Retaining IT Talent in 2013 – Tips for HR Managers

March 27th, 2013

Hanging on to top talent in the field of IT seems more difficult than in other fields, due to the demand for skilled information technology professionals. However, adopting a few specific tactics can help you to retain the talented members of your IT staff that seem to do all the heavy lifting for your business.

Give them Room to Grow

Not only do the people who work for you need to grow in order to reach their potential as IT professionals, but they also need to know you’re giving them room to grow. Your employees need to understand that you’re as invested in them as they are in the work they do for you.

There are a few ways to do this effectively. Offer classes to help them improve their skills. Give them side projects and opportunities to put new skills into action. Reimburse them for college courses they take that furthers skills they can use on the job. All of these things make them feel as though they’re important to your company today and in the future. That feeling of importance fosters loyalty among employees.

Turn to Employees for Input

More importantly, really consider the input they provide. Most employees aren’t going to volunteer their best ideas until they believe they’re being heard. Lend weight to what they have to say and build a relationship of trust and mutual respect in your workplace.

People who feel as though they have a voice in the way things are run are much more likely to stick with your company in good times and bad than those who feel like you aren’t really hearing their voices at all anyway.

Offer them the Opportunity to Prove their Worth

Contests and competitions that offer prizes for performance are excellent tactics to allow employees to really shine in areas where they excel without forcing them to pat themselves on the back. You’ll be really surprised by the number of employees who feel undervalued and under-recognized for their contributions simply because they aren’t willing to or interested in pointing fingers at themselves.

Friendly competitions give them a chance to earn prizes for doing what they do best and also keeps them on your radar so that you know who the real producers in your company happen to be.

Promote Employees for Jobs Well Done

One of the main reasons employees leave is that they believe they have no room for growth. This is especially a problem for IT employees who do a lot of work behind the scenes and feel as though they’re constantly being overlooked for promotions in favor of flashier employees who have less substance, but more charisma.

It’s best to create clear and fair standards for promotion and consistently promote employees who earn their promotions based on the standards alone. Don’t require them to ask for advancements they feel they have earned. Plan for promotions by recruiting from IT staffing agencies, like Stark Talent, for entry level assignments.

These are small things businesses can do that will make a huge difference when it comes to retaining talented IT staff members who may consider greener pastures otherwise.

How Social Media Helps Information Technology Firms

March 22nd, 2013

Social media is a craze that isn’t going away anytime now or in the future. It’s transformed the way average people connect and the way organizations conduct everyday business.

In many ways, business social networking has become a valuable operations tool that thousands of executives and human resource professionals turn to daily for fast access to information and people. In the technology sector, this is prevalent.

How is social media used to support tech companies?

There are many ways that social media and the networking opportunities that it brings support the technical industry at the corporate level. Let’s look at a few ways.

  1. Industry news and updates – One big way that social media helps technology businesses is that it helps to shed light on new advancements and ideas in an otherwise rapidly evolving industry. News and updates are shared by social networks and this allows companies to stay ahead of the competition.
  2. Online groups and events – With much of the technology industry conducting business on a global scale, social media allows businesses to set up virtual events and forums where participants can connect and share.
  3. Recruiting in technology – In terms of tech recruitment, social media has become the go-to source for candidates. Why? Recruiters can quickly search for candidates by job specialty and industry, which is convenient for recruitment sourcing.
  4. Corporate branding – Creating an image for the company is very important in today’s technology driven environment. Businesses can use social media as a platform for displaying and promoting their brand.
  5. Improved collaboration– Using social media has become commonplace in tech work environments. By providing internal social networking groups, employees can collaborate and post updates on important projects.

Strategic business use of social networking on the increase

While these are just a handful of the ways that technology firms can use social media to improve internal processes, connect with industry thought leaders, and attract great talent—there are some interesting statistics in this area for further research. In the 2012 Small Business Social Study conducted by SMB Group, it was revealed that:

  • One-quarter of all US small businesses and one-third of midsize companies use social media to engage with customers and prospects in a strategic and structured way.
  • At the time of the survey, 20 percent of US businesses had integrated social media into their standard business processes.
  • 86 percent of companies worldwide have a presence on at least one social network, including a growing interest in the use of Pinterest and Google+.

It’s growing more important than ever that companies focus on a strategy for not only connecting with their prospective clients, but also utilize social networks for attracting the best technology candidates possible. By engaging with job seekers, social media can be harnessed to bring in higher quality candidates. In this day and age where quality counts, hiring the best IT employees can make all the difference in the success of your tech firm. That’s why Stark Talent should be your first stop for quality technical and IT contract workers.

Update on Procurement Trends

October 22nd, 2012

Procurement outsourcing is changing the way many businesses do business. By definition, it is the transfer of procurement activities to a third party. The goal of this method is to reduce costs and perhaps improve the company’s focus on the core values it has. Is this a good thing? Is it something that you should be doing within your organization?

What About Your Supplier Relationship?

In a survey called GEP Value Trends: Procurement Outsourcing, the organization states that a majority of procurement teams would rather hold onto their supplier relationships. This number is as high as 70 percent. On the other hand, about half are looking to outsource the procure-to-pay operations they have. The report outlines what the goals and guidelines are of mid-sized to large companies in North America and Europe. Across the board, it seems, procurement outsourcing is becoming more accepted as a solution to common concerns.

How do we know there’s an increase in interest in such methods? In short, there are more companies using outsourced procurement services now than there were just a few years ago. This indicates a growth in the industry and that it is moving forward as becoming a valuable component.

What’s behind the demand? Why are more companies taking a closer look at procurement outsourcing?

  • For some, the need is to improve sourcing. They simply need better sources.
  • Many companies are looking to adopt best practice processes and this is one way for them to do just that.
  • Some are interested because of the expanding subject matter expertise that is becoming available in the field.
  • For others, improving capacity is also bringing more interest to companies.
  • Finally, the improved capabilities of these organizations is making it a better decision.

What About the Costs?

In every industry, costs matter and this one is no different. The key factor here is to show value in the investment in such outsourcing tools. They difference here is that companies can simply buy the services they need rather than invest in the development of them. That saves money over the long term anyway.

When it comes to procurement outsourcing, the bottom line is a big factor. However, improved sources, better competence levels and improved overall function are making it easier for businesses to consider the benefits of outsourcing. This could mean a big change for your organization, too. Don’t overlook the value in using such services to achieve your own, in-house goals. Many companies are embracing this opportunity.

In Texas, Stark Talent is leading the way for companies who are looking to augment their current staffing management with strategic outsource procurement. To learn more about hiring a contingent workforce, get in touch with Stark Talent today.

Oil Market Better Supplied – Outlook on Staffing in the USA

September 12th, 2012

What is the oil industry staffing situation? If you are in this industry, you monitor the current market conditions carefully to determine if you will have a job, where you will have one and what the next step will be. A look at the reports for 2012 in North America, and more specifically Texas, can give you a good idea of what is really happening out there.

Current Oil Supply

According to reports, the International Energy Agency has concerns about the oil markets going forward. The agency, in a report issued in June of 2012, indicates that crude oil output from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) averaged 31.9 million b/d during the month of May. That is significantly higher than the December 2011 output. In fact, it is 1.4 million b/d up.

At the time of the report, oil prices were down $25/bbl from the highs they hit in March. The last 18 months have had a bullish market in this area. There is no doubt that concerns about the Eurozone and China itself have caused enough tension to worry some investors.

Better But Not Oversupplied

The organization classified the market as being better supplied. However, it noted that it was not over supplied. Tight inventories at the end of 2011 and historically high prices have ensured this is the case. The concerns about Iran that occurred throughout the summer months and concerns about non-OPEC products also are a factor.

So, What’s the Future Hold?

For those who are wondering what the future in this market is, IEA states that production may be slightly lower in the third and fourth quarters of 2012. That is due to the US sanctions on Iranian oil sales and European Union embargo play out. Oil demand growth is also left unchanged.

When all of this is factored into the current conditions in Texas and in the United States in general for oil staffing, it looks like the rest of 2012 will be a positive but stable market for the country. With oil prices up, consumers will cut back. That may mean less production in many cases.

Production is unlikely to stop in the coming year, but that does not mean it will grow significantly either. In fact, when it comes to staffing in oil companies, many companies will likely hold off as the summer season winds down and the overall demand falls back during the colder months.

Be sure to review previous posts on the topic of the oil industry job market here:

The Effect of Rise in Oil & Gas Prices on the Tech Industry

Oil and Gas Industries: Consistently Contributing to Our Economy

Stark Talent Specialties for Staffing Management

September 7th, 2012

In today’s world, staying on top of the challenges of staffing is key to business growth. That’s why Stark Talent has several specialty areas that can help you better manage your staffing needs in the coming year. Here is a brief review of the Stark Talent specialties that your business needs to stay ahead of the game.

Focus on Major Growth Industries and Services

Oil and Gas, Energy, Defense, Technology and many more fields are the fastest growing industries around the globe. That’s why the Stark Talent focus is on providing high quality, well-matched candidates from these sectors with the employers who need them the most. From short-term contract staff to permanent placement opportunities, there are a wide range of options available to suit your staffing needs. You can also choose outsource placement services to manage all your staffing and payroll processes, freeing you up to focus on other aspects of running a growing business.

Government Talent Management

For nearly 20 years, Stark Talent has been supporting the needs of state and local governments with innovative staffing programs. These include the SourceMatch® system that uses the government standards and criteria to select the right candidates for each assignment. This is especially important as many candidates look to government jobs for stability and above average earnings and benefits, thus there is often an influx of applications to weed through. Candidates are individually evaluated during the application and screening process before they ever set foot in your office.

Maintaining Staffing Numbers

It can be tough to make sure you have enough staff as new projects come in and workloads fluctuate through cycles. This is where the systemic approach that Stark Talent uses to evaluate and pre-screen each candidate comes into play. Having quick access to the best candidates in your industry can help you to maintain your staffing numbers, reduce employee turnover, and grow your business through employee development programs. This can help your business become more efficient and profitable.

Recruiting Process Outsourcing to Control Costs

Let’s face it – recruiting costs time and money. For the average HR department this can be astronomical, especially for ongoing recruiting or volume recruiting campaigns. That’s why an RPO model makes better business sense. Many of your recruiting processes can be outsourced to Stark Talent’s capable staff of skilled recruiters to help you cut these costs to a more management level.

For more information about the specialties that Stark Talent of Austin, TX offers, be sure to visit our website to learn more. Put Stark Talent to work for your growing business and experience the many benefits of strategic staffing management.

More Generation Y Candidates Making Digital Demands on Employers

August 27th, 2012

As the new generation of employees comes knocking on your doors, they come with big demands. These demands are centering on technology. This generation is far more tech savvy than any before it. They value their mobile devices more than anything else. As a company hiring these professionals, what can you expect them to demand.

Flexibility Matters Most

In a survey conducted by Cisco, half of the respondents stated they would take a lower paying job that gave them more flexibility especially if they were able to choose the device they wanted to use for personal use. 80 percent of college students want their ability to choose a mobile device, too.

Working Remotely

Generation Y is all about flexibility when it comes to working, but they also are ready to put in the extra hours. They just want to do it on their time. For example, the same survey indicated that this generation wants the ability to work remotely. Of those surveyed, 0 percent believe that it is not necessary to be in the office environment on a regular basis. In addition, 25 percent say productivity increases when they work remotely.

IT Demands Are Up

Some businesses are seeing the demand for IT growing significantly. IT components need to support more devices and operating systems than ever. There is also a need for new software that can track which devices are being accessed and which networks they are accessing. Security is a big factor in protecting the business, too.

In addition, there is a significant amount of blurring of company and personal time, with many individuals requiring the access to mobile phones for both professional and business use. This could be a factor for many businesses in the future.

Generation Y is all about flexibility when it comes to IT use. They want the best of it all, but they are also willing to put in the hours to get the job done. Motivated and poised to take business to new levels, some businesses are finding it necessary to embrace the demands for these new professionals as it may allow them to push into bigger successes down the road.

Reasons IT Managers Should Conduct Background Checks

August 20th, 2012

The Information Technology market is growing at break-neck speeds due to continual demands from consumers for new and better products and services. That means in order for IT companies to maintain innovation and handle the variety of projects coming in, they need the best IT candidates to staff their departments. In some cases, it is can difficult if not nearly impossible to find IT candidates who have the right skills, product certifications and training under their belts to do the job well.

Unfortunately, there are too many IT candidates who try to portray their skills and backgrounds in a more positive way than they are. Some IT candidates will say and do anything to land a job with a well-respected IT company, therefore it can be challenging to choose the right candidate for each assignment, Discovering that a candidate does not have a good history, or worse yet a background that includes violence or crime, can be a costly mistake.

It’s irresponsible for your business to not have a background checking policy in place for all potential hires. As an employer, you have the responsibility to ensure a safe and secure environment for your entire employee population, as well as your clients. This is especially important in an IT environment where sensitive data is handled and stored by your team.

Here are some of the other reasons why background checks are beneficial for your IT company.

  • Background checks can uncover that a candidate has a criminal past that may or may not include information or property theft, drug use, or DUIs that make them not suitable for an IT position.
  • Candidates who lie on their resumes about past work experience can be revealed in an employment background check, to eliminate them from being considered for a job with your company.
  • Reduce the chance of hiring someone who may have legal case pending in the court system stemming from traffic violations, domestic violence, failure to pay child support, tax liability, drug or alcohol violations, being a sexual predator, or fraud. These things don’t always show up in a standard check.
  • Past workers’ compensation claims can also be revealed in a background check, which can reduce the risk of hiring a repeat accident “victim”. It’s abnormal when a candidate presents with several workplace injuries in their past, and could be caused by carelessness or fraud.

While background checks for IT candidates can be costly, they are definitely worth the investment because this simple measure can save you a lot of headache later on. Or you can save this step and hire your pre-screened IT candidates through Stark Talent staffing agency.

Reach, Recruit, Retain IT Talent

July 20th, 2012

Your goal as an IT recruiter is to find the best talent available for the employer. Hands down, you can only be successful if you can reach the qualified talent you need. Once you find them, you need to recruit them – tell them why they are better off working for your employer than any other. Then, once they are in place, it becomes critical to keep them there. An impossible task? It does not have to be if you know the key methods to making it successful.

How to Bring in the Best

IT recruiters face the challenge of competition. Qualified professionals can be hard to draw in because there are so many businesses (in every sector from healthcare to science) demanding these professionals. What should IT recruiters know, then?

  • Recruiters need to know what IT professional want to be paid as well as what types of offers they are receiving from the competition. In short, as a recruiter, you need to have your finger on the pulse of benefits to ensure employees get what they need.
  • Be competitive with your strategy. Know who the largest IT employers are in the area and ensure that you have something to offer to your potential recruits that the other guys do not have.
  • Make sure the work environment for your IT staff is enjoyable. In short, you need to get to know what working in the IT department is like. Can it be improved? What is a day in the life of an IT professional like within your company?
  • Provide some freedoms. Allow the professionals to do their jobs while still expressing themselves. In short, if you box them in, they are stifled and that means you are missing out on the best that they can offer. Provide goals for achievements and then give the team the ability to achieve those goals in any way that is possible.
  • Ensure IT projects are important to the business and, therefore, represented within the business. For example, ensure that the company’s business goals include the goals of the IT team. This shows the team you value them.

When it comes to luring in top talented IT professionals, it is a game of proving what you have that the other guy does not. In short, if you are out of the loop on what the IT professional is making, needs and desires, you could be missing out on key opportunities to bring in the best talent in the area, not to mention the country. With so much demand in this every-changing industry, as a recruiter, your job is often on the line if you fail to bring in this type of candidate. Lure them in with a solid offer.

Get off to a great start with quality IT staff from Stark Talent in Texas and Alberta Canada!

You Can’t Innovate Without Talent!

July 13th, 2012

What is holding back the manufacturing industry? It could be the shortage of skilled workers in the field’s product-development sections. Due to this lack of skilled professionals, many employers are struggling to meet the demands under an increasing level of pressure for innovation. The future growth of manufacturers – not just in the United States, but around the world – is threatened, according to a report from the World Economic Forum and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd.

The Loss Could be Staggering

Right now, about 10 million manufacturing jobs are lacking employees because the manufacturing industry is seeing a large and growing skills gap. These global numbers are stunning and they stem directly from talent – and the lack of it. There are two types of gaps occurring, according to the report, The Future of Manufacturing: Opportunities to Drive Economic Growth.

  • In emerging countries, the biggest talent shortage comes from skilled production jobs. There are just few trained professionals to fill those gaps.
  • In developed countries, the biggest talent holdback is in engineers.

In the report, it indicates that in some countries, the shortages of talent are easier to spot. Countries reporting the largest gaps included Japan, Brazil, India, and the United States.

How to Overcome the Shortage

Companies are taking the initiative to fill in these gaps. To do so, some are working hand-in-hand with educators in an effort to reduce the impact of such a shortage of talent. Any manufacturer that can overcome this challenge will have the advantage of moving ahead of their competition within the global marketplace. That is enough incentive to get many businesses finding ways to lure in the best talent or to develop new talent.

Innovating Is a Must

In order to remain competitive, many companies will need to be more innovative than ever. Doing so will keep manufacturing companies ahead of the competition. Innovation growth is essential but there needs to also be some level of development occurring to encourage this. Factors such as education and infrastructure, as well as policies and laws, need to encourage the development of innovation.

The report specifically indicated that policies that encourage research and development would need to focus on the areas of patent processing, intellectual property protection, and tax code. Those countries that will fund these types of research and development programs will most likely pull ahead of other countries. This includes those areas of innovation critical to the nation’s overall development. For example, in China, investments like these will enable the country to pull ahead in the areas of biotech, next-generation information technology and energy efficiency.

In order to operating properly in the manufacturing industry, talent is necessary. Employers without this talent, and those who do nothing to find or develop it, could face a limitation on growth in the near future if they are not experiencing it already.

 Find your best innovators when you work with the experts at Stark Talent for all your manufacturing employees.

SMART Asset Management in Manufacturing – What You Need to Know

June 26th, 2012

In today’s manufacturing world, there are many technology-driven methods of managing assets, also sometimes referred to as SMART asset management.  In manufacturing businesses, SMART stands for advanced data collection methods using computerized sensors, RFID tags, and actuators that track activity at all levels.

Using SMART technology to better manage inventory, equipment, transportation, and other resources helps employees become more efficient and less wasteful. It can also cut down on accidents and loss on the job. SMART means more than just managing tangible assets; it also means developing a program for streamlining operations with strategic business planning.

For a manufacturing firm that wants to control production and personnel costs, a SMART asset management system makes good business sense. When there is a reduced loss of assets, there can be opportunities for expansion and staff development. If staff members are well-trained to use SMART asset management procedures, they can become more efficient in their roles, and contribute more directly in the success of their company as a whole.

With a SMART asset management system in place, manufacturing companies are better able to plan for the future based on accurate asset records. This means being able to react quickly to industry demands with an ever-ready supply of inventory and people. Clearly, the faster a company can meet the needs of customers, the better it can execute its staffing program in line with fluctuating production.

Many manufacturing companies have instituted some form of SMART asset management, from simple inventory and ordering systems, to recruiting and training programs – all facilitated by a central computer system. By managing assets using SMART methodology, company leaders have better grasp of key information that can be used to plan future initiatives.

If your company is engaged in the manufacturing industry, then you may already understand why SMART asset management is critical to your success, and to that of your employees. By consolidating all your processes into a well-managed asset system, you are more likely to be able to adapt and react to market changes.

Having access to good employees in manufacturing is half the battle; managing them is the other side of the coin. Leave it up to Stark Talent to provide the best industrial workforce you can benefit from, in Texas USA and Calgary, Alberta Canada.