The Vital Professional

  • Do You Know the Cost of a Bad Hire?

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    Vital-TouchTablet1000x300The process of interviewing candidates can feel like it’s dragging on forever. You may think it’s taking too long, that you need to hire someone, anyone, to get a warm body in the office and on the job. If you’re ever tempted to hire whoever walks through the door next, whatever their qualifications, think again. Corporate policies and the need for fairness mean that handling an employee who isn’t working out can be a time-consuming, expensive, and stressful process. And in the meantime, the employee is impacting their colleagues, the business, and you.

    Impact on Colleagues

    Even though performance appraisals are confidential, it’s rarely a secret around the office when someone is underperforming. Team morale can suffer, especially if co-workers have to pick up slack or redo work the bad hire didn’t complete successfully. If the issue is the new hire’s inability to get along with colleagues, they can even end up causing increased staff turnover as capable employees move on.

    Impact on the Business

    Productivity takes a hit when workers aren’t capable of turning out quality work efficiently. There are financial impacts too, such as the need for additional training or the cost of wasted materials. When bad employees are ultimately let go, the company may have to pay severance, plus the cost of a second round of recruiting. If customers encounter poor quality work, the company’s reputation can be damaged and you can even lose sales.

    Impact on You

    Managers spend about one day each week dealing with poorly performing employees, taking away time from more valuable strategic planning activities. Delivering a bad review and announcing that someone is being let go are unpleasant and stressful.

    Some estimates of the dollar cost of a bad hire are as high as $250,000, when all recruiting, salary, and legal expenses are considered. That’s a significant amount of money for almost any organization. The best way to avoid wasting that amount of money is to not rush into hiring. It’s almost always better to let the hiring process continue until you find the right person rather than adding the wrong person to your team.

    No company wants to make a bad hire. Vital Professional Services helps your business make the best hire possible through our years of industry experience in IT recruitment. Contact us today and allow Vital Professional Services help with all of your hiring needs.Vital_HorizontalCTA_Twitter_v03

  • A Good Onboarding Plan Sets New Hires Up For Success

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    Vital-DoctorMetro1000x300Your new employees are nervous their first day of work. You’ll make it easier for them to feel positive about their experience if you have an onboarding plan. That means more than making a list of forms you need filled out. Create an onboarding plan that will set new employees up for success — helping you as well as the new employee feel good about their start to the job.

    Connect the New Hire to the Company

    Although you probably discussed the company’s mission during the candidate’s interview, make sure to review corporate values and goals with the employee on their first day. Connect your department and their specific responsibilities to overall corporate objectives so they understand where they fit in and how important their work is.

    Connect the New Hire to Their Colleagues

    Make sure to introduce the new hire to their teammates. If they have a leadership role, make sure the teammates are aware of the hierarchy. Introduce them to the people they’ll work with in other departments, too — the business, sales, or marketing people who generate the requirements and the support teams that help the work get done. They’ll need to build relationships with all of them to be effective.

    Connect the New Hire to Their Career

    Know what priorities the employee needs to focus on and have a plan to get them the background information needed to start solving problems. Schedule time for them to meet with you or subject matter experts to provide project details. Make it clear you expect them to be around for the long term, too, by talking about the longer-term development you expect from them, including company training programs.

    Onboarding Doesn’t Happen in a Day

    The employee only has one first day, but their career with your company can last decades. Onboarding can’t continue until they retire, but don’t try to cram meeting everyone and learning everything into a single day. You’ll overwhelm your new employee. Instead, map out a schedule that will introduce them to everything and everyone they need to know over a period of a few weeks. This lets them get comfortable gradually; it also maintains the excitement of learning something new for a longer period time. If you plan the onboarding schedule well, they’ll have the knowledge they need when they need it and will succeed every day they show up at work.

    Our industry-seasoned service professionals know your business. Vital Professional Services provides the highest caliber of professional candidates because we have a stake in your success. Contact a leader in IT recruitment today to get started!

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  • Can’t Find Top IT Talent? Here Are 3 Areas to Focus On

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    Vital-ComputerTouchBadTie1000x667pxFinding top IT employees is a competitive game. As the economy’s improved, candidates are finding more opportunities open, so your offers need to come quickly and stand out against other companies’. At the same time, there’s still risk in bringing on employees who don’t work out, so you need to continue to vet candidates effectively before making those offers. Here are three tips to help you put together winning job offers and make sure your new hire will be a winning employee:

    1. Make sure the employee will fit your corporate culture. Employees who have the perfect skills but aren’t comfortable in your work environment won’t stay long enough to make meaningful contributions. Make sure you discuss the corporate environment with potential hires; even better, present the corporate environment honestly on your website so candidates will self-screen themselves out if they aren’t a good fit. Ask the candidate what motivates them to succeed. You can use behavioral interviewing techniques to see how they’ve handled situations similar to ones they’re likely to find in your firm.
    1. Use your contacts to vet the potential employee. References selected by the candidate are likely to present the candidate in a positive light; previous employers may be limited by corporate policy to simply confirming dates of employment. You may get a better perspective by seeking out references on your own. Use a candidate’s profile on LinkedIn and identify any common connections, then reach out to ask questions.
    1. Get creative with your job offers. Before you even start looking for an employee, you should know what the market rate salary is for the position, seniority level, and skill set you’re hiring for. Realize that your competition knows this market rate, too. This means that unless you have very deep pockets, you’re not likely to win over a candidate based on the salary offer alone. You can attract attention through creative job offers that include swag bags and signing bonuses. A signing bonus that decreases the longer the employee takes to accept the offer can provide additional incentive for the potential hire to say “Yes” quickly.

    Your business needs the right professionals at the right time. Vital Professional Services can help! Contact one of the leading IT recruiters today, and we will provide the top talent needed for your job openings.

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  • Why Your Business Needs a Startup Mentality

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    Vital-ProcessWomanGlasses3to2Growing older doesn’t have to mean growing old. For people, staying young at heart is a key to enjoying life. For companies, keeping that startup mentality is a key to continued success.

    Unlike people, companies that aren’t successful don’t get a chance to grow older. The challenge for companies is that success often means growing bigger. In turn, that means more people, more departments, more confusion. And that results in more meetings, more bureaucracy, and more procedures intended to bring it all under control.

    Control is necessary, but it’s important not to tighten up so much that you choke off the creativity, innovation, and responsiveness that allow startups to respond quickly to market changes. Keep your startup mentality through the following:

    • Push for continued innovation. Innovation is key to your company’s success, not only in product development, but also in your internal operations. Encourage and reward creative thinking in dealing with routine business issues.
    • Minimize meetings. Face-to-face communication has advantages over email, but as the company and projects get bigger, meetings require a cast of thousands and time is wasted in scheduling the meeting as well as taking people away from business priorities. Use meetings only when necessary; invest in collaboration tools to make online communication more interactive and effective than email chains.
    • Encourage communication across teams and levels. When a business’s entire staff shares one office and fits around one conference table, it’s easy for anyone to bring ideas to the decision makers. When companies grow larger, the increased size and organizational hierarchy can stifle communication, keeping it within a single branch and going through “proper channels.” As a result, good ideas never get heard by the people who can put them into action. Avoid that by encouraging open communication that lets ideas circulate informally without worrying about the protocol of talking with other departments and other managers.
    • Provide time to think. The most valuable assets your company has are the ideas locked inside your staff’s brains. Give them the time to think, rather than overloading them with things to do. Their insights will shape the future direction and future success of the business.

    To succeed in technology, you need the right professionals pursuing the right opportunities at the right time. Contact Vital Professional Services today to work with a top IT recruiter!

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  • Create an Action Plan to Lead Millennials

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    Vital-Course3to2Some people just want to be left alone to do their jobs. But studies show that the newest generation of workers, millennials, isn’t like that. They want their managers to be involved, and most important, to provide feedback. If you have a team of younger workers and you’ve been taking a hands-off management style, you aren’t managing them effectively. Take these steps to give them the feedback they crave and need to do their best work:

    1. Plan regular feedback sessions. Is the only time you give feedback a few hurried moments during an uncomfortable annual review? Because those meetings come only once a year and are often explicitly tied to salary increases, they’re awkward for everyone. Employees are more focused on putting their work in the best possible light to get the biggest possible raise rather than really listing to constructive criticism. Giving feedback only once at the end of the year also means criticism comes as a surprise to the employee and delays opportunities for improvement. To avoid this, schedule periodic meetings with each member of your team.
    1. Treat feedback sessions as if they’re important, because they are. You’d know what you intended to say if you have a meeting scheduled with your company’s CEO, right? You should treat the feedback meetings with your team members as if they’re as important as that meeting with the CEO. Know what comments you intend to give, and be prepared to give specific examples. Also be prepared to give specific advice for improvement and to have a plan to work with your employees to help them do better work. And make sure your employees know that these meetings are about performance; you don’t want them to be surprised and become defensive. If you are both prepared in advance, you can have meaningful discussions that benefit their development.
    1. Don’t focus solely on the positive or solely on the negative. No one does everything right at work, and no one does everything wrong at work, either. Be sure the feedback you give includes both perspectives. Having their positive contributions acknowledged encourages employees to improve performance in the areas where they aren’t being effective.

    Lastly, although scheduled meetings are important, don’t hold back on praise. When someone does good work, praise it immediately, and publicly if possible. It can boost the entire team’s morale to know that good work is recognized.

    Our recruiters follow a specific three-step recruiting and interview process. To work with our great team of IT recruiters, contact Vital Professional Services today!

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  • Is Your Company Prepared for When the Network Goes Down

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    Vital-ContactTouchBadTie3to2The dream of the paperless office remains a dream, but paper is no longer central to the functioning of most businesses. We rely instead on the information stored electronically inside our computers. This gives us access to more information than ever before, but also makes us completely dependent on the computers being available. No company can afford to stop conducting business just because the network goes down, though. Every company should have a business continuity plan (BCP) and a disaster recovery plan that lets it continue functioning while technical issues are addressed.

    Keep Local Copies of Critical Information

    Off-site storage may be the most secure way of keeping backups safe, but they’re no help when the network’s down. You should have copies of critical information available locally. The copies can even be printouts (as long as they’re fairly current). The key point is to make sure you can look up information you need to support customers.

    Define Manual Processes

    You want to be able to do more than look up information. You still want to conduct business, which means being able to take and process orders manually. For older businesses, this can mean retaining old procedure manuals from before the electronic systems were deployed; add instructions to support getting the manually recorded information into the electronic systems when they’re back online. Newer businesses may need to invent manual workarounds. In both cases, be sure employees have access to the instructions.

    Conduct a Rehearsal

    It’s also helpful to periodically conduct a rehearsal to make sure employees understand the process; since it’s not one they do on a daily basis, it won’t come naturally to them. The rehearsal should include the cleanup step of getting the information into the computers to make sure the manual process collects all the data needed for records to be accepted.

    Developing the business continuity plan isn’t a one-time activity. As your company grows and new features are added to online systems, the BCP should be updated to include the new functions and processes. Because of the difficulty of manual operations, your BCP analysis may identify processes that you’ll put on hold during a crisis. You can use this insight to investigate whether there are ways to streamline and simplify the process, making it easier for your employees whether they’re working in a crisis or during routine operations.

    At Vital Professional Services, we accelerate careers, build talented teams and move companies forward. Work with our great team of IT recruiters and contact Vital Professional Services today!

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  • 4 Ways to Avoid Micromanaging Your Staff

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    Vital-ProcessWomanGlasses3to2Attention to detail is one of the personal characteristics that help you get promoted to a management position; managers have to create and review plans and make sure they fully address all the details to achieve a successful completion. That attention to detail can turn negative, though, when it deteriorates into fixating on the details of your staff’s work and micromanaging their activity. Counterintuitive as it seems, people are likely to do better work when you don’t monitor every move they make. Follow these four tips so you can give your staff the freedom to complete their work successfully on their own:

    1. Hire people you trust to do the job. The root cause of micromanaging is often mistrust that people know how to do their jobs, or that the way they choose to do it won’t work as well as the way you would choose to do it. The best way to eliminate this mistrust is to hire the right people: People with a solid track record of succeeding at similar assignments. If they did it once without your oversight, they can do it again. Be careful, though; this doesn’t mean never giving employees stretch assignments that challenge them to contribute in ways they haven’t had to before.
    1. Make your expectations known. If you micromanage because you find people don’t live up to your expectations, consider whether they know what your expectations were. Often we assume our expectations are clear without ever explicitly stating them. When an assignment starts, state your expectations and schedule periodic sessions to review whether they’re being met. If you do this, your team will know what they need to do, and you’ll have the opportunity to review progress and take corrective action without constantly checking on them.
    1. Give people power. Give your team the ability to design their work processes and make other decisions that affect how their work gets done. People who have control over these factors are more likely to feel ownership of the work and more likely to make the commitment to getting the work done with high quality.
    1. Keep communication lines open. If you micromanage because you feel you don’t get enough information otherwise, develop other ways of communicating with your team about their work. Schedule periodic one-on-one meetings to discuss progress and future priorities. By knowing that you’ll be regularly informed, you can leave your team alone to get the work done in between these meetings.

    Our team delivers candidates who are second to none. Contact Vital Professional Services today to work with some of the top IT recruiters in California!

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