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Upskill Your Workforce and Bridge the Skills Gap

Finding new candidates who have highly sought after skills is challenging. Competing for them is even tougher. But you don’t need to join the pile and wrestle your competition for every single new candidate. Instead, you can bridge the skills gap by upskilling your employees. 

 Upskilling allows you to train your current team in these in-demand skills while keeping them in the same role. 

You Can’t Hire Your Way Out of the Skills Gap 

One reason upskilling (and reskilling) is so important is because it’s physically impossible to hire your way out of the skills shortage. The problem is too vast, and in-demand skills change too rapidly to ever keep up. One statistic says only 20% of today’s workforce has the skills needed for 60% of the jobs that will arrive over the next five to ten years. 

What’s more, hiring for technical skills won’t necessarily work. You can teach or pay for upskilling in cybersecurity or engineering.  But finding those candidates doesn’t mean that they’ll also offer essential soft skills, like communication and creative thinking. And those things can be much harder to teach. 

Upskilling Contributes to Professional Development 

Surveys suggest that employees are already upskilling, but they’re doing it on their own time and without support from their employer. You might think that’s good news, but it’s not. 

Employers who don’t offer the kind of professional development that keeps teams learning, growing, and preparing for the future find themselves with unengaged employees.  

Employee engagement is critical for your business’ success, but as many as 70% of employees aren’t engaged at work. Disengaged employees are less likely to be invested in their work, and when they do upskill, they’re more likely to take all their handy new skills to your competitor. 

By actively pursuing upskilling programs, you’re making your current employees more valuable to your company and you’re making them feel more valuable. You’ll see that value quickly: companies with engaged employees have revenues that are 2.5x those companies with low engagement levels. 

The Best Time to Upskill is Now 

Upskilling your employees will help you bridge the technology skill shortage and make you more competitive. Not only does the practice address the root of the problem, but it’s also a valuable investment in your company’s biggest assets: your workers. 

So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to start thinking about your plan for upskilling to complement your hiring practices. 

Are you looking for the right expertise for your team? Ready to add new skills? Want to know how we find and place skilled candidates with the clients who need them? Get in touch to learn how our RightStone 360 program can help you do all of the above. 

 


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.


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!

 


The Benefits Social Media Can Bring to Your Candidate Search

Social media is about more than just sharing memes and influencer marketing. Social platforms are where people spend a good amount of their personal and professional online time. From networking with business connections to staying in the know with friends, family, and community events; social media is a powerful connector of people. It can also be a powerful way to connect with potential new hires.

Some of the benefits of using social media in your search for talented candidates:

  • Good Referrals: Ask your employees to share your job postings on their personal and professional social media profiles. More than likely those talented people you hired network with lots of other talented people, possibly resulting in better-qualified candidates.
  • Cost-Effective recruiting: Social media is a free resource to share job listings. While ads and job postings on job boards have a cost associated with them, regular posts that are shared with your followers are free. You can maximize your reach by sharing available jobs on all of your social platforms – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – and spread the word. Followers might pass on the opportunity to someone in the market or they may apply themselves, and someone who’s already a fan and follower of your brand might be a great fit. Small businesses often try this method, along with asking for current employee referrals, before posting to public job sites.
  • Maximum Exposure: Limiting your job postings to online job forums means they only get in front of people who are actively looking for work. What if you could get in front of qualified talent who might be passive candidates but are interested enough in your company or position to get in touch anyway? Social media enables your brand to get in front of more people – actively searching or not – and can help you drive more interest in your position and source more candidates.

Using social media should be part of every business’s recruitment plan. Whether it’s a primary or secondary method of sourcing talent, it can be a huge benefit in your search.

If you’re looking to expand your team and are looking for talented people, we can help. Contact us today to let us assist in your search for the next right hire.


5 Signs You Need to Change Your Company’s Culture

Company culture can be defined as the crossroads between your corporate “vibe” or general temperament and the company values. A positive, productive culture is necessary for business success and to attract and retain the best talent. When a culture becomes toxic or stagnant you can see negative business repercussions that range from higher turnover to a negative reputation.

Below are the top signs your culture needs a change.

  1. Negative Reviews on Glassdoor: Glassdoor is like Yelp for employees or potential hires of businesses. Glassdoor allows anonymous employee reviews on their work experience, company perks and benefits, management, and more. If you’re noticing your Glassdoor rating take a nosedive, make sure you’re listening to the feedback of both current and former employees.
  2. Good Employees Are Quitting: If you’re losing quality employees, you need to take a look at your culture. Of course, talented people will move on from their current job – their talent makes them attractive to more employers. But if your company can’t hold on to any of the smart people you’re hiring, your culture might be to blame.
  3. People Are Passing on Perks: Part of the reason companies offer perks like on-site massage, pop-up yoga, and free lunches, is to garner a culture of excitement and motivation within the workplace. If there are fewer people taking advantage of your office perks, it may be because they don’t want to be there anymore. Don’t confuse “culture” with “perks.” Perks are an added bonus, where culture is a representation of attitudes, communication, and values.
  4. Lower Attendance at Happy Hours: If your out-of-office team events are getting a lot fewer RSVPs, it’s possible the culture feels so negative and oppressing to team members that they don’t even want to socialize outside of the office.
  5. Higher Work From Home Requests: If you don’t have an official work-from-home policy but hear from managers that employees are asking to be able to work off-site more, it might be an indicator the office culture has taken a turn for the worst.

Company culture is key to a successful organization. If you’re seeing reduced productivity and employee engagement, have honest conversations with employees and leadership alike to start thinking about solutions that can create positive changes.

If you’re looking for the quality talent that’s going to elevate your company and impact your culture in a positive way, call RightStone today. We can help you find your next great hire.


How to Properly Prepare for the Departure of a Key IT Staff Member

Without proper preparation, an employee leaving your team can leave your business in a lurch. Planning for the departure of an employee can keep your business running smoothly. Without the right IT staff members in place, it can be particularly challenging for a business to transition without disruption. Here’s how to plan for an exiting employee and how to prepare for their replacements.

  1. Crosstrain: You can’t plan for every employee departure. Some get fired, some leave without notice, some need to take long leaves to care for personal or family matters. One of the best ways you can preplan is to make sure your teams are trained well. Tasking managers with ensuring that their teams are cross-trained on tasks or having your HR team develop training is a great first step in preparing for employee loss and preventing it from affecting your whole business.
  2. Create manuals: Having documented processes in place keeps the engine of your business running even if someone is missing. You shouldn’t find yourself in a position where only one person is trained for a specific task, and having an updated processes manual that covers the important details means that someone can step in during the event of an emergency or unplanned absence.
  3. Ask for notice: If you value your employees, most of them will respect your business enough to give proper notice when leaving. Have a conversation with them to ask if there’s any flexibility in their plans that would allow them to stay on until their replacement is hired and trained.
  4. Ask for input: If your team member was effective, productive and had a positive impact on the business, asking how they feel may help you find another equally qualified and talented candidate.

Find Top Talent

If you’re looking to fill IT roles, RightStone can help. Our industry knowledge and years of experience let us help businesses connect with the best tech talent and build a team that can help them grow and succeed.


The Top Hiring Tactics Every IT Manager Should Be Using in 2019

The IT talent market continues to be a competitive field from which to draw candidates. There are lots of businesses with open IT positions that are vying for candidates, and many hiring managers are finding creative ways to find and recruit talent. Sometimes improving your recruiting strategy means paying attention to trends and being willing to divert from the same old things. Here are some hiring tactics to consider for your talent search in 2019.

  • Treat Your Company or Department Like an Employee-Facing Brand:

    Brands need to market themselves as a solution to whatever problems a customer might be facing and build a reputation of excellence. Employers and hiring managers need to take the same approach with talent. Why would someone want to work for you? It’s about more than just perks and pays – candidates want to know they’re part of something bigger than themselves and the work they do matters. Use your LinkedIn platform as a way to showcase interesting projects your company has worked on, partnerships with other brands, innovative designs, and developments in progress, or awards your company or department has received.

  • Encourage Employee Referrals:

    Chances are, if you have employees working for you, you value their work ethic, skills, and experience – and maybe they have some friends or peers who are similarly motivated or talented. Current employees can be one of your best resources for finding new talent. Encourage your employees to pass on the resumes or contact info of other qualified candidates they know; some companies incentivize this recruitment effort with contests or bonuses, but when you’ve built a great culture, most employees are happy to spread the word about the great place they work and want to help their organization continue to grow and thrive.

Recruiting isn’t just placing an ad on a job board or going to a job fair and waiting passively for candidates to stumble upon your business. You can take steps to connect with candidates and make your team a place where people are excited to come to you.

Find Top Talent Today!

If you’re looking for help finding the best IT talent, contact us today. Our expertise and candidate network can help you find the right fit for your team in 2019 and beyond.


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