4 Students Kick Off the School Year with The Intersect Group STEM Scholarship!

For the 2nd year in a row, The Intersect Group awarded four deserving high school seniors with $3,000 each. The Intersect Group Scholarship was established to make it easier for students to choose science, technology, engineering and math careers. Our scholarship lends support to dependent children of our consultants, clients and colleagues who enroll to pursue Finance, Accounting or Technology degrees.

Scholarship recipients were carefully selected by a third-party committee based on academic achievement, the quality and content of a written essay, and the student’s character as demonstrated by activities and volunteerism.

These talented students are passionate, dedicated to their community and driven to make the world a better place. Congratulations to all of our recipients, and thank you to everyone who applied!

We are thrilled to announce our four scholarship recipients. We surprised each of the recipients by delivering the good news in person. Check out their videos, more pics and essay excerpts!

pic on campusCameron Cassar: A graduate of Chamblee Charter High School (Chamblee, GA)

He is enrolled in the Information Management Sciences and Systems program at Howard University (Washington, D.C.)

pic 2Courtney French: A graduate of Milton High School. (Milton, GA)

She is enrolled in The University of Georgia’s Information Technology program. (Athens, GA)

picBrady Hillhouse: A graduate of the East Hampton School.

He is enrolled in East Carolina University’s Finance program. (Greenville, NC)

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetKatherine Skidmore: A graduate of Lewisville High School. (Lewisville, TX)

She is enrolled in University of North Texas (Denton, TX) to pursue a degree in Accounting with a minor in Spanish.

Our scholarship program SERVES… to help others succeed. For over a decade, we’ve worked to provide opportunities for our talented consultants at great client companies. We know just how challenging the current talent shortage for IT and Finance and Accounting professionals is and we want to be part of the solution. Through The Intersect Group Scholarship program, our vision is to improve our community by making it easier for students to choose education as a priority in their lives.

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The Intersect Group Returns to the Inc. 500/5000 as one of 2017’s Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies in America!

incc5000The Intersect Group has made the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in America for the 6th time! As a 6-time honoree, we are part of a very select group. Inc. 5000 calls it the Honor Roll and less than a tenth of Inc. 5000 honorees ever achieve this milestone.

“This award is a testament to our colleague’s focus on the needs of our clients and candidates. It leads to mutual success and provides an exciting and rewarding place to work,” said Rebecca Rogers Tijerino, The Intersect Group CEO. “We are excited to achieve continuous growth because it affords new career opportunities for our Colleagues and additional support for our Candidates, Clients and Community.”

The Inc. 5000’s aggregate revenue is $206 billion, and the companies on the list collectively generated 619,500 jobs over the past three years. Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found at www.inc.com/inc5000.

About Inc. 5000:

The Inc. 5000 (www.inc.com/inc5000), is a list of the fastest-growing private companies in the nation. Started in 1982, this prestigious list of the nation’s most successful private companies has become the hallmark of entrepreneurial success.  The Inc. 5000 Conference & Awards Ceremony is an annual event that celebrates their remarkable achievements.  The event also offers informative workshops, celebrated keynote speakers, and evening functions.

For the full list of winners, click here.

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Management Practices from the Industrial Revolution and Millennials Don’t Mix

millennial magnetJust how attractive is your company? The Intersect Group hosted “Keys to Becoming a Millennial Magnet: A Discussion” at ROAM Innovative Workplace in Atlanta. According to a study by iCims, by 2025 over 75% of the workforce will be millennials: the generation of the technologically-savvy go-getter. This generational shift leaves some companies with many questions: “How do we cater to millennials without compromising our authenticity?”, “What if the Millennial’s mass label as “entitled” is code for not wanting change?”, “How do we retain millennial employees?” Our panel of millennial business leaders provided their perspective.

Panelists included Chris Pitre, Director of Strategy and Planning at Softway, Bryan James, Software Engineer at MapAnything, Inc., and Rebecca Rogers Tijerino, CEO of The Intersect Group. The event was moderated by TIG’s own Robert Jordan, Director of Executive Recruiting, Atlanta.

“The millennials are not a new species, we just have a different approach. Just like everyone else here, when we graduated from college we were ready to change the world. It’s important to make sure that your millennials feel welcome and grounded. With your guidance, give these fiery young people a chance to make an immediate impact on your organization.” said Bryan.

Chris contributed to the discussion with the ugly truth: We still follow management practices and organizational behavior philosophies from the Industrial Revolution in many businesses today. Followed-up by 4 big ideas that contribute to the Millennials’ workplace behavior and expectations:

  • - Diversity
  • - Abundance
  • - Social internet
  • - Elevated status in the home

Click here for Chris Pitre’s millennial perspective on Diversity in the Workplace.

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Sumifs, Pivot tables, V-Lookups oh my! TIG hosted a Microsoft Excel workshop on Saturday, June 17th at ROAM Innovative Workplace in Atlanta. Candidates from Dallas, TX joined remotely as well! They had the opportunity to explore the intricacies of Excel, a sometimes daunting program. In today’s technology-driven work environment, advanced knowledge of Excel is a must! It is one of the most widely used software programs on the market and is a critical skill for anyone in Finance & Accounting.
ewsThe workshop, facilitated by David Perrins, a friend of TIG, mainly focused on SUMIFS, Match, V-Lookups, and Pivot Tables, some of the most common applications used in the program. “I was glad to attend the training this past weekend,” said a candidate in Atlanta, “It was informative and useful. I will definitely use some of the excel functions here at work. As a matter of fact, I have already used pivot tables to compile specific data for an upgrade.”
We are excited to continue to offer these workshops as a way for our candidates to learn essential skills to stand out from the competition and help our clients achieve their business objectives!

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The Intersect Group Receives TWO Incredible Awards!


logo mergeWhat do you get when you cross a Best and Brightest win with a spot on the Forbes’ Best Professional Recruiting list? That’s right; The Intersect Group. We are more than honored to be the recipient of not one, but TWO incredible awards.

The 2017 winning B&B companies were assessed by an independent research firm which reviewed a number of key measures relative to other nationally recognized winners. They include Compensation, Benefits and Employee Solutions; Employee Enrichment, Engagement and Retention; Employee Education and Development and more! We will receive formal recognition in Atlanta at a symposium and awards gala on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.

Forbes, in collaboration with Statista, surveyed over 18,000 external recruiters, 3,000 candidates/employees and 500 HR-managers and asked them to name at least ten companies they would recommend for the list. The top 250 companies were selected and The Intersect Group made the cut!

The Intersect Group’s innovation and commitment to our candidates and clients granted us a spot amongst some of the best companies not only regionally, but nation-wide!

“It is a huge privilege and testament to our culture to be recognized as a leader in colleague, candidate, client and community engagement,” says Rebecca Rogers Tijerino, CEO of The Intersect Group.  “At The Intersect Group, we call these our 4 C’s. Our work environment encourages our colleagues to create results in their work, volunteer efforts and families; this goes a long way toward attracting talented professionals who want to excel,  contribute to the success of our 4 C’s and have a great time in the process! ”

See the winners and learn more about The Best and Brightest Companies to Work For and Forbes’ Best Professional Recruiting Firms!

2017 Atlanta Best and Brightest Winners

Best Professional Recruiting Firms

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When Your Colleagues Feel Freed, Fueled and Inspired, Your Company Has the Makings of a Top Workplace!

Atlanta-2017-TWPThe Intersect Group (TIG) has been named a Top Workplace by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for the fourth year!

“The Top Workplace award is special to us because it’s based solely on the feedback of our colleagues,” says Rebecca Rogers Tijerino, CEO, The Intersect Group. “Our culture, driven by our colleagues, inspires us to succeed by serving our candidates, colleagues, community, and each other. It’s this engagement that drives our growth and helps TIG attract talented professionals who want to excel and have a great time working with people they like and respect.”

TIG makes it a priority to ensure their colleagues have what they need to be successful. Sometimes it’s time off to refresh and regroup. Other times it’s additional training or clearing their path. Either way, they make sure they take care of their team.

Chatter around the office:

  •  “I have worked for multiple companies that say they want to foster a “team” culture, but TIG exempli­fies this…”
  • “The Intersect Group truly cares about developing, mentoring, and retaining its employees. It has been a refreshing experience thus far and I could not see myself being part of any other organization.”
  • “Everyone goes out of their way to make sure I have everything I need. It’s like a big family”.
  • “Our leaders continue to invest in our growth and development.”
  • “This is a team that likes to have fun (and a lot of it!) and genuinely enjoys working together.”

The Top Workplace list is based on the results of an anonymous employee feedback survey administered by WorkplaceDynamics, LLC, a leading research firm that specializes in organizational health and workplace improvement. The survey measures several aspects of workplace satisfaction and culture, including Alignment, Execution and Connection.

Our colleagues gave TIG high marks for our onboarding and training process, open door policy, and work environment in which everyone has the opportunity to share ideas. Not to mention the many workplace perks – from unlimited time off; to monthly All Star Winners recognition and an annual Legends Trip for top performers; to activities such as Pampering Day, a Dessert Cook Off and our not-to-be-missed company holiday party to wrap up the year.  The spontaneous nerf wars that break out when we’ve successfully paired a great candidate with one of our clients, is one of the many flavors of icing on the TIG cake.

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The Intersect Group is recognized as one of the Best and Brightest Companies to Work For

trifectaFor the 2nd consecutive year, The Intersect Group has achieved the National Association for Business Resources (NABR) trifecta! The firm has been recognized as one of the Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in Atlanta, Dallas, and the nation.

Most recently, they were added to the Dallas and National lists. The Intersect Group will receive formal recognition at an awards gala on Monday, January 23, 2017 at the Dallas Arboretum.

The winning companies were assessed by an independent research firm which reviewed a number of key measures relative to other nationally recognized winners. They include Compensation, Benefits and Employee Solutions; Employee Enrichment, Engagement and Retention; Employee Education and Development; Recruitment, Selection and Orientation; Employee Achievement and Recognition; Communication and Shared Vision; Diversity and Inclusion; Work-Life Balance; Community Initiatives; Strategic Company Performance and the Best of the Best Small Business.

The Intersect Group’s innovation and best practices in these categories granted us a spot among the ranks of some of the Best and Brightest Companies to Work For within a wide range of industries.

“It is such an honor and testament to our culture to be recognized as a leader in employee engagement and community leadership,” says Rebecca Rogers Tijerino, CEO of The Intersect Group. “Our work environment encourages our colleagues to create results in their work, volunteer efforts and families; this goes a long way toward attracting talented professionals who want to excel and have a great time in the process.”

See the winners and learn more about The Best and Brightest Companies to Work For!

2017 Dallas Winners

2016 National Winners

2016 Atlanta Winners

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Charlotte’s IT Job Market Shows No Signs of Slowing Down

Charlotte Skyline from Marshall Park

It’s a candidate’s job market in Charlotte and that’s good news for IT job seekers. Technology continues to drive job growth in the Charlotte area with over 6,400 open IT positions, according to NCWorks Online (a part of the North Carolina Department of Commerce Division of Workforce Solutions). With this robust job market comes a new set of challenges for companies looking to attract and hire top talent.

What’s driving this job growth? According to Ryne Harrell, Charlotte Market Leader with The Intersect Group (TIG), it’s the thousands of people flocking to Charlotte, especially millennials. In fact, a recent report by the Urban Institute projects Charlotte metro area’s population to grow by 47 percent between 2010 and 2030.

Charlotte is a progressive city with a young culture, which is particularly attractive to millennials who are now the largest population in the U.S. workforce. “It’s a cool city,” said Ryne. “Microbreweries and coffee shops are popping up on every corner. Start-ups and other businesses that appeal particularly to millennials are opening every day.” Since people want to live in Charlotte, Ryne says it drives more business to the area, keeping the job climate hot and demand for talent high.

With organizations across all industries competing for the same talent, Charlotte’s rapid growth broadens the demand for software and analytical skills. The high demand for mid- to senior-level talent has resulted in a growing skills gap that many companies are challenged to fill. “Every .NET developer seeking an opportunity could have close to 250 jobs from which to choose,” said Ryne. And UX professionals, and front end and user interaction designers are not far behind.

At TIG’s Charlotte office, we are working closely with our clients to alleviate this talent gap with a three-prong approach:

  1. In the short-term, we actively recruit senior talent from other cities to fill current open positions.
  2. We also recognize some workers are siloed within larger organizations. We lead Lunch and Learns and skill set training sessions to help make it easier for them to make lateral moves to fill the gap.
  3. For the long term, TIG is investing in Charlotte’s STEM programs to build the tech sector from the ground up.

Additionally, companies are finding they need to act quickly to hire top talent. “By the time our clients have identified their top prospect, often that person has already accepted another job,” said Ryne. We continue to educate clients on the competitiveness of today’s labor market and encourage them to move with a sense of urgency when making hiring decisions.

The Charlotte job climate is hot for IT candidates with multiple offers extended to tech job seekers. This trend is expected to grow as more corporations relocate their headquarters to Charlotte, millennials continue to flock to the city and technology continues to drive job growth.

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5 Entry Level IT Certifications and 15 More Advanced Ideas to Boost Your Value

IT Certifications

When it comes to IT, continuing education is the name of the game. It doesn’t matter whether you are just starting out or are determined to advance your existing career as strategically as possible. One of the most common avenues of continuing education for IT professionals is certifications.

Why certifications? They are a streamlined and cost-effective way to learn in-demand technical skills. Certification programs typically only take a few weeks to a couple of months to complete. Plus, they can be done as your schedule allows, through flexible online resources. Price tags tend to run from $150 on up to $1,250, depending on the complexity of the certification.

For potential employers and supervisors alike, certifications instantly convey a level of technical competency, so they carry a lot of weight and are widely accepted throughout the IT community.

Keep in mind, your certifications of choice will depend on which aspects of IT you choose to focus on and whether you are new to the field or looking to advance an already established career.

For those who are just entering the field, here are some great starting points:

  1. Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) is geared toward network engineers, network administrators and systems administrators.
  1. CompTIA A+ Technician is more maintenance focused and is typically designed for desktop support technicians, in-home support specialists and help desk technicians.
  1. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) has been created with security analysts, information technology auditors and information security analysts in mind.
  1. Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) addresses core technical skills across multiple technologies, making it ideally suited for systems engineers, field systems technicians and systems administrators.
  1. Network+ deals with wired and wireless networks and comes in handy for information technology technicians, help desk technicians and information technology specialists.

If you already have professional IT experience, be sure to seek out the most appropriate and most respected certifications in your preferred area of expertise. Some of your options can range from system administration, security, programming and hardware, to networking, wireless networking, VoIP, cloud IT and big data.

But when it comes to getting the attention of employers or supervisors, here are 15 ideas for more advanced certifications based on key areas of expertise:

IT Management – The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) certifications start at a Foundation level and work up progressively to more demanding Practitioner and Manager levels.

IT Security – The SANS Software Security Institute offers a series of certifications ranging from Essentials, Intrusion Analyst and Incident Handler on up to GIAC Security Expert (GSE). The ISC also offers highly respected security certifications, which include Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP) and the more rigorous Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).

Vendor-Specific – In this category, three of the most in-demand offerings include Microsoft (featuring the Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer and Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert); Cisco (featuring the Cisco Certified Security Professional and Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert); and Linux (with two of the most prominent being the Red Hat Certified Engineer and the Red Hat Certified Architect).

It’s important to note that many of the more advanced certifications require ongoing education and recertification every few years to maintain these sought after credentials. And some have extremely stringent criteria. In fact, in the case of the recently retired Microsoft Certified Architect, there are fewer than 100 individuals worldwide who have earned this status. But they also command the salary appropriate for such a prestigious certification.

To make the most of your opportunities, choose your certifications carefully. After all, each requires time and money to complete. And with the right mix of certifications, any IT professional can significantly improve their appeal and value.

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Do You Know How You Will Be Evaluated?

Evaluation meeting

How will you be evaluated? If you’re about to accept a new job offer and you can’t answer this question, you could be in trouble. Today, knowledge-based businesses are increasingly driven by performance metrics. Since those metrics will be one of the primary factors in determining your opportunities for advancements and pay increases, it’s important to know up front how your performance and your contributions to the organization will be evaluated – before you accept an offer. Here’s what you need to consider.

First, determine whether there are formalized evaluation policies in place at the corporate level. If so, ask what their performance criteria are and how often you will receive feedback. It can range anywhere from annually to weekly. Or, it may be on a project-by-project basis. Keep in mind that frequency can be key. The more frequent the feedback, the better your opportunity to shine and advance rapidly.

If there are no corporate performance review processes in place, you need to know how your immediate supervisor intends to handle evaluations. After all, your supervisor will be somewhat of a gatekeeper to your career path. Is there a structured process, or is it more of a case-by-case situation? More frequent and well-documented evaluations can help boost opportunities for recognition and increase your status and pay.

In either case, you’ll also want to have a thorough understanding of expectations. Ask what established competencies are used to measure success. These could include anything from hard skills related to your particular position to soft skills, like how well you work on a team or how you respond to stressful situations. Being proactive and understanding expectations up front will help you avoid surprises down the road and set you up for long-term success.

If there is no structured performance evaluation in place at any level, you should be prepared to take things into your own hands as soon as your first week. Meet with your boss to understand expectations and to help you set tangible goals for yourself. Explain that you’d like to meet again in three to six months to discuss your progress and get feedback. In the meantime, be sure to keep a running list of your projects and achievements that you can share. When it comes to being recognized for your work, initiating the evaluation and asking for regular feedback will help you stay on top of your success.

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