(Based on the training talk given by Norberto Herz)
In the IT world, the concept of seniority escapes manualized definitions and confronts us with a wide variety of criteria. Even for those who work in this area on a daily basis, the reasons why a profile is considered to have a certain seniority may not be so transparent.
That is why we consulted Norberto Herz, who has served as Director of Engineering and CTO of startups, with the intention of setting a common ground on this often controversial topic. Based on that conversation, we wrote this article.
Seniority is useful to measure the person\’s growth, to establish categories and to let the person know which is the possible path to follow. To define it, we usually use a set of criteria: soft and technical skills, the ability to solve problems, the type of autonomy they take from the tasks. It is not necessarily about the number of years the person has been doing these tasks. We can also see it as a state: the person is not their seniority, they are like this or that at a certain moment. It is also necessary to take the context into account. Each company has its own way of defining it.
On the other hand, a person may have limited skills but virtually unlimited potential. The ability to identify this potential is a very useful tool for understanding the possible development, with the right support and resources.
Despite its complexity and controversy, it is inevitable to think in terms of seniority. It is a widespread paradigm that needs to be understood and implemented. as companies and clients use it everyday. It is the parameter that allows us to make certain decisions regarding roles and hiring, define salaries and administrative issues.
These are bullet points that summarize our definition of seniority:
- Years of experience: this is the most \”obvious\”. Although it does not tell us everything, it helps us to understand how long that person has been involved in a subject, a technology, etc. It is not useful on its own; it must be contextualized and considered together with other variables. In this sense, our referent says that \”it is not the same to have 10 years of experience than to repeat the same year 10 times\”.
- Degree of autonomy that the person has regarding the tasks and how much support they need, and the complexity of the tasks on which they take ownership.
- Problem-solving skills: In the case of developers, we tend to confuse seniority with expertise in a certain language. This is not necessarily the case. It is possible to think that someone who switches languages but has the ability to solve problems by doing a little research does not start from scratch.
- Ability to deal with uncertainty
- Tolerance to frustration
- Ability to discern priorities
- Planning Skills
- Technical Skills
Why are we revising the concept of seniority? To allow a more dynamic and humanized approach to profiles that may be labeled at a certain stage of their professional growth. We should not get carried away by a denomination that largely depends on the context in which it is evaluated.
Educating hiring teams
Part of the job of recruiters is not only to understand what companies needs, but also to contribute to a more accurate understanding of what is today’s IT market’s offer. What profiles are available and which ones might best fit their vacancies. That is why we talk about ‘educating’ the hiring companies.
The soft skills of the candidate evaluator are as important as the technical ones. The ability to implement unified criteria and deconstruct certain limiting biases will allow us to mitigate the paradigm shift in a more flexible and less controversial way.
In this sense, our guest posed a question about the increasingly common high job rotation, and freelance experience. We can evaluate the possibility of identifying the strengths and giving the opportunity to belong to a team to those who have not done it before. Also, those who have a long experience in the same company could be allowed to change.
Junior and Trainee
It is commonly said that the IT market ihas a very high demand and a scarce supply of qualified profiles. While this is true, it does not apply to all seniorities.
In recent times, many people have entered this world through intensive courses. These promise quick employment opportunities, resulting in many more Trainee and Jr. profiles than the market can absorb.
Unfortunately, nowadays, these new emerging talents are looking for a way to insert themselves in a labor market that has not yet finished managing change.
That is why, in order to help them face this stage and avoid frustrations, we would like to give them some tips to keep in mind:
- Job search: Approach to companies that have entry level programs or bootcamps. It is more likely that large companies have a greater capacity to incorporate profiles of this style and train them. Consultancy firms do not usually work on searches of this level.
- Remuneration: if it is within the possibilities, sometimes it is better to start with a lower or flexible salary, but to be on board. Starting in a company, in a project gives the chance to insert yourself in the market and can open doors to projects that interest or challenge you.
- Do technical tests: it can be frustrating not to be hired but going through the process and doing technical tests is useful as practice.
- Studying English: today it is a must. In some cases it is not essential to take a formal class. Perhaps with videos, podcasts and applications you can become more fluent.
- To write a great resume.
Resume Construction – Common and not so common tips!
It is well known that the resume is the first approach, the bridge to our future employment. Although the tips on its construction are everywhere, it is very important that you keep in mind some key points that can help you make a difference:
You must be able to adapt it to each position to which you apply. Not all positions and companies require the same, so being able to reinforce the strong points that each one of them requires is important. Don\’t forget the keywords!
It does not need to be very long, but very concrete…easy to read and interpret.
The chronology, work and academic, is preferred in descending order. The first in appearance will be the last.
Personal data, such as your ID number or home address, are not necessary. Provide only those necessary to contact you. The photo is not necessary either, but if you are going to include it, remember that it must be a photo according to the work context.
Finally, if you are interested in this topic, we recommend the article written by Norberto about emerging talents, HERE.