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.
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February 9th, 2017
The IT industry is changing and a lot of top performers are working as independent contractors or freelancers without committing to a full-time position with a company. If your company is reliant on skilled information technology experts, you may be wondering how you can compete in this gig economy and build a pool of reliable IT freelancers. Here are several things you can do to improve your relationship with independent contractors.
Treat them like everyone else.
Even if your IT freelancer works from home or is only occasionally in the office, make an effort to include them in company culture. Make them feel welcome in your organization. This will go a long way to giving them buy in to your company and the people they work with and for. They will be more interested in making a positive contribution rather than just collecting a steady paycheck.
Provide steady work.
Speaking of steady, to keep a freelancer happy is to keep them busy and engaged. Don’t just throw busy work at them, but be ready to give them necessary projects. If you don’t have anything for them, they will move on and freelance for someone else. You may never be able to get them back. If you provide steady work, you’ll be able to develop a long-term relationship with your IT freelancer.
Just because your freelancer doesn’t work for you full time doesn’t mean you should avoid providing feedback. Let them know when they’re doing a good job. Talk to them about concerns you have. Be open with communication and allow them to approach you if they have questions as well. This positive back and forth will help you both work together well and accomplish more.
Be flexible with their schedule.
Lastly, remember that a freelancer is not a full-time employee. This means that they will have a non-traditional schedule. They may work from home. Or they may only work a few days a week. Rather than focusing on the hours they put in, focus on the results of their project. Know that a freelancer does this job so they can have a flexible schedule and as long as they are completing the necessary tasks, everything should be okay.
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December 8th, 2016
The 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!
November 10th, 2016
Employee retention is just as important as hiring the right IT talent from the start. To keep your star tech employees happy and engaged, it is imperative to focus on certain areas to create loyalty and enrichment. Without addressing these items, you may find yourself replacing unhappy or disgruntled IT employees far too often. Here are 5 areas you can focus on to retain your top talent in the IT department.
1. Provide flexible options.
Today’s top IT talent are looking for a flexible workplace. Not only do they want the ability to be flexible with their time, but also the freedom to explore solutions without being micromanaged. Provide a results based workplace that tracks the completion of projects without getting caught up in the hours they take to complete these tasks.
2. Increase open communications.
IT employees also want open lines of communications that go two ways. They want to be able to discuss concerns with their employer whenever necessary. But they also want to hear feedback. And don’t only approach your team with negative feedback. Be sure to provide positive reinforcement as well.
3. Focus on hiring and onboarding.
The first impression is probably the most important. If you can give them a quality experience in the hiring process and within the first days of training, you will increase overall satisfaction on the job. Provide an orientation that introduces them to the corporate culture. Match them with a mentor who can answer their questions along the way.
4. Provide access to the best technology.
An IT department without access to the latest technology tools will be quickly crippled in the solutions they can provide. If you don’t offer these tools to your employees, they will find a company who will. Give them all the tools they need to make informed decisions and provide top solutions for your department.
5. Offer options for career development.
IT employees, especially those in the millennial generation, are craving continued education and career development. An employer that doesn’t care about the future goals of an employee is not one that these professionals want to work with. Give them options to learn more and expand their horizons while on the job.
Do you want to hire top IT talent for your company? Contact CornerStone Staffing today and work with a leading IT recruiter in Dallas!
October 27th, 2016
When you’re interviewing for your open position, you will meet multiple people but only be able to hire one. This means there can be several well-qualified individuals who will not get the job. How you respond to them is just as important as how you make the offer to your selection. Burning bridges goes both ways and with the value of word-of-mouth and social media connections, you can’t afford to have someone disgruntled with their interviewing experience. Here are some ways you can say the right thing to someone who doesn’t get the job at your company.
Be upfront about not getting the job.
There are a lot of reasons managers don’t communicate with candidates who didn’t get the offer. They may not want to deal with confrontation. Or they may get busy so it drops off the priority list. But each person you interview deserves some notification that they haven’t gotten the job and the general reason why. This will help them move forward in their job search rather than become jaded.
Stay positive about the hiring process.
To this end, you want to stay positive. Feel free to present constructive criticism in a positive way, but otherwise, you should focus on the positive reasons you made the decision to hire someone else. Tell the employee about why someone else made the cut, which can give them an idea of what they might be missing when applying and interviewing for jobs.
Offer to contact them when things change.
Things do change. A perfect hire can turn into a nightmare when you least expect it. Or, other employees may leave or you may experience growth in your industry. The top candidates for your open jobs are often the biggest untapped resource for future jobs when most companies simply start over again. If they made the cut once, they are worth looking at again.
Follow up with them in the future.
The real key when it comes to offering to contact them in the future is to actually follow through on that process. Maintain a file for each department with potential candidates that you’ve met before. Follow up with them when you have a need or throughout the year just to keep in touch. Check in with them about where they are now, which can also give you insight on competition.
Are you struggling to find the best candidates for your job openings? Work with CornerStone Staffing today to get started on working with a top Dallas recruiter!
October 20th, 2016
If you’re an IT professional, you’ve probably been hearing about the “Gig Economy.” So, what is this mysterious new economy that is emerging in today’s market? The truth is, this form of work has been around for a very long time but the name only became trendy after the recession and recovery in the mid-2000s. For information technology job seekers, what should you know about gigging? Here are some things to know.
What is the gig economy?
This is a culture where temporary positions are very common and many employers choose to work with independent contractors or freelancers for short-term assignments and projects. Since the economic recovery, many people who found themselves out of work after the recession that began in 2007 are choosing not to return to traditional jobs. In fact, experts believe that nearly 40 percent of all U.S. workers will be a part of the gig economy by 2020.
What are the benefits?
For people who choose to work gigs rather than full-time, permanent positions, the benefits are astounding. In general, as an independent contractor, you can choose your own schedule. You work for yourself, so you can decide which hours you work and how much work you will accept at a time. Essentially, while ensuring that your clients are satisfied with the work you’re doing, you call all the shots along the way.
What are the downsides?
Freelancers and independent contractors work for themselves. This means you will have to be responsible for your own taxes, including the self-employment tax, at the end of the year. Freelancers also don’t qualify for group benefits from an employer, so healthcare costs are usually much higher than if you’re a full-time employee. You also don’t get paid vacation or sick time. A steady paycheck is also a challenge. If you don’t work, you don’t get paid.
Can you have the best of both worlds?
Working with a staffing agency can allow you to work temporary positions with established clients but still receive a paycheck, with taxes deducted, each pay period. CornerStone Staffing is a leader among information technology recruiters in Dallas. Contact us today!