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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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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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The Pros and Cons of Promoting from Within for Management Positions

image_03When your organization has a management position to fill, you may not have to look far to find the ideal candidate for the job. Promoting from within is an affordable solution and can also save time and resources. “By offering promotional roles to internal candidates, employers foster a sense of loyalty, engagement and long-term satisfaction by allowing growth from within [1].” While there are many great reasons to promote from within for managerial vacancies, there are also some disadvantages. Keep these pros and cons in mind if you are thinking of promoting from within your organization:

Pro: Seamless Transitions
Transitions can be a challenge when you’re bringing a person into a job. The time spent bringing an outside person up to speed about your corporate culture, policies, and day-to-day operations is considerable. A current employee is already familiar with what is required for success in your organization and understands the company’s goals, mission, and vision.

Pro: Proven Fit and Loyalty
An employee who has been in your organization long enough to be considered for promotion is proven to be loyal. The fact that the employee wants to stay rather than taking his or her skills elsewhere is a testament to the quality of the work environment. The employee is also known to be a good fit for your company and will likely have many strong working relationships within your organization and with your business partners and clients.

Con: Negative Emotions of Other Workers
When former coworkers see the employee moving up the ladder, these coworkers may feel jealous. Some may even become hostile and actively make the situation difficult. If more than one employee applied for the position, the candidates who did not get the job may feel disillusioned and unwilling to work with the person who was promoted. If the promoted employee will be managing his or her former coworkers, relationships could become tense and difficult.

Con: Same Skill Set
When retaining the same employee, your organization is not gaining any new skills, knowledge, or experience. If the management position requires a skill that your otherwise highly qualified employee is only moderately competent at, you could be missing out on an outside person who is well-developed in that particular area of expertise. As The Society for Human Resource Management explains, bringing in skilled external workers to meet the demands of a strategy shift or difficult corporate turnaround can be especially beneficial [2].

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

[2] http://www.careerprofiles.com/blog/hiring-innovative-talent/internal-vs-external-recruiting-knowing-when-to-search-for-outside-talent/

 

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Should You Seek or Avoid Recent Graduate Hires?

image_13When your organization has job openings, you may find that the applications include a slew of recent college graduates. As a human resources manager, you might be unsure of whether or not to take the risk of bringing aboard a recent graduate. Employers say they’re planning to hire slightly more fresh college graduates this spring than they did last year (5.8% more), according to a preliminary survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers [1]. Keep these pros and cons of hiring a new college grad in mind the next time your company needs to fill a staff vacancy.

Pro: Modern Skills

One reason to hire a new college graduate is that they are often familiar with current technology. New graduates are typically adept at navigating through complex software, apps and hardware. They may not need to be instructed on how to safeguard confidential data on their work-issued smartphone, tablet or laptop if they are already familiar with doing this. Recent college graduates are skilled at choosing the right piece of technology to do a certain task. Many college graduates also have relevant skills such as strong communication, a multilingual background and a broad foundation through their coursework, volunteer work and past related projects.

Pro: Salary and Benefit Expectations

Because recent college graduates usually have a shorter work history, they can be given a lower benefits package. Compared to a person who has worked for a decade or more, a new graduate may not expect a generous benefits package that includes things such as family health insurance or weeks of paid vacation. New graduates also command a lower salary compared with experienced workers. Enthusiastic graduates will often be happy to begin on a probation period or a paid internship, meaning you have some time to assess their abilities before committing to putting them on a full time salary [2]. The smaller salary and benefits expectations may make it more economical for you to hire a recent college graduate.

Con: Less Experience

New college graduates have less overall work experience. This means that they may not have developed the specific skills that your job opening requires. As a result, your current staff members may have to take time out of their busy schedules in order to bring the new hire up to speed. However, this may also be true for people who have spent many years in the workforce. Less experience may mean that new hires are more open to doing things in different ways, including the way you prefer.

 

[1] http://www.chron.com/local/education/campus-chronicles/article/Employers-plan-to-hire-more-graduating-seniors-10630079.php

[2] https://www.workitdaily.com/hiring-graduate-benefits/

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How Proactive Branding and HR Teams Build Employee Loyalty

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Reputation management is an essential part of what human resources and marketing managers must do in order to build great teams and maintain employee loyalty. An organization’s reputation affects how potential applicants view the firm. Reputations also have an effect on how people working for the company feel about their employers. According to a recent Glassdoor survey, 84 percent of survey participants would consider leaving their current company if another company with an excellent reputation offered them a job [1]. By taking the time to proactively brand your organization and build strong human resources teams, you can help to build loyalty within your organization.

Daily Experiences in the Organization

A big part of proactive branding is ensuring that an employee’s daily experiences are positive. Your human resources teams will need to set the tone for the culture. When a company’s values are in line with the individual employee’s values, he or she is more likely to have a positive experience at work every day. Proactive branding at work should be included in the mission and vision statements as well as workplace policies. One positive branding message could be, “To treat every person with respect.” This sort of positive messaging is actionable and inclusive.

Focusing on Improvement

Admitting that your organization could use improvement is a great step in proactive branding. Working on improving how your organization does things gives every person a goal to work toward. Because improvement never stops, the idea that there is more to be done motivates employees to stay on at your organization. As employees see that work they are doing is improving your company, they will maintain their loyalty to your brand.

Integrating Brand and Business Strategy

Proactive branding should be intertwined with your overall business strategy. This means doing some brand research to see what people inside and outside of your organization think. The way that the top talent outside of your organization feels about you will have direct impact on who applies for jobs and who wants to initiate business relationships. Allowing your employees the ability to anonymously make comments about the business culture will help to build loyalty. Your organization can use that information to work toward maximizing internal resources and keeping your most talented employees on staff.

 

[1] http://www.careerarc.com/blog/2016/01/13-recruiting-stats-hr-pro-must-know-2016/

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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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Building Your Talent Pipeline for Future Needs

Successful organizations include Human Resources as part of their strategic planning team. HR, as a partner in the company’s plan, can execute recruiting and employee retention plans, develop timelines and assist in budgeting for new hires. Ensuring that the talent pipeline contains an adequate number of qualified candidates requires workforce planning.

Identify Critical Skills

Identify critical jobs – jobs that must be performed well for the company to succeed. These positions often reside in the conduct of everyday business rather than in upper management. They could be new positions and skills based on future company initiatives. Companies need to identify, attract and develop candidates for the critical skills pipeline.

Assess Talent Pools

Now that you’ve identified current and future skills requirements, take inventory of what you already have. Once you’ve identified the critical skills the company needs, create a profile of the ideal employee for that position and take a look at current employees that could fill critical roles and those who should be included in the critical talent pipeline. Use the profile to identify external candidates as well.

Perform a Gap Analysis

When HR is part of the strategic planning team, they become aware of future plans to upgrade a computer system or to open new warehouses. Many of the initiatives mentioned as part of a five-year plan will require specific talent and staffing requirements. The qualifications and number of positions required to support future business development and the current expertise will expose the gap in staffing.

Track Development of Internal Employees with Critical Skills

Those candidates that fit the profile for specific critical skills should be offered development in order to reduce the chance of turnover and to make them more valuable to the company. Regular assessments can provide an indicator of critical skills development.

Create an External Critical Skills Candidate Pipeline

External candidates with the required skills and competencies should be viewed as potential hires for critical roles. The staffing challenges that come with new technology or economic fluctuations can be successfully managed with a well-tended talent pipeline.

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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.

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Ways to Promote a Spirit of Teamwork in Your Organization

image_017Teamwork is something that, at least on the surface, every business says they value. However, teamwork is more than a buzzword to be used in recruitment; it is a vital element of success, and Stanford Business School even believes that it can boost manufacturing productivity [1]. In any industry or field, your organization can promote a spirit of teamwork through each of the following ways.

Encourage Social Interaction

Goofing off on the company dime is generally something that is frowned upon, but many businesses actually see an increase in productivity if they allow for social interaction during office hours. Rachel Rodriguez, writing for CNN, says that a weekly happy hour, game hour or craft day can boost creativity and teamwork [2]. This may be especially true in work environments where isolation is normal, such as in computer programming or accounting.

Create a Team Structure

In large corporations, employees can often break off into individual cliques, which may cause some personnel to feel left out. In order for the whole company to benefit, it may be necessary to create a team structure, putting staff into set teams of a specific number. These teams can collaborate, share responsibilities and inspire one another. At Microsoft, teams are limited in size. Peter Drucker of Microsoft says, “Teams work best when there are few members…if a team gets much larger it becomes unwieldy [3].” This advice might encourage your business to create teams of up to 15 people, but no larger.

Encourage Free Speech

The natural power differences in a typical business leave some employees afraid to speak up against changes, increased production demands or new strategies. However, the best teams function when everyone feels like they can contribute and voice their opinions. Encouraging free speech is key in order to enjoy the results of “higher trust, increased productivity and rich creativity,” according to an article in the New York Times [4].

Businesses that foster a spirit of teamwork can see major benefits in the workplace. An organization that wants to improve teamwork might encourage free speech, create a formal team structure and encourage social interaction.

[1] https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/encouraging-teamwork-can-boost-manufacturing-productivity

[2] http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/29/living/play-at-work-irpt/

[3] http://business.time.com/2013/07/17/microsofts-new-mission-to-create-real-teamwork-not-just-teams/

[4] http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/13/jobs/want-teamwork-encourage-free-speech.html?_r=1