be proud of. Local powerhouses like Ahamove or Tiki are solving hard problems that impact the life of millions of people. And it doesn't matter if they can do it in only one language. They are doing it.

PS: apparently, I wasn't the only one who thought JDs is a great medium to learn about a company. Paul Graham used job listings to learn and scale his potential competitors too.