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Considering Workplace Flexibility? What Employers Need to Know

The ongoing need for stronger work-life integration is one reason why flexibility in the workplace is so important. For instance, allowing your employees to work during the hours they are most productive helps them remain engaged and accomplish more. Also, encouraging independent work as much as possible shows you expect personal accountability for finishing tasks on time. Plus, letting your team fit in personal responsibilities around their work tasks reduces burnout.

Discover some ways to provide flexibility for your IT team and how your company can benefit.

Personalized Workspaces

Suggest that your IT staff decorate their work areas to make them feel more personal. This may include displaying pictures of loved ones, using adjustable furniture, or adding plants to a workspace. Creating a unique work area increases engagement and employee morale.

Flexible Schedule

Allow your IT team to set their own work hours. Although they may need to start or end by a certain time while collaborating on a project, provide as much flexibility as possible. Your employees may be able to avoid commuting during rush hour, which reduces stress. Being able to control their schedule also increases daily attendance and efficiency.

Autonomy

Encouraging your IT staff to work independently increases productivity. As long as the work is finished on time and according to expectations, let your staff decide how and when they handle their projects. Having the freedom to complete their tasks with little supervision promotes confidence and trust.

Quality of Life

Your IT professionals experience greater life satisfaction when they can fit in personal responsibilities with professional ones. This may include participation in a morning fitness class to reach a health and wellness goal, attending their child’s ballet recital in the afternoon, or leaving work early one evening per week for a professional development class. Being able to fulfill personal interests during typical work hours increases job satisfaction.

Employee Retention

The more flexibility your IT team has, the longer they remain with your organization. Because employees want more control over fitting both their personal and professional responsibilities each week, they look for companies that provide perks in this area. Longevity among your team members results in lower costs to replace them.

Hire Top IT Professionals

When you need to hire the best IT staff, turn to RightStone. Learn more today.


Leveraging a Staffing Firm During High Unemployment

Over the last year, the U.S. has watched the unemployment rate take some deeply worrying turns. Although unemployment is now bouncing back slowly, the consequences of mass layoffs and upended industries are still making themselves known.

A staffing firm can be a valuable ally during times of turbulence, including this period of high unemployment. Here’s why working with a staffing firm could be the right business decision for your company.

Staffing Firms Hire Faster at a Lower Cost

With more people out of work, more talented candidates are on the hunt for a new role. As a result, you’re more likely to see a deluge of applications for every open post, which complicates the hiring process.

Staffing firms are more adept at sorting through large applicant pools, including greater numbers of unqualified applicants. They also have existing talent pools that they can leverage to shorten the time from job advertisement to hire.

In short, staffing firms have the resources to shorten the time to hire and manage hiring during high unemployment while staying on budget.

Staffing Firms Help Manage the Risk of Hiring

High unemployment often coincides with a difficult business environment in which organizations need more staff, but the associated costs can be a risk.

Staffing firms can work with you to fill contract roles that allow you to get the help needed without committing to permanent roles with benefits. Temp-to-Hire can be a smart option if you see the need extending in the medium to long-term, but your tolerance for risk is low for the short term.

Additionally, recruiters have a keen eye for the hiring process. They’re better able to find you better quality Temp-to-Hire or contract consultants, which add value to your business and are more likely to turn into long-term partnerships when the time is right.

Get Started with Hiring Experts

High unemployment grants businesses access to more talent with less competition, but these periods of instability rarely leave businesses themselves unscathed. Working with a strategic partner to manage your talent pipeline can ensure you mitigate risk and stay on budget while also ensuring you get the help you need in the office.

Get in touch to learn more about RightStone nurtures consultant and client relationships to find the right fit every time.


5 Tips for Interviewing a Candidate Older Than You

Sitting down to an interview with someone older than you is not as uncommon as it sounds.

Whether you need to hire for a very senior role or you have an applicant who took a detour on your career path, there are many ways you could find yourself interviewing someone who started their career while you were still in school.

Although the initial realization may feel awkward, interviewing an older candidate than you doesn’t need to be different from any other interview. Here are five things to remember when you find yourself in this scenario.

Don’t Bring Up Your Age or Theirs

Age is just a number. So, please don’t feel the need to make light of your age or ask questions about theirs.

What’s important is their experience and whether they fit the bill for the job. Bringing up the age gap will just increase the awkwardness. Make it a point to leave the conversation at the door and focus only on their qualifications.

Do More Research Beforehand

Research the candidate’s background to better understand what their experience and skills bring to the team. Doing so will give you a chance to ask more in-depth questions, which caters well to candidates who are more experienced than you are.

Rely Heavily on Emotional Intelligence

For some people, returning to an entry-level or mid-career job is part of a big life change, such as returning to the workforce after years or decades of raising a family, overcoming an obstacle like an illness, or finally getting the chance to pursue their dreams.

Empathy and emotional intelligence will help the candidate feel more comfortable. And they will remember how you made them feel above all else.

Go for Common Ground

What experiences do they have that you also have? Finding a point that you can both relate to, whether it’s a course or certification or project, will help the candidate open up and create a more conversational interview style.

Consider Outsourcing the Process

If you want to hire to bring on a more senior position than you currently have at the company, then you might consider outsourcing the recruitment process. Recruiters with expertise in your field will forgo the awkwardness associated with age or experience and have a better eye for the kind of candidate you need.

Are you looking for a new senior role in IT? Get in touch to learn about the RightStone 360 process and how we place the right consultant with the perfect employer. 


Keeping the Interview Conversational: 5 Ways to Conduct an Interview Like a Pro

The best interviews flow like a conversation rather than an interrogation. Conversations work because it gives both the interviewer and the interviewee space to think laterally and creatively, which allows both parties to share more about themselves.

But how do you keep an interview conversational when you have so many to complete and little time to do it?

Here’s how to get the most out of an interview.

Break the Ice First

“How are you?” is the most obvious question you can ask, and you won’t glean much from the candidate by asking it. Instead, ask them a more specific question that allows you to make a minute or two of small talk.

Some questions include: 

  • What’s the best thing to happen to you this week? 
  • How did you find this job post? 
  • What are you watching on television at the moment? 
  • Tell me something you’ve learned this week.

These are questions that open up the floor for discussion but don’t veer far enough into the personal to be jarring. 

Practice Asking Open-Ended Questions

If the answer to a question is yes or no, then you’ll get a yes or no answer. While it may provide a perfunctory answer, you won’t learn much, and your questions will seem more like an interrogation.

Practice answering open-ended questions to get more from candidates. These questions usually begin with “why” or “how” rather than “can” or “do.’

Ask Questions (and Follow-ups) Relevant to the Interviewee

You won’t find cookie-cutter candidates because there aren’t cookie-cutter people. So, don’t ask every candidate the same list of questions. Instead, use their resume and their previous answers to riff on their experience and ask questions relevant to the candidate’s history specifically.

Lean on Your Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is an often-overlooked part of the interview process. You don’t give anything away by being kind, warm, and yourself with a candidate, even if you aren’t sure they’re a good fit.

Lean on building a natural rapport with each interviewee where possible to keep the conversation flowing. Not only does it improve the process, but it also gives you a better sense of the candidate’s emotional intelligence too.

Let the Conversation Flow

Candidates regularly say that the best interviews feel more like conversations. And these interviews leave them with a positive experience, even if they don’t land the job.

Rather than rattling off a list of questions, let the conversation flow by demonstrating emotional intelligence and keeping each interview personal. You’ll find you both get more from the process when you do.

RightStone Can Help With Hiring!

Are you struggling with the hiring process? Let the experts help. Get in touchto learn more about how the RightStone 360 process places qualified consultants with the right businesses.


Keeping Talented Employees Can Be Difficult: 4 Tricks for Retaining Them

Everyone wants to attract the best talent. But what are you doing to retain the talent you already have? If you’re like many organizations, you’re not doing enough.

Employee retention needs to be a core part of any business strategy, but many organizations put it on the backburner in favor of more “tangible” value-adding processes. Yet, attracting your best employees not only stops employee churn but promotes a stronger culture through experience, loyalty, and leadership.

So how do you keep employees when your competitors are actively recruiting them? Here are four tricks for employee retention.

1. Keep Their Compensation Competitive

A well-known maxim in today’s market is this: if you want a raise, then you need to get a new job.

Financial stability won’t keep employees who want to leave, but it will stop otherwise committed workers from quitting. And it will make your team more difficult to poach.

Do some research and make sure you’re offering a competitive package. If you’re not, start talking to your team to learn more about what you can do to close the gap.

2. Hire the Right Employees

Hiring an employee who is the right fit for the role and the culture is the best thing you can do to retain talent. 

So rather than filling a gap now, wait for the right fit to come along, and make sure you use a comprehensive hiring process to filter candidates.

3. Create a Robust Professional Development Process

Regular reviews, investment in skills, and mentorship are the building blocks of employee retention, and they’re all simultaneously an investment into your company.

Employees who continue to grow their skills and take on new challenges in their jobs are more likely to stay. And it will build into the final piece of the employee retention puzzle: employee recognition.

4. Recognize Employees’ Contributions

All your employees are pulling for the same team: your company. But it’s important to recognize their individual efforts. Be sure to recognize their contributions both privately and publicly to remind them how much you value them and to inspire others.

Remember to keep the recognition specific. Let them (and others) know exactly what they did right and celebrate both personal and team achievements.

Employee Retention Benefits the Whole Organization

Employee retention tactics come in many different forms, and each one is worth the investment. When you work hard to retain your employees by ensuring they feel valued, providing opportunities for growth, and recognizing your efforts, you build stronger teams and a more stable organization.

At RightStone, our consultant retention rate is far above the industry average.Get in touch to learn how we build decades-long relationships between clients and consultants.


Redeeming a Bad Hire – What to Do When You Hire the Wrong Person

As HR professionals, you look for the holy grail in candidates: the candidate with the right background and who will also fit naturally into the company’s culture. 

To get there, you’ll sort through candidates with the experience but who won’t thrive at the company and those candidates who will win over all their colleagues but don’t have the skills needed to fulfill the organizational strategy.

Every hiring manager will hire the wrong person at some point. It’s what you do after you realize your mistake that counts.

Three Tips for Redeeming A Bad Hire

Don’t Fire Them Just Yet

The simplest solution to a poorly-performing new hire is to fire the employee. While simple, it’s rarely the right choice.

If your hire fits into the company culture and is a competent worker, then it’s a much better use of your resources to figure out how to support that employee. You might invest in upskilling, further education, or even transitioning them to a different role or team. But it’s rarely prudent to sever the relationship. With a little thought, they can repay the investment and be a real benefit to the company.

In the event the employee is tough to redeem both culturally and professionally, then it may be smart to part ways.

Trust your gut and once you make a decision, act on it.

Work with the New Hire to Play to Their Strengths

When you decide to transition the new employee, it’s important to work with them. If they aren’t a fit for their current role, then they probably know it.

Now is the time to decide whether to invest in their current role or transition them to a role where they will add more value. You can’t do this without working directly with the hire.

Talk to the new employee about what they think their strengths and weaknesses are. They may be able for their role with some skill development. Or you may find their woes are the result of a missed step in onboarding.

Use this knowledge to help the employee embrace their strengths.

Rethink Your Recruitment Process

Everyone makes a bad hire at least once, but if you find yourself in the position repeatedly, then there’s likely something awry in your hiring process.

Reassess everything from the job description to the onboarding process to look for weaknesses. Ask company leadership and direct managers for their input in the process. If you still face a loss, get outside help.

Looking for Help Finding the Right Candidate? Contact Us!

Are you struggling to place the right candidate? Let RightStone help. Our RightStone 360 process uses quality control checks at every part of the engagement to place qualified consultants with the right role every time.


5 Ways to Communicate With Passive Job Seekers

 

It’s no secret that a shortage of qualified candidates to fill highly-specialized roles has been hurting the IT industry in recent years. In their 2019 CIO Survey, the IT outsourcer Harvey Nash spoke with more than 3,000 leaders in the tech industry and found that a staggering 65% of respondents said that labor shortage is becoming a serious problem for the industry. In such a climate, the competition to source, recruit and hire top-talent applicants can be intense. It is also the reason why employers are beginning to adopt tactics aimed at recruiting “passive” job seekers or candidates who are currently employed elsewhere and thereby not actively seeking a new role.

Here are five tips for communicating with passive job seekers who might be a good match for a role within your company:

Strengthen Your Employer Brand

By building your company’s narrative (in the form of mission statements and the voice behind your copywriting, for example), candidates will be much more interested in learning more about you.

Understand Your Organization’s Needs

The more specifically you can define the skills, expertise, and specialties that you need to add to your company, the easier it will be to identify professionals whose backgrounds align with your needs. If a job description and its requirements closely align with their background and skills, passive candidates will be that much more likely to engage with you.

Partner With a Staffing Agency

Staffing agencies specialize in connecting engineers with companies who are seeking new talent. Once you’ve developed and strengthened your employer branding strategy, partnering with a staffing agency can help spread the message, mission, and values to all quarters of the industry to help attract top applicants.

Maintain Communication

Once you’ve established communication with a passive job seeker – whether that was through a staffing agency or by other means – it’s critical to do what you can to keep them engaged and to keep the conversation going. The fact that they’re currently employed elsewhere in all likelihood means that they’re happy in their current position, so excessive communication can ultimately be counterproductive. Rather, you can establish mutually productive communication by occasionally sending them posts that are relevant to their skills, and asking them questions about what their career goals look like.

Streamline the Application Process

Your goal while communicating with passive job seekers is to have them apply for a role. If, after strengthening your employer brand strategy, getting in touch with them, and maintaining your communication with them, they’ve decided to pursue an opportunity with your company, it should be your priority to make the process as frictionless as possible. Don’t have them submit their CV and application through an automated system; keep up personal communication. When they’re interviewing, don’t spend too much time asking them about their experience. After all, you approached them, so you can speed up the process by dropping those questions and instead of answering any questions that they might have.

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, we’re here to help.


Top Reasons Why IT Professionals Leave Their Jobs, and What You Can Do to Change It

Finding talented candidates is a struggle that IT employers frequently encounter. But there is another, lesser-known issue that is causing big problems in the IT industry: employee turnover. According to a 2018 turnover report from LinkedIn, IT has a turnover rate of 13.2%, which is the highest of any modern industry. This is leaving tech companies of all sizes scrambling to find new candidates to fill vacant roles, and spending billions of dollars in the process.

The best solution, however, may not lie in replacing employees that jump ship but rather making changes to your organization that will make them want to stay aboard. Here are a few of the big reasons why IT professionals leave their jobs, and some solutions that will make them want to stay:

Lack of Clear Career Advancement Opportunities – The huge influx in demand for talented IT employees in recent years means that our best workers are always being sought after by competing companies. If those companies can provide them with clear plans for how they’ll be able to advance in their career, and you haven’t communicated such a plan, that’s a huge motivating force for them to accept a new position. To encourage employees to remain in your company, work with your team leaders to devise clear and practical roadmaps for how your employees might be able to climb the ladder of success within your company.

They Are Being Overloaded With Work – One of the major reasons why employees leave a position is because they’re overworked for an extended period. This typically is indicative not so much of an employee’s capabilities but rather of the awareness and leadership skills of their managers. As leaders in the field, the responsibility falls on us to delegate tasks appropriately and realistically to our teams. This includes remaining conscious of employees’ workloads and taking steps to lighten them if we can see that someone is overwhelmed.

They Are Not Being Acknowledged by Leadership – Failing to acknowledge someone’s successes or even to provide honest feedback now and again is one of the surest ways to make an employee feel alienated and unimportant. If this is kept up, and someone continues to have his or her efforts seemingly ignored or taken for granted, you can be sure they will fairly quickly start looking into other opportunities that can offer more supportive work environments. Taking the time to provide feedback and recognize an employee’s contributions, on the other hand, can go a long way towards making them feel like an important part of the team.

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, we’re here to help.

 

 


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!

 


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