The blended workforce is the workforce of today, particularly in the tech industry. Forbes reported that as of November 2016, 93% of companies had a blended staff of contractors/freelancers, temporary talent and permanent, long-term employees. This has resulted in a renewed focus on the importance of employee integration, which is essential for maximizing productivity.
The need for new staff can arise at random, which underscores the importance of having an established integration process in place. Imagine this: Your company has received an unexpected wave of new projects and opportunities, which is wonderful. However, now you’re prompted to call in temporary resources. You’ll need a couple of full teams and a few supplementary developers to augment three existing teams. It’s really your only option if you want to accept these unexpected but potentially lucrative projects.
How will you go about integrating these resources into your staff? You understand the importance of employee integration, particularly when it comes to maximizing productivity. If an individual doesn’t understand their role or if a new team member hasn’t found their place in the workflow, achieving even moderate productivity can be a challenge. Yet you’re on some tight deadlines. So precisely how do you finish on time and within budget? Do you need to make special considerations during the recruiting and hiring process? Or is this just a project management challenge?
One Solution: Employee Integration Teams
The best companies will have an employee integration team, spanning all departments and divisions. This team works to develop onboarding and integration protocol and resources for new talent. Integration can be quite complex in many cases, as new arrivals must get acquainted with the project and workflow. New staff are also challenged with finding their place within the team dynamic. It’s a task that can be difficult when joining one of the larger agile development teams (with a couple dozen people or more!)
Your employee integration team should work to ensure that you have a designated guide who can handle the introduction, integration and training process in each division and on each development team. This guide will be the new team member’s point person for questions and orientation, which leaves other team members free to proceed as planned.
This is one benefit of hiring an entire team of temporary onsite staff instead of individuals: You can avoid many of the more time-consuming aspects of the employee integration process. In many cases, this group of temporary developers already has what it takes to perform well together. Alternatively, they may all be adept at forming a strong team dynamic quickly. They simply need the project specs, and can get to work creating whatever it is that you need developed.
How to Integrate Temporary Staff into Your Company Quickly and Efficiently
There are a number of measures that your company can implement to ensure that all staff—temporary and permanent alike—go through a brief but highly effective integration process. Consider the following points when evaluating your company’s ability to accommodate new team members, particularly those who are onsite as temporary resources.
- Hire for cultural fit. Always. So many hiring managers ignore the issue of cultural fit, despite the mountains of anecdotal evidence surrounding its importance. Cultural fit refers to the individual’s ability to mesh with not only their team members but the company culture as a whole. If your company is very relaxed, liberal and collaborative, with no dress code, a pet-friendly office that frequently allows staff to work from home or the nearby coffee shop, then it can be a poor fit for someone who prefers a more traditional office environment. This person may find the relaxed environment rather distracting and the highly collaborative team dynamic could feel stifling. This may also occur if someone who’s accustomed to a very relaxed, cooperative development team relocates to work in a more rigid, independent environment. Cultural fit must be addressed during the recruiting and hiring process, as it’s far more challenging to make it work if you hire the wrong talent. You could find yourself attempting to place a round peg in a square hole.
- Ensure your managers maintain continuous, hands-on working style. If you only meet with management once a week, then temporary staff may need to wait days before they get some vital pieces of the puzzle. An environment with managers who interact with talent on a continual, as-needed basis will yield much faster, smoother integration.
- Make the project specs available to new team members and encourage them to ask questions. The new talent must have a full and complete understanding of the project specs, whether you’re architecting a massive enterprise software program or developing a relatively simple mobile app. In fact, the talent should already be familiar with those specifications, as savvy recruiters and hiring managers use specs as the basis for the job description. Therefore, the essentials should have been discussed—at least in a more general sense—during the recruiting and hiring phase. Once you’ve provided the talent with the specs, allow them sufficient time to absorb the information and be ready to address any questions that arise. A careful spec review is key, as it will prevent confusion and errors down the line. Give your developers time to ramp up to full speed, as rushing gives rise to mistakes.
- Make an effort to prepare your existing staff. It’s not uncommon for your internal team to feel a bit threatened by the introduction of new talent. You may receive a bit of “push back” as your in-house team feels as though the temporary staff are encroaching upon their territory. This is more apt to occur if your team is not prepared in advance, so make a concerted effort to explain why the decision was made to call in additional resources. It’s also helpful to discuss what to expect over the coming weeks.
Hiring managers seeking temporary staff for the first time should confer with others throughout the company to determine if the aforementioned measures are in place. And if those measures are not present, could they be implemented in relatively short order? This will ensure a prompt and smooth employee integration process for your temporary team members.
If you’re seeking an experienced IT staffing firm who can help you find the temporary talent that you need to succeed, turn to the experts at iTech. Our developers and other tech professionals know precisely how to get results in today’s hyper-competitive world. We invite you to contact us today to begin the process of finding IT staff.