Full Sail Partners Blog

How the Recruiting and Hiring Process Has Changed

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, Jul 08, 2020 @ 11:35 AM

Recruitment

Years ago, when a firm was looking to fill a position, there were limited resources for recruiting and there was a stagnant hiring process. The old-fashioned newspaper classified ad, a placement in a trade magazine or word of mouth were the go-to options for sourcing. After many hours of reviewing hard copy candidate resumes, interviews were set up by telephone, and connections were made. Once the right candidate was discovered, there was a printed offer letter to be mailed for acceptance and miles of hiring paperwork to be filled out by hand. It was certainly a time-consuming process.  Luckily, with the rise of the internet and technological advancements, the recruiting and hiring process has dramatically changed.

The Whole World is Your Oyster

With local classified ads, regional trade magazines and literal word of mouth, the reach for hiring managers was not very expansive. Using the internet, hiring managers now have access to the whole world when posting job ads. The open positions can be advertised directly on company websites, through professional networking on LinkedIn, or even more relaxed platforms such as Facebook or Twitter. Word of mouth has also gained momentum with email and information exchange. Thanks to the internet, the chances of finding the right candidate for your open employment position are greatly enlarged.

Time Savings Using Talent Management Software

Compared to the old way, talent management software saves hiring managers, candidates, and new hires a lot of time. Once jobs are posted online, resumes in response to open positions are uploaded and can be searched for specific hiring needs. Interviews can be scheduled more efficiently, and candidates can track the recruitment process. When new hires onboard, the “paperwork” is completed in advance online, so they can jump right into learning about their roles. Additionally, any certifications or licenses required can be obtained and monitored using talent management software.

Candidate Driven Job Market

In the past, employers drove the job market. It could take months before second and third interviews were done, and candidates were left in limbo. With the current competition for talent, however, the tides have turned. Hiring managers know that to get quality talent, they need to appeal to the candidates and give them the best recruiting and hiring experience. Candidates need to be informed and moved quickly through the hiring process. Furthermore, firms need to showcase their brands online through their websites and social media to attract the attention of these candidates.

Business Intelligence Can Help with Finding the Best Candidates

Business intelligence (BI) as it exists now was not available back in the day for talent acquisition. “Informed” decisions were made based on paper resumes and involved conversations. Fortunately, in today’s modern world, BI gives hiring managers a leg up. Using certain chosen data, hiring managers can establish a process to find the right candidates for open positions. They have realized that such data can be used to visualize patterns to predict future success. Rather than guessing on the right person to fill a role, they can look at specific information to see who would make the best addition to the team.

Take Advantage of Technology

So much time was wasted back in the days of placing classified ads…even if you like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain. Nowadays, everyone involved in the talent acquisition process benefits from technology. And every time technology improves, the process is made simpler and easier. Why not take advantage of what is right at your fingertips?

Automate Job Postings

Topics: Technology Solutions, Employees, Deltek Talent

The Roadmap of Business Intelligence

Posted by Chris Simei on Wed, Jul 01, 2020 @ 11:35 AM

BI infographics

Business intelligence (BI) is playing an increasingly critical role in the strategic planning of organizations. The output of established analytics can be used to track performance against business goals, identify inefficiencies, optimize processes, report and share information consistently, and identify unrealized business insights, all in real-time across a growing number of browsers and devices. The options are plentiful, and it can get overwhelming as you determine where to start.

Before you can reach these autonomous, pilot-cockpit-type dashboards, you will need a strategy. This will remain fluid and evolve as you adapt to your firm’s needs.  However, it is important to establish a roadmap to ensure that your efforts remain focused and deliver value where it is most needed. Let’s take a look at how to get there.

Identify Pain Points at a High Level

A basic first step is to summarize key pain points impacting your business. What are the questions your business is hoping to answer with its data? What are the information voids in your company? What reports are being run week after week to make decisions? Oftentimes, the pain points will evolve with your BI and shed light on areas needing attention. 

An easy and high-value place to start is exception reporting. Exception reporting highlights potential problem areas in your data based on a set of criteria you define. Examples may include:

  • Executive staff need to have visibility when a branch has not met its profit goal;
  • A project manager wants a consolidated dashboard to display his or her projects as he or she may be stretching the budget;
  • Administrative support staff wish to easily see what project records need review and approval;
  • An employee wants to view a dashboard of outstanding items (i.e. timesheet submissions, learning and development courses, annual review progress).

This proactive approach to quick-glance data can be a strong starting point to develop your BI strategy while staying focused on important metrics that require action.

Review Organization Structure

How does your organization structure support your reporting needs?  If you would like to produce reports by organization units (i.e. division, practice, group), then you will want to ensure that your system supports that structure. In the case of Deltek products, you may consider how you are utilizing organizations, teams, timesheet groups, and custom field associations. Furthermore, the firm and system structure will ultimately affect the data that is accessible by different groups.

Define Role Based KPIs

Each role in your organization has a unique business function. Frequently, these roles can share a responsibility that cascades down the business’s organization structure.

Consider the various roles in your company. How can they be grouped into subsets that could be measured together; such as, will a project manager be measured with the same standards as a project principal or supervisor?

One fundamental metric for any company is managing accounts receivable (AR) – getting paid for services or products that have been delivered. Here is an example of role based KPIs, starting at the top of the organization:

  • CEO wants to ensure that the AR Aging is in a healthy position to deter cash-flow concerns. CEO is pleased as long as the AR >60 days is less than 10% of the total AR balance at a company level. If that target is not met, CEO can interrogate the data.
  • Group manager ensures the total accounts receivable >60 days remains below 10% of the total AR balance for his or her entire group. Data can be summarized by project principal and prompt a discussion with any principal who is above the 10% threshold.
  • Project supervisor ensures that AR >60 days is below 10% for each project he or she is responsible for. BI can prompt a discussion with any project manager who is approaching the threshold.
  • Project manager is responsible for ensuring that invoices are paid per the 30-day payment terms. Invoices aging over 30 days must be chased and addressed. 

This example illustrates how a single metric is relevant to all roles. Therefore, a CEO can reference a dashboard in discussion with a group manager, who can then take it to the project supervisor, and onward down the hierarchy, directly to the project manager. Since this metric is consistently measured, each role understands the importance and relevance of his or her responsibility. This ties all roles to the financial success of the company.

Educate Team Members

It is important to educate on how defined measures are calculated. By doing so, your teams will clearly understand how their work is being measured and how their project success influences KPIs. BI tools can offer sophisticated and shiny visuals, but the end-user must understand how to use the data. Otherwise, the insights will be lost, or worse – misleading. Clean, simple data and education can provide clear definition to team members. Furthermore, it will give consistent data interpretation across all roles.

Measure the Firm’s Success

As you navigate through the BI journey, pause to measure the success of your BI strategy and the analytics you are measuring.  It is critical to gather feedback from the intended audience to understand how the BI tools are promoting productivity as well as transparency. Are the end-users interacting with the data and making smarter decisions because of it? By being agile in the BI development strategy, you can confidently deliver the most valuable analytical tools for your firm and ultimately power project success.

Key Performance Indicators

Topics: Technology Solutions, Business Intelligence, Data Visualization

Key Reasons to Attend Our Virtual Deltek CRM Bootcamp

Posted by Sarah Gonnella on Wed, Jun 24, 2020 @ 11:35 AM

Virtual CRM bootcamp

Last year, we conducted multiple CRM workshops throughout the US. We received such great feedback that we wanted to do it again. This year we are offering a virtual experience and it will be a "bootcamp" to get your CRM into shape. This bootcamp is focused on helping your firm discover how to better utilize your Deltek Vision CRM system. If you are considering attending but aren’t sure if the bootcamp is right for you, here are some key reasons to attend.

  • Native State of CRM - Many attendees remarked that it was great to see what Deltek looked like before their firm customized it. Many of our attendees did not realize how much their system had been changed by past employees. That insight provided them a baseline of what changes had been made allowing them to rethink some of the custom fields previously added. Now is the perfect time to understand the original form of your system and reevaluate processes prior to upgrading to Deltek Vantagepoint.
  • Hands-On - Although delivered in a virtual format, each session will be hands-on and interactive. Users will be given access to a Deltek Vision CRM database to follow along with the presenter during each session. Each bootcamp series is limited to only 20 people to allow for maximum participation and engagement. Each attendee will learn how to better utilize and configure a Deltek Vision CRM system and set-up useful reporting metrics for agile decision making. 
  • Expand Your Thinking For best results, firm attendees would include someone who is leading the CRM strategy and someone who is responsible for implementing the strategy. Although this bootcamp focuses on the fundamentals, it also will teach how to define strategies that will help you better recognize and manage client, contact, and partner touchpoints. The best CRM system works in combination with accounting.
  • Adequate Time for Questions – With this year’s workshop split into four two-hour sessions, attendees will have even more time to play with their sample database and come back with questions. The workshop was already designed to allow plenty of time for this. With the new format, we anticipate even more in-depth and insightful discussions and questions.

What Did Past Attendees Think?

2019 workshop survey results from CFT

Following the 2019 workshop series, 56.5% of attendees responded to a request for their feedback. Of those that responded, ALL felt the workshop met or exceeded their expectations. Accuracy, Responsiveness, and Schedule received the highest response rate. Each of them received an average of 6.3, which means the workshop exceeded expectations, based on the Client Feedback response rate. Attendees were asked these questions:

  1. How clearly and accurately was the information presented?
  2. How well did the agenda, pace and length of the presentation align with the time allotted for it?
  3. How well did we respond to questions brought up in the presentation?

Here are some comments from some attendees:

"Lindsay is an excellent presenter and her ability to relate the BD/Marketing aspect to the accounting and overall business functions was invaluable." - Siobhan Turner, Marketing Director at Bentley Architects & Engineers, Inc.

"Lindsay was patient and clear in all her explanations. Very happy I took the day and attended the course. It really made me see the total potential of the software and our next steps." - Alfred Lurigados, Sr. Vice President, BCC Engineering, Inc.

"The workshop was complete with easy-to-follow slides and thorough explanations.The presentation met my objectives. I set out to get a better understanding of CRM and how it fits into the rest of Vision and this presentation did that. Lindsay is a great presenter and I felt I took some things away from the workshop that I did not previously know."  - Karl Lundmark, Database Administrator at Gas Transmission Systems, Inc. (GTS)

Bonus Bootcamp Workbook

All participants will receive a workbook used to not only implement what they learned at the bootcamp but also enhance their use of Deltek Vision CRM. This workbook includes: 1. Discussion Starters; 2. CRM Readiness Checklist; 3. Best Practices Tips; 4. Top 10 CRM Tips & Tricks; and 5. Preparing for Vantagepoint.

Be sure to visit our website to sign up for our virtual CRM bootcamp. It is definitely worth the small registration fee. Hope to “see” you there!

New call-to-action

Topics: Technology Solutions, CRM, Deltek Vision

Top Reasons Professional Services Firms Should Leverage Deltek Talent’s Learning Management System (LMS)

Posted by Sarah Gonnella on Wed, Jun 17, 2020 @ 11:35 AM

Learning Management System

As a professional services firm, your business exists because of the knowledge and expertise of your employees. Staying competitive requires these employees to keep up with the changing times and current industry practices. A learning management system (LMS) can set your professional services firm up for success by providing your employees training content related to their positions. However, one of the challenges with an LMS is finding or creating the relevant content. With Deltek Talent and RedVector joining forces, your firm can now leverage pre-built ample content. Let’s see the reasons why your firm should consider utilizing Deltek Talent’s Learning Management System.

Comprehensive Training Library

To start off with, Deltek Talent teamed up with RedVector which provides a comprehensive training library including courses in project management, safety, industry codes and standards, leadership development and much more. The online library contains approximately 4,000 courses authored by more than 200 subject matter experts and accredited by 100 national and state bodies. This extensive offering eliminates the need for your firm to have to create content on the fly. Here is a complete list in the AEC course catalog

Access Training Anywhere

Another key issue impacting employee learning is the time commitment. Many professional services firms require their employees to be flexible with their time and those employees often have to be other places during the workday besides at their desks. Conveniently, Deltek Talent is a cloud solution accessible from anywhere with internet access. Users can access content on-the-go from any device allowing employees to learn when it’s convenient for them.

Training Content in One Location

One of the main advantages of having RedVector aligned with Deltek Talent is that professional services firms have content from day one. Furthermore, firms can add additional instructor-led, online, and external courses allowing users to access courses in one location. It is easy for users to document what courses they have completed so managers have visibility into their employees’ development progress. With Deltek Talent’s LMS, there won’t be any problems with finding the appropriate content for employee enrichment.

Improve Performance & Retention

Professional services firms save a lot of time and money when their employees grow with the company and stay long term. Within Deltek Talent Learning, RedVector provides an assessment tool that helps determine the competency level of employees, new hires, or students and generates an individual training curriculum based on deficiencies in the assessment results. Thus, providing impactful learning opportunities that improves employee performance, reduces turnover and puts employees in the driver’s seat of their own careers. 

Reduce Risk

Finally, for highly regulated industries, managers need to track required training and certifications which can be done with Deltek Learning Management. Additionally, RedVector provides more than 500+ courses that address the most hazardous situations professional services firms face. Employees will learn how to recognize and prevent at-risk conditions or behavior before they lead to an incident. Having the correct employee certifications and providing safety awareness helps reduce employee and company risk. Here is a list of RedVector’s health, safety and environment library collection.

Fuel Prosperity

Deltek Talent and RedVector combined focus on providing professional services firms with skills training, continuing education, and performance support to reduce risk and promote employee success. When firms help their employees perform better and grow in their careers, they not only retain the best employees but make certain they are engaged which leads to a prosperous outcome for all.

New call-to-action

Topics: Technology Solutions, New Features, Deltek Talent

An Effective and Successful CRM is a Lifestyle Change

Posted by Amanda Roussel on Wed, Jun 10, 2020 @ 11:35 AM

CRM lifestyle

There have likely been times where you desired to get healthier and stronger. You cannot just wake up one day, eat well, exercise, and see the results of your efforts instantaneously. You must have the desire to change, recognize the benefits of doing so, keep your WHY at the top of your mind, and identify long-term goals. Just like in your personal life, lifestyle changes are necessary on the business front to see real success, and client relationship management (CRM) is a large part of making that happen.

Professional services firms offer services, and it is all about the knowledge and expertise of a firm’s professionals and trust in the brand. The art of building relationships and earning trust takes time, thought, and coordination within your team. CRM tools keep track of these communications, and consistency is what builds the data. With this data, you can establish long-term goals that you strive to meet. The positive results from choosing to use an effective CRM make it worth your while to change your work lifestyle.  

Accomplish More

The benefits of a personal healthier lifestyle may be having more energy, feeling more confident, and accomplishing goals that have felt distant. Likewise, for businesses, process and habit improvements offer benefits such as boosting productivity, increasing communication with clients, and crushing sales goals. Implementing a CRM helps you work more effectively as a team while adding productivity time back to your schedule. If CRM data is captured timely and correctly, it takes significantly less time to “research” what the latest communications and outcomes were with clients.

Think of employee-client interactions and the information that is gathered as a firm resource. Business resources are meant to be shared efficiently, and that information should be available when others need it. Furthermore, new information is constantly coming in and a CRM tool provides your teams a platform to document and share this information, keeping everyone informed.

Use the Technology at your Fingertips

As new information comes in from various sources, real-time data is crucial. This is achievable with the mobile capabilities of a strong CRM. Therefore, documenting information after each engagement brings consistency and a positive habit. With a firm-wide CRM, you can stay on top of your communications and proactively reach out to clients.

Additionally, as there are web-based apps to track exercise stats, sleep habits, and food intake, there are also apps that streamline business matters. All data from these apps, such as email, can be incorporated and captured into your firm CRM. While technology can help guide us, we are ultimately responsible for holding ourselves accountable for the improvements. 

Use Accountability to Create Consistency 

Just like having an accountability partner in an exercise or health program, employees should be accountable for keeping their colleagues informed. When we have dated action items as a CRM may show, the transparency should drive employees to stay on top of their tasks. However, there needs to be support and enforcement from all levels of leadership to make sure this happens. Consistency is crucial to success.

Get Over the Hurdle

According to the 40th Annual Deltek Clarity Architecture Engineering Industry Study, only 14% of firms planned to invest in marketing intel and CRM systems. Is your firm part of that 14%? CRMs have advanced greatly, and the capabilities of an effective CRM support and encourage accountability, teamwork, outreach, and relationships. After some time, your firm will not remember business without an efficient tool like a CRM. These positive habits will stick with the firm for years to come, just like a lifestyle change for a healthier you.

Grow Revenue with a CRM

Topics: Client Relationships, Technology Solutions, CRM

Manage Your Employee Expenses Like A Pro

Posted by Theresa Depew on Wed, Jun 03, 2020 @ 11:35 AM

Expense management

When employees seek reimbursement for employee-paid expenses, chances are good that far too much time is spent looking for receipts. Often, there is also the question of limits, processes, and details around submitting an expense report. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a software that could manage employee expenses with a seamless process, helping you navigate expenses like a pro? Fear not, as such automation is possible with SAP Concur. Even more, SAP Concur integrates with Deltek Vision and Vantagepoint through the Blackbox Connector to simplify your expense reporting processes.

With SAP Concur, you can see all expense data in one place, offering the big financial picture while making the process easier for your employees. Yes, it can be a win-win for all. Let us look at some of the advantages an automated and integrated expense management tool can offer.  

Makes the Process Easier for Users

While submitting an expense report can be a very frustrating task, it is a necessary business process that cannot be overlooked or eliminated. Usually, it does take administrative or overhead time for some often-extensive searching. Fortunately, SAP Concur can give employees an easier method of submitting expenses on a routine basis with the following features: 

  • Mobile Tools – Users have full access to expense report functions via a mobile device, allowing employees to submit, review, and approve on the go. Having full expense functions on a mobile device makes submitting expenses quick and easy. There is no more waiting until you are back at your desk to complete expense tasks.
  • Receipt Capture – SAP Concur removes the need for a scanner, and never having to use a scanner to upload receipts one by one is priceless. Simply snap a picture of a receipt using your mobile phone camera and start a report from your mobile device, saving processing time.
  • E-Receipts – Transaction data from airlines, hotels, restaurants, and car companies can be automatically captured to create accurate, detailed expense reports. Receipts can be sent directly to your SAP Concur profile, allowing you to quickly add the expense details without having to organize receipts. As soon as the receipt is emailed, it appears on the home expense screen.
  • Credit Card Feeds – Your corporate or travel card transactions are directly fed into SAP Concur for expense processing. This functionality is marvelous; firms no longer need to manually import charges into an ERP or expense program for users to expense or for reconciliation. When a charge is made, the bank sends the transaction to SAP Concur. From there, users will see it on their home expense screen, and it is ready for expensing.

As you can see, the expense management process can be more efficient for employees, allowing them to focus their efforts on earning new business, serving the client, or working on current business. With an easier process, employees can submit their information timelier, and accounting can invoice clients sooner on billable expenses, helping to shorten the invoicing cycle.

Even Accounting Thinks This is Snazzy

Accounting teams are often the ones tracking down the missing details or having to reject submissions for details that were overlooked. By automating expense management and integrating it with your accounting system, SAP Concur can be implemented with workflows, ultimately helping everything flow more smoothly. Here are some of the features that accounting teams can look forward to:

  • Automated Travel Policy – Workflows can be set to warn or stop expenses from being submitted based on your company’s expense/travel policy. Using the audit rules takes the guess work out of policies. Workflows allow the expense audit/approval process to move quickly and efficiently. Auditors and approvers do not need to spend hours verifying every policy detail; most can be set up as a rule and not allowed.
  • Reporting – SAP Concur offers simple spend monitoring, schedule reports, and customizable reporting. The software offers out-of-the-box reporting, which is quick and easy to use. Reports can also be downloaded in different formats – Excel, Word, PDF. If the report needed is not available, it can typically be created and saved for future use.
  • Integration – A comprehensive financial picture and reliable reporting can be gained by connecting to your enterprise resource planning system (ERP), Deltek Vision/Vantagepoint. Integrating SAP Concur with Deltek Vision/Vantagepoint allows a constant and consistent flow of financial data. New or changed employees and projects can be pushed into SAP Concur through an automated feed. Also, expense reports that are approved/processed in SAP Concur will be fed into Deltek Vision/Vantagepoint nightly and be ready for posting. So, no more need for double entry at many levels.

Wins All Around

As you can see from the highlighted features, SAP Concur can eliminate many pain points that come with expense reporting. The right expense management software creates a smoother process for firms, which benefits the employees, supervisors, and accounting team alike. We can all agree that any process that can be automated and ultimately improve a business should be given consideration. Everyone will be pleased with timely expense reimbursement so start managing your expenses like a pro with SAP Concur.

Concur Spend Management

Topics: Accounting, concur, Employees

How to Guide: Find the Best Talent for Your Firm

Posted by Joel Slater on Wed, May 27, 2020 @ 11:45 AM

Recruiting

If you’re an HR or recruiting professional, you’re probably tired and maybe completely annoyed with the overly used and abused term… “war for talent.” Today, we will bury that term deep into a grave with no headstone. Why do you say? Simply, because there isn’t a “war” to win. Instead, let’s think about recruiting like dating and the desire to attract the perfect fit. These days, many people meet their potential mates via relationship sites. Therefore, when a person is looking to find the right match for life, he or she goes to a source of available quality candidates. Shouldn’t a firm look for the best employee to meet its needs using a similar system? So, how does a firm go about finding the right mates for its business purposes?

Utilize Internal Resources to Attract Talent

We’ve all been there - single with a group of friends who want to help us find our soulmate. They always have someone in mind who is the “right” person to match with you, and they know you really well. All that has to happen is the introduction and finding commonality, and bam, you’ve got your fit.

Well, if your role at the firm is to find the right match for business purposes, sometimes the best place to look is internally. You’ll first want to let everyone know what you are looking for so fellow coworkers can be matched with these internal job requisitions. Employees might also know others from outside the firm that are good fits as well. Did you know that studies suggest that new hires sourced from internal referrals lead to reduced time to hire, reduced cost per hire, improved quality of hire and reduced turnover rates?

When internally advertising a new job requisition, here are some items to consider:

  • Can your staff easily access this information?
  • Are there incentives for employees to recommend your firm to their friends/acquaintances?
  • Are these new job requisitions advertised in a way to attract existing employees looking for internal change?

Use Your Website to Evaluate New Talent

Using your company website for matchmaking? That’s a bit creepy if you think about it. But there are people using TV shows to find their potential mates so not too much of a stretch, huh? In a world of fast-moving internet connections, why should firms miss out on “speed dating” for their new job requisitions? Firms want to quickly separate those who may potentially be good fits from those who are absolutely not worth pursuing any further.

Let’s focus on the careers section of your website. Here’s the shocker, and I genuinely ask you to visit with your webmaster to ask what percentage of your website traffic is driven by the careers section. You’d be surprised that up to 50% of your traffic goes to your career page if you’re a professional services firm.  

With that said, your careers section should not be controlled by your on-staff or contract website guru. As the HR or recruiting person at your firm, you want the control to create and update your job requisitions as needed and when needed. You must have a simple format that is easy for potential matches to input the required information. Additionally, you need to be able to track the analytics of this page to know how many are reviewing the job requisition postings and how many of those convert to applying for the advertised open positions. Above all, with these job applications accessible on your website, you should easily be able to evaluate who may jive with firm culture and who is definitely a no-go.

Using Social Media to Connect with New Individuals

“Hey, I’m single and #ready to mingle!” Or better yet, “I’ve never met you before, so let me slide into your DMs.” Believe it or not, this works great for finding a potential romantic mate and for generating interest in your new job requisition. The power of social media is amazing for so many reasons.

First connections see your post, then they share or like your post, and then their friends see and like the post, and from there…it continues to grow. Better yet, your firm probably uses several social media platforms on a daily basis. What better way to attract new talent than harnessing the power of social media? Additionally, social media allows your firm to add personality just like it does for an individual looking for a date or a mate. When using social media, you can make your messaging fun and personify your firm. Just think about the hashtags and who you might want to @ to bring more attention to your job requisition. Once you grab the attention of a perspective candidate, you’ll likely get them to apply.

Stand out Above the Competition on the Web

If you’re tired of being single, you’re likely trying everything you can to attract and find the right mate. This means you’re likely using multiple dating apps and websites. Even more, you are probably using the best photo you can find of yourself for your profile. You want to stand out, right?

Yep, there’s a connection here too with finding the right person for your new job requisition. First off, you probably want to post it to as many job boards as possible. Sure, this takes time, but the more the better, and having the right tools can make cross-posting a new job requisition across multiple job boards simple. It even helps ensure the posting is consistent across all listings. Most importantly, you want your job requisition to stand out among the crowd. Make sure to use exciting job descriptions that emphasize the benefits of working for your firm over the competition. Lastly, you want potential candidates to be able to easily apply for your open position.

Quit Playing Games and Get Serious

Just like dating unimpressive potential suitors, interviewing underqualified or less than desirable talent can be frustrating. Technology has changed how people find dates and potential mates. Similarly, firms have access to better hiring management platforms. For many, the concept of an applicant tracking system (ATS) is nothing new, but people are still unaware of the benefits and the time-saving capabilities that these platforms offer. It is time to get serious about attracting and hiring the best talent for your firm.

Automate Job Postings

Topics: HR, Employees, Deltek Talent

Empower Your Firm with Better Email Management

Posted by Ryan Felkel on Wed, May 20, 2020 @ 11:35 AM

Email management

What do you think is the most widespread office tool used amongst your peers and coworkers? If you answered email, you are correct! Employees use email throughout the day to communicate with coworkers, clients, vendors, and the list continues. In fact, a study by McKinsey found that employees spend 28% of their workweek managing their email, the equivalent of 11 hours if we assume that an employee works 40 hours a week. So, how can we help employees more effectively manage their email?

Email Management Pitfalls

Let’s start where most people do when they read and write an email - the subject line. The fact is, there is not a global standard to email subject lines, and most companies don’t establish predetermined subject lines either. As a result, searching for a specific email about a certain topic wastes a lot of time especially if the email is never found leaving some to wonder if the email ever actually existed.

For some savvy email users, they have learned to create a folder system to improve their email organization. According to a study by Microsoft Research, 30% of email users create a folder structure to organize email. However, ironically, 90% of those that create folder structures don’t actually use them.

Here, we just discovered two email mismanagement issues, but if you want to dig deeper, there are many more. There are other simple things like not using reply all so that everyone on the email chain has access to the communications and decisions made based on the email content. Also, not using convenience features such as setting reminders to follow-up or complete an assigned action item. All these examples are things that can be improved, but how does a business get everyone on board with practicing better email management?  

Put the Right Email Management Solution in Place

Email tools such as Gmail and Outlook contain intuitive features and functions that allow users to improve their email management. However, these tools by themselves are not enough to be able to improve firm-wide email management. While these email tools are great for facilitating communication especially for person to person, where they fall short is when emails contain specific details and information about a project that requires multiple people from multiple departments to know about changes and statuses as they happen.

An effective email management solution will have the ability to store uncategorized emails with important information in a database that makes these emails more searchable allowing employees to find the information they need, when they need it, with only a few clicks. Additionally, the emails should be in one centralized location for all relevant staff to be able to access and obtain the pertinent information. An effective email management solution integrates your firm’s email platform tool with the firm’s ERP solution to ensure all data is stored in one place.

Unravel the Email Management Mess

There’s a lot of confusion about email management solutions versus email tools. In layman’s terms, email tools are what you use to create and respond to emails. On the other hand, email management solutions allow you to quickly categorize an email from your email tool that will then add the email to a general database that lets others access the information. Furthermore, email management is more than an individual process and requires an email management system in conjunction with FIRM-WIDE established processes to ensure proper email management success.

Most importantly, email management solutions can change the culture of your company and open up the ways we communicate. They help eliminate inadvertent gatekeepers of information and ensure everyone within your firm has the information needed for client satisfaction. Lastly, they create time savings for your firm by providing easy access to the information your teams need to deliver a great client experience.

Deltek PIM

Topics: Project Management, Technology Solutions, Project Information Management (PIM)

Why NOW is the Time to Move to the Cloud

Posted by Amanda Roussel on Wed, May 13, 2020 @ 11:35 AM

Cloud computing

Leadership teams and firm owners have countless business elements to focus on and decisions to make. Some decisions are no-brainers, others are hard, and some just need to wait for the “right time.” There are often firm improvements pitched for consideration that may not make it to the priority list, or that are labeled as a luxury rather than a need. The word “value” can often determine where an initiative may fall on that labeling scale. One initiative that is proving to be a need is moving your firm’s ERP solution like Deltek Vantagepoint or Vision to the cloud. Now is the time, and it should be an easy decision. Let us identify some of the many advantages of moving your ERP solution to the cloud.

Make it Easy for Your Teams

Professional services firms have data… lots of data. Much of this data is centered around your people and projects and should be safely stored and easily accessible. With a device and an internet connection, teams can securely access their solution from anywhere. This allows for great flexibility with office, remote, and field team members. The cloud is not only flexible with location, but it is also flexible with firm size. Growth is a leading driver for many firms, and it is important that systems put in place now allow for scaling up when the time is right. The cloud offering makes it easy for teams to get their work done, providing value for the firm.

Reduce IT Burdens

Another benefit the cloud offers is removing the burden on your IT team, whether internal or external. On-premise hardware requires system maintenance and server upgrades which take time and money. Moving to the cloud, IT resources can be reallocated, and your firm will have confidence knowing that your ERP system is running on enhanced security, using updated hardware and software, and requiring zero maintenance from your IT team. You can also rest assured that a disaster recovery plan has been established and is ready to be deployed, if needed. The value of the cloud ultimately improves firm efficiency because you can now focus on what you do best, providing value to your own clients.

Fixed Costs vs Unexpected Costs

Planning for and managing expenses is a significant part of a firm’s financial health. Opting for a subscription-based fee for cloud services, firms can have confidence in budgeting a fixed cost. Otherwise, a best-guess amount would be budgeted for on-premise hardware needs. Another factor that should be considered is potential downtime. On average, downtime with a traditional IT system can be four times longer than the cloud alternative. Unexpected expenses and downtime can put an unfortunate burden on a firm. Choosing to be in the cloud ensures value with increasing reliability and reducing operating expenses.

Everyone is Invited to the Cloud

Small and large businesses alike have the same access to the cloud. The cloud can give businesses a competitive edge as they use the latest ERP solution like Deltek Vantagepoint for project management, financial management, and other streamlined processes. With proven tools accessed easily from the cloud, project managers, accounting teams, marketing groups, and executives can stay integrated and informed, no matter the firm size. The cloud does not discriminate on who gets value.

Continuity is a Necessity

Now is the time to make the move. Firms should be proactive in protecting their valuable data and seamlessly move it to a safe place. Do not wait until something goes amiss with your traditional IT system. Because cloud solutions are reached via the internet, users have greater flexibility with computer upgrades and mobile devices, too. The cloud is the leading choice for data storage because it is secure, reliable, and always available. With all these benefits, it should be an easy decision that NOW is the time to move to the cloud.

Thinking Out Cloud

Topics: Technology Solutions, Cloud, Communication

Using Goals to Improve Employee Engagement

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, May 06, 2020 @ 11:35 AM

Employee Engagement

While many consider satisfied clients to be the most important factor for a business to be successful, they often overlook the significant contribution that satisfied employees make to the bottom line. Employees need to feel that they are not only a part of the process but see their efforts result in positive results. If employees are left in the dark regarding firm strategies and outcomes, they are more likely to just go through the motions in their jobs rather than be engaged. The best way to make sure your staff is engaged and therefore motivated towards firm success is to set goals. Let’s see what this entails.

Set Clear Expectations

If employees know what they are expected to achieve in their roles, they will be more inclined to work hard. When you clearly state goals and explain the strategic direction your team will be taking, you provide needed guidance which forms a connection. The individual employee goals established should be aligned with the overall firm goals whether short-term or long-term. Short-term goals work particularly well as the results can be more quickly seen by both employees and managers and provide a way to offer more continuous feedback ensuring employee engagement.

Stay SMART

In identifying particular objectives, it is best to be SMART about them. The guidelines for setting goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time bound. A specific goal should address what is to be accomplished and what resources are involved. A measurable goal looks at when it will be accomplished while achievable focuses on how realistic the goal is. A relevant goal decides if it is timed correctly and if it meets a firm’s current needs. Finally, time bound establishes when the goal should be met. Goal milestones should be set to hold employees and teams accountable, and there should be a way to track the goals using a talent management system like Deltek Talent.

Recognize Employee Impact

Employees want to see how their contributions impact their team and their firm overall, and it is easy to become disillusioned when they cannot see the end result of their actions. With a tracking system in place, managers can show employees what they have accomplished, and employees can understand how their meeting of goals benefits the company at present and down the line. When you recognize the efforts of employees, they feel like they are part of firm success and will be motivated to continue these efforts.

Put a Goal System in Place

Employee engagement is necessary for the success of your firm and setting of goals is the best pathway to ensure such engagement. This way, employees will be informed of their expectations and given an opportunity to show what they can accomplish. Tracking these goals with a talent management system like Deltek Talent will keep employee goals aligned with firm goals and provide a way for employees to see their contributions to firm growth. Put a goal system in place today.

Employee Engagement

Topics: HR, Employees, Communication