Without proper preparation, an employee leaving your team can leave your business in a lurch. Planning for the departure of an employee can keep your business running smoothly. Without the right IT staff members in place, it can be particularly challenging for a business to transition without disruption. Here’s how to plan for an exiting employee and how to prepare for their replacements.
Crosstrain: You can’t plan for every employee departure. Some get fired, some leave without notice, some need to take long leaves to care for personal or family matters. One of the best ways you can preplan is to make sure your teams are trained well. Tasking managers with ensuring that their teams are cross-trained on tasks or having your HR team develop training is a great first step in preparing for employee loss and preventing it from affecting your whole business.
Create manuals: Having documented processes in place keeps the engine of your business running even if someone is missing. You shouldn’t find yourself in a position where only one person is trained for a specific task, and having an updated processes manual that covers the important details means that someone can step in during the event of an emergency or unplanned absence.
Ask for notice: If you value your employees, most of them will respect your business enough to give proper notice when leaving. Have a conversation with them to ask if there’s any flexibility in their plans that would allow them to stay on until their replacement is hired and trained.
Ask for input: If your team member was effective, productive and had a positive impact on the business, asking how they feel may help you find another equally qualified and talented candidate.
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Employees often have several deciding factors when weighing their decision about accepting a new position – salary, benefits and commute all rank pretty high on most candidate’s list of priorities. Another factor that’s rising in the ranks of important perks is flexibility. Employees are now more than ever attached to their phones and laptops outside of the office, meaning the boundaries between work and personal lives are often blurred. Having a work-life balance that supports the ability to take time off when needed or work outside the office can be seen as big benefits to potential employees.
Remote work has grown exponentially over the last decade, and more employees are expecting some work-from-home opportunities or flextime in their positions. Offering the option to work remotely either part or all the time is an attractive benefit that could draw in more candidates. This kind of flexibility is also linked to higher productivity and greater employee loyalty. Employers often think they need to have employees in the office to get the most work done or they risk employees slacking off; however, many people thrive when given autonomy, and the tools of today’s workforce mean collaboration is still possible even when teams are geographically dispersed.
Allowing remote workers also means that you grow your talent pool by removing geographic boundaries – if you allow people to work from anywhere, you won’t be limited to only the best talent in your area, but you’ll be open to the best talent from anywhere.
The beauty of the tech industry is the infrastructure and programs exist to help support a remote workforce. Help desk employees can work off-site and use technology that allows them to access a server or desktop remotely, programmers can code at home and cloud-based technology allows many employees – IT or otherwise – to manage their files and workload from places other than at a desk full time.
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If you’ve ever heard the expression “work hard, play hard”, then you already know something about the desire for work-life balance. Many employees are more likely to put in greater effort and energy into projects and daily tasks when they have good boundaries between their work and home life, or when their employer gives them the flexibility to manage their personal life. Work-life balance also helps increase employee productivity and ensure better health, as it can lower stress and allow employees better focus.
Here are some ways to encourage a good work-life balance in your office.
Encourage PTO Use:
Make sure you are cultivating an environment where people know it’s ok to take time off. This might mean leading by example, where managers regularly take days off or vacation time, or it might mean making sure your teams are cross-trained so people don’t worry about their absence impacting the business.
Provide Some Privacy:
Set up areas that can be used to make private phone calls or where someone can step away from their desk and just take a mental break. Life happens between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. and employees may need to field phone calls from doctor’s offices or their kid’s school. By having space for your team members to take care of personal life details, you can turn down some of their stress and give them a better focus for the rest of the day.
Opt For Flexible Schedules:
More and more businesses are embracing technology as a tool that lets employees work without being in the office and offering partial remote work. Other organizations offer people flexible start times or hours so they can take care of things outside of work without worrying about punching a clock. Implementing policies like this is an effective way to show employees you care about work-life balance.
Prioritizing your employees is one of the best ways to attract and retain talent. Work-life balance continues to be a top priority among people looking for a job and you can compete for top talent by making sure your applicants know this part of your culture.
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Modern HR has adopted new ways to help employers find the best candidates. Employers are relying less on traditional recruiting measures alone, such as resumes and references, and are using more holistic methods that can share information with employers beyond just skills and experience. Many employers are looking for more than just someone who fits a list of requirements, but someone who will be a good cultural fit and make contributions over the long term. That’s why social media is steadily becoming a standard part of candidate screening for many businesses.
Social media has the potential to both help and hinder your job search. Here’s what to know:
Showcase Your Personality, but Keep it Professional
It’s okay to use your social media pages as a way to talk about your interests, share your opinions, and even post pictures of events you’ve attended or volunteer meetups you’re a part of. This can give employers a sense of what you value and what your hobbies are, which can help them understand how you might fit into their business. You just want to make sure you avoid posting anything provocative, inappropriate or dishonest. If you want to have a social safe space where you can censor yourself less, make sure you adjust your settings so your profile is either private or can’t be found by search engines.
Use The Right Platforms
If you’re using social media to look for a new job or you’re hoping employers will find your social profile in their candidate search, make sure you’re using the right social channels. Snapchat is a great tool for advertising, but less effective for job searching. LinkedIn still remains one of the top channels employers and recruiters use to search for potential candidates. It’s a great place to be able to share more information about projects or certifications you would likely put on a resume, and it also offers you the ability to utilize your network to find out about new openings.
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You already know your skills and experience are crucial to finding a job. Often IT positions will require very specific certifications, education or project experience and only the candidates who have them will go on to interview and compete for the position. So, if every applicant has roughly the same abilities, how can you set yourself apart as the right pick for the job? Here are some additional skills to develop and display so you get noticed.
Lots of IT professionals spend their days heads down at their desk, working on projects. One of the best skills you can have – and showcase in your resume, cover letter, and interview – is good communication. This shows you can share your ideas intelligently and will likely work well in teams and across departments.
You don’t have to be an artist, but employers often want someone with a sense of creativity, because these candidates are often the best at innovation, problem-solving and innovation.
Commitment to Learning:
Technology is constantly changing and it’s never enough to just get a degree or a certificate and be done. Showing you’re involved in or have completed continuing education courses can be a way to share with employers your love of learning and desire to stay ahead of the trends.
The only thing constant is change and companies want to know how well you roll with deviations from the plan. This is especially important in IT, where the plan can change quickly due to problems with deployment or having to troubleshoot an unanticipated issue. Flexibility can be demonstrated by sharing your experience in various projects or talking about your time spent at a startup or other business where the day to day was anything but ordinary.
Everyone needs a system. Employers look for candidates who are organized because they know they can follow the system and processes in place, or even help develop more efficient ones. Organization is a key ingredient to job success, as it’s often the driving force behind meeting deadlines, tracking projects, and effectively testing and implementing solutions.
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The IT talent market continues to be a competitive field from which to draw candidates. There are lots of businesses with open IT positions that are vying for candidates, and many hiring managers are finding creative ways to find and recruit talent. Sometimes improving your recruiting strategy means paying attention to trends and being willing to divert from the same old things. Here are some hiring tactics to consider for your talent search in 2019.
Treat Your Company or Department Like an Employee-Facing Brand:
Brands need to market themselves as a solution to whatever problems a customer might be facing and build a reputation of excellence. Employers and hiring managers need to take the same approach with talent. Why would someone want to work for you? It’s about more than just perks and pays – candidates want to know they’re part of something bigger than themselves and the work they do matters. Use your LinkedIn platform as a way to showcase interesting projects your company has worked on, partnerships with other brands, innovative designs, and developments in progress, or awards your company or department has received.
Encourage Employee Referrals:
Chances are, if you have employees working for you, you value their work ethic, skills, and experience – and maybe they have some friends or peers who are similarly motivated or talented. Current employees can be one of your best resources for finding new talent. Encourage your employees to pass on the resumes or contact info of other qualified candidates they know; some companies incentivize this recruitment effort with contests or bonuses, but when you’ve built a great culture, most employees are happy to spread the word about the great place they work and want to help their organization continue to grow and thrive.
Recruiting isn’t just placing an ad on a job board or going to a job fair and waiting passively for candidates to stumble upon your business. You can take steps to connect with candidates and make your team a place where people are excited to come to you.
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If you’re looking for help finding the best IT talent, contact ustoday. Our expertise and candidate network can help you find the right fit for your team in 2019 and beyond.