Interested in working in the IT industry? Tips to get you started

With so many people transitioning into the IT industry, it’s only logical that you’re thinking about following in their footsteps. There are many reasons why you should consider this idea. To begin with, there is an increasing demand for professionals in this field (and the trend is very likely to continue), the salary is decent (to say the least), it won’t take you long to acquire the skills required for working in the IT industry and you will have the freedom to work from anywhere in the world for employers who could be thousands of miles away. So, if you’re stuck in the rut or simply want to make a change, take a look at the following tips designed to help you start a career in the IT industry.

Apply your knowledge

Regardless of what kind of job-related experience you may have, there are some skills and knowledge you can apply when it comes to working in the IT sector. For example, you’ve already developed certain soft skills at your previous job and those might be extremely useful as you try to make a transition. Especially if you start in a help desk position (which is one of the most common entry-level IT roles). You’ll have to communicate and deal with customers and their enquiries. Also, if you’ve already used Microsoft Office or similar software packages, you’ll see that it will come in handy as you learn the ropes. Just make sure you point such things out in your CV.

Get certified

If you’ve already spent years studying and now you realise your job opportunities are limited, you shouldn’t despair. A career change and transition into the IT industry doesn’t necessarily mean you need to spend several years more at college. Luckily, you can get relevant knowledge and certification in a matter of weeks or months if you choose the right institution. Find a reputable institution that offers courses relevant to you. For instance, many people Down Under are now working towards getting online diplomas in Australia, hoping that their investment will be paid back quickly and generously. Chances are, they are right. Prospective employers appreciate candidates who have invested time, money and effort into learning something that is useful for the job they’re applying for. Last but not least, certifications offer a much wider choice of jobs in the industry.

Your degree might be relevant

Don’t reject your diploma too quickly. The IT industry is growing rapidly and looking for individuals from various backgrounds because of their unique perspectives. Even a psychology major can use something they learnt during their studies, such as a deep understanding of interpersonal interaction, to offer fresh insight when it comes to approaching challenges. So, use what you know and what you’ve done to help you make this transition more smoothly.

Be ready to start from the bottom

Patience is the key when you start a career in IT. No matter what position you held before you made the transition, you’ll probably end up at a lower level position and have to roll up your sleeves to work your way up. This is normal and logical, but you have to be ready for the challenge. As you progress up the career ladder, you’ll notice how the number of options is rising, along with your salary. All this comes as a result of your effort, as well as the knowledge and skills you’ve acquired along the way. So, be ready to work hard.

Networking

You are probably aware of the importance of knowing people who can help you. Just like in private life, we often rely on others to provide assistance when it comes to finding a job. You could explore this option and ask people you know to put in a good word for you. However, for that to happen, you need to know those people and they need to believe that you’re worthy of their recommendation. That’s why having a network of friends, colleagues and business partners is vital when looking for a new job. You can even post on social media that you’re trying to find a job in the IT industry and ask your friends for help. They might not be able to help directly, but they may know someone who can. The wider the network, the better your chances of starting a career in IT.

Self-help

No-one can help you more than you can help yourself. Just like so many people use modern technology on a daily basis without any formal training, you can turn to YouTube tutorials, free online courses and other sources of information that allow you to learn the basics of your future job. Feel free to try and experiment. Expect to make a few mistakes along the way, but don’t give up easily.

The IT industry is now open to people with more diverse background that ever, which is a great advantage for someone looking to transition. Still, you should be ready to roll up your sleeves and work hard, be patient, learn and hone your skills. That’s the only way to make progress in your career and the IT industry is certainly one of the environments where professional growth and development are always appreciated and rewarded.

 

New Recruitment & Training Techniques for HR Management

Staffing is one of the biggest employer challenges, especially in the growing healthcare industry, for example. The unemployment rate in the field has dropped to a mere 2.0%, making employee recruitment and retention critical to your organization’s success. Technology can aid your HR department in the process.

Recruitment

It’s important to understand who best fits your company’s culture (and what they’re looking for in return) to recruit the top talent in a competitive market. Ensure your efforts to attract and hire new personnel is well focused and that your organization understands a prospect’s needs.

Consider streamlining the hiring process by requiring prospects to test for the position. Doing so will save you time on meetings and interviews with individuals who may look good on paper but may not be a match. Culture indexing uses technology to assess and qualify top talent for better hiring. These short online tests determine whether or not an organization is the right fit for you and the recruit.

It’s also important to collaborate with other HR staff to understand what ideal hires look for in a new employer. To know what your target talent wants, it’s sometimes best to know what they don’t want. A report by the Work Institute listed the top reasons employees quit their jobs. Retirement and the work environment were among the top 10. While the former is unpreventable, the latter can be altered; use the information provided to find solutions to the main employee complaints and position your organization as one of the top companies in the field.

Career Development

The report found that the No. 1 reason workers leave is to further advance their careers (22%). Does your company offer benefits that allow for staff to train and move up in the organization? If not, start developing a system now. Otherwise, when recruiting, emphasize your company’s commitment to employee advancement and training programs.

Consider including the discussion of career goals as part of the regularly-scheduled employee performance review. Find ways to implement an online training program or on-the-job learning where staff can expand their current skills. The medical field is a busy and fast-paced industry. Asynchronous learning may be the best solution for employees interested in ongoing education because they can study around their busy schedules.

Help employees meet their career goals by assigning a manager or lead who can guide them and document the staff member’s career goals. Your organization may already have a system for HR files. Include a career goal profile in the employee’s personnel file so that HR and other support personnel can stay updated and track their progress. 

Work-Life Balance

Even the best personnel can experience burnout. The Work Institute’s report found that 12 out of 100 people left their job to attain a better work-life balance. Offering staff more flexible work hours using flextime, job sharing, or telecommuting where staff work from home (when possible) are some solutions to address the work-life balance challenge.

Telecommuting or remote work may be the best solution for personnel who may be in danger of burnout. Can your company implement processes and technology so that employees may work remotely from home? Airtasker.com surveyed 1,000 full-time employees and found that remote work made employees more productive and allowed them to have more time for their personal lives. 

Working from home saved employees an average of 8.5 hours per week previously wasted on commuting. And most importantly, remote workers were more focused and productive, with an average non-productive time of 37 minutes while at the office and 27 minutes while at home.

Work Environment

Several of the reasons employees quit their job have to do with the work environment itself. The reasons employees left included:

  • Manager behavior: 11 out of 100
  • Well-being: 8 out of 100
  • Job characteristics: 8 out of 100
  • Literal work environment: 5 out of 100

Reducing conflict and high-pressure in the work environment may be difficult in certain healthcare facilities like an urgent care facility or an ambulatory surgical center. Still, it’s worth the effort if your organization wants to attract and retain employees. The benefits go well beyond team morale — improving the work environment can enhance the quality of care and reduce costly errors. Consider how the following improvements can benefit your company:

Redesign the Office Layout

Improve flow by separating patient traffic from areas where medical staff frequently access. Separate entrances make it easier for staff to enter and exit patient rooms and work with less interruption. Besides separating patients from staff, give management their own area away from staff, so that team members can work freely without feeling overly observed.

Create an Environment With Well-Being in Mind

A calm and inviting environment is ideal for patients, but consider your staff’s needs as well. Repaint walls in a soothing neutral color; there are many options, from soft whites to bolder grays. Simple improvements like natural or improved lighting, live plants, and ergonomic office furniture add comfort and function in the workspace.

Improvements Start at the HR Level

Attracting new hires and retaining existing personnel is essential to your company’s growth. It’s one of the most important tasks of the HR department. Implementing new ideas and technology to create an ideal work environment can better position your company as one of the most sought-after in the job market. 

5 Ways to Leverage Your Tech Skills to Kick-Start a Wealthy Career

To work in tech means to exploit and capitalize on one of the biggest and most lucrative industries in the world. Technology is an inextricable part of our everyday life, it shapes whole industries, and needless to say, every company needs tech-savvy employees to drive all of their processes from app development to website maintenance, from HR to sales, and all across the board. Needless to say, if you have some tech skills, you should have no problem monetizing them in this tech-driven day and age. 

That said, it’s also important to note that long-term success is not guaranteed, especially when you consider the fact that technology is constantly evolving, and so the need for growth-oriented employees and professionals continues to rise as a result. Provided that you’re willing to learn and evolve your skills with the prevailing trends, let’s take a look at the five best ways you can leverage your expertise to kick-start a wealthy career.

Image editing and video production

Digital content is what drives the modern business world forward, which means that every company needs to keep dishing out amazing content on a regular basis in order to execute their marketing strategies, appeal to and engage the modern online audience, and of course, get on Google’s good side. Now, while it is true that written content (blogs and the like) is king in the digital world, this doesn’t mean that you need to be a writer to make some amazing content. This is because visual content is equally important, and not just for marketing purposes.

If you consider yourself to be somewhat of a Photoshop whizz or if you’re versed in the art and science of video editing, you could be taking on various interesting projects for businesses of all sizes, national and well as international given the flexible nature of the job. From marketing materials, to internal documents, images, and explainer videos, there is no shortage of opportunities in this field.

Creating brands and their visual identities

Speaking of visual content, one of the most important elements of long-term success in the modern business world is, of course, branding. Experienced business leaders (as well as novices who do their research) understand the importance of proper brand-building in this competitive day and age, because having a strong brand identity is just about the only thing that can really make a business stand out from the rest. Without a brand, a business is just another player in a sea of competitors.

This is where you come in as the branding professional everyone needs, and are willing to pay a hefty sum for your talents. Now, branding is a bit different than image or video editing, as it not only involves strategic thinking and brainstorming, but also creative content creation – from scratch. When you’re working with a business leader on creating a brand, you will be tasked to create a brand’s identity from scratch in order to build a unique image that will resonate with the hearts and minds of the target demographic. Needless to say, this is a lucrative calling that requires tech skills as well as creative thinking.

Proprietary software development

Speaking of lucrative callings, one of the most lucrative industries in the world is, naturally, the financial sector. Concretely, tech-savvy professionals with adequate coding experience can find numerous lucrative opportunities in the Forex market, and build proprietary software for leading brands such as Ever Forex as well as making sure that all platforms are functioning properly on a 24/7 basis to ensure stellar customer experience. 

The key driver of this demand is sheer necessity, as broker firms in the financial sector cannot afford a single minute of downtime, which means that they will gladly pay for a professional who can keep the platform up and running without a hitch. While it might take you some time to familiarize yourself with the specifics of the industry and the unique idiosyncrasies of a given platform, the time you spend educating yourself will be well worth the investment in the long run.

Website development and upkeep

Another lucrative field that could never lose its popularity is web development and upkeep. Again, website-building and maintenance is something that every business needs nowadays, but it’s also a career path that will continue to yield significant financial returns for years to come. That said, keep in mind that web development is a pretty competitive field, so it’s important to really nail your skillset and diversify your portfolio if you want to land some lucrative contracts.

Digital marketing

On a final note, always remember that digital marketing offers a wealth of opportunities for those of you with a knack for online marketing, and a skillset necessary to create captivating ads and online content. Given the fact that digital marketing encompasses numerous effective tactics, you can pick and choose your niche or even become an all-around digital marketer to boost your chances of landing a high-paying job in a company that needs everything from SEO to SEM, from social media management and email marketing, to landing page and app development. 

Wrapping up

There is no shortage of lucrative opportunities in this tech-driven day and age, so don’t think that only programmers get to make an honest living in the tech sector. Rather, you can explore these fields further to find your true calling and kick-start a wealthy career.

Is it possible to make a career out of trading?

Nowadays, there are various investment opportunities that people can explore, in order to maximize their profits or secure additional funds for other long-term goals. It goes without saying that the stock exchange market is the most popular destination for both experienced investors and newcomers alike. The main reason is that the stock market is quite stable and highly regulated trading platform.

In addition, it’s also rarely volatile but it does heavily rely on the global economic and geopolitical stability. Many people avoided investing as a form of a career because up until recently, the stock market was considered a barrier-to-entry area. In other words, there were difficult obstacles standing in the way and preventing competitors from entering an industry with ease.

However, modern technology and modern solutions have reshaped even the trade industry, making this area easily accessible to anyone willing to commit to trading regardless of their initial capital. To put things into perspective, it’s possible to make a living from trading but it’s never as easy as it may seem. Therefore, here are a few things you should know if you decide to make a career out of trading.

What does stock trade mean?

As you may already know, investing in stock means buying a small percentage, also called a share of a company which includes all of their equity and assets. The price of stocks is determined by a company’s overall performance on the market. The main reason companies offer their shares on the market is to raise money and spread the risk of ownership to a group of shareholders.

Now, when you acquire shares of a company you are considered a shareholder. You can sell your shares if the price suits you or buy more if the price is low. Moreover, you can hold on to your stocks and enjoy a dividend income. Nowadays, anyone can buy and sell stocks, as long as they have the initial capital. Furthermore, you can engage in trading even if you have a family at home you must commit to. Strategies, such as day trading can be adjusted to your personal life.

What’s required for stock trade?

Aside from capital, you’ll need to sign up with a broker, in order to start trading, unless, of course, you want to become a broker yourself. A broker will buy or sell assets on the behalf of a client or a company that employed them. A broker must also perform analysis on investments, in order to secure a deal that will suit their client’s needs. On the other hand, you can become an independent trader and focus your investment solely on personal gains.

However, in order to become a successful trader, you have to understand well how the market operates and what’s involved. Moreover, you have to be able to devise good strategies on the go and ensure you don’t lose your investment. The fact of the matter is that there are always risks involved when it comes to trade. A good trader knows how to minimize, as well as mitigate those risks.

Identify good opportunities

The key to successful trading lies in spotting a good opportunity and capitalizing on it. It sounds much easier than it actually is, to be frank. There are a lot of companies on the stock market and not every one of them is bound to ensure long-term success. The fact of the matter is that you cannot predict how a company will perform, you can only estimate their performance at best.

However, jumping on the opportunity, while it’s still good has a good chance of yielding a return on investment (ROI). In order to achieve that, you must familiarize yourself with the market and conduct constant research. That way you’ll also familiarize yourself with the use and the demand for resources, as well as be able to spot companies with good growth potential.

Even the most specialized industries are looking towards the future by implementing technology and digital opportunities for its customers, resulting in long term success and a good investment opportunity. As an example, a division of Schlumberger Technology Corporation called Hexacom launched an e-commerce platform last year where oilfield professionals can get everything from tubulars to drill collars.

In any event, opting for a good opportunity will depend on your investment goals, such as short-term, mid-term or long-term goals.

Portfolio diversification

As you’re probably aware by now, any type of trade has risks involved. Becoming a good investor means learning to be flexible around those risks. That’s why many experienced investors always diversify their investment portfolio. Diversification means investing in other opportunities, instead of focusing on a single one. If you’ve made profits from stock investments, you can consider investing in other methods as well. For instance, you can invest in mutual funds, ETFs, bonds and so on.

Also, you can consider alternative investment types, such as precious metals, real estate, antiques etc. The purpose of this strategy is to secure your wealth, as well as minimize the risk of your investments. In other words, if you have multiple investments at once you can easily recover if your stock deal, for example, doesn’t turn out as expected. Simply put, investment portfolio diversification is there to ensure you don’t lose all of your money on a single investment deal that went bad.

Forex market (FX)

Another market aside from stocks, you can explore is the foreign exchange market or Forex. FX is similar to the stock market but FX deals in currencies. That being said, over 4 trillion dollars worth of currencies are traded on the market each day. That makes the Forex market one of the most liquid trading platforms in the world. Currencies are traded in pairs and there are a lot of strategies to explore that can get help you turn a quick profit.

However, 96% of new traders fail at their first attempt at currency trade. The main reason is that the FX market is primarily designed for insiders who understand the market trends well. Still, if you lack the experience in trading currencies, you don’t have to start risking your own money straight away. As a matter of fact, you can create a demo account and try out different strategies with virtual money but in real-time scenarios. That way you can build up experience until you’re comfortable enough to trade with real money.

Cryptocurrencies

Another form of trade worth exploring is cryptocurrencies. This trend has grown in popularity ever since the first cryptocurrency Bitcoin had emerged back in 2009. Ever since then, there’s been a huge development in the crypto market that now favors over a thousand different offerings, whether in coins or in tokens. The purpose behind cryptocurrencies was to create a trading platform that’s independent of any government imposed regulations and without the middleman like central banks.

That’s why the technology behind cryptocurrencies also known as blockchain was developed to act as a decentralized publicly edger that will record peer-to-peer transactions. However, the fact that it’s unregulated makes the crypto market a very high-risk market. Extreme volatility and instability may prove to be too risky for investors. If you’re new to the whole trading concept, you might consider less risky options before you move to cryptocurrencies. The main reason is that in time, the crypto market will undoubtedly stabilize. But until then, the crypto market is reserved for the bold.

 

Trading in assets and making investments can be a great opportunity to maximize profits and gain a significant ROI. To answer the question at hand, it is very much possible to make a career out of trade alone. However, don’t leave your day job until you learn the ropes first. Needless to say, with careful research and good planning, you can make your investments worthwhile.

Q & A with David Green | The HR Tech Weekly®

People Analytics Is Core to the Future of the HR Function: Q&A with David Green

People Analytics Is Core to the Future of the HR Function

Today our guest is David Green, a true globally respected and award winning writer, speaker, conference chair and executive consultant on people analytics, data-driven HR and the future of work.

David is the Global Director, People Analytics Solutions at IBM Watson Talent. He is also the longstanding Chair, of the Tucana People Analytics conference series, the next edition of which – the People Analytics Forum, takes place in London on 29-30 November.

David has spoken at conferences and/or worked with people analytics leaders in over 20 cities in the past year including San Francisco, Sydney, London, Paris, Singapore, New York, Amsterdam, Moscow and Berlin. This affords David with a unique perspective and insight into what’s working, what’s not, and what’s forthcoming in the field of people analytics.

The interview is hosted by Alexey Mitkin, Founder, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, The HR Tech Weekly® Online Media Co.

1. Hi David, and first of all thank you very much for this interview with The HR Tech Weekly®. The year of 2017 is approaching its end. What made a difference this year in the field of people management and HR technologies?

Thanks Alexey, it is a pleasure to speak with you. For me, 2017 has been a pivotal year in the field as the realisation that people analytics is core to the future of the HR function has become far more widespread. In one of his recent articles (see here), Josh Bersin described people analytics “as the lynchpin of success for HR in the next few years”, and I have to say I completely agree – although that probably doesn’t surprise you!

We still have some way to go in terms of widespread adoption and just as importantly in embedding analytics and data-driven decision making within organisational culture, but the acceptance that this is core rather than peripheral is a welcome momentum shift.

Elsewhere, the move from many companies to develop programs and technologies that personalise the candidate/employee experience in areas such as talent acquisition, onboarding, learning and mobility is also positive. It’s about time that we have rich and personalised experiences at work similar to those we already enjoy as consumers. Data and analytics plays a foundational role in this.

2. People analytics is an area of profound interest to business leaders. What do you see as the main trends in the people analytics space?

You are right to highlight the heightened interest levels in people analytics Alexey. I’d summarise the main trends as follows:

  • More and more organisations getting started with people analytics – 2017 seems to have been the year that the talking about when to start analytics stopped and the actual hard work in creating capability began for many organisations. So, the number of organisations in the early stages of their people analytics journeys is on the increase and many will face similar challenges in terms of data quality, skills and capabilities, stakeholder management/education and project prioritisation. Our recent IBM Smarter Workforce Institute research on HR Analytics Readiness in Europe demonstrated though that most organisations still have a long way to go.
  • Developing an analytical culture: this is key for organisations that want to develop sustainable capability in people analytics. This means exciting, equipping and enabling HR Business Partners, and clearly demonstrating and communicating the impact of people analytics initiatives within the organisation. This is the focus of many companies that have built initial capability and success in people analytics.
  • Ethics and privacy concerns: this continues to be the most important and challenging aspect for practitioners. Research from Insight222 reveals that 81% of people analytics projects are jeopardised by ethical and privacy concerns. With the EU GDPR legislation coming into effect in May 2018 and the emergence of new employee data sources, focus on this area will continue to be high.
  • The consumerisation of HR – as per my earlier point, many organisations that have developed people analytics capability are looking at ways to understand and improve the employee experience. In addition to the personalised machine-learning based technologies referenced earlier, this includes efforts to understand and analyse employee sentiment. You can’t do either of these things without analytics so those organisations that have already developed people analytics capability are in pole position to take advantage here.
  • Organisational network analysis (ONA) – interest in ONA has exploded in 2017 as organisations seek to better understand team effectiveness and productivity. Practitioners interested in this burgeoning area of people analytics should check out the work of Rob Cross, recent articles by Josh Bersin and vendors like TrustSphere, Humanyze and Worklytics. Expect interest in this area to continue to soar in 2018.

3. On the eve of People Analytics Forum 2017 could you slightly open the curtain on what makes an ideal agenda in modern HR analytics, workforce planning and employees insights then?

I always enjoy chairing the Tucana People Analytics World and People Analytics Forum events as the agenda is always cognisant of the fact that the diversity of delegates in terms of where they are with analytics varies widely. As such, the three tracks: Start (for those getting started), Grow (for those building capability and looking for deeper insight) and Advance (for advanced practitioners and those exploring new data sources) means there is something for everyone. This is hugely important as in my experience the people analytics community is highly collaborative and there is a mutual desire amongst practitioners for shared learning. The Tucana events provide this in spades.

4. It was heard that some attendees of conferences recently formed a viewpoint that the slow adoption of analytics has been because of a lack of practical cases delivered by speakers. Your point of view on the problem will be of great influence.

I haven’t really heard this viewpoint from many. I would argue the contrary in fact that most of the conferences I attend feature numerous and diverse case studies from practitioners. I think you need a balance of speakers from the practitioner, consultant, vendor and analyst communities as each provides a slightly different perspective – indeed much of the innovation in the space is coming from the vendor community. As such, at the conferences I chair, speak and attaned there is normally much to inspire delegates whatever their maturity level when it comes to people analytics. Of course, there is a distinction between being inspired and immitation as each organisation faces different business challenges and has unique cultures. If I could offer one piece of advice to practitioners, whatever their maturity level, it is to channel their efforts on the key business challenges that have the biggest impact within their organisations.

5. What new data-driven HR solutions are on your watchlist and why?

As I mentioned before much of the innovation in the people analytics space is coming from the vendor community and I always recommend to practitioners to keep abreast of the latest developments here. Data-driven companies to look at include: TrustSphere, Alderbrooke Group, Aspirant, Glint, Visier, Crunchr, Workometry, Peakon, OrgVue, Headstart, Worklytics, Humanyze, Qlearsite, One Model, hiQ Labs, Cultivate and StarLinks; and those are just the ones I can remember off the top of my head!

If you’ll forvive the self-promotion, I would like to add that IBM is also doing some groundbreaking work in this space through bringing Watson to HR, particularly in the talent acquisition and the employee experience areas – see more here.

6. What advice would you give to HR professionals looking to boost their careers within the people analytics space?

Well, firstly you should get yourself along to the People Analytics Forum and read my articles on LinkedIn!

Seriously, analytics is a core capability for the future HR practitioner and it won’t be long before the likes of CIPD and SHRM build this into their educational programs. Until then, find some courses (like the Wharton School course on Coursera), attend some conferences, read some books (like The Power of People and the Basic Principles of People Analytics), and seek to learn from analytics professionals both in and outside of HR.

For me, HR is one of the most exciting places in business to work in at the moment and the increased use of analytics and data-driven decision making is one of the reasons why I believe this to be the case.

Etiquette

Professional Etiquette For Jobseekers And Recruiters (Infographic)

Professional Etiquette for Jobseekers and Recruiters | Main Image

To be on your best behavior is always important, but good professional etiquette is more essential and more critical when one is looking for a job or a new talent for a company.

For job seekers, failing to create a positive and lasting impression during the initial assessment can hinder their chances of moving forward in the hiring process.

For recruiters, even the slightest mistake during the hiring process could cause them to potentially lose a valuable candidate.

Keeping up to date with the overwhelming amount of job search trends, hiring protocols and interview practices can be very stressful. Also, these trends may quickly change. In this infographic, we listed down the rules that will forever matter.  Rules that job seekers and recruiters have to keep in mind during the whole hiring process.

So, good professional etiquette is important during hiring process. Learn some rules that jobseekers and recruiters have to keep in mind with this infographic by Phil. Exeq Search Solutions.

Professional Etiquette for Jobseekers and Recruiters | Infographic by Phil. Exeq Search Solutions


Source: Professional Etiquette For Jobseekers And Recruiters (Infographic)

5 successful leaders' advice: I wish I knew this as a young manager

5 successful leaders’ advice: I wish I knew this as a young manager

young-man-thinking-and-working-with-laptop-in-office-space-picjumbo-com

Good leadership is an essential for any successful company, but it’s not always easy for junior or first-time managers to adapt to their role. Many times, leaders look back on their career and have a whole host of new insights and knowledge they wish they’d known all along.

When we started Impraise 3 years ago, the focus was on the product. As the company grew and we brought more people on board, we faced the challenges of also becoming first time leaders. Managing people for the first time, whilst challenging, was also rewarding, but it was always helpful hearing from people with more experience, and understanding what helped them progress and become the best leaders possible.

With recent failures at Uber showing many young leaders were neither trained or equipped for their roles, we wanted to find out just what people wish they’d known when they began on their leadership path. We talked to five top leaders to find out what they wish they’d known when they started their management careers, and collected their most valuable insights…

Harry WestFrog Design

“In an organization that’s fast moving, with lots of young people… we need to be proactive. We shouldn’t expect people to know how to manage without any training.”

CEO Harry West shares with us the things he’s learnt whilst managing the rapidly growing design company.

Historically, he shares, during the company’s earlier days, when potential future leaders were trained, there was a lack of knowledge and structure in place concerning the skills required and how they should be developed. The company now have in place a management training program to ensure these things are addressed before young leaders are put in charge of teams. Reflecting on earlier practices, he muses that this less than thought out approach to systematic training was not good enough for such a fast moving, young tech company. West soon learnt that this wasn’t working, and began reshaping their training process to be more systematic, now ensuring young leaders go into their positions equipped and confident.

Martin Jellema, Werkspot

“One of the most important elements is the people themselves.”

Martin Jellema, Werkspot & Instapro’s Chief Commercial Officer, responsible for a 70+ team, shares the top three lessons he’s learnt since he began managing.

Jellema maintains that, after all his years of managing people, one of the most important elements is the people themselves. Finding and recruiting candidates that fit the company and can handle every aspect of the role remains one of the most important aspects of managing.

Besides this, he maintains, asking for help where needed remains the second most important thing. He now values collaboration over feeling the pressure to perform flawlessly and prove yourself as manager, saying it’s more useful to discuss issues, allowing people to help you come up with solutions you wouldn’t necessarily think of. In Jellema’s experience, both your boss and your team will see you reaching out for help as a strength not a weakness: understanding that something needs to be done or changed and using the resources you have to make that positive change won’t be frowned upon. You have a great team around you for a reason: use their knowledge and skills! He also outlines the importance of keeping focus on ‘high leverage’ activities: rather than taking time on minor activities, delegate, and dedicate the time to things like team training which ups productivity.

Bob Kastner, Meeting Tomorrow

“If you have great team members, and you get them energized by a great scoreboard, then you’ll be unstoppable.”

Bob Kastner, Director of Marketing at Meeting Tomorrow shares the one thing he wishes he knew as a junior manager: how useful scoreboards are when it comes to keeping the team engaged, energized and on track.

Kaster says things should be easy to read at a glance. People should be able to tell what’s going on by looking at a few, important metrics: only use the ones that are essential to productivity. Kaster’s next must-do for these metrics is keep things constant: update the board as often as possible; keep information relevant and updated in real-time, and have it on display, keeping things in the forefronts of people’s minds, and discussing them regularly in team meetings or daily stand ups.

You can decide whether to create a competitive friendly vibe, seeing who tops the scoreboard, or create a collective vibe: how close is the team to hitting goals? Kaster has learnt to put this focus on striving for more motivating ‘best’ results rather than encouraging people to beat averages, always ensuring most importantly, to celebrate these successes as a team when they occur!

Brett Remington, Wisconsin Centre for Performance Excellence

“Trust holds everything together. It takes huge amounts of time to accumulate… As a manager, your success depends on the preservation and enhancement of trust.”

We spoke to Brett Remington, of the Wisconsin Centre for Performance Excellence,  and he outlined the things he’s learnt: his experience based ‘truths of management’.

Remington’s first learning was the importance of trust and fostering good relationships with those around you. He shares he’s also learnt to see managers as administrative functions, believing that “if you’re going into management because you want to change the face of what’s possible in your organization, you are applying for the wrong job.” The second, he says, is it’s essential to have a curiosity about the processes your team use: you could have a great team, but, if the processes being followed are ineffective, they’re going to be disengaged and unsuccessful.

He also sets a lot of store by keeping metrics simple and useful, and learnt to focus on 3-5 key performance metrics. He says attempting to stay on top of more than 5 performance measures at once makes for accomplishing less, whilst having focus on fewer than 3 at any time means you’ll likely miss opportunities for continuous improvement and innovation.

His next learning? Humility and the need to embrace change.

“You are only about 2/3rds as good at your job as you think. The 1/3rd you don’t know about, don’t believe, or don’t pay attention to is going to determine how long you’ve got left in this job. Find ways of eliminating blind spots and practice humility. Eventually, you may find that your role as manager is vastly different than when you started. People, processes, policies, and potential change. Know when the accumulated changes no longer fit with your skills, aspirations, or interests. When that time comes, be ready to change out of your manager role and reflect on what you have accomplished as you pursue a better future for yourself.” 

Barry Curry, Systeme

“Most importantly learning how to react and behave when you are out of your comfort zone will better prepare you for being out of it.”

Barry Curry, Technical Director at Systeme, also brings back the key point of positive feedback, recognition, and acknowledging your team for their accomplishments: it’s always key to ensure people know they’re valued.

He shared his biggest learnings with us, beginning with the importance of keeping sight of the big picture. It can be easy to get drawn into the small details: stay focused on key details, and don’t take things personally. If things become heated during stressful projects or periods, it’s okay to let people vent. Acknowledge people’s perspectives, never make responses personal and keep things respectful, with co-workers and clients alike.

He also suggests using goals to ensure what you’re doing has direction. This ensures that problem solving for others doesn’t totally overtake your other responsibilities. Another learning is resist the temptation to always check your emails first thing: first complete one of the daily tasks you’ve set yourself, without distraction or prioritising other’s needs.

He also says that although sometimes sharing problems is difficult, having thought about solutions before sharing the problem will show you’ve thought things through and instill confidence in you. Similarly, having a process in place for when unplanned or unexpected things arise is key: have a consistent process in place to help you deal with things more efficiently.

For more information and expert advice on becoming a great leader, check out our free eBook and white paper.


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

Millennials Would be Wise to Embrace Work Limbo

Millennials Would be Wise to Embrace Work Limbo

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

College to Job Transition: A Personal Story

College to Jobs can be Bumpy

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

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

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

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

It’s Going to be Okay

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

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

Be Yourself. Be Genuine

Be Genuine. Be Yourself

So important to stay genuine even when going through career limbo

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

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

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

Don’t Get Into the Comparison Game

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

Take-Away

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

About the Author:

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


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

HR and Business Are Looking for Data Analytics and Insights

Stacey Browning, President of Paycor

Today our guest is Stacey Browning, President of Paycor.

Since 2001, Stacey has played an integral role in every aspect of Paycor’s operations. As president, she fosters collaboration across the business and ensures executional excellence in product development and service delivery.

Paycor is a trusted partner to more than 33,000 small and medium-sized businesses.Known for delivering modern, intuitive recruiting, HR and payroll solutions, Paycor partners with businesses to optimize their people management.

Paycor’s key areas of specialization include Payroll Management, Human Resources Solutions, Benefits Administration, Time & Attendance Solutions, Tax Filing & Compliance, Workers’​ Compensation and Employment Screening Service.

Recently Paycor announced Workforce Insights, a new data visualization solution that extracts rich and actionable insights from people data to bring valuable C-level and operational insights to key business stakeholders.

The interview is hosted by Alexey Mitkin, Founder, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, The HR Tech Weekly® Online Media Co.

  1. Hi Stacey, and first of all thank you very much for this interview with The HR Tech Weekly®. Straight away, why you have developed Workforce Insights and how it will complement other Paycor products?

Our innovation is driven by uncovering ways to better serve our clients, and Workforce Insights is no exception. Last August we surveyed our clients about the features they wanted to see in future product releases. After reviewing more than 1,000 client responses, we found that the overwhelming majority were looking for data analytics and insights.

In addition to evaluating our client’s feedback, we also looked at industry trends that show HR professionals are striving to prove their strategic value to executives. One way we can help them is by organizing their key people data in a manner that helps with business execution.

For example, through the Workforce Insights overtime dashboard, information from our time platform is correlated to OSHA incidents reported on in our HR platform. Leaders can uncover safety thresholds exceeded by location, department or manager to home in on where a performance issue may be occurring.

  1. What key benefits and advantages does Workforce Insights have when compared with other tools on the market?

Most other tools on the market force standard charts and data visualization. Workforce Insights allows customers to view their data in the way that is most impactful for their unique business needs.

Another key differentiator is the one-click sharing functionality. Users can take their insights and share that information with the appropriate parties without having to import or export data. The custom reporting and one-click sharing allows users to not only have access to the data, but to make it meaningful and actionable.

  1. Why do you think small and medium-sized businesses need their own HR technology solutions?

Employees at small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are often forced to wear multiple hats, and sometimes that even means taking on responsibilities like payroll. HR technology solutions help relieve the administrative burden of payroll and benefits while ensuring reliability and security, while also protecting against the risk of compliance infractions.

What Paycor offers seems to be what’s desired most by SMBs – a platform or suite of functionality at the right per-employee-per-transaction and per-month price point that doesn’t require a customization. A solution that can be implemented and have value derived in three days to three months, and that can adapt with them as their organization grows.

  1. Paycor has run its operations since 1990. How have your clients needs during this period changed, and what is the secret sauce for long-term success?

Since 1990, the technological needs of our clients have changed dramatically. In 1990 computers were large and expensive, “the cloud” didn’t exist, and phones were connected to a landline or, for a select few, in a bag in your car. Since then, clients have had to react to the demands of their workforce; faster access from any device, and our products have had to evolve accordingly.

Our secret sauce for long-term success may be the only thing that has remained the same since 1990 – putting our clients first. We were founded because our CEO believed there was a better way to serve the needs of our clients, and it’s that passion that still drives us today.

  1. Achievements in big-time sports are based on grassroots sports. What can you recommend to HR Tech startups on how to get into the highest league?

The energy around new HR tech offerings through start-ups informs the entire industry. For some of these startups, success looks like being acquired into a larger company and human capital offering. For those wanting to progress into a higher league more independently, I recommend having an openness to partnerships and distribution options, and feedback to the offering itself. The best emerging technologies in HR are built and market-tested quickly.

  1. Since its founding, Paycor has grown to 1,460 people onboard. What do newbies need to know about the company in order to have a successful career with you?

First, excel at the job you are given, and then look for ways to take on more responsibility. It can be dangerous to be too eager to move to the next level without first nailing the task you are given. At the same time, becoming complacent doesn’t allow you to be a change agent in the organization.

To take on that next challenge and excel to the next level it is critically important that associates know and own their personal brand. Your personal brand is what people say about you when you leave the room. Think about the impression you want to leave, and make it.


If you want to share this interview the reference to Stacey BrowningPaycor and The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.

15 Stress-Busting Jobs to Kickstart Your Career

15 Stress-Busting Jobs to Kickstart Your Career

15 Dream Jobs that Pay Well and are Low in Stress

Are you looking for a low-stress job that does not require you to compromise on the money you bring in home? Well, you are in luck because we have just the thing for you! The below infographic from Quantum Binders is a treasure trove of information when it comes to dream jobs that rank low in stress, rakes in the big bucks, and can get you well set on the path to success. While some of the jobs on this list may require you to get advanced degrees, a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and some previous work experience are all you require in most cases.

About the Author

Toby Dean works on behalf of Quantum Binders in content creation and marketing. He creates engaging graphics and content that help businesses stand out from the crowd. Over the past 7 years has worked with dozens of SME’s in both an agency and freelance capacity.


Source: 15 Stress-Busting Jobs to Kickstart Your Career – Quantum Binders Ltd