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What Can You Do to Eliminate Unconscious Hiring Bias in IT?

April 14th, 2017

To say unconscious bias does not impact the Information Technology industry would be disingenuous. Everyone understands that a lack of diversity impacts larger social issues, but few people take a step back to understand the underlying cause of these hiring issues. The concept is referred to as unconscious hiring bias and it impacts more personality aspects than just the things we can see, like race and sex. Hiring managers often have their own bias regarding the types of personalities they want to hire, and this not only impacts their hiring process but also the candidates who apply and interview and the employees that work for their company. Candidate quality can be impacted by your unconscious hiring bias as well. So how can you eliminate unconscious hiring bias in your IT department? Let’s take a closer look.

Diversify sourcing channels.

If you keep going back to the same well, you’ll keep drawing the same types of people. By diversifying your recruiting sources, you will also increase the diversity of the people who will apply for your open positions. Do you hire primarily through online job boards? Referrals? Word of mouth? Social media? What can you add to your hiring roster to increase the diversity of candidates?

Have a structured interview process.

The enemy of a diverse hiring program is an unstructured interview. When you go with your gut on who to hire and who to reject, you may be allowing your unconscious bias to take control of the decision-making process. Instead, create a structured interview process so each and every candidate has the same experience. Create a checklist so you can compare apples to apples along the way.

Focus on culture add, not culture fit.

Many hiring managers focus on the candidate’s “fit” with their corporate culture. But what if we looked at the issue from another direction? Rather than ensuring that the individual will fit well with your current team, imagine what they can add to the employment experience at your company. What do they bring to the table that no one else does?

Set diversity goals.

You can also give yourself diversity goals to help increase your chances of hiring more people with a variety of backgrounds. Consider the current state of each department? How can you improve the overall diversity in those areas? What are you missing and what could help expand your office culture?

Review skills tests or samples.

Finally, don’t let the hiring decision be guided entirely by chance and gut feelings. Throughout the process, allow candidates to participate in skills testing or to submit samples of their work. You can judge these blindly to make the best possible choice based on skills and abilities, not allowing any other unconscious bias to get in the way of your choice.

Are You Ready to Work With a Top IT Recruiter in Dallas?

Contact CornerStone Staffing today to work with a leading IT recruiter in Dallas!

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Have an IT Job but Want a New One? 4 Tips to Navigate that Search

December 8th, 2016

new-jobThe IT industry is exploding and it is expected that many companies will be hiring technology professionals in 2017. If you’ve been restless, now is the time to start thinking about a transition. But, if you are already working in IT, you may want to consider some of the ways to successfully navigate a new job search so you don’t put your current role in jeopardy. Here are four things to think about before you start looking for your next IT job from the comfort of where you’re working now.

1. Take your time.

If you’re still working, you don’t need to rush your search. You’ve got plenty of time. You also don’t want to rush so much that you make a fatal mistake in your current job. Being by doing your homework and learning what companies or jobs you really want. Get out into the community to find out more about these opportunities. Contact companies you want to work with but who aren’t current advertising for open jobs and build a relationship.

2. Leverage your network.

Now is also the time to leverage your network. Make sure you’re building up your social media network, especially LinkedIn. Attend local industry events. Connect with individuals you’ve done business with before. You can stay confidential and ask them to be discrete, but you can start to ask around about opportunities that might be a good fit for you in the near future.

3. Talk to previous employers.

There is a reason everyone always advises you to avoid burning bridges. These previous employers may be a good place to discuss new opportunities. Since you left, you’ve gained new insight and new skills. Can you use these skills at their business? Is this work situation something that could become a good transition back into a company you enjoyed working for before in a different capacity?

4. Discuss options with your boss.

If you are feeling restless, it may also be a good idea to discuss your feelings with your current boss. If they value your contribution, they may be willing to work with you to determine a new position that could be a better fit for your skills and desire to contribute to the company in a different way. Even if they can’t give you a promotion, they may be able to give you additional responsibilities.

Are you looking for a new role in IT for 2017? Contact the team at CornerStone Staffing Agencies, now hiring for jobs in Dallas TX!

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Not Qualified for the Job? Here’s How You Get It

November 4th, 2016

heres-how-you-get-itThere are a lot of reasons you might feel compelled to apply for a job that is a little bit out of your comfort zone. You may want to work with a specific company. You may want to expand your skills. You may want to transition to a new industry. Any of these reasons, and more are valid. But there is one more step to the process. You need to convince the hiring manager that taking a chance on you will be the best decision they’ve ever made. If you’re concerned about applying for a job that is beyond your current skill set, here are some things you can do to get hired.

Believe in Yourself

When you have confidence in yourself, you will inspire confidence from others. That means you need to stay positive and drill down on the real reasons you’re applying for this job. Show them that you are someone they want to work with even if you may require a little extra on the job training. Believe that you are adaptable and trainable and they’ll believe it too.

Focus on Transferable Skills

What most people don’t seem to recognize about corporate environments is that a lot of the skills are similar even if they are called by different names. Review the job description and look into your own experience. Determine how your experience does fit into what they’re looking for and create a narrative around that information.

Stay Positive

Another key trait for getting a job that you’re not quite qualified for is to remain positive throughout the process. Negativity is one of the top cited reasons for not continuing to discuss a job with a potential candidate. Don’t talk about why you don’t want to do your last job anymore, but talk about how working for their company would improve your future.

Prove Your Competence

Next, give them some tangible information to hold on to. Prove to them that you are an asset, even if you aren’t complete qualified. Talk to the right references and have them lined up and available to provide when asked. Consider people who will discuss how adaptable you are and how you are able to learn new things quickly.

Are you looking for help finding your next opportunity? Contact CornerStone Staffing, now hiring for jobs in Dallas TX, to see how we can help today!

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Improve Body Language to Help Your Networking

October 6th, 2016

eyeshandspostureoh-myYou know that networking is important to your career. But did you know that the body language you project when meeting new professionals is as important as meeting them in the first place? If you can master appropriate body language when you’re networking, you will find that you’re making better connections for your career. Here are some aspects of body language that you should be aware of when you’re in the networking process.

Maintain appropriate eye contact.

Eye contact is important for interpersonal communication. It’s how we learn to understand one another, and how we gauge whether or not someone is honest or trustworthy. But eye contact can be challenging for some people, so it is equally as important to know how to use it and in what context. Don’t stare, but be casual and look them in the eye in a natural way.

Be relaxed when standing or sitting.

At most networking events, you’ll find yourself standing but there may be occasions when you’re sitting as well. The most important thing is to be relaxed while you’re communicating with someone else. Don’t cross your arms, because that indicates you’re closed off. Don’t fidget, because that demonstrates nervousness. Don’t spread out too far because that indicates arrogance and ownership.

Walk with purpose.

Look up, be confident, and be comfortable. The way you walk says just as much about you as your body language when sitting or standing. Shuffling is a sign that you’re uncomfortable. Being pushy will also send the wrong message. Walk with confidence and an easy stride and you’ll send the right message. You want your energy to be the focus.

Practice good posture.

Your teachers were right, it is important to stand up or sit up straight. Keeping your spine straight and avoiding a slouch will send the message that you’re confident and you want to engage with others around you. Posture is a big part of how we judge each other’s body language, so pay special attention to how you’re sitting or standing.

Focus on that handshake.

Finally, it is important to make sure that you have a firm handshake. It is perfectly okay to practice ahead of time. It can be difficult to avoid sweaty palms when you’re nervous, but do what you can to make yourself feel at ease in public spaces. Don’t let your hand be the dead fish grip that everyone dreads. Grasp firmly, but don’t squeeze hard, and know when to let go.

If you are looking for a change in your career, our talented recruiters are here for you. Contact CornerStone Staffing today to work with a leader in Dallas and Fort Worth job agencies.

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