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5 Tips to Improve and Encourage Employee Engagement

Employee engagement measures how strongly employees feel connected to their work and employer. This includes employees’ motivation to perform their best, commitment to the organization, and desire to refer others to the company.

Sustainable employee engagement is based on intrinsic motivation. This includes mastery, autonomy, and purpose.

Your employees’ engagement levels impact their performance, productivity, and morale. It also affects retention and your bottom line.

Engaged employees are passionate, energetic, and committed to your organization. They go above and beyond to support company strategy and elevate your employer brand.

As a result, you must do what you can to improve and encourage employee engagement. Here are some suggestions.

Choose among these five tips to improve and encourage employee engagement.

1. Live Your Company’s Culture

Convey your company’s mission, vision, and values in your behaviors. This encourages your employees to follow suit. It also shows they are part of something bigger than they are.

Using your actions to demonstrate your culture enhances the work environment. It also adds meaning to your employees’ jobs.

Living your company’s culture shows your values align with business functions. This encourages buy-in from your employees.

Employees who understand the company’s culture feel inspired. This encourages employee engagement.

2. Prioritize Onboarding

Your onboarding process impacts how your employees view your company and their jobs. It helps your new hires align with company culture and understand how their role impacts your organization.

Use your onboarding process to show what makes your company unique and why your new hire’s role is essential for team and business success. Include information about the role and expectations. This promotes employee engagement.

3. Emphasize Career Development

Work with each employee to customize a career development plan. Include the knowledge, skills, and experience required to advance within your organization.

Provide the necessary training and development to move to more senior roles. This may include stretch assignments, cross-training, or mentoring. It also could involve seminars, conferences, or classes. Having a clear path for advancement supports employee engagement and retention.

4. Provide Employee Recognition

Regularly point out each employee’s accomplishments. Include the actions your employee took, their results, and how they impacted the organization. Provide a bonus, pay increase, or promotion when appropriate.

Recognizing your employees shows you appreciate their contributions and results. This encourages employee motivation, performance, and engagement.

5. Encourage Feedback

Remind your employees to give and receive constructive feedback. This helps your employees feel informed, heard, and respected.

Your employees can uncover inefficiencies in performing their work and suggest improvements. This enhances work processes and creates a more productive environment.

Consistently finding ways to improve employee and company performance helps reach career and business goals. This encourages employee engagement.

Need to Improve Employee Engagement?

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What Should You Take Into Account Before Learning an In-Demand Skill?

Being proficient with an in-demand skill makes you attractive to employers. Many companies are offering high salaries and competitive benefits to technologists with specialized skills.

However, knowing which in-demand skills are most desirable can be challenging. Understanding which tech skills are popular in the job market can help you determine which one to pursue.

If you want to develop an in-demand skill, now may be the time to start. Knowing how to approach the process can help you map out the steps to attain your goal.

Follow these guidelines to learn an in-demand skill that can benefit your tech career.

Research the Skill

Data science, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and augmented reality (AR) are among the most in-demand skills. These skills will be increasingly important for years to come.

However, before deciding which in-demand skill to pursue, do some research. Find out which related skills you should learn, the certifications you should earn, and the job opportunities available. This gives you a clearer sense of whether you should pursue the skill.

Gather Feedback

Talk with tech professionals for advice on the in-demand skill. Find out how and what to learn and which issues to avoid.

Gathering feedback on the skill helps guide your path to learning about it. This may include whether you should develop the skill on your own or take specific classes.

Talk with Your Manager About Upskilling

Find out whether your manager will cover your education, training, and certification for the in-demand skill. Emphasize the benefits the company receives from employee upskilling.

Your manager may have part of the budget allocated for employee educational activities. If so, the business might cover your professional development expenses.

Publish Independent Work

When you become certified in the in-demand skill, create an independent project to demonstrate your abilities. Then, share your results on GitHub or your personal website.

Publishing an independent project helps you stand out among other tech professionals. It also can help you land a role focused on your new skill.

Ready to Advance Your Tech Career?

When the time comes to land a job with your new skill, make RightStone part of your search. Here is a link to our job board.


7 Tips to Start Your IT Career Search

The start of a new year is a great time to start a new job. This may include changing your career to IT.

Starting your IT career search can be challenging. You may be unsure of which path to take or how to enter the field.

Developing a plan to start your IT career search helps you map the steps to reach your goals. Working with a staffing agency that specializes in IT also can be beneficial.

Follow these guidelines to start your IT career search today.

1. Determine Your Career Goals

Understand the type of IT career you want before you begin looking for roles.

  • Focus on your dream job.
  • Include the type, size, and culture of the company you want to work for.
  • Think about the salary, benefits, and perks you desire.
  • Determine the types of jobs that can lead to your dream role.
  • Focus your search on jobs that align with your career path.

2. Update Your LinkedIn Profile

Show you have the qualifications needed for the IT position you desire.

  • Ensure your contact information, profile statement, and profile summary are current.
  • Include your relevant education, skills, work history, and certification.
  • Request endorsements from previous supervisors, managers, colleagues, and coworkers.

3. Create a Digital Portfolio

Use your digital portfolio to display examples of your work.

  • Showcase how your projects benefitted an employer.
  • Include quantitative results from your work.
  • Demonstrate how your skills can add value for your next employer.
  • Include a link to your digital portfolio in your resume and LinkedIn profile.

4. Network

Set up informational interviews with technologists in roles similar to the one you desire.

  • Connect with relevant IT professionals through LinkedIn.
  • Ask if you can talk for 30 minutes about their job, company, and career path.
  • Develop three to five questions that can guide your IT career search.
  • Determine whether a position may be right for you.
  • Find out whether the technologist knows of any job openings or can introduce you to a hiring manager.

5. Apply for Jobs

Customize your resume to the role you desire.

  • Include your relevant education, skills, experience, and certifications.
  • Share your relevant achievements, quantifiable results, and awards.
  • Use keywords from the job posting throughout your resume.
  • Show you are well-qualified for the position.

6. Customize Your Cover Letter

Your cover letter provides information not included in your resume.

  • Discuss whether you are beginning or changing your career.
  • Explain any gaps in your work experience.
  • Show how your qualifications make you stand out from other applicants.
  • Clarify why you are the best candidate for the position.

7. Practice Interviewing

Engage in mock interviews.

  • Research the company you want to work for.
  • Practice answering interview questions.
  • Prepare questions for the interviewer.
  • Monitor your body language.

Partner with an IT Staffing Agency

Partner with a recruiter from RightStone for guidance throughout your IT career search. Visit our job board today.


Ask Your Employees These 6 Trust-Building Questions

Creating a cohesive team requires trust. You must trust your employees to complete quality work on time. Also, your employees must trust they will be compensated for their contributions.

Building trust can be especially difficult when you have new, introverted, or remote employees. However, trust is essential to help your employee remain engaged, productive, and loyal to the organization.

Asking questions and actively listening to the answers is an effective way to build trust with your employees. Questions lead to conversations. Conversations build engagement and trust.

Ask your employees these six trust-building questions to increase cohesion among your team.

1. What is a great movie you recently watched?

Talking about movies helps your employees feel like they are talking with a casual friend. This promotes a casual work environment. You may learn about a movie that interests you. Watching it can help you connect with your employees on a personal level.

2. Can you recommend a book you recently read?

The types of books your employees read provide insight into their minds. You can learn about your employees’ thoughts, philosophies, and sense of morality. You also can uncover whether you like the same types of books or authors. This promotes mental connections.

3. What is the strangest meal you ever ate?

Your employees may have eaten tarantulas, snails, or other exotic food. Talking about these experiences promotes a relaxed atmosphere. It also helps you get to know your employees on a deeper level.

4. Do you prefer beer, wine, or neither?

Most employees enjoy humorous discussions about alcohol. You can use this topic to determine whether any of your employees prefer nonalcoholic beverages. This helps you provide appropriate beverages when you host an event.

5. If you could develop a new skill in 10 minutes, which skill would you choose?

Understanding the skills your employees are interested in is important. These skills indicate potential goals and career paths for your employees. You can implement training programs to help your employees reach their goals and advance their careers.

6. Which emerging technological innovation will significantly impact the industry in the next five years?

Find out what your employees think about the future of your industry. Also, determine where they see themselves working long-term. Talk about whether there are opportunities within your organization that may interest your employees. Discussing internal career advancement elevates employee retention.

Do You Need to Hire More Employees?

Hire top technologists with help from RightStone. Learn more today.


Tech Industry Outlook for 2023

The coronavirus pandemic significantly impacted the tech industry for the past few years. Although the use of technology increased in many areas, such as videoconferencing platforms, it also decreased in other areas, such as the Internet of Things (IoT).

Understanding the tech industry outlook for 2023 provides insight into how your industry and company may be affected. This lets you strategically plan and hire employees in line with your expectations.

Learn about the tech industry outlook for 2023 and how your company may be impacted.

Internet of Things

IoT Analytics estimates there will be 30 billion IoT device connections by 2025. This averages out to be four IoT devices per person.

International Data Corporation’s 2020 Worldwide Internet of Things Spending Guide estimates global IoT spending will attain a compound annual growth rate of 11.3% during the 2020 to 2024 forecast period. This data indicates the steadily growing use of IoT.

IoT devices are popular in the form of connected lights, smart refrigerators, and other items in smart homes. Smart glass, activity trackers, and other wearable technologies also use IoT applications. Urban safety monitoring, traffic and waste management, and water distribution in smart cities use IoT technologies as well.

Security is the top concern for IoT-connected devices. Hacks, data breaches, information leakage, and other attacks are common. Because IoT-connected devices do not come with security features, these features must be added.

5G Networks

5G networks offer faster transmission speed than almost all home broadband. As a result, what used to be done only through computers can now be done with smart devices.

IoT devices can interconnect more smoothly using 5G networks than 4G networks. Also, 5G networks let drones, autonomous cars, and smart cities carry out more complex operations than 4G networks.

Currently, 5G networks are available only in certain countries and areas. Also, greater bandwidth means less coverage and more signal drops. Additional cells must be built to support the network’s high speed. Plus, the networks may be unable to penetrate walls and other materials.

Chatbots

Chatbots simulate conversations with humans. These bots use artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and natural language processing (NLP) to provide customer service for companies.

Chatbots are being used by more businesses than before. These bots serve as responsive, intelligent, conversational agents. They significantly decrease the amount of time and money spent on answering questions and filling customer requests.

Chatbot development is impacted by developments in NLP. As a result, customers may become frustrated when chatbots give limited or repetitive answers.

Chatbots with robust and complex functionalities are costly. Therefore, companies may not have the budget to use them as customer service tools.

The IT Labor Market Will Be Tight

If you need help hiring tech professionals, include RightStone in your process. Find out more today.


Here’s Why Gen Z Is Having Difficulty in This Job Market

 

According to a July 2022 report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, approximately 41% of graduates aged 22 to 27 were employed in jobs that did not require a college degree. Many of these graduates are trying to find their fit in the workforce or reevaluate their career goals.

The graduates’ decisions to take on low-paying jobs could impact their long-term financial health. This may have economic consequences for the entire United States.

Discover why Gen Z is having challenges entering the job market and the potential long-term impact on the US economy.


The Pandemic and Gen Z

The coronavirus pandemic caused significant setbacks for Gen Z. The pandemic impacted the time in their lives when Gen Z should be making their marks on the world.

The pandemic-related recession caused Gen Z to struggle to find high-quality jobs. Also, the shift to remote work decreased these graduates’ abilities to make professional connections and find careers that match their skills and interests.

Underemployment and Gen Z

Gen Z’s growing underemployment rate means it likely will take longer for the group to generate wealth. Low-wage employment typically leads to a cycle of turnover and replacement. This moves the labor market to an unfavorable equilibrium.

Underemployed workers typically see slow increases in earnings throughout their careers. The main reason is that low-wage employees work in fields that do not focus on skill development for higher-paying jobs. As a result, not having Gen Z work in jobs that require highly developed skills will adversely impact the long-term growth of the US economy.

Teenage Employees, Millennials, and Gen Z

Teenagers are willing to work for lower wages than college graduates. This makes teenage job seekers more attractive to employers than Gen Z. As a result, more jobs have been filled by teenagers than by Gen Z in the past few years.

Employers who were paying higher wages when the pandemic began preferred to hire millennials over Gen Z. Many millennials had more developed skills and work experience than Gen Z. As a result, more jobs were filled by millennials than by Gen Z in the past few years.

Want Help Filling Your Vacancies?

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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.


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?

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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.


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.


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