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Disadvantages of a “Tortoise Mindset” Within the Hiring Process

image_016Do you remember the old adage from Aesop’s Fables, “slow but steady wins the race?” Not a bad philosophy to live by the majority of the time, however, you probably shouldn’t apply this advice to your company’s hiring process especially when you consider the toll it will take on the “candidate experience.” Research has found that companies need an average of 23 days to screen and hire new employees, which is up from 13 days in 2010 [1]. While it’s obviously important to be thorough throughout your hiring process in order to avoid costly mistakes, if the process runs too long, your company could potentially lose out on some of the best talent that’s out there.

Negative Perceptions

The longer the hiring process, the more frustrated candidates become – which will inevitably lead to negative perceptions about your company. In addition, the impression you leave may have a ripple effect on future candidates. A Robert Half study revealed that when forced to endure a lengthy hiring process, nearly 40 percent of job seekers lost interest in the position and elected to pursue other opportunities. Additionally, more than 30 percent indicated that a drawn-out process made them question whether the employer was good at making decisions in other areas of their business [2].  Many candidates view their first and only interaction with a company (during the recruitment process) as a significant indicator of what it’s like to work there – so, if it is poor, then the likelihood of applying in the future is further diminished. Talent acquisition teams trying to build a “talent community” will certainly feel this impact.

Decline in the Quality of Hire and Other Side Effects

You might assume that taking more time to make a hiring decision would result in better hires. While that might be true in some instances, it could also precipitate a falloff in candidate quality due to the fact that top candidates will take themselves out of the running and go elsewhere.  The longer the review process takes the more insecure and disillusioned your best candidates will become.  The top 10 percent of candidates are often gone from the marketplace within 10 days [3]. This is an undeniable reality. The speed at which you engage your candidates is critical when competing head to head with talent competitors. Beyond the obvious fact that you may lose some great candidates along the way, there are some potential side effects which will be felt in other areas of your business including a slowdown in innovation, production schedules, product delays, employee morale, revenue generation and a fatigued work force.

The Buyer Conclusion

Clearly, there are numerous ways in which a slow hiring process will do damage to your company from a recruitment as well as a business standpoint. Fortunately, just by making some minor adjustments, you can improve your situation quickly and rather dramatically. The easiest and perhaps least disruptive steps that can be taken to shorten your hiring cycles merely involve better communication. Did you know that approximately 75 percent of workers who utilize a variety of sources to apply for jobs never hear back from employers [4]? By keeping candidates informed and involved in the process, your organization portrays itself as effective, efficient and considerate of the people they want to join. Maintaining communication with candidates throughout the hiring process should be a priority and is the foundation of a positive relationship with current and future employees.

If you are interested in learning more about how Buyer can help streamline your hiring process, I’d love to hear from you. Contact me, Michael Wishnow, Vice President of Relationship Development, at mwishnow@BuyerAds.com. I can also be reached by my mobile (978) 985-1163 or direct at my office (857) 404-0864.

 

 

[1] https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-to-deal-with-a-long-hiring-process-1453231053

[2] http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/9330-quick-hiring-process.html

[3] https://www.eremedia.com/ere/the-top-12-reasons-why-slow-hiring-severely-damages-recruiting-and-business-results/

[4] https://www.eremedia.com/tlnt/best-ways-to-communicate-with-job-candidates-in-the-social-media-age/

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How Technology is Changing Human Resource Management

image_10Technology is changing every sector of the economy at a rapid pace. One of the biggest changes is in the way that information is shared. When human resources managers are seeking to recruit staff members, post jobs or keep track of applicants, technology is interwoven throughout every process. Consider these three ways in which technology is changing the way that your organization finds, evaluates and trains new people to work in your organization.

Recruiting Through Social Media

More than 92 percent of human resources officers report that they use social media as a recruitment tool [1]. Most adults actively participate in at least one social media network. Human resources teams can post job openings through a variety of methods on social media. They can use a person’s university affiliation, experience, likes and interests on social media as recruitment techniques. Social media also allows for the implementation of viral recruiting techniques. For example, if your company has dozens or hundreds of seasonal jobs to fill, shares and retweets on social media are fast ways to recruit the staff you need.

Digital Job Postings and Applications

Long gone are the days when you had to fax a job advertisement to the newspaper, wait for them to print it and then wait for applications to come in through snail mail. You can now use technology to almost instantaneously deliver job postings to dozens of recruitment websites, university posting services, professional networks and social media outlets. Applicants do not have to carefully print their applications. They can deliver them to you through your platform or send them electronically through email, allowing you to get responses within minutes of posting an opening.

Information Storage and Retrieval

When your recruitment strategies on social media are successful, you could end up with hundreds of applications. Technology facilitates the storage and retrieval of all of this information. When you have another, similar job opening, you can refer to your database and see which qualified applicants might fit the bill. Cloud computing makes it easy and cost-effective to store a great deal of digital information for recruiting.

[1] http://www.gethppy.com/hrtrends/technology-changing-human-resource-management

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What is the Future of Applicant Tracking Systems in Recruiting?

image_16In today’s competitive economy, employers still hold the edge when it comes to filling a job that pays well and offers great benefits. These openings could attract dozens, perhaps hundreds or even thousands of applicants. Sorting through so many applications could take all of your time, which is why applicant tracking systems in recruiting are so important. As many as 50 percent of mid-size employers use these systems while up to 90 percent of large corporations use them [1]. Consider these ways that applicant tracking systems could be of use or change in the future.

Improving the Quality of New Hires

Applicant tracking systems in recruiting will continue to provide an opportunity to boost the quality of the new hires that you bring into your corporation. These tracking systems can help you to use pre-identified standards, such as certain programming languages in computer systems jobs or fluency in Spanish for sales jobs. The automatic selection of candidates with the ideal qualifications helps you to avoid wasting your time reading through applications of people who do not have what you are seeking in a new hire.

Complying with Laws

Now and into the future, you will be able to use applicant tracking systems in your recruiting procedures to comply with local, state and federal hiring requirements. For example, if your organization were to receive a complaint about the recruitment or hiring practices, you could refer to the data collected by your applicant tracking system to back up your practices and provide key details about the numbers of applicants and their demographic information.

Instantaneous Messaging with Applicants

When a fantastic application comes into your tracking system, you may want to contact that person right away and have the individual come in for an interview. The future of tracking systems will allow for instant messaging or calling of the applicant. Being able to quickly contact a fabulous candidate gives your organization the best chance of adding that person to your organization instead of letting the person slip through the cracks and end up with one of your competitors.

 

[1] http://www.hireright.com/blog/2014/02/four-key-benefits-of-an-e-recruiting-solution-ats-applicant-tracking-system/

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Building a Strong Company Blog By Including Employees as Authors

image_08Including your employees as authors on your company blog helps to build a stronger company culture. The different voices that your employees have to offer also provide your blog with a wider perspective and range of writing styles. According to Marketeer, corporate blogs with 15 posts per month generate an average of 1,200 new leads [1]. Allowing more people to participate in blog authorship can expand your reach even more.

Offering a New Perspective

Each employee in your company offers a new perspective on what it means to be a member of the organization. Writing from the same perspective all of the time can be boring to your audience. If every blog is written by the CEO, your readers will have no way to know what the rest of the people think. Allowing different employees to author blog posts shows that you value every member of your company equally. Including various employees at different levels of your company also demonstrates that every person’s voice is respected.

Exploring How Employees Joined Your Company

Companies often seem like impersonal, huge entities to the public. Including employees as authors on the company blog provides a more personal view of what happens in your company. Employees can explore their career history and how they came to be a member of your business. Each person’s career takes a different path, and this sort of biography can be fascinating for your loyal customers and business partners to read. This information also shows how your employees have the skills and experience to do their jobs.

Highlighting Employee Work

While the general public and even the other workers at your company know what the CEO, CFO and COO of your company do, they might not have a good idea of what your business analysts, customer support staff or human relations coordinators do on a daily basis. Allowing your employees to write blog posts about how they contribute to your organization highlights the fact that your company would not be what it is without everyone there working together to help the entire business succeed.
[1] http://marketeer.kapost.com/corporate-blogging-stats/

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Recruitment Strategies for Finding Candidates with Strong Communications Skills

image_20No matter which industry your organization is in, communications skills are critical to success. According to a survey of 600 employers in the tech industry, communications skills were the most important factor in hiring [1]. Every interaction with a potential customer can be made or broken by the quality of communications skills offered by your employees. When recruiting candidates, consider these three strategies for assessing and finding each person’s skills at communicating in the workplace.

Applicant Testing

Applicant testing is a good recruitment strategy for finding people who have strong vocabularies and written communications skills. As a part of an application to work in your organization, you can include a series of questions that require a written response. These could be solutions to a problem commonly faced by your organization or a subjective, situational question about how to handle an issue with a client. These answers will give you an idea of how the candidate communicates in written form.

Group Interviews

Group interviews are an excellent recruitment strategy for determining a candidate’s communication skills. During a group interview session, you can evaluate the candidate’s vocabulary. Consider whether the person directly answers the questions you ask or beats around the bush. You may also consider the tone of replies, such as whether the candidate is too casual or colorful in his or her responses, or whether he or she is too technical for the audience. Group interviews are also a good way to get a read on a candidate’s body language. Straight posture, regular eye contact and appropriate distance and dress are all important forms of communication in the workplace.

Reviewing Past Experience and Checking References

When your organization posts a job opening, you will receive dozens or perhaps hundreds of applications. Check out those cover letters and resumes for signs of communications skills. Poor grammar or excessive use of jargon suggests that a person has poor communication skills. When you find an applicant you are interested in, call his or her references and focus on different types of communications skills, such as oral presentations and written reports.

[1] http://www.mba.com/us/the-gmat-blog-hub/the-official-gmat-blog/2014/aug/employers-want-communication-skills-in-new-hires.aspx

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How Managing Your Organization’s Online Reputation Attracts Better Talent

image_30On a daily basis, one of your customers, employees, or potential job recruits is posting something about your company on the Web or a social media platform. Although the comments may not be accurate, everything that is written online contributes to the public’s opinion of your organization. The novel aspect of social media is their conversational tone: Knowledge sharing takes place through processes including discussion with questions and answers (online forums), collaborative editing (wikis) or storytelling with reactions (blogs) [1]. While you can’t control what customers or potential job candidates say, your organization can respond to posts online.

Many organizations have a social media specialist that is tasked with managing the company’s brand and reputation. This includes responding to online customer complaints, providing factual information when inaccurate information is online, and extending resolutions to unhappy customers.

Potential job candidates often search for reviews online before they make a decision about a job offer. Social media can be a positive tool for your company’s reputation if managed properly.

Enlist your current employees to be brand ambassadors. It is not necessary to forbid employees from posting on social media about your organization; simply providing some guidelines to your workforce can significantly improve what they post online. It is possible to respect their rights while requiring them to protect the reputation of your company.

The top talent has numerous job opportunities available to them. Competition is stiff, so your online reputation can encourage them to join your organization or not to join.

One powerful tool online is employee reviews. People truly take the time to read a credible review. If there are numerous negative reviews by customers, employees, and others, this is a red flag for a potential job recruit. If everyone is saying the same thing, something is probably wrong within your organization.

Being an employer who engages your employees, satisfies your customers, and creates a good corporate culture is the best protection of your online reputation. Top talent will definitely be attracted to a company that has a positive online reputation.

 

[1] https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/tools-and-samples/toolkits/pages/managingsocialmedia.aspx

 

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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Conducting Team Interviews

image_04When you are interviewing qualified applicants for a position in your organization, more than one manager or human resources specialist may need to converse with the applicant. Team interviews provide an opportunity to involve everyone in your organization who wishes to participate in the interviewing process. Before you get everyone seated at the table, consider these advantages and disadvantages of conducting team interviews.

Advantage: Creates a Teamwork Atmosphere

If you want to show that a teamwork atmosphere is important in your organization, a team interview allows you to highlight this. Each person on your interview panel will be able to show how his or her department functions with the others. This will allow you to gauge how well the candidate will fit into your corporate culture. Another benefit with panel interviews, says Meisenhelter, is that by participating in the interview process, team members gain a vested interest in the hiring process and in seeing that new employees succeed [1].

Advantage: Allows for Natural, Honest Responses

During a team interview, you will be able to ask more unusual and varied questions than in a traditional interview setting. Some candidates find the situation a bit stressful, which allows you to see how they respond to stressful situations. According to the Gainesville Business Report, this may lead to a more natural and honest response from the candidate [2]. When faced with a panel of interviewers, candidates will be able to offer less-prepared answers. These answers will give you an accurate picture of the candidate’s qualifications, skills, and demeanor.

Disadvantage: Takes More Coordination and Time

The managers and human resources staff will need to coordinate their questions. Even so, if each person on the panel has two questions to ask the candidate, the interviewing process could take a few hours for a single applicant. If your organization plans to interview 10 or more people, this could consume a considerable amount of your valuable time.

Disadvantage: May Overwhelm Some Candidates

Introverted candidates may feel overwhelmed during a team interview. Candidates who work well in one-on-one situations may clam up when faced with a group of people firing off questions their way. A naturally shy but highly skilled and qualified candidate may not perform or showcase his or her skills as well during a team interview when compared to an individual or paired interview.

[1] http://hiring.monster.com/hr/hr-best-practices/recruiting-hiring-advice/interviewing-candidates/panel-interviews.aspx
[2] http://gainesvillebizreport.com/pros-and-cons-of-doing-group-interviews/

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Promotion Versus Hiring: Deciding How to Fill Management Positions

image_28When your organization has a management position to fill, deciding how to hire for the opening can be a challenge. Promoting from within is often faster than looking outside of your organization. However, hiring from outside provides you with greater access to potential employees who may have a wider range of skills. However, there are many reasons to consider both options.

Promoting From Within

When you open up a management position to your current staff members, promoting from within can reduce the amount of time the position is vacant. There will not be a need for routine human resources activities such as checking on the applicant’s resume or references. This can reduce your hiring costs. Hiring from within means that you are already familiar with the employee’s personality, skill set and experience level. A study from Kelly-Radford found that senior executives fail, in general, 34 percent of the time when hired from the outside versus 24 percent when hired from inside your organization [1]. Promoting from within helps to boost employee loyalty, allowing your staff to do their best because of the potential to move up the corporate ladder.

Recruiting From Outside of Your Organization

Even if there are qualified candidates for a management position within your company, there are many reasons why you might want to consider outside recruitment. Bringing in a fresh perspective allows your company to increase its range of skills. Recruiting an outside candidate may also be easier on supervisors and staff who might otherwise develop a contentious relationship with internal promotions. Top talent is attracted to companies that are using best practices and offer the opportunity for growth, not companies that always want to stick with what’s safe and comfortable [2]. A new person may have more experience or relevant technological skills than the people you already employ. Outside recruitment allows you to capture the best talent from applicants locally, regionally and even internationally.

[1] http://www.ddiworld.com/ddi/media/white-papers/thecaseforinternalpromotions_wp_ddi.pdf?ext=.pdf
[2] https://www.ziprecruiter.com/blog/the-benefits-of-hiring-outside-your-industry/

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Education Versus Experience: Which Is More Important to Your Organization?

The debate between education and experience is one of the oldest in the hiring book, and it’s still relevant today. According to Glassdoor’s U.S. Employment Confidence Survey, 82% of U.S. college graduates said their level of education has been an asset to their careers [1]. Instead of wrestling between absolutes, start asking different questions. Every position has its own unique needs, and the right person for the job could come from either end of the spectrum.

The Benefits of Less

Never discount an applicant simply because they lack either education or experience. Taking on candidates fresh out of school with little experience gives you all the benefits of a freshly educated, malleable mind that can grow to exemplify your organization’s values. A candidate with little education but a mountain of experience will bring intuition and insight only the battle-hardened can boast.

Think Specifics

Rather than treating education and experience as broad subjects, look at the details. An applicant whose qualifications are specialized in the field you need is invaluable to a team and is often a better choice than someone with a more extensive but non-specialized background. The specifics may also reveal unexpected perks, like training that would benefit a major project your organization is working on or alternative viewpoints that add extra value to a candidate.

Consider Your Current Team

If your applicants will be working closely with other people, identify the gaps or imbalances in your current team and look to fill them. If your current staff is heavy on experience, bring in someone with a more extensive education. If your staff is well educated but lacks experience in the type of project you are about to undertake, choose someone with the right practical skills.

Seek a Middle Ground

When it comes down to it, academics and practical skill are equally important, and having a balance of both is ideal. Remember that you can use seminars and other training programs to polish otherwise perfect candidates with a few gaps in their resume.

As applications come across your desk, give education and experience equal weight. Hone in on specific skills and think about the assets you are lacking. Striking a balance will always serve you well.

[1] http://www.hreonline.com/HRE/view/story.jhtml?id=534357362

 

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How Much Flexibility is a Good Thing When Attracting Top Talent?

image_09Businesses are only as good as their employees. In order to be the best, companies must hire the best. Sometimes, acquiring top talent requires significant time, patience and a creative mindset.

The best employees on the market know their worth. They look for ideal positions and can usually demand that. Therefore, when a business is seeking one of these highly talented individuals, that business must offer more than what they currently have. The top choice for today’s companies is workplace flexibility.

What Is Workplace Flexibility?

A flexible work environment hands over the reins to employees. They may be able to set their own hours. Some may feel more productive in the early morning or late in the evening. Some employees may wish to work longer hours on a daily basis in order to have more time off each month or even every week. Still, others may opt to telecommute full or part-time. Offering this type of flexibility has been proven to attract and retain better employees.

Why Offer Flexible Hours?

Aside from being an intangible benefit to employees, a flexible work environment is smart money for employers. This is especially true when full-time telecommuting is an option. Workers who perform their duties at home save the business on the cost of supplies, energy and even insurance. Likewise, employers can hire all over the world. This broadens the pool of applicants, but it also can lower salary requirements. Whereas a top-notch marketing executive in New York City can easily command over six figures, that same employee in Mid-Missouri tops out at about $60,000.

Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Flexibility?

One issue that employers may run into is offering to be too flexible. Not every employee is cut out for telecommuting. Those that need to be managed closely, have difficulty meeting deadlines or are easily distracted may need the cocooning of a traditional 9 to 5 job. However, those employees also are unlikely to be among the talented few. It is far better for employers to risk offering workplace flexibility to attain and retain the best and the brightest than to risk losing them to a competitor.