New Year, New Resolutions

Each New Year brings with it the opportunity for new resolutions and goals. We polled The Intersect Group employees to find out some of their 2015 goals. Read on to get inside the brains of some of our best and brightest.

Ralston

 

 

 

 

 

“I actually have two this year – the first being to stop procrastinating and the second being to do one charitable or volunteer activity a month. I want to be more intentional about researching and finding activities/organizations to get involved with on a regular basis opposed to doing it sporadically.” – Hannah Ralston, Executive Recruiter, Finance & Accounting

Falzett

 

 

 

 

 

 

“My New Year’s resolution is to become involved with one charity organization and volunteer my time.” – Tonya Falzett, Senior Account Manager, Technology

Carlson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Mine is a continuation of last year. I started running last year and my goal was to do a half marathon, which I just completed Sunday. So, this year my goal is to do the Publix marathon in March.” – Alexandria Carson, Sourcing Specialist

Kelly

 

 

 

 

 

 

“My wife and I are expecting our first child in April and it’s a little girl.  Harper Grace Kelly.  My New Year’s resolution for 2015 is to stop smoking after 20 years.  Sounds cliché, but with my child on the way and the times we are going to be spending together, I do not want cigarettes to be a part of them!” – Patrick Kelly, Senior Recruiter, Technology

Here’s to a wonderful 2015 – what are your New Year resolutions?

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Holiday Networking Tips

IT Christmas GiftsWith the holiday season come a ton of opportunities for networking – whether it be that tacky sweater party your best friend hosts every year or a holiday party thrown by a volunteer or industry-specific organization you belong to.

If you’re looking for work or looking to make a change in your career, leverage these social opportunities. Below, we’ve listed a few tips for making the most of your social obligations this season.

  1. Bring business cards – No, don’t hand them out to every person you talk to at a party, but be sure to hand them out when appropriate and ask for contact information for follow-up.
  2. Don’t lead conversations with business – Forming genuine connections is important. You’ll come off as self-serving if you lead with your goals, your work, your business. Ask questions and lead with casual conversation topics, like current events, holiday travel plans, etc.
  3. When it comes to alcohol, know your limits – It’s easy to have one too many eggnogs at holiday parties, which can make you appear less sharp than usual. If need be, stay sober. If someone asks why you aren’t drinking, tell them you’re the designated driver.

 

Heed our advice, and you’ll shine at your holiday events this year. If you’re looking for networking opportunities in Atlanta or Dallas, check out the below organizations. Good luck and happy hunting!

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Programming and App Development: 2015’s Hottest IT Skill

2015 IT Job TrendsWhat’s hot for IT professionals in 2015? InfoWorld recently published an article regarding the most desired skills for IT professionals next year. Their top skill? Programming/App Development. We agree – this is by far the most in-demand skill and has been for years.

In fact, demand from The Intersect Group’s client base has increased on the direct hire side of our business during the fourth quarter, a time which is traditionally slower because of the holidays.

Aside from programming and app development, we’ve also seen an increase in demand for project management skills, an area that has charged back to the forefront after a couple of years of stagnation and decrease. We credit this increase in demand to projects coming back online and investment ramping back up as the economy improves.

Additional skills we’ve seen increased requests for?

  • BI/Analytics
  • Mobile Apps
  • Big Data

InfoWorld’s Top 10 include:

  1. Programming/App Development
  2. Project Management
  3. Help Desk/Technical Support
  4. Security/Compliance Governance
  5. Web Development
  6. Database Administration
  7. Business Intelligence/Analytics
  8. Mobile Applications and Device Management
  9. Networking
  10. Big Data

Check out the InfoWorld article in its entirety here. What trends have you seen in IT skills? Does this list ring true to you?

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Atlanta Business Radio Recap with The Intersect Group CEO Rebecca Rogers Tijerino

 “Living in the moment is the death of all business. Living in the future is the opportunity that all of us leaders are starving to achieve.” – Rebecca Rogers Tijerino, CEO

The Intersect Group CEO, Rebecca Rogers Tijerino, recently spoke with Lee Kantor and Stone Payton at Atlanta Business Radio to discuss the future of staffing in Atlanta and beyond.

Highlights from the interview include:

Increase in Business: Within the last year, The Intersect Group has seen an increase of 25 percent in business. We credit that success to our flexible delivery of staffing and consulting services.

Holistic Approach:  The Intersect Groups has the unique ability to holistically aid organizations with a blend of expertise in thought leadership, as well as service.

“By understanding their business on an intimate level, we are able to hone in on their business objectives and execute an action plan to help our clients think of the future,” Rebecca says.

Call for Forward-Looking Leadership:  “Living in the moment is the death of all business. Living in the future is the opportunity that all of us leaders are striving to achieve,” Rebecca says.  She believes having the foresight to project future business needs and trends is one of the most important skills every leader should possess.

The Intersect Group helps companies plan for the future, not for the moment, by equipping them with the necessary skills and tools to become strategic thought leaders in their respective industries. Through our flexible delivery approach, our clients get the right solution, at the right time, to accelerate their success and achieve all of their mission-critical objectives.

To listen to the full interview, visit Atlanta Business Radio http://bit.ly/1rljqk6.

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Techonomy 2014 and The Future of the Job Market

Techonomy recently hosted its annual conference, Techonomy 2014, in which thought leaders discussed the ways technology is transforming and accelerating progress for both business and society. The annual conference aims to help people understand the important role technology plays in major world issues such as healthcare, government, the economy and more.

During the media organization’s annual conference, New York Times science writer John Markoff led a panel of four prominent tech leaders: Steve Jurvetson of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Jessica Rosenworcel of the FCC, Ford’s Ken Washington, and Philip Zelikow of the Markle Foundation, to discuss how the job market will change over time with technology leading the way. Touching on several key areas, the panel also discussed how technology and people can coexist.

The biggest takeaways from the panel include:

Era of Change: We are currently in a period of time in which technology is advancing at an unprecedented speed. We must stay ahead of the game with innovative new technologies that will help all industries keep pace globally.

Businesses of Information: Information, or data, is king. People able to retain and use information will be more successful in the future. Business leaders must understand that with so much change, we must remain flexible and eager. “Whether we like it or not, jobs will become information-based and more competitive, globally,” says Jurvetson.

The Intersect Group understands the importance technology has on our economic markets and believes that in order to progress professionally, we must adopt the idea of becoming a “lifelong learner.” The world is changing and people unwilling to adapt and rethink processes will be left behind.

Understanding the power technology holds locally, in October, The Intersect Group hosted an event in partnership with Techonomy to highlight the importance of the Atlanta tech scene, specifically.

To learn more about #TechonomyATL, visit http://theintersectgroup.com/index.php.

To view more videos and commentary from Techonomy 2014, please visit http://techonomy.com/.

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The Intersect Group Partners with the Dallas Business Journal to launch TechFlash

The Intersect Group recently partnered with the Dallas Business Journal to launch TechFlash, a newsletter that delivers valuable information about the technology industry in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. This initiative will help inform the community about the rising changes in the technology industry with updates and events.

The Dallas Business Journal is a leading forum for businesses in the area to stay up-to-date on breaking news. TechFlash will cover the latest news on the Dallas startup scene and local technology developments in the area. The Intersect Group believes this initiative is vital to increasing awareness of the technology environment in Dallas.

During the launch party for TechFlash on November 3rd, Amy Reeves, Market Director for The Intersect Group, stated “We are excited about the energy surrounding the technology industry in Dallas. And believe that the Dallas-Fort Worth area is primed for growth, particularly in the areas of finance and accounting and IT. Our city has a tradition of leading the country in technology, with major tech companies calling the area home.”

The Intersect Group’s services and expertise align perfectly with the needs of these companies, as well as others needing to grow smartly and quickly.

To stay up to date with the technology hub in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, sign up for TechFlash newsletter here.

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The Intersect Group Hosts Techonomy in Atlanta

“It’s critical that our business world instill in its workforce the importance of being a lifelong learner, to best embrace technology and change,” states Rebecca Rogers Tijerino, CEO of The Intersect Group.

The Intersect Group understands that technology is a driving force in today’s business world and and recognizes the need for embracing technology to ensure future success. To help spread this message, the company hosted Techonomy in Atlanta to facilitate a discussion with local thought leaders about how technology will impact our workforce, economy and society.

Techonomy provides content and programs focused on technology and how it has become a central part of the economy in which we operate and the society in which we live.

During a breakfast session held Oct. 2nd, Chief Techonomist, David Kirkpatrick touched on several key areas regarding how technology can and will help improve our workforce and society. “We firmly believe there is nothing that happens in our world that cannot be better understood if you look at it through the lens of how technology is a part of it. What makes this exciting for us is that no one understands what is going on now, or can predict what will happen next. Conversations are urgent and necessary,” explained Kirkpatrick.

A few key takeaways from the event include:

  • Ongoing Education: First, we must change our mindset and reinforce the idea that education is a continuous process. We should never stop educating ourselves. Business leaders must instill in their workforce the importance of being a lifelong learner.
  • In-person Interaction: We should never forget the importance of creating connections with people. Improving our communication with others will not only improve our workforce, but our economy and society, as well.
  • Government Response: The government is unsure how to react to technology regarding laws. Technology is growing at a fast pace making it difficult for politicians to adapt to the new norm and respond efficiently.

Event commentary can be viewed on Twitter by searching the hashtag #TechonomyATL. Join in on the conversation by using the event hashtag.

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It’s a Candidate’s Market for F&A Jobs in Dallas-Fort Worth

Companies throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth region are aggressively hiring for Finance and Accounting (F&A) positions. F&A candidates are in high demand and considering multiple offers. It’s a classic candidate’s market—a very positive thing—and one that I love to see.

 

The Numbers

As of October 31st, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there was a 5.9 percent increase in hiring in the Dallas-Fort Worth financial activities sector between August 2012 and August 2013. That translates to an impressive 14,500 F&A jobs. Also, take a quick look at the job posting aggregator Indeed.com, and you’ll find more than 2,500 F&A jobs currently posted in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Why is that important? Metropolitan Los Angeles (almost double the population of Dallas-Fort Worth) only posts 16 percent more jobs in the F&A sector.

 

What the Numbers Indicate

Those statistics and our anecdotal experience indicate that workers are improving their careers and companies are growing, two actions that excite us at The Intersect Group. In this scenario, we are currently focused on meeting with candidates to learn about their skills and personality as well. We are meeting with companies with the purpose of understanding their needs and culture so that we can deliver the best solutions we can.

 

What This Means for Companies

In a candidate’s market, companies have to be more competitive in how they present themselves to the marketplace. They have to examine how quickly they are moving as well as the salaries and other benefits they can offer potential employees. In candidate’s markets, companies are more employee-focused, which generally makes for a happier work environment.

 

Pointing to a National Trend

Our national presence allows us to have our finger on the pulse of what is happening in key cities. What we found interesting is that this F&A trend in Dallas-Fort Worth falls right in line with what we’re seeing nationally across all industries. According to a recent survey from the second half of 2013 by the staffing and recruiting agency MRI Network, 79 percent of respondents defined the talent market for the professional sector as candidate-driven. (That’s a twelve point increase over the previous year’s survey.) The data shows that candidates are turning down job offers, mostly because they have accepted another job, expect higher salary/benefits packages, or go with a counter offer from their current employers.

The net-net is if you’re a candidate in the F&A market who is great at what you do and possess solid references, you are pretty much guaranteed multiple job offers.  Yes, that’s a bold statement, but that’s the reality of a candidate’s market.  It’s a great time to be a F&A professional!

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Executive Profile: Amy Reeves – Market Director, Dallas/Fort Worth

Amy Reeves, Market Director in The Intersect Group’s Dallas office, has worked in the industry for almost 16 years. She shares key insights on being an effective manager and explains how her family’s retail businesses and her stint as a competitive swimmer influence her professional life today.

Amy Reeves

You have many years of industry experience, but you’re new in this director position. What has surprised you about the job?  

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the leadership role. Before this, my entire career was as an individual producer. I was on the front lines, and this role has pulled me back from there. Even though I’m involved in all the deals, I’m not the one who actually goes in and closes them. I really miss that.

 

Expand on that. What have you enjoyed about being a leader?

The teaching aspect, I think. I love that I am able to take the lessons I learned as a top producer in the sales environment and share that knowledge with someone newer who is still growing in the industry. What I have to remember is that I don’t know everything. I’m still learning as well.

 

Who taught you the most about how to be an effective manager? 

Honestly, it is Wade Hughes, our managing partner. He has experienced a ton of change in his corporate career and has seen successful times and not-so-successful times. The biggest thing he did was motivate me to motivate my team.

 

So, how are you motivating your team?  

I’m a big believer in carrots. When I came in, Wade helped me with a plan to motivate the team and build morale. We promised a bonus for hard work and meeting goals, and we are about to see that happen.

 

I also believe in the power of listening.  I met with each person individually and asked what he or she needed. It could have been something as small as making sure business cards were up to date, but we took care of it, because those little details all build to bigger success.

 

What makes a great manager? What makes a poor manager?

Great managers allow their employees to take ownership and create their own way. However, they also know when to step in and push. Someone who does well can fall into the trap of complacency. Great managers know how to snap them out of it and focus their energy. The worst managers I ever reported to were condescending, uninvolved and never paid attention to the group’s morale. They taught me how not to act.

 

Who has had the most influence on your professional career?  Why? 

My grandmother started a women’s clothing store in the 1950s, and my father started a gift store in the 1970s. Watching them taught me the value of a strong work ethic and how to properly treat and serve customers. You have to always be available and always be smiling.

 

Did you learn anything from school-age activities that you’ve carried into your professional life?

I was a competitive swimmer for 15 years. Swimming two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening teaches focus and commitment. I had to make sure my body was more like a machine than not. I saw the payoff from hard work.

 

Do you still feel that competitive spirit?

Absolutely. You can’t be successful in our business and not be competitive. But there’s a positive way of being competitive and also a negative way. You have to make sure you compete positively.

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The Intersect Group Sheds Light on Value of PMOs Via Infographic

PMO-infographicThe function of a Project Management Office (PMO) within an organization is straightforward: define and maintain the standards and responsibilities for managing a project.

The infographic highlights several notable statistics of interest to business management and financial officers. Organizations that utilize PMOs: The need for a PMO is even more apparent.  Ineffective management of business functions, or the lack of a PMO entirely, stifles on-time project completion, cost savings and productivity. Today, The Intersect Group, a national finance, accounting and IT staffing and consulting firm that specializes in PMO consulting, releases its latest infographic, offering valuable PMO insight and best practices.

  • Save an average of $567,000 per project
  • Decrease number of failed projects by 31 percent
  • Deliver 30 percent of their projects under budget
  • Complete 19 percent of their projects ahead of schedule
  • Demonstrate a 21 percent improvement in productivity

“Though an investment is required to maintain a well-run PMO, the budget savings and on-schedule project completion far supersede what a firm pays up front to establish the office,” said Will Partin, The Intersect Group’s PMO Practice Director. “The Intersect Group is committed to ensuring our clients see timely project completion, which leads to greater customer satisfaction and ultimately, an increase in company morale and bottom line.”

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