Tag: information technology employment agencies

Setting Up Your Year-End IT Reviews

by Jeanne Knutzen | November 6, 2013

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The end of the calendar year is just around the corner, which means it’s time for colder weather, quarterly reports, and holiday related festivities and interruptions. It’s also time for performance evaluations, and like it or not, these evaluations are a required part of most standard workplace HR policies. Before you even begin to schedule and sit down for review meetings with each of your IT staff, start weeks in advance and take these important preparatory steps. 1. Choose a structure. If your HR department allows flexibility on this score (or if your own your own business and can do as you choose), you’ll need to find an evaluation format that fits your workplace and your culture. Most IT managers choose a weighted metric system, or a 1-5 scoring mechanism for a list of specific characteristics, like leadership, innovation, commitment, and timeliness. But others choose a nine box or essay style format. 2. Choose who will evaluate each employee. While traditional reviewers are conducted by direct supervisors only, modern IT departments are increasingly relying on the 360 degree evaluation method, which allows each employee to receive a rating from her supervisor, coworkers, and direct reports as well. This method can provide useful insights, but it can be very inefficient (and therefore expensive). 3. Set up self-evaluations that reflect the style of the formal review. Whatever format you choose, provide each employee with self-evaluation guidelines that reflect that format and can measure the answers the employee provides against those provided by her reviewers. Allow plenty of time to complete them and plenty of time to factor them into the formal reviews. 4. Arrange specific meeting times that account for the length of time you’ll need to spend with each employee. Some employees may need more explanation, evaluation, and coaching then others. As a side note, it may help keep the process on schedule if you place at least two managers in the room during weaker or potentially tense reviews. Make sure you allow time to complete the review, measure it against the self-evaluation, and have a detailed and meaningful conversation with the employee about his or her professional goals and milestones for the year ahead. When it comes to planning performance reviews, preparation is essential to successful execution. To learn more about laying the groundwork for a meaningful yearly exercise, reach out to the IT staffing pros at Pace. If you are looking for information technology employment agencies in Seattle, contact us today.

IT Management: Should You Hire Externally or Train Existing Employees?

by Jeanne Knutzen | October 10, 2013

0 Blog, IT Staffing information technology employment agencies, information technology employment agencies seattle, information technology employment agencies seattle wa, information technology employment agency, information technology employment agency seattle

Almost every business owner or decision maker will eventually face some version of a universal staffing question: Is it wiser and more cost effective to launch an external search for new managers? Or can the best candidates usually be found among existing teams? Should candidates be sourced through national job boards, or groomed and trained through an existing internal pipeline? This can be an especially challenging question in the IT field. Excellent IT employees usually possess strong technical skill sets, some of which can take years to acquire, but technical and programming skills don’t automatically translate into management skills. And IT leaders often make the mistake of promoting employees to management positions based on their technical performance. Before you take this route or decide to do the opposite and focus your search outside the company, ask yourself these three critical questions. How much time do you have to fill the gap? If you have the luxury of time, you can start cultivating leadership skills in high potential employees who won’t officially step into management roles for months or even years. When you’re faced with an open position, you can carefully evaluate candidates drawn from both internal and external sources, and simply chose the candidate that best meets your established criteria. But be cautious; if internally trained and groomed employees know that they’re competing with outsiders for management positions, they may resent taking a subordinate position to the applicant who represents you final choice. Are you dealing with a skills issue or capacity problem? Do you simply need managers to handle budgets, schedules, motivation, and workflow for a growing group of employees? Or do you need managers who can address skill-based performance problems and direct employees on the finer points of specific programming issues? If capacity is your primary concern, outside candidates with no need for management training may be easier to find. But if skills are your focus, trusted and proven internal employees may be a better bet. Will your decision be a short or long term goal? Where would you like this decision to take the company in six months? How about five years? If one matters far more than the other (if, for example, you have a very short term, high-demand project to complete for a single client), then you’ll need to factor this into your decision to mentor and train an internal candidate or hire from the outside, possibly through a respected staffing firm. For more information and guidance that can help you resolve tricky management questions like this one, reach out to the Seattle IT staffing experts at Pace. If you are looking for information technology employment agencies in Seattle, contact Pace today.