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Setting the Tone for the Candidate Interview Process

Posted by Tasia Grant, PHR on April 14, 2021

After the countless interviews I have done over the last twenty years, one of the greatest compliments I’ve received from a hiring manager was, “You bring an energy that makes candidates feel comfortable enough to be themselves.” With every interview opportunity comes the ability to explore a match for a candidate with the position and firm. When candidates are prepared and at ease during an interview, much can be learned about their personalities and potential to fill open positions. As the interviewer, you want to know with confidence that you’ve taken the time to make the whole process positive and done your due diligence when selecting the “right fit,” not just on paper. 

 

Employee Interview

 

Initiate Attraction

The job description for an open position is a very significant piece of the pre-interview process, and if written well, it transitions nicely into the actual interview. Oftentimes, job descriptions get recycled over and over while the job itself has gone through many evolutions. Many factors can impact the scope of a position like change in the size of the team or leadership, new technology, and change in the needs and goals of the company. In the AEC industry, particularly, industry standards and regulations can impact the requirements for certain job titles.

So, in preparation for interviewing for a specific position, the job description must be clearly written to reflect the qualifications expected of top talent. Candidates should then be able to see exactly what is required by the job description in advance and come to the interview able to prove how they match the needs and fit in the overall organizational plan. Interviewers having previously provided what they are looking for in a clear job description will receive candidates that are ready to showcase what they bring to the table and make the interview process flow easily and successfully.

Make a Good First Impression

If candidates are able to come into the office, they should feel not only welcomed but excited about sharing their qualifications with you. Greetings and initial contact in person should be done with polite professionalism such as acknowledging their interview time and offering water or a place to sit and wait for their time slot. The interviewer should come out and walk candidates back to the pre-set-up room and inquire as to any needs they have before the interview begins. For a Zoom or phone call, candidates should still be greeted on time with a positive attitude and made to feel that their time is valuable.

Break the Ice and Establish the Mood

As the interview begins, candidates should be encouraged to relax with some comforting initial conversational questions. Afterwards, they should be reminded to take their time and think through their answers asking for clarity if a question isn’t understood. With most interviews these days being conducted virtually, you want to create an environment that removes the technical barrier and gives the same energy you would if you were in-person. For the interview questions, minimize the predictable, classic, broad questions like “Tell me your strengths and weaknesses,” or “Do you work well with others?”

Remember the goal is to find out who the person is, not just what they think you want to hear. You should ask Behavioral Questions that allow candidates to talk about their past work experiences. Behavioral-based interview questions focus on how they previously handled various work situations such as “Tell me a situation which was challenging and how you handled it?” Especially for highly technical and labor-based industries, like AEC, ensure that the questions are specific to the position and structured to reveal the candidates’ skills, abilities, and thought processes.

Candidates, having reviewed your job description in advance and feeling at ease with the interviewer, should be able to relate to the needs of the open position and provide some good examples of their past experiences. As mentioned before, a well written job description pre-interview should provide top talent the chance to come to the interview prepared for identifying their skills. You should wrap up the interview by allowing the candidates to ask any other questions and give them an overview of the remaining steps in the candidate selection process including the approximate date you have targeted to have the position filled.

Carefully Choose Your Match

When possible, conduct post-interview discussions immediately after the interviews or within a few days so that impressions and thoughts about the candidates are still fresh in the mind. Many companies use a rating system to rank the candidates’ interview performances. Using the ranking system can work in conjunction with post-interview discussions, and it provides measurable data to support the final decision.

After all interviews have been completed, make the selection of your candidate a priority. Efforts to determine who will move to the next step or to choose the final selection should be made within a week to increase the probability that your top choices are still available when you are ready to extend an offer. Every interview that is completed requires a follow-up indicating the status in the selection process or thanking candidates for their time if not chosen.

Keep in mind that those candidates that are not picked for current positions might be good matches for future positions, so it is important to have open communications all the way through to the end. Also, maintaining these connections will ensure good public relations going forward. You never know when a position will open up again so setting the right tone for the entire candidate interview process is a must in order to attract and find the best fit for your firm.

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Human Capital Management Remotely – No Office Required!

Posted by Sarah Gonnella on February 10, 2021

Since the spring of 2020, many firms have had to transition to a remote only working environment. Learning to deal with this new operating style was certainly a challenge at first, but hopefully, these same firms are embracing the changes which could help to streamline the whole Human Capital Management (HCM) process. Let’s check out how HCM can be successfully done remotely with no office required based on our own experience at Full Sail Partners.

Human Capital Management

Pre-Hire

First off is the interview process which can still be done face to face, just virtually. Searching for talent is different when you work remotely. The location of potential new hires doesn’t really matter. It is more about skillsets and the fit of the person with the company.

You will also want to ask different types of questions about working from home such as questions towards working autonomously and communication skills. You need to see signs of motivation and the ability to self-motivate with any candidates you interview. Some key questions are “Why would you want to work from home?” and “Can you handle IT issues on your own?”, “Do you have internet?”, and “Do you have a quiet place to work from”. These types of questions will help you determine whether a particular candidate can handle a remote only position.

Onboarding

Once you’ve found the talent that seems to fit your remote work environment and the offer letter has been accepted, it is time to prepare for this new hire. Working remotely, a very important place to start is with the IT aspect. Having a standard online checklist of items that IT should prepare for is super helpful. Deltek Collaboration and Microsoft Teams are great solutions that allow you to copy a template that includes a list of standard tasks or assignments. Don’t reinvent the wheel each time you have a new hire. Everyone needs a computer and login info for different types of software. Send that info ahead of time so new hires can be ready day one to start learning more about the company. Also be sure new employees are provided with contacts within the company that can be approached for different needs. Working remotely puts the onus on the new hire to seek out the answers, but they should have a list of resources.

Another significant way to start on good footing remotely involves setting goals. These goals will have details about expectations to accomplish. The goals should focus on steps that are required to be successful. We find establishing 45-day, 3-month, 6-month, and 9-month goals can ensure the employee knows exactly their priorities and allows them to proceed forward with confidence. A supervisor should meet with the employee at the end of each of these time increments to discuss where they are in meeting their goals and determine if further mentoring or training is required.

Retention

Full Sail Partners Team Fun Meeting CallNow that you have the right people for remote work up to speed, think about ways to engage employees and offer professional development. Since you can’t just walk down the hall to see what is happening, you have to trust them and their desire to perform their duties. Continuous feedback and performance discussions are key. It is a good idea to check in to see how things are going in frequent intervals.

Finally, day to day is different in the remote world with no monthly team lunches or birthday cake. However, time can be taken to meet virtually over Zoom, have phone conversations or even text. Just recently, Full Sail Partners had a virtual happy hour to get the gang together with a little bingo time. Being comfortable in a new position at the outset also promotes retention. New hires can learn about the roles of the various company positions through shadowing them. Once employees have shadowed certain firm members, they can then take the lead knowing that there is a built-in safety net still shadowing them. Offering professional development opportunities and trainings is another means to ensure retention. There are plenty of online resources available.

Learn More From Full Sail Partners' Sarah Gonnella

Sarah is interviewed by another Full Sail Partners' Crew Member about the onboarding process at our firm. Watch the video below.

Remote Going Forward?

Full Sail Partners has been a virtual company for more than two decades and has proven that HCM can be done remotely with success. For those firms who have seen the benefits of working remotely, there may not be a return to the way before. Let Full Sail Partners’ experience guide you going forward. If your firm is interested in learning more about remote working, feel free to reach out to an employee to learn more about their experience.

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Let Your Employees Own Their Career Paths with Deltek Core HR

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on August 05, 2020

Career path

In order for project-based firms to be successful, they must employ the most qualified talent. Furthermore, the most talented employees need to feel empowered and engaged with their firm and look forward to growth in their career paths. Allowing staff to own their career paths ensures longevity with the firm, and the Deltek Core HR solution provides this capability. So, how does Deltek Core HR enable employees to own their career paths? Great question - let’s take a look at the key features that make it possible for employees to feel empowered.

Employee Self-Service

Today’s workers expect to have the ability to handle matters on their own. This is especially true for staff members that are on the go or working from home. Additionally, it is certainly much easier for employees to update information on their own rather than having to call or email HR. With self-service, staff can do this and ensure that their certifications and training requirements are up to date. With Deltek Core HR, employees are able to independently manage their personal data and keep it current.

Professional Development

According to a 2018 LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report, the number one reason employees felt held back with their professional development was because of time. With the Deltek Core HR solution, employees can easily take training in the system which is automatically built into their history. Instructor-led and e-learning classes are viewable in the course catalog and can be simply enrolled in when employees desire. Furthermore, certificates and education units achieved can be downloaded proving that job requirements are being met. Deltek Core HR allows employees to see all of their certifications and training so they can stay on top of their professional development.

Up to Date Resumes for Proposals

Another benefit of Deltek Core HR is that employees can maintain their resumes in the system, updating them as needed. Having access to resumes ensures that they are always the most recent ones especially when they are part of your firm’s proposal process. When selling professional services to clients, the top available talent needs to be evident to win the work. Employees who want to get the most desirable projects want to have their skill sets and certifications up to date. Deltek Core HR lets employees put their “best faces” forward by being current with their resumes.

Applying for Job Openings

Also, with resumes being immediately available in the system, staff can search and quickly apply for internal job openings that may be of interest to them. They can also see what the skill sets and requirements are for the open positions and of course easily sign up for the necessary training then add it to their resumes. With Deltek Core HR, employees are put in the driver’s seat of their career advancement by being able to choose what direction to take and how to get there.

Track Feedback

The best employees want to see that they are meeting or exceeding expectations. Within Deltek Core HR, the Deltek Talent Performance component offers the scheduling and tracking of continuous feedback. Employees choose the time of these feedback sessions and comments from both staff and managers are tracked. With feedback, employees are given guidance about their performance which ensures they are right on track with their career.

SMART Goals

One other aspect of owning career paths is setting goals. Deltek Core HR provides employees the tools to set up SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. The goals can be set up by preference whether it is a numerical target or complete/incomplete. From the My Goals link under Performance, employees can access their goals. When goals are being met, employees work even harder which ensures success for the firm as a whole.

Deltek Core HR Benefits All

In the end, Deltek Core HR is a solution that benefits both employees and business leaders. With the convenience of self-service and putting staff in charge of their career paths, there is more engagement and thus a desire to stay with the firm. Additionally, having many HR tasks handled by employees eases the burden on those who usually manage it which allows them to focus on business development and success.

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How the Recruiting and Hiring Process Has Changed

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on July 08, 2020

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?

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Manage Your Employee Expenses Like A Pro

Posted by Theresa Depew on June 03, 2020

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

How to Guide: Find the Best Talent for Your Firm

Posted by Joel Slater on May 27, 2020

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.

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Using Goals to Improve Employee Engagement

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on May 06, 2020

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

Continuous Performance Management

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on April 15, 2020

Continuous feedback

For years, annual performance reviews have been the standard way to evaluate employees. Usually, these evaluations take place at approximately the same time each year. They often discuss issues from the distant past then try to address future goals which are not brought up again until the following annual review. This dated process is static and useless when motivating and engaging staff. With the competitive talent market in the project-based world, firms need to actively nurture and develop their staff using continuous performance management. Here are some key components of a continuous performance management program.

More Than Just a Check-In

Continuous performance management involves more than just an occasional manager “check-in” with employees. It goes much further by incorporating input from other team members such as project leaders, human resources and other co-workers. With continuous feedback, employees can be kept abreast of how project milestones are being met while also examining outcomes that don’t go exactly the anticipated way. Furthermore, using technology, these frequent conversations between team members become an easy occurrence.

Goal Management that Flows

Another part of continuous performance management entails the fluid management of employee goals. Hiccups and successes should not be stagnant but should be evaluated as they occur during an employee’s tenure at your firm. Growth occurs constantly and employees meet their goals in various time increments so managing these goals should be just as fluid. This adaptable management of goals benefits the firm since project requirements change as well. Therefore, goals should be altered as needed rather than absolutely set in stone.

Clear Development Plans

Continuous performance management also incorporates career development plans for employees. From getting new hires productive at onboarding to upskilling or reskilling them several years down the road, development plans should be authentic and intentional. When employees have the opportunity to drive their careers, they become more engaged with their firms. As a result, this engagement leads to more productive projects which will benefit the firm in the end.

Transform Your Performance Management Process

Based on a SHRM/Globoforce Survey, a whopping 89% of HR leaders agreed that continuous feedback had a positive impact on their businesses. However, a Gallup study showed that only 19% of millennials surveyed said they got routine feedback with only 17% revealing that it was meaningful. The project-based workforce of the present and future wants authenticity and autonomy from its employer. Yet, the same workforce desires a way to showcase its skills and advance. Continuous Performance Management offers firms the ability to fully utilize the best talent, adapt to changing needs and ensure they grow with the firm.

Deltek Talent Management

Being Productive While in COVID-19 Quarantine

Posted by Ryan Felkel on April 01, 2020

Covid-19 2

COVID-19 has impacted everyone’s lives quite dramatically and suddenly. For many, working from home, also known as working virtually has become a way of life indefinitely. This new concept of full-time remote working presents unique challenges. Even more, for those of us who have worked at home for years are now dealing with distractions we were not previously exposed to such as sharing workspace with family members all the time. With COVID-19 introducing a plethora of daily hurdles to our once normal lives, here are some ideas to help you stay positive and make the most of this quarantine time.

Create a Workspace

The hardest adjustment people have had to make while sheltering in place or quarantining is keeping to a routine. With COVID-19 and the rapidly changing conditions created by the pandemic, daily routines have been upended overnight. It has been easy for both parents and kids to lose track of days and of time. Therefore, to maintain a disciplined routine, it is very important to create a workspace for yourself and for the others in your household. Whether it be the kids doing schoolwork from the kitchen table or everyone working from the dining room table, choose designated workspaces with designated hours. This will help keep you and your entire family focused on getting your daily work done. 

Improve Your Professional Skills

Believe it or not, working from home during a quarantine can make you more productive. Think about it, you’re not wasting time struggling with traffic and getting kids to sports. So, with this spare time, find free resources to help improve your professional skills. Here at Full Sail Partners, we offer whitepapers, webinars, and blogs like the one you’re reading. Furthermore, Deltek and Entrinsik have similar resources that can be useful to you. Be assured that during this time of uncertainty, Full Sail Partners will continue to create and provide our content for your consumption.

Gain Academic Knowledge

Going beyond your professional skills, there are countless opportunities to increase your academic knowledge. For many, when we finish school and start a career, we quickly leave behind academia not related to our profession. Generally, this is a necessity based on our growing needs that are in line with our priorities, like families. However, there are always those courses we enjoyed as electives and wanted to take a deeper dive into, but we just couldn’t seem to find the time.  

Well, now is a perfect opportunity to revisit this as there are numerous resources available on the internet. Here are links to some example of free online academic resources:

Even better, if you’re a parent now having to do at-home schooling on topics with which you’re rusty, most or all these resources have you covered.  

Stay Mindful

COVID-19 has created a health scare, but it is necessary for you and your family to find control in these unprecedented times. Staying mindful of the present is a good way to gain control back. In between work activities, take the time to go outside and reflect on the peacefulness of nature. You can even find short mindfulness videos on the internet to do as a family or on your own when you take a work break. Whatever means you choose, try to stay present and productive in each day and know that this will eventually pass.

Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining

While the current situation is challenging, the reality is that it is our new norm for the near future. In this time of COVID-19 quarantine, we all must focus on the positive rather than the negative. Identify workspaces and be productive, learn something new professionally and otherwise, and above all, establish routine and stay present. Good luck to everyone out there! We will get through this soon!COVID-19 Resources

Improving the Employee Experience

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on March 25, 2020

Employee Experience

We’ve heard a lot about the customer experience (CX) and its impact upon professional services firms. However, another experience that is just as significant to firm success is the employee experience (EX). The employee experience involves not only firm culture, but also the means used by firms to encourage employee success. Let’s take a look at what can be used to ensure an exceptional employee experience.

Exceptional Onboarding

It is important to set the stage for a positive new hire experience. Therefore, the onboarding process needs to be effective and efficient in getting employees to the point of being productive as soon as possible. In order to avoid overwhelming orientation paperwork, there should be an online onboarding portal which can capture all relevant new hire information. For example, solutions like Deltek Talent Management offer such a portal. Additionally, there should be a person assigned to each new hire to provide guidance and resources needed for a smooth transition into the workplace.

Performance Management and Career Development

Employees need not only independence to do their jobs, but also room for growth. Another key feature offered by a solution like Deltek Talent Management is continuous performance management. Employee goals should be managed constantly giving them a chance to meet goals in realistic time frames. Both employees and managers can then see when those goals are met and what the next steps to take would be. For the future, employees need to see what upskills or reskills are needed for a transition into a higher or different level position within the firm.

Frequent Internal Communication

Internal communication within a firm not only disseminates significant information, but also helps develop a culture. Employees should feel a sense of community with their firm and be connected to the corporate brand. Providing frequent updates keeps employees in the loop which encourages engagement and productivity. This is particularly true for remote workers. Frequent internal communication will additionally earn employee trust which ensures longevity.

Follow Through on Employee Feedback

Employee feedback can be gleaned in a variety of ways. It could come from a routine feedback survey or even discussions during goal review. No matter where or how employee feedback is obtained, it must be reviewed and acted upon to ensure an exceptional employee experience. Generally, feedback is given because employees want to see changes that will positively impact the firm. Following through on employee feedback thus benefits everyone.

Share Positive Client Feedback

One sure fire way to keep employees motivated is to show how they have positively contributed to their firm. After hours of dedicated work, employees want to see how their projects came to fruition or how the product they sold solved their client’s problems. When employees hear compliments, it boosts confidence and proves that hard work does pay off in the end. Positive client feedback should be shared not only with the employee but across the organization as well.

Employee Experience Affects Employee Engagement

It is a fact that employee engagement directly impacts firm revenue. With an exceptional employee experience, many more employees will stay engaged meaning more success for your firm. Furthermore, those same employees will continue to grow with your firm eventually moving into higher level positions. This will avoid the cost of future top talent recruitment and save your firm money. Start working on improving your employee experience today and let Full Sail Partners know how we can help.

Talent Management