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What’s New in IT Recruiting?

 

According to the September 2022 CompTIA Tech Jobs Report, the IT unemployment rate was at 2.3% in August. The increase from 1.7% the previous month likely was because the overall US unemployment rate increased. Also, large IT companies laid off employees. Plus, many IT employees left their jobs for other opportunities.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) Economic News Release for August 2022 showed 3.97 million available IT jobs. Like the past 24 months, this trend is expected to continue.

As a result, the competition for IT talent should remain tight. Fortunately, partnering with an IT staffing firm can ease recruiting concerns.

Learn more about the current state of IT recruiting and how RightStone can alleviate your IT staffing concerns.


IT Job Openings

CompTIA stated that the IT industry added 175,700 jobs so far in 2022. This is 46% ahead of last year’s job gains.

Job postings for IT roles were slightly under 320,000 in August. Thirty-one percent of these jobs were in artificial intelligence, machine learning, the Internet of Things, data analytics, and automation software.

IT job postings from January through August 2022 increased by 56% over last year. This shows remote work likely will remain semi-permanent.

Slower IT Hiring

The pace of IT hiring likely will slow due to the recession. CIOs are unsure of how the economic downturn may impact their bottom line. Some businesses stopped hiring and began laying off employees.

An average of 200,000 IT roles remains unfilled due to a lack of qualified candidates. According to the Mid-Year 2022 IT Salary Survey by Janco Associates, Inc., many roles are paying up to 10% higher salaries to attract the best talent.

However, this disparity is causing current employees with lower salaries to find different employers. As a result, CIOs must find a balance between the budget, employee salary increases to address inflation, and the resources needed to attain the technology and bottom-line objectives.

IT Education Requirements

Approximately 20% of IT job postings in July 2022 were for roles requiring 2 years of experience or less. Also, nearly 50% required 3-5 years of experience. Plus, 13% of the positions required at least 9 years of experience.

Many employers no longer are requiring college degrees for some of their IT job openings. Candidates’ skills, experience, and personality traits are becoming more important than their educational background. This increases the candidate pools for open roles.

Software developers and engineers are especially in-demand. There were approximately 148,000 job postings for these roles in July 2022. IT support specialists, project managers, systems engineers and architects, and network engineers and architects also are in short supply.

Roles in emerging technologies or roles requiring these skills accounted for 33% of job postings in July. Many companies began hiring IT professionals through coding boot camps, low-code training, and other non-traditional approaches.

Get Help with IT Recruiting

RightStone can match you with skilled IT professionals to fill your job vacancies. Get started with 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.


What Should You Do During Your First Week on the Job?

 

Starting a job comes with lots of uncertainty. You must adapt to new peers and leaders, a different work environment, and more challenging responsibilities.

The first week at your new job should be focused on balance. This includes making a positive first impression while giving yourself time to learn everything. The following tips can help you reach your first few milestones.

Follow these guidelines for increased success during your first week at a new job.


Introduce Yourself

Make a habit of sharing your name with the colleagues and coworkers you come into contact with. This helps you get to know other employees within the organization. It also helps your name and face become more familiar to others.

You may want to ask your manager for a list of employees you definitely should get to know. You also might ask for time at the beginning of a meeting to introduce yourself to the other participants.

Know what you want to say when you introduce yourself. For instance, if the person you are meeting appears distracted, keep your introduction brief. Or, if the person appears receptive, take a few minutes to get to know them.

Focus on remembering names by saying them back to the person. Also, write a quick note about the person to jog your memory.

Ask Questions

Request the information you need from your peers and leaders. This helps you more effectively do your job.

Consider what you want to know more about. This may include permission, advice, or validation. Be as specific as possible to receive the information you desire.

Write down your questions. This helps you remember what to ask about.

Prioritize the information you seek. This lets you determine when an appropriate time may be to ask about it. For instance, if you cannot access your computer, you should request help immediately. Or, if you need clarification on your team’s quarterly goals, you should be able to wait to talk with your manager.

Develop a Friendship

Ask a colleague or coworker out for coffee or lunch. Have a goal of getting to know them better. Developing social ties helps you feel more stable and comfortable as you adapt to your new work environment. It also can increase your productivity.

Add Value to the Company

Absorb as much information as possible in a short amount of time. Then, use what you learn to begin finding ways to contribute to the organization.

You may want to think about what you learned during the interview process. Perhaps there was a specific need discussed that you could focus on. Or, you could ask your manager what you should be focused on. Prioritize getting results as soon as possible.

Get Help Finding an IT Job

When the time comes to find your next IT role, make RightStone part of your search. Here are links to our job board and contact information.


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.


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.


Helping Employees Who Are Burned-Out

 

Employee burnout is on the rise. More employees than ever before are experiencing feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion. This leads to increasingly negative feelings toward their jobs. It also reduces engagement and productivity.

Many burned-out employees feel taken for granted. The lack of rewards for their hard work and results leads to feelings of not being in control at work. These employees tend not to feel a sense of teamwork toward a unified goal. Some may believe they are working harder than others or are being unfairly treated.

The amount of work and the emotions surrounding the work are what lead to burnout. As a manager, you need to do what you can to help alleviate these feelings in your employees.

Implement these tips to help your employees who are experiencing burnout.


Openly Discuss Mental Health

Talk with your team about the importance of mental health. Point out that most employees struggle with mental health concerns at some point. If you feel comfortable, mention some of your own mental health challenges and how you effectively manage them. This may include meditation, yoga, therapy, or medication.

Keep all discussions and information confidential. Your employees need to know they can trust you and each other in order to open up.

Use an Emotion-Rating System

If you or your employees do not feel comfortable talking about their specific feelings, use an anonymous rating system instead. Give each of your employees a piece of paper and a pen. Then, ask your employees to rate their mental health on a scale of 1-10. Next, collect and look over the answers. Finally, use the results to talk with your team about their overall emotional state.

Ask whether there are specific issues your team would like to discuss. Provide as much support as possible. This may include mentioning the resources available through HR or the health insurance benefits.

Look for Mental Health Concerns

Participate in training to spot potential mental health concerns in your employees. This often involves an employee acting out of character. For instance, a top employee may begin to put in less effort, reduce communication with teammates, and miss deadlines.

Privately talk with an employee who appears to be struggling. Let them know you are available to talk and provide support however you can.

Offer a Leave of Absence

You may want to offer a leave of absence so an employee can get help to resolve the issues they are experiencing. If so, RightStone can provide temporary IT workers to fill in. Find out more today.


How to Combat Work Stress

 

Stress at work can have a number of sources. Some of the most common include increased workloads, the pressure to perform well, longer work hours, downsizing, and issues with coworkers. Increased stress levels can lead to disengagement, reduced productivity, and greater absences. Bigger issues include sickness, depression, and problems at home. As a result, you want to monitor your stress level each day and take steps to combat potential issues before they get out of hand.

Use any of the following methods to decrease your stress level at work.


Time Management

Make a list of the personal and professional tasks you want to accomplish for the day or week. Your goal is to create a balance between work and family time and social and solo activities each day. Then, distinguish between the activities you need to do and the activities you should do. Place your required activities at the start of each day and the activities you should do later in the day. Allow enough time to finish one activity before beginning another. Also, schedule 10- to 15-minute breaks throughout each day and an hour for lunch. You need time to get up from your desk, take a walk, eat healthy foods, and clear your head.

Daily Exercise

Engage in aerobic activity every day. Increasing your heart rate for at least 30 minutes helps elevate your mood, energy level, and focus. Your body and mind are better able to relax then. Breaking up your exercise into three 10-minute intervals can be just as effective as exercising for a half hour all at once.

Healthy Eating

Consume just enough food and beverages to provide the energy needed to stay productive. If you eat too little and experience low blood sugar, you may become anxious and irritable. Or, if you eat too much, you may feel lethargic. Instead, try consuming small meals throughout the day. This can even out your blood sugar level, maintain energy, and keep you focused.

Adequate Sleep

Get at least 7 hours of sleep each night. This reduces your vulnerability to anxiety and insomnia. You are better able to maintain emotional balance when you are well-rested. Going to bed and getting up at the same time each day can promote rest at night. Disengaging from mobile devices an hour before bedtime can help as well.

Looking for a New Job?

RightStone can set you up with opportunities to advance your IT career. See which jobs interest you today.


4 Work Goals You Can Accomplish This Year

 

Like many employees, you may be used to going to work, finishing your tasks, going home, and repeating the process the next day. Of course, putting in your best effort and fulfilling your responsibilities is important. However, you also should be focused on moving forward in your career. Taking steps each day to reach your professional goals helps you accomplish more of what you set out to do. The greater your achievements, the higher you can set your future goals.

The following are four professional goals you may want to achieve in 2022.


1. Improve Your Time Management

The better you manage your time, the more you can accomplish each day. As you begin to be more productive each week, you can take on more responsibilities that can result in a leadership position.

You may want to try time blocking. Make a list of each task you want to accomplish throughout the day or week. Then, schedule a time to complete each activity. You should plan your most complex tasks during the times when you are most productive, such as early in the morning or right after lunch. Be sure to allow flexibility for unexpected events that may alter your plans. If you do not accomplish a task, add it to the next day’s schedule.

2. Participate in a Course

Take part in an online course to promote your career advancement. This may include developing your coding skills through an online coding boot camp. Or, you might want to learn a new programming language through Codecademy. Make sure the course is the right fit for you and that the instructor/organizer has valuable information to share. Also, celebrate as you successfully complete each assignment and when you finish the course.

3. Increase Your Network

Make it a point to meet more professionals in your company and industry. This may occur in the breakroom, at a conference, or through a professional organization. The more connections you add to your network, the more opportunities you have to advance in your career path. The members of your network can alert you to job openings, introduce you to hiring managers and other IT professionals in their company, or serve as referrals or references during your job search. Be sure you offer to help your connections as well.

4. Find a New Job

Secure a better IT role with a different employer. You can meet more professionals and develop new skills that keep you engaged in your work. You also can gain more experience and increase your qualifications to take on higher leadership positions within the organization. This increases your career options both now and in the future.

Partner with a Staffing Firm

Work with a recruiter from RightStone to find your next IT role. Visit our job board today.


How to Focus on Diversity & Inclusion in Your Recruiting Efforts

 

The more diverse and inclusive your company is, the more competitive it is. The blending of team members from different cultures, genders, and backgrounds provides greater innovation, problem-solving, and goal attainment than working with more homogenous team members. Your diverse team is better equipped to provide different viewpoints and develop unique ideas than a homogenous team. This elevates collaboration, engagement, morale, and retention. These are reasons why diversity and inclusion need to be priorities within your organization.

Implement these tips to make your recruitment process more diverse and inclusive.


Focus on Your Leadership Demographics

Analyze the leaders occupying the top roles in your organization. Determine whether they reflect the demographics of the communities you serve. Include what your leaders’ succession planning pipeline looks like. Think about whether this involves women and people of color. You want to hire and promote employees in these two groups to line roles and executive positions as much as possible.

The more women and people of color you have in revenue-generating and decision-making roles, the more your company will attract and retain diverse candidates. Offering employee resource programs and other sources of support for these groups increases your level of inclusivity.

Reduce Unconscious Biases

Train everyone involved in your hiring process to uncover and modify their hidden aversions to specific types of candidates. These biases mostly are shaped by individual experiences and typically result in wrong assumptions.

For instance, use gender-neutral language in your job descriptions. This includes the omission of words such as “supportive” or “aggressive.” The former tends to attract more female candidates, whereas the latter tends to attract more male candidates. Avoiding gendered words typically attracts a more balanced number of female and male applicants to your job openings.

Include in your job description only the necessary skills and qualifications for the role. Whereas women typically apply for a position they feel 100% qualified for, men typically apply for a job they feel 70% qualified for. Listing only the most important skills and qualifications increases the balance of female and male applicants for your position.

Eliminate the names, schools attended, and other personally identifying information on the resumes you receive. This causes your hiring team to focus on the skills, experience, and qualifications of your applicants when deciding who to interview. Women and people of color are more likely to be contacted and potentially hired by your organization, which increases diversity.

Emphasize Your Employee Resource Groups

Include throughout your recruitment process information about the resources you provide to support your employees. Details about your employee resource groups (ERGs) and other inclusivity programs show you care about your team members from all backgrounds. Knowing that all employees are valued members of your organization helps attract and retain diverse talent.

Want More Diverse IT Candidates?

RightStone has IT professionals of different backgrounds ready to fill your business needs. Contact us today.


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