J Patrick + Associates Blog

6 Reasons You Should Close On New Hires Before The End Of The Year

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Mon, Dec 02, 2019 @ 08:55 AM

6 reasons to close new hires before the end of the year

The run-up to the holidays has begun and now begins the full-court press to the end of the year. Budget requests are either in or due, annual numbers are getting tallied and performance reviews being conducting.

Looking at the bigger picture it might seem counter-intuitive to want to get that new hire started before the end of December, but here are 6 key reasons you should be doing exactly that.

6 Reasons to Close New Hires before the end of the year

1) It's A Seller's Market

The talent pool in many IT sectors is, at best tight. You don't have to look any further than the Cybersecurity job market to know that top candidates are in demand. There's truly little need to sit around and wait for a company that's slow to pull the trigger for many IT professionals. And while you may have tantalizing benefits and enviable company culture on offer, chances so do your competitors.

2) You Risk Losing The Slot

Whether it's due to expansion in your sector, the growth of your customer base, or the loss of a team member, you have the opening for a reason. You didn't initiate bringing a new employee in on a whim, you've got a need you need to be met.

And while you may be certain that the budget for the new year includes funding this opening, just remember: the only thing you can count on is change. There are a number of unknowable variables that might affect your budget for the new year - beat the uncertainty by getting the talent you need in place now.

3) Top Talent Waits For No One

This might be considered a corollary of #1 above, but the best candidates are simply not on the market for that long. Not only do they not need to wait for an offer, but they also won't.

While it is never advisable to make hiring decisions under duress, it's equally as ill-advised to surrender to a long and drawn-out hiring process.

You've got to be willing to move decisively to get the talent you want. 

4) You Risk Surrendering To The Void

Once we hit the end of the year the harder it will be to assemble everyone you need to sign off on hiring decisions. Vacation schedules, end-of-year travel, and meetings can make it near impossible to get decision-makers assembled and focused.

It's important that you get what you need to shore up your department before everyone scatters and decisions have to be tabled.

As for candidates, conventional wisdom counsels one pull in the oars and not think about looking for a new position until the other side of January. The time between Thanksgiving and New Year then becomes this kind of looming void which top candidates and valuable talent are looking to avoid like some kind of gaping sinkhole that's temporarily swallowed up the job market.

What this means for you and your open desk is if you wait until after the holidays to start final interviews or moving toward an offer, it very well might be mid-to-late January before you get any momentum going.

Can you really afford to wait that long?

5) Shore Up Your DNA

Keep in mind the effect an unfilled opening has on the rest of your team. The more your team members are asked to pick up the slack, the more focus gets scattered and productivity goes down. The long term effects on your bottom line can be very damaging. Remember, one of the very best retention tools you have at your disposal is keeping employees engaged and stimulated. Over-taxed is the polar opposite of what you want.

On the plus side, new hires shore up your company DNA. They inject new energy, drive and focus. The contributions they add not only help drive success and profit as a direct result of the work they are doing but also in terms of keeping your business a thriving place to work.

6) Embrace The Void

The end of the year is the perfect time to get a new hire on-board. With fewer distractions, fewer calls to be made, half the number of meetings on the docket, your new employee has the time and ability to get through the necessary training and/or certification processes they need to do their job well.

There's likely no other time of the year, not even August, that will afford you the same kind of a slower pace to get your new hires up to speed.

It's time to begin thinking of the end of the year as the perfect time to get your new hires on board so that you can hit the ground running in the new year.


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Tags: HR and Hiring

5 Hiring Mistakes That Will Cost You Top Talent

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Wed, Nov 27, 2019 @ 08:55 AM

Avoid These 5 Hiring Mistakes

With top talent at a premium in sectors from cybersecurity to AV/IT, hiring great employees is more challenging than ever. And the last thing any company wants to face is hiring someone who doesn't work out. After all, replacing an employee can cost as much as 6 to 9 months of that employee's annual salary.

Here are 5 hiring mistakes to make certain you avoid.

1. Chasing Perfection

All too often we see hiring managers clinging too tightly to their checklists. Of course, there are certain prerequisites of any position, but if you are too set on an ideal you run the very real risk of missing out on a truly great candidate.

Or perhaps you are set on the idea of what your team should look like, the hiring equivalent of choosing from a take-out menu: one from column A, two from column B, etc... But if you let go of pre-set ideals and consider candidates with diverse backgrounds and unexpected skills, you will enhance the team as a whole. An outsider's perspective can be refreshing and add the kind of new energy and boost your need to move the needle higher.

Remember: working with people who are different from us makes us more creative, more diligent and harder-working.

2.  Not Truly Knowing The Job

It's one thing to know what function you're hiring someone for, but it's another thing to really understanding how the role functions on a day-to-day basis.

One of the best tools at your disposal to understand any given role on your team is the exit interview. And while that might sound counterintuitive, it makes perfect sense. After all, what better way to understand what works and what doesn't than to hear from people who are on their way out?

Yes, certainly there will be those employees whose opinion you will have to take with a grain of salt, but if you take care to ask the right questions and really listen to the answers you receive, you stand to learn an awful lot about the job you are now faced with filling.

So before you go into interviews to fill a role, take the time to talk to the people who have done the job. If you do, you'll not only be able to represent the position accurately, but it will also help you look for the candidate best suited to do the job.

3. Forgetting That Time Truly Is Of The Essence

Every search has its own parameters. Some jobs demand to cast a wide net due to location, skillset or competition for talent. Others need to be filled as quickly as possible in order to ensure that critical concerns are handled. But no matter the extenuating circumstances your company needs to have an established hiring protocol.

While it may seem an obvious system to have in place, too many companies do not have clear hiring policies in place. But taking the time to build a set of protocols not only makes it easier for your hiring managers, but it also sends a stronger message to candidates that you are a desirable company to work for.

In terms of how long you should spend on a search, that will depend on the job you're filling. But take care to never allow the process to go on for too long, otherwise, candidates will either lose interest, continue to take meetings at other companies, or decide you are not interested in them and take themselves out of the running.

4. Trying To Get Away With Less

Trying to undercut the competition might look good on paper, but it will not help you to attract top talent. If you're offering compensation that is not in line with your sector you are not only going to be less appealing to candidates but you're also selling yourself short.

The best guideline to follow is a candidate's current compensation package. If you are not able to meet what they are currently making or beat it, adjust the candidates you are considering. Otherwise, you'll just be wasting your time as well as the candidates.

5. Forgetting You're Also Selling

It's easy to forget that while you're vetting a candidate, they too are interviewing you. They're looking to see if your company supports a culture where they'll feel at ease, supported and can foresee an upward path for themselves. Since more of our time is spent at work than at home with friends and family, the contemporary worker wants to know that they'll be spending their time somewhere they'll feel valued.

Just as college recruiters have become marketing machines, pitching students why they're the best choice for their education, you too have to sell candidates on why your position is the one that they should take.


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Tags: HR and Hiring

5 Pro Tips For Recruiting Top Talent

Posted by Glenda Gregorio on Wed, Nov 20, 2019 @ 08:45 AM

5 Tips

Every company wants to hire the best, most dynamic and highest performing talent they can. But when unemployment is hovering around 5% and the IT sector is in a growth phase as it now, you have to make sure you are on top of your game if you want to attract top talent. Candidates have lots of options available to them, and you have to make sure that you stand out from your competition. So, how can you improve your hiring strategy to attract top candidates?

Check out these 5 ways to attract top talent for your openings!

Turn Job Descriptions into Stories

A good job description needs to tell a story. Savvy candidates are looking for more information than the standard listings of responsibilities, they want some insight into the heart of the company. Use words that evoke emotion, not corporate jargon. Appeal to the candidate’s desire to connect with their employer, to be a part of a culture they can believe in, and not just punch the nine to five. You must think like the candidate. Remember, your job description is as much a sales pitch as your marketing materials are.

Define Exceptional Performance not an Exceptional Person

Many hiring managers think they should only be looking at candidates that meet each and every one of the listed job qualifications. But by doing so, are you limiting yourself by looking through too small of a looking glass? It is crucial to widen your scope and avoid overvaluing your hiring checklist. You need to focus on the abilities and past performance of the individual, and how these correlate with the position you are looking to fill. Remember, that the candidate who meets all your desired traits may not necessarily mean that they’re the best match for your open position or your company.  

Refer to Your Network

You’ve built a large network of connections, and now is the time to make it work for you. Post job openings within LinkedIn groups and keep your eyes open for interesting prospects at conferences and events. You should be looking for top talent wherever you go. But, most importantly, if you aren’t already doing so, you should be working with a recruiter. Recruiters offer specialized experience and a database of contacts in your industry.

Streamline the Hiring Process

It’s a seller’s market. The last thing you want to do is deter candidates with a difficult hiring process. Job candidates, especially the top 25%, know their worth and they know there are many opportunities available for them. So, if your company takes too long to respond, or the application process is too difficult, candidates will most likely move on to the next opportunity. It is crucial to maximizing the candidates’ experiences throughout the entire hiring process by making the process faster and easier.

Show Off Your Company’s Value

An interview is as much for the candidate’s benefit as for yours- they’re weighing the benefits of working for you against other potential employers. Compensation, company culture, available training and opportunities for advancement are important to potential candidates. You want to show off the perks that your company offers to employees. Define the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) to capture the attention of top talent.


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To Hire The Right Candidate, You Need To Do This First

Posted by Dylan Rivera on Fri, Nov 15, 2019 @ 08:45 AM

How to Hire the Right Candidate

Hiring managers know that filling vacancies can be time-consuming. Reading through resumes, conducting phone interviews, and vetting potential candidates can end up taking you away from your other responsibilities.

But taking the time to get the job done right from the very beginning, even before you start collecting resumes, can end up saving you time, money, and headaches. Spare yourself the struggle and do it right the first time.

Here are some important aspects to consider before you start seeing candidates for an opening.

Understand The Company

Let your mission statement be your guide to success!

A well-crafted mission statement, one that reveals the character of your company is one of the best ways to attract desirable candidates. Make sure that the key qualities that your company values are easily identifiable in all of your materials. If a company’s main focus is “Going Green” and the potential candidate disregards the practice of taking care of the environment, then maybe they're not the best pick for the position. When interviewing a candidate, ask how their personal goals intersect with the company’s goals. If both are in alignment, you could have a very good match on your hands.

Understand the Role

Before the interview process, it's important that you understand the open position and obligations that are embedded within it. Any vacancies should be thoroughly explored before you hand a job description off to human resources. Discover faults or pain points in the role. Find out why the position requires certain specifications.

A study from the National Business Research Institute has shown the two leading factors that attribute to a failed hire are poor skills match and unclear performance objectives.

This isn't to say that you need your human resources department to become experts on all company roles. However, you do want them to be familiar with the tasks that are performed during an average day, so the filtering process can run at a much more efficient pace. Putting yourself in the shoes of the candidate could further help your search to find the most qualified employee.

Also, take the time to understand why this certain position was left vacant. See if you can look through old employee concerns and reports. If you can assign a problem, then you can apply a solution. 

Now, Take Your Time (But Not Too Much Time)

Hiring managers need to strike a balance between finding qualified candidates and doing so in an efficient and respectable amount of time. Taking too long to close a hire can result in the loss of a worthy applicant, and rushing the process can lead to a bad match. According to the National Business Research Institute,  43% of employers cited that filling vacant positions in a limited amount of time resulted in unfit and unqualified hires.

You can think of the hiring process as oddly similar to the dating game. In a technical aspect, two parties engage, shape a bond, and establish goals that pursue together. When a company hires someone, they are granting them access to numerous resources and assets. An unsuccessful match can result in loss of time, money, and in some cases, can lead to security vulnerabilities.

Having to refill a position after a failed hire is a time consuming and costly endeavor. Find your balance and place the right candidate the first time.  


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Tags: Job Interviews, HR and Hiring, recruiting

Cyber security Sales Engineers Are in High Demand

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Tue, Jul 23, 2019 @ 02:31 PM

Cyber Sales Engineers are in High Demand.png

  

Cyber Security Sales Engineers Are In High Demand

“There is a zero-percent unemployment rate in cybersecurity and the opportunities in this field are endless” - Robert Herjavec, CEO at Herjavec Group

Cybersecurity Ventures predicts there will be 3.5 million unfulfilled job positions by the year 2021. Due to the dramatic rise of cyber crime, the malicious malware epidemic, and the increasing amount of severity attacks on consumers, businesses, and government institutions; cyber security is predicted to cost $6 trillion annually by 2021.

In essence, bad news for the security of our information is good news for the industry. And where there's a boom, there's a demand for talent. One field that's feeling the full effects of this expansion is cybersecurity sales engineers.

Cyber Security Sales Salary

With an increase in demand comes an increase in salary range. In 2017, entry level sales engineers made an average salary just over $100,000 per year; in the top five metro areas (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia). Sales engineers with over 8 years experience made on average $135,000 per year. And in an environment where talent is at a premium, and the demand is outpacing the supply; candidates who are in the job market often are fielding competing offers, as well as counter-offers from their current employers.

Cyber Security Sales Engineer Path

What this means is, if you're a sales engineer you have the opportunity to really consider your career trajectory and take the offers where you feel you'll be most challenged and valued.

Hiring Managers

If you're a hiring manager charged with hiring cyber sales engineers, you already know that the competition for talent is fierce. You also know that you might have to push your budget to get the level of talent you need to keep your company's and/or your customer's data safe. And you probably also understand there's tremendous value in interviewing candidates even when you don't have an immediate opening. But there are a few other key issues to keep in mind.

Lose the Checklist

When you're faced with a competitive market and top talent comes at a premium, you have to be willing to look beyond your checklist. The best candidate may not carry all the certifications you want to see, or they might carry ones you never considered important. They might come from a different sector or not have the years experience you're looking for.

Understand the Power of Soft Skills

As the bridge between the technology and the customer, a sales engineer's ability to manage and communicate effectively with customers needs to be a prime consideration. Since they are in daily contact with customers, they are your eyes and ears in the field and having someone who is an agile communicator about the human experience (as well as the technical experience) is invaluable to you.

Hone Your Game

And speaking of soft skills, in order to attract the best talent, you need to have a company culture in place that both values and invests in their employees. We already know that the best retention and recruiting tool is to make employees and candidates feel valued.
When you're hunting for top talent in a crowded field, always make sure that you have the best position on offer.

Looking for a cyber security sales engineer to join your sales team? Click Here, and a recruiter will reach out to you within 24 hours.

Are you looking for an account manager, pre sales, post sales, systems engineer, sales executive, sales manager, solutions engineering, or either security systems or security services position? Click Here and search our current openings!

 

Related Questions:

How do I handle a counter offer?

How do I create good employer branding?

How do you enhance diversity a workplace?

 

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Tags: HR and Hiring, cyber-security, cybersecurity

3 Recruiting Models: How To Get The Best Fit For You

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Tue, Jul 23, 2019 @ 12:00 PM

Is the Hybrid Recruiting Model right for your business

You contract an executive recruiting firm for the benefit of their expertise with top talent and the quality of their relationships. You know working with recruiters may cost you more than your in-house HR department, but they're worth the price. But, just as there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all hiring practices, there isn’t just one engagement model.

Knowing the difference between contingency search, retained search and the new, innovative option known as the hybrid recruiting model, can mean the difference between making the right hire and losing time and money on an unproductive search.

3 Recruiting Models

CONTINGENCY SEARCH

You're No-Risk Option.

Signing a letter of agreement for a contingency search is binding only IF the search results in a hire. Yes, you’ll have agreed to a percentage of the closing salary, but if the recruiters don’t bring you the A-level talent you’re seeking, then the search doesn't cost you anything. You’re not bound by an exclusivity agreement and can work with multiple search firms at once. And most firms offer a guarantee period, anywhere from 30-90 days. The recruiters carry all the risk- if they don’t deliver, you don’t pay.

But Nothing Is Truly Free.

The contingency recruiter search process can often be costlier, carrying higher percentage fees. And what you might not get is fully-dedicated resources or the full force of the search team’s focus to fill your positions. With no guarantee of payment, a contingency search firms will only dedicate so much of their time and resources to your search.

RETAINED SEARCH

We’re There For You.

There are some hires, such as C-level suite and marketing manager level positions, that are just too important to leave to chance. You need a focused search dedicated to building your team. When you engage a recruiter in a retained search, they’ll be looking not only for the candidates with the right resumes, but also mining for hidden talent -- candidates who are primed to take on new challenges but may fly under the radar. This is where the recruiter’s reach and relationships come into play. You get all their time and attention focused on your search by paying them an exclusive, pre-determined percentage of the final salary. Usually payable in three installments (1/3 at the time of engagement, 1/3 at an agreed-upon point in the middle of the process, and the last installment rounded out based on the actual salary). With a retained search consultant model, you know your money is hard at work for you.

What Will It Cost You?

Retained searches are structured to mitigate the risk for both you and the recruiter. However, in the event that the search does not end in a successful hire for either internal or external reasons, that first 1/3 of the fee is non-recoverable - though many firms will apply it to a future search. This is the time to work with a search firm whom you trust and who has a solid, long-standing reputation in your business sector.

THE HYBRID RECRUITING MODEL

Quality Service At A Discount.

You need quality talent, and you need it fast, but you’re not looking to pay premium recruiting fees. You may be a start-up needing to fill out staff, or an established firm looking to test the waters with a new recruiter. Either way, the Hybrid model may be the perfect solution for your staffing needs. You’ll pay an engagement fee, but in exchange for a small outlay at the beginning, you’ll get treated like a retained client AND you’ll pay a discounted rate. The upfront fee is deductible from the final percentage based on starting salary. Think of it as a down payment. Recruiters like it because they get a targeted search that’s more than likely to end in a hire, and you get exclusive service at a discount.

Is There A Downside?

Sure there is, but it’s pretty slim for you. The only way your engagement fee won’t go to work for you is if the recruiting firm can’t fill any of your staffing needs within the agreed-upon specified time, and even then the fee can be applied to a future search.

There are, of course, other models for engagement, solutions that are tailored to special needs, such as filling out a new branch or for contracting short-term hires. If you find yourself faced with one of these situations, talk to your recruiter and explore what works best for you.


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Tags: HR and Hiring, recruiting

The Bottom Line: Diversity is Good For Business

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Tue, Mar 28, 2017 @ 11:04 AM

Diversity is Good For Business

At the most basic level, workplace diversity is important because it represents fair and equitable hiring practices. It's reflective of society and the truth of our demographics. After all, according to the US Census Bureau, Asian, Hispanic and multiracial groups will hit majority status by 2044.

Our businesses need to reflect who we are.

But there's another reason businesses need to focus on building an inclusive workforce: a broad spectrum of talent and ideas is vital for success. Exposure to a variety of points of view can lead to more ideas and better decisions. Diversity pushes us to explore, rethink, innovate and push boundaries.

In short, diversity is good for business. 

We only have to look to The Renaissance for the perfect example. The Age of Enlightenment didn't just take shape out of thin air. It happened because technological advances (larger ships, navigation techniques, etc...) enabled people to travel greater distances. When East met West all manner of ideas were exchanged. Creativity was ignited sparking the idea for countless, important innovations.

The same holds true for your business. If you're not attracting and retaining women and employees from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds then you're depriving your company of the full spectrum of available talent. And that is bad for your bottom line.

Let's explore 4 practical steps you can take to enhance diversity in the workplace.

1. Assess Yourself

In order to build an inclusive team, you first have to take an honest look at where you are right now. To make any kind of shift, the organization needs to be willing to ask hard questions of itself and try to assess the situation with candor.

Some things to ask consider include:

  • What mechanisms have you established for offering promotions?
  • How are you managing your talent pipeline?
  • At what point on your corporate ladder are you experiencing the most drop off by women and ethnic minorities?
  • Are you utilizing exit interviews to gather information on drop off?
  • What, if any are your recruitment biases?

The best way to find positive solutions is to delve deep into your problems with an honest and unbiased approach.

2. Attract

Let's be clear, we are not speaking about quotas or hiring goals. This is about building teams that reflect a wide variety of experience, thinking style, personality type, and points of view.

But the truth is if your company culture does not reflect an inclusive mindset, all the quotas in the world won't help you to attract the kind of talent you need to succeed.

Make certain that your brand aligns with your philosophy. Just as savvy consumers have learned to sniff out greenwashing, candidates will know when your commitment to diversity is superficial.

Hiring managers need to set their checklists aside. Rather than looking for candidates who can check off each box and fit the position profile to a T, look instead for team players who bring a new perspective or unexpected experience. What you want are broad thinkers who bring a spark of innovation to your team. And you're more likely to find that when you cast a wide net. 

3. Retain

Now devote equal time and energy to getting new hires to stay. According to the 2016 Women in the Workplace Report by McKinsey & Co., women receive less access to the people, feedback and opportunities that lead to promotions. They are also less likely to receive the first critical promotion that will set them on the path to management. And that all adds up to higher attrition rates.

This is the time to lay the groundwork for the long run. It’s important to show your hires they have a future in the company. Establish mentoring programs to help build strong relationships and illustrate the pathways for advancement. The Women in Business, Turning Promise into Practice report by Grant Thornton revealed that providing mentors for female employees helps women to build their confidence, empowers them to speak up and to stand up for their ideas. It also provides a framework for seeing where they can go in the company.

As Kim Bohr, Executive VP Operations at Fierce, Inc. stated in the HR Daily report on 2017 workplace trends, "An objective within organizations should be to create an environment where all employees can feel at ease and capable of understanding differing perspectives that exist, regardless of gender, race, generation, religious affiliation, or any other aspect of identity."  

4. Inspire

Make certain that avenues for advancement are well known among all of your employees. Create an environment where innovation, flexibility and prudent risks are rewarded. And always highlight successes, both large and small. The confidence and appreciation you extend will be returned two-fold. 

In addition to focusing on current hires, also think about setting your sights on the future of the workforce. Getting involved with organizations that mentor girls and minorities is another way to support the diverse workplaces of the future. There are organizations devoted to girls and minorities in STEM fields, in Management and even programs geared toward encouraging girls and minorities to step onto the MBA path. Whatever your field, there's an organization promoting education for kids and job training for underserved populations.

Perhaps the most important thing to remember about diversity is that it's not just about numbers. It's about a company culture that values equality and recognizes the inherent strength in a variety of perspectives and ideas.

 


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Looking To Hire AV Techs? Make Sure To Look For Talent In These 2 Sectors.

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Tue, Jan 31, 2017 @ 11:05 AM

Looking To Hire AV TECH Make Sure to Look In These 2 Sectors

Complex AV Systems have become essential to corporations, government, education institutions, transportation, and consumer outlets. Industrywide growth is steady and each year we are seeing the demand deepen. According to NSCA's State of the Industry Report, the majority of market sectors were projecting growth between 15-55% growth for 2016. These trends are borne out in our own practice here at J.Patrick, where we are seeing high demand for talent in all AV roles. See all our jobs listed here.

One of the positions we see some of the heaviest demand is for AV Techs. And while candidates entering at this level might not need much prior experience in the field or certifications, the search for talent can still be tough. It's important to keep an open mind when vetting candidates, and considering those who come from parallel industries.

Let's explore a few such parallel industries we've found to be good sources of talent.

Music

The music industry is a natural place to search for AV talent as many of the skills and abilities are easily transferable to AV/IT. That the music industry can be a difficult place to make a living and/or to get ahead, makes it an obvious place to recruit for talent.

While many people enter the music sector for the passion and the love of music, they also realize they need an industry that can offer them career growth. AV/IT is a natural fit in that regard. We've found that the fact that techs can expect to work in a variety of settings (such as commercial locations, schools, corporations, etc) with technology that is always changing and improving, is very appealing to these kinds of candidates.

It's worth noting too that video production is also a good source for talent.

Security Video

Once upon a time security companies simply offered alarm, call, surveillance, and sprinkler systems - the tent poles of basic home/office/institution security. But those days are long gone, and we've seen many traditional security companies expanding their offerings into areas that closely parallel AV/IT.

And as a result technicians from this field are well prepared to move into AV/IT. They come with a knowledge of cabling, installation, and the kind of troubleshooting that is required of AV techs. They're well accustomed to working on-site, crawling through walls and under tables in settings that can be sensitive, cramped or in use at the time of installation.

They also have a firm understanding of how to work efficiently all while being the face of the company with customers.

Just as with other in-demand roles, when it comes to the search for AV Technicians, being willing to set aside your checklist can result in finding the best talent.


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How to Do OnBoarding Right

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Mon, Jan 09, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

How To Do On boarding Right

It might be tempting to think that on-boarding new employees are all about insurance forms, office tours, and parking passes. Or, you might think it's synonymous with training. But the truth is, knowing how to do onboarding right is so much more than the sum of its parts, and it's also the key to ensuring you have an engaged, inspired workforce.

Here is a timeline to ensure That you do onboarding properly

It Begins Before The Offer

On-boarding begins long before a new employee signs their deal. In fact, it begins before they arrive for their first interview. By taking the necessary steps to ensure that your interviewing and hiring processes are fluid, responsive and timely you're sending a clear message that you care about your employees and are dedicated to creating a healthy and engaging work experience for them.

And then it goes further into how you handle the negotiation of terms. Once again being responsive is key - no one wants to be left hanging or put on an extended hold, especially when their career is on the line. Transparent negotiation tactics and clarity send the clear message that you are invested in the candidates’ future and their long-term success.

Once the offer is made, the deal closed and the start date set is when the active phase begins. Now it's time for the manager to reach out to your new hire with a friendly welcome and a letter clearly specifying the job objectives, expectations, and strategies. They could also include a package of suggested reading, a run-down of equipment used or even a big-picture view of how the team operates.

What's important is to open the channels of communication so that the new hire feels part of the team before they arrive for day one.

Day One

Regardless of the business at hand on day one (paperwork, insurance cards, key card, id photo session, etc...) your responsibility is to be prepared and ready for your new employee's arrival.

Secure the proper building passes, alert the receptionist, make sure that the direct manager is in the office early, have all the necessary paperwork ready, and above all have a work station/office prepared, cleaned and ready to be occupied.

There's no worse feeling than arriving for your first day of work, a stranger in a strange land, and having no place to sit, no one to guide you and nothing to do!

Many companies utilize a mentor system for the first days and weeks, and we think it's a wise tactic. Even senior-level executives need someone to touch base with regarding protocol and methods - appointing someone who is in either a parallel or senior role to be a touchstone not only smooths the way for your new hire, but it also helps to reinforce training, foster relationships, and cooperation.

When someone leaves the office at the end of their first day at a new job and is asked "How'd it go?" the only answer you want them to tender is "Great!"

Your job is to make certain you've done all you can to ensure that's the answer they give.

Week One

The first week is a time for your new hire to adjust to all the social and performance aspects of their job. Necessary training on everything from software to how to operate the espresso machine is taking place. But above all that they should be finding their feet socially now.

If you've fostered a company culture in which employees of all levels, from C-level to the support staff feel like they are part of the team, then they will be extending a warm welcome to the new player. A warm handshake, an invitation to lunch, even just a friendly introduction are key to helping the new hire "buy-in" to your company.

It's also during the first week that HR or the manager needs to make the review process known. By offering frequent check-ins and a schedule of formalized reviews (30 days, 60 days and 90 days), you are sending the clear message that you are invested in the individual’s success.

Remember: Investment builds retention, not compensation!

Month One

While the new employee will likely have begun to find their feet at this point, it's important to keep some of the welcoming structures in place.

The Mentor relationships works best when it's ongoing and ever-evolving. At this point, it’s not only serving to foster relationships and job clarity, but it also increases productivity and innovation.

The First 90 Days

The 90 review is an important tool for both employee and employer. Conducted one-on-one with direct supervisor, and/or team leaders this is the time to see what is working, and what's not.

Not only are you reviewing their performance, but you must be open to hearing from them what's working for them, and what could have gone better. If the channels of communication have been open and available, there shouldn't be any surprises during this meeting, and if there are, then it's time to go back and review your process.

Taking care to handle onboarding properly and thoughtfully, you are sending a clear message that you are invested in your employees’ happiness. And as we know, happy employees are more innovative, more loyal and perform better than workers who are just in it for the paycheck.


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Tags: HR and Hiring, onboarding

3 Reasons Why Hiring Managers Need To Always Be Recruiting

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Mon, Nov 14, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

3 Reasons Why

If you’re a hiring manager with a fully staffed team, you might assume there’s no need to keep seeing candidates. After all, you’re busy and need to keep your focus on rewarding your top performers, continually training the guys in the middle and pushing the team members who are lagging behind. Why waste time interviewing candidates for a position that doesn’t exist?

here are 3 important reasons why you should always be recruiting

1. Gather Intel

Regardless of what business you’re in, you need to constantly be gleaning intelligence about your brand’s position in the marketplace. By always being willing to interview candidates with in-demand skills you are creating an awareness of your brand and stoking interest for openings down the road.

It's also an invaluable way to get all kinds of information about your place in the marketplace.

  • How are you perceived by your user base?
  • How does your brand stand up in the marketplace?
  • What’s your reputation out in the job market?

Additionally, it allows you to stay current on your competition. If you want to learn how other companies in your sector operate, you have to keep speaking to people on the inside. And who better to learn from than someone who is looking to move on.  

  • Where does your company stand against your competition in terms of pay structure, quotas, the tools they use?
  • How is the morale of your competitors?
  • Are they hiring?
  • Are they losing people?
  • Do they have a high level of management churn?

Building a fluid picture of your place in the industry is key to staying competitive.

2. Feed Your Pipeline

Even if you have your dream team in place and can’t foresee it changing anytime soon, you have to remember that life happens. People leave, they get promoted or maybe they’re unexpectedly moved to fill a hole in another group. And let’s be honest, not every hire delivers on their potential.

If you don’t have a pipeline of top quality candidates to draw from, then you’re stuck either with a mediocre performer or worse, with an empty desk. And if you’re in sales, you know that a vacancy is costing you not only productivity but is draining your own quota. This is a high price to pay for not planning ahead.

3. Pop Your Filter Bubble To Stay Competitive.

When you look out over the same vista day after day, it’s easy to lose perspective. Just as you might talk to your mentors, attend conferences and keep up with your peers in order to gain new insights into your sector, interviewing candidates allows you to see what’s possible.

It’s easy to get caught up in the mindset that the team you have is the team you’ll always have. But if you are meeting candidates on an ongoing basis, you’ll see that you have options. You don’t have to tough it out with the salesperson who’s struggling to keep up, nor do you have to put up with the cancer in the locker room.

What it really comes down to is the difference between simply filling vacancies as they occur, and engaging in workforce planning. The first model leaves your team exposed and under pressure to cover the workload left behind by a vacancy. But if you always take the time to meet qualified candidates you'll be far more nimble and ready to act when you find yourself with an empty desk.


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Tags: Job Interviews, HR and Hiring, management