Blog

How to Show That Your Organization Values Diversity and Inclusion

 

The need for companies to demonstrate their prioritization of diversity and inclusion is more important than ever. Managers and other leaders need to create a work environment where employees at all levels feel valued and respected for their uniqueness and contributions.

Your employees likely differ by gender, ethnicity, age, religion, race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and physical ability. This means their diverse talents, experiences, lifestyles, personalities, perspectives, opinions, family compositions, education levels, worldviews, and tenure also differ.

As a result, you need to find ways to help each of your employees add their voice and value to your team. This helps your employees feel included in decisions, opportunities, and challenges.

Choose among the following strategies to show that your company values diversity and inclusion.


Request Employee Feeback

Ask your employees for input on how effectively they feel the company values diversity and inclusion. You may want to begin this conversation in small groups or with individual employees. Make sure you include everyone during the process.

Ask difficult questions and seek honest feedback. Remind your employees that everything they say or hear is confidential. Use your findings to make any necessary changes to the company’s diversity and inclusion initiatives.

If you do not feel comfortable talking about diversity and inclusion, send your employees an anonymous survey instead. Ask questions related to specific parts of the company’s initiatives. Use the results to improve the company’s actions to increase diversity and inclusion. Resend the survey on a regular basis to assess progress in this area.

Participate in Diversity and Inclusion Training

Engage in learning how you can better promote diversity and inclusion for all employees. As a manager, you provide the foundation for the cultural environment they work in.

Take part in assessing the current environment, creating an approach, and leading the implementation of the plans to increase diversity and inclusion. Commit to the demonstration of respect for all employees within the organization every day.

Help create a sense of psychological safety for all employees. This is shown by your actions and commitments to honoring diversity and inclusion.

Encouraging employees to express who they truly are and celebrating their unique traits is part of this process. This helps increase engagement, productivity, and retention.

Celebrate Diverse Holidays

Recognize the holidays that honor your employees’ heritage. You may want to organize a luncheon where each employee brings a cultural dish to share. Perhaps you want to hold a brown bag lunch where your employees share information about their heritage or religion. Or, you could encourage your employees to decorate their work areas to promote their personal holidays.

Hire Diverse Employees

Partner with RightStone to hire the diverse IT employees your team needs to stay competitive. Reach out to us today.


Improve Employee Engagement with Feedback

Feedback plays an important role in employee engagement. Your team members need to know what they are doing well, what needs improvement, and specific ways to do better. Having clear guidance that is broken down into simple steps makes it easier to take action. This encourages improved work performance.

Follow these guidelines to provide feedback that enhances engagement among your IT team.

Provide Feedback Channels

Different methods should be available to deliver feedback. The method chosen should be based on what the employee feels comfortable with or what the situation calls for. Examples include attributed or anonymous feedback, 1-on-1 or 360-degree feedback, individual or group feedback, and face-to-face or written feedback.

Clarify Expectations

Set standards for what feedback should look like and achieve. Consistently convey this message throughout the organization. Include who should give and receive feedback, how often it should occur, how feedback should be delivered, and what the goal should be. In addition, focus on giving both positive and corrective feedback in equal amounts to each employee.

Train on Feedback

Provide training and resources for appropriate ways to give and receive feedback. This may include watching videos with examples of effective and ineffective feedback interactions. In addition, you could involve your team in role-playing best practices for sharing and implementing feedback. Plus, consider training your staff to ask questions, request examples, and clarify meanings when being given feedback.

Lead by Example

Consistently demonstrate appropriate ways to provide and accept feedback. Because your team members typically behave in line with your actions, they are likely to handle feedback similar to how you do. Be sure you reinforce the actions you want to see from them.

Show the Results

When feedback is used to make a management decision, share the information with your team. Focus on what was brought up, why it was important, and how the information benefitted the company. Show that what your employees have to say makes a difference. This encourages them to continue to provide and implement feedback.

Include Feedback in Culture

Make feedback part of your company culture. This encourages employees to provide and accept feedback on a regular basis. Typical results include enhanced honesty, transparency, and work performance.

Find IT Employees

Work with RightStone to find top IT employees. Contact us today.


Manager Focus: How to Improve Your Management Skills

Whether you are a new or seasoned IT manager, there are always ways to improve your skills. The more effective you are in your role, the higher your job satisfaction. And, the more impact you have on your team, the greater your chances of being promoted.

Implement these 7 tips to improve your skills as an IT manager.

1. Get to Know Your Team

Learn all you can about your team members both personally and professionally. This includes their personal interests, strengths, skills, work styles, and motivations. Use this information to talk about common interests, assign tasks, and encourage productivity. This promotes engagement and trust, resulting in a positive work environment.

2. Align Roles with Business Goals

Point out how each team member’s contributions impact company goals. Create a sense of shared responsibility in the team by explaining how and why their work is making a difference. This improves engagement and productivity.

3. Share Key Performance Indicators

Let your team know exactly how success will be measured when taking on a new project or initiative. Use key performance indicators (KPIs) to show what each team member should accomplish when the work should be done by, and what the results should look like. Use this information to determine whether your team is staying on track or needs to be guided back to reach the next milestone.

4. Adhere to Processes

Make sure your team members follow the processes in place to complete their tasks. Explain each step of the process and why it should be followed. Using the same method each time creates positive outcomes in an efficient and effective manner.

5. Increase Efficiencies

Involve your team in continuously finding ways to improve processes and workflows. Because things change over time, the way tasks are completed should evolve as well. Updating processes and workflows can increase their efficiency. This helps your team get more done in less time.

6. Encourage Innovation

Emphasize the importance of developing and enhancing your company’s products and services. For instance, regularly set aside time for your team to come up with ideas, discuss the most viable ones, and choose one to develop and implement. This increases engagement, job satisfaction, and retention.

7. Communicate with Your Superiors

Maintain regular contact with the leaders above you. This helps you better align with their goals. For instance, discuss whether their expectations for a project or initiative are feasible. If not, share your insight into what is possible given the current circumstances and the desired outcome. The leaders can either adjust their expectations or provide additional resources to reach their intended goals. Also, if unexpected events cause productivity to slow down, explain how the circumstances impacted the timeline and when the final result should be created.

Hire Skilled IT Professionals

Find experienced IT professions with help from RightStone. Learn more today.


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.


  • 6029 Belt Line Rd, Suite 260, Dallas, TX 75254
  • 972-895-2555
Military Spouse Employment Partnership Forbes America's Best Temporary Staffing Firms 2020