Talent Development Centre

Category Archives: Quick Polls

Quick polls and results with insight from Canadian IT professionals, including job search trends, technology trends and general interest informatoin.

Tech Professionals Aren’t Excited for Disney+

Disney has been the talk of the town as their streaming service officially launched last. With all of the hype over the course of October, we were curious to know if IT consultants who visit the Talent Development Centre were as excited for this as the media seems to be… and the answer is an obvious “no”. While a small percentage of respondents said they will subscribe to Disney+, most said it’s either not for them or they’re not sure yet.

Have you checked out Disney+ yet?

Tech Professionals Aren't Excited for Disney+

Contractor Quick Poll: Do you get distracted by notifications

Fast Company recently published a post by Daniel Rose at Rescuetime where he explains his productivity experiment that lasted a month. Rose typically turns off notifications on his phone as he’s aware of the distractions they bring and how they easily hinder one’s productivity. Still, though, he took a chance, went against his instincts and reversed his productive settings by turning on all notifications.

The first week wasn’t terrible, but it did wake him up to just how many notifications apps send… all the time. By the third week, he felt that the notifications were destroying his work/life balance because there was no escaping anything. In the end, he concludes that notifications don’t just disrupt you, they destroy your ability to focus long-term.

That article inspired this month’s Contractor Quick Poll. IT consultants bill by the hour and clients want to know their money is being spent wisely. More importantly, you juggle multiple tasks while you manage your business, sometimes serve multiple clients, and other times are searching for your next IT gig. Based on the Fast Company article, notifications can slow down those efforts. So now we’re curious, what do you do with all of those notifications being pushed to your phone?

Contractor Quick Poll Results: Do you have a personal website?

IT contractors need to use every tool at their disposal to get their skills and experience in front of recruiters, all while differentiating themselves from other talented IT contractors. The standard resume, job applications, networking events and LinkedIn connections are extremely important, as is having the right tools to complement them.

As noted, every independent contractor submits resumes to recruiters and hiring managers, and many also leave behind business cards. These all contain contact information, usually a link to a polished LinkedIn profile, and some distinguish themselves with a link to their own personal website.

Personal websites give you the opportunity to summarize your skills, display a personal side, and improve your overall branding. In last month’s contractor quick poll, we set-out to understand how many technology professionals are taking advantage of how easy is to create one. It turns out, only about 20% actually have a website while more than half of the respondents say they don’t have a need for a personal website. Where do you stand on the topic?

Contractor Quick Poll Results: Do you have a personal website?

Contractor Quick Poll: Will You Subscribe to Disney+?

For a couple years now, Disney has been teasing a streaming service that would rival all other services and give the leading Netflix a serious run for its money. Now, Disney+ is less than a month away and the hype around it is real. Disney is going all in, where for a lower monthly subscription than Netflix, viewers can get access to everything that is Star Wars franchise, the Marvel franchise, Disney classics and everything in between.

As we prepare for colder Winter months that typically include binge watching, we’re asking IT contractors what you think of Disney+ and, more specifically, if you’ll be subscribing. If you are, will you give up any of your current streaming or television services?

Quick Poll Results: Keeping Up with the Latest News and Trends

Knowing what’s happening in your city, country and around the world is the crucial for remaining competitive in today’s job market. You need to understand the trends coming down the pipe, make informed decisions based on external factors, and have the ability to have conversations about current events during networking events and interviews.

While the need to be informed is standard, how you get that information is definitely not. Canadians have a plethora of options when it comes to choosing how they’ll get their news and in last month’s contractor quick poll, we set out to find out how people are doing so. The results were mixed, with social media taking the lead. An interesting observation, but probably not surprising, is how traditional outlets like newspapers and radio are at the bottom of the pack.

Quick Poll Results: How do you keep up with the latest news and trends?

Contractor Quick Poll: Do You Have a Personal Website

Paper resumes are all but useless in today’s digital job search economy, with virtually all employers and recruitment agencies demanding an electronic copy of your resume. These files are the only way their Applicant Tracking Systems (ATSs) can quickly scan through resumes and shortlist the best IT professionals for the job.

But while computers are doing much of the upfront prescreening, recruiters still want to get to know the top applicants more personally to ensure they’re not hiring a psychopath, and you can be certain that they are researching you in every way possible. Building your online presence is the only way you can control what recruiters learn about you and one of the best ways to do so is to build a personal website that communicates your brand.

Personal websites that include a digital resume go a long way in differentiating you from other IT contractors, yet so few people decide to build one. In this month’s contractor quick poll, we’re curious to learn if you have a personal website and, if not, do you plan to?

Quick Poll Results: What Soft Skills Will IT Contractors Improve?

Personal and professional development should be on everybody’s mind. Self-improvement is the best way to fast-track your career, gain fantastic references, and start applying to high-paying contracts without having to build as many years of experience. According to an article published by LinkedIn earlier this year, listing the most in-demand skills, there are over 50,000 professional skills in the world. It’s impossible to know where to start!

That same article summarized the top 5 soft skills that companies look for. In last month’s contractor quick poll, we asked our readers, of those top skills, which ones do they plan to improve over the course of the next year. It’s promising to see that 80% plan to work on some sort of skill and, given the tech world’s fast-pace environment, no surprise that adapability is the top goal.

Quick Poll Results: Which of the following in-demand soft skills do you plan on improving in the next year?

Contractor Quick Poll: How do you prefer to get your news?

The information available to us today is both a blessing and a curse. While we have the opportunity to be more informed than ever, it is impossible to consume all of the information that’s out there. Even more challenging, fact-checking and knowing what’s credible is an increasing problem. Even the smartest, most careful individuals get duped by bogus news and scams on occasion.

Conveniently, all of that information is being delivered over a variety of media. Each form has its own upsides and pitfalls carrying their share of high-value periodicals and “fake news”, but everybody can choose what is most convenient for them. So what is the most popular source of news and trends for IT contractors? That’s our question in this month’s Contractor Quick Poll.

Quick Poll Results: How do independent contractors handle health insurance?

Last month’s contractor quick poll tackled a topic that many independent contractors don’t like to think about — health insurance. There are a number of considerations when making the decision and plenty of research you could do on the topic, first about the type of insurance you’ll use and then on a specific supplier. While we do not have any recommendations on the best path or supplier for you, we do now have a bit more insight into what others are doing.

The results below show what our respondents do for health insurance and provides some insight if you’re currently evaluating your choices. Interestingly enough, the majority of respondents either get coverage through a spouses program or don’t have any medical coverage at all.

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below and we’ll find you the answer or a resource that can help you.

How do you get medical coverage as an independent contractor?

Contractor Quick Poll: Which soft skills will you improve?

At the start of the year, LinkedIn released a list of the most high-demand skills for 2019, based on data they collected on their social platform. The list includes both soft and technical skills. Given the range of IT contractors who follow the Talent Development Centre, the technical skills they list may or may not be relevant to you. The soft skills, however, are relevant to anybody who works with people (that’s you).

Nobody is great at everything and we can always improve ourselves. LinkedIn lists five soft skills that companies look for most: Creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability, and time management. In this month’s contractor quick poll, we want to know where you fall short and intend to build. As we start the second half of 2019, which skill do you plan on improving?