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.

Four Common Distractions That Decrease Productivity

April 8th, 2016

For most IT workers, avoiding distractions at work is impossible. It’s inherent in the way the workplace is designed with low-walled cubicles that mean there’s no such thing as a confidential conversation. You probably can’t do much about the office layout, but there are things you can do to reduce these other four common office distractions and help your team stay focused and productive.

Massive Email Blasts

Keeping everyone informed is important, but massive email blasts that cc: everyone on a project are more distracting than useful. Target your emails to only those who need to respond to them. If there’s valuable information you want to make sure doesn’t get lost, use a collaboration tool and either save a document or create a discussion thread that will be archived and searchable for future reference. That way, the knowledge is saved and accessible, but it doesn’t clutter up email inboxes and require everyone to figure out whether they need to respond, decide whether they should save the message, and create a filing system to keep things organized.

Ban Smartphones From Meetings

Keep meetings on track by banning smartphones from the conference room. This lets everyone focus on conducting the business of the meeting, rather than reading unrelated emails or stepping outside to take personal calls. You can minimize the withdrawal symptoms by having a concise agenda to keep the meeting brief. Make sure that having a meeting is the most effective way to achieve your goal. And start meetings on time, even if you’re missing some attendees; otherwise, you’re wasting everyone else’s time.

Funnel User and Support Requests

Requests from end users for help can pull developers off project work into production support. Don’t let end users call their favorite developers for help directly. Have a support hotline to call and assign one person to staff it (possibly on a rotating basis). That person will buffer everyone else on the team from user interruptions, bringing in them in for assistance only when needed. It’s important to have a cookbook of common problems and solutions to help the support person resolve issues without involving the rest of the team.

Automate Routine Tasks

Routine tasks often take longer than they should, because employees find them boring and look for ways to avoid doing them. Instead, use technology to free up routine tasks like packaging releases or deploying them into a test environment. That will help the tasks get done quickly and consistently, and reduce the need for your team to seek out distractions during the process.

The time you spend searching for employees is a distraction from your main job responsibilities. Working with a staffing agency like InReach IT allows you to offload this distraction to an experienced team of recruiters who will focus on finding the right people for your open positions. Contact us to learn how we can help streamline the hiring process and make you and your team more productive.

Preparing for an IT Employee’s Departure

April 1st, 2016

Like it or not, employees have lives outside the office. Eventually, their lives will pull them away from the office—whether to focus on family or because their career ambitions can’t be achieved with their current employer. So every business needs a plan for coping with employee resignations. Some parts of the process are common whatever the employee’s responsibilities, but there are also some steps specific to IT workers.

Finalize the logistics of the employee’s resignation. Agree on the employee’s last day of work. Two weeks is traditional and still standard, but some departing employees may have the flexibility to offer you a longer notice period if their project is at a critical point. Agree on who will announce the departure to the rest of the team; the way the news is shared can impact the morale of the employees who remain.

Plan to transition work. Identify everything the employee is working on. This can include work assigned and tracked in tools like JIRA, but almost every employee has informal responsibilities that aren’t tracked in project management tools. Decide which tasks will be completed before their last day of work and which need to be handed off to other employees. Make sure employees are cross-trained.

Gather all development artifacts. Be sure you get all work in progress from the departing employee so their efforts aren’t lost. This can mean having them check in code even if it isn’t complete; you can consider creating a new branch in your version control system so it doesn’t impact builds that pull code from the trunk.

Start looking for their replacement. Take time to think about what you want in a replacement employee. You might not simply want a replacement; you might want a person who brings a different skill set to the team or use the headcount for a different purpose. Tailor the job description so it accurately describes the responsibilities and skills of the new position.

Be sure to speak to the departing employee throughout their last two weeks. It’s almost certain you’ll have missed something during the initial planning. By checking in regularly you can make sure you find out about those items and get them handled. With good communication, you won’t discover a gap in your transition plan the day after the departing employee’s last day at work.

Working with a staffing agency can reduce the time it takes to find a replacement employee and reduce the impact after someone’s departure. InReach IT Solutions has more than 20 years’ experience helping companies find the staff they need. Contact us to learn how we can help you fill your open positions, whether you need to replace an employee who resigned or you’ve expanded headcount due to company growth.