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Before the Interview: Screening a Candidate Through Social Media

There are a range of different factors that might be taken into consideration when businesses look at  potential employees during the hiring process. A person’s education, past work history and references are all important, and how a person conducts themselves during an interview is also notable. However, even some of the most tech-savvy companies are forgetting about social media. A potential candidate almost certainly has a social media presence, and hiring managers can learn a lot through this.

Inappropriate Photos or Language

According to a recent survey from Career Builder[1], roughly 39 percent of companies are currently using social media as a way to screen potential hires. The largest reason to do this, according to many leaders in the HR field, is to weed out those candidates who feature inappropriate pictures, drug use or racist language in their profiles or online communication.

Great Communication Skills

While the presumption is that candidates can be taken out of the race through their social media presence, employers should also be looking for evidence of solid communication. Tweeting to a brand, linking friends in photos and even a solid LinkedIn profile with numerous endorsements can say a lot of great things about a potential employee. While some hiring managers will treat the social media screening as a kind of witch hunt, be sure to look for the positives as well.

Legal Issues For Pre-Employment Screening Online

Although the practice of screening employees before hire through their social media profiles is certainly a common practice, Fast Company[2] reminds managers and business owners that there are some legal issues that can come into play. By checking a candidate’s profile on Facebook, for example, you will come across details like their age, gender, religion and even pregnancy status. Although you might not let these details influence you, it can be hard to deny that in court. A safer approach is to let someone not associated with hiring conduct the social media searches and only bring relevant information to your attention.

There are clearly numerous benefits to looking a candidate’s social media presence before hiring them. However, care should be taken to avoid any legal issues surrounding this online screening.


[1] http://thehiringsite.careerbuilder.com/2013/07/01/two-in-five-employers-use-social-media-to-screen-candidates/

[2] http://www.fastcompany.com/1843142/using-facebook-screen-potential-hires-can-get-you-sued

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5 Benefits of Hiring Part-Time Employees

When it comes to choosing the right workforce, key concerns are hard costs, consumer demand and organizational structure. Part-time employees may be exactly what you need to help meet these demands. Although many companies gravitate towards full-time employees, hiring part-time employees can be quite advantageous.

With this in mind, here are five benefits of hiring part-time employees:

1. Cut Labor Costs

Hiring a part-time employee is very economical. Generally, these employees work for an hourly wage and can be scheduled based on the needs of the business. If your company needs more hands on deck during the holidays or a slimmer workforce during the summer, part-time employees may be exactly what you are looking for. Also, most part-time employees often do not receive benefits. This can result in significant cost savings.

2. Boost Employee Morale

Part-time employees allow you to boost morale by giving full-time employees a break. When employees are asked to work long hours with very little time off, morale can take a beating. By using part-time employees to fill gaps in the schedule, you can reduce the number of hours that full-time employees have to work. This will also save costs by reducing the amount of overtime wages.

3. Flexibility

Unlike full-time employees, part-time workers do not have to be scheduled for a set amount of hours. Many businesses find it useful to use part-time employees to fill shifts that are not covered by regular full-time employees. This may include night or weekend shifts. The ability to schedule these employees on an as-needed basis allows managers to maintain productivity levels without paying unnecessary wages.

4. Less Burnout

The burnout rate among part-time employees is very low. Since they work fewer hours, part-time employees are often refreshed and enthusiastic about the work they do.

5. Higher Quality Work

Another perk of hiring part-time employees is that they can be trained to specialize in a specific task. This allows them to produce higher quality work than employees that frequently have to rotate positions. This can be especially useful in administrative or manufacturing roles.

Part-time employees can be an asset to any company. This flexible type of employee allows businesses to maintain productivity while tightly managing labor costs. Part-time employees may be exactly what your business needs to maintain a unique, diversified workforce.

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What to Look For When Conducting a Video Interview

Over the past decade, the rise of video interviews has been impressive. Starting first with technology companies, video conferencing is now a common way for businesses to interview potential candidates. In fact, one survey from 2012 reports that 63 percent of companies use Internet-based video conferencing technology for the interview process[i]. In many ways, conducting a video interview is similar to a face-to-face meeting, thanks in large part to the rapid rate of technological improvements. However, there are some key differences. Here are the top things to look for when conducting a video interview:

Eye Contact

When using Skype technology to conduct an interview over the Internet, interviewees often make the mistake of looking at their own face on the screen rather than looking directly into the camera. While this can sometimes be attributed to using new technology, those individuals who maintain eye contact are typically those who are self-assured and confident. Those interviewees looking at their own picture may be nervous or uncomfortable about the interviewing process. Just as you would take eye contact in a traditional interview to be a strength, you should consider eye contact through the camera in a video interview.

Professional Appearance

Since video interviews typically only show the top half of a person’s body, some interviewees are only dressing professionally from the waist up. While the odds of you seeing their jeans or sweatpants on screen are slim, take note of their surroundings. Are the walls bare and the desk clean? Both the potential candidate and their workspace should come across as clean, professional and mature.

Predetermined Answers

Having great answers to all of your questions is an advantageous thing, but interviewers should be sure that potential job candidates are not simply reading predetermined or scripted answers. Preparing for an interview shows focus and organizational skills, but simply reading from a card can be seen as negative. Ask some unusual or completely unexpected questions to determine their ad lib communication skills.

With the cost of flying a candidate to a job interview being so high, an increasing number of companies are turning to online video conferencing interviews.


[i] http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/survey-six-in-10-companies-conduct-video-job-interviews-167973406.html

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How Have Virtual Staffing Platforms Changed the Recruitment Process?

Technology has revolutionized the recruiting process. The days when newsprint ads were a primary component of the hiring process are long gone. Now, with technology changing by the nanosecond, virtual staffing platforms have taken center stage.

Virtual staffing platforms have positively changed the recruiting process in a variety of ways. Here are just a few of the benefits that it has brought to the table:

More Diversity

In the past few decades, diversity has been a hot topic in the recruiting industry. As companies begin to place an increasingly large emphasis on maintaining a diverse workforce, recruiters are challenged to find candidates that are not only talented, but also diverse. Virtual staffing platforms offer a solution to this problem by giving recruiters access to more candidates. As an example, positing a company vacancy online will likely yield a more diverse candidate pool than a classified ad in a newspaper.

Cost Effectiveness

Another benefit of virtual staffing platforms is that they help cut hiring costs. For instance, many recruiting portals now utilize some form of data mining software. This allows recruiters to save time by quickly identifying applicants with the most relevant skills. Also, video chatting software reduces travel expenses and minimizes the time constraints associated with scheduling an interview.

Larger Talent Pool

Virtual staffing platforms eliminate geographical boundaries. With just one click, you can connect with the brightest minds from across the globe. Before the virtual staffing platforms became integrated into the recruiting process, recruiters were often limited to the talent within their geographical area. Now, as the recruiting process is more virtual than ever, this is no longer the case.

When it comes to the recruiting process, virtual staffing platforms have changed it for the better. Recruiters now have access to a broader, more diverse talent pool without the added time and expenditures of manual recruiting. As technology continues to advance, the recruiting process will surely continue to take positive strides.

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What Do Potential Hires Prefer: Higher Salaries or Flexible Schedules?

When a company prepares to offer a job to a potential hire, many different attributes compose the employment package offered. This employment package is meant to entice a candidate to accept the job, and it should include the benefits that a company can reasonably offer and that a potential employee would find integral to their career and life. Among the things a job applicant will look for within an employment offer are job and company stability, alignment of the offered position with their career interests, the company and office culture, and, of course, salary and benefits.

Salary is often thought to be the most important component of a job offer, but the reality is more complicated. While an applicant will look for a dollar amount that is commensurate with the industry and their experience and expertise, they’ll also be looking for a broad range of benefits to cover the needs of themselves and their family as well as opportunities to promote work/life balance. In the modern workplace, this has led to an increasing number of organizations offering flexible scheduling and work arrangements.

While the amount of money that goes into their bank account each payday is vitally important to job candidates, many are willing to accept a reasonably lower salary in exchange for the ability to work more flexibly. This may include working from home, working better hours or arranging work schedules to suit outside interests such as family, school or community involvement.

What this means to a company hiring to fill vacancies is that while an attractive salary will net suitable candidates, a balanced package that includes flexibility can enable the engagement of employees who might otherwise look elsewhere. Many job-seekers currently looking for new opportunities prefer the opportunity to align their work and personal interests over simply earning the highest salary. When bundled with additional benefits and when in alignment with the candidate’s expectations of work culture and future stability, a company can pull in better employees who will be engaged in their work and committed to the organization’s overall goals, aims and vision.

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3 Ways to Speed Up the Hiring Process Without Sacrificing Quality

In the hiring world, there is a common misconception that a long hiring process is the best way to search for talent. In reality, finding and hiring talent is a business decision as much as it is a people one. From the business standpoint, you need to get the position filled quickly. A quicker hiring process lowers the overall cost per hire. Here are three ways that you can find talent quickly, without sacrificing quality:

1. Look Internally

Before you draft a job description and begin your search for the perfect hire, post the job internally. There could be an employee with the exact qualities you are looking for right under your nose. Although hiring internally may still leave a position to be filled, hiring a clerical or general production laborer is much less time-consuming than searching for the experience and knowledge it takes to fill a higher-level position.

2. Amp Up Your Job Descriptions

A job description is your chance to convey this to prospective employees. Be descriptive – instead of simply listing job duties, try providing a brief description of the company, its benefits and why individuals would want to work there. When it comes to outlining the requirements of the job, be as specific as possible to narrow your search.

3. Flexible Interviewing

Whenever you are searching for a specific type of employee, always assume that other companies want them too. In order to be competitive, you may want to offer flexible scheduling options. In a world dominated by smartphones, tablets and laptop computers, you are no longer limited to in-person interviews. Video chatting platforms allow you to conduct an equally thorough interview without the hassle of coordinating schedules. This gives you the flexibility to schedule the interview virtually any time.

When it comes to hiring, speed is not necessarily indicative of quality. The secrets to filling a position quickly are modifying your strategy and being flexible. Doing this will enable you to find a quality candidate in no time.