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A Look Back On 2016 | VanderHouwen Blog

A Look Back on 2016

What a year it’s been! As 2016 comes to a close, we at VanderHouwen would like to take a moment to reflect back on the progress that was made over the course of the last year, both at VanderHouwen and throughout our industry. From the launch of our new brand to the thriving tech industry to an even better future, read along to find out what we were most grateful for this year with VanderHouwen’s 2016 reflection.

The technology industry’s steady growth

2016 was a healthy year of growth for many businesses. In November of this year, the State of Oregon Employment Department released some impressive statistics on employment growth in the Portland metro area and nationwide. Employment in Portland has grown 10% since 2013, a growth that is ranked the second highest nationally of any major city in the U.S.! Additionally, employment in Seattle has grown 7% during the same time. Both these statistics are well above the average growth rate nationwide. The STEM industry, particularly technology, has been doing incredibly well in the Pacific Northwest.

Want to make the most out of Portland’s tech industry? Here are the 5 skills developers need in 2017.

How did this affect our clients in 2016? Many of our candidates had little difficulty in finding new and interesting work this year, making the most of hiring demands. This is a testament to not just our candidates and clients, but the industry as a whole. You’d be surprised at just how many companies—from small firms to large enterprise corporations—have a need for tech hires. The Pacific Northwest’s healthy job market has allowed us to intimately cater to needs on both sides of the hiring process.

The positive feedback on our new brand

Back in October, our CEO, Kathy VanderHouwen, announced the launch of our new brand. In it, she shared her goals for what she hoped our redesign would accomplish – an easy, functional, and seamless experience for both our candidates and our clients. She hoped that our core mission of providing the utmost value in our hiring services was better reflected through a comprehensive website.

We’ve received some tremendous feedback from our client partners on our new look, and we’d just like to express our gratitude. We’ve had the pleasure of getting to know new hiring managers who were able to get in touch with us through our website and we’ve been able to reach an even wider scope of new candidates digitally.

There’s been an outpour of enthusiasm from our followers on LinkedIn, our fans on Facebook, and our #VanderFam on Twitter. We’re thrilled to be able to connect with our community through social media, and we hope that we’ve been providing you with valuable industry insights, thoughtful recruiting tips, and useful advice.

These are all just steps to building stronger relationships. That’s always been VanderHouwen’s goal.

A match made in heaven: Our mobile app will land you your dream job

Speaking of a responsive experience—we’re thrilled to announce a robust VanderHouwen mobile app, VanderJobs (also available for Android users). Now, you’ll be able to stay in the loop wherever you are. You can select your preferences for what type of positions you are looking for and create customized job alerts when we’ve found the perfect match.

We hope our app will put you in even more control of the jobs you want and give you faster insight on the hiring process as a whole.

Looking ahead: Our hiring process will become even stronger and more streamlined

If you’ve been following us on social media, you may already know how much we emphasize catering your resume towards Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). In essence, an ATS uses algorithms and machine learning to match job descriptions with candidate profiles. They’re used as an initial screen to hone in on the most relevant and experienced applicants. (Here’s a great article from Forbes on how to best keyword optimize your resume so that your resume gets selected by ATS.)

We’re diving into a more sophisticated ATS in the coming year. Naturally, this is great news for our business, as we will be able to even better streamline our hiring process for clients. But it’s also great for our candidates—this new ATS will “learn” continuously about preferences for hires. We’ll be able to have more control over how it conducts its searches, and make sure it’s making nuanced decisions in its initial screens. Applying to jobs will be seamless, quick, and mobile optimized.

For our client partners, this means that our recruiters will be spending less time weeding out resumes that don’t match basic qualifications and more time getting to know qualified candidates on a personal level. For candidates, this means that your job recommendations and alerts will align closely with the skills you already have in your resume and on your candidate profile. The algorithms will help ensure a perfect candidate to job match. Smarter searches make for better hires, so we can focus on what matters most: finding the perfect candidate or career fit for you.

Here’s to a great future

As we begin to ramp up for 2017, we would like to give a special thanks to the entire VanderHouwen team for their enthusiasm and support throughout the year. We have a loyal team that has been dedicated to improving VanderHouwen for employees, clients, and candidates alike. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Feeling inspired? Join us at our VENG Quarterly Mixer to kickstart your job search in 2017.