Millennials Would be Wise to Embrace Work Limbo

Millennials Would be Wise to Embrace Work Limbo

Job transitions are going to become more and more prevalent as work evolves over the next several decades. Millennials should plan on embracing work limbo.

College to Job Transition: A Personal Story

College to Jobs can be Bumpy

Moving from College to the “Real World” can be Bumpy Ride

After graduating last May, I thought I had my entire future planned. It seemed so easy. Of course it took a lot of work and planning to get all of these things to happen, but I did it and I thought, “Well… I did it! This will be my life for the next two years or so”. I got an awesome full-time paid internship to come home to in Seattle. Then I put in a deposit for my first apartment. Life seemed all set-up and great!

However, soon I would be introduced to the real world; the reality of being a millennial, a young professional in an ever growing city. I would live the reality of the ebb and flow of work limbo that is prevalent today.

If you are a Millennial like me, I have one thing to say to you: get used to job transitions! Get used to feeling like you’re on a roller coaster for the next few years of your professional career! Further, get used to feeling a little out of control and in a state of ‘limbo’ during your adulthood in general.

It’s Going to be Okay

You will survive. I have gone through two job transitions in the past 7 months, three jobs if you count the internship I had right after graduation. When I left my first job, it was difficult not to be hard on myself. It really took a toll on my self esteem. But the thing that kept me going and made me persist was the knowledge that a job that would be better fit was in my future. My reason to leave the last job wasn’t because of my inability to adapt or work hard, it was just that the job didn’t align with my goals/aspirations. It was because the company wasn’t a good fit for me. Plain and simple. The tech industry wasn’t for me. I wasn’t passionate about it, and the company I worked for consisted of a tight knit group of senior recruiters who didn’t know how to train new grads. It just didn’t work out – and that is OKAY.

It’s hard not to feel discouraged and question your place in your profession when it seems like every place you go, something never works out. I’m not going to tell you that it’s been easy transitioning and I’m not going to lie when I say that I’ve doubted myself; but what I will tell you is that I have done self-reflection that has changed my life for the better. Also, the past 7 months have given me a great idea of what I do and don’t want in my next work environment. If you are transitioning… I promise it will be okay. More importantly, surround yourself with supportive individuals who will nourish and heal you throughout your transitions and self-examination. This will help you remain positive and keep you on your feet.

Be Yourself. Be Genuine

Be Genuine. Be Yourself

So important to stay genuine even when going through career limbo

Don’t lose who you are in transitions. My life is not as black and white as I thought it would be after graduation. My mindset was 50 years behind. Back in May, I planned my life to work like: get a job offer before graduation, get an apartment set up before graduation, stay at the job and get promotions for a few years. I’m sure a lot of people will chuckle at this naive mindset, trust me, now I do too. Of course, we all probably planned out a Utopian way of life such as this. You thought, “Hey, I’m a hard-working and creative individual. I’m willing to learn, and have valuable ideas! Who wouldn’t want to work with me?”

I can tell you right now that while all of those things might be true about you, everyone else thinks the same thing. Here’s the reality of this situation and here’s the real question: how will you stand out in a sea of millennials who see themselves in the same light as you do? If you are transitioning from one job to another, or if you are a millennial who just got laid off, or left a job that wasn’t a good fit for you, one thing you are going to discover (through your transitions) is what truly makes you a valuable asset to any company. Most of the time, it’s finding that drive and passion within yourself and making it show in every interview and communication you’re having with a potential employer.

I’m a firm believer that if you can’t find that passion and feeling of drive in the industry you are pursuing, do some soul-searching and figure it out. Once you feel like you have a purpose and once you really show how genuine you are, people are going to notice.

Don’t Get Into the Comparison Game

Don’t compare yourself to everybody else around you. This was the hardest challenge for me to overcome (lets face it, we never truly overcome this, it’s natural to compare yourself to others). This happened because it seemed like everyone around me had their “stuff” together. It was really hard when I was transitioning between jobs not to compare myself to other people. A common thing I found myself thinking was “you aren’t good at what you want to do if these other 20-somethings have been at their job for as long as they have”. What picked me back up from these negative thoughts was what I covered in rule 1: surrounding myself with positive people! It’s hard picking yourself up from self-doubt. In a way, it’s easier (and maybe a little comforting) to be a little self-destructive in a time of uncertainty… we’ve all felt this. However, once we self-destruct with negativity it’s important to continue working toward your goals and find what personally motivates you. What feels better than feeling proud of yourself and having confidence in your abilities and in yourself?

Take-Away

Millennials, I can’t say it enough: Get used to being more comfortable with work limbo! It’s painful, it’s discouraging at times, but we grow stronger with each transition. As a result we solidify in our abilities and increase confidence that we will get through the bumpy times professionally. Please reach out to me via Twitter if you ever need a hint of motivation or advice. If you want to hear more stories, I’ve got plenty, let me know.

About the Author:

SeanKelly Anderson is a Healthcare Recruiter for NuWest Group in Bellevue, WA. SeanKelly graduated from Manhattanville College in New York with a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication. She also has interned for a couple of companies including Recruiting Bandwidth and Velocity Search Partners. Writes for Crelate Recruiting Blog.


Source: Millennials Would be Wise to Embrace Work Limbo – Crelate

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Recognize Employee Achievements: 5 Ways how to give Positive Feedback | Featured Image

Recognize Employee Achievements: 5 Ways how to give Positive Feedback

Recognize Employee Achievements: 5 Ways how to give Positive Feedback | Main Image

Feedback shouldn’t only be given when there’s a problem. It’s also important to let your employees know they’re on the right track and that they’re valued within the company. Recognizing achievements can signal to other employees the types of skills that should be enhanced and behavior that should be replicated. For those of you who are uncomfortable giving positive feedback, following the right steps will help you to deliver honest recognition that doesn’t feel forced or insincere.

Putting positive feedback to the test

In his insightful Ted Talk “What makes us feel good about our work?”, behavioral economist Dan Ariely describes an experiment he conducted on the correlation between recognition and motivation. In the experiment people were offered declining amounts of money to circle pairs of identical letters on a sheet of paper. In the first scenario, people had to write their name on the paper. When they were finished, they handed it to an experimenter who quickly scanned the paper, said “aha” and placed it on a pile. In the second scenario, the participants did not write their name on the paper. When they were finished, the experimenter placed the paper on the pile without looking at it. In the final scenario, the experimenter put the sheets directly into a shredder.

The results showed that people in the first scenario ended up working for half as much money as the people in the third scenario. Watching their work being destroyed immediately was extremely demotivating, despite being offered money to do an easy task over and over again. Surprisingly, it turns out that the average stopping point for people in the second scenario was almost the same as those in the third. As Mr. Ariely explained, “Ignoring people’s performance was almost as bad as shredding it in front of their eyes.” Even just a simple acknowledgment from the experimenter had a marked impact on the subjects’ motivation.

Why is positive feedback important?

A common misconception is that motivation in the workplace is primarily based on monetary rewards. It’s not always possible to give your employees a raise every time they do well, and surprisingly it might not be the strongest incentive either. A 2013 study by Make Their Day and Badgeville revealed that 83% of employees surveyed found recognition for contributions to be more fulfilling than rewards and gifts. Another 88% believed praise from managers in particular was either very or extremely motivating.

Positive feedback lets your employees know that they’re valued by the company and is especially important for building confidence in newer employees. It’s also helpful to give positive feedback when an employee improves in an area they had previously had difficulty with, making it very useful as a follow up to constructive feedback.

Don’t forget that your top performers also need positive feedback. Many managers tend to neglect their top performers when it comes to feedback because they see it more as a tool for helping improve the performance of employees who are struggling. Recognizing them for their efforts and showing appreciation are important steps to retaining your top talent.

While creating a positive feedback culture starts with managers, encouraging your employees to give positive feedback to each other is the step that will diffuse and institutionalize the practice within the office. The Make Their Day/Badgeville study reported that 76% of respondents saw praise from peers as very or extremely motivating. Peer-to-peer feedback can inspire better interpersonal relationships between employees and boost team spirit.

How to give positive feedback:

  1. Be specific

Avoid generic comments like “good job!” Explain what your employee did in particular so they can learn what type of behavior they should keep up in future. Instead of saying “you’re a great team player” describe what they did and why you appreciated it. “The extra coaching you gave to the new recruits on the last project helped them to learn the appropriate procedures, and helped our department to reach our deadline on time.” This will also help managers who are uncomfortable giving positive feedback. If you stick with stating the facts and why you thought their performance deserved recognition you can avoid clichés.

  1. Timing

Timing is an important aspect of giving positive feedback. If you wait too long both you and the receiver might forget the details of their performance. This will undermine one of the main reasons for giving positive feedback: pointing out positive behavior so it can be encouraged and replicated. If you put it off for too long, when the employee finally receives appreciation for their work, so much time may have passed that it could feel more like an afterthought. If you don’t have time to speak with them straight away, send them a message or email. Letting the opportunity to give praise go by in some instances and not others can unintentionally create double standards.

  1. Get into the habit of giving feedback more frequently

Failing to recognize when your team has gone above and beyond can demotivate them. Not recognizing their efforts will tell them they simply met expectations. Getting into the habit of giving positive feedback more often will motivate your employees to achieve more.

Be careful not to base positive feedback exclusively on results. Sometimes even if an employee puts forth their best effort, a project could fall through due to funding, a client may decide to go in a different direction, etc. It’s at these times that positive feedback can be most effective in counteracting the demotivating feeling your employee may be experiencing after not seeing their efforts materialize.

  1. Set goals and new challenges

Even if you only have positive feedback to give, you should encourage your employees to continue improving by helping them set goals and new challenges. This is especially important for top performers who may become demotivated if they don’t feel they’re developing or being challenged.

Start by asking them if they have any professional goals or objectives they’d like to accomplish in the next few months, or in the next few years. Consider how these short and long term goals could fit with the company’s objectives. Then offer support finding ways they could achieve these goals, for example, taking on a stretch assignment or participating in a training course. Keep in mind that the goals you’re setting together should be challenging but achievable, and won’t cut into your employee’s work-life balance.

  1. Encourage a positive feedback culture

A 2009 Mckinsey Quarterly survey found that respondents saw praise from their managers, leadership attention and a chance to lead projects or task forces as no less or even more effective motivators than cash based incentives. Aside from giving praise, you can also recognize your employees’ achievements by suggesting they give feedback and coaching to peers who are having difficulties in that particular area. This can help top employees develop leadership skills, and at the same time boost the performance levels of other employees.

Alternatively, you could suggest they give a presentation on this project, skill, etc. to the team. This will demonstrate an example of what you’re looking for to other employees and reinforce your recognition of their success. If employees share their successes with the rest of the team more often it will help foster a sense of community. Encouraging your employees to give more feedback and empowering them with new leadership skills is one of the best ways to keep them challenged and motivated.

Summary and take-aways:

An effective manager consistently recognizes their employees’ strengths and achievements with positive feedback. Employees who feel their work is appreciated by their manager and peers are highly motivated and more likely to stick with their current job. Giving more positive feedback can be a great way to encourage team spirit and a positive work culture.

  • Give examples and be specific
  • Don’t wait too long
  • Give feedback more frequently
  • Don’t base feedback on results
  • Set goals and new challenges
  • Encourage peer-to-peer feedback and sharing of achievements

If you want to share this article the reference to Steffen Maier and The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.

Solving the Job Application Black Hole with Chatbots

Written by Bailey Newlan, Content & Growth Marketer at Wade & Wendy.

ATS Black Hole

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are not inherently bad — for the hiring manager. They are critical to managing massive amounts of resumes and establishing an efficient workflow. However, the candidate experience suffers. A survey conducted by CareerBuilder found that 52% of employers responded to less than 50% of candidate applications. With such little communication, candidates are left frustrated and unsure of where they stand. This is referred to as the “ATS Black Hole.”

By incorporating Conversational Intelligence into the existing process, better engagement, better communication and transparency can be realized.

Conversation with Wendy in Facebook Messenger screenshot
This is how a conversation with Wendy, our conversationally intelligent chatbot, begins in Facebook Messenger.

Here’s How the ATS Fails Candidates

When an individual applies for a job, his or her resume is sent into a company’s ATS. Through matching algorithms and keyword extraction, a shortlist of candidates is generated for the hiring manager to review. These algorithms fail to take into account spelling errors and deviances in word choice (explained in more depth here). Because matches are generated exclusively through one-dimensional data, hiring managers’ understanding of candidates is distorted.

The result: Very few qualified candidates make it past the ATS and to the interview stage.

This problem is further compounded by the ease of the application process. In response to mounting candidate frustrations with lengthy applications, many employers now offer “Quick Apply” or “1-Click Apply” options. While this significantly lowers friction for applicants on the front-end, they are actually worse off in the long run. Employers are receiving more and more resumes, but, due to the simplicity of new application processes, they now have less data from which to draw conclusions.

In a world where candidates expect engagement and transparency, they are getting less and less.

On average, a single corporate job opening receives 250 applications. With an influx of resumes to review and no uptick in resources with which to process them, hiring managers cannot possibly respond to each individual applicant. In fact, of those 250 applications, only four to six will be called in to interview. As a result, most candidates receive zero communication, experiencing what has ubiquitously been labeled the “ATS Black Hole.”

Here’s Where Conversational Intelligence Comes In

Conversational Intelligence transforms the application process from something static to dynamic. At Wade & Wendy, we believe artificial intelligence is at its best when used conversationally. Our two chatbot personalities are built with this in mind. By creating a space in which conversations can occur, chatbots have the power to drastically improve the application experience.

Chatbots can engage every single applicant at any point in time.

Immediately following submission of their resume, candidates are directed to have a conversation with a chatbot through either text or Facebook Messenger. This introduction allows for a much friendlier first point of contact. Rather than receiving a “Thank You for Your Application” message from a “do not reply” email address, you meet Wendy. Here, candidates can inquire further about the company and the job itself.

At Wade & Wendy, we have designed each of our chatbot personalities to be conversational and inviting. Conversational Intelligence has the power to make a notoriously stressful and automated process fun and distinctly personable, especially when emojis are involved 🙌.

Chatbots give every candidate an equal chance at landing an interview.

Chatbots provide context and depth around the static data gleaned from the ATS. Because every candidate can be engaged via chatbot, algorithm mismatches, various misspellings and differences in keywords no longer hinder a strong candidate from getting in front of the hiring manager. Chatbots, like Wendy, allow candidates to provide context to their resume; they have an opportunity to explain properly a successful project that would otherwise be summed up in a mere bullet point.

Candidate Chats with Wendy
Here, the candidate is able to give Wendy more details about her experience with open source projects.

A candidate’s experiences and skills cannot always be properly communicated in a resume. On top of that, the ATS responsible for gauging a candidate’s ability to do a job utilizes flawed algorithms and thus provides flawed recommendations. Conversational Intelligence allows candidates to best communicate who they are and what they can do, while also overcoming algorithm flaws within the ATS.

About the Author:

Bailey Newlan, Content & Growth Marketer at Wade & Wendy

Bailey Newlan is the Content & Growth Marketer at Wade & Wendy, a New York City-based startup on a mission to make hiring more human. Wade & Wendy’s artificially intelligent chatbot personalities bring clarity and simplicity to the hiring process. Wade is an always-on career guide for job seekers, while Wendy assists hiring managers throughout the recruitment process. To connect, reach out to Bailey via LinkedIn, Twitter or Medium and don’t forget to join the beta list.✌️


If you want to share this article the reference to Bailey NewlanWade & Wendy and The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.

How Conversation Bridges the Gap Between Job Description and Job Seeker

How Conversation Bridges the Gap Between Job Description and Job Seeker

Written by Bailey Newlan, Content & Growth Marketer at Wade & Wendy.

From Ambiguity to Clarity, Through Conversation

Resumes, social profiles and job boards are two-dimensional tools used to present four-dimensional individuals. Each is incapable of communicating your whole story. You are more than a string of keywords and you are more than the templated “Experience” section on LinkedIn.

When people are boxed into these two-dimensional frames, valuable context is lost, leading to a series of frustrating interactions between job seeker and hiring manager. On average, it takes 52 days to fill an open position — a drawn out process wrought with miscommunication and missed opportunities.

How do you communicate the abstract in one bullet or less?

For any given bullet point on a resume, there are a hundred ways to say it. For example:

  • Used Java to build features for a platform
  • Supported a platform with Java
  • Chose Java to build a platform on

Each effectively showcases experience with Java. But, what is a job seeker’s relationship to Java and how does that exhibit what they can really do? Yes, the Java requirement is met, but what kind of person is best-suited for the role? The keyword “Java” falls short of showing how a job applicant and the job itself fit together. This form of static representation is fundamentally limited due to the job seeker’s inability to provide context around their skills, passions, motivations and career goals.

How can you land your dream job when using vague language to apply to an equally vague job description?

Job descriptions are two-dimensional and fall short of providing job seekers clarity around a position. To cast a wide net, job descriptions are often written with vague requirements — carefully crafted with generic keywords, so as not to discourage anyone from applying. Naturally, this results in unclear expectations. Another issue arises when goals and needs shift, yet the job description remains the same. Unfortunately, this kind of moving target is all too common.

This widening chasm between what a job description says and what hiring managers are really looking for in an applicant causes job seekers to create vague resumes and profiles to ensure they will not be overlooked.

By summing oneself up in a string of bullet points, laden with just the right keywords, context is lost and true understanding is clouded. Having to position yourself to meet a set of vague requirements, neutralizes the magic of you.

What can we do about this?

On both sides of the hiring process, there are fundamental flaws. Only by bridging the information gap that presently exists between hiring managers and job seekers, can we:

  1. Facilitate better understanding of a job outside of its description
  2. Better understand a job seeker outside of his or her resume

This is best achieved through conversation. Flowing dialogue and follow-up questions are effective mechanisms for drilling down and extracting the “Why” and the “Who are you really?” Going past the resume and job description allows both job seekers and hiring managers to make better decisions. We must go beyond the two-dimensional modes of expression. We must find clarity. We need better conversations.

About the Author:

Bailey Newlan, Content & Growth Marketer at Wade & Wendy

Bailey Newlan is the Content & Growth Marketer at Wade & Wendy, a New York City-based startup on a mission to make hiring more human. Wade & Wendy’s artificially intelligent chatbot personalities bring clarity and simplicity to the hiring process. Wade is an always-on career guide for job seekers, while Wendy assists hiring managers throughout the recruitment process. To connect, reach out to Bailey via LinkedIn, Twitter or Medium.


If you want to share this article the reference to Bailey NewlanWade & Wendy and The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.

London Future

5 Things I Learned At HR Tech World

Written by Peter Cummings, Founder and CEO, DevScore.

Peter Cummings, Founder and CEO, DevScore
Peter Cummings is a highly sought after IT Specialist with expert knowledge in three distinct fields; IT Security, Cloud Computing and Development.

I’m still reeling from last week’s HR Tech World event in London. It was a big one for us — we finally launched DevScore and were delighted with the response we had. Admittedly, it’s been some time since I’ve worked in the HR sector (as a developer) but I’ve done the rounds on the technology scene for a good ten years or more. However, I was more than taken aback at how tech-savvy HR has become. To keep pace, companies of all shapes and sizes are really upping their game on the recruitment front: which is good news for companies like mine that focus on helping businesses meet oncoming challenges.

Here are some of the key things I learnt, from talking to prospective customers and other exhibitors, about what’s happening at the crossroads of HR and technology:

Smart devices mean demand for developers will increase exponentially

The emergence of the Internet of Things will add millions of new developer jobs to the market, and demand for coders will scale to previously unseen levels. As more and more devices and appliances incorporate embedded software, companies who’ve never employed software developers will quickly need to upskill their workforces.

We’re talking about big manufacturing companies here: the kind who make everything from vacuum cleaners to electrical screwdrivers. In order for these businesses to compete and stay relevant in the digital age, ultimately they now need people with a different set of smarts — those who know software as well as those who understand hardware.

We need to overcome bias in developer recruitment

Finding developers is one challenge. Finding the right developers with the skills needed to tackle the mission-critical tasks you have is quite another(!). The battle to recruit and retain developer talent is about to get harder. But there’s a lot of untapped potential out there: a wealth of coders who haven’t been able to break into IT development. We need ways to find great people and bring them into the fold.

Development is a field where anyone can play — there are no education, gender, racial, or religious boundaries. We need to be able to find those with the right skills, whoever they are, wherever they are. To do this, businesses need to objectively analyse developers’ skills, and make hiring decisions based on ability. Nothing else.

New sourcing tactics are needed to satisfy demand for developers

Encouraging more coders to participate professionally relies on HR (and IT) professionals changing their perceptions on ‘how a developer is supposed to act’ and instead focusing on ‘what a developer can do.’

For example, there are several initiatives in both the US and UK — like The Last Mile in the US and Code4000 here in the UK — that are teaching prison inmates to code. By giving them work experience (while incarcerated) the idea is that they’ll have the skills to take a junior developer position when they get out.

I personally got into web development with the help of a good friend after working as a chef, and I hope to pass that mentoring experience on to new developers. In fact we’re building a platform, DevForge, to do just that.

Retaining developers means helping them evolve

In an industry where the fight for talent is on, employers need to find more ways to retain their developers. But money and work-life balance aside, most developers see their careers as a work in progress, and a good proportion of them value learning and development opportunities.

A crucial part of this is giving them ‘hack-time’, allowing them 10-20% of their working week to work on their own projects or learn new skills. This could be hugely beneficial for employers; ensuring faster adoption of new technologies, satisfying the developers’ need to evolve, and ultimately could be key to retaining developer talent. That’s the endgame we’re striving towards at DevScore — we’re creating a symbiotic platform where employers can build a roadmap to help their business move forward, while growing developers’ skills.

IT departments need more HR input

There can be little doubt that developers are one of the trickiest resources to manage. Few companies have specific developer talent management capabilities, which means it’s easy overlook an individual’s contribution to a project. That’s why IT departments need to play a more active role when recruiting and retaining developers.

By effectively mapping the skills and capabilities of their teams — including outsourced development teams — IT managers can help make better informed strategic decisions; like who should be promoted, who’s no longer needed, and who would be best suited to managing a project using a new technology.

It’s not just about satisfying demand; a developer’s skillset and aptitude have direct impact on a business’ HR reputation. Getting the balance wrong could lead to high developer turnover, missed opportunities, and big financial and talent losses.

About the Author:

Peter Cummings started working life as a chef and restaurant professional, before teaching himself coding and making the leap into software development. He’s now an internationally renowned IT consultant, thought leader, and founder of DevScore; a SaaS platform that helps recruiters and HR managers source the right developers for their businesses. He’s lived and worked everywhere from Greenland to Nigeria and speaks five languages.

About DevScore:

DevScore Logo

DevScore enables recruiters and HR staff – even the non-tech savvy – to accurately assess and validate a developer’s skills and experience in an easy understandable format. No need to scan every resume anymore – now you can compile a shortlist with the right candidates in record time.

DevScore is a tool for recruiters and HR staff, offering both an intuitive user interface and also an API, so that it can be integrated into your existing tools and applications, providing you the information you need, when you need it.


If you want to share this article the reference to Peter Cummings and The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.

Reasons Why You Need to Start Hiring Interims as a Savvy Business!

Reasons Why You Need to Start Hiring Interims as a Savvy Business!

Four reasons small businesses should consider interim and contract worker

Four reasons small businesses should consider interim and contract workers

Gone are the days when interim and contract work was done by low-skilled employees and restricted to the realms of admin and support in a company. Interim workers today are highly skilled and function across career fields, playing a key role in sustaining businesses and the economy. Interims can fill short-term skills gaps while saving employers money – a big reason why small businesses ought to be considering them as part of their growth plans. In this article, we discuss the benefits hiring temporary workers provides.

Cost savings

One of the biggest advantages of interim employees is the positive impact they have on the company budget. Because they are hired to fill a short-term need, they can be paid for a fixed amount of work. They do not require long-term contracts, nor do they need benefits like healthcare, pension funds, paid leave and other extras. This means that they can be given a good wage, while keeping expenditure lean. Cost savings in this area can help companies to expand and reach the point where they are able to create permanent positions for the same or different employees.

Risk reduction

Small businesses and start-ups face big risks while they are getting off the ground. This includes financial risks, as well as staffing issues. It is advisable for businesses to keep their operations as small and as streamlined as possible initially, keeping the number of full-time employees and overheads to a minimum. They can build the team as they establish themselves.

Hiring interim workers is an intelligent solution; they can be brought in to support a small core staff component. At the same time, the employer does not have to worry about being locked into a cumbersome contract with someone who may turn out to be an imperfect fit for the job – and a cost to the company.

Need fulfillment

Many small businesses have seasonal bursts of productivity where they need a few extra hands on deck to assist. They may also have permanent staff going on parental or sick leave. These are ideal situations for interim workers. They can be hired to meet demand for the duration of the big project or leave, and be let go (as per agreement) when it comes to an end. Their need for income and work is met, as is the company’s short-term skills gap.

Flexibility

Relying on interim employees gives small businesses a great deal of flexibility, while providing access to top talent. Many experienced workers have been retrenched, are in between jobs, or have chosen to do temporary work for lifestyle reasons. They can contribute to a small business on terms that are accommodating of both their own and the employer’s needs.

If the interim employees make such a good impression that the business decides they would like to offer them a full-time position, this is always an option. Many interim and contract workers transition to permanent employees in this way. The initial contract can serve as an excellent way of testing the waters for both parties.

InteriMarket connects interim job seekers with the posts best suited to them by using intelligent data. To find out more, sign up for a free account today.


If you want to share this article the reference to Bhumika Zhaveri and The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.

Signs it is Time to Take Your Organization Virtual

Signs It Is Time to Take Your Organization Virtual

Signs to go virtual
How to ask your boss that you want to do your work from home?

Is It Time to Take Your Organization Virtual? Here Are the Signs It Is

The on demand skills based economy is here. With today’s top talent adapting to the new climate of the workforce, organizations now must find new ways to engage and retain their staff while bringing in the best talent available as needed to survive and thrive in complex economic times. The workforce has taken their careers and income earning opportunities into their own hands and crave the flexibility that virtual organizations provide. Whether you need to incorporate contract or freelance work into your operations or want to give flexible working arrangement incentives to your existing permanent team, there are many benefits to taking your business virtual.

Below are a few signs it may be time to take your organization virtual.

Your Industry Has Already Shifted

Does the competition incorporate contract and temp work for their teams to execute projects and deliverables? Do they have satellite offices with less overhead dispersed throughout a greater geographic region than you? You may be paying for more office space than is required or missing opportunities for growth by not shifting alongside your competitors that are gaining more market share through virtual teams and contracted project management.

Accessing the Best Ability When You Need It, Cast a Wider Net for Talent

Human capital is and always will be critical for organizations to grow. The top talent of today’s workforce is already embracing the shift of the gig economy for their careers. Contract and freelance work for projects may be one of the only options for reaching some of the most talented professionals that you do not have access to in traditional employment engagements. Leverage the strengths, talents and skills of top performers available to compliment your permanent staff. Changing up your business model to attract and leverage the best talent available for your organization is critical and inevitably necessary. There are specific projects or initiatives that do not require full time engagement, try contracting out this work with the support of your existing team.

There is Flexibility to Be Gained by Both Sides with Less Commitment

A short term project to gauge ongoing working compatibilities allows each side to have less binding ties than an official employment contract. By allowing both sides to test the waters, there is flexibility to expand working relationships or simply part ways conveniently for both parties.

You Already Leverage Collaboration Tools in the Cloud

The cloud is here to stay and the same tools that are used for internal personnel communications and document management, have made their way into the workforce. The same affordable tools already invested in, can be leveraged by personnel logging on from anywhere. Programs such as Office 365, Dropbox, Slack and Google Drive allow teams to collaborate from dispersed locations in different time zones to accomplish tasks and achieve goals remotely. Implementing electronic systems and procedures will be necessary but also provide the necessary guidance and structure to improve operational efficiencies and help designate roles and responsibilities between members of the virtual team.

You Want to Incorporate Work from Home Policies as an Incentive

More and more companies are realizing the benefits of an engaged workforce by offering the flexibility to incorporate part time working from home policies. As with any incentive, it has to be carefully managed so teamwork can be developed through defined deliverables with accountabilities in place. Conference calls, in person meetings, team brainstorming sessions can help teammates engage virtually while allowing them designated time to manage their personal and professional lives more flexibly.

You Need to Scale with Speed Affordably

Small dispersed teams optimally performing are considered a threat in today’s workforce. With the right mix of trust, relationships and business process, virtual teams can deliver unprecedented results with the right controls and check and balances in place. Having a plan in place with defined goals and objectives so the project delivery can be optimized by the virtual team’s performance will be a key to the team’s success.

Your Management Team has the Soft Skills to Manage Virtually

Teamwork and accountability can be fostered through well-defined objectives and project management milestones. Team engagement through regular meetings that encourage brainstorming, strategic discussions, presenting and reporting will help make the virtual team successful. Periodical in person face-to-face meetings and engaging collaboration tools that allow you to share mini bios and personal pictures can help develop comrade from teams that do not regularly work together. Leaders of virtual teams need to have the right balance of soft skills and technical aptitudes to adapt their management style accordingly.

Is it time to take your organization virtual?

About the Author

Eric Apps, Organimi

Eric Apps is a seasoned technology entrepreneur, lawyer and early pioneer of today’s growing modern workforce methodologies. Eric has owned, operated and held board or senior management positions in several public and private technology companies. Today he is partnered in Aluvion and Organimi, Canadian law and technology firms, where he is an early adopter and advocate of building virtual teams and services to grow his companies. By leveraging the power of new technologies to streamline workflows, while utilizing a virtual network of highly skilled, and highly responsive professionals to develop his companies, Eric is a thought leader and advocate for the growing freelance/gig based economy.

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For more information, visit http://organimi.com

To book an interview or to request information, please contact Nicole Ragno at nicole.ragno@organimi.com

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Enhance Engagement and Retention with People Analytics

Enhance Engagement and Retention with People Analytics

Employee Group

An organization that provides top wages and benefits loses a great employee to a competitor for no apparent reason. We can’t stop employees from leaving unless we have a plan to make them stay.

“Retention is the single most important thing for growth” – Alex Shultz (VP Growth, Facebook)

What is the biggest and most intractable restraint to growth faced by companies doing business today? For many organizations, it’s the lack of appropriate talent. The reason: As more organizations have expanded their operations, the need for talent has skyrocketed. But there isn’t enough skilled labor to fill the demand. As a result, one risks losing the talent to other organizations. And with so many companies drawing on a limited talent pool, the competition is fierce.

Glassdoor’s statistical analysis reveals top three factors that matter most for employee retention.

  • Company culture
  • Employee salary
  • Stagnating for long periods of time in the same job

By examining the survey responses of more than 100,000 employees in numerous organizations, Gallup also discovered common themes among the reasons employees chose to remain with a company or to leave it. The reasons employees chose to stay with a company included the following:

  • I feel my job is important to the company.
  • My supervisor cares about me and gives me regular feedback.
  • I know my job expectations.
  • My opinions count.
  • I have opportunity to do my best work every day.
  • My career development is encouraged.

All the above reasons are part of what is often known is “engagement”. Organizations, or teams with high levels of employee engagement score high in most if not all of these. Higher engagement levels not only significantly affect employee retention, productivity and loyalty, but are also a key link to customer satisfaction, company reputation and overall stakeholder value.

OWEN Analytics, who is are providing AI-based people solutions have developed a robust and comprehensive methodology to measure and enhance retention. They run quick pulse surveys that are a combination of “ME” questions (My opinions count), and “WE” questions (I would like to appreciate the following individuals for helping me in my day-to-day work). Open feedback questions are interspersed as well to understand sentiment and key issues.

This helps understand engagement drivers not only from an individual employee perspective, but also from a team dynamics perspective. After all, our engagement with the organization is actually our engagement with the people in the organization – hence understanding those relationships is critical in better understanding attrition. This is the science of ONA (Organization Network Analysis). The example below illustrates how ONA can be used to understand team dynamics in a pharmaceutical sales organization.

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Clearly, the more cohesive teams have better performance and lower attrition.

Now that we have looked at engagement comprehensively, we need to look at what other factors drive employee turnover, as shown below:

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As per Deloitte, moving beyond the analysis of employee engagement and retention, analytics and AI have come together, giving companies a much more detailed view of management and operational issues to improve operational performance.

Exploring People Analytics

People Analytics, a discipline that started as a small technical group that analyzed engagement and retention, has now gone mainstream as per Deloitte. Organizations are redesigning their technical analytics groups to build out digitally powered enterprise analytics solutions.

OWEN Analytics specializes in helping organizations improve retention using AI driven techniques. As per OWEN, “Machine learning predictions can be sufficiently accurate and thus very effective in enabling targeted interventions for retaining high risk employees. However, using such techniques requires significant expertise in developing predictive models and experience in interpreting the outputs.

HR leaders and aspiring analysts needn’t be disheartened though. One can start with some very simple analyses using nothing more than basic Excel and develop reasonably good retention strategies” Read their blog here: Manage attrition using simple analytics.

OWEN uses a systematic retention approach to understand, predict and drive necessary actions.

04

Predictive models are developed using various Machine Learning algorithms (e.g. Decision Trees, Random Forests, Logistic Regression, Support Vector Machines and Artificial Neural Networks) and best fit algorithm based on the accuracy and business context selected to predict flight risk.

Once the predictions are drivers are available, simple action planning templates to develop and track interventions are used to retain high potential employees.

Retention Challenge

The retention challenge is the result of increasing job mobility in the global knowledge economy where workers average six employers over the course of a career, coupled with the baby boomer retirement “brain drain” and a smaller generation of workers entering their prime working age during this time. It is occurring in all types of organizations across all management levels. This study empirically investigates whether the impact of an organization’s strategic orientation toward knowledge management, the learning culture it supports, and specific human resource practices impact knowledge worker retention and organization performance.

The Eight Elements of the High-Retention Organization as per SAS Institute

  • Clear Sense of Direction and Purpose
  • Caring Management
  • Flexible Benefits and Schedule Adapted to the Needs of the Individual
  • Open Communication
  • A Charged Work Environment
  • Performance Management
  • Recognition and Reward
  • Training and Development

As per Asia – Pacific Journal of Research, preventing turnover is a wise step to implement because it saves money, time, and effort. The company should spend a considerable effort and time to prevent turnover. It is better for an organization to keep experienced and productive employees than to hire new ones. It should invest in its employees through training programs, creating a good hiring process, and engrain them with strong organizational vision. To effectively solve turnover problems, every company needs to address the causes of the turnover. The causes of turnover might not be the same for every company. Below are the most common and affecting factors for preventing turnover.

It’s no more a secret that People Analytics plays a vital role for organizations in dealing with challenges of employee engagement and retention.

About the Authors:

Soumyasanto Sen — Blogger, Speaker and Evangelist in HR Technologies. Engaging with OWEN Analytics.

Professional Advisor, Consultant, Investor in HR Tech. Having 12+ years of experience focusing on Strategies, People Analytics, Cloud, UX, Security, Integration and Entrepreneurship in Digital HR Transformation.

Tej Mehta — Founder & CEO of OWEN Analytics.

Entrepreneur, advisor, student of social sciences. Founded i-Cube as an intersection of analytics and social sciences. Previously, as Vice President with Seabury Group, led strategy and operational transformation programs across several clients in the airline and aerospace industries. Aeronautical engineer, MBA from University of Southern California.


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People Science: Why Your Employees Are Your Most Important Asset

Written by Adam Hale, CEO at Fairsail.

People Science

We are in the midst of a global skills crisis that is forcing companies to rethink how they attract and retain the right talent. Imagine being able to know why the top salesperson at a business has quit, and then how to ensure it doesn’t happen again. What if businesses could use the profiles of their top performers to identify the candidates most likely to be high performers in the future.

Business leaders are looking for more, data-driven people decisions enabling business goals. I’m not talking about simplistic HR metrics and KPIs; I’m talking about People Science. This means being able to know why one of the firm’s top performers has quit, or what experiences new hires need to get up to speed quickly. It means the ability to hire and develop the right people today while building the skills needed for tomorrow.

What’s more – today’s people insights can prevent tomorrow’s problems. For example, the capability to know the reason why a top performer has quit can help to ensure that the business builds the right work environment, offers the right compensation packages, and creates consistently great workforce experiences to ensure that it doesn’t happen again in the future. By looking at the profiles of the best business leaders today, and the skills likely to be needed in the future, tomorrow’s leaders can be identified and developed so they are ready with the right skills at the right time.

It’s not just about what the business wants though; employees have high expectations too. They want achievable targets based on metrics, specific reasons why they haven’t been promoted, and insight which can help them to develop. For example, it may be possible to let a sales consultant know they don’t perform as well when pitching to prospective clients in teams, which could enable them to improve the way they collaborate with their colleagues.

There’s a growing theme here. These examples of insight gleaned from data aren’t just about HR; they’re about people and the overall business. Put simply, a new approach is required to the HR function. Automating existing HR processes is not enough. HR leaders need to become Chief People Officers – thinking differently about how they engage with employees and design better ways of working to drive productivity and retain your best people. The power of People Science is real, and it could make a huge difference in being able to outwit rivals, ensure the business has a competitive edge and be able to retain and recruit top talent.

About the Author:

Adam Hale, CEO at Fairsail

Adam Hale, CEO at Fairsail, previously acted as Executive Chairman and Non Executive Director having spent over 30 years in the technology industry. He was formerly Head of Software and European Technology at Russell Reynolds Associates, the leading executive search firm and before that ran large system implementation projects at Accenture. Adam is also a committee member of the Technology Leadership Group (TLG) for the Prince’s Trust.


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How to Build a Data Science Team

Businesses today need to do more than merely acknowledge big data. They need to embrace data and analytics and make them an integral part of their company. Of course, this will require building a quality team of data scientists to handle the data and analytics for the company. Choosing the right members for the team can be difficult, mainly because the field is so new and many companies are still trying to learn exactly what a good data scientist should offer. Putting together an entire team has the potential to be more difficult. The following information should help to make the process easier.

The Right People

What roles need to be filled for a data science team? You will need to have data scientists who can work on large datasets and who understand the theory behind the science. They should also be capable of developing predictive models. Data engineers and data software developers are important, too. They need to understand architecture, infrastructure, and distributed programming.

Some of the other roles to fill in a data science team include the data solutions architect, data platform administrator, full-stack developer, and designer. Those companies that have teams focusing on building data products will also likely want to have a product manager on the team. If you have a team that has a lot of skill but that is low on real world experience, you may also want to have a project manager on the team. They can help to keep the team on the right track.

The Right Processes

When it comes to the processes, the key thing to remember with data science is agility. The team needs the ability to access and watch data in real time. It is important to do more than just measure the data. The team needs to take the data and understand how it can affect different areas of the company and help those areas implement positive changes. They should not be handcuffed to a slow and tedious process, as this will limit effectiveness. Ideally, the team will have a good working relationship with heads of other departments, so they work together in agile multi-disciplinary teams to make the best use of the data gathered.

The Platform

When building a data science team, it is also important to consider the platform your company is using for the process. A range of options are available including Hadoop and Spark. Hadoop is the market leader when it comes to big data technology, and it is an essential skill for all professionals who get into the field. When it comes to real-time processing, Spark is becoming increasingly important. It is a good idea to have all the big data team members skilled with Spark, too.

If you have people on the team that do not have these skills and that do not know how to use the various platforms, it is important they learn. Certification courses can be a great option for teaching the additional skills needed, and to get everyone on the team on the same page.

Some of the other platforms to consider include the Google Cloud Platform, and business analytics using Excel. Understanding the fundamentals of these systems can provide a good overall foundation for the team members.

Take Your Time

When you are creating a data science team for the company, you do not want to rush and choose the wrong people and platforms or not have quality processes in place. Take your time to create a team that will provide your company with the quality and professionalism it needs.

About the Author:

Ronald van Loon has joined as an Advisory Board Member for its Big Data training category. Named by Onalytica as one of the top three most influential personalities of Big Data in 2016, Ronald will contribute his expertise towards the rapid growth of Simplilearn’s popular Big Data & Analytics category.


Source: How to Build a Data Science Team | Ronald van Loon | Pulse | LinkedIn