In the search to find the perfect candidate to fill an open position, managers will (understandably) tend to prioritize candidates who have the most experience or who have the widest set of demonstrable skills. While it’s certainly crucial to seek out and recruit candidates who have the necessary technical experience, it can also be a mistake for employers to focus only on candidates’ “hard skills”. There is another dimension of “soft skills” – people skills or personality traits, in other words – that are equally important for managers to take into account whenever vetting a potential candidate. By gauging a job candidate’s soft skills and getting a feel for their personality, you’ll be able to determine if they would be a good fit within the workplace culture that they’d be entering into.
Here are four tips for making sure that a job candidate would be a strong “culture fit” within your company:
1. Reach out to references.
Resumes and cover letters are extremely useful when you’re trying to get a feel for a candidate’s experience and background, but they typically will not shed much light on a candidate’s personality or interpersonal skills. Professional references (i.e., previous employers and managers), on the other hand, can provide valuable insights into a particular candidate’s conduct at the workplace. It’s worth reaching out to one or two previous employers in order to get a sense of how well a candidate’s personality would fit within your workplace culture.
2. Ask personality-based questions.
One of the most effective ways to get a feel of whether or not a candidate would be a strong culture fit is to ask the right questions. To learn more about a candidate’s values and personality, try asking some of the following questions during an interview:
Do you feel more comfortable within an individual or a group setting?
Can you give me an example of a time that you resolved a tense situation in the workplace?
What are the qualities that you value in the workplace?
What are the qualities of this particular work environment that appeal to you?
3. Give your team a seat at the interview table.
Maintaining a strong and balanced workplace culture is a collaborative process. Each of your employees contributes in his or her unique way to weave the tapestry of your working environment. With that in mind, it can be extremely helpful to give your team members a chance to meet with job candidates personally to ask culture-based questions.
4. Know the role.
Last but certainly not least, it’s important for managers to thoroughly understand the responsibilities of the role that’s being applied for, and in turn to define the personality traits that will be required for success. For example, some positions will require a high degree of autonomy and creativity, and others will place a greater emphasis on collaboration and communication skills. In order to ensure that a job candidate will be a good culture fit within the company as a whole, you’ll first want to make sure that they’ll be the right personality fit within the particular department and position for which they’re interviewing.
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, contact us here.
As job requirements for professionals across the IT industry continue to become more and more specialized, it’s becoming an increasingly difficult challenge for even the most well-equipped HR departments to find and recruit candidates with the necessary experience and skills. In addition, the quick pace of the modern IT company puts pressure on hiring managers to fill roles quickly, often forcing them to sacrifice quality for expediency. As a consequence, it’s not uncommon for HR departments in the IT industry to go into acute crisis mode whenever it’s time to hire a new employee.
To help with the process of finding, contacting, and recruiting top-talent employees, many HR departments are finding that working with IT recruiters is beneficial. The resources and expertise of these third-party hiring specialists make the recruitment process less cumbersome and can produce stronger and more long-lasting relationships between employers and employees.
If you’re curious about the benefits of working with an IT recruiter, then look no further: below we’ll explore five proven ways that an IT recruiter can empower your HR staff:
Sharpen Job Requirements – Oftentimes, HR departments will only be able to describe the requirements of a particular IT job in general terms. Recruiters, on the other hand, can hone in on the particular responsibilities, qualities, and skills that will be required for a candidate to be successful.
Make the Distinction Between Needs’ and Wants – It’s easy for HR departments to confuse “need-to-have” qualities with “nice-to-have” qualities when searching for a candidate, which can significantly delay the process. By working with an IT recruiter, hiring managers can enter into the search with a much clearer distinction between these categories, which will go a long way in keeping priorities straight.
Provide Follow-Up Support – Once initial contact is made with a promising candidate, it’s vitally important that the communication continues at a steady pace. Many HR departments are unable to commit enough time and resources to this phase of the hiring process. Recruiters, on the other hand, specialize in steady and productive conversations to ensure the process stays on track.
Create Productive Interviews – Any time your company is looking for that perfect candidate who will be able to bring the right set of skills, personality, and experience to a role, conducting generic, standardized interviews can be counterproductive. Alternatively, working with recruiters to design interview questions that are tailored for particular candidates will leave your team with a much clearer sense of their eligibility.
Provide Quick and Accurate Feedback – Many HR departments struggle to provide prompt feedback to candidates once the interview process has begun. Given the number of people being interviewed and the other demands placed on HR, this is unsurprising – however, it can often result in the loss of a promising candidate. IT recruiters remove the friction from this part of the process by gleaning thoughts and impressions from hiring managers and the candidates, shortly after the interview to provide constructive feedback to both parties.
Looking to Grow Your Team?
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, let’s talk.
As communications, technologies, and workplace models continue to evolve, it’s becoming more and more common for IT companies to allow remote work options for their employees. In an illustrative example, a recent Gallup poll found that 43% of Americans now work remotely at least part-time (compared to 39% in 2012). Despite the increasing popularity of allowing employees to work remotely, there are some management and logistical problems that employers can encounter.
If you manage a team of remote employees but find yourself struggling to maintain a sense of unity, cohesion, or common purpose, you’re not alone. Thankfully, there are some simple tactics which employers can adopt to manage remote employees more easily:
Make Time for Facetime – This is a rule that should be applied for all employees, regardless of whether they work on-site or remotely. When you’re strategizing for a project or planning for an important goal, make an effort to connect with remote employees via a video chat or meet for coffee, as opposed to communicating via email or a phone call.
Leverage Communications Technologies – To maximize cohesion within your team of remote employees, use multiple communications platforms (such as Slack, Skype, or Google Hangouts). Using multiple communications platforms to keep the conversation going will ensure that they feel their needs are being addressed and that they have a direct line of communication to their team leader.
Get Them Connected With Other Off-Site Employees – By facilitating the communication between remote employees who are in the same area, managers can strengthen their network of off-site employees and ensure that there is a chain of support for managing projects.
Maintain Steady Communication and Provide Regular Feedback – The communication must be a two-way street with remote employees. If you don’t provide them with regular feedback, remote employees can quickly start feeling alienated, unimportant, or excluded.
Acknowledge Their Achievements – It’s easy to make an on-site employee feel recognized and acknowledged when they’ve made a notable contribution, but things can be a bit trickier when it comes to our remote employees. Nevertheless, managers must make an effort to make remote workers feel recognized by their peers for their accomplishments. When a remote employee goes above and beyond, make sure you acknowledge them in a line of communication that will be visible to their teammates.
Looking to Staff Up?
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, contact us today and let’s have a discussion!
Company culture can be defined as the crossroads between your corporate “vibe” or general temperament and the company values. A positive, productive culture is necessary for business success and to attract and retain the best talent. When a culture becomes toxic or stagnant you can see negative business repercussions that range from higher turnover to a negative reputation.
Below are the top signs your culture needs a change.
Negative Reviews on Glassdoor: Glassdoor is like Yelp for employees or potential hires of businesses. Glassdoor allows anonymous employee reviews on their work experience, company perks and benefits, management, and more. If you’re noticing your Glassdoor rating take a nosedive, make sure you’re listening to the feedback of both current and former employees.
Good Employees Are Quitting: If you’re losing quality employees, you need to take a look at your culture. Of course, talented people will move on from their current job – their talent makes them attractive to more employers. But if your company can’t hold on to any of the smart people you’re hiring, your culture might be to blame.
People Are Passing on Perks: Part of the reason companies offer perks like on-site massage, pop-up yoga, and free lunches, is to garner a culture of excitement and motivation within the workplace. If there are fewer people taking advantage of your office perks, it may be because they don’t want to be there anymore. Don’t confuse “culture” with “perks.” Perks are an added bonus, where culture is a representation of attitudes, communication, and values.
Lower Attendance at Happy Hours: If your out-of-office team events are getting a lot fewer RSVPs, it’s possible the culture feels so negative and oppressing to team members that they don’t even want to socialize outside of the office.
Higher Work From Home Requests: If you don’t have an official work-from-home policy but hear from managers that employees are asking to be able to work off-site more, it might be an indicator the office culture has taken a turn for the worst.
Company culture is key to a successful organization. If you’re seeing reduced productivity and employee engagement, have honest conversations with employees and leadership alike to start thinking about solutions that can create positive changes.
If you’re looking for the quality talent that’s going to elevate your company and impact your culture in a positive way,call RightStone today. We can help you find your next great hire.
As of 2019, Generation Z makes up about 25 percent of the US population. Defined as the group born between 1997 and the early 2010s, there are some features of this generational group that make it distinct from the generations that came before them. Here are some things to consider about this group that has already begun entering the professional workforce.
More Pragmatic and More Budget-Oriented: Most members of Generation Z grew up during a recession. That means they’re more practical than most members of the millennial generation and also more focused on saving money. This means salary will play more of a role in their acceptance of job offers.
Mobile Natives: Generation Z was born into an age of the internet. They are quick learners and are used to engaging digitally. If you want to recruit Gen Z talent, you’ll need to make sure you’re providing a good online application process; you might also consider offering Gen Z applicants their choice of Mac or PC or other digital perks like remote work.
Prefer Face-to-Face Communication: As digitally savvy as Gen Z is, they are used to things, including communication, moving quickly. In the workplace, email can be a slower form of communication that slows down their process, so many prefer to communicate face to face for a faster resolution. Creating a space that enables more collaboration and easier communication will be important to this generation.
Growth-Oriented: Generation Z works hard and wants to be rewarded for their impact. One of their biggest goals is to advance in a company and meet their full career potential. Gen Z will need acknowledgement to remain loyal to a company.
As the baby boomer generation continues to retire and more millennials step into company leadership roles, it’s important to make sure that the upcoming generation, Gen Z, is considered in the building and improvement of company culture as they will begin to make up a larger portion of companies in the coming years. Attracting and retaining the best talent is important for any brand. You might not be able to make everyone happy all the time, but it’s important to consider the needs of your employees as you shape employment policies. Even your physical workspace can help create the best possible balance for generation Z.
If you’re looking for your next hire, RightStone can help match you with the best talent. Give us a call today.
Retaining the best talent is one of the most important parts of the recruiting and hiring process. It’s important to be able to attract qualified talent; however, you want to make sure they’ll stay and support your business. This is particularly true for quality IT employees – advancing technology often means there are more job openings than there are qualified applicants. Here are the most important things to consider when working on your retainment strategy.
Salary: What you pay matters. It’s important to make sure that your salary ranges are competitive within the industry and they are regularly reviewed to adjust for cost of living and performance raises.
Employee Engagement: Employees want to stay with businesses who they think are invested in them and care about them as people. Engaged employees are productive, committed employees. What works for engaging employees will vary, but some company initiatives might include a company-wide monthly lunch that updates everyone on the business, paid time off for team volunteering or after-work happy hours. Anything that shows your company is committed to communication and employee well-being in and out of the workplace.
Culture and Environment: It’s important to cultivate the kind of culture and physical environment you know employees want to work in. This doesn’t necessarily mean having a ping-pong room and a zen cave, but getting creative with ways to make work a more engaging place to be can be a good retention strategy. Not every company can afford a slick facility with a gym and spa, but what about a stipend for group exercise classes or monthly on-site yoga? What about offering standing desks for employees to stretch their legs and break up the day in a cubicle? Small changes and perks can make a big difference.
Your talent makes up the foundation of your business and is critical to your success. It pays off to have a retention strategy that will keep your people with you as your business grows and changes.
If you need help attracting and recruiting the best talent – and want some time back to focus on your retention strategy – give us a call today.
Just like incredibly intelligent people can test poorly, sometimes a great candidate gives a bad interview. When a qualified candidate you’re excited to interview doesn’t give a stellar interview performance, it can feel like a major red flag. Here’s how to know whether it should worry you or if you should continue the process.
Consider the Position: Certain people gravitate to certain careers, and some of these personality types can interview better than others. Customer service, marketing or sales professionals, for instance, are often gregarious and outgoing, which serves them in their career path. IT professionals, programmers, and developers – who often spend hours working solo on detailed projects – can be more reserved. This might be a factor in an interview and less of an issue in a day-to-day job.
Check References: If the candidate struggles with conversation under pressure, reach out to former bosses and co-workers. Hearing the perspective of someone else who’s worked with the candidate can help you understand if they’d be a good fit. It’s also a way to help verify an applicant’s resume and experience.
Try Again: If you’re not sure, you can bring the candidate back in for another interview – but this time, change the format or consider having another person conduct the interview. Maybe a video conference is a less-stressful way for a candidate to share their experience or maybe another interviewer with different questions can help you get a better response.
Everyone has bad days, and a bad interview shouldn’t spoil a qualified applicant’s chances of contributing their strengths to your organization – or ruin your chances of connecting with a potentially great employee who can make an impact in your business. Considering other ways to learn about or interact with a candidate can help you make sure you’re not shortchanging yourself.
We can put you in touch with top talent in your field. Get in touch today to start your candidate search.
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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If you’re looking to fill IT roles, RightStone can help. Our industry knowledge and years of experience let us help businesses connect with the best tech talent and build a team that can help them grow and succeed.
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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Are you looking to hire candidates who align with your company values and bring a strong set of skills to the table? We can help you connect with the best IT candidates. Get in touchtoday to find your next great hire.