The world of recruitment is changing. Candidate searches increasingly rely on robust and emerging technologies, allowing companies to get a leg up on the competition or keep pace with early adopters. While new tech is increasingly available, figuring out which options to implement isn’t always easy. However, by increasing your familiarity with what’s out in the market, you can make sound decisions.
Are you dreading your year-end performance review? Many employees would rather have a root canal than sit down with a manager or supervisor and discuss their performance one-on-one. But an annual review doesn’t have to be a traumatic event. Instead, you can use your year-end review to gain critical insight that will catapult your career in 2015.
Here’s how to plan for and carry out an annual performance review that will fuel your next year and bring your career to new heights:
Self-review: Compare your job expectations to your performance
The first step in preparing for a year-end review is to dig out your original job description and go through it line by line, evaluating yourself on how you’ve performed in each area this year. It can help to use a scale of one to five, with one representing areas where you had little or no skill, and five for those in which you excelled beyond co-workers or professionals with similar qualifications.
You don’t have to be overly critical. The main objective with this self-review is to identify your strongest areas of performance, so you can expand on your contributions and successes in the next step and build a case for personal advancement.
Generate performance proof
Regardless of the workplace culture at your company, at the end of the day, a business views its employees as investments — and they expect to see a return. What’s your employee ROI? The ability to spell out exactly what you’ve accomplished for the business will help you navigate your year-end review and come out ahead.
Consider your role in terms of how you’ve saved the company time and/or money. You might have delivered great customer service, which resulted in repeat business (and more money), or implemented a strategic plan that reduced delays (and saved time). Any measureable reduction in time or costs, or increases in profits, that you’ve accomplished are worth noting.
Plan your own reward
Once you’ve made a strong case for your contributions, you can leverage your performance presentation to ask for the type of reward you’d like for your hard work. You may simply want a raise — which is common and often expected for year-end reviews. But if you’re already receiving a competitive salary, more money might not motivate you or help you advance your career.
For example, you may be more interested in a promotion. If there is no higher position currently available in your company, you could request a change of duties to align more with the position you want to move into, or additional responsibilities that would help prepare you for moving up. Or you may want to advance your career through training, and request to be enrolled in courses or sent to workshops, trade shows, or industry events. Another commonly sought-after benefit is flexible scheduling or part-time telecommuting.
Ask for a review sooner instead of later
For those who dread year-end performance reviews, this strategy might seem counterintuitive — you may want to put it off as long as possible. But keep in mind that employee reviews are just as exhausting for management and HR. Whoever is responsible for the review process will be fresher and more open to discussion during earlier reviews, but as the process drags on, they’ll just want to get it over with.
Requesting an early review also demonstrates your motivation and willingness to improve. Managers will see this as a positive quality, and may be more enthusiastic about helping you advance your career.
Don’t forget to follow up
One you’ve gotten through your performance review successfully, make notes about what you’ve discussed and detail your understanding of the review session’s outcome. Include both the actions you’ll take to correct and improve performance, and the rewards that were promised for your performance to date. Send your quick recap to your manager or supervisor the same day of the review, so any miscommunication can be addressed before the results are documented.
Handled properly, the year-end review is your opportunity to move your career forward and accomplish your goals for the upcoming year. Contact The Armada Group to learn how to better be prepared and positive, and don’t miss your chance to elevate your career in 2015.
When you’re filling IT positions at your company, you want to attract top talent and hire the right fit. Do you have the tools you need to make that happen? A compelling job description and an accurate candidate profile can work together to help you find and hire ideal IT candidates.
Developing your job description and candidate profile simultaneously will help you maintain consistency, clearly define the role for both candidates and your company, and increase your chances of finding the perfect IT professional. Here’s how you can create a job description that draws in top talent, and a candidate profile that helps you hire right the first time.
Job description: Less is more
Just as you don’t want to read through dense, overly long resumes that detail a candidates’ history back to grade school, IT candidates don’t want to slog through long-winded, highly detailed job descriptions with endless requirements. Long blocks of text remain unread, especially when they’re posted online.
To attract the best talent, your job description should market your company as a great place to work. It must be appealing, attractive, and as brief as possible without leaving out the essentials. Keep in mind that your description is competing with all the other hiring companies for a limited talent pool — and you need to impress IT candidates right from the start.
The components of a fantastic job description include:
- Engaging headline: Don’t make this bland or generic. Simply listing the job title is not enough (and adding “now hiring” at the front is not an improvement). Include a few descriptive words that convey the nature of the job and your company.
- Short requirements list: If you include a list of 10 requirements for a position, most candidates are going to be missing more than half of them — and therefore won’t apply. Focus on the three or four most critical skills, work styles, or behavior traits to include in your job description.
- Job specifics: Offer an exciting summary of details about the job or project, the particular role you’re looking to fill, and the team that the candidate will be working with.
- Exciting benefits: Your job description should sell the benefits of working for you. Beyond salary and benefit packages, let candidates know what they can expect with regard to training, opportunities for challenges, and advancement.
- Employer brand: Highlight the reasons why people enjoy working for your company, including your workplace culture.
Top IT candidates don’t have to take every job that comes their way — they are able to pick and choose the project that excites them. In order to attract the best, your job description needs to sell the position and your company.
Candidate profile: Your hiring blueprint
Finding the perfect IT candidate means knowing more than their work experience, skills, and education. In addition to what’s listed in the job description, you need to consider a candidate’s behavioral and personality traits, as well as soft skills like communication, work ethic, attitude, and values.
Creating a candidate profile allows you to define a full, accurate picture of the ideal candidate. You’ll understand the type of person you need in this position before you start interviewing, and you’ll be able to tailor your interview questions and format to find the best qualities for the job.
When defining your candidate profile, keep in mind that you don’t want to hire someone who’s exactly like you — and you also don’t want someone who’s completely opposite. Aim for a happy medium and profile candidates who share your values and goals, and complement rather than mirror the existing strengths of your team.
Decide on the two-to-three most critical behavioral traits that the ideal candidate will possess. Some of the most common desirable traits for IT candidates include:
- Focused: A positive attitude and specific ideas about the contributions they want to make to your company
- Objective: Fair and unbiased candidates who gather information and seek input before making decisions
- Reliable: Candidates who are consistently available and complete work on time
- Communication: Strong communication skills with both coworkers and supervisors (may also extend to vendors, stakeholders, and customers)
- Principled: Candidates with clear values who share those values with others
- Flexible: Shows a supportive attitude toward change and is willing to try new ideas to achieve results
- Team player: Demonstrates a willingness to work well with others, collaborate effectively, and share credit
Taking the time to develop an engaging job description and a thorough candidate profile in tandem will help you attract and identify the best IT candidates, and fill your open positions correctly the first time — whether you’re hiring a consultant or a permanent employee.