HED: Hiring Report: Gantzer Group Seeks "Crossover" Staffers With Biz, Tech Expertise
DEK: The consultancy is aiming to hire on three new IT professionals who know technology but think like a client.
META: career, job, employment, hiring
: Gantzer Group, Inc, and ActionSports Interactive
: A business and technology consultancy specializing in the cross over between business and technology.
: Cleveland, Ohio
: Cleveland, Atlanta, Boulder coming soon
: GGI: Gantzer.net/ASI: ActionSportsInteractive.com (portals: skisite.com, realconditions.com, shredsite.com)
Number Of IT Employees
: 6 (not all full time)
: GG: Our focus is in the space where business meets technology, which generally means tackling business problems from a business perspective, and creating or finding technology to solve them. We're also getting a lot more into newer rich interfaces. So many business apps were so poorly built that they can now be rebuilt easily with huge increases in efficiency.
ASI: Our focus is on providing rich information to consumers and businesses related to the action sports market. By doing so, we've drawn a huge audience that spends a lot of money, which has drawn a lot of advertisers. We also build software targeting independent action sports businesses helping them reach new customers.
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: Greg Gantzer, president, is a business and technology crossover, having worked in sales, marketing, product development, design, programming, and systems architecture. He has a background in both large and small business in a variety of industries.
Given all the news about the talent crunch, have you or are you finding it more difficult to find qualified IT professionals?
Business / Technology crossovers are very hard to find for lower dollars. I wish we could find entry level programmers that knew about business, but it's impossible. In general, IT staffers are not too difficult to find.
What are your primary recruiting strategies?
We mostly do networking and referrals and blast emails out to those we know in the field. Recruiters seem to want to pass you a lot of the generalists on the bench, and that's what you get a lot of the time on the job boards as well. It's hard to stand out.
What is the hiring process?
Phone interview, code reviews, and then always hired on as a contractor on a project or projects before getting to the next level.
What should candidates know before they interview at your companies?
Expect to encounter a lot of strange issues, and don't come to us with a set of technologies in mind. We are technologically agnostic, and do what's best for our clients.
What makes for an outstanding potential hire?
Knowing the technology, but thinking like a client. It's a two-way street, and both parties need to win. We do zero marketing, and our only source of business is referrals and repeat customers. The hire must know this, and understand that whatever they do or write is a long-term reflection on the company, and we take it very seriously.
What are red flags you look for when reviewing resumes, doing interviews?
Working in a single technology for a long time, or working with old technology. If that dog doesn't show signs of picking up some new tricks through the years, he may as well rollover and play dead, because that's what he is in this industry.
What kind of non-IT skills do your IT team members need, if any?
The three most important skills are business skills, business skills, and business skills. That doesn't mean a business degree, but communication, writing, being able to discuss problems from a business perspective. Aside from that, we look for people well read in current events and business news. Perspective is the greatest gift a candidate can have. Any IT person can see a problem through a technical lens. It's the ability to see problems from a different perspective " a new perspective that can create an advantage " is a core competency for us and for our customers.
How important is the cover letter in job queries?
Honestly, they get looked at for 30 seconds and forgotten.
Is the IT organization looking for certified skills, is that a must have or is there any other qualification that is a must have?
Experience trumps certification every time. We've found that a lot of the certified programmers are generally not the creative programmers. They are good to use in production work, but not in areas where we'd want a competitive advantage.
Does the organization hire 'newbies' and invest in training and how well does that work, and if not, why not?
We've done this in the past year with some success. It works if you have the time to nurture. If your bogged down in deadlines, than you do a disservice to both the company and the newbie, as you don't have the time to develop them.
What characteristics or personality traits do you want in a hire, and don't want?
We want positive people, for sure. But more than anything, we want people that have a certain thirst " a certain curiosity " to life in general. Those are the ones that will find the unique solution. What we don't want are the people that can't see the forest for the trees. Process is great most of the time. You have to know when to go against the grain.
What does your company offer IT specialists as an employer?
Exposure to a lot of different technologies and industries.
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