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.