: The Learning Pad LLC
: Continued education solutions provider
: Austin, Texas
: Austin, Texas
: Jan 2006
Number of IT employees
: At least four more IT staffers this year.
: Our primary focus is to provide and ensure a clear and present path for those individuals that are looking to further their education, and careers or change them whether that is in the IT field, medical, software design, programming, or office automation.
: Sebastian C.C. Bonvicini CIO/CTO/Senior Instructor. Bonvicini has been in the IT realm for 22 plus years. He started off in the sales part of the line, and then followed with national sales manager role where his certifications and IT life began to rush in and expand. The diversification of his skills ranges from IT sales, IT structure and design, implementation and integration, topological design and application, curriculum design. These are not all but the most influential areas that I have concentrated on.
Are you looking to hire on more IT staff this year, and if so, how many and in what skill areas?
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Yes most definitely. There is always a need for more of the IT staff as our job and life is continual learning. The number of staff depends on need. I will need at least four more on my staff due to the rising need of specialized technical equipment skills, software implementation and development, Active Directory application, and implementation. In this field it is imperative that structure as well as insight be used to choose the proper individual that will suit the job. Not only will the skill level be looked at but, their ability to listen, retain, resolve, acquire solution, lead, and complete. Anyone can be trained to push a button or write a formula however, talent, self mastery is the element that is lacking in most of our fields if not all.
Given all the news about the talent crunch, have you or are you finding it more difficult to find qualified IT professionals?
Well .now lets look at the word "talent" that is only half of the battle. It is not difficult to find these individuals. This is because I am responsible for the training of the next qualified group that goes out in to our workforce. The Learning Pad specializes in the custom training and educational needs of individuals using the highest and most advanced technical and medical tools, equipment, reading and study materials that are offered. This gives us an extreme advantage in the market as we have a direct influence with the individuals that will be out in the workforce, having a work relationship with them, and being able to see their work ethics and abilities.
What are your primary recruiting strategies? Do you work with recruiters, post jobs online, etc.
I am sort of an "old school" player. At The Learning Pad skills, consistency, dedication, drive and self mastery are looked at intensely. Now in those areas I have a different perspective on them. As I have stated before, "anyone can be trained to push a button." Self mastery is a quality that is rare and that is what I am looking for. This individual with the previously mentioned qualities will succeed and dominate in this new market. Yes we do work with recruiters for two purposes: for the employers looking for qualified and talented individuals for particular technical or administrative needs, and for ourselves and employers that are looking to have their IT management or staff further their IT certifications and education.
What is the hiring process?
There are three interviews. The initial interview involves the review of the resume and the individual's skills, personality traits, and "feel for the field." The second is a pre-testing of the individual's mental and motor skills in a preset testing environment which involves simulations of troubleshooting, Active Directory, implementation, integration, and imaging. The third and final interview is with CEO and myself.
What should candidates know before they interview at The Learning Pad?
Preparation: Knowing who we are and what we are about helps as well as having all there information prepared.
Timeliness: Being on time and/or 15 minutes early is always best.
Dress to Impress: Always dress to impress. First impressions go along way to showing your finer side. Over dressing is not really a big deal it is appreciated by any hiring manager, or recruiting staff.
The ability to listen: To be able to hear what is needed in the interview and detect the nature and direction and then follow through.
What makes for an outstanding potential hire?
The ability to listen, assess need (our need and client needs), preparedness, readiness and follow through.
What are red flags you look for when reviewing resumes, doing interviews?
The format and clarity of the resume is vital. This includes: objectives statement, dates of employment, contacts, skill sets of job description. If I am reviewing a resume my first site is objective. If this is worded well I will continue on with the rest of the resume. If the individual cannot take the time to present himself in specific situation and environment such as an interview then I will not even go any further no matter what the skill sets are or how brilliant the individual is. Candidates need to have their head together, be prepared to answer any and all questions. If the individual cannot be prepared to do this they will not prepare for anything else important. I will cut the interview short.
What kind of non-IT skills do your IT team members need, if any?
PS or what I call people skills. Any IT team member needs to have this. I will not work with those that do not have it. We work with so many different people and clients. Having people skills is a must. This looses many accounts and potential residual clients. Staffers must be able to speak in a manner that represents and holds value to what you say. To be able to listen will ensure your continued success and achievement.
How important is the cover letter in job queries?
The cover letter is important. We have seen many different kinds of resumes and cover letters. Having the proper skills to be able to develop an outstanding cover letter or resume is a must. Your cover letter can make or break you. It goes along with what I said before. The objective is vital. It must contain the correct information: name, address, contact number, salary requirements, and a powerful objective statement. This will include your mission, direction, as willingness to learn and be taught, drive and self mastery.
Is the IT organization looking for certified skills, is that a must have or is there any other qualification that is a must have?
Well in this day and age yes the certifications are a must-have. The staff here at The Learning Pad has learned through studies, as well as surveys, that the industry trusts more in the certified individual more now than ever. Certifications separate those who know and can do from those that may know and might be able to do. The ever present "yarning for learning" is another qualification that is good to have. When you think you have got all or have learned it all you are no longer usable.
Does the organization hire 'newbies' and invest in training and how well does that work, and if not, why not?
Yes we do hire 'newbies' I am an advocate for the 'newbie.' In most cases these are the ones that will strive to survive and shine out. I am a hard case. The old hire and fire is not my method, I will hire keep them and mold them. Meaning if they make a mistake they will have to deal with my hammer and then get it right. For me it has worked and has developed new leaders. My outlook is "I prepare and train leaders, not sheep for the slaughter.' This is The Learning Pad's outlook on the business as well.
What characteristics do you want in a hire, and don't want?
Preparedness, timeliness, drive, listening skills, readiness, articulation, people skills, and self mastery are what we want. What I don't want: tardiness of life, know it all, self arrogance, and lack of self mastery.
What does your company offer IT specialists as an employer?
We offer the highest and certifiably trained individuals anywhere. These individuals will also have the technical skills as well as interpersonal skills to follow with last but not least "self mastery."
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