The 5 Most Common Hiring Mistakes

| May 10, 2016

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It’s a busy time for hiring. If you’ve got more positions to fill this year than in years before, you’re not alone. As the job market bounces back, your competitive edge is increasingly tied to the quality of your talent. Poor, or even average hires can threaten profitability, stunt growth and give the advantage to your competitors. With the goal of increasing talent acquisition for 2016, there’s no better time to look back at lessons learned from the past few years—the 5 most common hiring mistakes and how to avoid them. You’ll learn: How to improve your hiring decisions—what works and what doesn’t
How to ask better questions in pre-hire assessments, interviews, and reference checks
How to continue collecting data even after you bring a new hire on board.

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Vertical Talent Solutions

Vertical Talent Solutions is a national technology recruiting firm specialized in placing Architects and Developers. With 18 years of experience using proven recruiting methods and a large network in North America, we will meet your needs proactively, and efficiently.

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How to Manage a Remote Workforce – Straight from Top Executives

Article | November 16, 2020

As work was catapulted into the remote mode in early 2020, organizations struggled to keep up and stay afloat. As the nature of the work itself changed in many organizations, we saw some of the best leaders step up and take charge. Dealing with a dynamic workforce is challenging but remote workforce management comes with bigger challenges that cannot be comprehended entirely until one gets into the thick of it. Take a look at this employer’s guide to work from home policy. A big part of keeping a business afloat is responding to the changes in the market, and COVID-19 was an unprecedented anomaly in the economy that hadn’t been observed by the modern world until now. And while the economy has remained shaky since COVID-19 hit, many businesses have evolved in this period to not only survive but actively make the best of this situation. Media 7 talked to the experts in various industries to understand how they managed their workforce during this time of crisis and noticed a recurring pattern. Three big aspects of remote workspace management came through these interviews – Leadership, Communication, and Flexibility. Leadership One of the key requirements for remote workforce management in any adverse situation is strong leadership. Without leadership, the team lacks direction and support. Leaders instill confidence within the employees that helps the organization weather the storm. And while COVID-19 has offered a unique set of issues, leadership tactics in such a time of crisis still remain similar. Thankfully, the world is connected digitally today, so businesses can still function. But with the pandemic, uncertainty has seeped in and employee morale has taken a hit. SharpEnd has been trying to make an effort to address this specific issue in remote workforce management with their leadership team. “One of the main things our leadership team is focusing on is mastering remote management and leadership. How do you keep the team motivated? How do you make sure everyone is feeling included? What are you doing on a weekly basis to make sure that it’s not just professional, but there are social elements as well? We’re being very respectful of the fact this is a lockdown from the greater world and not just from the office.” Cameron Worth, CEO & Founder - SharpEnd One of the key tenets of remote workforce management is relying on your employees. Your employees are the single most important resource of your organization, and they need to be treated in an appropriate manner. For most organizations, working remotely hasn’t even been an issue, but the pandemic has affected the company culture and the social element. LoadSpring has come up with ways to counter just that. “To LoadSpring our employees are number 1. They are the drivers to our success therefore their safety is our key priority. We have had a work from home policy for years so 100% of our team had the technology to work from home for years. The transition to 100% work from home was easy. What is hard is keeping the culture, our culture, from falling away when people do not have an office space to come to and share. We already had tech, like video conferencing, to keep connected but now we use it more and make people turn on their cameras so we can still see each others' body language which makes people feel more connected. Also we initiated a video conference happy hour for our teams so we can all feel connected in a personal way. This was a game-changer.” Stacey Witt, Chief Marketing Officer – LoadSpring Communication When crises like COVID-19 occur, uncertainty and doubt foster feelings of stress and anxiety. In such times, people crave structure, guidance, transparency, and order. This is applicable even in a business environment, especially in the case of remote workforce management. In a landscape scale event such as this, strong communication can offer a direction to your workforce and foster growth. Lane4 Management Group identified the role of communication in times of crisis and stepped up their efforts. “I’ve always believed that effective communication is key to a successful organization and I’ve managed to maintain this with people in my team during the pandemic. However, this does mean I find myself on Microsoft Teams for a lot of hours during the week. What this situation has made me notice is that operating remotely can still be highly effective given the number of digital tools we have available now. Although I still maintain that nothing beats a face-to-face conversation over a coffee!” Adrian Moorhouse, Managing Director - Lane4 Management Group Some organizations have also been able to use this shift in communication channels and leverage it to enhance their remote workforce management through it. ENGAGE is one of the many organizations that has embraced the new normal and made optimum use of the technology to stay in touch. “The focus of our work and the way we deliver it has had to shift significantly. For example, whereas much of our leadership coaching work used to be delivered in-person at clients’ offices, we are now doing all of our coaching remotely (via Zoom, Teams, WebEx, BlueJeans, etc.). This has been a seamless transition – both for us and for our clients – which opens up new opportunities for the future, even when we return to some form of normal. Our own internal teamwork has shifted solely onto Microsoft Teams – we have short, 30-minute meetings each morning (“What’s coming up / who needs help?”) and evening (“How’s today been/ how are people feeling?”) Luckily, the availability of so many collaboration tools, and the agility of both our own team and those of our clients to adopt these, has made the situation much more manageable than we could have predicted.” Andy Brown, Chief Executive Officer - ENGAGE As for organizations that lead with technology, the switch has caused no major upheaval. According to Phillipe Guiheneuc of Akio, their teams have seamlessly transitioned to teleworking as they were already equipped with the infrastructure and the experience to undertake effective remote workforce management. “As an IT company, Akio is well equipped for teleworking - some of the teams were already doing it long before the coronavirus crisis. Because we work in the field of customer relations, we regularly manage sensitive periods with our customers, for instance when they face peak inactivity. The period of lockdown and the lifting of lockdown have therefore not caused any major upheaval in our business. For example, Akio has not had to use the administrative unemployment scheme; on the contrary, we seek at all times to increase the production capacity of the teams. This is particularly true of the teams of IT developers, because they are organized in Agile mode, a work organization that easily adapts to remote working” Philippe Guiheneuc is the Marketing Director - Akio Flexibility Flexibility is often talked about in respect to work timings and shifts. However, COVID-19 has changed the nature of this discourse and ushered in new aspects to remote workforce management such as location independent work and result-oriented practices. The organizations that have practiced flexibility since before the pandemic have been rewarded with a higher adaptability to crisis and changing cycles. Pricefx is one such organization that has leveraged their flexibility amidst the pandemic to execute sales cycles in a unique manner. “Pricefx is a flexible work environment. Before the pandemic, we allowed employees to work in their home office or come to our office (whichever they prefer), and flexible working hours to balance work and life. The global pandemic forced us to reduce our global team travel to zero, and to lean in on how to execute virtual sales cycles and implementation cycles in a way we had not before.” Patrick Moorhead, CMO - Pricefx Schneider Electric is another organization that benefited from a flexible work policy in terms of remote workforce management. Their Director of Global Procurement Strategy, Sri Gopinath has had to change his global interactions from in-person to virtual meets, but even while working with several time zones, he has managed to stay on top of everything. “Our people are already used to working in flexible environments; therefore, the pandemic was not a big shock when we were required to work from home if our role permitted us to do so. My role is global, which needed frequent travel prior to the crisis. I have maintained my global scope and interactions while working from home considering that I work with all time zones, which can get quite challenging when we are trying to work together or meet at a mutually convenient time.” Sri Gopinath, Director of Global Procurement Strategy - Schneider Electric Remote workforce management is one of the most important skills for business leadership today. Even as the world is slowly working its way out of pandemic-related adversities, it is clear that remote work is here to stay. Now, the onus of adapting is upon businesses and leaders, to step up and offer the right direction, clear communication, and the required flexibility to their employees in order to thrive when working remotely. Frequently Asked Questions What is a remote workforce? A remote workforce is a team of people working together virtually from various locations. Remote workforces are efficient and cost effective for an organization. How do you effectively manage a remote team? In order to manage a remote team effectively, one needs to have clear and specific communication channels that offer direction as well guidance. How to manage a remote team? There are several ways to motivate employees in a remote mode: Plan virtual activities Conduct webinars for upskilling Encourage transparency in communication Communicate expectations clearly

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Privacy Shield update from Egress

Article | July 28, 2020

You will no doubt have seen that the European Court of Justice recently issued its judgement in the Schrems II case and held that the EU/US Privacy Shield programme was invalid. The Privacy Shield is one of the mechanisms that can be used by businesses to protect transfers of personal data from the EU to the United States under the GDPR. Egress Software Technologies, Inc. (our US subsidiary in Massachusetts) has been certified with the EU/US and Swiss/US Privacy Shield Programmes since 2019.

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The BDA Guide to Drafting a WFH policy

Article | November 30, 2020

Drafting a WFH policy is not an everyday task, and therefore, you may need a bit of help when getting started. There are several approaches to drafting a WFH policy but Deck 7’s BDA guide is an efficient and unique approach to the process. What Is the BDA Guide Deck 7’s BDA guide is an organizational method that allows you to break down any process into three parts—before, during, and after. Once you break down the process in this manner, the smaller goals become clear and achieving any task becomes a lot easier. This approach works really well for WFH policy drafting, as the policy itself needs to consider several elements and there is a lot more to the WFH policy than just the document. Use this employer’s guide to direct your policy drafting efforts and enhance the overall experience. Before: Key Elements of a Work from Home Policy This is the first part of drafting the WFH policy. Before you start drafting the actual policy, you need to start by planning. And planning the policy requires you to determine the key elements of the policy. These key elements may differ as per the organization, industry, or geographic location. But there are certain elements that remain uniform and necessary: The purpose or objective of the WFH policy Eligibility of the employees for WFH policy Duration of WFH for employees Mandatory requirements for working from home Work timings and shifts KPIs for remote employees Security and confidentiality There are several other additions you can make to the WFH policy such as communication procedures, compensation and benefits, break timings, dress codes, and more. The key is to tailor the WFH policy to your needs. Once you have all the key elements that you need for the policy, you can move on to the next step. During: How Do You Draft a WFH Policy There are a ton of guides on what goes into a WFH policy, but none that talk about the actual process of drafting it. Bigger companies usually outsource this process to their legal team or an individual contractor. But if you are just starting out or your organization is relatively small, chances are that the process of drafting the policy has fallen upon your shoulders. For your convenience, the drafting process can be broken down into smaller parts: Finalize and arrange the key elements of the WFH policy into appropriate order Start with one element at a time, for example – the objective of your WFH policy Fill in the details for each element – explain the objective of your WFH policy in detail, answer why you want to have a WFH policy, and what do you expect to achieve from it For each element, ensure that it is complete with the necessary details including procedures, expectations, obligations, requirements, and contact information if necessary Proofread the entire policy document, once all the elements are covered Add an acknowledgement at the end for employees to sign when they receive a copy Ensure that the language is crisp, clear, formal, and error free If needed, get the document approved from the necessary authorities Print the document on the organization’s letterhead, and you’re ready to go! If you need a quick start, you can take a look at HR Report's WFH policy template. After: How to Implement a WFH Policy The last part of drafting the WFH policy comes after the actual drafting. This is where you need to implement and execute the WFH policy. Implementing the WFH policy comes with several challenges that arise during working from home and aren’t apparent beforehand. If you simply hand the policy document to the employees and expect them to read and follow it, there will always be shortfalls in the process. In order to implement the WFH policy well, there are a few measures that you can take: Once the policy is drafted, conduct a company-wide meeting to discuss the policy and its implications Send an email with all the detail related to the WFH policy to all the employees in the organization Communicate the expectations of the organization clearly, do not leave anything up for assumption Update all the managers regarding their role when it comes to WFH Ensure that all updates to the policy are communicated multiple times over different channels to everyone in the organization A good plan, a succinct document, and effective communication will ensure that your WFH policy is well drafted as well as successfully implemented. Frequently Asked Questions What is a work from home policy? A WFH policy is a document that details the provisions and protocols when employees of an organization work remotely or from home. What is the objective of work from home policy? A WFH policy is drafted to offer flexibility to the employees. Usually, the objective is to ensure safe and effective work practices, no matter the location.

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Refocus on teamwork and collaboration to engage employees

Article | June 1, 2020

In the midst of the current pandemic have come problems and challenges in our workplaces that none of us have ever faced. We need to get creative about how to keep our businesses going in spite of these challenges. New ideas and novel approaches will help us take care of our customers and get work done.

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Spotlight

Vertical Talent Solutions

Vertical Talent Solutions is a national technology recruiting firm specialized in placing Architects and Developers. With 18 years of experience using proven recruiting methods and a large network in North America, we will meet your needs proactively, and efficiently.

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