Every year in December, we ask our clients to nominate our best MACRO.CCS consultants for an award (with recognition and bonus.) We call these top consultants our MACROSTARS. From these nominated consultants, we select a Consultant of the Year. Here’s a look at winners from years past:
Archive for 2014
We’re proud to support the US Marine Corps Toys for Tots Foundation by serving as a donation center this holiday season. Feel free to drop by with a new, unwrapped, toy next time you’re in the area.
Not sure the best time to drop by with your donation? We’ll be doing special Toys for Tots holiday happy hours each Friday in December from 4-6pm, if you’d like to attend click here to RSVP.
We’re loving the final product! What do you think?
This week members of the MACRO.CCS team will be heading to Portland for the 6th annual Premier CIO Forum, and if you’re in the area we’d love to see you!
The Premier CIO Forum – Portland is a joint event hosted with the Portland chapter of SIM (Society for Information Management, an organization which our own Vickie Stovall has been an active Seattle-area chapter member of since 2002. She also previously served on the organization’s board.)
This invitation-only event affords a fantastic opportunity to listen to, and learn from, Portland-area IT executives on topics from cyber security, IT leadership, archiving data, and cloud computing. Plus there are morning and evening networking events affording you the opportunity to hob nob, and enjoy a beverage, with others like yourself in the IT industry.
For a full agenda of the Thursday/Friday conference, check out their website: http://www.premiercio.com/conferences/portland/agenda/
Insiders tip: for those that cannot attend the full conference, but would still like to network with Vickie and other SIM members, head down to the Crown Plaza hotel bar after 7pm on 11/13. It’s always a happening spot, post-conference. 🙂
Need a last minute costume idea? We’ve scoured Pinterest and the rest of the internet to bring you these awesome, witty, tech-focused costumes. Enjoy!
Costumes do not get easier than this.
All you need is a box, some tape, and a sign. (To see more in this hilarious box-costume series, click here)
This one will take a little more labor, but all the pieces you probably own at home (boxes, paint, tape, your genius mind….)
So its not IT focused, but think of the embedded development required for a rocket… right? And its just plain awesome.
You: dressed up in jeans + black turtleneck. Your dog: the iPug.
Relate more to the other-half of Apple AND have tons of money to spend on a new toy? Buy a Segway, pop on a helmet, and you’re Woz.
It doesn’t matter if you are searching for a job passively or actively, it’s wise to be organized and thorough to make sure that you are approaching each position prepared, with your best foot forward.
You see, it’s easy to get confused if you’re not keeping track of the Who, What, Where and When of your applications. And so, we recommend drawing up a spreadsheet of your activity.
So why keep track?
Most importantly: so you can monitor your success, and avoid wasting time re-applying to the same position may times.
- This also helps so you have a quick and easy reference point for when you DO get calls back. You can easily pull up your spreadsheet to reference the job & when you applied. In turn, you will come across as professional, organized, and prepared.
- Sending multiple applications into the same company can also result in you being ‘lost in the shuffle’. Studies show that the average internal recruiter spends 5-7 seconds looking at each resume. Frighteningly short, right? Well it could get worse: If they have seen your resume before and passed on it, they are unlikely to even take that many seconds before passing on you again if they already know your name (which could be a serious bummer if it was for a different, possibly more appropriate, position for your skillset!)
Breaking down office dress codes (business formal to casual) & deciding how to dress for your next interview.
The IT & high-tech industries have made a hot mess of dress codes. Thanks to folks like Steve Jobs, jeans and a T have become standard attire for many development shops; swap that T for a button up flannel and you’re ready for that big presentation meeting! But for an interview? Be careful.
While Microsoft may be notorious for judging candidates for being overdressed at their interviews, MOST businesses do not follow this doctrine.
At an interview, you need to be presentable.
As we’ve mentioned before, your interview is your chance to market & present the best version of yourself in order to land a new job. And to do so you want the appropriate packaging, i.e. attire. You want to simultaneously impress & show you can fit in with the company culture.
Before we jump into specifics, we wanted to give a quick look at what each dress code means. Names vary depending on who you ask, but the above titles (Business Formal, Business, Business Casual, Smart Casual, and Casual) should at least provide a good guideline and starting point.
Unfortunately, job titles are often inaccurate representations of the actual work done. For two key reasons: titles vary by company, and responsibilities change.
Everything else being equal, one company may title you Vice President while another titles you Manager. A programmer may be a developer or an administrator (or perhaps even an analyst).
Realistically, titles are generally unimportant, except as an organization’s internal status indicators. That is, until you decide to look for another position; and then the question becomes: How do you describe yourself, knowing those who read your resume often offer only seconds of their attention, and it will focus on your title? And another thought: how do you search for a job that’s perfect for you, while ignoring titles?
Or if you’re the hiring manager, how do you attract the person you need when the company’s titles don’t fit the job?
Last week we celebrated our 25th Anniversary along with clients, candidates, and friends at The Columbia Tower Club.
Here’s a look at past celebrations:
By Marjie Peterson, President
I remember moving borrowed furniture into the office space on Bel-Red Road on the Friday before we opened doors: March 13, 1989. I was thirty eight years old, married with two children ages 3 and 1, and I’d just bet my house.
The bet paid off, thanks to the hard work and good will of so many people over the years. We celebrate this evening at the Columbia Tower Club, but I’d like to stop now to thank:
- Carmen Hunt, our first employee – Carmen did accounting and collections. At collections she was a tiger, and clients who first encountered her on collection calls were shocked to later learn that in person she was petite, charming and lovely.
- Safeco Insurance, our first client, (now Liberty Mutual). Marc Esterly, in HR at Safeco, essentially trained me in my first years of recruiting at Robert Half. As Safeco spun off its software business, Agena, Marc joined the new company and stayed a client for many years, until his retirement. So thank you Safeco, for your business and for Marc Esterly!
A bit of history: MACROSTAFF came into being in 1991 after EDS tried to hire MACROSEARCH to market their nascent staffing services. As the deal unraveled, I thought “we can do this ourselves” and MACROSTAFF was born. So thanks to EDS, and to:
- Jeannie Stratton, the first manager of our staffing division
- Eddie Bauer, the first client of our staffing division.
We were technology rich for a permanent placement/staffing company, having developed our own software to run our business (a novelty in our kind of firm in the early 90’s). We decided to use some of our internal IT staff as consultants, so at the end of our first decade, MACROSTAFF Projects Group (now MACRO.CCS) came into being. Thanks to
- Sharon Swann, the first manager of our consulting division.
Our history has been rich with solid relationships with great organizations and great people. Over the years we have worked with (and are grateful to) many of the best known names in business – Weyerhaeuser, Safeco, DecWest (Digital Equipment), Microsoft, Children’s Hospital, Regence Blue Shield, University of Washington, BECU, Adobe, Activision, etc. but special thanks to
- City of Seattle, our biggest client, re number of our consultants hired. (yes, that’s thanks to you, Lennie Roberts and Vicki Wills and Andrew Swansen, and Charlene Moran, and Jolene Luck, and Terry Lombardi and Marty Chakoian and Bryon Tokunaga and Jamie Carnell and Jon Lutton and Mike Herrin and all the other great people we’ve worked with over the years at the City.)
- Seattle Public Schools, our longest term client (yes, that’s thanks to you, Barb Robbins and Marjorie Mills and Don Cowan and Jim Ratchford and Fred LaCroix and the list could go on and on…)
In 1998 we created our MACROSTAR program. Annually we ask our clients to nominate our best consultants for an award (with recognition and a bonus).
- Our thanks to all our MACROSTARS, you’ve made us look great and we appreciate you.
Now on to the next 25!
We at MACRO.CCS find ourselves increasingly using Skype as an interview tool. Granted, it can be rather buggy and choppy, but in the end it serves as a good tool for face-to-face time with candidates who live far from our offices in the greater Seattle, and Los Angeles, areas. However, during these interviews we’ve noticed that people don’t always prepare and present themselves as well as they should and thus decrease their chances of interview-success. Following is a discussion of what we’ve noticed, and how it can be improved upon to increase the likelihood of interview-success.
The more preparation, the less buggy, and the more professional and successful your next Skype interview can be.
Sometimes – even when you have the skills, steady work experience, aligned career goals, similar cultural values – you don’t get the job. And no one tells you WHY. Sometimes it was nothing you said. Non-verbal cues, small movements, looks, and tones, gave your prospective employer pause about your ability to fit into their group or do the job well. What might these non-verbal communication cues be, and how can you eliminate or minimize them?
Yes, IT/High Tech tends towards a casual dress environment. But in your interview you need to step it up a notch. Why? You want to show you’re serious about this potential job and have respect for those interviewing you. You will be far more (positively) memorable if you take a little time getting polished before your interview.
- At the bare minimum: shower, pay some attention to your hair, and dress in clean, well-fitting clothes.
- Even better: research the company and get an idea of their culture & dress code. Use this information to determine the perfect interview outfit and style.
- Still not sure on what to wear? Play it safe and dress in standard modern business attire: This means slacks or a skirt, paired with a button down shirt or blouse.
Need help decoding various business dress codes? Check out this article from the etiquette expert Emily Post.
Curious how Washington state communities are preparing to protect themselves from cyber attacks? If so, please make sure to save the date for the next Association of Women in Computing – Puget Sound Chapter meeting on February 19th, at 6pm, in Seattle. This event will feature a presentation by Michael Hamilton, CEO and Managing Partner of MK Hamilton & Associates, who is the consulting architect on Public Regional Information Security Event Monitoring (PRISEM) project for the state – a project funded by the Department of Homeland Security.
Who: Association of Women in Computing – Puget Sound Chapter
What: Presentation by Michael Hamilton on the Washington Statewide Cyber-security System: – the PRISEM Project
When: Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 / 6 – 8:30pm
Where: 501 N. 34th St / Suite 200 / Seattle, WA, 98103 / At the Fremont offices of Serials Solutions
How Much: $15, Click Here to Register: http://www.awcps.org/awcevents.