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How to Get Your Foot in the Door with Top Employers

 

Connecting with a hiring manager at the company you want to work for can be challenging. This is especially true if your resume does not get past the applicant tracking system (ATS). Fortunately, there are other ways to get in touch with a hiring manager at a targeted company.

Follow these guidelines to connect with the top employers you want to work for.


Interact Online with Targeted Companies  

Like, follow, and interact online with the employers you want to work for. This may be through social media platforms or company blogs. Be sure to comment on and share company posts. Also, ask questions to initiate conversations. Show the employers you are interested in working for them.

Set Up Informational Interviews

Schedule a time to talk with employees at your targeted companies. Find out all you can about the role you want, team, and employer. Also, discuss the company culture, structure, and which positions match your skills and experience. Additionally, ask about topics you cannot find information about online.

Ask for an Introduction to a Hiring Manager

Talk with one of your connections about introducing you to a hiring manager at your company of choice. Use LinkedIn to determine which mutual connections you may have with the manager. Then, ask the member of your network to provide an introduction. Include why you want to meet the manager and how your skills, experience, and qualifications position you to add value to the organization. Be sure to thank your connection and offer to return the favor.

Build a Relationship with a Recruiter

Find a staffing firm recruiter who has your targeted company as a client. Talk with the recruiter about how your skills, experience, interests, and goals align with the company’s needs. Provide your resume for the recruiter to go over. Talk about potential openings with the organization that you may qualify for. See whether the recruiter can get you an interview.

Share What You Learn

Use online platforms to educate others on the topics you learn about. This may include social media posts, your personal website, a blog on Medium, or a YouTube channel. For instance, use Goodreads or Amazon to share your takeaways from a book. Answer questions on Quora or contribute to a conversation on Reddit. Engaging in these discussions helps you learn and shows you are a thought leader. Top employers may join your discussions and be interested in getting to know you better.

Get in Touch with Top IT Employers

Work with a recruiter from RightStone to get in front of the best IT hiring managers. Visit our job board today.


Successful Professionals: How to Improve Your Organizational Skills

 

Whether you work onsite or remotely, your organizational skills are important. Your ability to focus on tasks, remain productive, and meet deadlines plays a role in your career progression. As a result, you need to complete as much work as possible to the best of your ability each day.

Use these tips to improve your organizational skills at work.


Create a Routine

Establish habits that give structure to your day. This helps things go more smoothly so you can accomplish more. The longer you spend streamlining your habits, the more efficiently you can reach your goals.

Schedule Time for Email

Determine the times of day to check your email. This prevents you from reading new messages as they enter your inbox. When the time comes, respond to your priority email first. Star any messages you need to get to later. Organize your read email into folders. This helps you stay focused on your tasks while minimizing disruptions.

Time Block Your Days

Plan blocks of time to finish specific tasks. Include your most though-intensive activities during the times you are most productive. This helps you maintain focus and minimize disruptions. Be sure to allow for flexibility when things that need your attention come up. Remember to adjust your schedule accordingly.

Complete One Task at a Time

Focus on finishing one activity at a time. This helps prevent mistakes, lowers stress, and helps meet deadlines. You should get more done in less time with fewer distractions. You also can use your momentum to start the next activity on your list.

Take Regular Breaks

Walk away from your desk at regular intervals. Take a quick walk, talk with a coworker on break, or listen to music. Or, read a book, meditate, or listen to a podcast. You should come back focused and ready to accomplish more.

Establish Checklists

Develop checklists for recurring tasks and projects to standardize your work processes. Streamlining the steps ensures you fulfill all of the requirements. This reduces the number of errors and time spent redoing tasks.

Develop a Filing System

Establish a digital or physical system to file documents. You may want folders for invoices, contracts, or other important papers. Or, you could set up email folders by project, sender, or other categories. This ensures you save important correspondence without keeping unnecessary messages or documents.

Clean Up Your Workspace

Put away everything you do not need at the end of each day. Having a clean workspace when you start work the next day helps you stay motivated, focused, and productive. It also lets you find the documents you need when you need them.

Looking for a New IT Position?

Stay organized during your next IT job search by working with a recruiter from RightStone. Here is a link to our job board.


6 Ways to Attract Quality Applicants

 

Like many employers, you may have open positions with few applicants. Or, the applicants you have may not be qualified for the roles. Because you cannot have these jobs remain open, you need to alter your approach to the recruitment process to get better results.

Implement these six tips to attract higher-quality candidates to your job openings.


1. Build Your Employer Brand

Enhance your company’s reputation as a great place to work. For instance, use your careers page to show your mission, vision, and values. Include employee photos, videos, stories, and testimonials. Also, include information about your benefits and opportunities for growth. Additionally, encourage your team members to share their stories on employer review sites. Showing what it is like to work for you can increase interest in applying with your company.

2. Encourage Employee Referrals

Emphasize the importance of your team members referring people they know to your organization. The referrals are likely to fit with company culture, stay productive, and remain long-term with your company. Be sure you reward your employees whose referrals stay for a set time.

3. Recruit from Customized Job Boards

Post your openings on job boards other than the usual ones. You should get more qualified candidates that convert to hires at a higher rate. These sources may include industry-specific job boards, local or community message boards, university job boards, and Craigslist.

4. Increase Your Salaries

Candidates want to receive competitive compensation for their time and talents. This is why offering salaries on the higher end of the range is important. Include the job title, years of experience, skills, qualifications, geographic location, and other relevant information when researching an appropriate salary to offer.

5. Optimize Your Application Process

Your application process needs to be fast and transparent. This includes easy submission of cover letters and resumes through your company website, ongoing notifications of application status, and details of what the next step is. It also involves email reminders of job interviews, chatbots to answer questions, and quick responses to candidate messages.

6. Make Fast Hiring Decisions

Your hiring decisions need to be made as quickly as possible. Because the best talent typically is off the market within 10 days, you must let them know soon after an interview whether they are chosen to advance in the process or receive a job offer. As a result, you need to talk with your hiring team to gather feedback and compare candidates to determine which should advance or be asked to join your team.

Need Help Filling Your IT Roles?

Work with a recruiter from RightStone to source and hire for your hard-to-fill IT positions. Reach out to us today.


Improve Communication During the Application Process

 

Effective communication throughout your job application process is important. It shows respect and appreciation for your candidates and tracks the activity related to their applications. Regular communication also keeps you and the other staff members involved in the hiring process informed about the status of open roles. Plus, it reduces the number of phone calls about which stage candidates’ applications are at. These are reasons why you need to provide ongoing communication with all candidates.

Implement these tips to enhance communication throughout your application process.


1. Thank Candidates for Their Application

Send an automated, customized email to let each candidate know you received their application. For candidates who begin an application but do not submit it, send an email reminding them to finish it. This should increase the number of completed applications you receive.

2. Let Candidates Know Their Status

Keep each candidate informed about where they are in the application process. This may include “application reviewed,” “interview scheduled,” or “hired.” Candidates want to see that their applications are under real consideration. They also want to know whether they are moving forward in the process. Otherwise, the candidates are likely to apply for jobs elsewhere.

3. Notify Candidates Who Are No Longer Being Considered

Let a candidate know if they will not be contacted for an interview. You may want to send an email with a “not qualified” or “not selected” status to share your determination about their application. This provides resolution and lets the candidate know when they can reapply.

4. Schedule Job Interviews

Email each candidate you would like to interview. Include your online schedule manager to communicate the available times. The candidates and you can receive calendar reminders and reschedule if needed. This helps you keep track of your interviews.

5. Send Job Offer Letters

Use email to extend a written job offer to the candidates you choose. The software should be able to personalize and modify each contract and track and record the information. Then, you know the status of each new hire and can help them transition to employees.

Are You in Need of IT Professionals?

Partner with RightStone to hire the IT staff you need to reach your business goals. Contact us today.


Reaching Out to Someone You Know About a Job Opportunity with Their Company

 

One of the best ways to land a new job is to have an employee refer you to the hiring manager. The manager is more likely to bring aboard someone their team member knows than another candidate. You are more likely to blend with company culture, fulfill the job duties, and remain with the organization long-term. This is why reaching out to a member of your network during your job search can be beneficial.

Follow these steps to reach out to a connection about a job you want with their company.

Write Down Your Talking Points

Make a short, bulleted list of where you have been and where you want to advance to. Include your last three job titles, the companies you worked for, and your top responsibilities. For instance, Account Executive, Smith PR: Served as the main point of contact for tech clients including Microsoft. Share the job title and function you desire and others you would consider. For instance, Senior Account Executive, Account Supervisor, or Public Relations Manager. Point out how you would be a good fit for each.

Send a Targeted Email

Craft a personal email to your connection at the company. Include a specific request about how they can help you. Ask for specific introductions at their company, such as to the hiring manager or an interviewer. Consider requesting an informational interview, general advice on the role and organization, or feedback on the resume you included with your email. Thank your contact for their help. Encourage them to stay in touch.

Remain Patient

Keep in mind that your contact is busy and may not reply to you right away. Wait a few days to follow up with them. Let your connection know you still are interested in the position and would appreciate an introduction to the hiring manager or an interviewer. Include any other request you may have, such as insider information about the organization, an informational interview, or input on your resume. Share that any help would be appreciated. Offer to return the favor when possible.

Partner with a Recruiter

Work with a recruiter from RightStone to find the IT job you want. Visit our job board today.


Set Your Team Up for Success in 2022

 

Setting team goals helps your employees feel more invested in reaching company objectives. Because your team members play a part in creating the goals, they are able to develop their skills as they work toward common objectives. Collaborating along the way, refining the action plan, attaining the goals, and celebrating successes promote engagement and a sense of accomplishment throughout the process.

Use the following guidelines to help your IT team set goals for 2022.

Tie Team Goals to Company Objectives

Meet with your supervisor to discuss what the business priorities and performance expectations are for your team. Use this information to align your team goals with what leadership wants to see happen over the next 12 months. This will serve as a foundation for the action plan your team creates.

Use the SMART Format

Create team goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-driven (SMART). The more specific your goals, the more focused your team’s efforts will be. This helps measure your progress and create actionable plans to increase the likelihood of success. Be sure you divide the bigger goals into smaller, more manageable milestones that your team can monitor. Also, provide the necessary resources, skill training, and deadlines to reach the milestones. This helps with productivity, efficiency, and time management.

Help Your Team as Needed

Consistently check-in to ensure your team members are fulfilling their responsibilities and meeting their milestones. This may involve scheduling regular one-on-one meetings to discuss the goals and address any questions or concerns. Be sure to find out where your team members are in reaching their milestones. Also, provide feedback, advice, and individual training as needed. Encourage your team members to hold themselves and each other accountable for getting everything done on time. Their actions affect the individual and collective success of the team.

Follow Up

When a deadline passes, talk with your team about whether they achieved their milestone or goal. If they did, point out how their individual efforts contributed to the success of the company. Also, talk about what worked well, what did not, and how it could be improved for next time. Celebrate your team’s successes through recognition during a meeting, a gift from the company, or a team lunch. Or, if your employees still are working to reach a goal, help them update the action plan, milestones, and deadlines. Encourage your team to continue moving forward in the process.

Plan Your IT Staffing Needs for 2022

Meet with a recruiter from RightStone to begin planning your IT staffing needs for the new year. Talk with us today.


4 Tips for Difficult Employee Conversations

 

As an IT manager, there will be times when you need to address employees regarding performance issues, conflicts, or other difficult topics. Although this can be challenging, it needs to be done sooner rather than later. You need every employee functioning as a cohesive unit to keep the company moving forward.

Implement these four tips to effectively handle challenging employee discussions:

 

1. Include a Witness  

Ask a manager or HR professional to be present during your conversation. This is especially important when discussing policy violations, behavioral issues, or anything that involves disciplinary coaching. Brief your third party on the situation to make sure you understand each other’s roles and responsibilities before the talk.

2. Remain Positive

Maintain an open line of communication with a coaching style of dialogue. This helps the employee avoid becoming defensive and argumentative. Begin by asking simple questions such as “How’s everything going?” or “Can I have a few moments of your time to talk about some feedback about your behavior?” Clarify exactly what the issue is and specific examples of how the employee can improve. Include facts and data to support your statements. For instance, “I have some suggestions for what we can do. Can you share some ideas so we can reach this goal?” Provide the necessary tools, resources, and support to reach milestones for improvement and measure success. Finish the conversation on a positive note.

3. Tie the Issue to the Business

Point out how the issue creates a concern for the team or company. For instance, consistent absenteeism may mean that teammates have to add to their already full workload to ensure tasks get done on time. Or, a conflict with a coworker can make it more difficult for employees to collaborate on projects. This shows your main focus is on the company, not the employees’ personal lives. Work with the employee to create a plan to improve and a job-related consequence if they do not. Making the employee feel heard is empowering and encourages them to do better.

4. Maintain Confidentiality

When addressing a conflict between employees, keep the conversation limited to those involved. Make sure they understand that what they disclose may need to be shared with others. Meet individually with the employee you received feedback about and others who witnessed the incident to discuss their behavior. Use the information you gather to determine what happened. Work with the employees to find a fair resolution. Hold everyone accountable for keeping with the final agreement.

Hire Top IT Professionals

Find the expertise required to make your next IT execution and implementation successful. Talk with RightStone today.


How to Create a Positive Team Culture

 

As an IT manager, you understand the importance of teamwork. When your team members communicate and collaborate well, they are better able to do their work. However, blending employees with different talents and personalities can result in challenges. This is one reason why having a strong team culture is necessary.

Follow these 6 guidelines to build a desirable team culture.

1. Define Your Team Culture

Talk with your team about what your culture should look like. This is important because your employees’ actions, interactions, and attitudes impact the effectiveness of your success. For instance, your team culture may be defined by having a positive mindset both inside and outside the office. This creates a strong team synergy that minimizes conflict and increases success. Everyone performs better when they work as a cohesive group. Different ideas lead to solutions for problems. Shared visions let your team see the future.

2. Learn from Other Successful Teams

Explore how teams with proven track records communicate, collaborate, and solve problems. For instance, incorporate ideas from companies like Google, Southwest Airlines, and Zappos to develop your teambuilding procedures. These companies are among the most successful in engagement, productivity, and goal attainment.

3. Encourage Collaboration

Instill in your team culture the importance of collaboration. Use your enthusiasm, self-discipline, and strengths to serve as a guide for teamwork. For instance, trust your team members to make hard decisions when you are away. Encourage them to discuss how you would handle a situation and carry out an appropriate plan of action.

4. Emphasize Your Company Mission and Core Values

Work with your team to create a list of team values based on your company’s mission and core values. Include in the discussion what everyone’s most important personal values are. Find out whether the same values impact their professional success and whether they would look for these values when hiring employees. Also, talk about what your team would not tolerate in the workplace. Use their answers to set team standards for job performance, customer service, and related issues.

5. Clarify Your Expectations

Explain to your team what you expect from them all of the time. Examples include honesty, accountability, commitment, conflict resolution, and pride in top performance. If your expectations are not being met, privately talk with the employee about the issue. Find out what it causing the problem and how you can help. If the employee does not want to set goals for improvement, assume responsibility, or respond to feedback, they may need to find another source of employment.

6. Continue to Build Your Team Culture

Use positive reinforcement to maintain your team culture. For instance, provide real-time feedback and coaching to help your employees maintain professional growth. Also, encourage your team to get involved in local charity events. Plus, organize employee family activities one weekend per month.

Hire Top-Notch IT Professionals

Add talent to your IT team with help from RightStone. Get in touch with us today.


3 Reasons to Hire a Contract Worker to Join Your IT Team

The way we work requires agility, particularly in the world of  IT. If your response doesn’t match the market reality, you put your whole organization at risk.

IT agility is your IT system’s ability to respond to external changes, and part of your agility comes from your people. That’s what IT contractors continue to be an increasingly popular choice for businesses.

Here are three reasons why hiring a contract worker is the right move for your IT team.

You Need Specialist Skills for a One-Off Project

You already have a few IT generalists and maybe even a security specialist. But your existing team may not have the skills and tools needed to complete a vital project.

If you need help with rolling out a cloud computing campaign, setting up an ERP, application development, or data center management, a contractor might be the best option. These projects usually occur over a set timeframe, which means you can hire a contractor for the project’s duration without worrying about finding work for them when you’re done.

You Need to Hire Quickly

Do you need to roll a project out in the next few weeks or months? Have you been given a hard ‘go live’ date by company leadership?

Hiring a full-time employee takes weeks or even months, depending on the skills you need. Contractors take less time to bring on board because they are a once-off investment. Plus, many of today’s top IT talent prefer to work as contractors, so you aren’t limited to candidates currently looking for a new job or getting ready to leave their current post.

The hiring process is more nimble, which means you can complete your projects on time.

You Need an Extra Set of Hands without the Expense

Hiring a new employee costs more than a salary: they have benefits, spend weeks going through onboarding, and can come with huge hiring expenses.

A contractor comes with a fixed fee, no need to pay benefits, and strict end date. So you can remain in control of your human capital costs.

Hiring a contractor makes sense for many companies, particularly when you have project-based work and a strict deadline. But just because you choose the contractor route doesn’t mean you can’t afford to find the right candidate.

 

Are you looking for an IT contractor? At RightStone, we place the right IT consultants with the right clients using our RightStone 360 process. Get in touch to learn more about how we match technical requirements and personalities.


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