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Spotting Resilience in Candidates When Hiring

 

Looking for hard and soft skills when hiring is important. This includes seeking resilience in the best talent.

The increasing complexity of work environments requires employees to adapt quickly. They must effectively handle stressful situations to continue to move forward.

Uncovering resilience in candidates involves knowing what to look for during interviews. This helps clarify whether candidates have what it takes to be successful with your organization.

Implement these tips to find resilience in candidates during interviews.


Know What You Are Looking For

The ability to handle uncertainty plays a significant role in resilience. Resilient candidates can strategically prioritize, overcome obstacles, and continue to work toward their goals.

A candidate’s resume likely will not provide much insight into their level of resilience. However, investing a substantial amount of time with one company and receiving multiple promotions implies the candidate worked through issues and was rewarded appropriately.

Tailor Your Expectations for Resilience to the Role

Each position has unique challenges that require employees to be resilient. This impacts what you should expect from candidates during interviews.

For instance, decision-making and leadership roles require more resilience than entry-level positions. This is why your expectations need to be adjusted appropriately.

Ask Relevant Questions

The modern workplace is filled with volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. As a result, you must use interviews to assess how candidates may react to challenges in the workplace.

Ask questions to determine how a candidate’s emotions are triggered and how they react to stressful situations. These questions may involve recent frustrations or failures candidates experienced and how the candidates responded.

For instance, you might request an example of when a candidate last got angry at work, what they were angry about, and how they responded. Look for an authentic answer to assess their resilience during challenging times.

Evaluate Authenticity in Interview Answers

Determine the candidate’s work in previous positions and what they took responsibility for. This includes whether they worked independently or collaborated.

Ask follow-up questions about each candidate’s work experience to uncover details about their accomplishments. You need to know how dedicated they were to resolving issues and the type of value they can to your organization.

Set Up a Role Play

Describe a workplace challenge relevant to the position, then ask each candidate how they would respond to it. Ask them to detail the different aspects they would consider, and they would approach the situation.

Role-playing lets you assess how each candidate would work through a real-life stressful situation. It also provides insight into their resilient nature.

Take notes on how each candidate evaluates, works through, and reacts to the situation. This helps determine how resilient they would be in the role.

Want Additional Help Hiring?

Make RightStone a part of your hiring process. Learn more today.


Making Good Impressions in the Recruiting Process

 

The impressions you make throughout the recruiting process impact how candidates feel about working for your company. This affects whether current and future candidates decide to apply with or accept job offers from your organization.

Many candidates share their impressions of a company on Glassdoor or other employer review sites. This influences whether other job seekers decide to apply to your openings.

As a result, you must form positive impressions throughout your recruiting process. These tips can help.

Follow these guidelines to make positive impressions on candidates throughout the recruiting process.


Share Clear Job Descriptions

Use simple language to describe the job duties and responsibilities.

  • Choose gender-neutral language to encourage people of all genders to apply.
  • List the top three to five requirements to open up the role to more applicants.
  • Include the most important information first.
  • Use bullet points, active verbs, and short sentences to ease reading.
  • Share whether the role involves managing team members.

Streamline the Application Process

Make it simple to apply for a position.

  • Ensure your careers page is easily visible and navigable.
  • Provide short, clear application directions.
  • Let candidates apply without creating an account and logging in.
  • Offer LinkedIn or resume parsing.
  • Limit your application process to one page.
  • Make your application mobile-friendly.
  • Ensure your file size limits are generous.
  • Provide free-response spaces to copy and paste writing samples or URL links to work samples.
  • Email a confirmation for application submission.

Regularly Follow Up

Let candidates know whether they are advancing to the next step of your recruiting process.

  • Email an interview invitation or rejection as soon as possible.
  • Use a human email address to message candidates.
  • Respond to candidate questions, thank-you notes, and follow-ups.
  • Talk with candidates over the phone before asking them to complete a skills test or assignment.
  • Clarify the directions and timeline for the test or assignment.
  • Thank candidates for finishing the test or assignment.
  • Clarify the next steps in your recruiting timeline.
  • Provide hiring updates along the way.

Clarify Interview Expectations

Send candidates a calendar invitation with interview information.

  • Include how many interviewers are involved, their names, and whether they will be live or virtual.
  • Share how long the interview should be, where to park, and how to enter the building.

Conduct the Interviews

Begin each interview at the scheduled time.

  • Offer the candidate water or coffee.
  • Explain the interview process.
  • Maintain eye contact as often as possible.
  • Ask the same questions of applicants for the same job.
  • Take notes.
  • Thank the candidate for their time.
  • Let the candidate know when you will be in touch.

Follow Up

Let candidates know as soon as possible whether they are advancing in your recruiting process.

  • Include whether you will consider the non-selected candidates for future opportunities.
  • Provide a job offer if appropriate.
  • Send a candidate feedback survey.

Looking for Additional Advice?

Partner with RightStone for more help with your recruiting process. Find out more today.


Reducing Bias in the Hiring Process

 

Biases in your hiring process impact the diversity of your workforce. These conscious or unconscious beliefs cause certain candidates to be hired rather than others who may be more successful in a role.

Your employees’ diversity impacts their creativity, innovation, and productivity. This affects your company’s bottom line, reputation, and competitive edge.

As a result, taking steps to reduce biases in hiring is in your best interest. The following suggestions can help.

Implement these tips to minimize bias in your hiring process.


Educate Your Hiring Team

Train your hiring team on unconscious biases. This includes unfairly treating a candidate because of their race, skin color, or national origin. It also involves bringing aboard a candidate because their background, beliefs, and interests are similar to the decision-makers’.

  • Identifying unconscious biases helps your hiring team understand how their perspectives impact hiring decisions and workforce diversity.
  • Include what to look for and what to avoid during interviews.
  • Hold your hiring team accountable for minimizing bias in their hiring decisions.

Update Your Job Descriptions

Your job descriptions need to be as inclusive as possible to increase diversity in your candidate pools.

  • Include gender-neutral language.
  • Use a clear job title, such as “Application Developer” or “Data Analyst,” to attract the right candidates.
  • List only the three to five necessary qualifications to perform the work to increase the number of females and people of color who apply.
  • Mention any accommodations that can be made for candidates with wheelchairs or special needs.
  • Use HR software to uncover other biases involving race, age, physical ability, or other protected classes.

Require Skill Tests

Testing for the necessary IT skills lets you compare candidates based on their performance rather than personal characteristics. This indicates whether a candidate would be successful with your company.

Conduct Structured Interviews

Ask the same questions in the same order for the candidates interviewing for a role. This provides an objective foundation to evaluate candidates.

  • Use a rubric to score the answers from 1 to 5.
  • Encourage your hiring team to take notes on each candidate’s answers.
  • Discuss your team’s findings to make a hiring decision.

Get Help with Hiring

Let RightStone help add IT professionals to your team. Reach out to us today.


5 Ways to Help Keep Communication Channels Open

 

Maintaining open communication with your employees encourages them to share their ideas to improve the organization. Open communication also notifies you of problems, conflicts, questions, and concerns that must be resolved.

Encouraging open communication with your team promotes engagement, productivity, and collaboration. It also elevates job satisfaction, employee morale, and retention.

Implement these five tips to maintain open communication with your team.


1. Focus on the End Goal

Maintaining open communication with your team lets you know about problems as they arise. This helps you resolve the issues and minimize their impact.

Open communication makes you aware of ideas to improve your team. This may include increasing efficiency in workflows.

Openly communicating with your team helps improve your leadership skills. You can learn your employees’ strengths, talents, motivations, and goals. Then, you can use this information to increase your team’s engagement, productivity, and collaboration. This elevates job satisfaction, team morale, and employee retention.

2. Be Present

Stay in the moment when communicating with your team. Actively listening to your employees encourages them to talk about their ideas, issues, questions, and concerns.

Look at the employee who is speaking with you. Show they have your complete attention.

Nod, gesture, and use facial expressions throughout the conversation. Include responses such as “yes” and “uh huh” to show you are listening. Ask follow-up questions to gather more information.

Paraphrase what you are hearing to ensure you understand it correctly. You may want to say, “What I am hearing is…” or “Am I correct in thinking…”.

Wait until your employee is done speaking. Then, respond appropriately.

3. Encourage Team and Individual Communication

Although communicating with your entire team is important, there may be times when your employees prefer to talk with you one-on-one. They may feel more comfortable privately discussing a personal matter than sharing the details with the team.

Encourage your team to request individual discussions when needed. They may want to share an opinion that differs from the team’s opinions on how to proceed with a project. Or, there may be a family issue that could affect your employee’s work performance.

Show empathy and support during these private discussions. Work with your employee to resolve the issue however you can.

4. Acknowledge Employee Accomplishments

Give your team credit for their work. This includes when an employee’s idea is successfully implemented or a finished project attains the desired results.

Openly acknowledging your employees’ contributions and impact on the organization shows they are valuable members of your team. This promotes feelings of trust and respect. It also increases team collaboration and cohesion.

5. Request Constructive Feedback

Ask your team for input on your performance. Include what you are doing well and specific ways you can improve.

Talk more in-depth about the answers you need clarification on. The greater your understanding of an issue, the more effectively you can resolve it.

Implement the feedback you feel would be most beneficial. Regularly follow up with your team to discuss your progress.

Looking for Help Hiring?

RightStone has the qualified IT professionals you need to reach business goals. Contact us to get started today.


Red Flags That Can Rise in the Hiring Process

 

You can gather significant information about a candidate by reading their resume. You can learn even more by interviewing the candidate.

Talking with candidates helps determine whether they fit the qualifications for a role. It also can indicate whether they were completely honest about the information in their application.

Uncovering a red flag when reviewing resumes or interviewing candidates may indicate a hidden issue that could be cause for concern. You might want to learn additional information before deciding how to move forward.

If you uncover any of these red flags when hiring, you may want to reconsider hiring the candidate.


Changing Fields

A candidate regularly looking for work in different industries may be a red flag. The candidate might easily get bored and not remain engaged once they adapt to their new job. Or, they might be a poor performer who does not properly contribute to organizations.

You might want to pass over this candidate when scheduling interviews. They likely would not remain with your company long-term. You probably would need to restart the hiring process once the new hire leaves.

Employment Gaps

If a candidate has lengthy gaps between jobs on their resume, there may be cause for concern. The candidate may have trouble getting along with their managers or following company policies. This can indicate the inability to properly handle conflict, show empathy, or display other important traits for success in a work environment.

Talk with the candidate about their employment gaps. Perhaps the candidate had to take a break from the workforce to handle family or personal matters. Maybe they were downsized after a merger or laid off during the coronavirus pandemic.

Find out what the candidate did during their time away from the workforce. Perhaps they picked up valuable skills by taking a class, volunteering, or engaging in other professional development. These skills could benefit the candidate’s next employer.

Lack of Work Examples

Take note if a candidate cannot answer technical or behavioral interview questions with specific examples. They might lack the education, skills, or experience required for the role.

Ask follow-up questions to gather more information. Perhaps the candidate would need to develop certain skills to carry out the job duties and responsibilities.

Consider whether the candidate could undergo additional training to reach the desired level of performance in a reasonable amount of time. If not, you may want to move on to other candidates.

Want Help with Your Hiring Process?

Let RightStone assist with your IT hiring needs. Find out more today.


Tips to Be an Effective Listener for Your Contract Employees

 

Do you want to develop better relationships and improve productivity among your contract employees? Would you like to reduce misunderstandings and conflicts as well?

One of the best ways to accomplish these objectives is by actively listening. This involves consciously understanding the words your contract employees use and the message they provide. It also includes checking your understanding before replying.

Actively listening during conversations builds trust and credibility between you and your contract employees. The more you learn from these conversations, the more you can show you want to understand and support your contract employees.

Contract employees who feel listened to and respected typically perform their best. They also are likely to want to return to your company for future opportunities after the end of their contracts.

Implement these tips to more effectively listen to your contract employees.


Give the Speaker Your Complete Attention

Focus entirely on what your contract employee is saying.

  • Look at the person who is talking.
  • Pay attention to the speaker’s body language to determine how they may feel.
  • Mentally repeat the words you are hearing.
  • Focus on the words and emotions being shared.
  • Ignore the distractions around you.
  • Wait until the speaker is done to reply.

Display Proper Body Language

Show you are engaged in what the contract employee is discussing.

  • Maintain an open, interested posture.
  • Smile and use other expressions.
  • Nod and gesture when appropriate.
  • Include “yes,” “uh huh”, and other verbal comments.

Clarify Your Understanding

Reflect on what you believe your contract employee is telling you.

  • Paraphrase with “It sounds like you are saying…” or “What I am hearing is…” to ensure you understand the message.
  • Periodically sum up the speaker’s comments.
  • Ask questions to gather additional information.
  • Remain non-judgmental and patient.
  • Manage your emotions.

Reply Appropriately

Be open, honest, and candid with your response.

  • Take a moment to think before you speak.
  • Stay open-minded and patient as you consider different aspects of the situation.
  • Remain clear, empathetic, and respectful.
  • Be open to further discussion.

Looking for Contract IT Employees?

Contact RightStone to fill your contract IT staffing needs. Reach out today.


Work-Related Team-Building Activities That Enhance Morale

 

Employee morale consists of the attitudes, satisfaction levels, and overall outlooks that employees have while working for a company.  Employees who are satisfied and motivated at work tend to have high morale. They typically stay engaged and productive throughout the day.

Employee morale is an important part of company culture. A positive collective attitude creates a positive work environment. This helps increase employee retention.

As an IT manager, employee morale impacts your bottom line. This is why you need to do what you can to keep morale as high as possible.

One way to accomplish this is by organizing work-related team-building activities. Employees who participate in shared experiences tend to increase their engagement and connection in the workplace. This typically elevates collaboration. The more effectively your employees work together, the more they contribute to your organization’s success.

Choose among these remote and in-person team-building activities to improve morale.


Remote Team-Building Activities

Eat Around the World

Learn something new as you explore different cuisines. Cooking shares part of a culture, enhances taste buds, and teaches new culinary skills.

You may want to create a bowl of the Korean rice dish bibimbap. You might make the Senegal rice dish jollof. Or, you could bake the Breton cake kouign-amann. This activity is best for up to 10 people.

Themed Trivia Night

Improve collaboration by dividing everyone into teams with people they normally don’t work with. You may choose ‘90s music or classic movies for the trivia theme. Or, you could educate everyone with a theme like Black history or financial wellness. This activity is best for up to 40 people.

Guided Mindfulness Session

Help everyone relax and unwind through meditation. Organizing a group session is an effective way to introduce everyone to this calming practice.

This activity is best for any number of people.

In-Person Team-Building Activities

Improv Workshop

Help everyone improve the way they work together. Teach them how more effectively communicate and read social cues.

This activity is best for up to 25 people.

Guided Hike

Learn something new while relaxing in nature. Organize a guided hike at a state park. Discover more about the area you live in while spending time together.

This activity is best for up to 15 people.

Wellness Day

Provide the time and space to completely unplug from work. You may want to begin with a group yoga session and end with a gong bath. These peaceful activities can spark meaningful conversations and organic connections with others.

This activity is best for up to 40 people.

Looking for Help Hiring?

RightStone can provide support every step of the way when hiring IT talent. Find out more today.


What Employees Really Want from Managers

 

As an IT manager, your relationship with your team is important. It impacts important issues like employee engagement, productivity, and retention.

Understanding what your employees are looking for from you helps improve their performance. The more effectively you lead your team, the more your employees will do to positively impact the bottom line.

Discover five areas to focus on to fill your IT team’s needs and maximize performance.


1. Personal Interest

Get to know your employees on a personal level. For instance, talk about their families, hobbies, and interests outside of work. Also, find commonalities that you can have more in-depth discussions about. Additionally, follow up to see how your employees’ weekend activities were.

Having casual conversations with your employees shows you care about them as people. It also helps them see you as a person rather than just a manager. This helps enhance the employee experience. The more your team members enjoy their jobs, the longer they should perform their best and remain with your company.

2. Connection

Engage with your employees through individual conversations. For instance, recognize and celebrate each employee’s successes. Also, ask your employees what they feel they are doing well and what they believe they could do better. Additionally, provide constructive feedback to help your employees improve their performance.

Encourage your employees to share what is important to them and what they may be struggling with. Actively listen to what your employees say. Show that you support them. Offer to help as needed.

Enhancing individual connections with your team helps build respect for you as their leader.

3. Acknowledgment of Strengths

Regularly acknowledge each employee’s strengths. Focus on a 3 to 1 ratio when sharing what each employee did well and what they could improve on. This helps provide the motivation to continue to improve their performance. It also increases employee confidence and engagement.

4. Purpose and Impact

Help your employees understand how their contributions impact the company and carry out its mission. Your employees want to know how their efforts help reach the organization’s strategic goals. This shows how your team individually and collectively impacts the business.

Providing a sense of purpose and impact for your employees helps build feelings of belonging and job satisfaction. Your team should remain proactive and engaged while moving toward success.

5. Career Development

Develop a career plan with each of your employees. This shows how they can advance within the organization.

Be sure to offer opportunities to develop the skills needed for promotions. You might do this through training, delegation, or stretch assignments. The more you help your employees grow professionally, the longer they should remain with your company.

Need Help Finding Employees?

Work with RightStone to find qualified employees to join your IT team. Talk with us today.


What Does It Take to Manage with Transparency?

 

As a manager, employee engagement is among your top priorities. When your team members are engaged in their work, they remain productive. This increases the likelihood that your employees will reach their goals.

One of the most effective ways to increase engagement is by managing with transparency. Some of the benefits include clear expectations, better project management, and shared accountability.

When your employees understand each other’s roles in projects, they tend to help more because they understand the shared impact of their actions. Because your team members know what needs to be accomplished, they can provide solutions and take ownership of the process.

The following strategies can help you manage with transparency.


Outline Projects and Goals

Communicate your team projects and their objectives. This helps your employees understand what their role is and what they should accomplish. Based on the situation, you may want to cover the topics by an individual conversation, email, or team meeting.

Share Financial Data

Depending on the circumstances, you may want to share budgetary information about a project your employees are working on. This may include the translation of funds allotted into the project timeframe. Your employees can structure their daily tasks to stay on track and complete the project within or under budget.

Encourage Teamwork

Promote open communication among your employees as they collaborate on projects. This helps them understand the status of the project and the reasons for their next actions. Open communication also helps your employees identify and fix problems before they impact the course or cost of the project. Plus, it helps you and your employees understand the connection between tasks and the direction and progress of your team.

Provide Feedback

Let your employees know on a regular basis how they are performing. Include specific examples of what they are doing well and how they can improve. Provide the resources and support needed to implement the feedback. Your employees are likely to increase their efficiency and effectiveness when they receive honest input on their performance.

Get Help with Recruiting

Partner with RightStone to fill your IT recruitment needs. Get in touch today.


Positive Leaders Support Their Employees’ Mental Health

 

Having to navigate through the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic continues to take a toll on employees’ mental health. As a result, an increasing number of employees are experiencing anxiety, depression, and burnout. These mental health experiences differ according to race, economic opportunity, job type, parenting and caregiving responsibilities, and other variables.

As a manager, you need to support your employees as they face new stressors, safety concerns, and economic upheaval. The following strategies can help.

Implement these three tips to provide support for your employees’ mental health.


1. Share Your Mental Health Experiences

Because almost everyone experiences mental health concerns, openly discussing personal experiences helps to destigmatize getting help when needed. This is especially helpful when leaders share their mental health concerns and how they manage them.

Talk with your team about how you manage stress at work. If you go to a therapist, take medication, or receive professional help in another manner, let your team know. This helps normalize the discussion of mental health concerns. It also encourages your employees to get help when needed.

If you work from home, let your team know whether your kids have interrupted your video meetings or your coworkers have seen glimpses of your home. Sharing your challenges helps you appear human, relatable, and brave. This type of authentic leadership cultivates trust among your team. It also promotes employee engagement and performance.

2. Model Healthy Behaviors

Show your team that the prioritization of self-care is important. This includes setting and enforcing boundaries.

Let your employees know what you are doing to maintain your well-being. This may include taking a walk after lunch, engaging in a therapy appointment, or enjoying a staycation.

Emphasize that taking care of yourself helps prevent you from burning out. Your employees are likely to follow your example.

3. Provide Flexibility

Your needs and your employees’ needs will change as circumstances continue to change. Be sure to check in regularly with your employees. This is especially important during transitions.

Talk with your employees about any issues that come up. This may involve stressors such as finding childcare or feeling the need to work at all hours. Help problem-solve when needed.

Reiterate the norms and practices that support mental health. They include setting and enforcing boundaries and work hours.

You may want to include examples of how you modified your own work schedule to accommodate your personal needs. This might include changing your work hours to fit in childcare responsibilities.

Need to Add to Your Team?

When you need help hiring IT employees, turn to RightStone. Learn more today.


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