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Sunday, 20 December 2015 23:05

Q&A: Beth DeWilde, Principal and Chief Recruiting Officer, Paragon Recruiting LLC

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Beth DeWilde expects hiring in West Michigan’s technology sector to continue at a strong pace in 2016. The demand for talent will remain strong across all areas, from programmers and coders to app developers and data analysts, said DeWilde, the principal and chief recruiting officer at Holland-based technology staffing company Paragon Recruiting.


From where you sit, how do you see 2016 shaping up for your business?

I think it looks great, personally, from a technical placement standpoint. I see it as being really solid. There are definitely a lot of opportunities, meaning companies are looking to add technology staff and it’s still very rampant. There are definitely certain kinds of areas that are busier than others, it feels like. Business intelligence, data analytics and systems analysis seem to be hot areas, as well as developers and programmers still.


What’s the biggest challenge right now for your business?

The availability of candidates and being able to get to the folks who have the technical skillset as well as the personal characteristics that companies are looking for — people who are change agents and people who are collaborative. Gone are the days where you had coders who were just heads down, “don’t bother me,” and those kinds of things. People need to communicate and a lot of process methodologies are being emphasized to be more efficient and effective with the technology work we do.


Might that communication also help lure people to the industry?

It’s also getting the exposure so that people in this area who maybe aren’t necessarily looking to make a change can be made aware of the opportunities out there. They might not even realize that in West Michigan there are a lot of progressive, leading-edge technology businesses.


What’s going to drive hiring activity in your industry in 2016?

Companies are seeing that they can run their business through technology and leverage the technology that they have already purchased, as well as looking at new systems. It seems a lot of it is all coming back to data analytics and all of this data we seem to capture and how can we apply that to making decisions in the business.


We’ve heard for a few years that there’s a shortage of I.T. and technology workers. Is it getting better or worse?

It’s not getting better, but I guess I wouldn’t say it’s getting worse. I think more people have made changes recently, so that makes it more challenging because then they’re not in the pool anymore — at least for a period of time. What we’re also finding is people coming back to the area who moved away and want to return.


What did you see emerge in 2015 that you expect will continue in 2016?

I circle back around to that whole (issue of) business intelligence and data analytics — and there’s a lot in mobile development.


What would surprise you in 2016?

If companies would not start to be more open-minded about remote working, about flexibility with time, because that’s what we hear from a lot of candidates when we ask them what’s important in work. That is a major component. You could open up the doors to more candidates if opportunities could be receptive to remote working. It would surprise me if companies don’t embrace that more.


Are they warming to the idea of remote working?

They’re starting to, but some organizations are just not able to accept that and integrate that into their system. Maybe it could be because of the kind of product they’re doing or because of the type of position that might limit that.

Interview conducted and condensed by Mark Sanchez.

Read 1450 times Last modified on Monday, 28 December 2015 10:31

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