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Stories, insights, and tips on how to stay balanced (and get ahead).

 

BYOD Best Practices After Employees Leave

How do you keep valuable
data from walking away with
employees when they leave?

It would be nice if the makeup of the office never changed, wouldn't it? Because the team you have in place is great. Everyone works hard yet has fun, and it’s an overall pleasant place to work. While we’re wishing, let’s throw in some other fun things. Everyone gets fancy sports cars, and free drinks, and chocolate fountains. And we’re all millionaires, yet we all continue to work together for the next 40, 50 years. Unfortunately, “keeping the same team forever” is as much of a wonderful fantasy as Chocolate Fountain Fridays.

In today’s world, employees do tend to move about, sometimes by choice, sometimes by circumstance. Sometimes it’s due to an employee not working out and being asked to leave the organization, sometimes an employee finds something that suits their needs in more ways — all normal parts of the workplace dynamic.

Younger Employees

Employees, especially the younger ‘millennial’ generation, seem alright with switching jobs when feeling unsatisfied, unlike previous generations which generally had longer tenure, according to The Huffington Post. Younger employees are also interested in more technological options.

So what does this mean to a 'Bring Your Own Device' culture? If you’ve successfully put together a BYOD-friendly workplace, you likely have worked with your IT department to make sure everyone has secure access to company information on their phones or tablets. But what happens when an employee leaves the company, especially in the event of a termination? How do you keep valuable data from walking away with them?

It really depends on how organized you are and what kinds of security controls you’ve put in place.

BYOD Exit Strategy

  • Define your BYOD network first. When first creating your network, recommend certain manufacturers that are more secure than others. InfoWorld has created three hardware tiers that range from only being able to access company servers all the way up to keeping all data on each person’s device. Each provides employees different levels of security based on their responsibilities and duties, and gives them choices for types of devices they prefer. Blackberry devices, for instance, offer more encryption and greater separation of personal vs. work data for BYOD workplaces than Nooks or Kindles.
  • Include “departure” language in the employee agreement. Security specialists suggest employers create BYOD terms and conditions for participating employees, such as requiring they always keep data secure and avoid introducing viruses into the company network, according to crn.com. Add in a section about what happens in terms of a departure. Can the employer inspect or wipe part of an employee’s personal device? Does the employee have a time limit to erase their data? Who is responsible for shutting down access to shared cloud services like Dropbox accounts?
  • Include “equipment check-in” at an exit interview or final checkout. This only works well if the employee has provided proper notice of their departure, and you have time to amicably ensure all company property is returned or removed from their device memories.
  • Spread the word. Mobilesecurityzone.com suggests HR should alert IT when an employee is leaving, especially in terms of termination, or if layoffs are scheduled. This is key to preventing accidental or deliberate removal of company property or data. IT should quickly lock out the departed employee from not just their primary email account and assigned servers but their access to shared cloud sites as well.
 
 
 

IT Staffing: Do Technical or Interpersonal Skills Matter More?

In IT staffing, today's ideal candidate
must possesses a strong combination
of technical and interpersonal skills.

Imagine coming across a resume with such an outstanding list of technical knowledge and skills that it makes you swoon. You immediately bring the prospect in for an interview, but notice he doesn't communicate very well. He might be considered shy and seems challenged getting across what he's trying to say. You know the candidate would bring an extraordinary amount of talent to your organization. However, he might not be able to integrate well with your team. You're experiencing a common staffing dilemma: When it comes to IT staffing, which is more important, technical or interpersonal skills?

As it turns out, they're both equally important. In today's competitive market, IT professionals need to have an even split between both to perform the job well.

Why Strong Technical Skills Aren't Enough

We see it time and time again: Companies come to Hudson RPO looking for staffing solutions because their existing employees are performing poorly on the job. Typically, these employees don't lack technical prowess. Instead, they fail to effectively interact within their team or they don't understand the goals of their department and organization. They can't perform their jobs sufficiently due to poor business acumen, interpersonal communications and decision making. In fact, it can come down to something as simple as lacking commonsense.

Technical Skills + Interpersonal Skills = Success

As company technology needs become more specialized and critical to the strategic direction of each organization, the need for well-qualified IT professionals intensifies. Apart from demonstrating strong technical abilities, IT professionals must also communicate well and work cohesively as part of a team.

An employee or contractor needs to bring expertise in a specific software or technology while aligning with the company's strategy and understanding how each member of the team contributes to the end goal. The days of simple "head-down coding" are gone. Today's technology professionals need to effectively interact with other team members in an increasingly collaborative workspace. A person who possesses strong skills in both areas provides technical expertise along with the ability to work on a team, interact with other department stakeholders and understand the business solution that their employer is seeking through technology.

Here's good news for job seekers and recruiters alike: Both technical skills and interpersonal abilities can be learned and adopted. Effective managers and mentors play a large role in helping an employee become a better communicator and more personable. Technical prowess can be developed through "open source" resources, new technology projects initiated by a present employer, or self-teaching efforts. Hudson's Learning & Performance team offers training in both technical and interpersonal skills to help your IT professionals reach their highest potential.

Strong Business Smarts

In IT staffing, it's not all about knowing the latest Java flavor. It's about possessing a strong set of business-minded skills — including both technical and interpersonal abilities. IT professionals need to understand the business aspect that drives the technical need. They should understand their company's goals, work well as a team and be a strong coder.

 
 
 

Two Quick Tips for Qualifying IT Candidates

As an IT recruiter, searching job boards, reading resumes and conducting phone interviews are part of the job. However, qualifying candidates for technical positions can be difficult at best.

The following are a few suggested items recruiters might want to consider enlisting in order to qualify the best candidates.

A Good Job Description

Arming your IT recruiter with a high-quality job description is crucial to not only attracting candidates, but qualifying them as well. At its basic function, a job description serves as a sales tool; highlighting and selling the duties, responsibilities, required skill sets of the job, and the culture and benefits the company offers. This important, detailed sales document allows recruiters to target the best qualified candidates in the market, while screening out unqualified outliers.

Candidates need to know what will be expected of them during regular business activities, but more significantly, the job description should present the unambiguous details of the job requirements. To make sure everyone wins, job descriptions must be written with the ideal candidate in mind, instead of a broad range of candidates.

Think of all the time and costs that can be saved by reviewing a handful of eligible candidates versus having to sor through several hundred resumes that do not accurately represent the ideal individual for the job.

Technical Knowledge

Tech recruiters are required to understand various software, hardware and methodologies, plus must be able to qualify and quantify the skill sets and experience levels of potential job seekers each and every day. Recruiters can read “IT Recruiting for Dummies” as a start, but great recruiting comes out of a clear understanding of the client’s requirements. So, how is this achieved?

It’s simple.  It’s important to listen, and ask lots of questions.

It’s nearly impossible to stay in front of the latest updates, versions and trends.  However, by speaking with top talent and asking the simple, often neglected questions such as who, what, when, why, where, and how, real insight and education can be gained.  Experienced professionals are all around and technical knowledge can be learned through on-the-job training, a great mentor, subject matter experts, and from other recruiters willing to teach.

By taking information gathered from one discussion and sharing it in another conversation with someone in the same field, and leveraging the information again and again and again, eventually, that base of knowledge will develop to a point where candidates’ skill sets and experience can be evaluated in a well-informed manner.

 
 
 

Congratulations to HP and Hudson Team on Excellence in Learning

It's not everyday that you get to work on an award winning project. For the most part, technology and training projects are the quiet enablers for the business results of major corporations. If your IT is working right, and your staff knows how to use the tools, silent satisfaction from users is often the indicator of success. I was therefore very pleased to hear from Carol Cohen, Learning Program Manager at Hewlett Packard, that a project that she championed and utilized Hudson Learning & Performance consultants for, won an ASTD (American Society for Training & Development) Excellence in Practice Award. This Carol  attended the #ASTD2012 International Conference and Exposition where she received the certificate.

HP Connections and Learn2Connect

Senior executives at HP sought to improve the time efficiency within their vast global sales organization by making it easier to find experts to assist in sales challenges and learn from other team member best practices. After implementing HP Connections, a social business platform based on Jive Software, HP predicted improved sales efficiency of 20 hours selling time per year, and improved response times to customer inquiries. To achieve these objectives meant aggressively rolling out the platform to sales account teams who would need to adopt the platform and embrace extensive change to their sales process.

Carol's Learning and Development team came up with a compelling concept, Learn2Connect, a social/collaborative training program that could effectively respond to any resistance to change, support new users as they overcome the challenge of trying something new, and help build confidence in a whole new set of skills and knowledge in the use of HP Connections.

The program followed 3 pillars of design:

  1. Learning the Fundamentals: Instructor-led fundamentals classes, intro to Connections webinar briefings, task-specific learning modules.
  2. Expanding Capabilities: multilingual, task-specific job aids, blog postings, facilitated discussions
  3. Succeeding with Guidance: Personal trainer sessions, daily open conference calls, short training modules available on demand.

Many of the assets for Learn2Connect were housed within the Learning team's own HP Connections portal. By doing this, the trainers "walked a mile in the shoes" of the sales team to whom they would need to make the platform a part of their work life.

Learn2Connect screenshot
The Learn2Connect space within HP Connections.

You can watch and hear Carol Cohen provide more insight into the project design and some of its innovative components in this Brainshark webinar excerpt:

 

Hudson Learning & Performance Team Vital to Program Success

With an ambitious, high-profile project on her hands and a tight deadline for delivery, Carol looked to outside partners to help round out the skills necessary to ensure success. She came to me knowing that:

"One of the best things about working with Hudson is the bench strength of the talent available to me. I can count on their Instructional Design, Project Management, eLearning Development and Training skills from any number of high quality resources who have proven experience within my industry."

-Carol Cohen, Learning Program Manager, HP

Throughout the development of Learn2Connect, we were proud to engage Maryann Glover, Helena Nacinovic, and Todd DeHaven to provide support to Carol's team. In various roles from personal trainers to blog writers, job aid producers and webinar facilitators, the Hudson team played a key part in the successful execution of the program.
HP Connections profile of Helena Nacinovic

If you would like to download a one page summary of our work on the Learn2Connect program, have a look at our  HP Jive Social Media Intranet Case Study. Congratulations again to Carol, the HP and Hudson team on an outstanding workplace learning and development project! We look forward to much more collaboration in the future.

 
 
 

The Cloud: To Embrace Or Not to Embrace

If you are leading an IT organization that is not currently leveraging cloud services, you should assume that your competitors are already ahead of you in reaping the rewards. So, spread those arms wide and give the cloud a giant hug.

As leaders strive to inject growth and innovation into their companies in the next few years, information technology managers are no longer faced with the choice of whether or not to embrace the cloud as a critical aspect of their strategy. The cloud has already changed every aspect of our approach and attitude toward business applications and the time to act is now.

The flexibility, scalability and affordability of cloud computing combines Software as a Service (SaaS), virtualization and utility computing in a way that makes it practical for companies of all sizes to utilize. Organizations can edit, share and store as little as an individual document, to billions of transactions in cloud databases. As the cloud has been made available to businesses so, too have consumers been empowered with its ubiquitous availability. The wide adoption of Apple’s iCloud is one example of consumer acceptance of “everywhere computing” paid for by a simple monthly fee. The expectations of the functionality, storage and security of what is available to technology users is therefore increasing everyday.

Embracing the cloud does not go without its share of caveats. It is essential for companies migrating to the cloud to focus on understanding how new innovations will further disrupt the market. An IDC Research study claimed the cloud computing industry would reach $73 billion by 2015, bringing with it security, legal and reliability concerns. It is important to recognize that cloud computing should not be bound by a firm execution plan or the traditional stage-gate ideation process, but instead by a plan predicated on learning and discovery. Companies that have not yet begun to embrace the cloud can begin their entrance slowly, starting by moving one or two projects into the cloud to gauge user adoption and IT staff reaction.

As IT organizations rebuild their staff in the economic recovery they should also consider the shift in skills needed to adopt an increasing number of cloud applications. This shift to people who can analyze business, manage vendors, configure apps, and monitor performance, will define the next generation of technology worker.

Hudson IT periodically publishes white papers on current issues facing our technology clients and candidates. For more information on why there is no better time than the present to begin embracing cloud computing, download our whitepaper, 6 Reasons Why You Need To Embrace Cloud Computing Now.

 
 
 
 
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Hudson is a global talent solutions company. We help transform the workplace and unleash the full potential of organizations and individuals. Our expert team and proprietary tools provide you with unique insights and services that help you maximize your success. Across 20 countries, we deliver a range of recruitment, talent management and recruitment process outsourcing solutions to get you and your business where you want to be.