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Talent & Hiring

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5 Easy Steps to Keep Your Engineers Engaged
Project Management 10 min read

5 Easy Steps to Keep Your Engineers Engaged

Wrike’s Igor Zubov outlines what keeps engineers motivated in their work and key steps to maintain that level of engagement.

4 Things to Consider When Choosing a Tech Business Location
Leadership 5 min read

4 Things to Consider When Choosing a Tech Business Location

The right location can be critical for a good workforce. Here are some of the factors Wrike founder Andrew Filev considers when establishing a new Wrike office.

Job Description Templates: Attract the Right Talent
Project Management 10 min read

Job Description Templates: Attract the Right Talent

Wondering how to write job descriptions? Find tips, examples, and a helpful job description template to help you attract top talent to your open roles.

New Hire Orientation Icebreakers That Are Actually Good
Collaboration 7 min read

New Hire Orientation Icebreakers That Are Actually Good

Want to plan a warm welcome for your newest employees? Use these new hire orientation icebreakers to encourage team bonding.

What is the Employee Lifecycle Model?
Leadership 10 min read

What is the Employee Lifecycle Model?

2022 will demand deeper HR action on employee wellbeing, even more so than 2020. In this article, we’ll explain how the employee lifecycle model can improve the employee experience and why project management may just be the key to perfecting your company’s lifecycle strategy. Keep reading to discover how to help breed longevity, success, and excellent employee engagement with just a few simple tools.  The employee lifecycle model explained The employee life cycle is a conceptual framework that explains the various stages of a worker's career. It helps track the employee's progress through various stages and provides employers with an opportunity to analyze data.  This tool also visualizes the different stages an employee goes through during their time at an organization, from initial awareness to the day they leave. The employee lifecycle model may also be called the HR life cycle or simply the HR cycle. Different phases & stages of the employee lifecycle model The employee lifecycle model is about more than just the employment period of an individual. Similar to the customer journey, the employee journey from first contact to offboarding has its own unique set of phases and stages.  HR personnel and team leaders should get familiar with each one because it will inform how they interact with employees (and potential employees), depending on where they are in the life cycle model. Paying attention to these details will ensure that each individual is valued and set up for success, whether they’ll be working in-person or remote.  Here is what they are, along with why they’re important and the actions to take during each phase to ensure success.  1. Attract The first step in the employee lifecycle is all about attracting the right people. Your relationship with potential candidates begins when they first learn about your brand. This is why dedicating a portion of your employee lifecycle model to recruitment and reputation is so important.  Not only does this help build a great product and consistent service, but it also helps retain and attract top talent. Action: Evaluate your recruitment materials with fresh eyes. Make sure social media accounts, landing pages, and physical marketing materials accurately reflect your brand while maintaining business continuity.  2. Recruit The creative recruitment stage is the second part of the employee lifecycle. It involves getting people looking forward to employment and developing a recruitment plan. This step-by-step process starts with the job ad, finding creative ways to demonstrate what your company does and what it values, and eventually leading to the hiring of a new employee.  An emphasis on career development, brand prestige, and a healthy work environment is hugely important.  Action: Map out potential career development tracks for leads so they get a sense of what the next one, three, and five years may look like at your company. Emphasize upward mobility, work-life balance, and companywide culture.  3. Onboard The onboarding process is a process that begins when a new hire accepts an offer of employment. It involves getting used to the organization's systems and expectations. Everything from the first day of the new hire's career to getting them up to speed with the systems, processes, and expectations of their role falls under this category.  On average, onboarding may last anywhere from an hour to a week and is often the shortest portion of the employee lifecycle model.  Action: Create an onboarding workflow that is easy for the new hire to follow and involves at least one executive-level manager on a personal level to better enrich the process.  4. Retain In this employee lifecycle model phase, employers must develop and meet the needs of the talent acquired in the previous three steps. You can choose to focus on keeping your top performers while improving on the strengths of others. The goal should also be to create a culture that encourages continuous improvement and development at every level.  Action: Set up and regularly maintain systems for employee feedback both formally and informally.  5. Develop  Now that you’re retaining a high percentage of staff, it’s time to further develop their skills, help them achieve their career goals, and support continued growth in all areas. This can be done through organized programs, scholarship opportunities for those going back to school, in-house mentoring, and skill development workshops.  Having a clear path forward for the next few years will also help employees see how their own personal development will influence the success of the entire company.  Action: Make a plan for what you’ll do to help employees grow and how you’ll do it.  6. Separate Separation means either one or both parties have decided to call it quits on your collaboration. But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing! This is an important step in the employee lifecycle and can be helpful if you practice great offboarding techniques.  Offboarding is a process that helps an organization improve its employee experience. It’s also a way to build a better relationship with its former employees. As part of a larger strategy, separation and offboarding are often used to shape the last impressions of the employees before they leave.  The goal is to make them feel like they are left with a satisfying last impression that may interest them in returning to or recommending your business to other potential employees in the future.  Action: Like onboarding, offboarding should follow a template workflow that is easy to follow and loops in someone higher up in the company to help them leave on a good note.  Advantages of an employee lifecycle strategy An employee lifecycle strategy makes a company's time with an employee easier and less stressful. It also helps evaluate an employee's performance over time.  For managers, mapping out the employee journey helps you improve both your reputation and talent retention. It will also go a long way toward improving employee health and wellbeing while they are with your company.  As you know by now, developing and training employees is an essential part of the employee lifecycle. It can help them improve their skills and knowledge, and it can also benefit the business by ensuring top talent stays in your business.  Maintaining an effective employee lifecycle strategy can help boost employee engagement and provide them with the necessary training to excel in their roles. How to measure and improve the employee lifecycle It may be challenging to capture data on the employee lifecycle journeys at first. However, key indicators such as average employment duration and anonymous employee feedback surveys will go a long way.  Another useful metric is the retention rate. A simple formula to determine the retention rate of an employee is by dividing the number of people working for you by the end of the year. As you measure progress over time, consider documenting your efforts the same way you track tasks for team management. It’s important to describe your HR activities in the form of a flow chart or a chart during the employee lifecycle. Doing so helps map out your employees' journeys and gives you more context when analyzing KPIs.  As you map out your HR journey, pay attention to the questions that you cannot answer completely. These will help you identify areas of concern that can affect the employee experience. This list will also provide great ideas for survey questions down the road.  How Wrike can help manage your employee lifecycle journey Project software like Wrike can help HR professionals and team leaders improve the efficiency of their work by allowing them to focus on the needs of their employees without sacrificing productivity in other areas. HR project software is commonly used for various tasks, such as planning, onboarding, and employee training. In Wrike, teams can collaborate and communicate across departments at every stage of their employee lifecycle journey. Another advantage of using Wrike is that it can help increase teamwide productivity. It eliminates the need to manually update email chains and other time-consuming tasks, which can easily decrease the quality of life for employees on the job.  Agile HR methods are flexible and can help you get started with a project without missing a beat. Wrike's robust project management software can also help you track and manage multiple tasks, including creating one task for each individual. It can also create and track project budgets for recruitment activities and employee enrichment programs.  If you’re working as a team to improve your employee lifecycle model, Wrike's ability to create to-do lists with public and private tasks makes it easy to add collaborators while still keeping tasks with the sensitive information in compliance. You can also attach deadlines to individual tasks so that everyone stays on track.  Use Gantt charts to map out the tasks and dependencies across multiple projects. For example, you can simultaneously interview multiple candidates while still polishing your recruitment materials for other roles at the same time.  Wrike will even help you identify areas of concern that may affect the timeline and resources. If a person or resource is strained, you can easily spot the bottlenecks before they happen, which is especially useful in complex organizations with hundreds of employees to monitor and engage.  And as the use of electronic employee scheduling and applicant tracking systems increases, it's clear that project management software like Wrike will be a must-have in the near future.  Ready to improve employee wellbeing? Get started organizing your new employee lifecycle strategy today with Wrike’s free trial. 

What is Succession Planning & Why Does it Matter?
Leadership 7 min read

What is Succession Planning & Why Does it Matter?

Succession planning is essential to retain your top talent. Learn how to create an effective succession planning process to power up organizational success.

How to Devise a Creative Recruitment Strategy
Leadership 10 min read

How to Devise a Creative Recruitment Strategy

Creative recruitment is a fresh approach to finding talent that's changing the way we think about hiring. Creative recruitment strategies are beneficial for brands that want to appeal to better candidates and share their company culture. It’s also a great way to stand out, which is especially important considering the latest reporting from The Society for Human Resource Management, which states there are millions of open job postings and not enough interest to fill them. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to use creative recruitment strategies to attract a large pool of well-qualified candidates for any position.  What is creative recruitment? Creative recruitment is a way of finding, attracting, and hiring new job candidates through unconventional means.  The old model consists of writing a job description, posting it online, and interviewing the best candidates who submit. While job boards can certainly be a strong component of creative recruitment strategies, this method goes beyond that.  By infusing some unexpected communication methods with elements that represent the uniqueness of your team and brand, you can quickly outshine your competitors in the eyes of top talent.  The duties of a creative recruiter vary depending on your industry. Some responsibilities may include sourcing candidates for a single employer, managing candidate searches, and hiring marketing assistance. Depending on which tools you plan to utilize, there may also be some artistic aspects such as filmmaking or video game design involved.   Regardless of what tasks you do, effective project management is a large component of creative recruitment. While many of us may not be used to working with formal projects, there are many activities that HR professionals can do that are considered projects. Creative recruitment is one of them. HR employees are also becoming more involved in developing strategic projects that impact the way they and the rest of the team work together. Organizing all of your processes in one place so that everyone on your team knows who is responsible for what makes it easier to manage the more complex process of creative recruitment.  This is especially important if you have more than one campaign going at a time. Creative recruitment involves tailoring the campaign to the position and the personality of the team the candidate will be working with. Project management is essential for creating, tracking, and completing all of those moving parts.  Why is creativity important in a recruitment process Creativity is important in the recruitment process because it helps employers reach employees even during difficult times. It’s also helpful for finding individuals who fit in well with your company culture, offer a competitive advantage over other candidates, and who have highly specialized skills.  For example, the United States is experiencing a labor shortage in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. There are reports of bidding wars for entry-level positions and proposals to fill the gaps with prison labor for outrageously low and unjust wages. With the help of recruiters, employers can keep their standard processes and find workers to pay fairly. Even after this cloud has passed, recruiters will be there to navigate challenging social and economic issues through creative solutions. Examples of creative recruiting strategies  Creative project management and recruitment can be done with any budget, time, or personnel limitations, Regardless of what resources you have access to. Use some of these great real-world examples as a jumping-off point for creating your own creative ways to recruit employees.  1. Share employee testimonials  John Deere displays a variety of employee stories on their website (like this one about two John Deere retirees), including those of service technicians. They also have a video that shows how they support military veterans. These employee testimonials show how military veterans have been supported and nurtured by the organization that they work for. They also share how they were able to get the support they needed at John Deere, despite coming from different backgrounds.  2. Advertise in the newspaper This can mean anything from a traditional ad to an out-of-the-box one. During World War II, codebreaking institute Bletchley Park conducted a recruiting campaign where they put a Turing test crossword puzzle in the Telegraph.  Because they had to keep their process a secret for national security purposes, they also put out a call asking for individuals to solve the puzzle in 12 minutes or less. If readers were able to complete the puzzle in that time frame, they were then instructed to mail it to a secret Bletchley mailbox. Candidates were then chosen from this pool of submissions and confidentially invited for an interview.  3. Create a notification list Instead of waiting for a role to open up, allow fans of your company to sign up for a newsletter that notifies them when a new job is added. Zappos attracts candidates by allowing them to sign up as a 'Zappos Insider.’ This is a great way to get in touch with the company and learn about open roles and company culture all in one place.  4. Connect on Reddit In 2013, Google used Reddit to discuss the company's employment policies. The I Am A Google employee AMAA thread attracted over 1,300 responses and had a 90% upvote. Reddit’s Ask Me Anything format is a great way for companies to connect with thousands of candidates in a simple, scalable manner. 5. Host virtual career days Amazon's virtual career day in 2020 was a way for the company to show off the thousands of open positions across the country. Their digital event brought together over 1,000 recruiters for 20,000 1:1 coaching sessions and 33,000 job opportunities. The event featured workshops for various industries, including sales, marketing, and technology. Another benefit of virtual recruiting is that it allows the participants to access the event's content in an on-demand format afterward.  Creative recruitment ideas to attract top talent 1. Incorporate video Video is becoming one of the most important mediums we have for building business relationships. For example, Zoom saw over 350 million daily meeting participants by the end of 2020. Even social media giant Instagram is switching from photo-sharing to video-sharing.  Here are some ways to use video in your creative recruitment strategies:  Ask candidates to include an unedited 10 to 30-second introduction video instead of a cover letter. Invite Tik-Tok users to share their pitches and choose from the ones that have the most likes. Feature accomplished team members giving Ted Talk-like speeches. Use Virtual Reality 360 video to give tours of physical office spaces. 2. Choose unconventional platforms Many recruitment teams will post their job ads on places like Monster.com and Facebook. But have you considered digging deeper into other popular internet hangouts that don’t normally see these types of posts?  You can create a positional Q&A podcast on Anchor, start a branded recruitment room on Clubhouse for group interviews, or even use paid advertising on local dating sites such as Hinge or Bumble to find the perfect match (all puns intended).  3. Play video games The US Army uses existing video games to recruit new soldiers. But your team can create their own with the help of an independent studio or by DIYing one with a drag-and-drop video game tool like BuildBox. Focus on making the game fun to play, representative of your workplace culture, and a soft test of key job skills.  4. Offer free coaching Candidates are looking for more than just a job. They are interested in crafting a lifelong career. By offering free coaching, you are showing candidates that you mean it when you say your advertised opportunities will help them grow.  There are multiple angles you can take with free coaching. For example, the HR team can host a resume review workshop and give live feedback to candidates then encourage them to apply afterward.  5. Host virtual events Yes, virtual recruitment fairs are already gaining popularity. But the creative approach would be to engage your candidates with something unexpected.  For example, If you have anyone on the extended team interested in mentorship, set up a virtual speed dating scenario. Candidates can ask one or two questions in ten-minute increments with a few different experts at your company. 6. Share incredible content As part of a long-term strategy, you can develop informative content (think blogging, podcasts, eBooks, etc.) around becoming a great applicant for roles in your industry niche. Many companies publish their open-source information for anyone to use and mimic in their own organizations. Doing so fosters a sense of community and goodwill towards their brand, which is especially appealing to future employees.  How to create creative recruitment strategies with Wrike Getting the right talent is the first step in any project management process. Without the right tools and expertise to manage it all, the entire hiring process can be challenging. Project tools and processes can help your team organize and track their key activities. They can also be easily accessed by the whole team so collaboration is streamlined.  Wrike is an app that can help you manage the entire recruiting process from start to finish. It can also allow you to communicate all your creative recruitment projects with other employees in one platform. Here’s how:  Track performance This tool can help you keep track of how your team is performing and provide insight into the team's goals and priorities. Confirm scheduling This feature allows you to identify and resolve potential conflicts between your teams’ commitments. Improve efficiency Use tools to track and manage time and tasks to get a better understanding of how productive your team is. It can also help you predict how long it will take to complete certain tasks. Automate tasksWrike simplifies the repetitive tasks of hiring and onboarding. It lets you create workflows for each step of the process, so you can focus on recruiting top talent instead of creating thousands of documents and emails. Most companies that track time manually don't receive hours logged until after the fact. This means that employees may not be able to remember their time and could end up with inaccurate records.  You can also automate reminders for new hire training. By reducing the complexity of your HR processes, you can free up time for your employees and HR specialists. This gives everyone the opportunity to focus on other specialized skills while staying on top of administrative tasks.  Conclusion As the world of recruitment continues to evolve, building a fresher candidate experience will become more challenging. It's important that you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and lean into what makes your brand unique in order to remain competitive in the market. That is exactly why relying on creative recruitment strategies works so well. Start your two-week free trial with Wrike today and begin your journey to revamping a more interesting and productive recruitment process. 

How to Answer the Most Common Project Management Interview Questions
Collaboration 10 min read

How to Answer the Most Common Project Management Interview Questions

Secured an interview for the project management position and want to come prepared? Nail your next junior or senior project manager interview with this guide to the most commonly asked project management interview questions and their answers.

Welcoming a New Employee Onboard: A Comprehensive Guide
Collaboration 10 min read

Welcoming a New Employee Onboard: A Comprehensive Guide

Wondering how to welcome a new employee? Use this as your guide to make your new team members feel valued and supported — before their first day.

HR Buyer’s Guide: How to Optimize Your Employee Management — Free eBook
Project Management 5 min read

HR Buyer’s Guide: How to Optimize Your Employee Management — Free eBook

Are your HR teams on top of their workload? Or are they struggling just to get by?  The COVID-19 pandemic put an undeniable strain on HR departments across the globe as they struggled to think on their feet and facilitate the dramatic push into remote working. As noted by Forbes, the challenges of 2020 have “reshaped the way HR functions.” Now that the initial panic is ebbing away, it’s time for HR leaders to assess what they have learned from the past year and prepare a new roadmap for the era of flexible work. According to Tinypulse.com, HR professionals should “be committed to creating a better employee experience.” Be honest — if you were an employee at your organization, what would you change?  In this buyer’s guide to employee management software, we outline three steps to help you optimize your HR processes.  1. Assess your use cases First, take a look at your current employee management system. Are there some areas where your HR teams are lacking? For example, your recruitment materials might be split across separate platforms, which can make it difficult to locate all relevant documents for an individual candidate.  In Wrike’s eBook on employee management, we outline 11 of the most common use cases in HR. Here are some examples: A centralized request platform: You need to streamline all employee requests in one place to ensure they are tracked and followed up on. These requests can include PTO, payroll, and office equipment. An established onboarding procedure: To borrow a line from HRdive.com, “first impressions can be lasting impressions for new hires.” HR teams should have an effective onboarding process that ensures all new employees start off on the right foot. An employee performance tracker: Monitoring employee performance is a key element of HR. Leaders should have a system for tracking outputs, reviewing progress, and providing feedback. 2. Choose your required features Once you have determined the specific use cases for your organization, it’s time to choose the appropriate features to help you tackle them. According to Teambay.com, “tools are the backbone of business processes.” This means HR departments should take some time to select suitable employee management software that offers all the required features for their unique needs.  Wrike’s employee management guide outlines 12 of the most beneficial features for an HR team. These include: Custom request forms: A dynamic form with customizable fields is the best way for HR teams to get all the information they need for a particular request.  Templates: A large part of employee management is repeatable processes. Templates and blueprints can help leaders to save time by eliminating unnecessary admin tasks. Kanban boards: These boards offer a holistic view of multiple tasks and projects at a single glance, making them highly useful for tracking employee performance. 3. Create an employee management checklist Still feel like you’re forgetting something? A simple checklist could be the answer. As Hartford Business Journal notes, there are many benefits to using a checklist, including better organization and increased productivity.  After you’ve done the research on your HR use cases and features, it’s useful to have a comprehensive list that encompasses all the desired benefits of using versatile employee management software. That way, you can compare it to your own department to ensure you have everything you need to uplevel your HR processes. Wrike’s employee management guide includes a definitive checklist to make sure you have all your bases covered. Here’s a sneak peek at some items: A centralized workspace: Streamlining your HR tools will save your teams time and reduce distractions caused by switching platforms.  Better resource management: Team leads should have full visibility into employee workloads so they can evenly distribute tasks and eliminate burnout. Easy-to-use tracking software: By creating timesheets and automating weekly reports, HR teams will have a better grasp on budget management.  Download the buyer's guide to optimizing employee management  Now you know the three steps to optimizing your HR processes, you can begin your journey to a better employee management system. For access to the complete lists of use cases, features, and benefits mentioned above, take a look at “The Definitive Buyer’s Guide to Employee Management for HR Teams” — download it here.

Say No to Sunday Scaries! How to Reduce Employee Churn
Leadership 7 min read

Say No to Sunday Scaries! How to Reduce Employee Churn

Employee churn has consequences beyond simply that of talent departure. Besides the actual cost of employee turnover, churn among your staff can lead to a decline in employee morale and a toxic workplace. Here’s what’s causing you to lose employees and what you can do to stop it.