There is a delicate balance between building a recruiting process that weeds out candidates – and creating one that is too hard and/or too long to allow candidates to make it through the process.
Coupled with the fact that many of us are in a niche business and the skills that we need are hard to find and not readily available, striking this balance is certainly not easy.
We strive to hire candidates that are multi-dimensional. To us, this means technical competent while also possessing strong written and verbal communication skills. The software development life-cycle is dynamic, challenging and diverse. It’s important that we initially test for and when hired further develop these skills in our employees.
Training is not a one time event. Despite the fact that our industry is known for higher than average turnover, we believe in on-going training. We believe that education – and knowledge is the key differentiator. Industry accreditation and certifications are aligned with our training programs – all of which help to cultivate an employees’ sense of “family” and belonging.
Communication is a key. Employees want to know where they stand, what’s next for them and the company, where is the company going to focus its energies in the next quarter, etc. We are now meeting individually with each employee on a more frequent basis to ask for their feedback, let them know where they stand relative to plan, etc.
If you really believe that your employees are your key company differentiator, then talent management should be a top priority in your company.
Many of the problems in business today can be boiled down to one of two main issues: managing expectations (or the lack thereof) and poor communication.
These should be relatively easy to address.
Recently we ran into a communication issue with a client.
A little background. We have been doing business with this particular firm for nearly ten years – although the players involved have changed quite a bit in that time.
There were a number of ad hoc items that the client wanted resolved. Emails were sent from client staff to our technical team. Our technical team resolved the issues. We then invoiced for this work.
Problem was that the Manager at the client’s location was unaware that these requests were being made and the work was being performed.
She only became aware of this situation when the invoice – which see needed to approve – made its way to her Inbox.
In the span of a few short minutes, we altered our operating procedures in an attempt to proactively communicate more effectively.
Our new method of dealing with these ad hoc requests has been detailed below.
This information will be sent to <client> personnel for approval prior to work beginning
<client> to agree (or make suggested changes) via email – which is our key to move forward and begin the work
Small changes do make a difference. They are easy to implement and can help to improve communication and manage expectations. Don’t assume. Ask.