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专栏 - 向Anne提问

IT精英如何选择下一个雇主

Anne Fisher 2014年07月24日

Anne Fisher为《财富》杂志《向Anne提问》的专栏作者,这个职场专栏始于1996年,帮助读者适应经济的兴衰起落、行业转换,以及工作中面临的各种困惑。
钱是个好东西。为了挣更多钱,大批技术人才纷纷跳槽。但业内人士指出,打算跳槽的IT精英需要全盘考虑诸如潜在雇主的IT部门是否被孤立,能否帮助自己发展软技能以参与公司决策等问题,不要只盯着薪酬待遇。

    亲爱的安妮:我妈妈给我递来你那篇谈论千禧一代为什么不接受工作机会的文章,因为我就是其中一员。我刚刚从一所“名牌”大学获得工程学和计算机科学双学位,还从事过两份实习工作,在此期间学到了不少开发移动应用程序的技术。我还没毕业的时候,申请过的每一家雇主都给我发来入职邀请函。

    但到目前为止,我还没有接受其中任何一家公司的邀请,部分原因是我目前依然对那家提供最高起薪的公司心存疑虑。我在那里实习过很长一段时间,既参与过面试工作,也做过首席信息官(CIO)的“跟班”,但直到今天,我还没有见过任何一位非IT部门的员工。我真的想参与公司的运营工作,而不是仅仅被视为“一位技术人员”。在我看来,IT部门似乎被公司其他部门孤立了,这个事实让我倍感困扰。但这种担心是不是杞人忧天?询问这样的问题合适吗?——一位犹豫不决者

    亲爱的“犹豫不决者”:这绝对是一个切中肯綮的问题。事实上,如果你不提出这个问题,以及其他几个关键问题,你就会犯错的。首先,你或许有兴趣知道,IT类求职网站Dice.com报道称,许多雇主计划在未来半年招聘的入门级技术人员数量比2011年以来的任何时段都要多。但根据全美大学与雇主协会 (National Association of Colleges and Employers)提供的数据,在所有收到入职邀请信的应届大学生中,差不多有四成学生拿到毕业证书时还没有接受任何一个工作机会。所以说,你并不是唯一一位还在犹豫的毕业生。

    此外,你最好还是全盘考虑,不要只盯着薪酬待遇。Dice.com最新发布人才市场调查显示,在打算换工作的IT专业人士中,有61%的人要求潜在雇主提供比6个月前更高的薪酬。这种要求当然无可厚非。但根据在线技术社区Wisegate四月份面向数百位高级IT经理和CIO的调查,有三分之二的人表示他们计划在两年内跳槽——谈到下一个东家的选择标准时,除工资待遇之外,大多数人还使用了其他指标。

    正如你所言,其中一项指标是,IT部门是否“被公司其他部门孤立了。”Wisegate公司CEO萨拉•盖茨表示,“你担心这个问题是对的。你应该打听一下,你是否有机会跟其他部门的员工密切合作,IT部门究竟是制定公司战略的参与者之一,还是一个可有可无的配角。”

    她指出,差不多有九成(88%)资深IT经理表示,技术人员务必要开发一些“软”技能,比如理解策略,谈判,领导力和建立关系,唯如此,他们才能够对企业发展方向施加影响力。

    考虑到这一点,本次调查受访的经理人建议求职者询问面试官这样一些问题:“除了技术能力之外,我将获得哪些机遇来开发‘软’技能?”;“我会定期跟哪些非IT部门的同事互动交流?”;以及“IT部门以什么方式影响公司的经营战略?”倘若IT部门看上去真的被其他所有人孤立了,“那就跟随你的感觉,不要接受这份工作。”盖茨说。

    来自这项调查的其他三个发现或许有助于你挑选合适的雇主:

    Dear Annie: My mom sent me your article about why Millennials aren’t accepting job offers, because I am one of them. I just got a bachelor’s from a “big name” school, with a double major in engineering and computer science, and I’ve done two internships where I learned a lot about developing mobile apps. Before I even graduated, I got offers from every employer I applied to.

    But so far, I haven’t accepted any, partly because I’m having second thoughts about the company offering the highest starting pay. I’ve spent a fair amount of time there, both in interviews and “shadowing” the CIO, but so far I haven’t met anyone outside the IT department. I really want to be involved in the business, and not get typecast as “just a tech person,” so the fact that the IT group seems kind of isolated from the rest of the company bothers me. But should it? And is it okay to ask about that? — Undecided

    Dear Undecided: It’s absolutely okay to ask about that. In fact, you’d be making a mistake not to bring it up, along with a few other crucial questions. First, you might be interested to know that IT job site Dice.com reports employers plan to hire more entry-level techies in the next six months than at any time since 2011. But almost 40% of all new grads with job offers had not accepted any by the time they got their sheepskins, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, so you’re not the only one hesitating.

    Moreover, you’re wise to look carefully at more than just pay. Dice.com’s new hiring survey suggests that, among IT people looking to change jobs, 61% are asking prospective employers for more money than six months ago. Nothing wrong with that, of course. But when online tech community Wisegate polled hundreds of senior IT managers and CIOs in April, two-thirds said they plan to change jobs within two years—and most are using criteria other than money to choose their next move.

    One of those is whether the IT department is, as you put it, “isolated from the rest of the company.” Says Sara Gates, Wisegate’s CEO, “You’re right to be concerned about that. You should ask whether you’ll have a chance to work closely with people in other departments and whether IT is involved in developing company strategy, or is more of an afterthought.”

    She notes that almost nine out of ten (88%) of seasoned IT managers say that it’s increasingly important for techies to develop “soft” skills like understanding strategy, negotiating, leadership, and building relationships, so that they have a voice in where the business is headed.

    With that in mind, the managers in the poll suggested asking interviewers questions like these: “What kinds of opportunities will I have to develop ‘soft’ skills, along with technical skills?”; “What peers in other departments, outside of IT, will I regularly interact with?”; and “In what ways does the IT department here influence business strategy?” If it still seems as if IT is indeed isolated from everyone else, “go with your gut,” Gates says. “Don’t take the job.”

    Three other findings from the Wisegate survey about picking the right employer for you:

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