NextGen Information Services is a rapidly growing staffing and recruitment firm, 80 percent of whose business is in IT. Founded in 1997, NextGen is headquartered in St. Louis and maintains satellite offices in cities like Chicago, Denver and Atlanta, and does business in 35 states. Certified as both a woman- and minority-owned business, NextGen is is among the fastest growing companies in the St. Louis area. Diversityinc.com ranks it one of the top 100 Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States. NextGen works with about 400 IT professionals. While some get placed in short-term assignments that last about three months, many take on long-term temporary jobs, while others work in temporary jobs that turn into permanent positions, according to Kristina Wilson, Manager of Recruitment and Sources. In the last two years, NextGen has seen dramatic growth – about 85 percent growth. Much of that jump came from a single large client, but Wilson says NextGen is signing a new client every week, some big and some small. To sustain its growth, NextGen plans to hire 35 full-time employees this year. While most of those will be recruiters, the company estimates it will place 50 IT professionals each month – meaning 600 annually.
How to Read a NextGen Job Posting
NextGen posts its positions on job boards and forums where tech professionals are likely to hang out, such as meetup.com. When reading one of its postings, Wilson says the important thing is to match your skills to the job description. “Look at the top five skills you’ve been able to attain and match those up,” she says.
Advice for Seasoned Professionals
If you’re looking for consulting work, tailor your resume to the specific opportunity and avoid the temptation of listing everything you’ve ever done in your career. “They should show the top things they are really strong in on their resume,” says Wilson. It's also helpful to network with contacts from previous projects and to enlist them as references when connecting with the company. Obviously, the company hires recruiters, too. Experienced candidates here should demonstrate they understand how the market has changed over the years and highlight specifics like project experience on their resumes. Using metrics to show off achievements is also quite helpful, Wilson says. NextGen likes people who can show creative ways of finding new clients and recruiting contractors. It also tries to hire people who fit in with its culture of being flexible, open minded and working as part of a team.
Advice for Recent Grads
Research NextGen thoroughly before reaching out. The company's managers want fresh college graduates who understand it and are enthusiastic about working there. When hiring recruiters fresh out of college, Wilson says, NextGen looks for those who have worked on projects, can show that they work well with others and are affiliated with a broad range of organizations. “It’s important to see they’ve been out there,” she explains. “It shows passion for something and that they are not afraid to be a part of a group.” NextGen provides opportunities to connect with the company through its careers page. Wilson encourages recent graduates and those about to graduate to reach out there, and through social media. “It’s very important for new grads to be known,” she says. She encourages those seeking contract opportunities to keep an open mind about the kinds of wages they may get in the first year. “In the first job they’re going to be doing a lot of training,” she says. “You need to be willing to not get that first salary but the experience. In the first year on the job experience is very important. Once they get that they can get what they’re wanting.”