Reduce Stress By Opening Communication Lines

July 31st, 2015

A survey last year found that the top three reasons employees leave their jobs were low pay, limited opportunities for advancement, and work stress. Organizational issues often prevent managers from being able to do anything about the first two, but there are low- and no-cost steps managers can take to reduce stress at the office.

Share Information With Employees

Have an open-door policy, literally. Employees need to know they can bring any issue to you, so be open to subject matter as well. And don’t wait for employees to bring all their concerns to you. Chatter on the grapevine and rumors cause a great deal of stress, as well as distracting employees from completing their jobs. Whenever possible, let employees know what’s going on with respect to internal changes like reorgs and restructuring.

Avoid Blaming Sessions

It’s hard to discuss issues openly when there’s an environment of criticism and blame. Feedback is necessary, but it should be given in a beneficial manner that can positively shape future behavior, not focused on placing blame for bad results. Be prepared for a two-way conversation, and be open to genuinely hearing the employee’s point of view.

Encourage Interaction Among Staff

Be sure to encourage communication within teams as well as up and down the corporate ladder. Make sure to include real-life social interactions. In a company where the only communication between staff members is via email, nobody really knows anybody and the work environment remains impersonal. Casual interactions let employees get to know each other as people, and encourage a supportive environment that reduces work stress. Management can plan departmental outings, but grass roots, spontaneous interactions are more meaningful, so look the other way next time you catch your team shooting the breeze instead of cranking out code.

The increased work level when someone quits increases the workload and stress on everyone else in the office. Minimize the extra stress by replacing the employee as quickly as possible. Work with an experienced staffing agency like InReach IT Solutions to find a large pool of qualified candidates. Contact us to find out how we can help you make a new hire and reduce the stress of your existing employees.

Why Work-Life Balance is Important to Tech Companies

July 24th, 2015

Surveys show that as many as two-thirds or more of employees consider work-life balance as the key factor in evaluating their job satisfaction, even more important than salary. Do your employees have work-life balance? Here’s how it may affect your company if they don’t:

Poor work-life balance contributes to staffing attrition and turnover. The costs associated with turnover include the expense of hiring new employees, onboarding and training them, as well as the potential costs of project delays. It’s been estimated that companies that help employees find balance can increase retention by as much as 33 percent.

Over-tired, over-stressed workers don’t think as well. Tech companies depend on the creative thinking of their staff, which is negatively affected by poor work-life balance. Burned out workers can’t contribute as much as staff who are happy to be at the office. Workers who can’t address personal matters on their own time have no choice but to address them on company time using company resources, resulting in lower productivity and higher expenses.

Achieving a diverse workforce requires work-life balance. The impact of poor work-life balance on family makes it harder for companies to keep employees with concerns about childcare or elderly parents. The burden still often falls harder on women, though work-life balance is not a women’s issue.

The next generation of workers won’t give up work-life performance. The younger generation expects to have a good work-life balance. One reason the freelance economy is growing is the flexibility it gives those workers in managing their work and lives. Companies that want to get the best workers in the future need to offer an environment that allows them to have a life outside work.

Your competitors offer work-life balance. In a survey, more than half of companies with work-life programs planned to increase their spending on it in 2015. If you want to keep up with your competitors, you need to make work-life balance part of your brand.

Even if your company offers lots of flexibility and a great work-life balance, you still need to replace workers or staff up new projects. Contact InReach IT Solutions to help solve your hiring problems.

Evaluating a Candidate Based on Enthusiasm

July 17th, 2015

You can conduct an interview as an exercise in checking off boxes: look for a candidate with the appropriate academic background, the right buzzwords and acronyms on their resume, the right number of years of experience for a junior or senior position. You’ll end up with someone who can do the job, but you might be better off with someone who really wants the job. How do you find someone with a passion for the job? Look for interviewees who:

Bring positive energy to the interview. They look you in the eye and sit forward on the edge of their seat. They make the interview a conversation, rather than an interrogation; they are enthusiastic about themselves and their abilities.

Have done research about the job and the company. They can explain what they can bring to the role and contribute right away. They describe how they can go beyond the job description to offer value.

Have a vision for their future. They’re not surprised when they’re asked where they seem themselves in five or 10 years. They can explain how the position they’re interviewing for fits into their career path.

Have examples of how they’ve taken initiative or been proactive solving problems in the past. Whatever the responsibilities of the current position, you want someone who can step up and tackle the challenges without needing to be directed.

Have learned new technical skills outside their current job. Because technology changes constantly, it’s crucial for technical employees to be able to learn and adapt to new technologies.

Have passions outside of work. Find out about their hobbies and how they pursue them and improve their skills. That same energy and drive can transfer to the office.

Have used their enthusiasm and abilities to support others. Passionate employees help others achieve success, both at work and outside.

Have achieved work-life balance. Well-rounded employees who address personal needs as well as business needs are more likely to stay enthusiastic and less likely to burn out.

If you need to find qualified candidates who bring enthusiasm to their work, contact us. InReach IT Solutions will help you find strong employees who are passionate about getting the job done.

Is Your Long Hiring Process Costing You Top Talent?

July 10th, 2015

In the movies, a job interview ends with a handshake and “You’re hired!” In the real world, things don’t often move so fast. Preliminary screening, multiple rounds of interviewing, waiting to compare multiple candidates, and background checks and drug screenings mean it can take weeks between the time a candidate submits their resume and their first day on the job — if the candidate starts the job. A long screening process increases the odds they’ll accept another position before your offer letter reaches them.

Make sure you don’t discourage top candidates by making the hiring process extend too long. Use these tips to get from that first read of a resume to making a job offer fast:

Simplify your online application process.

Make it easy for candidates to upload their resume. If you’re using software to parse resumes, make sure it works well so candidates don’t need to re-enter information. Because more and more people conduct their entire online life from their phone, check that your mobile site makes applying easy.

Use technology to prescreen.

Use automated tests to confirm skills. Be sure the tests are relevant to the position the candidate is applying for.

Prescreen with phone interviews.

Many people have great technical skills, but lack the communication skills that are required for leadership roles and roles that involve interacting with customers. If the position you’re hiring for requires interpersonal skills, conduct a phone interview first. You’ll reduce the number of candidates you need to bring in, and shorten the time required to interview and compare the remaining candidates in person.

Schedule interviews effectively.

Don’t make a candidate come back multiple times for interviews; coordinate interviewer schedules to combine them into a single day. Manage the interview schedule so the candidate doesn’t spend a lot of time in an empty conference room waiting for their next interview. Make sure the same questions aren’t asked over and over.

Keep candidates informed.

Sometimes there are unavoidable delays in making hiring decisions, due to internal reasons like management or budget changes. Don’t leave candidates wondering what’s going on. If they know the timeframe you’re operating under, candidates may be willing to wait rather than accepting another offer in the interim.

Work with an experienced staffing firm.

The recruiters at a staffing agency like InReach IT Solutions are experienced in screening job candidates and matching them with positions they’re well qualified for. You need to meet fewer candidates before finding the right person for the job. Contact us to learn how we can speed your recruiting process and reduce the time between reviewing candidates’ resumes and hiring your next employee.