Chris Stephenson can get you a job!
Local recruitment startup focuses on helping minorities land jobs in tech
In August, Chris Stephenson debuted his recruiting startup, Chris Jobs, after working in the recruiting industry for more than a decade. Stephenson’s focus is finding employment opportunities for minorities interested in the IT field.
“Diversity brings unity,” he said. “It was time for me to give back in a different way and
provide people of color and minorities [with] new resources.”
A diverse workforce helps foster creative ideas and solutions, said James Cassel, who is an investment banker and consultant to middle-market and emerging growth companies. Cassel also writes about the importance of diversity in South Florida’s economy.
“[Companies] have to be open and culturally sensitive,” he said. “The key to diversity is openness and to help people get ahead. You have to accommodate different groups to help them.”
According to a nationwide survey published in January by the Social and Demographic Trends of the Pew Research Center, 53 percent of Americans view ethnic and racial diversity in the workplace as very important. The same survey reports that 45 percent of Americans said diversity gives people an equal opportunity to succeed. And when referring specifically to diversity in STEM careers, the survey reports that 84 percent of Black workers in the field view diversity as very important.
Part of diversifying is educating people and giving them more opportunities, Cassel said.
Many of Stephenson’s clients have the experience and education but fail to reach potential employees due to poor resumes, lack of interview skills and job search techniques. “I feel like there is a big gap when it comes to communication and talent,” he said.
Stephenson offers different job search packages depending on the client’s needs and budget, which is different from the traditional ways recruiting firms operate, he explained. “My firm is going to be different,” he said. Stephenson explained that firms are not very clear or upfront about their fees and costs. “Everything I have set up is prepackaged at a nominal cost. There are no surprises.”
The packages range from basic resume help to an advanced job search with a detailed market research report and analysis. “[Clients] can either get basic, advanced or ultimate help,” he said. Stephenson also offers his services to technology companies with available jobs looking for new talent.
Nelkis Medina, a business analyst at TracFone Wireless, is one of Stephenson’s clients, who he helped land a job with the prepaid wireless operator.
She opted for the ultimate job search package valued at $250, according to Chris Jobs’ website.
Stephenson first helped Medina get hired as a contracted consultant for the company, Medina said. After a year working in the company, the business analyst position became available. Together, Medina and Stephenson worked to improve her interview and communication skills, which were the weak points he identified.
Stephenson works with clients to assess strengths and weaknesses; reviews their career history; set desired compensation; determine willingness to relocate; and create a personalized job application game plan. He coaches clients on improving communication skills and interview techniques, as well as negotiating salary terms once hired by an employer.
“He followed my progress and was very professional the whole time,” she said. After three months of coaching on communication skills and going through four interviews, Medina was hired. Stephenson handled her conversion to assistant business analyst and negotiated the salary terms.
South Florida’s economy workforce is primarily made up of tourism, retail and hospitality sectors, as well as construction and development, but Stephenson believes IT jobs can provide minorities unlimited possibilities.
Careers in the IT field include web designers, social media engagement analysts, operation managers, front-end web developers and data analysts.
“If minorities focus on IT, I think the sky’s the limit,” he said.
The data backs him up.
In April, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that it projects a 13-percent growth in employment of computer and information technology occupations from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. As of May 2017, the Bureau reports the median income for computer and information technology professions as $84,580.
For more information visit, ChrisJobsWork.com