True Source Named Finalist at Twin Cities Business Magazine’s Small Business Success Stories Event

The True Source team attended the Twin Cities Business Magazine’s Small Business Success Stories Event. We were extremely proud to be named as one of the finalists and had a great time meeting other owners and employees of small businesses in the area. In addition to meeting many new people, we heard several great speeches made by the owners and CEOs of this year’s honorees. Below are some pictures of the team from the  night’s event.

True Source Makes Inc. 5000 List of Fastest Growing Companies


True Source is excited to have made the Inc. 5000 List of Fastest Growing companies ranking 9th on the List of Top 100 Minnesota companies with a 3-year growth rate of 744%!

To see how True Source stacked up against other companies on the list click here.

How are the companies ranked?

The 2013 Inc. 500|5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2009 to 2012. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2009. They had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent—not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies—as of December 31, 2012. (Since then, a number of companies on the list have gone public or been acquired.) The minimum revenue required for 2009 is $100,000; the minimum for 2012 is $2 million.


True Source Sponsors – AchieveMPLS; Minneapolis Alumni Connection (MAC) Event

True Source sincerely values the relationships that we continuously foster with local non-profit organizations. In April, we are proud to act as the sponsor for the inaugural Minneapolis Alumni Connection Event, at Borough Restaurant.

AchieveMPLS acts as the nonprofit partner of the Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS), it serves as a bridge between MPS and our broader community – including businesses, foundations, nonprofits, government agencies and individuals – providing information and opportunities to engage as funders, volunteers, employers, advocates and advisers.

AchieveMPLS manages career and college readiness programs, raises financial resources for strategic MPS initiatives, manages scholarship and school funds and engages our community in supporting and advocating for public education.

MAC is an extension of AchieveMPLS that hopes to rejuvenate alumni involvement with volunteer and fiscal commitments. True Source believes that the Minneapolis Public School system plays an essential role in preparing the IT and Digital professionals of our future and is happy to continue offering strong support for its initiatives.

Don’t Do That! – Mistakes to Avoid when Working with Recruiters

When working with headhunters, talent acquisition managers, or whatever name you give to recruiters, it’s important to remember they’re working for companies, not individuals. Does this mean they can’t help you out?  Absolutely not! They have access to a whole network of information and clients that you don’t have, and with their help, you can gain admittance. But there are some rules to follow, and breaking these rules will almost always destroy your job prospects.

Rule 1: Don’t wait to work with recruiters.

It can be tricky, but you should be in contact with recruiters while still employed because there are a number of benefits. One, you’ll have leverage—you know that you’re valuable to a real company, right now. If unemployed, you have no such luck. Two, companies want to hire people who are meaningfully employed. Because of this, recruiters don’t typically work with unemployed people. Three, your job situation could change tomorrow. It’s best to be in touch with recruiters now, in the event you lose your job.

Rule 2: Don’t lie.

It might be tempting to talk up your skills and/or be dishonest about your situation and how it might affect your possibility of getting a job. But if you do lie, and happen to get a job interview based on a recruiter’s recommendation, the truth will eventually come out. You’ll either have to fess up at that employer interview (in which case they will definitely not hire you) or you’ll get the job and fail to do what’s expected of you (in which case you’ll be fired). Recruiters are good judges of character and skills—this is their job—and in order to find the right person, for the right position, with the right employer, they need nothing short of the truth.

Rule 3: Don’t be fuzzy on the details (an offshoot of rule 3).

Be prepared to show specific, measurable accomplishments. Don’t expect the recruiter to do this for you. Remember, they’re working for companies—it’s not their job to coach you and transform your vague mish mash of skills into a concrete and solid looking resume! Come to the table with the straight and detailed facts about what you can do for a company. This includes tailoring your resumé and cover letter for each job you apply for.

If you’re not sure how your skills and jobs translate into a job, seek the advice of a career counselor before you contact a recruiter. You don’t stand a chance if you come to a recruiter with the “I’m ready for anything” type of attitude.

Rule 4: Don’t rely on recruiters to find you a job.

Just because you meet with a recruiter doesn’t mean you’ll be entitled to a job. Remember, recruiters are looking to fill their client’s needs, not yours. If you’re skilled and would fit a job position well, they might call you. But it’s not a given. Make sure you’re diversifying your job hunt, or you’ll be let down.

Rule 5: Don’t waste recruiter’s time. This is a huge turn off.  Only apply for jobs that you’re qualified for, or you’re wasting their time. Be specific about what you want to get paid, or you’re wasting their time. Again, it isn’t the recruiter’s job to coach you. Have this info ready.

Rule 6: Don’t be inflexible about forms of compensation.

A lot of companies like to negotiate contract- to-hire deals. If you can’t compromise, it’s to your detriment.

Rule 6: Don’t let your online presence ruin your reputation.

What shows up on Facebook doesn’t just stay on Facebook. Be aware of what other people can see and read about you. Seems simple, but lots of people have trouble with this one. If a recruiter finds questionable info and photos about you online, don’t expect them to call you.

Tips: Google your name and see what’s out there. You can also create a Google alert for your first and last name.

Rule 7: Don’t harass recruiters.

There’s a difference between following-up with a thank-you call or card and calling back numerous times to ask recruiters about possible job leads. Refrain from being a bully. Don’t ever sound desperate, even if you are. It will ruin your reputation as a viable candidate.

There are other things that matter too, of course. But we hope these seven basic rules will guide you in your relations with recruiters here at True Source, and with any others you happen to work with in the future.

The Domestic Abuse Project Luncheon

We are continuing our tradition of being table captains to the annual Domestic Abuse Project fundraising lunch.  We’re hoping to fill up 4 tables at the event and raise more money than ever for a great cause!

If you’ve never heard of this amazing organization that is literally changing lives, please take a look at their website for more info.


DAP’s Transforming Families Luncheon

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Registration & Socializing – 11:00 AM

Program & Light Lunch – Noon – 1:00 PM

Earle Brown Heritage Center

6155 Earle Brown Drive, Brooklyn Center, MN 56177


We’d love to see you at the event and if you’re interested in attending and bringing friends (there is no requirement to donate, come to learn about the organization!), please reply to this email today and we’ll get you at one of our tables.

Join Us, it will be a great event with a free lunch!

Business Intelligence – It’s Here to Stay

You’ve likely heard of BI (Business Intelligence), but have you stopped to think what the ramifications really are? BI does to companies—that is, those who use it correctly—what the Internet did for research: it opens up a whole new world of capabilities. Companies that use BI will definitely have the upper hand over companies that don’t.

BI isn’t a new idea, IBM researcher Hans Peter Luhn was talking about business intelligence in 1958, and in 1989, Howard Dresner, gave a specific definition to business intelligence.  BI has definitely made a splash recently as current database and reporting tools have advanced.  It’s more of a science and much more commonplace. Some predictions for BI use in 2012 have included “record” spending on BI Solutions, a demand for geographic-intelligent functions within BI solutions, a surge in the use of mobile BI, and an explosion in digital content volume (as more and more companies store more data).

Take UPS for example. The company has always strived to cut fuel use and costs, and through their use of BI a few years back—analyzing their stored data—realized that left hand turns actually use more fuel (imagine waiting for a break in oncoming traffic to turn) So they developed a GPS system for their drivers—one that takes trucks through routes using mostly right hand turns. Not only does it save gas (in 2007, for example, it saved 3 million gallons of gas) but it prevents more accidents! Follow a truck someday and see for yourself.

At the end of the day, optimal use of BI means better service, better products and more cost savings.  Data is the “lifeblood” of the information systems within companies. As an organization, you do something proactive with the data that’s being collected and saved, or in the end you’ll struggle against those who do.

BI use is mounting and aside from giving companies a platform from which they can be even more competitive, BI demand has carved out a niche industry for software developers. And as more companies make BI a priority, there will be a continual increased need for those with a working knowledge of analytics. It’s clear that BI is just hitting puberty; expect several more years of growth!

The 6 Second Resume – Getting another look

An article has been going around the office for a while now about how recruiters look through a resume and it got me thinking about best practices for resumes.  If you haven’t seen the research yet, you should take a look.

The interesting part for me was the amount of time recruiters spent reviewing a resume to determine if you’re good enough for a closer look.  “Most job seekers think recruiters spend 4 to 5 minutes reviewing a resume. The truth: recruiters spend about 6 seconds before they make the initial “fit/no fit” decision.”

Six seconds, that’s all you have to persuade one of us that you may have the skills to do the job.  Whether it’s a recruiter at a firm like ours or HR in an organization, we simply don’t have the time to waste on people that don’t fit.  Fair or not, if you don’t make it past this first hurdle, you won’t be moving on to the phone interview.  It’s worth the time to get it right.

I can’t tell you how many poorly written and poorly laid out resumes we see on a daily basis (seriously, some of them would make you cry instead of laugh).  In the self-interest of helping recruiters and HR everywhere, let me list a few of the things I consider most important to take to heart when reviewing your resume for another round of job hunting:

  • Customize your summary – First off, if you don’t have a summary, create one (short and sweet).  Second, customize it to the position you’re applying for, call out what skills/experience you have that relates to the job you’re going after.
  • Make it easy to read – Don’t use crazy fonts or different colors, use bullet points instead of long paragraphs, and please no distracting pictures.
  • Accomplishments over responsibilities – What have you done in your positions?  What are you most proud of?  Anyone can be responsible for things, only some can successfully deliver results, show it off!

This is obviously not an extensive or exhaustive list of resume do’s and don’ts, but I hope it helps someone out there.  Remember, resumes get your foot in the door and a little time spent getting it right will open up many more doors down the road.

True Source Volunteers at DAP

Here at True Source we love to give back to the community and one of our favorite organizations is the Domestic Abuse Project (DAP) in Minneapolis. They are a great non-profit that works to stop domestic violence in the metro area.

We pitched in to give their office outside a little spring cleaning and had a great time.  We highly recommend reaching out to them if you’re interested in volunteering.

The Talent War and IT Growth

The Talent War and IT growth

So…we have near-sourcing, or in-sourcing as others like to call it, putting more IT jobs back in the U.S. market. We have thousands of baby boomers retiring, or getting ready to, and in general, our nation is seeing continual growth in the IT sector and raising rates for contractors.

Our metro area is certainly no exception. I mentioned last time that for certain, top-level IT positions, the unemployment rate is less than 2.5 percent. Here are a few more stats to chew on: the unemployment rate for database administrators is about 2.4. For computer network architects, that unemployment rate is a mere 0.2 percent!

System analysts, software and Web developers, and those providing back-end support, are also way better off than candidates in so many other industries.

The 2011 Forbes study that ranked Minneapolis as a top metro area to find employment in was definitely on track as far as IT is concerned. The technology sector continues to grow, as almost every company has to rely on information technology to some extent. We have so many diverse industries here with IT needs.

But it isn’t just our area experiencing this continual growth. Take San Francisco and New York as examples, where 2.56 and 2.64 percent more tech jobs were created in January of this year.

For some top-level IT positions, knowledge has become power. There are more and more IT openings, yes, but less people floating around to fill them. If they are floating, they’re immediately nabbed. The talent war rages!

IT consulting fees also on the rise

That’s the name of the game, definitely, in the IT consulting sector. Rates are on the rise because consultants are in such high demand.  In an industry like Information Technology, which already has higher costs associated with it, people will have to continue to pay out for those services.

Where does this put candidates? In exactly the right spot! From a recent study in our area, of the executives surveyed, almost 60 percent of them admitted to IT recruiting challenges. That’s a big jump from the previous quarter, when only 17 percent of interviewed executives said they were facing this difficulty.

So like other recruiters out there, we’re facing our challenges—feeling the squeeze from both ends, from the hiring managers who are told they have a budget to stick to, and from the IT consultants, who think their skills command such and such amount.

But for IT candidates, this is your time. Make sure you’re out there, that your talent shows on your resume, and that you’re continually reading about your industry and staying up to date.

If you’re in a full-time position right now, there may be a big opportunity for you to transition into a contracting role and make more money.  We’d love to help you though the transition and see if it makes sense for you.  Call us today to get the conversation started!

The Talent War – It’s Getting Intense

The Talent War—It’s intensifying

When you’re talking workforce, there’s a statistic out there that’s quite eye catching: since January 1, 2011 about 10,000 baby boomers reach age 65—typical retirement age—every day. And that’s supposed to go on for another 18 years!

And while plenty of people stay on past age 65, there are lots of people retiring. That combined with the recent explosion of growth in IT means there are more open positions than ever. (More on that next time.)

There are many other things in the mix that make the IT field extremely exciting to be in too. Take our metro area: with unemployment for certain IT specialist positions at less than 2.5 percent—pretty darn low—it’s a tight market, one that candidates can take full advantage of. It is candidate-oriented, candidate-driven and companies are scrambling to snatch up talent whenever they see it.

Outsourcing less and less; near-sourcing more and more

And then there’s this, the focus of this article: Rising prices of outsourcing in India.

The “war for talent” is only going to get tougher. McKinsey and Company, who came up with that term in 1997, were right on target when they coined it. The search for the top individuals in IT keeps heating up. And it was hot already!

For awhile, it was pretty straightforward regarding outsourcing work to India. It cut costs for U.S. employers and allowed them to “focus” on the core responsibilities of their company. However, it’s not as cut and dry as that now.

Prices of outsourcing are rising—not just the monetary amounts, but the unforeseen costs of having to totally change how a company is managed when it’s outside of U.S. borders.

And costs in India—IT’s top location for outsourcing jobs—are increasing too. Because of how quickly outsourcing has grown there, there’s some wage inflation as a result, especially for more top level positions. In 2010, wages in India’s outsourcing sector rose 10 percent. In 2011, that number was about 12.9 percent, and this year, it looks like wages will increase again by about 12 percent. Those are some big jumps!

So what this all comes down to, is that many employers are finding that they can do work just as cheaply at home, or almost, anyway. Plus, with the added ease of managing employees within the U.S., real costs can sometimes be lower. In fact, some Indian companies are now outsourcing work here too.

We’re also seeing a shift in US companies: some are starting to use in-sourcing or near-sourcing as their mode of operation in order to keep their top talent close at hand.

That means more IT jobs on the market. Candidates, especially those with more knowledge and experience, will have their prime pick of positions to choose from and it really puts the squeeze on employers. They either find ways to take their recruiting strategies to the next level, or they lose talent to their competitors. And that’s a battle no one wants to lose.

The bottom line is this: IT candidates are in an even better place than before. In the war for talent, the war is all about you. You’re not going to have to struggle as hard to find work. Keep your skills fresh, your resume up-to-date, and employers will be doing more and more of the fighting for you!

As always, let us know when you want to make a move and we’ll be happy to help!