Philippines’ Top HR Blog

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5 Out of the Box Ideas to Acquire Talent

This is a guest post from Michael Deane, who is one of the editors of Qeedle, a small business magazine. When not blogging (or working), he can usually be spotted on the track, doing his laps, or with his nose deep in the latest John Grisham.

According to research, 51% of employees are considering a new job. That means that there are plenty of experienced, talented people out there and yet, somehow, you still struggle to find a suitable candidate to fill an open position in your company. It’s not uncommon to see companies with open positions keep posting the same ads over and over again and not being able to find top candidates.

This means that the traditional approaches to hiring talent are not working anymore. If you want to attract only the top-tier, talented candidates, then you need to think outside of the box. It’s time to change your approach and use some innovative recruitment tactics to find the best and the brightest and to convince them to join your company.

Here are some actionable tips you can use to acquire talent.

Attend Various Events and Mingle

Attending various events and conferences is a great way to stay one step ahead in your recruiting game. These events are often filled with great talent and potential candidates so you should start building relationships with them.

These passive candidates who might not be looking for a job could become part of your team someday. Remember the statistics we mentioned earlier? Well, these amazing people are likely to change jobs sooner or later so they might consider your company.

Give Cool Rewards for Referrals

Referrals are very important when it comes to acquiring talent. If you are looking to hire someone, start with your own employees and whom they might know. Often the best candidates come precisely from referrals so throw some cool rewards for the employees who refer a friend of theirs. This will serve as an incentive for them to make an effort and bring more great people to the company.

You can give movie tickets or personalized gifts based on what each employee likes. This shows that you care about your existing employees and will help you acquire future talent.

Focus on Candidate Experience

This might not strike you as out of the box thinking but given the fact that so many companies neglect the importance of candidate experience, it seems that it really is. Positive or negative candidate experience can greatly affect your company. That is why you should pay particular attention to this aspect of the recruitment process if you want to attract talent.

Candidates want to be treated with respect and more than anything else, they want the application process to be simple and interesting. According to research, about 78% of candidates say that the candidate experience they receive is an indicator of how a company values its people.

Plus, bear in mind that candidates talk about their experiences and share them on social media. They leave their good or bad reviews on platforms such as Glassdoor where other potential candidates can see. Given the fact that most candidates first check out the employer reviews online before applying, this is another reason why you should strive to provide a great candidate experience.

How to improve your candidate experience?

Be friendly and honest about your expectations. Instead of a boring job description and requirements, make it simple and inviting. Make the recruitment process fast (no great candidate will wait for a month or more). If you really want to hire someone amazing, don’t waste the candidates’ time. Another company could realize their potential and hire them before you.

Be Creative with Your Job Post

According to the statistics, funny and creative recruitment videos seem to improve your chances of attracting top talent. These videos can make a real difference in the recruiting process. We are visual beings so we respond better to visuals when compared to dry text (in this case job description). Also, videos will account for 82% of all traffic by 2022.

Companies that use recruitment videos saw a 34% higher application rate. Videos are more engaging and allow you to present your company in a creative way that would not be possible with a job description. They also help you attract a wider pool of candidates and appeal to the younger candidates.

Inspire them to submit an application with engaging storytelling. Use the video to show them what it would be like to work in your company. Most importantly, make sure to say or offer something different from what other companies say.

Tailor Your Benefits

Go one step ahead from your competition and ask your potential candidate what kind of benefits would they like. Give them what they want.

It’s becoming harder and harder to attract and retain talented employees. The standard employees’ benefits package is no longer sufficient. You need to step up your game and tailor the benefits to suits the candidates’ needs.

Top pay and retirement savings are essential but many candidates also value flexible working hours and the ability to work remotely. Other important benefits include career development opportunities, wellness benefits, etc.


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Informational interviews: Whom and how to ask

Informational interviews are a relatively new interview format where the main goal is not to get a job, but rather get valuable insight into a particular position.

Though seemingly easy, informational interviews have their own intricacies and rules to follow in order for both the interviewer and the interviewee to benefit.

While informational interviews are often overlooked by the job seekers, they bring immense benefits, like expanding your network or pinpointing certain skills that you can improve.

In order to gain value from an informational interview, you need to know whom and what questions to ask.

Informational interview benefits

The first thing to remember: an informational interview is not a job interview and should not be approached as one.

In a job interview, a candidate wants to get hired, has a certain position in mind, and talks to an HR manager and the future manager of the department. Job interviews can be stressful and are to determine whether the candidate is a good fit.

Informational interviews are a different sort of interview. Their main goal is to help a person gain insight into the position, company, and industry as a whole.

Informational interviews are relatively stress-free, as there is no assessment – only the goal of gaining information. During such interviews, the interviewer is typically the one in a junior role, and asks questions about specific tasks and duties in a role, internal processes, possible pitfalls, and opportunities for professional growth.

The benefits of the informational interview include:

  • Significant network growth: During the interview, you can ask for valuable contacts that can help you with advice
  • Deep insights on the position that you want to fill: Such insights include the description of the role in the company, duties, attitude of the executives, company culture, etc.
  • Advice for future growth: You can learn which skills you need to work on and how to qualify for a desired position

Your first step towards conducting an informational interview would be to choose the right person and prepare a list of questions that you are going to ask.

Choosing the right person and writing down the right questions

You want the interview to bring you a certain value. For that, you need to do a bit of groundwork.

We recommend outlining the goals that you want to get from this interview: do you want to know how to become a professional in the chosen sphere or are you interested in this specific company and wish to work here?

You should choose the person and questions based on your goals.

Choosing who to interview

As said above, define your goals – they will serve as a base for the interview.

If you want to learn about a specific position, try to find a person who already works in a company in the same or similar position. If you want professional advice, you can try meeting an executive or a manager who can recommend the best methods for self-improvement.

Here are a few ideas on where to find the right people:

  • Your personal network: Maybe the needed specialists are already there
  • LinkedIn: Search among your existing network or look specifically for certain people
  • Your family and friends: Ask whether they know anyone who can help you

And remember: always be professional! An informational interview is still a professional exchange, similar to a regular interview or networking at a conference.

Send a message or an email, introduce yourself and politely ask to arrange a meeting. By acting in a professional manner, you will earn trust and respect, and can increase your chances of getting valuable insights.

Questions to ask during the interview

Once you are clear with your goals and chose the right person to conduct an interview, time to outline the questions that you are going to ask.

One of the best strategies is to first ask a person about their career: how it started, what led to the person getting this job, and how they feel about it.

People typically enjoy talking about themselves, so you could gain more insight than you expect. You may also think of extra questions while listening.

Some of your possible questions for the informational interview may include:

  • What are your daily duties?
  • What kind of skills and knowledge do you need for this position?
  • What are some of the benefits and darker sides of the industry?
  • How do you find this company, culture, and management?

After the interview, thank the person for their time with a follow-up note. If you aren’t already, don’t forget to connect with them on LinkedIn.

An informational interview is a great source of new connections, valuable advice, and even new opportunities. If you act in a professional manner, prepare in advance, and make use of the obtained information, you will significantly speed up the process of getting your dream job position – so give informational interview a try. In the 21st century, information is immensely valuable, so use it to your advantage.


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Implementing Background Checks and Pre-screening into Interviews

Most organizations perform some background checks and pre-screening before individuals walk into their first interview. This is necessary for most and sometimes mandatory. But, how do you use that data to improve the quality of your interview?

In most cases, recruiters can analyze data from background checks and prescreening to ask better questions, get more information, and form a better opinion of who the candidate is.

Perform Comprehensive Pre-Screening

Pre-screening should include background checks, contacting references, and so on. It should also incorporate personality and competency tests to see who the person is, what they can do, and how they will do it.

While not every role will require comprehensive screening, doing so will allow interviewers to create a more comprehensive picture of who a person is before they come into the interview. You should (at the least) test for personality and soft skills such as communication or EQ, which can be delivered in several tests or rolled into one.

Ask Questions Related to Assessments

Most assessments will turn up information that can lead to further questions. Reviewing assessments like answers given by previous employers and background data will allow you to form pointed questions that can help you learn about a candidate. For example:

  • Reference data: “So, we called your previous manager at your last job and he said you’ve had some issues with conflict in his team, what’s your side of that?”
  • Background data: “What convinced you to switch from marketing to finance? Are you happy with that choice?”

Why should you create specific questions around background results? Generic questions based on responses often don’t tell you a lot about an individual, their choices, or why they are in your office. Instead, you’re likely to get very prepared responses. Asking specific questions about data they’ve given you, in line with the information you need, will help you to improve the total result of your interview.

Question Prepared Answers

Candidates now have the tools to prepare for nearly any type of interview, often based on the organization. Having behavior and competency information for a candidate gives you the opportunity to actively question prepared answers based on those assessments.

For example, if a candidate suggests they would respond in a specific way, you can ask how that compares to their test results showing X behavior. This can force an individual to give more honest answers, because they won’t likely have time to prepare for this sort of questioning. Nearly everyone expects they’ll be asked “How would you respond to X situation”, but following their answer with something like, “Your personality profile suggests you prefer to avoid conflict, how do you manage that in a situation like the one we’ve just gone over?” would prompt an answer that hasn’t been prepared for.

Integrating assessment and personality testing into the interview process will give recruiters an easier way to determine who an individual is, how they react, and what they can do. It also allows recruiters to see how well that data matches up to personality shown during interviews, so they can create a bigger picture with more data to make a final assessment.


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How to Promote Your Company Culture to Attract the Right Candidates

This is a guest post from Allison Hail. Allison is a creative writer living in Wellington, New Zealand whose work has been published in various sites. She’s also known for her love of anything related to travel and technology. Discover more of her work here

Your employees are a crucial aspect of your company, but how do you attract the right people to work for you?

Having a great company culture is not only a key aspect of recruiting the right candidates, but also retaining them. Employees nowadays look for certain things in a company, and it’s important to promote your company culture in the right way.

Here are a few ways to promote your company culture to ensure that you attract the right candidates.

Social Media

In our digital age, social media is the perfect place to show off your company culture, and there are infinite ways to do so. Try posting pictures and short videos of your company’s events such as conferences and Christmas parties. A great idea is to have a different employee take over the company’s Instagram or Facebook account each week. This can be at the office, out on volunteer days or even working from home.

Showcasing your company culture can give potential candidates a good understanding of its values. This way, they can see what an average day looks like from the eyes of different people. Be sure to encourage your candidates to follow your social media channels so they can stay up to date with what’s going on.

Your Website

When your candidates are looking for more information about your company, they’re sure to turn to your website. Your website is the first thing they turn to before deciding whether to apply for an interview, so make sure your company culture is reflected here. Communicate your company’s vision and values as a business. Tell your potential employees how you’ll nurture their learning and development. Let them know about the positive environment you’ll provide them too.

You could even include some testimonials from recent hires. Create short videos of existing employees. This is a warm way to connect with potential candidates and gives your website some personality. Friendly and welcoming company culture will be sure to attract the perfect candidates.

Job Postings

Your listing on your company’s career site or a third party site is the first thing a potential candidate sees. Use your job listing as an opportunity to talk about what your company can provide them when they work for you. If your company incorporates flexible working into their culture, communicate this. Candidates like to have the freedom of working from home, especially if they have to look after their little ones during the day.

“Dress-for-your-day” and “work-life balance” are great keywords to use in your job listing, if your company encourages it. Also talk about what other employee benefits your company offers, such as health insurance and company perks, as this is a great way to reflect your company’s culture.

Image Source: Pxhere

In the Interview

If your candidate has made it to this step, there’s no doubt they would have done some research on your company. Nobody likes interviews, but they’re necessary for the recruitment process. Interviews can give your company an understanding of the candidate’s capability and professionalism.

Interviews are also the perfect opportunity to demonstrate your company culture. Structure the interview depending on the style of the business to give your candidate some immediate insight. Involve existing employees in the interview process and allow them to answer some of the candidate’s questions. This makes the entire interview more free-flowing and relaxed. Try to make them excited to work for your company rather than nervous.

Company culture is one of the key things candidates look for in an organisation. Finding the right candidate for your company means they will be genuinely thrilled to work for you. Employees who find themselves in a company with a culture that resonates with them are guaranteed to perform better.


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When to Let Go of Poor Performers in the Workplace

Performance reviews have long been under-fire for practices of ranking individuals into top, middle, and bottom tiers. However, these tiers or other setups showing individuals who consistently perform under set standards can help your organization to improve and succeed. Traditionally, individuals who consistently underperform are simply let go, as they are either fired or do not receive contract renewal.

Modern HR practices typically require a much more human-friendly approach, where you should offer opportunities and tools to improve. Understanding these tools and approaches will help you to understand both how to improve performance and when to give up and let go of someone who simply is not responding to efforts.

Poor Response to Coaching

Coaching and mentoring can greatly improve performance for many. Here, leaders can simply step in to determine what’s gone wrong and why. This may result in the individual being moved to a more suitable team. It may result in their roles changing. It may result in them being pushed into personal development or training to improve specific factors.

Poor performance can result from myriad factors such as stress, poor home-life conditions, poor work-life balance, overwork, a bad manager, a poor fit with team, lack of crucial knowledge or skills, lack of motivation, and other factors. Coaching can help with any of these.

No matter what direction coaching takes, it’s important to monitor results. If someone fails immediately, it may be the fault of the coach. However, if the coach is good, there is a certain point when further investment is likely futile or no longer a good investment. Here, you should set a budget based on the cost of hiring and onboarding a replacement to the same or a higher level of performance and work within that.

No Interest in Development

Individuals who do not respond to or show interest in personal development cannot improve or change. This is important because most remediation efforts for poor performance eventually result in development. Individuals who lack skills for their current role have to be trained. Persons in a role that is changing outside of their ability to perform have to be trained. Individuals who can’t communicate well have to be trained as well.

If someone is not interested in learning and improving themselves, they cannot increase or improve performance. You can typically gauge this before development begins but should do so as it proceeds as well.

Lack of Personal Motivation

Personal motivation is the key to self-improvement and it is one (hard to measure) factor that will make or break the success of any initiative. Without motivation, an individual cannot respond to coaching, cannot push themselves through development, and will not be able to engage with or become passionate about work. You can take on several strategies to boost motivation through empowerment, stress reduction, training, and offering opportunities, but it is up to the individual to respond.

Like with coaching, motivation training should stop at a certain point when it becomes clear that the cost of doing so will exceed the cost of replacing the individual altogether.

Most people will train, develop themselves, and strive to do better when given the opportunity to do so in an understanding environment. People respond well to coaching, are able to make changes to their schedules and work methods and can learn new skills to improve performance. On the rare occasion that individuals do not respond to these methods or the cost of delivering them far outstrips the cost of hiring a new employee, you should let poor performers go.


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How to brand your company well among your employees

Internal branding is a big deal.

While companies invest overwhelming sums of money into external PR campaigns, they seem to ignore internal PR and no zero effort to brand the company among their own employees.

And this is a critical mistake. Numerous studies show that 92% of people trust the opinion of their friends and family much more than they trust advertising and paid marketing campaigns – and guess who stands behind this word-of-mouth marketing?

That’s right – your employees. When they talk about their company outside of work, they can speak about your products and services with admiration or disdain. Loyal employees tend to genuinely support their company, and internal branding is a great way to inspire that loyalty.

But internal branding is not something you can do overnight. Same as external PR, it takes some time and effort to cultivate a sense of loyalty and trust towards a company.

The importance of internal branding

Some company owners may ask: why would I need to invest in building the loyalty of my employees if I already pay them a decent salary?

A good company should strive to build a long-lasting relationship with its employees, understanding that salary isn’t everything for everyone. Treat team members as skilled contributors who can help your company grow and exceed the set goals.

Word-of-mouth

Loyal employees can incite plenty of word-of-mouth marketing, which can be extremely beneficial for your company.

When an employee talks about the company’s product, believes in it,  and isn’t just trying to sell something, it motivates others to check it out too.

Increased retention

If an employee is happy at their workplace, s/he will most probably enjoy staying there as long as possible.

If your company sees a low retention rate and an alarmingly high turnover, it’s time to check out what’s wrong with your company policy and how you can improve the situation.

The better your retention, the less time you’ll spend hiring and training new team members (which can get expensive).

Increased motivation

Many company owners expect employees to be self-motivated without giving them any particular reason to get excited for work. This is another critical mistake.

In order to retain employees, give them a valid reason to stay – and by that, we mean solid company culture, clear values, and atmosphere of trust.

How to turn your employees into brand ambassadors

Now that you understand the importance of internal branding, the question is how you will actually implement this strategy.

Below is a step-by-step guide on building your brand with your employees and keeping them engaged with the company.

Define your value and mission

This might sound like a cheesy line from any company’s description written by some PR specialist, but defining your internal values and mission is important for keeping team members on the same page.

If you clearly understand your purpose, your employees will begin to notice, and it’ll be easier to implement internal branding that feels natural.

Pick the right moment

If you make big changes, try to pair them with something else that’s going on in the company. If you combine a positive event or change (like a new office) with something you want to implement for your internal branding (like a campaign), it helps when employees associate them both as positive things.

For example, if you have a new CMO coming onboard, you can also start promoting a new approach to the company’s values. This will help people embrace the change in the right mood.

Talk to your employees

Before making a change, you first need to know what needs to be changed. For that, talk to your employees – the people who will be directly affected by that change.

Conduct surveys to learn what can be improved and ask for the feedback. Invite employees to openly share their ideas with you, and make sure that good ones get implemented.

A big mistake that many companies make is conducting surveys and then not doing anything with the data. This leads to great mistrust towards the company and can lower employees loyalty if they feel they aren’t being heard (especially after putting in the effort of answering a survey).

Offer incentives

An incentive is a great way to boost loyalty and help visualize the company’s values in physical form.

According to your company and its products, you can offer employees T-shirts, books, pins, or even money for behaving in accordance with your mission. For example, if your company values sustainability, you can offer employees 1$ for every 5 plastic bottles that they recycle.

The main idea here is not to bribe the employees, but to support your mission with actions, not just words.

Notice the employees’ contribution

If you ask employees to share their ideas and thoughts, make sure to listen to them and thank them for their contribution.

Many companies ask for employees’ opinions for the sake of appearance. As a result, employees lose trust in the company and won’t want to share anything with it in the future.

So if you really want to engage employees with certain activities, keep your word and deploy the best ideas. This will significantly boost the motivation and show employees that you care about their opinion.

Turning your employees into brand ambassadors is a long-term investment in your company’s growth and development. Before taking any action, double-check that your company has a clear mission and then start building your internal PR strategy around it.


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How to Preserve Institutional Knowledge and Prevent Brain Drain

Brain drain is a situation where organizations are faced with older staff leaving and retiring at a faster rate than new employees reach equivalent levels of skill and expertise. This can be a problem in organizations of all sizes.

While especially relevant to fast-scaling startups who often outpace their own ability to onboard effectively, brain drain impacts even massive companies with tens of thousands of employees.

Preventing knowledge loss often means creating preventive strategies, effectively onboarding people, and hiring to incorporate new expertise while retaining existing knowledge.

These tactics will help you preserve institutional knowledge across your organization, so that the workforce remains productive, valuable, and capable of delivering on strategy and vision.

Implement Succession Planning

Succession planning is one of the most valuable strategies to prevent brain drain, because it ensures you always know who will take the place of existing skilled or valuable persons. This often means developing a matrix to highlight your most value-added or key employees, using competency frameworks and job profiling to determine why they add value and how to replace them, and then generating succession planning based on predictions of their likelihood of leaving the role within x amount of time.

This strategy approaches brain drain from the idea that it will happen, you have to plan for it, and you have to have people ready with the right knowledge, skills, and behaviors, to prevent drops in performance when key people do leave.

Create Mentoring Programs

Lack of proper onboarding is very common in new and old companies alike. Here, new people are often hired on, very quickly introduced to their roles, and then left to be productive under a manager or Scrum leader with no real follow-up or intensive mentoring.

When more experienced individuals do leave roles, these new people are left with very little idea of how or why things are done the way they are, no idea of backlogs, and no real way to add value without changing processes, reverting items, or making a lot of mistakes.

Introducing mentoring programs as part of onboarding helps subvert this issue by ensuring existing employees always pass their knowledge, documentation, and organizational insight on to new people. While most people don’t want to make time in their role for mentoring, it is an important part of a role. The faster you’re hiring, the more time experienced people should be making for mentoring.

Focus on Employee Retention

While replacement strategies are important, employee turnover is still one of the most crucial contributors to skill loss. If you slow down how quickly employees leave, you slow down brain drain, giving your other strategies more time to take effect.

Here, you should focus on employee satisfaction, employee empowerment, fitting individuals to their roles and teams, and creating an environment people want to work in. While you’ll always have individuals who don’t fit, employee retention will make it easier to reduce losses in other places throughout the organization.

Brain drain will slow productivity, decrease profit, and force the organization to change direction or focus as individuals with crucial knowledge leave an organization. Adopt strategies to share knowledge throughout the organization to prevent losing key employees as quickly, and have a plan in place to replace key individuals when they’re ready to move on.


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5 traits to look for when hiring a software developer

Software development is an intricate industry. On one hand, it demands a high level of professionalism from the specialists, and developers need a certain level of skills and knowledge to succeed.

On the other hand, software development has a lot to do with soft skills, including the ability to communicate and empathize with clients and companies.

Most hiring managers who work with software developers know the basic skills to look for in a candidate, usually depending on the project and tech stack. But do you know what else you should look for in a good software developer?

This article goes over the most important soft skills for any developer to have. All of them influence the quality of work and project success, and help determine whether a person will become a valuable asset for your company.

Ability to work in a team

This is one of the most crucial skills for any software developer. Any project requires a variety of talents for success: developers, QA engineers, designers, etc. For an efficient workflow, all these people need to know how to work in a team.

Some people think when you code, you just submit your piece of work and receive comments. But, every team member should be aware of what is going on in the project in order to identify any errors preempt them. Most agencies also do code review, where team members examine each other’s code. This practice contributes to better code quality and lets the developers see how they are doing.

Efficient communication

Efficient communication should apply to both internal and external communication.

Internal communication occurs with all the people from the company that are involved in the project: team members, managers, freelancers, or any other people. Here, the goal of a developer is to efficiently communicate thoughts, ideas, and suggestions, explain the actions, and deliver clear reports on the project’s status.

External communication happens with the client, and is incredibly important. A developer must know how to inform the client about any changes on the project, justify extra hours, or make a useful suggestion.

To meet these goals, a developer should know how to make people understand him by expressing himself in a clear way. Otherwise, poor communication will lead to confusion, prolonged deadlines, or even project cancellation.

Responsibility

Responsibility implies that a person fully understands his or her own scope of work and is ready to be responsible for the results.

Unfortunately, some people try to blame their teammates for the mistakes. However, the longer someone denies responsibility, the harder it will be to fix the issue and get back on tracks.

So a good software developer must keep that all in mind, and understand the importance of taking responsibility for the project’s outcome.

However, it is also important to consider the overall work environment. If you do not create an atmosphere of trust, employees will hesitate to admit mistakes out of fear for the consequences. So when demanding accountability, make sure that you can accept a mistake and fix it without stressing out.

Self-motivation

Motivation is in high demand, but many HR specialists cannot explain why it’s so important.

Software development is actually a rather creative industry. Although it has languages and patterns, it’s up to the developer to use them in order to come up with a new and more efficient solution.

Now, if a developer is neutral about his or her work and does not really enjoy it, s/he will most probably go the safe way without trying anything new.

An enthusiastic developer, on the other hand, will dedicate some time and effort to come up with a creative solution that can be less costly and more efficient in terms of work.

So by hiring a developer who is self-motivated by the work, you will get a team member who does not rely on money as the only source of motivation. Instead, this person will be driven by a sense of curiosity and creativity.

Problem-solving

Any project will have an error or a problem at some point in time – it’s simply inevitable. And it’s important for a developer to have strong problem-solving skills and high stress tolerance.

Problem-solving is not so simple as it may seem. It consists of a few well-organized steps that help to critically evaluate the situation and come up with the best possible solution.

So if a developer is not only able to produce a high-quality code but also has good problem-solving skills, s/he can become an incredibly valuable asset for the team and the company in general.

Final word

When interviewing the candidates, pay attention to how they behave and communicate. If a person is an outstanding specialist, but is arrogant and cannot work in a team, they will bring you more harm than benefit.

A well-balanced combination of tech and soft skills is what you should look for in a software developer. After all, the ultimate goal of any company is long-term success and it can be achieved only with the help of the people whom you hire.


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3 Ways to Boost Employee Engagement to Improve Productivity and Reduce Turnover

40 years ago, almost no one cared about metrics like “Employee engagement.” Today, most HR departments are painfully aware of the difference engagement can make. With research by the Korn Ferry Group showing that companies with engaged employees are up to 2.5 times more profitable than those without, most of us are right to be concerned.

At the same time, engagement offers room for improvement. Whether your organization already has a relatively engaged workforce or one that focuses on clocking out and going home, you can take steps to improve engagement and business results.

Importantly, employee engagement is never about perks, about specific rewards, or about one-time actions. Engagement only happens with consistent long-term results that drive change.

Link Vision and Strategy to Daily Work

Most people clock into work, perform an allotted number of tasks or work towards specific goals, clock out, and go home, all with no real idea of what they’ve contributed towards or achieved. This can be highly demotivating, especially over the long-term, where individuals often see no real change.

One important way around this type of demotivation is to ensure everyone always knows what they’re working towards. This means linking organizational vision and strategy (or big goals) into smaller goals, broken down into daily work. If everyone can easily see what their work is contributing towards and hopefully how close that goal is, they’ll be more motivated and therefore more engaged.

Empower Individuals and Teams to Own Their Projects

While traditional waterfall organizations don’t often support employee empowerment, doing so can greatly increase engagement. Here, you create cross-functional teams that can handle every aspect of a project they’re working on, assign ownership to that team, and allow people and teams to work towards results in a manner of their choosing. Doing so allows experts who know how to do their own work to optimize, take ownership, and engage with their work in new ways. What does ownership mean? One team will design strategy for, choose how to create, create, launch, and finalize any project. They’ll take full responsibility for its success or failure.

While this can create some risk in that everyone is not following the same standardized processes, you can implement with controls and general guidelines for processes in place to ensure everything is handled to the same (or better) level of quality than before. Why does offering ownership increase engagement? People get to be proud of what they’re working on, to improve it, and to work on it in their own way.

Encourage, Recognize, and Share Creativity and Passion

Not everyone in your organization will be creative, passionate, or engaged. But, when you do see these behaviors, it’s important to stop, recognize, and share them. Doing so can mean something as simple as having Scrum leaders stop to congratulate individuals on a job well done. It can mean improving performance scores. It can mean celebrating teams meeting new targets and goals.

Whatever you choose to do, it should involve specifically offering recognition when you see the traits you want to foster, encouraging them with open workspaces and flatter hierarchies, and creating space for individuals to fail and try again within those goals.

Teams are engaged when they have ownership, room to be creative, and space to communicate and share ideas effectively. If they know what they’re working on, why, and are responsible for the end-outcome, they have that much more motivation to engage with their work. Over time, this will improve productivity and increase employee satisfaction, both of which will cut down turnover and add to real business results.


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The 5 cornerstones of successful leadership

Successful leadership is something that every company strives for. There are dozens of courses on how to become a good leader and hundreds of online tutorials, all of them promising one thing – to make a true leader out of any person.

But how can you tell what works? And how do you define efficient leadership if every company (and team) is different?

Despite variety, there are a few attributes that make a strong leader in every company.

Ability to listen

The biggest problem with managers is that they do not listen to their employees.

Such managers can promote their approachable attitude but eventually, it will bring zero results because they simply cannot listen and understand what their people say to them.

The first cornerstone of successful leadership is to learn how to listen to your employees and extract valuable insights from their speech.

If a person comes up to you and proposes a solution to a problem, consider it instead of thanking the person and forgetting about what they said. Pay attention to what people say when they share feedback or an opinion, as this is important for employees’ comfort and motivation.

By closely listening to what people around you say, you will be able to timely identify any problems and prevent them instead of fixing.

Inspiration and influence

A good leader should inspire, and inspiration is an art.

In order for people to follow you and listen to what you say, they need to trust you and have confidence in your actions and decisions. So before claiming that “you know it all,” prove it by example.

Don’t hesitate to help others and teach them if needed. If they see that you are knowledgeable and experienced, they will soon start turning to you for help or advice.

Last but not least – believe in what you are saying. It’s not enough to learn the company’s policies by heart and then repeat them in front of the team. Instead, state your honest opinion and explain the importance of a certain project or task.

When you come from a place of passion, it’ll be easier for you to share that motivation with others.

High EQ

Leadership means working with others, and every individual has their own unique motivation, emotions, and thoughts.

To find an approach with every person on the team, a good leader should have a high level of emotional intelligence. EQ means an understanding of feelings (both own and others) and the ability to control the behavior with the help of this understanding.

So if a member of your team experiences something negative in life, a good leader will recognize that and know how to handle it on a case-by-case basis.

Leaders with high EQ can better understand the motives of others, their strong and weak sides and, as a result, better organize the workflow.

Focus on results

Every company has a strategy for development. In order to keep up to it, the company sets certain goals that help people understand what they do and why.

A result-oriented leader will have a better perspective of the situation and can stay focused on results. While some people can get easily distracted by minor issues or focus on being right at any cost, an efficient leader will always remember the final goal that the company needs to achieve, and will do their best to reach it.

Team player

In a company, you cannot succeed alone – you need a team of dedicated specialists to help you reach the goal.

An efficient leader understands that and is a good team player. And this quality is often overlooked by many managers.

It often happens that managers do not seem approachable, never work together with the team, and never ask for advice. And that’s completely wrong!

A leader is on the same team as other employees – the only difference is the amount of responsibility. But apart from that, a leader should know how to work together with others, listen to recommendations, and accept useful suggestions.

By showing employees that you are part of the team, you can boost their trust towards you and will set an example that they’d want to follow.

Summing up

Leaders experience an overwhelming amount of responsibility and pressure, and it can be hard at times to keep an eye on other things like checking on your team members or asking them for advice.

However, without that, you will not be able to build a long-lasting relationship with your team – and that means you will most probably see a high turnover rate and will struggle with achieving the set goals. Your relationship with people is the base for the company’s success, so keep that in mind and you’ll be amazed by the results.


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