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You Can’t Find the Right Candidate, Now What?

You’ve been on the hunt for the right person to fill a desperately needed role for months or even a year. Is the right person out there? If they are, why haven’t you found them yet? 

When you can’t find your next hire, you may wonder what to do next. Should you settle for someone competent but not quite right? Review all the candidates you passed on already? 

As HR experts, we know how difficult finding the perfect candidate can be. So, we’re here with some expert hiring advice. 

Take a Second Look at Your Job Posting 

You have been through all your applicants twice and still no luck. There’s a chance that the right candidate is out there, but they aren’t applying because your job description doesn’t speak to them. Or maybe, your list of requirements scares them off. 

If you can’t find anyone after a few months, it’s time to reevaluate your job posting. Do you have a certification that’s hard to find and nice to have but not required to do the job? Is there something in there you could provide to the right candidate once they come on board? 

What about the job description itself? Is it long, difficult to read, and full of unnecessary details? Again, you could be scaring them away. 

Talk to your leadership, HR, and your recruiters to figure out what can change to help you attract the right candidate. 

Evaluate the Competition 

The IT skills shortage is now almost a way of life, but there are some companies that seem to win the right candidates every time. If you’re not one of them, it’s time to ask why because the answer isn’t always about money. 

If you have an in-demand position, figure out what your competition offers. You don’t always need to match it or beat it, but it will show you how to make your post stand out to the candidate’s recruiters are fighting over. 

Tip: Millennial and Gen Z candidates are more concerned about culture than salary. Many employers make their companies look like great places to work in their job listings. Does your post make your company an attractive place to work?  

Consider Upskilling Your Current Staff 

Why go through the hiring process every time you need a new skill when you could develop value within your existing team? If you need hard skills but can’t seem to find a cultural fit, then this is a great time to pick out and develop a qualified internal candidate. 

Finding the right candidate is never easy, but the IT skills shortage and the deep pockets of the competition can make it that much harder. That’s why it’s important to have great allies. Get in touch to learn how RightStone can help you find your next best employee. 


Upskill Your Workforce and Bridge the Skills Gap

Finding new candidates who have highly sought after skills is challenging. Competing for them is even tougher. But you don’t need to join the pile and wrestle your competition for every single new candidate. Instead, you can bridge the skills gap by upskilling your employees. 

 Upskilling allows you to train your current team in these in-demand skills while keeping them in the same role. 

You Can’t Hire Your Way Out of the Skills Gap 

One reason upskilling (and reskilling) is so important is because it’s physically impossible to hire your way out of the skills shortage. The problem is too vast, and in-demand skills change too rapidly to ever keep up. One statistic says only 20% of today’s workforce has the skills needed for 60% of the jobs that will arrive over the next five to ten years. 

What’s more, hiring for technical skills won’t necessarily work. You can teach or pay for upskilling in cybersecurity or engineering.  But finding those candidates doesn’t mean that they’ll also offer essential soft skills, like communication and creative thinking. And those things can be much harder to teach. 

Upskilling Contributes to Professional Development 

Surveys suggest that employees are already upskilling, but they’re doing it on their own time and without support from their employer. You might think that’s good news, but it’s not. 

Employers who don’t offer the kind of professional development that keeps teams learning, growing, and preparing for the future find themselves with unengaged employees.  

Employee engagement is critical for your business’ success, but as many as 70% of employees aren’t engaged at work. Disengaged employees are less likely to be invested in their work, and when they do upskill, they’re more likely to take all their handy new skills to your competitor. 

By actively pursuing upskilling programs, you’re making your current employees more valuable to your company and you’re making them feel more valuable. You’ll see that value quickly: companies with engaged employees have revenues that are 2.5x those companies with low engagement levels. 

The Best Time to Upskill is Now 

Upskilling your employees will help you bridge the technology skill shortage and make you more competitive. Not only does the practice address the root of the problem, but it’s also a valuable investment in your company’s biggest assets: your workers. 

So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to start thinking about your plan for upskilling to complement your hiring practices. 

Are you looking for the right expertise for your team? Ready to add new skills? Want to know how we find and place skilled candidates with the clients who need them? Get in touch to learn how our RightStone 360 program can help you do all of the above. 

 


Why Customer Service Still Matters in a Technical World

In today’s world, it’s not uncommon for the entire customer journey to happen solely online. From discovery to purchase to service, there’s nothing you can’t do with just your website. They particularly love the option to connect via live chat, which has a customer service satisfaction rating of 73% compared to just 44% for chats over the phone.

As a business owner, you see these channels and you spot ways to save money and maybe win over a new customer demographic. But you shouldn’t be too quick to adopt a bot: human customer service is as important today as it is now.

Are you reconfiguring your customer service strategy? Read this before you go any further.

Only Humans Can Empathize Like Humans

No one has ever hung up the phone after chatting to an automated system and said, “I’m so glad I got to talk to that voice recording.” It’s never happened. You can only have neutral experiences with a non-human.

Whether you’re considering a chatbot or an automated phone system, it’s important to remember that there are many situations where these technologies are suitable. The nuances of language and tone can mean a lot for the customer experience, and your bot can’t pivot when a customer feels frustrated.

Yes, these technologies have a role to play in the way customers get service, but they need to be deployed carefully.

You’ll Miss Out on Valuable Insights

Automating your customer service seems like a win-win: it’s cheaper for you, frees up your team’s time, and helps customers get speedy results. While your program will offer you some helpful data, you’ll miss out on the kind of insights that only human-to-human communication can provide.

For example, data from a bot might tell you that a system isn’t working. But will it be able to tell you why? Only if it’s spoonfed the information by the customer and programmed to ask.

Technology Amplifies Customer Service

Ultimately, your technology won’t replace your customer service. Instead, new tech should amplify it. Technology provides new ways to provide superior service, but remember that the point of customer service isn’t busywork: it’s a huge part of your engagement strategy.

Go ahead and automate the rote tasks that eat up staff’s time, but make sure you keep a human at the other end of the line. Your customers will miss them when they’re gone!

At RightStone, we understand that the human connection is more important than ever, especially in our technology-focused world. Get in touch to learn how we can connect you with qualified workers, who provide the customer-focus you need to grow your business. 

 


4 Ways to Develop Company Culture that Helps You Keep Your Best Employees

When it comes to building a strong and talented workforce, recruitment is only half of the story; it’s equally important for employers to implement strategies and policies aimed at retaining their top employees once they’ve been brought on board. In pursuit of this goal, the development and maintenance of an optimized workplace culture should be a top priority.

What is workplace culture?

“Workplace culture” is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot, but many professionals only have a vague understanding of what it actually means. We’re here to clear the air on this subject.

Simply put, a company’s culture is the aggregate of values, personalities, workplace norms, and qualities that endow it with a unique and intangible feeling. In other words, when we talk about culture in this context, we’re talking about the quality of the day-to-day employee experience at a particular workplace.

4 Ways to Develop Company Culture that Helps You Keep Your Best Employees

With that in mind, it’s easy to understand why building a strong company culture should be a top priority for every employer. Healthy workplace cultures lead to happy and engaged employees, who in turn produce high-quality work more consistently. There are plenty of studies (such as this one) that have proven this to be true.

So what can employers do now that will allow them to build an optimized workplace culture? Here are four simple and effective ways to get started:

1. Offer flexible work options to your employees.

Recent research has conclusively shown that employees tend to be happier in work environments that offer flexible scheduling and remote work options than those that do not.

2. Increase (and improve) your communication with employees.

It’s important that you make time to check in with your employees on a fairly regular basis to make sure that they’re able to voice any concerns and that their needs at work are being met. Managers who only rarely engage and communicate with their employees will consistently find themselves overseeing a workforce that by and large feels isolated, manipulated, and dissatisfied.

3. Acknowledge your employees’ achievements.

Managers routinely miss opportunities to improve workplace morale and increase feelings of cohesion by giving public praise to an employee who has made a notable accomplishment. By acknowledging an employee’s achievement in front of his or her peers, you can quickly and easily communicate to your employees that they work within a culture that values individual contributions and communal support.

4. Ask for your employees’ input when making important decisions.

There’s perhaps no more effective way of providing your employees with a sense of camaraderie than by including them in the decision-making process. You don’t need to ask for their input on every decision, obviously. But when you’re considering making a change to the workplace that will ultimately affect the day-to-day experience of your employees, you should make every effort to ask for and be open to their input. In all likelihood, they will be able to offer you valuable insights into how the workplace as a whole might be improved.

Building an optimized workplace is not something that can be achieved overnight, but there are steps that can be taken every day – some small and some large – to gradually work towards a workplace that will help to make your employees feel content. To learn more about what you can do to build a stronger workplace culture as well as a happier, more secure workforce, contact us today.


4 Ways to Make Sure Your Next Candidate is a Culture Fit For Your Company

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.

Connect Today

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.

 


5 Ways an IT Recruiter Can Help Your HR Staff

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.


Remote Work: Learn How to Properly Manage Remote Staff Members

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!

 


5 Signs You Need to Change Your Company’s Culture

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.


Are You a Preferred Working Destination for Generation Z

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.

 


Are You Doing Enough to Retain Your Top IT Talent?

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.


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