Hiring Report: Ironworks Looking For Team Players, Not Big Egos

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The Company: Ironworks is a project-based consulting firm that specializes in the use of Web technologies to solve business problems through the combination of strategy, technology and design. Ironworks offers expertise in the practice areas of IT strategy, program management, user experience, content management and portal development, business intelligence, and custom application development. Ironworks operates from offices in Richmond, Va., Raleigh, N.C., and Tysons Corner, Va. Hiring Leaders: Elisabeth Dexter Beller and Andy Wolff are co-managers of Washington DC-area office in Tyson's Corner, VA. Beller and Wolff have more than 10 years experience in project management, specializing in IT and business process improvement. They have both held senior management positions within major consulting firms. Beller joined Ironworks from Bearingpoint. Wolff came to Ironworks from Washington Consulting, a regional firm in Vienna, Virginia. Both Beller and Wolff, who also worked for Andersen Business Consulting, where they began their careers supporting clients of all sizes, provided insight on Ironwork's hiring strategy and how the firm plans to grow its staff. How big is Ironworks' IT staff? Ironworks has approximately 125 employees, primarily in our Richmond, Virginia Headquarters location with additional consultants located in the Washington, DC area and in Raleigh, NC. Are you looking to hire on more staff this year, and if so, how many and in what skill areas? We anticipate hiring approximately 60 consultants this year: 20 in the DC area, 30 in Richmond, and 10 in Raleigh. We are actively seeking content management consultants, primarily with Stellent and Interwoven skills as well as Microsoft developers with Sharepoint and Biztalk experience. We also anticipate hiring a significant number of project managers.
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Given the news about the talent crunch, are you finding it more difficult to find qualified IT professionals? Great consultants are always hard to find. Lately, we've struggled to find strong Stellent and Interwoven candidates who have consulting backgrounds. Finding first rate project managers is also a challenge. What are your primary recruiting strategies Internal referrals is our best source of finding new candidates, but we have in-house recruiters who use a variety of methods, including online job postings and referrals from previous candidates. We've also found some success with using LinkedIn to identify potential candidates. We're willing to work with third-party recruiters for hard to find positions. What is your hiring process? Candidates typically do a phone interview with a recruiter first and then with a consultant at a peer level. Technical candidates take an online assessment test. If we establish mutual interest, candidates come into the office for in-person interviews with two to four personnel. What should candidates know before they interview at Ironworks? Ironworks has worked hard to establish a company that is not driven by title or ego. Individuals who interview with Ironworks should understand this ahead of time to be sure they can work in an environment where all employees roll their sleeves up to get the job done. What makes for an outstanding potential hire? Ironworks has established a culture of people who take pride in doing a job well done for clients. An outstanding potential hire is one who is driven by client satisfaction and works well on a team. In consulting, every employee has a very direct impact on the success of the firm, so hiring individuals who fit within our culture is critical. What are red flags you look for during the hiring process? There are no standard "red flags", but in general, each individual should be prepared to show that they are a team player. We also prefer candidates with some demonstrated job stability. What kind of non-IT skills do your IT team members need, if any? Our IT employees will find themselves in direct contact with clients on a regular basis. It is important that our IT personnel have strong interpersonal skills. Is your organization looking for certified skills, is that a must have or is there any other qualification that is a must have? Certified skills are nice to have, but we are far more interested in true demonstrated capability. While certifications can help show a base competency, we are mostly interested in real world skills and experience. We typically look for candidates with a minimum of five years experience with the specific technologies or skill sets required for the open position. Does the organization hire 'newbies' and invest in training and how well does that work, and if not, why not? All of our hires come with significant experience. Our consulting teams include only senior consultants. What are the characteristics or personality traits you want in a hire, and don't want? We want team players, dedicated to the success of their clients and the firm. We do not want people who are motivated by personal gain exclusively. Other recent articles from TechCareers Hiring Report: 4INFO Wants Skills And A Passion For Mobile Tech Hiring Report: Professional Development Key For RTTS
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