Improving Employee Performance in the Tech Industry: A Guide for Managers

Improving Poor Performance in the Tech Industry: Strategies and Tips

Improving poor employee performance in tech isn’t simple, but countless business leaders must handle it regularly.

Employee performance issues emerge for various reasons. Stress and anxiety caused by problematic company cultures or external factors like economic distress, personal problems at home and a lack of skills or motivation can lead to issues with productivity and engagement.

Poor management abilities in a tech business can cause inefficiencies and problems for employees.

A lack of purpose, direction, and ongoing support can impair a team member’s ability to deliver consistent results.

Fortunately, there are ways to manage and improve poor performance issues in tech. Here’s how you can empathetically and effectively manage and improve performance problems as a tech leader.

Understanding the Root Causes of Poor Performance

The first step to improving poor performance in the tech workforce is understanding what’s causing the issue. Underperformance can appear in various forms, from employees who fail to meet deadlines or turn up to work on time to those who have a negative, sometimes toxic attitude that impacts the morale of other staff members.

Diagnosing the issues resulting in decreased productivity and inefficiencies ensures you can implement the right strategies to fix the problem.

Some of the most common root causes of poor performance include:

  • Inefficient processes or systems: Up to 42% of HR professionals say poor systems and processes cause problematic productivity. If your employees don’t have access to the right technologies, standard operating procedures, and guidelines, they’re more likely to make mistakes.
  • Personal issues: Work and life aren’t entirely disconnected. Personal stress, medical problems, and family and relationship issues can affect productivity.
  • Burnout: As tech roles become more demanding, burnout is becoming increasingly common. Employees overwhelmed by unrealistic schedules and limited support can quickly lose motivation and find it difficult to deliver results for their employer.
  • Company culture: A problematic company culture caused by poor leadership, limited support or collaboration, and even conflict between coworkers can harm employee performance.Alternatively, a strong company culture empowers staff members to thrive in a diverse, inclusive, and friendly environment.
  • Skill Gaps: According to this report from Gartner, 70% of employees think they haven’t mastered the skills they need to thrive in their careers. Gaps in hard and soft skills make it impossible for employees to unlock their true potential and increase the risk of burnout.
  • Demotivation: Sometimes, employees don’t feel motivated enough to perform well at work. They can’t see the purpose or impact of their work, and their responsibilities are unclear, making it difficult for them to excel.

Addressing Poor Performance: The Step-by-Step Guide

Once you’ve explored the common root causes of performance issues in your tech business, the next step is implementing a holistic strategy for overcoming the issue, which requires more than just a commitment to training people.

Business leaders must combine effective communication, clear development plans, and a strong company culture to achieve results.

Step 1: Implementing Effective Communication Strategies

Exceptional communication is a crucial cornerstone of any successful business. Unfortunately, many companies struggle to communicate consistently and effectively with their teams.

The problem begins with ensuring team members know their roles, responsibilities, and company expectations.

To address this issue, leaders need to ensure that team members are clear on their tasks and responsibilities and how what they do contributes to the company’s broader goals and the purpose they serve. This helps to pave the way for exceptional performance.

Beyond setting clear expectations, business leaders must ensure clear and honest communication is consistent in the workplace culture.

Robust communication strategies can help managers and supervisors identify the root cause of performance problems more effectively and work with team members to find resolutions collaboratively.

Ensure you have a strategy in place for:

  • Consistently delivering performance reviews: Don’t just tell your employees what they need to improve or what they excel at once a year.Ensure you’re regularly sharing feedback, both motivational and developmental.Motivational feedback highlights what a team member is doing well and encourages them to continue to operate in this way.Developmental feedback is required when someone isn’t quite meeting expectations, and you want to draw their attention to the impact of how they are currently operating and what you want them to do instead.Active listening and empathy: Demonstrating empathy for your employees and actively listening to their issues helps to forge stronger relationships between team members, managers and the company.

    It also means your team members are more likely to inform you if they’re concerned about burnout or overwhelmed at work.

Give your team members plenty of ways to share feedback about the company culture, work processes, and challenges they face. It will give you a broader overview of the problems affecting your team.

Step 2: Developing Personal Improvement Plans

Based on your conversations with employees and the insights you gather into the root causes of performance issues, you can begin to develop comprehensive “performance improvement plans”.

Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs) are personalised documents that outline the steps team members need to take to overcome underperformance issues and achieve their goals.

They should include:

  • Clear, realistic goals: Discuss your employee’s goals for their career and how they align with the broader goals of the business.Set clear, measurable targets for your team members to work towards. Ensure these targets are realistic, based on the existing strengths and weaknesses of your team members and the support you can offer.Use frequently monitored milestones and support the employee in returning their performance to company standards and expectations.
  • Strategies for development: Outline the resources you can offer individuals to assist with their on-the-job development so that they have the necessary skill set to return to their previous performance levels or achieve the required performance levels for their role.This could mean providing access to training courses to address skill gaps that may be virtual or in-person or have additional coaching.
  • Consistent feedback and monitoring strategies: Determine how often you’ll meet with your tech employee to review their progress towards their goals. Define which metrics or KPIs you’ll monitor and continue to reinforce the company’s expectations.Ensure your team members know who they can turn to for extra support if they encounter problems.

 

Performance plans are tailored to the specific issues and needs of the employee you want to support. Consider their learning style and unique requirements carefully, and regularly check in to ensure your team members have all the support they need.

Step 3: Creating a Supportive Work Environment

Over recent years, a growing body of research has demonstrated that a positive work environment directly impacts employee performance and productivity.

According to the University of Oxford, happy workers are up to 13% more productive.

Creating a happy workforce starts with developing a positive and supportive company culture, which means turning your workplace into an environment based on company values that will often revolve around trust, respect, and collaboration.

Examples of areas that companies prioritise are:

  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion: Ensure you provide equal support to all staff members, regardless of their background. Encourage cross-team collaboration and give every employee a voice when making crucial business decisions.
  • Motivating employees: Find ways to motivate your tech employees by creating reward and recognition programs that champion their hard work. Offer meaningful feedback regularly and request input from employees in return.
  • Exceptional leadership: Train your team leaders and managers to model desired behaviours, such as inclusivity, honest and transparent communication, and a commitment to collaboration.

Crucially, ensure your team members can connect with business leaders or HR professionals when they discover an issue with the company culture.

Overcoming Poor Workplace Performance

Addressing poor performance in the tech industry can be complex. Business leaders must take a holistic, strategic, and empathetic approach to address the causes of disengagement, poor motivation, and diminishing productivity.

Most importantly, commit to constantly optimising performance, assessing the outcomes of your staff members, and ensuring you’re aware of any issues individuals and teams might be facing.

Fortunately, with the right strategy, you can improve performance, enhance your employer brand, attract more talent to your business, and increase retention.

Opus Resourcing recruits world-class SaaS, technology, commercial and executive talent for companies ranging from seed-stage start-ups to Fortune 500 companies within the UK, Europe, and the US.

For more information get in touch with us at, 01580 857179 or send us an email here.

Book A Call With James Shenton

Attracting Top Talent: How to Become an Employer of Choice in the Tech Sector

Attracting Top Talent: How to Become an Employer of Choice in the Tech Sector

The hiring market in the tech industry has been candidate-driven for some time.

Countless companies are now competing for candidates with critical skills to help their organisations thrive in a challenging economy. This means talented professionals have more freedom to select positions that align with their priorities and values.

Positioning yourself as an “Employer of Choice” (E.O.C.) in the tech sector is critical to reducing the costs and complexity of the recruitment process, as well as accessing the right talent.

How do you develop a reputation as the “ultimate” business to work for?

Here, we’ll look at some of the most valuable strategies business leaders can use to position themselves as an employer of choice.

Attracting Top Talent: Why It Matters Now

Rampant skill shortages and increasing competition for talent have led to a complex recruitment environment for tech companies. Up to 80% of businesses in the U.K. are having trouble persistently filling roles, and the issue extends worldwide.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports that there are currently 9.5 million job openings in the U.S. and only 6.5 million unemployed workers.

Simply put, the number of talented professionals in the job market is dwindling, and these candidates are becoming more discerning about which companies they choose to work for.

Employees now expect organisations to offer a combination of diversity, equity, inclusion, a supportive company culture, a commitment to the environment and sustainability, and exceptional growth opportunities.

All the while, they’re still searching for flexibility and compassion from employers.

This trend will only continue as Gen Z enters the workforce, prioritising ethical behaviour, wellbeing, and workplace perks ahead of higher salaries.

Hiring the wrong candidate isn’t an option, with a poor hire costing companies from 30% of a hire’s first-year salary up to $/£ 240,000 for senior hires.

This means companies must invest more heavily in positioning themselves as the ideal employer for their intended workforce.

Becoming an employer of choice:

  • Increases productivity and profitability: Well-supported, satisfied, and happy staff members are more productive and profitable.Companies with a positive people-first company culture achieve four times higher profits than their competitors.
  • Simplifies recruitment and retention: Passive candidates and top talent are more likely to apply for a role with a company considered an “employer of choice”.
  • Enhances brand equity: A satisfied workforce is likelier to speak highly of their employer, refer new team members to the company, and deliver excellent results.

Key Strategies to Become a Company People Want to Join

Becoming an employer of choice in the tech space requires a multi-faceted approach to addressing the needs and expectations of your candidates. Several strategies in today’s hiring market can boost your chances of attracting and retaining talent.

1.    Cultivating a Strong Company Culture

Culture is increasingly crucial to top talent in the tech landscape. Employees want to work with a supportive, empathetic, and flexible company. According to an Inc.com survey, winning companies consistently demonstrated a more significant commitment to building a culture that delighted and engaged employees.

Building a strong culture in the current environment involves:

  • Concentrating on employee engagement: Look for ways to consistently engage employees, delivering feedback, recognition, and rewards for their work. Enable consistent collaboration and communication between teams, and invest in team-building exercises.
  • Offering flexibility: 93% of candidates say they want a flexible role. While remote and hybrid working might not be an option for every tech company, there are other ways to offer flexibility, such as giving employees more ownership of their schedules.
  • Supporting work/life balance: Wellbeing and work/life balance are crucial concerns, particularly for younger Gen Z employees. Encouraging team members to use their paid time off or allowing them to manage their work schedules around their lives is becoming increasingly essential.

Additionally, employees are searching for more ethical employers committed to protecting the environment, supporting different communities, and treating people compassionately.

2.    Offer Competitive Benefits and Compensation

While many tech candidates are looking beyond salary in the search for the ideal role, the right remuneration is still crucial to attracting candidates.

A complex economic environment and cost of living issues are prompting many employees to leave their old roles for better income.

A Gallup study found the importance of a higher salary had risen in priority from no four to no one since 2015.

Ensuring your remuneration packages align with or exceed the industry standard will help you attract more loyal, engaged employees.

However, it’s crucial to look beyond direct remuneration, too. Gen Z and X members say they would quit their jobs tomorrow for one with benefits supporting their wellbeing. Consider which benefits are most likely to appeal to your target candidates.

Many standard drivers for many employees are flexible, remote, and hybrid work. However, access to other benefits, such as mental and physical health support or the ability to spend time volunteering for causes they care about, will be valuable to some tech candidates.

3.    Invest in Employee Development and Growth

A strong employee development program has always been a priority for the best tech candidates. Every employee wants to expand their skill set and become more valuable to their employer. More importantly, they want to see a future with your company.

This is particularly true in recent years, as employees continue to worry about the growing issue of job insecurity. With this in mind, invest in your employees’ development and look at opportunities to help them enhance critical hard skills (digital literacy) and soft skills, such as communication, collaboration, and resiliency.

Explore options such as:

  • Online learning and courses: Online learning initiatives can give tech employees more freedom to choose and manage their development paths. They can explore a range of courses related to their role in their own time.
  • In-person training: Empower employees to attend in-person classes or workshops. Allow them to visit events and conferences where they can expand their network.
  • Mentorship: Consider creating a mentorship program where your high-level employees can provide consistent guidance to newer staff members.
  • On-the-job development: Create opportunities for team members to participate in additional projects or lead a project. Delegate tasks to them that will stretch or develop
    new skills, or build their competency.

4.    Embed Inclusivity and Diversity

Tech candidates, particularly in the Gen Z and millennial landscape, believe inclusivity and diversity is critical to building an enduring company culture. They’re looking for employers who deliver supportive, equitable environments to team members from all backgrounds.

Reports from analysts like McKinsey also show that companies that are diverse, equitable, and inclusive are better able to respond to challenges, find top talent, and address the needs of an evolving customer base.

Communicate clearly with your employees about your diversity and inclusion efforts and how they relate to your organisation’s core values. Introduce training initiatives focused on diversity and inclusion. Explore cross-team collaboration exercises that encourage people from different backgrounds to collaborate and share perspectives.

You can also demonstrate your commitment by ensuring you’re taking an unbiased approach to hiring. If this is an area you can develop further, working with a specialist recruitment company like Opus Resourcing can help.

5.    Embrace Transparency and Open Communication

Today’s world is plagued by confusion and uncertainty, making it more critical than ever for tech employers to demonstrate transparency with their staff members. Employees want clarity, not just when it comes to identifying their roles and responsibilities, but also regarding understanding their purpose and impact on the company.

Open communication is crucial, which means sharing updates (both positive and negative) with your employees about the direction your business is moving in and what it means for them.

Remember, open communication is also about listening.

Gathering feedback from team members about what you can do to give them a better work-life balance or experience will improve your prospects of retaining staff and enhancing your employer brand.

Becoming an Employer of Choice

The shift to a candidate-driven, skills-short market means tech companies need to work harder than ever to attract and retain the top talent. Developing a strategy to improve your employer brand and value proposition through flexibility, diversity, inclusion, and empathy is crucial.

Perhaps the easiest way to start this transformative journey is to work with a tech recruitment company that can guide your business.

The right recruitment company will help diversify your talent pool, guide you through creating an exceptional company culture, and offer insights into the priorities of your candidates.

Opus Resourcing recruits world-class SaaS, technology, commercial and executive talent for companies ranging from seed-stage start-ups to Fortune 500 companies within the UK, Europe, and the US.

For more information get in touch with us at, 01580 857179 or send us an email here.

Book a call with James Shenton

Maximising Success with Talent Pipeline in SaaS Recruitment

Talent pipelines aren’t new in the SaaS recruitment landscape. For years, they’ve offered employers an opportunity to streamline and enhance the hiring process, fill talent gaps, and minimise business disruptions.

In 2024, however, the demand for effective talent pipelines is greater than ever.

Cultivating and building a strong talent pipeline allows SaaS-focused businesses to access talented candidates faster while strengthening your employer brand and improving the quality of the professionals you drive to your business.

Here’s what you need to know about the evolution of talent pipelines in 2024.

What Are Talent Pipelines?

Broadly, a talent pipeline is a pool of candidates ready to fill existing or future positions in your SaaS organisation.

These candidates can include existing employees, who may be able to move into more demanding positions with the right training and succession plans.

It can also include individuals who have shown interest in working with your business in the past, as well as “passive” candidates who are not currently searching for a new role but are open to exploring opportunities in the future.

Building a talent pipeline can be more complex than it seems and involves more than just collecting C.V.s from potential candidates.

Business leaders must also proactively search for and source new talent consistently and engage with potential hires.

The talent pipelining process includes the following:

  • Sourcing: Proactively seeking candidates through various environments and channels, from social media platforms like LinkedIn to job fairs, using search and recruitment companies and events.
  • Attracting: Drawing candidates to your business with effective employer branding, compelling job descriptions, and an engaging employee value proposition.
  • Engaging: Nurturing relationships with candidates through consistent communication, support, and insights into emerging opportunities.
  • Evaluating: Examining each candidate’s potential to fill both current roles and potential positions that may emerge in the future.
  • Hiring: Inspiring candidates with compelling job offers when opportunities become available, often with the help of a recruitment team.

The Role of Recruiters in Building Talent Pipelines

Building and maintaining comprehensive talent pipelines is often a time-consuming process. The right strategy requires finding diverse talent opportunities, demonstrating an exceptional employer brand, and nurturing long-lasting relationships.

In today’s skills-short landscape, where competition for professionals in the SaaS industry is fierce and employee priorities are evolving, building a talent pipeline is harder than ever.

62% of H.R. professionals say their organisation’s talent pipeline isn’t robust enough.

Fortunately, recruiters can offer employers a crucial competitive edge. The right recruitment and staffing company can open the door to a wider talent pool, leveraging pre-existing relationships with talent in your industry and implementing innovative sourcing techniques.

Recruiters can help enhance your employer brand and proactively attract new candidates.

They can assist with crafting engaging employee value propositions and writing compelling job descriptions.

Plus, recruiters’ executives can be essential in enhancing the candidate experience and nurturing potential talent with frequent communication and updates.

How To Build Your Talent Pipeline in 2024

Working with a tech recruitment team is the best way to develop and optimise a robust talent pipeline in 2024.

However, ensuring you have a strategy that delivers results and addresses the challenges and roadblocks today’s employers face is vital.

1.    Identify Current and Potential Skill Gaps

The first step in developing a stronger SaaS talent pipeline for 2024 is identifying your recruitment needs.

Crucially, it’s not enough to focus on the skills and talents crucial to your business today but also the gaps you may need to fill in the future.

Make a list of essential staff members in your organisation and their characteristics.

Ask yourself how you’ll deal with these team members leaving your company. Do you already have succession plans in place? If so, how will they impact your future recruitment strategy?

Next, consider the trends and innovations affecting your business and how they might affect the candidates you need to source. For instance, in 2024, many employers will search for candidates well-versed in generative A.I. and automation tools.

2.    Recognise Current Recruitment Challenges

Recruitment in 2024 is growing more complex. Skill shortages remain a significant issue in every industry, creating high levels of competition for top talent.

As of 2024, companies of all sizes continue to struggle to fill skill gaps. At the same time, increasing demand for things like flexible work and empathy in the workplace are leading to more discerning candidates with higher expectations.

These factors, combined with an increasing need for digital literacy in every role, wage demands, and more, have a major impact on recruitment strategies.

Understanding the challenges, you may face in 2024 should help you craft a hiring plan that boosts your chances of reaching the right talent this year.

It could also be crucial to ensure you can source the right level of support from the recruitment partner you choose to work with.

3.    Explore New Talent Sourcing Methods

Once you’ve identified the skills you need from your SaaS talent and the challenges you’re likely to face, the next step is to explore various talent-sourcing methods available to you, including employee referrals.

Recruitment agencies will also be able to help you with this by offering access to in-depth market knowledge, market mapping services, and a professional network of passive candidates that are not active on job boards and social media.

Often these types of candidates can be missed by internal talent teams.

4.    Invest in Attracting and Engaging Candidates

Since finding candidates for your talent pipeline can be one of the biggest recruitment challenges you’ll face this year, finding ways to attract professionals to you is extremely important.

This starts with creating an employer brand that drives awareness of your business’s unique benefits, from a focus on diversity and inclusion to development opportunities.

A Google search on “how important is employer branding to candidates” generates 76 million results, so a company’s reputation is certainly at the front of a candidate’s mind.

For employers, this means it’s important to keep a close eye on the message you’re sending about your company culture and the work experience you can offer.

It’s also worth taking a closer look at your job descriptions. Make sure they’re compelling, inclusive, and informative. Avoid any language that might show unconscious bias and draw attention to the reasons candidates should want to work with your business.

5.    Commit to Building Stronger Relationships

A significant part of building strong talent pipelines in 2024 is building and maintaining relationships with the right candidates. You’ll need to ensure you have a strong connection with the talent you source to convince them to join your team at the right moment.

According to some reports, it can take up to 8 connections with a company for a person to form an opinion about them. This means you’ll need to regularly connect with your talent pipeline and share insights into your company culture and evolving organisation.

Technology can help with this. For instance, you can use A.I. and automation to craft personalised messages to send to your candidates weekly or monthly.

Sharing value-added content that supports their role and future career development will be received while your tech recruitment team can reach out proactively to help nurture relationships.

6.    Leverage Technology with Care

Speaking of technology, artificial intelligence is beginning to play a more significant role in developing talent pipelines and the SaaS recruitment strategy. Around 66% of recruiters use some form of A.I. technology to help enhance hiring processes.

However, while these tools can speed up processes, simplify tasks like writing job descriptions, and even assist with candidate screening, they have limitations. Bias and inaccuracies can emerge from an over-reliance on automated tools.

Business leaders must keep people in the loop within the recruitment process and watch for potential issues to avoid reputational damage. Don’t expect to transform recruitment into a fully automated strategy.

The Benefits of Building Stronger Talent Pipelines

Effective talent pipelines are more important than ever to today’s tech employers. The right strategy can significantly improve the efficiency of your recruitment process, reducing the time it takes to fill positions and attract new candidates.

Having systems in place that allow you to hire the “ideal” candidate the first time increases retention rates and reduces the cost of poor hires.

A good talent pipeline improves the quality of your hires, enhances long-term workforce planning, and minimises possible risks.

Opus Resourcing recruits world-class SaaS, technology, commercial and executive talent for companies ranging from seed-stage start-ups to Fortune 500 companies within the UK, Europe, and the US.

 

Book a Call with James Shenton

Why Poor Job Descriptions Hurt Recruitment Efforts

The recruitment landscape constantly evolves, influenced by changing candidate and employer priorities, introducing new tech roles, and adopting new technologies.

Yet even in this fast-moving landscape, one thing remains consistent: the importance of job descriptions.

More than just a laundry list of the essential skills candidates need to thrive in a role, job descriptions are critical to attracting top talent, setting expectations, and elevating your employer brand. In a world where employers are struggling to fill the talent gaps in their teams, ensuring your job descriptions are making the right impression is essential.

Unfortunately, countless tech employers miss out on top talent because their job descriptions aren’t engaging, informative, or inclusive enough to resonate with modern candidates. Here’s how you can overcome the issue of sub-par job descriptions once and for all in 2024.

The Essential Components of a Successful Job Description

On a broad level, job descriptions provide candidates with all the information they need about the responsibilities of a role, the skills, experiences and qualifications they need to thrive, and the benefits an employer can offer. However, they can also accomplish so much more.

For many job seekers, the job description will be one of the first things they evaluate when deciding whether to apply for a role. Having a job description that contains relevant information that appeals to today’s candidates will boost your chances of attracting suitable candidates and convincing them to accept your job offers.

While the exact language and information used in your  job description can vary, an effective document should always include:

  • A job title and summary: A clear and jargon-free description of the role and associated responsibilities. Make sure this section is clear, straightforward, and descriptive.
  • Detailed duties and responsibilities: A list of key responsibilities and tasks successful candidates will need to complete to thrive in the role.
  • Necessary qualifications and skills: Any specific hard and soft skills required for the role, such as excellent communication skills or proficiency with certain tools.
  • Compensation and benefits: An overview of the remuneration and wider benefits that may be available, such as flexible working options.
  • Company culture: Insights into the core values and priorities in your business, as well as your approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Development opportunities: An insight into the potential for growth within the role and future career progression.

Why Inclusivity is Crucial to Job Descriptions in 2024

Many factors can influence the success of a job description in 2024. For instance, studies show that candidates regularly assess attractive benefits, high salaries, and company culture before deciding whether to apply for a role. However, in 2024, one of the most significant factors that will impact the appeal of your job descriptions is their level of inclusivity.

76% of candidates in today’s tech recruitment landscape say diversity and inclusivity are central to deciding which company to work for. Evidence of unconscious bias in your job descriptions can significantly reduce your chances of attracting the right talent to your team.

Additionally, on a broader level, taking a proactive approach to D.E.I. in the workplace delivers many other benefits, from increased productivity and engagement to reduced staff turnover. McKinsey found the most diverse workforces were also the most successful financially.

Here are some ways to optimise your job descriptions for inclusivity.

1.    Avoid Gender-Coded Language

Gender bias in job descriptions is more common than you think. Even if you don’t specify a preferred gender for your employee in the description itself, the language you use can influence who responds to your job listings. According to one study, words like “dominant” or “competitive” can be perceived as more “masculine” in job descriptions.

Alternatively, terms like “collaborative” and “nurturing” are more likely to resonate with female applicants. A.I. tools can help you evaluate your job descriptions and pinpoint potentially “gender-coded language”. Alternatively, you can ask your tech recruitment agency to highlight any terms that may dissuade certain candidates from interacting with you.

2.    Look for Evidence of Other Biased Language

Unconscious bias in job descriptions doesn’t just show through in potentially “gender-coded” terminology. Some various other words and descriptors can also subtly demonstrate bias. For instance, your language could show a preference towards:

  • People of a certain ethnicity: Asking for “local” employees or referencing a specific ideal origin for your candidates can demonstrate racial bias.
  • Candidates of a certain age: Describing your ideal candidate as a “fresh young go-getter” or an “industry veteran” may restrict the age range of your job applicants.
  • People without disabilities: Asking for people with specific physical attributes or skills without referencing your ability to make accommodations for those with disabilities makes it harder to attract employees with a range of abilities.

3.    Minimise Corporate Jargon

Many tech companies use jargon and technical terms in their job descriptions and other documentation. While these terms may make sense to existing members of staff and stakeholders, they can be confusing for new employees to understand.

Listings that rely heavily on technical terms may be unable to capture the attention of highly skilled employees who have yet to learn the language of the industry. With this in mind, deliberately choose words and phrases that aren’t overly “industry-specific” when crafting job descriptions.

If you need to use a specific technical term, consider using a descriptor alongside it to help applicants understand exactly what you’re looking for.

4.    Highlight your D.E.I. Commitment

One easy way to demonstrate diversity and inclusion in your job descriptions is to include specific information about your D.E.I. initiatives in the document. In the section where you discuss your company’s culture, talk about your commitment to providing equal opportunities to everyone.

Mentioning that you’re an equal opportunity employer gives insights into ensuring you don’t discriminate against employees or candidates based on irrelevant characteristics. You could even reference your strategy for training your employees and managers on D.E.I. practices.

Alternatively, you might highlight awards you’ve won based on your diversity and inclusion strategies or positive feedback you’ve earned from previous employees. If you’re listing your job description online, include a link to a website page with more information.

5.    Work With a Tech Recruitment Company

Collaborating with a recruitment company can benefit tech employers, particularly in today’s skill-short landscape. A recruiter executive who shares your focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion can help you tailor your job descriptions for the current market.

They can help you to recognise evidence of bias or discrimination in your language that you might otherwise miss. They can also advise you on finding training resources and support that will help you optimise diversity and inclusion in your hiring journey.

Some leading tech recruitment companies can leverage innovative strategies to help reduce unconscious bias. For instance, they might use blind screening techniques, removing personally identifiable characteristics from the applications they pass onto your teams. This can help you focus on a person’s skills and abilities when short-listing your options.

Quick Tips for More Effective Job Descriptions

Ensuring your job descriptions are inclusive is an excellent way to boost your chances of attracting top talent in the tech space. However, there are other steps you can take to optimise and enhance your job descriptions, too.

Here are a few additional quick tips for success:

  • Be clear and concise: Use straightforward language to outline all the information your candidates need. Avoid including too much unnecessary information, such as long-winded descriptions of roles and responsibilities.
  • Leverage keywords: Incorporating keywords into your job descriptions that match the responsibilities and requirements of your role can make them easier to find in today’s digital world. Avoid confusing buzzwords like “superstar” or “ninja” when choosing role titles.
  • Highlight your E.V.P.: Draw attention to your unique employee value proposition in your job description. Ensure your candidates can see all the benefits of working with your company, going beyond remuneration to cover development opportunities and an inclusive and supportive company culture.
  • Be flexible: Know how to separate your ideal candidates’ “nice to have” attributes from their needed skills and experience. Be open to exploring applications from various people, including new graduates.
  • Avoid common mistakes: Work with a recruitment and staffing agency to proofread your job descriptions for errors or inconsistencies. Ensure you’re listing your descriptions on the right platforms and that applying for your role is as simple as possible.

A tech recruitment company will be able to help you implement all of these tips and strategies to give you the best possible chance of attracting the right talent in 2024.

Write the Best Job Descriptions in 2024

The right job descriptions are crucial to attracting and retaining top talent in 2024. More than just simple documents, good job descriptions boost your chances of improving candidate quality and fit, reducing the time it takes to fill positions, and optimising your employer brand.

They also ensure you can start your relationship with your new employee based on mutual understanding, clarity, and clear expectations.

What are the Upsides of Using a Retained Search Process?

What are the Upsides of Using a Retained Search Process?

  • There are several benefits of using a retained process. As in many walks of life, you get what you pay for when purchasing a specialist consulting service.
  • Working with the best Search firm in the market and having access to their time is priceless.
  • A retained search instruction has another benefit many companies don’t appreciate: the impact on candidates.
  • It demonstrates to the candidate that the client is serious about hiring. The role is real and it’s not a company resume or CV shuffling to see if anyone is worth hiring.
  • Candidates understand that the client has already invested in the process, which elevates the entire candidate, client, and recruiter experience and process.

Access to a Skilled and Passive Talent Pool

  • The current hiring market is challenging. Navigating a tight labour market, skill shortages, hard-to-reach candidates, and happy employees who aren’t actively looking, though they are listening, are all in the day-to-day work and skill set of an experienced Search partner that offer retained search solutions.
  • The fact is experienced Search firms have extensive networks and resources to identify and attract high-quality candidates into their personal talent pools that they are constantly building their network for clients.
  • Certain specialisms have highly developed skills in key areas vital to their success. When it comes to Search Firms, they are exceptional networkers who are talking to key players in a market daily. An experienced Search Firm will have mapped the market and roles identifying candidates’ skills, wants, and needs should the ideal position become available.
  • This means they have established relationships with potential candidates that are both passive and active (not a skill every contingent recruiter has) that will fit your expectations for the role and are also an ideal cultural fit. 
  • This benefit alone is worth weeks and months of your or your internal recruitment team’s time.

Deep Sector and Subject Matter Expertise and Market Insight

  • A team will deliver a retained search and leverage experienced professionals inhouse with deep industry subject knowledge and expertise.
  • They have a finger on the pulse of the job market, including salary trends, talent availability, and industry-specific challenges. 
  • An additional plus point here is that certain Search Firms are known for their sector knowledge and expertise, and by default, that will attract a certain level of candidates.
  • This insight enables them to provide valuable guidance to the hiring organisation throughout the recruitment process, giving you the confidence to attract and engage the talent you want.

Targeted and Customised Approach

  • Retained Search Firms work closely with the hiring organisation to understand its specific vision and values and its hiring goals and requirements. 
  • The process is extremely detailed and delivers the creation of a unique approach and tailored strategy for each company.
  • This often involves using the latest technology, sourcing tools, and marketing campaigns designed specifically for each role.
  • Depending on the role and skill set required, a Firm that offers retained search will often be able to identify an ideal candidate from another sector with transferable skills that would be a great hire that contingent recruiters wouldn’t have the knowledge or connections to deliver.

Time and Resource Efficiency and Support for an Inhouse Team

  • Hiring for executive-level positions is both time-consuming and resource-intensive. Engaging a retained Search Firm transfers the burden of sourcing, screening, and shortlisting candidates to the recruiting firm you work with, which naturally frees up often stretched internal resources. 
  • A retained search is delivered so comprehensively that no stone is left unturned.
  • In-house teams, of course, have a place. However, when considering a confidential and senior role, an internal team won’t have the networks, connections, or capacity to deliver a shortlist of candidates in the time frames needed.

Confidentiality and Discretion

  • Hiring will always have a level of confidentiality required during the process, and a retained search instruction will take this to another level.
  • Your recruiting partner understands the importance of maintaining confidentiality, particularly when recruiting for sensitive or high-level positions. 
  • They follow strict protocols and N.D.A.s to ensure the privacy of both the hiring organisation and the candidates. This can be particularly crucial when filling positions where internal promotion may not be an option or during transitional periods in your organisation.

D.E.I Compliance 

  • Firms that provide a retained search process operate at an elevated level in all parts of the process.
  • They will often be fully trained in the D.E.I process aligned to recruitment, with many operating a de-biased approach using the latest software.

They will have cultivated a diverse candidate pool you can access as a client.

Succession Planning and Building your Talent Pipeline

Depending on the department, roles, and growth plans, many Firms offering retained services will also offer a consultancy package, including helping you develop your employee value proposition and the ongoing steps to build your talent pipeline, including succession planning.

Salary Negotiations and Counteroffer Management

  • The retained search process is detailed and often at a deeper level than a contingency search. As such, the salary expectations are benchmarked ahead of time with both the candidate and the client.
  • Selling the role and opportunity to a candidate is a superpower of a skilled and experienced retained search consultant. On the flip side, they also can analyse, within reason, if a candidate might be unpredictable when negotiating an offer or accepting a counteroffer from their current employer.
  • Bringing the offer and acceptance across the line is the role of a retained search consultant and is part of their process and guarantee.

Successful Placements and an Improved Bottomline

  • The retained search process is designed to deliver successful placements by presenting the hiring organisation with a shortlist of highly qualified and well-vetted candidates. 
  • Hiring is not an easy business process; however, using a retained search process reduces the company’s risk.
  • Retained recruitment might have a higher upfront investment, but in the long run, it’s more cost-effective because the shortlist will be highly qualified candidates for the role.
  • Several costs, such as advertising and screening, will be included in the retained fee.
  • By leveraging their expertise, resources, and network, retained search firms increase the probability of securing top talent for critical roles. This ultimately contributes to the organisation’s long-term success.

The Investment for a Retained Search

Using a retained search for business-critical roles is a worthwhile investment in the current skill-short-hiring landscape.

It is a well-known phrase in leadership circles that people grow organisations and consistently deliver results to the bottom line.

Therefore, reducing your risk by finding the right people to stay is a sensible use of your time and resources.

The total investment is generally based on the role seniority, timeframes, and any other consultancy requested during the process, for example, creating an E.V.P., Though most companies include all parts of the process, screening, and marketing within the fee.

The percentage fee will be based on the final total compensation. Different Search Firms use other payment structures, and many offer a guarantee. 

Some companies will require an engagement fee upfront and the remainder on the start date. While others will split the fee across different parts of the recruiting process, for example, initiating the first search, delivery of a shortlist, and successful offer. 

Utilising a retained search process offers significant benefits regarding access to talent, customised approaches, market mapping, efficiency, confidentiality, expertise, and successful placement.

These advantages make it an attractive option for organisations looking to fill key positions with exceptional candidates.

Finally

​If you are considering retained search for your organisation and you need help attracting the right talent – we can help.

For more information on how we can help you recruit the high-performing individuals you need, get in touch with Paul Hudson on 01580 857179 or email us here.

 

Book a call with Paul Hudson

What is The Difference Between Retained Search and Other Recruiting Services?

What is The Difference Between a Retained Search Instruction for Tech and Other Recruiting Services?

The most common recruiting options in the current permanent recruiting market are retained search and contingency-based recruitment with or without exclusivity.

Let’s share more detail about each.

Contingency Recruitment

Contingency recruitment, sometimes called non-retained recruitment, is a common method companies use to hire employees across many different sectors and roles.

As the name implies, contingency is a possible future event or circumstance that cannot be predicted with certainty. 

In the context of recruitment, contingency recruitment refers to a situation where a recruitment agency only gets paid if they successfully fill a position. 

The payment (fee) is contingent, or dependent, upon the successful placement of a candidate. This could be a set fee though more usually a percentage of the role’s salary.

The fee varies depending on the individual recruiter and sector and can be anywhere from 10-30% of the salary of the role in question.

Contingency recruiters typically work on multiple job vacancies at a time. It is logical when you consider that a recruiter puts in time and effort to source candidates who may or may not be hired; consequently, they may not be paid for the work involved in sourcing candidates.

In addition, recruiters often compete with other recruitment agencies to find the right candidate for the role. 

While contingency recruitment can be more cost-effective and quicker than other methods, it may not always deliver the highest quality candidates since the process might prioritise speed and competition between agencies, which in the case of recruiting rarely ends well.

Contingency With Exclusivity

Contingent recruitment can also be delivered on an exclusive basis. This refers to the fact that the recruiting process is still contingent on paying the fee; however, the recruitment agency will work the role exclusively, not competing with other recruitment agencies.

Many recruitment agencies with experience and expertise in a market will only work a role contingent if they have exclusivity on working the role.

Retained Search

A retained search, also known as executive search or headhunting, relates to the fact that the Search Firm works exclusively with your company and has much more involvement and responsibility throughout the recruiting process. 

I’ll share more detail about the fee structure later in the report, and as the name retained implies, the Search Firm is always paid a percentage of the fee on engagement.

In a retained search, the Search Firm is exclusively contracted to complete the recruitment process from start to finish. This typically includes defining and consulting around the job role, market mapping, and sourcing, with exclusive access to candidates, the recruiter has access to that others don’t.

A retained search involves a different level of ongoing marketing of the role; video interviewing and behavioural profiling will occur.

This method is typically used for senior, high-level or confidential and focuses on delivering highly qualified candidates. A retained search is a high touch point, high-level service, and an exclusive partnership between the hiring company and its Search partner.

This is a strategic partnership about the desire to increase the probability of finding the right person who stays with the company and continually contributes to the bottom line.

In the current skill-short market, where business-critical roles must be filled promptly, this recruiting process is becoming the preferred option for many companies.

Contact Paul Hudson, Managing Consultant at Opus Resourcing, for a discovery session to discuss your hiring needs and fuel your growth.

Book a call with Paul Hudson

Using Go-to-Market To Drive Your SaaS Recruitment Strategy.

Using Go-to-Market to drive your SaaS Recruitment Strategy

In today’s candidate-driven SaaS job market, attracting and retaining the right talent is more challenging than ever. Candidates have more options when selecting the ideal role for their specific needs, and their priorities are changing.

This means business leaders and recruiters need to take a new approach to connect with potential employees if they want to overcome the challenges of a major talent shortage.

Recruitment now has a lot in common with effective marketing. Just as companies need to establish an effective “go to market” strategy to engage buyers and demonstrate value to customers, they also need a similar approach to intrigue top talent.

A strong go-to-market (G.T.M.) strategy framework paves the foundation for a powerful product launch, gaining customer trust and differentiating a brand from its competitors. A similar “G.T.M.” approach to recruitment can help companies target the right talent, strengthen their employer brand, and build deeper connections with employees.

Here’s how to embed a go-to-market strategy into your SaaS recruitment process.

What is a Go-to-Market Strategy? The Basics

A go-to-market strategy is a tactical plan companies use to determine how to bring a new product or service to their target audience.

It’s an exercise that outlines the steps a business should take to engage a potential customer, differentiate themselves from the competition and increase sales.

With a strong go-to-market strategy, business leaders determine why they’re launching a product, their target market, and how they will convince consumers to buy what they’re selling.

Similarly, in the tech recruitment world, a go-to-market strategy outlines the key information businesses need to capture, engage, and retain the right talent.

Business leaders answer questions such as: “Why are we hiring this professional?” and “What value can we bring to employees?” This gives them the guidance they need to position their roles more effectively in the competitive talent market.

Moreover, a go-to-market strategy can help companies consider any issues candidates might experience with a role, such as a lack of clarity around responsibilities or a complex interview process.

Here’s how companies can improve their SaaS recruitment strategy with a “go-to-market” mindset.

Step 1: Align your SaaS Recruitment Goals to Business Goals

As mentioned above, when organisations establish a go-to-market strategy for a product, one of the first questions they ask is why they’re launching this new solution or offer. Similarly, when you use a go-to-market strategy for tech recruitment, you’ll need to define why you’re looking for a specific employee to fill a gap in your team.

The first step is developing a clear understanding of the current business goals. For instance, you might want to expand your tech company into new markets in the years ahead and need new talent to help you identify and serve the right customers.

Alternatively, your goal may be to innovate and evolve, using new tools and strategies to improve team productivity and efficiency. Defining your goals will help you understand what key attributes and skills your new SaaS employee will need. It should also ensure you can provide your candidate’s clear insight into their roles.

Crucially, aligning business and recruitment goals also means you’ll be able to identify how you will evaluate your candidate’s success after they join your team.

Step 2: Identify your Employee Personas

Once you’ve established your goals for your go-to-market recruitment plan, the next step is deciding what kind of SaaS employees you want to attract.

A key component of creating a go-to-market strategy for a product is defining who the ideal buyer will be.

In the recruitment world, you’ll need to understand the key attributes and characteristics of the candidates you want to attract. Think about the essential soft and tech skills your new team member will need to have and what their educational background should look like.

Think about what kind of people are most likely to thrive in your existing company culture, what their personality will be like, and what values they might have. You could even create a candidate persona, which you can use to inspire and guide your team when creating job descriptions, interview questions, and onboarding strategies.

Step 3: Building Your Employer Brand

When bringing a new product or service into the market, companies must determine what benefits and values they can offer above and beyond their competitors. In today’s competitive SaaS recruitment space, you must also take the same approach to engaging candidates.

Ask yourself and your team what sets your company apart from other organisations with similar roles available to candidates. If your company is relatively small, you might not be able to compete in salary, but you could offer other benefits by providing flexible working opportunities or access to more training and development options.

Look at your “employee personas” values and ask yourself how you can build a brand that appeals to your target candidates. This might include focusing on things like:

  • Unique opportunities: Do you allow employees to work remotely, choose their hours, or get involved with training initiatives and mentorship programs?
  • Corporate Social Responsibility: How can you appeal to your candidate’s ethical values? Do you have a strong focus on diversity, inclusion, and equity? Do you take a sustainable business operations approach or give back to charitable organisations?
  • Company culture: What are the core components of your company culture? How do you ensure your team members feel supported in your team?

Step 4: Creating Your Outreach Strategy

In a typical go-to-market strategy, companies need to build a “market strategy”, which involves thinking about how they’ll position their product and connect with consumers. You can take a similar approach in a SaaS recruitment-focused G.T.M.

Start by thinking about the messaging you will use and how you will highlight the unique components of your employer brand in your job descriptions and social posts.

For instance, alongside listing job descriptions on your website, work with a SaaS recruitment company to create a job description and leverage their ability to promote your vacancy into the market and within their database and connections.

Step 5: Prepare for the Interview Process

Finally, you’ll need to think about how to connect with candidates once you are in an interview situation. As companies use offers, discounts, demos, and promotions to increase conversions, business leaders use interviews to assess candidates and provide talent with an opportunity to evaluate their company.

Constructing an effective interview process is essential to boosting the power of your tech employer brand. Ensure you have a plan to eliminate common issues like bias. This could mean training your interviewers and providing them with scorecards to help them focus on specific attributes. Your recruitment partner can facilitate all of these processes.

Provide interviewers with step-by-step guidance on evaluating each candidate, and consider the questions your would-be employees might ask you in return. At the same time, remember to think beyond the interview to the full onboarding process.

How can you give your candidates a good first impression of your company?

Commit to constant, transparent communication, and look for ways to empower your staff members with the right training and support from day one.

Need help with your Go-To-Market SaaS Recruitment Strategy

A go-to-market strategy is a powerful tool for businesses bringing new products and services to their customers. However, many of the components of these strategies can also be applied to the recruitment world. Taking a go-to-market approach to hiring can help you target the right candidates, differentiate your company from competitors, and engage the best talent.

With the help of recruitment, you can build a full go-to-market SaaS recruitment strategy designed to fill the gaps in your team, improve your employer brand, and strengthen your connections with existing and future employees.

If you’re looking for help with your recruitment strategy, get in touch by calling James Shenton Managing Partner for Technology on 01580 857179 or send us an email here.

Opus Resourcing recruits world-class SaaS, technology, commercial and executive talent for companies ranging from seed-stage start-ups to Fortune 500 companies within the UK, Europe, and the US.

Book a call with James Shenton

How technology companies can support Anxious Employees in the Workplace

How technology companies can support Anxious Employees in the Workplace

Stress and anxiety in the tech workplace are more common than you might think.

Every workplace has challenges that can impact our mental health, from tight deadlines to internal conflicts. These issues can be extremely difficult to handle for employees already suffering from anxiety.

1 in 6.8 people now experience mental health problems in the workplace, and anxiety levels have increased in recent years following the disruption of the pandemic. Business leaders and managers need to know how to support employees suffering from anxiety to ensure they can achieve their full potential, both in and outside the office.

Here’s everything you need to know about creating a workplace that supports, empowers, and motivates anxious staff.

Understanding Anxiety in a Technological Workplace

According to Anxiety Disorders of America, more than 18% of the adult population currently suffers from some form of anxiety disorder. What’s more, most of these professionals say their anxiety issues lead to a host of difficulties in the workplace.

An anxiety disorder can be extremely debilitating for staff, making it difficult for team members to focus on tasks, retain productivity, and interact with others. Anxiety can also affect health, leading to higher absence and turnover rates.

The first step in overcoming anxiety in the tech space is knowing how to spot the signs. Many employees still aren’t comfortable speaking about mental health issues. However, managers and supervisors can see symptoms of growing anxiety in:

  • A drop in overall performance and productivity
  • Difficulty making decisions in the workplace
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Excessive smoking and drinking
  • Fatigue or exhaustion
  • Increased sick leave or absences
  • Problems maintaining work relationships

If you see these signs in your employees, it could be a sign that issues with anxiety and stress are gradually contributing to burnout in your team. The faster you act, the easier it will be to preserve productivity and avoid losing critical team members.

Creating a Supportive Work Environment

Managing and supporting employees with anxiety requires a multi-faceted strategy. It begins with creating an environment where all employees can thrive, connect with others, and feel respected by their peers. Some of the best ways to create a supportive work environment include:

Promoting open communication

Consistent communication is essential to building trust and community in a SaaS workplace. Developing an open-door policy that allows any staff member to ask questions, request help, or share their concerns at any moment helps create a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.

Open-door policies are particularly beneficial for people with anxiety, as it helps them to recognise that support is there whenever they need it. If your managers can’t handle an open-door policy, assign team members buddies they can turn to for help.

Encourage work-life balance

It’s easy to get caught up in the constant quest for productivity in the SaaS industry. However, a good work-life balance is crucial to retaining and improving employees’ well-being. 3 in 10 workers say they’re less productive because of poor work-life balance.

With this in mind, encourage your employees to take breaks, move to different parts of the office when they need space, or even take mental health days when necessary. Ensure every staff member has a realistic, achievable workload, and avoid overwhelming employees with too many tasks.

Set clear expectations

When managing an employee with anxiety, setting clear expectations and realistic goals can be helpful. The idea isn’t to force challenging expectations on your team members but to let them know what you need from them, even when they’re experiencing periods of anxiety.

At the same time, allow your staff members to share their expectations and needs with you. Ask them what they need to accomplish specific tasks when struggling. This will create an open dialogue and pave the way for business-wide growth.

Be Flexible

When your employee’s mental or physical health affects their day-to-day work, it’s your responsibility as a leader to make accommodations. Even the smallest adjustments can greatly affect an employee’s well-being.

For instance, you could consider changing their hours temporarily or letting them work from home for a while. You might also allow them to adjust their schedule occasionally when they need to seek external support, like therapy or counselling.

Implement Stress-Reducing Initiatives

Initiatives that guide employees through managing their anxiety can be extremely useful for maintaining engagement and productivity. You could consider implementing a wellness program that encourages physical activity and exercise to reduce feelings of stress.

Some SaaS companies offer training resources, such as workshops and seminars on stress reduction, time management, and organisation. You could even encourage mindfulness and relaxation exercises, giving your team members a quiet space, they can retreat to when they need space or time to unwind.

Providing Resources for Anxiety Management

While anxiety is extremely common in the modern world, it’s also widely misunderstood. Managers and supervisors who don’t suffer from anxiety disorders don’t always know how to provide the best support to their teams.

Colleagues can struggle to understand the behaviour of a person with anxiety, leading to more workplace conflicts. One of the best ways to address this issue is with education. Invest in strategies such as:

  • Managerial training: Provide mental health training to managers and supervisors to help them recognise the signs of anxiety and understand how to address difficult situations.
  • Employee assistance programs: Offer anxious employees access to tools and resources that can help minimise their stress and improve the working environment.
  • Mental health resources: Consider partnering with mental health professionals such as counsellors and therapists to support your team.
  • Wellness programs: Invest in wellness programs that promote physical and mental health, with guidance on meditation, relaxation, and stress management.

Fostering a Culture of Support and Empathy

Your company culture will play an important role in determining how supportive and empowering your workplace is for anxious employees. The key to success is ensuring everyone in your team feels respected and included, regardless of their mental health issues.

Start by educating your employees about mental health and anxiety disorders. Access resources and documents that help team members manage their anxiety and support other staff members.

Promote inclusion and diversity by setting expectations for how team members should treat each other. Teach team members how to overcome bias and drive the development of employee relationships with peer support and mentoring programs.

Consistent recognition can be helpful for people with anxiety, too. Ensure your SaaS staff members are rewarded for their accomplishments and achievements. Celebrate little wins, like coming to the office all week or hitting deadlines for a month.

Remember, anxiety can vary from person to person, so it’s worth speaking directly with your team members to help identify specific triggers and stressors and create personalised support plans for each team member.

Overcoming Anxiety in the Workplace

Anxiety and stress can be common in any work environment. When allowed to fester, these issues can impact your team’s productivity and your ability to retain and engage crucial staff members.

Implementing a strategy to build an empathetic and supportive workplace ensures every team member can thrive. When you prioritise wellbeing in the workplace, focusing on mental and physical health, your team members are more likely to achieve their goals.

Start taking proactive steps to support your employee’s well-being, and you’ll benefit from a stronger employer brand, better retention rates, and more efficient employees.

Opus Resourcing recruits world class SaaS, technology, commercial and executive talent for companies ranging from seed stage start-ups to Fortune 500 companies within the UK, Europe, and US.

Streamlining Tech Team Meetings: 6 Simple Strategies for Productivity

Streamlining Tech Team Meetings: 6 Simple Strategies for Productivity

Knowing how to run an effective and productive meeting is crucial in any business. After all, meetings are essential to keeping your employees aligned, engaged, and motivated. They’re also vital to planning projects and preserving your company’s momentum.

Unfortunately, hosting valuable meetings isn’t always easy. Teams can get distracted, conversations stray off-topic, and productivity dwindles. Several studies suggest only around 50% of meeting time is productive.

Current workplace changes also exacerbate the complexities of hosting an effective meeting. Aligning hybrid, remote, and in-office employees requires managers to utilise the right strategies, processes, and technologies together.

Fortunately, you can boost your chances of running effective meetings in multiple ways.

Step 1: Determine Meeting Objectives

Every meeting should have a clearly defined purpose. According to various studies, employees have been involved in more meetings since the pandemic than ever before. One-on-one conversations have increased by 1,230%, and group meetings have increased by 613%.

However, many of these meetings may be unnecessary in a world where chat and email can be used for rapid communication. Additionally, it’s worth remembering that not every meeting will require the attendance of every employee. Understanding the purpose of your meeting will ensure you can choose the right meeting method, length, and attendees.

Before inviting anyone to a conversation, ask yourself what the outcomes of the meeting should be. Do you want to prepare employees for a new project, share company news, or gather feedback from your team members?

Based on your desired outcomes, ask what sort of meeting (if any) will be most effective. If you’re asking for feedback, an all-hands virtual meeting may be a good option. If you’re sharing tech news, you may be able to send a broadcast to employees over email.

Step 2: Setting a Clear Agenda

Once you’ve determined the core objectives for your SaaS meeting, the next step is developing your agenda. An agenda is essentially the roadmap to an effective session, outlining the topics to be discussed, the purpose of the conversation, and who will lead the discussion.

Your agenda will help to ensure your meeting facilitators can keep the conversation on track. Plus, it gives you an insight into the resources you might need to prepare before the meeting. When creating your agenda:

  • Assign people roles: Determine who will be responsible for taking notes, contributing to the meeting, hosting presentations, or simply facilitating the conversation in advance.
  • Reframe agenda items: Consider what you want from the meeting and turn topics into questions, such as: “How can we get started on this project?”
  • Prioritise agenda items: Decide which topics should be covered first and how much time you will dedicate to covering each agenda item.

Share your agenda with your team in advance so they know what to expect, as well as what their purpose will be in the conversation.

Step 3: Master Timing and Duration

Time is a precious resource in the tech industry. The longer your employees spend in meetings, the less time they’ll have to focus on valuable tasks. Start by thinking about the ideal time to schedule your meeting. Many collaboration tools come with calendaring features which help you to determine “free gaps” in your employees’ schedules.

Be mindful of time zone differences if you’re working with remote and global employees, and make sure you understand the schedule of each of your team members. It’s also worth considering the meeting type when choosing a time. Some studies suggest strategic thinking, creative meetings, and brainstorming sessions are more effective during mornings.

Next, think about the ideal duration of your meetings. Different conversations may require longer or shorter interactions. A regular team meeting may only take between 15 and 30 minutes, whereas a meeting for strategic decision-making could take a few hours.

Step 4: Facilitate an Inclusive Experience

Meetings need to be engaging and inclusive to be effective. Every employee invited to your conversation should be able to provide input and take something valuable away from the meeting.

Assigning a meeting facilitator or “host” to the conversation can be useful. These employees are tasked with keeping the meeting on track, ensuring everyone’s voices are heard, and that any conflicts are managed effectively.

You can also create more inclusive and engaging meetings by:

  • Using breakout groups: Allow people to break into groups to accomplish smaller tasks, make decisions together, or collaborate on projects within the wider meeting.
  • Take notes or record the meeting: Collect as much information from the meeting as possible, so you can go back and check facts and action items at a later date.
  • Include time for questions: Rather than allowing employees to ask questions consistently, consider dedicating a certain portion of the meeting to a Q&A session.
  • Ask for feedback: Check in with your meeting attendees to find out whether they believe the conversation was a valuable use of their time.
  • Support remote and hybrid workers: Ensure remote and hybrid employees are also included in the conversation, and feel seen and heard by the team.

Step 5: Make the Most of Technology

Leveraging the right technology is an excellent way to boost the productivity of SaaS meetings. This is particularly true in today’s world of hybrid work. Even if most of your meeting attendees are scheduled to be in the office on the day of the conversation, make sure a virtual meeting link is available. This ensures remote attendees can dial in from anywhere.

Give your employees access to video and audio conferencing tools, so they can always take part in meetings regardless of where they are, and make sure they know how to use them effectively. It’s also worth looking into other tools that can help streamline the meeting process.

For instance, some meeting tools include virtual whiteboards for brainstorming, poll features for collecting feedback, and presentation tools. You can also use synchronized digital calendars to help align teams from different time zones.

Step 6: End Each Meeting with Clear Next Steps

No employee should leave a meeting wondering what they should be doing next. Every meeting has a purpose and should facilitate the continued productivity and performance of your team. This makes ending the meeting on the right note essential.

Throughout the meeting, document key takeaways and action items, based on the agenda topics you set, and the objectives of the conversations. Share recordings with your employees at the end of the conversation, along with notes and tasks they need to complete.

Assign specific action items to each member of your team based on what was covered in the meeting, and follow up when necessary to ensure they have the right information to proceed. If any discussions were tabled during the meeting, consider arranging another conversation or a discussion over a chat tool or email to re-surface these topics.

Make the Most of Your SaaS Meetings

Meetings are a common and often crucial part of any tech business landscape. However, not every meeting hosted in today’s world is efficient, effective, and productive. As companies continue to rely on meetings to align team members in the age of remote and hybrid work, it’s important to ensure you have the right strategies in place to ensure success.

Setting clear objectives, creating a comprehensive agenda, getting the timing of your meeting right and ensuring inclusivity will help you to boost the quality of your meetings. Leveraging technology effectively, and ending each meeting with action items will help you to get the best outcomes from every team conversation.

Implement the practices above, and remember to collect regular feedback from your employees to learn more about how you can optimize and improve the meeting experience.

I hope you found our blog Streamlining Tech Team Meetings: 6 Simple Strategies for Productivity a useful resource.

If you’re looking for help with your recruitment strategy, get in touch by calling James Shenton, Managing Partner for Technology, on 01580 857179 or send us an email here.

Opus Resourcing recruits world-class SaaS, technology, commercial and executive talent for companies ranging from seed-stage start-ups to Fortune 500 companies within the UK, Europe, and the US.

 

11 Reasons Employees Might Abandon Your SaaS Business

11 Reasons Employees Might Abandon Your SaaS Business

Despite an uncertain economy, employees are happy to abandon their roles if it means embracing a better work experience. According to a Gallop workplace survey presented in mid-2023 over 96% of workers are looking for a new job.

In the UK the CIPD confirmed that over 6.5 million workers plan to leave their current roles in search of better jobs.

In a skill-short landscape, where it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find talent for your team, knowing how to boost your chances of retaining staff is crucial.

The first step to fixing high levels of talent turnover is understanding why employees choose to leave their roles in the first place. Today, we’re going to look at the 11 most common reasons SaaS employees search for a new role – and what you can do about it.

1. Lack of Career Growth Opportunities

Every employee, no matter their industry, wants to see opportunities for growth in their career. This could mean everything from chances to move into higher-paying roles, to opportunities to take on more responsibilities at work. Unfortunately, only 48% of employees in 2023 said they felt a path for advancement was available with their current employer.

Creating clear and realistic succession plans to show employees there’s room to develop in your organisation is the best way to help them visualize/visualise a future with your company.

2. Inadequate Compensation and Benefits

Today’s SaaS employees want and expect to be paid what they’re worth. Many employees know they can increase their income even higher than the rate of inflation.

This means if you’re not paying team members what they’re worth, or enhancing the deal with the right benefits, such as remote or flexible working and paid time off, they’re likely to look elsewhere. Make sure you regularly assess the hiring landscape to determine a fair compensation package for your teams.

3. Unhealthy Work-Life Balance

Poor work-life balance has grown increasingly common in the tech industry since the pandemic. Remote and hybrid work is making it harder for employees to see the gap between their professional and personal worlds. However, team members are also less willing than ever to deal with a consistently poor work-life balance for long.

To minimise turnover and prevent burnout, employers and business leaders need to encourage team members to care for themselves, take time off, and disconnect from the workplace whenever necessary.

4. Toxic Workplace Culture

A problematic workplace culture doesn’t only dissuade employees from joining your team, it can also prompt existing team members to search for new roles or even disengage from their work. One study found that employees who feel excluded at work are at a 50% higher risk of turnover.

Focus on building an inclusive, respectful, and collaborative culture, where harassment, discrimination, and unfair treatment are effectively addressed and eliminated.

5. Limited Learning and Development

As SaaS employees want to progress in their roles, they also want to ensure they have chances to develop new skills and abilities. Around 94% of team members say they would stay with a business for longer if it offered the opportunity to develop.

Investing in learning and development programs for your employees is an excellent way to increase engagement and reduce turnover. What’s more, it ensures you can upskill staff members with the skills they need to thrive in the changing tech industry.

6. Poor Management and Leadership

Excellent leadership has long played a key role in employee retention. Employees often seek out new positions when they feel they aren’t getting the right managerial support. One Gallup study found 75% of workers who voluntarily leave their roles do so because of a poor manager.

Learning which leadership and management styles work for your employees, and teaching your leaders how to implement them can help to minimise turnover.

7. Better Work-Life Fit

Employees in the space have frequently struggled to fit their careers around busy personal lives and commitments. However, since the pandemic, and the rise of remote and hybrid work, many team members have learned that they can always leave their jobs to find a better fit.

Working with your employees to adapt to their needs can help to reduce turnover. For instance, you could offer employees four-day work weeks, flexible schedules, or even opportunities to work from home when necessary.

8. Lack of Appreciation and Recognition

Every employee wants to feel appreciated. If you’re not recognising/recognizing your team members for the work they do regularly, then they’re likely to search for a new role. One report found that employees who only receive recognition a few times a year are 39% more likely to leave within the next twelve months.

Implement a comprehensive recognition strategy that encourages business leaders to share feedback and insights with team members regularly. Even a simple “thank you” for a job well-done message from a team leader can work wonders.

9. Disconnection from Company Values

In today’s world, SaaS employees are looking for more meaning from their jobs. They want to feel as though they’re having a positive impact on the industry, and they’re keen to work with companies that share their values. 87% of millennials in 2023 said they would leave a job to look for an employer that has the same values.

Ensuring you understand the values your employees hold and making it easy for them to understand the mission and vision of your business is crucial to talent retention.

10. Limited Job Security

In several articles shared on Forbes, Studies show employees around the world are facing a job security crisis. Though the right talent remains crucial to the performance of any tech company, economic uncertainties are making job cuts more common. This leads to stress and burnout for staff.

While it might be impossible to guarantee long-term employment for your staff members, being transparent about layoffs, downsizing and continuity options is crucial.

11. Burnout

Burnout is still on the rise in 2023, with around 43% of the workforce now suffering from common symptoms. Not only does burnout harm productivity and performance in the workplace, but it also makes employees 3.4 times more likely to leave their roles.

Business leaders need to pay attention to the signs and symptoms of burnout and ensure they’re taking measures to overcome the problem whenever possible. This could mean offering therapy, guidance, and support for mental and physical well-being.

Talent turnover is still on the rise throughout the SaaS industry. Ever since the Great Resignation began, employees have become less concerned about holding onto the same job for long periods. This makes it harder for businesses to ensure high levels of employee retention.

While it’s impossible to guarantee your staff will never leave your business in search of better perks or benefits, understanding the reasons employees leave is a good first step. When you know what prompts turnover in your company, you can take measures to avoid it.

If you’re experiencing issues with tackling employee turnover and are looking for a hand, get in touch, get in touch by calling James Shenton Managing Partner for Technology on 01580 857179 or send us an email here.

Opus Resourcing recruits world-class SaaS, technology, commercial and executive talent for companies ranging from seed-stage start-ups to Fortune 500 companies within the UK, Europe, and the US.

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