This post is contributed by Dean Mathews, CEO of OnTheClock.
With almost all day-to-day company functions being technology-dependent, it’s difficult to imagine an efficiently functioning workplace without an IT department.
So, it comes as no surprise that the advice market surrounding IT productivity is saturated. However, not all these tips are created equal. Some might actually be detrimental instead of beneficial to your IT team and business.
“Putting too much pressure on yourself or your team to complete an ever-expanding list of daily to-dos could result in elongated working hours, stress, and eventually, burnout.”
Getting more things done is not the only end goal of productivity. It’s doing it in a way that is sustainable, smart, and cognisant to the wellbeing of tech professionals.
The good news: successful tech teams have been sharing productivity hacks that have worked for them.
Here are 7 ways you can increase your tech team’s productivity, from IT professionals themselves.
1. Make Work Meaningful
According to a survey by The Energy Project involving 12,000 respondents, team members who find purpose in their work reported 1.4 times higher workplace engagement, 1.7 times better job satisfaction, and are 3x more likely to stay with their current company.
You might be thinking, “Meaning? In IT? Are you kidding me?”
While it is true that working in IT isn’t readily associated with purpose or meaning, it doesn’t mean it can’t be. For example, make sure members of your IT department understand and appreciate how their work impacts the overall success of the company. If your tech team develops customer-facing products or services, give them facetime with your customers to show the positive impact due to their hard work.
2. Break Down Projects into Small, Manageable Tasks
One of the soundest and most sustainable productivity hacks, especially for IT teams, is to approach difficult tasks carefully and steadily.
IT projects are almost always big in scale. There are several moving parts and just reviewing all the things that need to be accomplished from Day 1 to project completion can be exhausting and daunting.
It’s important not to overwhelm your tech team by assigning too much work at once. As the project lead, break down the project into smaller, more manageable tasks. Do not move on to the next phase until everything is 100% completed. This doesn’t necessarily decrease the workload, but it puts your team in a more positive organised mindset which is crucial for sustained productivity.
"You hired smart, talented people because they could get the job done. Now let them do it."
Micromanagement paralyzes employees. Instead of getting things done, the thought that there’s a “Big Brother” watching their every move is counterproductive. Micromanagement kills creativity and deflates employee morale.
Likewise, there are a number of tech managers that overburden their team with reporting. If your team members are spending more than 10% of their workday to document what they’re doing, you’re wasting their time. As a win-win solution, you can invest in an automated time tracking software that allows your tech team to conveniently and accurately track their tasks.
4. Equip Your Team with Collaboration and Productivity Tools
You can’t expect a warrior to win a battle without the right weapons. The same goes for your IT department. If you don’t invest in the right tools that will encourage collaboration and increase their efficiency, don’t blame them if their productivity takes a slump.
Even the brightest tech professionals are only as good as the tools and resources they use daily. Investing in the right tools should be the cardinal productivity rule across all HR departments. It should be user-agnostic, intuitive, and easy to use. It should streamline communication and make collaboration among team members easy.
5. Simplify Processes and Eliminate Unnecessary Tasks
Once upon a time, there was a misplaced belief that more complex workflows are better, more sophisticated, and reflect how advanced a workplace is. The result? Tech teams were burdened with unnecessarily long procedures that made tech personnel unproductive.
Set aside time to revisit your workflows and check if there are processes that could be simplified, and if you can minimise several steps into fewer, more streamlined processes. If a specific task does not contribute to the goal at hand, figure out whether it can be simplified or removed. You can also ask your team for their recommendations on what tasks they believe are unnecessary to their jobs.
6. Don’t Underestimate Nourishment
Working in tech is draining — literally. After a half-day of coding or troubleshooting tech issues, the work could take a physical toll on your IT team.
It’s no wonder why a lot of companies like Google provide free food to their employees. It’s a simple gesture, but it goes a long way in keeping your team energized and maintaining your IT department’s productivity.
7. Provide Timely Feedback
Putting in hours at work just to find out that all the hard work did not contribute to the team’s goals is not only counterproductive, but it is also demoralizing. This is why timely feedback is important.
Giving timely feedback to tech professionals allows them to make the necessary adjustments so as not to waste time doing things that are not in line with the overall team objectives.
Likewise, recognize team members who are doing well. Positive reinforcement is a time-tested way to improve a team’s productivity.
Productive Tech Teams Lead to Successful Businesses
Improving productivity will continue to be an unending quest for tech teams. The responsibilities of tech departments will grow and become more complex over time. As such, productivity management strategies will also evolve, and the above tips will be relevant for years to come.
With vital business functions relying on a solid tech infrastructure, the productivity of your tech team is a key ingredient to the overall productivity and success of the entire workplace.
Dean Mathews is the founder and CEO of OnTheClock, an online employee time tracking app that helps over 8,000 companies all around the world track time. Dean has over 20 years of experience designing and developing business apps.
He views software development as a form of art. If the artist creates a masterpiece, many peoples lives are touched and changed for the better.
When he is not perfecting time tracking, Dean enjoys expanding his faith, spending time with family, friends and finding ways to make the world just a little better. You can find Dean on LinkedIn.
This is the second episode of the series on "Future of Hiring". In the last episode we interviewed Balaji Viswanathan (Founder/CEO of Mitra Robots) to know his views on the same.
In this series we talk to top entrepreneurs to know their opinions on current and the future state of hiring.
We were glad that we could interview Priyaank to get his opinion on hiring. He is the CTO & Co-Founder of DailyRounds. DailyRounds is a service for doctors that combines elements of a social network and a medical journal.
Below are few questions we asked Priyaank and the answers -
Who is Priyaank Chaubey and his role in DailyRounds?
Priyaank is currently the CTO & Co-Founder of DailyRounds. He is currently heading the backend development team and also plays a major role in tech hiring for the company.
How has been Priyaank's journey so far ?
Before DailyRounds, Priyaank changed a lot of companies. His first company was an MNC. Because he didn’t like the MNC culture much, Priyaank decided to quit the job. He always wanted to do some something in the startup front.
During his journey Priyaank started and failed a lot of startups. But it helped Priyaank to gain a lot of experience, which he wouldn't otherwise. He has worked with many ex Google and Microsoft employees. This helped him to sharpen his skills and in his growth.
What's the mission of DailyRounds ?
In simple words, DailyRounds help doctors become better.
“The better the doctors get, the better will be our lives” - says Priyaank.
You can access DailyRounds through an app (iOS and Android) & on the web.
What was your personal experience when getting hired ? What platforms or ways you have used in getting a job?
Most of the companies Priyaank joined after quitting the MNC job was startups. Surprisingly all the other jobs after that was through meetups. He's personally a big fan of the HasGeek Meetup.
“ I’d never had to use any job platforms. It was all through my connections I made at meetups and developer events.” - says Priyaank.
He also recommends HasJobs (a free Job Board) to all the developers looking for jobs.
What was your approach for hiring for DailyRounds ? Does having a CTO affect hiring?
Most of the early hire at DailyRounds was made through connections. But as of now they are using platforms like LinkedIn, Angel.co & HasJobs.
“The main problem with these platforms, it makes the hiring process very slow. There are a lot of hit and misses. This is the reason I liked AirCTO so much. It makes the process so simple.” - says Priyaank.
Most of the early hires were reviewed by the Tech Advisors (because we lacked experience in hiring then). Though Priyaank had a role to play too, it was more about learning the hiring process. So, it takes time, even for a CTO to hire employees.
“It’s not only about going through the skillsets of the candidate, but also about understanding the individual. This can only be developed gradually. ” - says Priyaank.
How do you see the Indian hiring system? What changes you want to see in the hiring system?
“I think almost everything around hiring has remained the same in the last few years. The only problem I see is companies are neglecting checking for Cultural fit. I think it’s very crucial when hiring employees.” - says Priyaank.
According to Priyaank, cultural fit is as important as the skills of the candidate. For a right hire, you need to find a candidate which has the balance of both.
Currently there is a lot of noise in the hiring system. If the noise can be reduced, given the AI advancements, hiring would become lot more simpler and faster, both for candidates as well as for companies.
How will hiring change in the next 10 years?
In the next 10 years, we’ll see the introduction of Smart-AI systems. This will help companies in pre-evaluating the skills required for a particular job.
The whole filtration process will improve significantly because of this.
How you compare Technical Hiring vs Non-Technical Hiring ?
“Initially both were hard for us. But as time passed we got better in hiring” - says Priyaank. At DailyRounds we hire a lot of doctors, which is a very hard task. For these roles, there are many assignment which helps them understand the potential of the candidate.
While for technical roles, Priyaank prefers to meet the candidates in person before getting into any conclusion.
How AirCTO was useful in Tech Hiring for DailyRounds ?
Before AirCTO, DailyRounds were using different consultancies for hiring. It was very difficult for them to close a position from the profiles they got from these agencies.
Most of the profiles they got as Priyaank says weren’t appropriate mostly because the person sending these profiles had no idea about tech skills.
Tech Team - DailyRounds
After AirCTO things changed significantly for DailyRounds.
Things Priyaank loved about AirCTO -
1. The way the candidate shows up in the AirCTO platform.
2. The candidates we got from AirCTO were almost perfect.
3. It helped them save a lot of engineering hours.
How many engineering hours DailyRounds must have saved because of using AirCTO?
“Before AirCTO, we focused on multiple channels for profiles. It almost took us 100 hours to close a position. But after using AirCTO’s services the hiring time reduced by almost one fifth of the original time” - says Priyaank.
As of now they have to spend only 20-25 hours for a potential hire which is only 20 percent of what they used to spend earlier.
How do you see AirCTO changing the tech recruitment space ? Would you recommend AirCTO?
The main advantage of AirCTO over other platforms is that with AirCTO you can expect near perfect profiles according to the requirement.
“With AirCTO, I don’t need to use any other at platforms. I would definitely recommend AirCTO. I have already told about AirCTO to many of my CTO colleagues.” - says Priyaank.
Future of Hiring Ep #2 with Priyaank Chaubey (Co-Founder, DailyRounds) | AirCTO - YouTube
Hope you liked our article on "Future of Hiring". If you liked the content, do share it on your favourite social media channel. Don't forget to tag AirCTO.
Here are few more interviews you might be interested in -
Are you fed up of spending money on Recruitment Agencies and Job Portals?
The per hire cost factor for India has been measured to be about Rs. 25500 nearly for all the industries.
Wouldn’t you wish, candidates applying themselves to your company rather than you hunting them down?
Don’t worry, we will be sharing below the 10 best ways you can use attract the top talent to your company. Before diving into the tips, let’s see why attracting talent to your company is so important.
The number one reason is “increasing competition for talent”.
A recent survey on Quartz side found that 36% of organizations around the world reported a shortage in talent, the highest rate seen in over seven years.
Attracting top talent is also important because you can then save money spent on sourcing the candidates.
Let’s look at the best practices below -
Building an interesting Career’s page
I see many few companies spending time in building a good career page. It’s simpler than you might think it to be. It’s as simple as sharing videos and images about the culture followed in your company on the page. These photos and videos definitely have an impact on the initial interest of the candidate.
These steps help a lot in attracting more interested candidates. You should also consider adding a live chat application or mention some support email which can be used by candidates can get their doubts cleared.
You can refer to Aertrip’s careers page as an inspiration. They have done an amazing job from the startup point of view.
Case studies and Interviews
Who doesn’t like stories? Everybody likes it!
What does a candidate want out of a career page? Apart from getting to know about the job opening, he/she is also interested in knowing how is it like working in the company, and the culture followed there.
Here’s a video from Ola as an example:
Data Science at Ola - YouTube
Apart from putting these videos on the career’s page, you can also put these videos on your YT Channel and other Social Media platforms.
Talent Pool Newsletter
Has there been a situation when you interested in hiring a candidate but you can’t because either doesn’t have an opening for that position yet or maybe your company can’t afford it then?
If the answer is yes, then a newsletter can be really helpful to be connected with these candidates.
Here’s are the steps you should take to create such a newsletter-
Identify the candidates which you are interested in hiring for your organisation. After identifying the right candidates, add all of them to a mailing list.
Send personalised emails to this list.
The mail could be about new job openings, events or company updates.
The main aim is to build a strong relationship through the newsletter.
Starting Internships and Summer Jobs Programs
Most companies don’t give a second thought to starting an “Intern Program”. But it can be beneficial in a lot of ways -Finding future employeesAn Intern program can help companies have an ongoing pipeline of future full-time employees. It gives a platform to discover candidates that can potentially be a great fit for your companyIncrease in Employee-Retention rateAccording to NACE's 2009 Experiential Education Survey -
Almost 40% of employers reported a higher five-year retention rate among employees they'd hired via their internship programs.Cost Effective By using sites like Internshala you can hire interns at a very affordable cost. This cost is considerably less when compared to hiring full-time employees.
Employee Referral Program
One of the best ways you can attract talent is by creating an employee referral program. According to the study on RecruiterFlow blog, a company can decrease the hire time by 40% if the candidate is referred.
Let’s see at the other benefits of such a program -Hire better and fasterMost of the times the referred candidates perform better when compared to non-referred one’s. According to a study by achievers, the chances of a referred candidate getting fired decrease by an average of 350%!
Overall these candidates tend to fit in better than non-referred candidates.
Gain early access to Talent
If you want to succeed in hiring you should start engaging with talent even before they are looking for employment. You can do this in multiple ways.
-Visiting College Campus
-Arranging workshops or events
Or it can be any other innovative way using which the recruiting team can have interaction with the talent.
Use Social Media
If you have a decent following on Social Media, you can leverage that to attract talent. Many companies like Zomato and TVF have leveraged Social Media to hire people.
Most of the times these campaigns are quite successful. The best part you need not spend a penny into the process.
Hope you understand now, Why attracting talent is necessary and what are the best ways to do the same.
The less you rely on third-party sources for recruitment, the better.
Tracking Recruitment metrics is crucial in improving hiring.
If you know these metrics you can make data-driven decisions rather than gut feeling. It’s important for any company to keep a track of these metrics, at least the important ones.
But you can’t track all the recruitment metrics as there are so many of them. Hence we have curated a list of 18 recruitment metrics that you should care about.
What are Recruitment Metrics?
These metrics are mostly used to track hiring success and to optimize the hiring process. These metrics will also help you know that whether you are hiring the right person for the right position or not.
Making the right recruiting decisions is key to any company’s growth. It’s all about an employee’s lifetime value.
Note: All the recruitment metrics mentioned below are not in any particular order, it's all random.
Let’s see the Recruitment Metrics that you should focus on -
1. Time to fill
As the name suggests its the time taken to look for a candidate and hire a candidate. So it’s basically the total time between posting a job opening and hiring the candidate.
Time to fill depends on the various criterion.According to GlassDoor data -
Police officers reported the longest average duration (127.6 days), followed by patent examiners
(87.6 days), assistant professors (58.7 days), senior vice presidents (55.5 days) and program analysts (51.8 days).
The shortest hiring times were for entry-level marketing jobs (3.9 days), followed by entry-level sales (5.4 days ) and bartenders (5.7 days).
This way a recruiter can easily plan as must be knowing "The average time it would take to replace an employee with a new one".
So, let’s assume employee X is leaving at a Y date, steps can be taken as to when should the management start looking out for a replacement accordingly.
2. Time to hire
Most people think it’s the same as above. But it’s a little different.
Let’s see how?
This the amount of time taken for an approached candidate to accept the job. This is the time taken to go through the complete hiring process.
This data helps you to understand the effectiveness of your hiring team. The lesser the hiring time the better it's for the company.
Sometimes people refer this time to “Time to Accept”.