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Looking Beyond the Resume – The Benefits of Hiring an Underqualified Candidate

In your quest to find the best candidate for your role, you likely have a long list of boxes to tick. There are certifications, education, and technical skills that your candidate needs to do the job well. Or are there?

Sometimes, finding the right candidate means looking beyond the resume and worrying less about qualifications. What are the benefits of hiring an underqualified candidate? They could add far more to your organization than you think.

They Automatically Push Beyond Their Limits

Someone who applied for a job that they aren’t technically qualified for may not have the technical skillset you desire. But they do have a skill you can’t teach: the desire to reach beyond themselves and push their own limits.

Finding employees who want to learn and grow in their field is far more valuable than finding someone who ticks all the boxes but enjoys the comfort of staying at the same level. A candidate who has been in the same role and held the same responsibilities for years may not be willing to grow with your company!

They Are Inherently Trainable

When you have a candidate who comes in and requires some additional skills, you have a unique opportunity: you get to mold them in a way you can’t with fully-trained ‘qualified’ candidates.

Having the opportunity to train them according to the latest information and your organizational processes will help them fit in quickly. It will also attract hungry learners looking for opportunities that they may not have had at their last place of employment.

Plus, as too many managers know, it’s far easier to teach an employee new skills than to help them un-learn old or incorrect ways of working. When someone “isn’t qualified” they don’t have giant egos or bad habits.

They Often Bring Unique Skill Sets

In today’s world, workers change jobs every 4.2 years. In some cases, they don’t just leave for a promotion: they go for an entire career change.

Career-change candidates are invaluable. They have experience in the job-market, a foundation of core training, and often unique skill sets picked up from other roles or careers.

It’s not just the soft skills they bring. They also have technical skills that may translate or inform their work and a valuable outsider’s perspective that allows them to use them.

Unqualified Candidates Add Value to Teams

Every job post comes with a list of duties and responsibilities and skills required to perform them. There’s no need to pass on the resumes that don’t quite tick all the boxes. Underqualified candidates often possess other value-adding qualities that may be what your organization needs to take the next steps.

Are you looking for that valuable ‘unqualified’ candidate for your IT role? Get in touch to learn how the RIghtStone 360 process places the right fight every time.


Leveraging Social Media to Find Top Talent

Your number one goal for hiring isn’t merely to add a new employee. Instead, you want to attract the perfect candidate, someone who also happens to represent top-tier talent in their field. Doing that requires more than posting an opening online and waiting for applications to pour in.

To compete for the best, you need to be proactive. Social media makes it easier to seek out top talent and have meaningful conversations. But it takes a different approach than you may be used to.

Here’s a quick guide to using social media to steal top industry talent.

Extend Your Network

HR puts the job on your internal site, industry job boards, and of course, LinkedIn. You’ll find job seekers in these places, but if you want to compete for top tier talent, you’ll need to court those who aren’t necessarily actively looking for a new job.

Share your job on your social media pages, including LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. If you’re looking for a wider talent pool, you can consider using advertisements to reach more people. (Just make sure to cost control before posting.)

Keep in mind that posts on Facebook or LinkedIn pages should be more than a basic job description. These are great places to sell your company culture and let more people peek through the window into your company. So, skip the technical details and use personalized posts.

Start Discussions Online

The key to unlocking the power of social media is to zoom in on the first half of the phrase: social.

For too long, recruiters used social media as a place to learn more about candidates’ personal lives or professional interests. But those tactics don’t build a connection. To connect with candidates, you need to avoid talking at them. You want to talk with them. And to do that, you need to start and engage in discussions.

HR can do this by working together with the marketing department to craft messages and engage. You will also want to get involved with hashtags related to your industry, which often serve as meeting places for industry professional and prospective candidates.

Organic discussions help your company stand out, attract talent, and give you an extra chance to screen candidates.

Encourage Current Employees to Get Involved

There’s one secret to hiring through social media that most of your competitors forget about: referrals.

Referrals take on a new life on social media.

Ask the new role’s team members to share the job with their own networks, too. Current employees are your best ambassadors, and the qualified professionals in their networks may not be scouring the job boards every day.

Are you on the hunt for the perfect fit but having no luck? RightStone can help. Get in touch to learn about the RightStone 360 process for placing qualified consultants with great clients.


Facing the New Normal of Virtual Onboarding

Living during a respiratory pandemic means making strategic decisions about the number of people you’ll meet every day. Experts say that fewer social contacts translate to a lower infection rate, so it’s no surprise that almost everything, from concerts to interviews, is currently happening via Zoom.

Employee onboarding is one of the many, many activities now taking place virtually. While the tech makes it possible, the process remains far from perfect. Here’s what companies like yours can do to improve the virtual onboarding experience. 

Create a New Hire Schedule of Activities

You wouldn’t onboard a new employee in a single hour in ‘normal’ times, so there’s no reason to do so just because you can send them links to all your documentation.

Every new employee should get a schedule of activities for their first week so they know what to expect. Include events like:

  • Going over the employee handbook
  • Completing paperwork with HR
  • Discussing company culture and expectations
  • Setting up technology with IT
  • Meetings with direct supervisors and other key stakeholders

Don’t forget to build time in for a conversation. Your goal isn’t just to inform but to build a relationship with your new employee. 

A few other good ideas include adding a ‘new hire social’ to the calendar. Set up a Zoom call for all new hires and their teammates to mix socially and chat. If you want to go the extra mile, you can set up a guided discussion or even a game to play during the session!

Go Further with Weekly and Monthly Check-ins

Don’t limit your program to the first week of work. Think of it like school: if your teacher never checked in after your first week in school, you could easily fall behind and you’d both be bewildered by the end of the term.

Schedule in sessions for check-ins, with supervisors, and with HR. Supervisor check-ins should be weekly, and company check-ins should be monthly. These give your new employees a chance to ask questions, clarify issues, and bring up any problems or roadblocks they face.

Use Starter Packs to Make Their New Job Tangible

For many people, a new job doesn’t come with much change. The only physical difference they see is in their direct deposit. You can make your culture and brand feel more real with some simple touches – like swag packs.

Send over a company polo, travel mug, laptop case, or whatever else makes sense for your group.

It’s a small touch, but it is a physical reminder that they’re part of the team.

Use Virtual Onboarding to Welcome New Employees

Virtual onboarding is here, and it could become the new normal for years. Companies can use it successfully, but you can’t rely on a single video call to do all the heavy lifting. You also need to find appropriate and on-brand ways to make employees feel welcome and engaged.

Did you know? Employee engagement starts at the interview stage. Get in touch to learn how RightStone recruits and interviews the perfect fit for every client.


4 Reasons Why You Should Consider Hiring Temp Workers

Many hiring managers think they know the value temp workers provide. Some believe that temps are a thing of the past. In reality, temp workers are a core part of the U.S. workforce that may even be underutilized. 

Temp workers offer valuable skills, almost on-demand, and they do so without slowing down your business. The story of temp workers in the U.S. is a long one, and these essential employees have shaped the American workforce for the better in surprising ways. Do you need to scale your team? Here’s why you should consider hiring temp workers.  

Scale Up During Your Busy Season 

Whether you’re a ‘seasonal business’ or not, your industry likely goes through predictable peak periods where your teams are run off their feet. 

Hiring temporary workers helps you meet your needs during peak periods without worrying about paying the bills during your slower months. 

For example, you might choose to scale up before the holidays as clients prepare their sites for the season’s traffic. 

Get the Talent You Need During Short-Term Projects 

Do you have new or occasional clients who have unique needs? Taking on specialty projects requires an employee who offers those skills. But few can afford to hire these team members as permanent employees. 

Using temporary or contract workers means you can get the skills you need when you need them without worrying about finding something for them to do 365 days a year. 

Introduce Employees to Your Company on a Trial Basis 

More and more employers hire based on culture and personality rather than skills. Screening for culture isn’t easy. Moreover, even if you think the candidate is a great fit, they may decide the job isn’t for them a few months down the line. All of a sudden, you need to start the process over. 

Choosing the temp-to-hire route allows you to bring on new team members to experience the culture for themselves. The contract gives both of you an out at the end of the working relationship, which saves you from re-hiring a few weeks or months down the road. 

Save Money on Hiring 

Hiring a new employee is expensive. Back in 2015, Deloitte said the average company spent $3,500 on hiring a new employee. Given the talent shortage in IT and other industries and increase costs, you can expect it to be higher in 2020-2021. 

Working with contract employees saves your team from spending resources and productivity on finding one employee and gets you the talent you need faster. 

Ready to expand your team?

At RightStone, we know how vital temporary employees are in IT. We’ve helped change the game. Get in touch to learn more about how we place candidates with the skills and personality to help your business succeed. 


Ready to Expand Your Team? 3 Signs It’s Time to Hire

As a business owner, you know that when you hire is as important as who you are. Adding a new employee too early or too late could derail even your best-laid plans. How do you know when it’s time to take the leap and put out the ad? These are the three signs it’s time to find a new helping hand. 

You’re Missing Out on New Opportunities 

You know you’re ready to grow your business, and prospective clients want to join in on the fun. However, you can’t find time in your production schedule or calendar to bring on a new client much less serve them well. So, you have to let them go, essentially handing their business to your competition on a silver platter. 

Missing out on new opportunities is a classic sign you need to hire. A new member of staff costs money, but they help your current team add value to every account and enable you to take on new ones. 

Your Top Performers Struggle to Meet Deadlines 

Everyone misses a deadline once in a while. However, when you reach a point where you’re paying overtime hours and your team still can’t pick up the speed on their turnaround times, then they may need the extra help. 

Hiring an extra pair of hands takes work off everyone’s plates so they can get the job done on time. 

You Need to Pitch In Every Day 

As a leader, you have a lot on your plate — like the fate of your business. You need to focus on big picture goals and management. If you’re not at the helm of your company, it doesn’t take long for a business to go off-course. Once it does, it could take months to right it again. 

While every leader should get involved in the day-to-day work, it shouldn’t dominate your schedule. Your team needs you at the helm, steering the ship. 

If you find yourself rolling up your sleeves and doing the legwork more often than not, then you could be in need of a new employee. 

Do You Recognize These Signs? 

Hiring strategically has as much to do with the timing as it does the candidate. If you are turning away business, watching deadlines fly by, and find yourself in the weeds, then you likely need to hire ASAP. 

Are you on the hunt for an extra pair of hands? RightStone can help. Get in touch to learn how the RighStone 360 process can help you get the candidates who will grow your business. 


Reveal a Candidate’s EQ with These Interview Questions

You have a shortlist of candidates who check all your boxes. They have the education, experience, and skills needed to fill the vacant role at your company.

Hiring a new employee requires you to find someone who does more than tick boxes. You want someone who will fit in, work well with other people, and even lead someday. You want someone with high levels of emotional intelligence (EQ).

You won’t find a candidates’ EQ profile in their resume. But you can figure it out before you hire them by asking the right interview questions.

What is Emotional Intelligence (EQ)?

A person’s emotional intelligence or EQ is their ability to understand and manage their own emotions both to deal with their own experience and to empathize with others.

You can spot a person with a high EQ because they usually:

  • Communicate clearly and effectively
  • Show empathy for others
  • Deal with stress using healthy mechanisms
  • Defuse conflict rather than create it

Attracting people with a high EQ to your company should be a top priority. They’re not only great workers and colleagues, but they also make great leaders. But how do you figure out whether a candidate possesses the kind of EQ that you want? You ask.

How to Use Interview Questions to Reveal a Candidates’ EQ

The best interview questions for revealing a candidate’s EQ go beyond asking about their strengths and weaknesses. It’s rare that someone will articulate their abilities simply because you ask them to spell them out.

Instead, you can learn more by asking them about specific scenarios and their response.

A few good questions include;

  • Share the worst piece of criticism you’ve ever received at work. How did you respond?
  • Talk about a time you saw a dispute between two co-workers. What did you do?
  • Tell us about a time you faced an ethical dilemma at work. What did you do?

But don’t just ask them about the scenario. Use follow-up questions to learn more about their responses to learn not only how the situation unfolded but how it shaped their experiences.

Don’t forget to pay attention to their body language and tone. Candidates who look or sound pained when answering these types of questions usually don’t respond well to stress or conflict, which also reflects their EQ.

Hire Emotionally Intelligent Teams

You know you want team members who have the skills and experience to get the job done, but their EQ is as important as their IQ. By asking the right interview questions and using follow-up questions wisely, you can choose candidates who are both good at their jobs and pleasant to work with.

Learn more

At RighStone, quality is part of our process. Get in touch to learn how we find candidates who not only fit your required skills but your corporate culture and personality.


The IT Talent Shortage Is Still On – How Are Companies Connecting with Top Talent?

It’s common knowledge that IT staff with in-demand skills are in short supply. The combination of the allure of big tech and the high demand for specific skill sets are making it harder than ever to attract top talent. At the same time, if you can’t hire those in-demand workers, you can’t compete.

Workers with skills in artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, data science, and Python are some of the most sought-after in the country. Everyone wants them, but they have skills that you can’t learn overnight. Many of these workers dedicated years to building up these skills, and now, they’re reaping the rewards.

How do you connect with top talent if you can’t compete with Google and paying sky-high salaries isn’t an option? 

Improve Your Image

In-demand employees know they can seek out top salaries. While big money is attractive, it’s not what matters most, particularly to many millennials and members of Gen Z. They place as much weight on who they work for as they do what they earn.

Before you start trying to lure in new talent, ask yourself: what makes your company attractive?

Does your website include up-to-date information about what it’s like to work with you? What are your Glassdoor reviews like? What are your current and past employees sharing about you?

Your image needs to be stellar so that when a prospective candidate looks you up, they like what they see.

Ask for Referrals

You already have one of your best recruiting resources: your employees. Employee referrals are a phenomenal way to hire new staff. Not only are they cost-effective compared to advertising a position, but employees only refer the kind of people they want to work with.

Let your employees know that you have a referral scheme in place. You might be surprised by the number of employees who have a friend who would be a good fit!

Consider Contract Staff

The current hiring landscape means more and more skilled employees are also using contractor roles rather than hunting down full-time gigs. What’s more, today’s IT landscape also means that you don’t need to hire full-time permanent employees for every role. 

Contractors add real value and desirable skills to your team over the short-term. By turning to contracts, you get access to desirable skills when required without requiring a full-time commitment from either party.

Are you on the hunt for someone with cybersecurity or AI skills? We’re ready to help connect you with talented candidates who will add real value to your team. Get in touch to learn how we do what we do.


How to Ask Interview Questions that Help You Uncover the Character of a Job Seeker

Every employer understands that the interview is a critically important stage in the course of the recruitment process. By building a successful interview strategy, employers are much more likely to gain a clear and reliable picture of a candidate’s unique strengths, weaknesses, and career goals. A poorly-defined or underprepared strategy, on the other hand, can often lead employers to miss a golden hiring opportunity or, conversely, to hire someone who is unfit for the role.

So what does an ideal interview strategy for employers actually look like?

Asking questions that are designed to get a sense of a candidate’s technical skills and professional background is obviously vitally important. That said, those questions should not take up the entire interview. In addition to probing a candidate for his or her particular technical skills, it’s equally important for interviewers to ask questions aimed at uncovering a candidate’s unique personality and character traits. This distinction – between technical expertise and characterological strength – is often referred to as “hard skills” versus “soft skills”.

Here are some examples of interview questions that will help you to gain a better sense of a candidate’s personality, character, and interpersonal abilities:

  • Do you prefer to work alone or within a group setting? Can you explain why?

 

  • Tell me about a time that you experienced conflict with a coworker. What happened, and how did you go about resolving it?

 

  • What are your greatest passions?

 

  • What are the activities, hobbies, or pastimes that you engage in while you’re not at work?

 

  • What adjectives would your best friend use to describe you?

 

  • Who is your greatest professional influence or inspiration? Why?

 

  • Is there a book that you would recommend to someone working in this role? Why? What were the major lessons that you gleaned from reading it?

 

  • Tell me about a time that you experienced failure at a past job. What did you learn from that experience?

At the end of the day, employers should be seeking to build a comprehensive picture of a candidate during the interview process. By balancing your “hard skill” interview questions with questions that are geared towards building a picture of a candidate’s unique character, you’ll be much more likely to find someone who’s the right fit not only for the role but also for the broader culture of your workplace.

If you’re ready to connect with talented candidates who will be a perfect match for your organization, contact us today!


5 Benefits Video Interviews Can Bring to Your IT Talent Search

The practices and technologies that drive the hiring process are constantly changing. As new communication technologies become commonplace, it’s critical for employers and job seekers alike to be able to quickly integrate them into their search for their next star employee, or for their next role. Video interviews are a prime example of an emergent communication technology that is changing the hiring process across the IT industry. Rather than having candidates come into the office for a face-to-face interview, an increasing number of employers are opting to have their prospective employees submit recorded responses to a set of predetermined questions. In this way, they’re able to cut back on the time, resources, and energy that is usually spent finding the perfect candidate.  

By integrating video interviews into your recruitment and hiring process, you can greatly increase your chances of quickly getting in touch with talented employees. 

Here are five major benefits of conducting video interviews:  

1. Accelerates your hiring process.

Finding time for a prospective employee to come into the office for an interview can be a long and frustrating process. Asking candidates to record and submit their responses to a set of questions, on the other hand, can dramatically cut back on the time that is taken up by introductions, small-talk, and travel by traditional in-person interviews.

2. Enables you to screen more candidates.

Most hiring managers out there will have found themselves in the awkward position of being less than one minute into an interview and realizing that a candidate isn’t a good fit for a particular role. Video interviews allow hiring managers to quickly assess a candidate’s suitability and quickly move on to the next applicant if it’s quickly determined that there isn’t a fit. 

3. Brings consistency to the interview process.

Even when hiring managers go into an interview with a list of questions, in-person conversations can quickly become sidetracked into other topics. All too often, the result is that candidates end up providing responses to different questions. By asking your applicants to record and submit their responses to a consistent set of questions, you’ll be ensuring that you receive equally consistent and comparable responses. 

4. It allows candidates to be more relaxed.

Meeting with an employer in person for an interview can be a stressful experience for a candidate. Even if their experience and skills make them a great fit, having to sit across a table from a hiring manager can make often make a candidate flustered and nervous. Answering questions in front of a webcam, however, is a far less daunting prospect – particularly when applicants are allowed to record multiple takes until they’re satisfied with their responses.  

5. Quickly screens out technologically-impaired candidates.

It’s important for any employer in the IT industry to quickly eliminate candidates who aren’t able to follow basic technological instructions. Recording and submitting responses to a video interview is by no means challenging (to most candidates), but there will be some who will be either too lazy or too perplexed to carry out the task, and they will be left in the wake of other, more competent candidates.

At RightStone, we’re working with IT candidates and top employers to make connections that last. To learn more about how to get connected with top talent, we’re here to help. 

 


How to Improve the Candidate Experience During Your Next Hiring Campaign

For job candidates, the search for a new role can often be a frustratingly slow and tedious process. Unresponsive prospective employers, long and arduous email threads, automated email responses; all of these are factors which job candidates encounter all too often in the job search and which can quickly disenchant them from a particular role. A smooth, efficient, and rapid recruiting process, on the other hand, is sure to make a positive impression on job candidates and will maximize an employer’s chances of receiving an application.  

It can be challenging, however, for employers to identify the specific aspects of their current recruitment and hiring models that are in need of improvement. With this in mind, this post will walk you through four simple ways to improve the candidate experience in your next hiring campaign. 

Write a clear and up-to-date job description.

It’s not uncommon for job candidates to apply or even to interview for a role, only to discover down the line that the skills and responsibilities required by that position do not, in fact, match with their own experience. In many of those cases, a considerable amount of time and resources could have been saved if the employer had taken the time at the early stages of the process to write a comprehensive job description. 

Set expectations early on about your recruitment process.

In the search for a new role, time is of the essence. It’s important, therefore, for candidates to understand early on what they should expect in terms of timeline and communication. Every company will have a slightly different recruitment process; clarifying the details of yours to a prospective employee will make it much less likely that they’ll become frustrated and disappear.  

Keep the ball rolling with communication.

This one is crucial. Recent research has demonstrated that a lack of communication on the part of employers is the number one most frustrating part of a candidate’s job search. It stands to reason, then, that devising a strategy aimed at consistent and helpful communication is perhaps the most effective thing that any employer could do to improve a candidate’s recruitment experience. 

Go the extra mile when conducting interviews.

The interview is arguably the most critical point of the recruitment process. It is the first opportunity for candidates to meet with their prospective managers and colleagues in person and to get a glimpse of their potential future workplace. In order to ensure that it’s a positive experience for candidates, it’s important for employers to prepare appropriately. This goes beyond merely preparing the appropriate questions (although that’s important, too); proper interview preparation also means gathering the right people into the room, respecting a candidate’s time, and (as we mentioned earlier) being clear about what they should expect for next steps. 

At RightStone, we’re working with IT candidates and top employers to make connections that last. To learn more about how to get connected with top talent, we’re here to help. 

 


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