Candidates Are Researching Your Company

April 22nd, 2016

When the job market is tight, companies feel like they’re in a position of power. Candidates want the job; they may not have that many options. It’s the opposite when the job market is hot. Candidates can pick and choose from potential employers. While salary is important, it’s not necessarily the deciding factor. Candidates want to work for a company which has a good reputation in the industry and where they’ll fit in comfortably. They don’t rely solely on the recruiter and interviewers to tell them about the company; they search for information online.

Corporate Profiles

The first place any candidate will find information about your business is your company’s official sites. These include the company website, plus its Facebook and LinkedIn pages. These pages share the company’s official positions and the mission and values it claims to hold. Candidates will look to other sites to see if they confirm these official positions or if the reality is different. 

Job Ads

Ads from the company help candidates form an impression of what the company wants from its employees and what experience it hopes to offer to them. From competitors’ ads, job seekers learn how a potential employer compares to its peers.

Unofficial Sites

Glassdoor, Indeed and LinkedIn are just a few sites where candidates can go to learn about a company. These sites present unfiltered opinions from current and previous employees about what the work experience is truly like.

Candidates will also look for news stories about your company in industry press. For startups, stories about venture capital interest and funding can help give them confidence in a firm that hasn’t yet established itself. For all companies, stories about executive-level infighting or legal issues can make joining the company feel risky.

Manage Your Reputation

Just as candidates clean up their Facebook pages to make a better impression, you should review your company’s entire online presence to make sure it will appeal to potential employees.

Working with a staffing firm like InReach IT Solutions is another way to help manage your reputation. We work with our clients to understand their business and workplace and match them to candidates who are looking for that environment. Contact our experienced Dallas IT recruiters to learn how we can help you make a positive impression on the candidates you want to hire.

How to Determine If an IT Candidate Will Thrive in Your Culture

April 15th, 2016

No matter how technically qualified a candidate is, if they don’t fit in with the company culture, they are likely to leave soon to find an environment where they feel more comfortable. To avoid high turnover, it’s important to spend time during an interview discussing the company culture with the candidate and assess whether they’ll be a good match.

Assess Which Cultural Factors Are Important

Just as you consider which technical skills are required and which are optional, evaluate your project’s culture to decide which cultural factors are the most important for a candidate to fit in. Make sure you consider both the company’s stated values and the unstated culture that comes from the way things really get done.

Help the Candidate Evaluate Your Culture

Take time to honestly describe the company culture to the candidate. The candidate will probably have a sense of the company culture from the company’s reputation and what they see on your website. Take time to let the candidate know the specific environment around the project they’ll be working on. This will let candidates evaluate the environment for themselves and minimize the chance they’ll be disappointed if they accept an offer.

Ask the Candidate About the Culture at Their Previous Jobs

If the candidate has had more one than position, ask them to describe two company cultures and which one they felt most comfortable with or where they were most successful. You’ll be able to compare that environment to the environment at your business.

Recognize the Value of Diversity 

Be conscious of the potential for bias when considering how candidates will fit in. It’s important to focus on personalities and not characteristics like race or gender. Not only is discrimination illegal, it deprives your project of the insights that come from having a different background or life experience than everyone else on the team.

At InReach IT Solutions, we take time to learn about your company as well as your open positions. Contact our experienced Arlington IT recruiters to learn how we can help you reduce turnover by prescreening to find candidates who match your technical needs and your company culture.

How Contract Employees Can Help Your IT Team

December 11th, 2015

The start of the year can be an uncertain time in business. Project commitments and budgets for the new year may not be final yet, while work may have missed end-of-year deadlines and carried forward to the new year. Departments that are struggling to cope with the challenge of high volumes of work in the first quarter may find temporary help to be an ideal solution.

Catch Up on Deadlines

If you missed deadlines at the end of the year, adding temporary staff can help you get back on top of your projects. Contract employees can bring specialized skills your team was missing, enabling you to solve problems the team was struggling with. Alternatively, bringing in contractors with basic skill sets can free your team from grunt work and let them focus on the value-added functions that require the business knowledge only long-term employees have. In either scenario, using contractors means there’s no long-term commitment on your part, so once the project’s back on track, they can be let go without any hard feelings on either side.

Get a Jump on New Projects

If you have projects line up for the new year that need to be staffed and can’t afford to wait to bring on new permanent hires, using contractors lets you build an IT team quickly so the project can start without delay. You can continue to search for appropriate permanent employees without the pressure of hiring somebody, anybody, just to get work started. You can also avoid the risk of adding permanent staff until you have management’s final commitment to the project and know it won’t be canceled just as you bring on new developers.

Keep Budgets and Headcount Under Control

Not every company has budgets and headcount for the new year finalized at the beginning of January. If you aren’t certain how many resources you’ll be able to support in the coming year, using contractors gives you flexibility to adapt when changes occur. If you do have final headcount and budget numbers, and they’re lower than you requested, using contract employees can be more cost-effective, as you don’t have to factor in the cost of benefits.
Whether you want to hire permanent staff or use contract employees on a temporary basis, working with a staffing agency is the most efficient way to find the right people for your team. Contact InReach IT Solutions to find out how we can help you solve your staffing problems.

How to Determine Candidate Reliability During an Interview

November 27th, 2015

There’s a quote that says 90 percent of success is showing up. While that’s not exactly the result of scientific study, there’s no question that your projects won’t succeed if your employees don’t show up to work on them. It’s important that your interviews probe candidates for their reliability and their internal motivation and commitment to getting the job done. Try asking these questions:

  • What motivates you at work? Not every employee will be introspective enough to know their real motivations, but you want to hear answers other than jokes about “a paycheck.” It’s important to check whether what motivates the candidate matches the position they’re interviewing for. Someone who expresses the desire to learn new technology may not be well suited for a company that is a late adopter; someone who enjoys helping people may not be right for a position that’s more about the technology than the users.
  • What workplace was most satisfying to you? When a candidate’s had more than one job, you can find out what they liked or didn’t like at the different places they’ve worked. If the ones that they liked most are similar to your environment, they may be a good fit.
  • Why do you want this job? The first question talks about the candidate’s motivation in general; this one talks about the specific opportunity and lets the candidate describe how it suits them. If the candidate sounds genuinely enthusiastic about the position, if they sound excited about the opportunity, there’s a good chance they are eager to tackle the work.
  • How do you see your career developing? If the candidate’s chosen career path is simply not feasible at your business, you shouldn’t expect the candidate to stick around too long. This doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not right for the current position, but once the candidate’s developed the skills they need for the next step on their ladder, they’ll move on.

You don’t have to rely solely on your assessment, either. Ask the candidate’s references how they rate their reliability and motivation. They should be able to give you specific examples that help you judge whether the candidate would work well within your environment.
A staffing agency can also help you find reliable candidates. They’ll have pre-screened potential employees and can make sure you only spend time interviewing candidates who’ll fit well with your organization. Contact InReach IT Solutions for help finding reliable employees who’ll show up and get the job done.

3 Ways to Know You’re Micromanaging

November 20th, 2015

Part of your job as a manager is to oversee your team’s work, but it’s also part of your job to let your team get the work done themselves. Micromanaging is damaging to team morale; it’s also damaging to your career because the time you spend overseeing your team is time you can’t spend focused on bigger priorities. Here are three signs that you’re micromanaging instead of leading:

  1. You check in with your team daily, or even more often. You even check in when you’re on vacation. If you need constant status reports and updates to reassure you that things are going ok, your team legitimately feels that you don’t trust them to get the work done. If you have good people on your team, trust that they’ll get the work done. Let them know they can, and should, come to you when there are problems. While you need to get updates and stay informed, “no news is good news” is as true at the office as it is anywhere else. Learn to limit your requests for status updates to once a week except when you’re truly in crisis mode.
  1. You sweat the small stuff. As a manager, you should be focused on the overall goals and progress of a project, not the details of every work item. Let your team accomplish their tasks on their own. You may be more experienced than they are, and can share your knowledge, but ultimately they need to find their own way to get the job done. As long as the results are satisfactory and the way the work is getting done isn’t causing any friction or other problems, the process isn’t really a problem.
  1. You keep the important tasks for yourself. Failing to delegate is a common sign of micromanagement. Keeping the “important” tasks for yourself assures you that they’ll be done the way you want, but it also means your team is stuck with just the drudgework. It also deprives team members of the chance to learn and develop their skills—skills that would help them work more independently in the future.

Need help building a team you can trust so you can stop micromanaging? Work with InReach IT Solutions to find job candidates with the skills to work independently.

Strategic Staffing: The Benefits of Contract-to-Hire Solutions

November 13th, 2015

Bringing on new employees is a good thing when it’s the result of company growth and new projects. But there’s also risk involved with hiring new staff. Projects can get cancelled, leaving you with staff but no work for them. Or a new hire might simply not work out, leaving you with a painful, potentially expensive termination process and the costs of hiring a replacement. To mitigate these risks, companies should consider a contract-to-hire option.

Contract-to-hire provides companies the following benefits:

  1. Achieve strategic business goals. Contract-to-hire work lets you meet strategic business goals through flexibility. You can add and remove staff as departmental needs change. There’s none of the stress and hard feelings associated with shifting permanent employees to new roles or cutting their positions.
  1. You find out if a new hire works for you before you invest in them. Permanent employees incur costs beyond wages. These costs include unemployment insurance, company contributions to health insurance and 401(k) accounts, paid time off, and training. With a contract-to-hire employee, you don’t have to assume these costs until new employees have proved themselves and you know you want them to stay with you for the long term.
  1. Work gets done while you look for the ideal new hire. If you have work that needs to get done now, you may want someone who can start immediately even if you know they aren’t the best fit for the job. You don’t need to go through a long process of multiple interviews; you can speak to as few as two potential contract employees and simply pick between them. Contract-to-hire lets you bring in a worker with no long-term commitment and no costs to replace them once you find your ideal employee. It’s also possible the worker will surprise you and turn out to do a better job than you expected; you can then stop your search and easily convert them to a permanent employee.

Whether you want the flexibility of a contract-to-hire employee or are ready to make the commitment with a permanent position, InReach IT Solutions can help you find job candidates with the skills you’re looking for. Contact us to find out how we can help solve your hiring needs.

5 Ways to Show Your IT Staff How Much You Value Them

November 6th, 2015

Keeping morale up is part of every manager’s job. The office environment can be stressful, and it’s easy for employees to feel unappreciated. Here are five ways to let your staff know you appreciate the job they do:

  1. Pay them fairly. Money isn’t the only thing that makes employees happy at work, but it definitely helps! Your staff salaries need to compare favorably to market rates. Make sure you pay people doing equivalent work equivalent salaries.
  1. Treat employees with respect. Your employees are adults. Don’t micromanage their time; within true business needs, allow them the flexibility to make their own schedule or work from home.
  1. Treat employees as people. Make an effort to get to know your staff beyond their technical abilities. Everybody has a life outside the office, and hobbies and people that are important to them. If you relate to your employees as if they’re people, not just workers, they feel more cared for.
  1. Celebrate success. When there’s a team victory, celebrate it. This doesn’t have to be a fancy shindig; even a team pizza party lets people come together and share good feelings. If there’s no budget, at least celebrate success by announcing it at departmental meetings and publicly thanking the people who made particular contributions. Be specific—”thank you for your hard work” isn’t as meaningful as a thank you that names exactly what they did.
  1. Provide opportunities to grow. Show you care about your employees by encouraging them to develop and grow. Prompt your team to take training, and assign them “stretch” assignments to let them extend their abilities. Find out the career path they want to pursue and work with them to make it happen.

When you have an office environment that values employees, your team wants to stay with you, and job candidates feel the positive atmosphere and want to join you. If you’re looking to add to your team, contact InReach IT Solutions to find out how we can help you hire your next valuable employee.

Should You Hold Out for a Better Candidate?

October 30th, 2015

Most management decision making is about making tradeoffs: comparing the risk to the reward and deciding which direction you should move in — or whether you should move at all. This is true of hiring decisions, too. There are costs to hiring the wrong person, as well as costs to leaving a position unfilled too long while you search for a better candidate. We’ve previously talked about why you should avoid the “perfect hire” mentality and “settle” for the best candidate you’ve seen. Most of the time, that’s a sensible decision. But sometimes it really does make sense to hold off on hiring, and continue to look for someone even better.

  1. Your need isn’t urgent. If you’re ramping up staffing for a project that hasn’t started yet, or are looking for a replacement for someone who’s announced they’re retiring in six months, you have time on your side. Because there isn’t pressure to just bring in a warm body already, you can continue looking to find the ideal employee. Just keep the project start or retirement date in mind. It’s easy to lose track of time and find yourself in a crunch — even if the search wasn’t urgent when you started.
  1. There isn’t time for the candidate to grow into the position. There are times when you can’t find someone with all the skills you need, and you hire someone you hope will grow into the position. Not all projects offer the luxury of time for someone to grow; there are times when someone just has to hit the ground running. In those situations, you can’t afford to hire a candidate who doesn’t clearly demonstrate that they’re currently capable of doing the job.
  1. You can’t handle the consequences of a bad hiring decision. If you hire the wrong individual, you’ll have to deal with the impact of that on your team and your project. At some companies, the internal procedures for terminating an employee are complex and time consuming. If the candidate doesn’t work out, you might be stuck with them for months before you can even start to look for another new hire. There may be less impact on the project if you wait for a better candidate to come along.

InReach IT Solutions wants to help you find the best candidate for your open positions. Contact us to find out how our services can help meet your staffing needs.

Social Media and Your Company

October 23rd, 2015

Does your company look at a potential candidates’ social media profiles? Many companies do. So it shouldn’t surprise you to learn it works the other direction too: Candidates look at companies online to learn about them and decide whether it would be a good place to work. To make sure your company makes a good impression, you need to look at your online presence through a job seeker’s eyes.

Your Own Website

Start by looking at your own website, specifically the “careers” section. It’s important that the site makes it easy for candidates to search and apply for jobs, but if that’s all that’s available, you’re missing out on an important recruiting tool. Go beyond just listing your open jobs. Describe your company culture, values, and benefits, so job seekers have reasons to want to work for you. Make it real by adding videos showing real employees at work, and let them talk about why your company’s a great place to work. If they have genuine excitement about the company, that will come through and be appealing to job seekers.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a great place for you to search for candidates; your own LinkedIn page should appeal to job seekers who have searched for you. Like your own website, don’t limit yourself to posting open jobs. Use it as a platform to sell your company culture.

Take advantage of your employees who are on LinkedIn, as well as your company page. Encourage your employees to have LinkedIn profiles that include their current position with you. They can let their network know you are hiring. They may be contacted directly by job seekers who find them on LinkedIn, so be sure they know how to respond when that happens.

Facebook and Twitter

Facebook and Twitter are more casual mediums. Facebook lets you sell your brand in more general terms — you usually wouldn’t focus too much on careers here. On Twitter, you keep things brief out of necessity. Tweet job postings and direct candidates to your site or LinkedIn to get more info. If your employees are active on Facebook or Twitter, they can post job announcements to their own pages to get the word out.

InReach IT Solutions uses our social media savvy – plus traditional recruiting methods – to find top quality job candidates.  Contact us to find out how our services can help meet your staffing needs.

Top Soft Skills to Look for in IT Talent

October 16th, 2015

Just because a software developer can write code that compiles cleanly the first time around doesn’t mean they’re the right fit for your open position. There’s more to IT jobs than technical competence. Most technical work is done as part of a team, which means leadership, followership, and interpersonal skills are also needed on a daily basis. Look for the following soft skills when you assess a technical job candidate:

  • Communication.

Technical workers need to be able to communicate clearly with their technical peers, their management, and end users. Written communication skills are as important as verbal, due to the need to write technical documentation. If communication will be a major part of the job, asking the candidate to give a presentation as part of the interview process is helpful.

  • Problem solving.

Whether designing an application or resolving a production issue, technical jobs are about coming up with solutions. Ask the candidate to work through a real problem your team has encountered. The specific solution they come up with isn’t as important as the approach they take to solving it.

  • Business knowledge.

Technical knowledge will help the IT team build the solution right, but it’s business knowledge that will help make sure the right solution is built. The more your IT team understands about your business needs, the more effectively the technical solutions they implement will satisfy them.

  • Motivation.

The ideal employee cares about more than just their paycheck. They care about making a contribution, getting the job done, and making sure it’s done well. Motivated employees will step outside their job description when necessary to solve a problem. They’ll push through when schedules are tight, to make sure the project gets completed.

  • Adaptability.

Technology changes quickly, so you want your employees to be eager to keep their technical skills up-to-date. Most technical workers want to use the latest technologies, so that’s not usually a problem. More difficult is the ability to adapt to nontechnical changes. When business priorities change, resulting in changes in project priorities, that can be frustrating to IT staff. Look for job candidates who will be able to take these changes in stride, and contribute their best – even when things change.

InReach IT Solutions assesses candidates for both their technical and soft skills to make sure they can do the job.  Contact us to find out how our services can help meet your staffing needs.