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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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When approaching the recruiting process, many hiring managers have a prepackaged set of criteria for what they are looking for from a candidate. While using some basic standards in your recruitment process is an effective way of rooting out obviously unqualified or ill-fitting candidates, a one-size-fits-all approach can result in overlooking some top talent.
A useful cognitive tool that can help hiring managers is to try to see things from the perspective of the job seeker. By understanding the thought process of job applicants, hiring managers can learn to read between the lines in job applications and catch talented candidates that would otherwise be missed through the one-size-fits-all approach to recruitment.
Here are some tips for thinking like a job seeker during the recruitment process:
Don’t Rely Too Heavily On Traditional Recruiting Platforms
While sites like LinkedIn and Indeed.com are vital to your employer branding strategy and getting in touch with active job seekers, there are tons of talented and more passive job seekers who do not use these traditional channels to reach out. To get connected with top talent, think like a job seeker by actually taking steps to reach out to candidates through IT Facebook groups and industry-specific sites. Even sites like Twitter and Instagram can be useful resources when searching for candidates.
Think Like a Salesman
Always keep in mind the recruitment process is a two-way street. You’re searching for CVs and candidate profiles that catch your eye, and job seekers are looking for job descriptions and company profiles that stand out. When you’re building your company profile on recruiting sites and social media, pay close attention to the details that job seekers are looking for — such as copy, color scheme, and description of company culture — that will make them pause in their search and submit an application.
Keep Things Simple, Informative and to the Point
Try to imagine yourself in the shoes of the typical job seeker. In most cases, they are perusing through and applying to a huge number of job openings, one after another, day after day. The advertisements you create for an open position should indicate that you’re aware of their current situation by being straightforward, to the point and simple to understand. Give them an idea of what they’re looking for and let them know they can expect to hear from an actual human being if they’re chosen as a good fit. A little humor never hurt, either.
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You don’t have to have big brand name recognition to draw in top talent. There are plenty of ways that smaller businesses can differentiate themselves to employees and get candidates excited about coming on board. Here are some ideas to try to see more quality applicants.
Quality, Not Quantity: Your small business might not be able to offer a fully stocked kitchen, game room, and six-figure salary for everyone; instead focus on what you can offer. Most employees want a solid salary, retirement savings options, healthcare, and time to recharge. You might not be able to offer employees everything, but you can ensure that what you do offer in employee benefits are the highest quality your company can provide. Focusing on a good 401k match, comprehensive health insurance, and enough PTO can secure you more hiring wins.
Be Flexible: More and more people are looking for flexibility in their working arrangement. One way for your company to stand out is to offer that from the get-go. Remote work and flexible start and end times of the day are preferred by many people and businesses are offering those options to get the attention of job seekers. Not only are companies who offer flexible working arrangements and remote work opportunities more likely to snag qualified candidates, but the overall flexibility can also save your business money.
Prioritize Culture: Company or corporate culture is about more than beer pong and standing desks. It’s about keeping employees engaged by making sure they know their value and the impact of their work. Growing a positive, healthy culture is something that money can’t buy but can make a huge difference in attracting and retaining talent.
The most important thing to remember in your recruitment efforts is to focus on what you can offer today, that meets the needs of the talent you are seeking. Our team can help in your search to fill your staffing needs – we’re connected to some of the best talent and the best businesses in the industry. Contact us today to let us know how we can assist.
Just like incredibly intelligent people can test poorly, sometimes a great candidate gives a bad interview. When a qualified candidate you’re excited to interview doesn’t give a stellar interview performance, it can feel like a major red flag. Here’s how to know whether it should worry you or if you should continue the process.
Consider the Position: Certain people gravitate to certain careers, and some of these personality types can interview better than others. Customer service, marketing or sales professionals, for instance, are often gregarious and outgoing, which serves them in their career path. IT professionals, programmers, and developers – who often spend hours working solo on detailed projects – can be more reserved. This might be a factor in an interview and less of an issue in a day-to-day job.
Check References: If the candidate struggles with conversation under pressure, reach out to former bosses and co-workers. Hearing the perspective of someone else who’s worked with the candidate can help you understand if they’d be a good fit. It’s also a way to help verify an applicant’s resume and experience.
Try Again: If you’re not sure, you can bring the candidate back in for another interview – but this time, change the format or consider having another person conduct the interview. Maybe a video conference is a less-stressful way for a candidate to share their experience or maybe another interviewer with different questions can help you get a better response.
Everyone has bad days, and a bad interview shouldn’t spoil a qualified applicant’s chances of contributing their strengths to your organization – or ruin your chances of connecting with a potentially great employee who can make an impact in your business. Considering other ways to learn about or interact with a candidate can help you make sure you’re not shortchanging yourself.
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If you’ve ever heard the expression “work hard, play hard”, then you already know something about the desire for work-life balance. Many employees are more likely to put in greater effort and energy into projects and daily tasks when they have good boundaries between their work and home life, or when their employer gives them the flexibility to manage their personal life. Work-life balance also helps increase employee productivity and ensure better health, as it can lower stress and allow employees better focus.
Here are some ways to encourage a good work-life balance in your office.
Encourage PTO Use:
Make sure you are cultivating an environment where people know it’s ok to take time off. This might mean leading by example, where managers regularly take days off or vacation time, or it might mean making sure your teams are cross-trained so people don’t worry about their absence impacting the business.
Provide Some Privacy:
Set up areas that can be used to make private phone calls or where someone can step away from their desk and just take a mental break. Life happens between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. and employees may need to field phone calls from doctor’s offices or their kid’s school. By having space for your team members to take care of personal life details, you can turn down some of their stress and give them a better focus for the rest of the day.
Opt For Flexible Schedules:
More and more businesses are embracing technology as a tool that lets employees work without being in the office and offering partial remote work. Other organizations offer people flexible start times or hours so they can take care of things outside of work without worrying about punching a clock. Implementing policies like this is an effective way to show employees you care about work-life balance.
Prioritizing your employees is one of the best ways to attract and retain talent. Work-life balance continues to be a top priority among people looking for a job and you can compete for top talent by making sure your applicants know this part of your culture.
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