Stories by Dave Willmer

Eight ways to keep your best workers on board

The organizations honored as Best Places to Work are vastly different in many ways, but they tend to share an ability to keep their most productive people on board. While there's never a good time to neglect retention, doing so now may prove to be especially costly. With economic conditions beginning to improve, some organizations are looking to increase staffing levels. And as job opportunities proliferate, IT professionals will be more likely to consider moving to a new employer. Businesses that don't address this looming challenge will find themselves at a competitive disadvantage.

Diversify your job search

If you're seeking work in today's competitive IT environment, you've probably received some conflicting advice about the best ways to go about finding it. Some colleagues and friends may swear by online networking tools such as LinkedIn or Twitter. Others may insist that you're doomed without an enthusiastic referral from an insider. Job boards, IT trade publications and even employer Web sites all have their advocates as well.

Employment referrals the right way

When competition for IT opportunities is intense, the value of every possible edge is magnified. A recommendation from someone within a potential employer can make the difference between landing an interview and continuing frustration. In many cases, job seekers are calling on the outermost reaches of their networks -- and sometimes beyond -- to find a way in.

Leveraging soft skills in a competitive IT job market

Competition for IT jobs has intensified, so companies that are hiring expect to find candidates who can exceed the technical requirements of a position. While soft skills have long been touted by IT employers, today's harsh economic realities have made those abilities more valuable than ever. IT professionals who know which soft skills are currently the most important and why -- and who are willing to work to improve those abilities -- can find that they have a distinct advantage over similarly qualified peers.