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8 Ideas for Talent Acquisition Success in 2023

Every employer’s definition of talent acquisition success is different. But many employers have learned valuable lessons over the years. Recently, we decided to capture some of those lessons so other hiring organizations could benefit. That’s why we asked business and recruiting leaders to share tips for talent acquisition success in the year ahead.

Tips for Talent Acquisition Success

From using predictive analytics to cultivating a sense of community among team members, we received a collection of answers that reads like a practical “how to” playbook. Below, we share the top answers to our question, “What’s your best strategy to gain a competitive advantage in talent acquisition this year?”

  •   Re-Engineer Your Brand as a Recruiting Tool
  •   Share Engaging Video Content
  •   Be Flexible
  •   Use Predictive Analytics
  •   Deepen Your Diversity Initiatives
  •   Assess the Market and Develop Appropriate Goals
  •   Audit Your EVP and Culture from a Prospect’s Perspective
  •   Create a Sense of Community

To learn more about how you can make these ideas work for your organization, read the full responses below…

8 Ways to Achieve Talent Acquisition Success in 2023

1. Re-Engineer Your Brand as a Recruiting Tool

We all know how important employer branding has become in the age of social media. But we sometimes overlook it as a true recruiting channel in the overall talent acquisition strategy.

Often it’s used as a marketing tool for selling a company brand. But my best tip is to re-engineer your employer brand so it acts as a recruiting tool. For example:

  • Develop lead magnets that link to employee stories.
  • Conduct career-building webinars for industry newbies and collect emails or resumes from interested registrants.
  • Create quizzes or surveys targeting people who are open to job opportunities, and use these teasers outside your career page to gather more leads.

If you’re an HR or recruiting professional, employer branding challenges you to put on your marketing hat. This year, add a sales hat to that mix so you can attract more qualified candidate leads and close more job offers.

Kelly Loudermilk, Talent Innovator, BuildHR, Inc.

2. Share Engaging Video Content

How many of us would decide to buy a house or a car without knowing vital details? Yet most employers still expect candidates to settle for this kind of hiring experience.

The problem is that smart people don’t have the time or desire to jump through all the traditional job application hoops to find out what’s on the other side. That’s why savvy employers are including more detailed information about jobs on the front end of the recruiting process, so they can attract better talent.

But what about nuanced questions where the answers won’t fit into a tidy bullet point on a job description? Questions like, “What types of challenges does your team solve regularly?” or “What is it like to work with the manager?” This is where video can help.

By recording video answers to these critical questions, recruiters have an indispensable new set of assets that can make candidate outreach more effective. Video also helps employers seem more transparent, which helps them stand out in competitive hiring situations.

Justin Vajko, Principal & Chief Strategy Guy, Dialog

3. Be Flexible

If your company expects to attract and retain talent, you must offer employee experiences that support real flexibility and build your culture around this way of working.

Our new “Work Now” research report found that leaders view the workplace as flexible because of the freedom associated with their role and stature. However, employees don’t experience the same level of flexibility.

Leaders who expect to attract and retain great employees need to listen carefully, move past assumptions based on their personal experience with the organization, and design more connected, flexible experiences for other members of the workforce.

Also, if you’re tempted to rely on pulse surveys for feedback, here’s another tip. While these tools may be helpful, remember you may be viewing results through a biased lens that doesn’t tell a true story.

Instead, move beyond pulse surveys. Engage with employees, listen to their stories, invite them to the table, and co-create the future together. That’s how you can fundamentally improve the way you work.

Douglas Ferguson, President, Voltage Control

4. Use Predictive Analytics

I believe predictive analytics is key to talent acquisition success this year. Predictive analytics is the practice of using data to make predictions about future events. With these tools, you can identify potential candidates for open positions, before jobs are even posted. That means you can get a jump on the competition and hire the most qualified candidates before other organizations can snap them up.

In addition, you can use predictive analytics to assess an individual’s probability of success in a particular role. This means your recruiters can focus on candidates who are most likely to succeed. Ultimately, advanced analytics can help you hire the right people for the right roles, and that can lead to a significant advantage in the war for talent.

Antreas Koutis, Administrative Manager, Financer

5. Deepen Your Diversity Initiatives

The emphasis on workplace diversity has continued to gain momentum. It’s now essential to consider candidates you might otherwise overlook because of their race, gender, or other factors. This isn’t about fulfilling quotas. It’s about expanding recruiting reach by tapping into a more diverse talent pool. Ultimately, this adds depth and dimension to your culture.

Try reaching out proactively to attract candidates from diverse communities. Get out of the office and connect with groups that are underrepresented in the workforce. For example, you can host recruitment events in locations that are convenient for people in these groups.

Partnering with schools in these areas is another way to introduce students to your industry and educate them about related career paths. Internships can also help you connect with young people from diverse backgrounds and help them prepare for future roles in your organization.

Matthew Ramirez, CEO, Rephrasely

6. Assess the Market and Develop Appropriate Goals

Establishing a competitive advantage for talent acquisition success requires a laser focus on both short-term and long-term hiring needs.

Be prepared to investigate the current labor market and integrate leading-edge technologies into your recruitment processes. By investing in data-driven insights, you can develop innovative strategies that differentiate your company from the competition. For example, you can:

  • Evaluate the job market in real-time,
  • Leverage AI and machine learning to source talent more efficiently and proactively,
  • Create proactive employer branding campaigns to showcase your company culture
  • Engage with passive candidates through targeted outreach strategies.

In addition, focus on developing a comprehensive remote hiring strategy, because more companies are moving or expanding their operations away from traditional office locations.

Linda Shaffer, Chief People Operations Officer, Checkr

7. Audit Your EVP and Culture from a Prospects Perspective

In a highly competitive job market, standing out and showcasing your culture is the biggest competitive advantage you have in attracting new talent.

Now is a great time to be sure your EVP shows prospective employees why they should work for you, what you offer, and how they can contribute. An EVP is simply your shop window for people you want to attract, retain, and help you grow your business.

I recommend auditing your EVP to put fresh eyes on all your candidate touch points. Review your culture, identify your strengths, and analyze your exit survey data. What can you improve? Does your “careers” website accurately reflect your desired EVP?

Get your whole team involved in this assessment process – HR, Talent Acquisition, and Marketing should work together to showcase your organization in the right light across multiple channels.

Charlie Southwell, Marketing Director, Let’s Talk Talent

8. Create a Sense of Community for Talent Acquisition Success

If your company offers remote work, you have a substantial competitive advantage.

Research indicates that remote work opportunities influence candidates’ salary requirements. But remote work structure isn’t the whole package. Candidates are also interested in knowing how employers create an environment that fosters connection among team members who may not work onsite. For instance, it’s critical to create a sense of community in a remote-based organization with practices like these:

  • Quarterly strategic team meetings
  • In-person team training
  • Regular video lunch and learns
  • Video town halls
  • Hackathons
  • Employee resource groups (ERGs)

Research indicates that people with at least 7 work friends are 35% more likely to stay with their employer. In recent interviews with employees who’ve been at our company for more than 2 years, most told us that interacting with their team is a key reason they enjoy coming to work.

Remote is a terrific way to attract new employees, but creating a sense of community is what keeps employees engaged.

Pat Mulvey, Director of Talent Acquisition, Saatva

 


EDITOR’S NOTE:  These talent acquisition success ideas were submitted via Terkel, a knowledge platform that shares community-driven content based on expert insights. To see questions and get published, sign up at terkel.io.

IT Recruiting is Still a Struggle. These Strategies Can Help

Recent headlines are shining a bright light on high-profile layoffs in the technology industry. But for many employers, IT recruiting is still an uphill battle — largely because the IT talent shortage continues to dampen hiring plans.

For years, organizations have posted more job openings than qualified candidates could fill. The opportunity cost is staggering. To put this into perspective, consider that by 2030, at least 85 million jobs could go unfilled. In financial terms, this shortfall could translate into $8.5 trillion in unrealized annual revenues.

Fortunately, the pandemic-era shift to remote work helped expand the global pool of candidates. But it also increased competition for the strongest candidates.

What can you do if your competitors are offering higher salaries or better benefits? It doesn’t mean your organization is out of the running. How can you gain an advantage? In this fierce IT recruiting marketplace, you can attract and retain the best global talent by focusing on three key priorities:

Strategies for Global IT Recruiting Success

1. Define Audiences and Create Candidate Personas

It’s essential to know your target audiences. This includes thinking carefully about the personas of candidates you want to attract now and in the future.

First, your talent acquisition team and hiring managers should take time to explore the different cultures related to your target markets. This insight will help you develop messages and incentives that resonate with the various types of people you want to draw into your organization.

For instance, messaging that a software developer in India considers important and engaging won’t necessarily interest a software developer in Bulgaria or any other country. The same principle applies to nearly every other position and region, across the board. 

Also, a large pool of talent isn’t yet ready to enter the workforce but will become a priority in the future. Don’t wait. Start considering now what it will take to reach those young candidates and appeal to their interests.

For example, an internship program is one way to build a pipeline of candidates who will soon be prepared to enter the workforce. When college students perform effectively and have a positive work experience as interns, you can build a bench of people who are ready to be hired when they graduate.

2. Develop Your Employer Brand and Showcase Your Culture

To attract and retain top global IT talent, it’s especially important to publicly showcase your employer brand and company culture in an authentic way. 

Social media is one of the easiest, most effective tools to accomplish this. Ideally, your social media presence provides visibility into your organization’s culture, mission and values, professional development opportunities, diversity initiatives, corporate social responsibility, and team bonding activities. This helps potential candidates envision what it could actually be like to work there. 

Your social media presence is especially important when attracting younger talent. In fact, The Harris Poll says 58% of Gen Z and Millennial job seekers with work experience rely on social media to research potential employers. And 48% have applied for job opportunities they found on social media.

And other research reveals that most candidates who are seriously considering a job offer will carefully review a potential employer’s social media profiles for red flags before they decide to accept.

BREATHE LIFE INTO YOUR EMPLOYER BRAND

Clearly, Gen Z and Millennials are turning to social media when looking for jobs. They’re also willing to get involved as employees if employers simply ask.

For example, an employee brand ambassador program could significantly amplify your organization’s social presence. By crowdsourcing social media activity internally, you can generate higher-quality content, increase audience reach, and drive much deeper engagement.

Employee brand ambassador programs can also capture behind-the-scenes “magic” that makes your organization a unique place to work. This could include everything from feel-good stories about managers who recognize team members in fun ways and internal team traditions like weekly trivia contests, to candid videos of silly work moments and community volunteering events. Your employees are uniquely positioned to showcase your brand in ways that no one could communicate alone.

From Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to LinkedIn and Glassdoor, the content posted by and about your organization reflects your overall employer brand. So it’s important to work closely with your marketing and social media teams to ensure your efforts support the organization’s brand identity across all platforms and channels.

3. Prioritize and Personalize Candidate Experience 

The last (and perhaps most important) piece of the global IT recruiting puzzle is to provide the best possible candidate experience. This is vital because it helps distinguish your organization from other companies that are vying for the same talent.

Your candidate experience is essentially your brand experience. In fact, 78% of job hunters agree that the candidate experience they receive directly indicates how much an employer values its people.

Not surprisingly, a weak candidate experience has caused some job hunters to withdraw from the hiring process. Their top 3 issues:

  • Disrespect during interviews
  • Poor rapport with recruiters
  • The process simply took too long.

Ultimately, a negative candidate experience can harm your brand. For example, 72% of candidates that encounter a negative candidate experience will tell others about it directly or online. That’s not the kind of word-of-mouth any employer wants to spread.

ELEVATE YOUR CANDIDATE JOURNEY

How can you ensure a strong candidate experience? Focus on each stage of the process:

  • First, carefully review and evaluate the entire journey. Start with the moment someone learns about a role at your organization. Then, move through each step until a new employee arrives for the first day on the job.
  • When candidates initially apply, is the process as easy, accessible, and straightforward as possible? Can people apply quickly online, or do you require them to go through multiple steps and submit excessive amounts of information?
  • During the interview cycle, your hiring team has a chance to shine. How do you assure candidates that you’re interested in them and you value their time? Is everyone in the hiring process able to prepare for interviews? Do they develop relevant questions, so candidates can provide useful answers? Does your process give candidates ample opportunity to ask about job expectations, organizational culture, and other key decision criteria?
  • Throughout each stage of the journey, clear, consistent communication is key. Are you keeping candidates in the loop with regular updates and next-step information? And if you choose not to move forward at any point, do you explain why in a timely, thoughtful way?

These steps may seem obvious, but if you want better results, you won’t leave them to chance. Why? According to a U.S. survey, interviews trigger anxiety in as many as 93% of job seekers. A great candidate experience can help relieve stress. This means candidates will be able to focus on discussing their strengths, demonstrating their skills, and determining if the position is a good fit.

Final Notes on Global IT Recruiting

In today’s candidate-driven global IT market, applicants have the power to choose which employer they prefer. That’s why it’s crucial for hiring managers and talent acquisition teams to know their audience, develop their employer brand, and perfect the candidate experience. When these three components work well together, your organization has the best chance of attracting and hiring the right kind of talent for every job.

A Perfect Job Offer is Much More Than Just a Number

TalentCulture Content Impact Award Winner - 2023

How would you define the perfect job offer? Some people think it’s about finding a magic number that will seal the deal with the right candidate. But smart recruiters know it involves much more than that.

Compensation negotiations have always been complex. But now they’re changing in some fundamental ways. This is largely thanks to new pay transparency laws, which mandate that employers include salary ranges in job postings. As a result, here’s what I see ahead…

How Pay Transparency Changes The Hiring Game

Pay transparency is a boon for job seekers, who will have access to much more useful information about open positions. But this doesn’t need to be a zero-sum game. No doubt, many employers will adjust their tools and processes. And that means recruiters can prosper under these new pay transparency rules. How?

For recruiters, the goal is the same as always — bring the perfect offer to the table. But now, the way to get there is likely to be different than it was in the past.

Making a perfect job offer has always required a balance of three key objectives — fairness, cost-effectiveness, and competitiveness. But these elements are dynamic. The balance is always shifting. So the more you understand how these relationships are changing, the better.

Imagine this: A knowledgeable recruiter leans more heavily on one of these three objectives when making an offer. That strategy might work in today’s hiring climate.

But what about next year? Without the right tools, the same recruiter may not have enough information to make reliable decisions. Instead, compensation will be based on guesswork. And this could jeopardize the balance that holds these offers together.

To build more solid job offers in 2023, take a closer look at the 3 factors I’ve mentioned:

The 3 Pillars of a Perfect Job Offer

1. Fairness

Candidates should be paid fairly. It may sound obvious, but with new pay transparency laws, recruiters have a more important role in making sure this is the case.

Fairness can be tricky to prove because it’s relative. Start by comparing candidates with their own abilities, with employees who do similar work, and with others in your organization.

But keep in mind that it’s not enough for you to think an offer is fair. A candidate must also believe it’s fair. That’s because candidates are much more likely to accept an offer they think is fair than those who think it’s based on guesswork or gamesmanship.

How can you convince candidates that an offer is fair? Don’t assume they’ll take a recruiter’s word for it — they want to see the data. That means your organization will gain a significant advantage if recruiters are able to show their work. This is possible to do with modern data analytics tools, even at scale.

2. Cost-Effectiveness

Your recruiters should be able to attract the best candidates to your organization at the right price. This sounds like a reasonable expectation. But what, exactly, does it mean?

Too often, organizations treat recruiting simply as a cost center. They set a budget and expect recruiters to work within those parameters. That’s important, but there’s so much more your talent acquisition team can accomplish.

Even now, as the economy experiences a downturn, recruiters aren’t just sourcing scouts who fill open positions. They’re also talent strategists who can think holistically about your business needs and goals while also providing the best candidates at the right price.

A compensation strategy involves so many complex elements: workforce planning, budgets, guaranteed vs. at-risk pay, and financial performance. The effects of compensation decisions reach far beyond any individual job applicant. In fact, deciding how many people to hire and determining what to pay them are among the most costly and important decisions any business leader must make. So, as the economy continues to sputter, cost-effective job offers are increasingly important to every organization.

3. Competitiveness

A job offer should balance the chance of a candidate saying yes with the compensation cost to the organization. Understanding what’s at stake is essential in today’s environment. This is why many employers are upgrading their compensation analysis tools. Because in a volatile labor market, good data makes the difference between successfully navigating choppy waters and crashing against the rocks.

In a way, cost-effectiveness and competitiveness are two sides of the same coin. Recruiters want to make offers that help their organization manage costs, even as they attract and retain top talent. But without the right data, finding that balance can be difficult.

This is where recruiters are most likely to make mistakes. In a white-hot talent market, landing qualified candidates can be a struggle. In a down market, it’s a challenge to stay within prescribed budgets. That’s why the perfect offer deserves as much market intelligence as possible, no matter what the hiring climate may be.

Getting Ahead of the Curve

Fair, cost-effective, and competitive. A perfect job offer must balance all three. Recruiters can get ahead of the curve now by taking tangible steps to implement this three-pronged strategy. Specifically, they can focus on using the right information, ensuring that processes are accountable, and communicating about pay throughout each step of the recruiting journey.

At its core, a perfect job offer is based on the best available compensation insights. For successful employers, that means real-time data that indicates what job seekers expect to be paid, what candidates are offered and are willing to accept, as well as what internal data says about existing compensation standards.

The era of pay transparency is here. It may be new, different, and perhaps even a bit intimidating. But it’s also an exciting time to be a recruiting professional. Because, if you’re willing to adapt, a perfect job offer is always within your reach.

 

Screening Job Candidates Online: Risky Business?

Sponsored by: Fama.io

It’s no secret. On a daily basis, recruiters and hiring managers are screening job candidates online by simply entering their names in search boxes at Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and beyond. Experienced professionals know they shouldn’t be doing this, but many do it anyway. Why?

The Slippery Slope of DIY Candidate Screening

Publicly available online information can reveal a lot about potential employees. It gives employers insight into an individual’s hobbies, interests and personality traits. It also shines a light on controversial opinions, political affiliations and protected class information. 

Gaining unrestricted access to a candidate’s public social media profiles may be easy. But instant access isn’t a free pass to engage in unethical or potentially illegal hiring practices.

That’s why it needs to stop. Screening job candidates without permission is an invasion of their privacy rights — especially the right to consent to the search.

Catching Up With the Rules

To be fair, most recruiters and hiring managers don’t fully understand laws involving online background screening. That’s partially due to the relative novelty of this practice, as well as a lack of updated guidance.

But now that online screening has become so widespread, employers need to know how to protect their organization as well as job candidates. That’s why it’s important to understand the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

Learning how to comply with these regulations is worth an employer’s effort. Online screening can be a powerful tool to determine an individual’s hireability. And when performed correctly, an online background check is an effective and perfectly legal hiring practice. 

How can you make this process work better for your organization? Let’s look closer at key legal aspects of screening job candidates online. First, I’ll explain how problems tend to arise. Then, I’ll suggest steps for a fully compliant, worry-free screening process. 

Understanding the Controversy

Why exactly is social media screening so controversial? Calling it an invasion of privacy is hard to defend, since many social media profiles are publicly available. Furthermore, applicants freely choose what, when and how they share on their social media profiles.

Much of this information may reflect positively or negatively on a candidate’s ability to perform in a work-related capacity. For example, education, work history, extracurricular activities and hobbies are often prominently featured on social media profiles. And employers typically evaluate this kind of information during the interviewing process, anyway.

However, the issue isn’t about employers using information that would otherwise be discussed during a standard interview. Instead, it’s about access to information that organizations are legally and ethically obligated not to consider.

We’re talking about legally protected categories such as race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability status or religion. This is where issues arise, because the moment anyone views a social media profile, it may inherently reveal details about protected categories.

How Widespread is This Practice?

In a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers said they regularly review social media profiles as part of the hiring process. Furthermore, 54% acknowledged that they’ve rejected applicants based on a social media review.

However, the survey does not indicate how often social media reviews were being conducted by hiring managers who are legally obligated not to consider protected information. 

When used correctly, online screening can highlight positive work traits like compassion or open-mindedness. But it can also reveal negative traits. For example, what if a candidate threatens others in a post or shares a video while committing a violent act? This kind of behavior isn’t welcome in the workplace and would likely hinder the candidate from performing effectively in any role.

Steps to Achieve Better Outcomes

For a fully compliant screening process, consider these best practices:

1. Clarify the Rules

Defining a clear set of guidelines is essential for all background check methods — including online screening processes. According to leading U.S. employment attorney, Pam Devata, “In general, the same rules apply, whether you are using social media or more traditional methods for conducting background checks.”

In a recent interview, Devata explained, “The keys are consistency, accurate record keeping, ensuring that any data accessed is not legally protected information prohibited from being used in employment decisions, and that any decisions are rooted in business necessity.”

2. Focus on Documentation

Before attempting to navigate the nuances of social media screening, it’s important to establish consistent, generalized hiring practices across the organization. This includes putting a process in place to record and track all pre-employment decisions and FCRA-required disclosures.

Although it can be challenging to document online screening activity, consistent, accurate record-keeping will put your organization in a better position to address any issues that may arise. 

3. Partner with a Specialized Service Provider

One of the easiest ways to address the complexities surrounding online candidate research is to rely on a trusted online background screening partner like Fama.

With a proven, independent team managing the screening process, employers can gather only the information needed to assess an applicant’s job potential, without the risk of revealing protected categories. In fact, the strongest digital screening solutions include compliance filters. This ensures that reports shared with hiring teams focus solely on job-relevant information.

At Fama, we go beyond bare-minimum compliance protections by applying ethical AI and machine-learning technology. Also, a team of skilled humans reviews our screenings to ensure their legitimacy and accuracy. This helps us continuously improve our screening capabilities and our results.

Final Thoughts

No doubt, social media screening is bound to remain a controversial topic. But when you’re not sure about the legal implications, it’s important to avoid the false assumption that it’s safe to assess a candidate’s online presence on your own.

Guaranteed compliance is always possible by working with an objective, third-party screening solution. This means your team will benefit from a fully compliant screening process. And ultimately, it means your organization can focus on finding the best candidate for every job.

Onboarding New Hires? Try These Tips to Boost Retention

In today’s challenging talent environment, retaining employees is a must. That’s why so many organizations consider onboarding new hires a top priority. When people feel genuinely welcomed at work from day one, retention increases dramatically.

If you could suggest one way to achieve better long-term results when onboarding new hires, what would you recommend? Recently, we asked business leaders to share their answers to this question. Their collective tips read like a playbook of best practices:

  • Assign an Onboarding Buddy
  • Challenge New Team Members to Take Initiative
  • Make Newcomers Feel at Home
  • Assess Each New Hire’s Personality and Work Style
  • Help New Employees Feel Connected With Others
  • Provide Extensive Product Training
  • Emphasize Company Mission and Values

To learn more about these ideas, read the responses below…

7 Ways to Drive Retention When Onboarding New Hires

1. Assign an Onboarding Buddy

Effective onboarding helps make new members of your workforce feel like they’re an integral part of the organization. It drives employee engagement and reduces time to proficiency. But it can be a tedious process to manage.

Assigning an “onboarding buddy” to every new team member is one way to ensure success. When facing an unfamiliar environment, many people hesitate to ask questions or communicate about their needs. Access to a dedicated resource can help people feel at ease, knowing someone is available to offer advice and answer questions when they arise.

This kind of support leads to multiple benefits — it provides helpful cultural context, improves productivity and elevates work satisfaction.

When our organization started a buddy system, we conducted surveys to evaluate the program’s impact. Results were impressive. After the first week on the job, people with buddies were 32% happier with their onboarding experience than those without buddies. And when we followed-up 90 days later, 42% of employees with buddies were more efficient in their roles than others.

Conclusion: These early relationships help people feel safer stepping into their roles. This encourages engagement and significantly improves talent retention at our company.

Jody Ordioni, Chief Brand Officer, Brandemix

2. Challenge New Team Members to Take Initiative

Although it’s essential to introduce new employees to key tasks, routines and procedures during the onboarding process, it’s also important to avoid too much hand-holding. You need to determine if people can be resourceful and work independently, rather than encouraging them to become overly dependent on guidance from others.

Of course, you can always be there to help as a manager. But the goal is to help people feel self-empowered and help them gain confidence and competence as quickly as possible.

Nick Shackelford, Managing Partner, Structured Agency

3. Make Newcomers Feel at Home

Many employers make the mistake of expecting new hires to adopt company culture by giving them all the instructions they need to fit right in. But bringing out the best in someone starts with recognizing their strengths and helping them see how those strengths can serve organizational goals.

Give employees time to familiarize themselves with your organization’s goals. And give them space to use trial and error when developing their own work strategies and tactics. This opens the door for people to bring new, authentic ideas to the table. It also shows you believe in their abilities, you’ve hired them based on their potential, and you’re willing to let them grow.

Zachary Weiner, CEO & Founder, Finance Hire

4. Assess Each New Hire’s Personality and Work Style

When onboarding new hires, one critical step is to assess their personality and work style. Every employee approaches tasks and communication differently, so it’s helpful to learn the best methods to guide each individual and provide feedback.

If you focus on this during the onboarding process, then you give every new hire the best opportunity to develop a lasting connection with you, your team and your organization.

Raegan Johnson, Office Manager, Argon Agency

5. Help New People Feel Connected With Others

A lack of connection is the strongest predictor of attrition among new hires. Research shows that employees who lose 2-3 peers within the first few months on the job are at least 2 times more likely to resign than others. Other data shows that resignations are significantly higher among new employees who are regularly late to work or absent, compared with those who are punctual.

Team support, connection and stability are the biggest retention drivers for new hires. This is why frequent interaction with managers, peers and skip-level managers is crucial.

Initially, managers should set the tone by scheduling frequent one-on-one meetings. Then gradually reduce the pace over time. Also, right from the start, encourage team members to welcome new employees and be available to support them on an ongoing basis.

Vahed Qazvinian, Co-Founder & CTO, Praisidio

6. Provide Extensive Product Training

A company’s products and services are its center of gravity. So, the sooner new hires are acquainted with these offerings, the sooner they can be successful in their roles. This is where extensive product training helps.

Knowledgeable team members are obviously beneficial for employers. But individuals benefit, as well. Knowing every nook and cranny of an organization’s products gives newcomers more clarity, confidence and excitement about what they’re doing each day. It also builds a stronger connection between new hires and your company, your customers and your mission.

Monika Dmochowska, Talent Acquisition Leader, Tidio

7. Emphasize Company Mission and Values

As someone who has been a new hire and has also hired staff members, I don’t think employers spend enough time focusing on mission and values. Leaders might mention the overall mission, but too often they give little attention to how a new hire’s role helps the organization fulfill its mission.

At our company, we spend time familiarizing people with our values and how these values set a foundation that makes it possible for our mission to thrive. Each person knows their job description, as well as how their role moves the company forward. This helps create a deeper connection and improves engagement.

Tamara Dias, Director of Culture and Client Partnerships, Perfeqta

 


EDITOR’S NOTE: These employee onboarding ideas were submitted via Terkel, a knowledge platform that shares community-driven content based on expert insights. To see questions and get published, sign up at terkel.io.

5 Ways to Improve Employee Experience With HR Tech

Sponsored by: Neocase

Did you know more than 160 million people are employed in the U.S.? Unfortunately, however, rising turnover is eroding workforce retention. In fact, 48% of hiring managers say turnover is higher this year – up from 44% in 2021. And the cost of replacing those people isn’t cheap. No wonder employers want to build a positive work culture that attracts and retains top talent. That’s why many are turning to HR technology to improve employee experience.

But here’s the catch: In recent years, the HR tech landscape has been bursting at the seams. This means choosing the best solution for your organization’s needs can be overwhelming. To overcome this obstacle, think first about how you want to improve employee experience, and work from those objectives to define your selection criteria.

HR Technology 101

To provide some context, let’s start with a brief overview of core HR systems. In most HR technology stacks you’ll find at least one of these systems as a foundation for all other people platforms, tools and applications:

1. HRIS Human Resource Information Systems

HRIS was developed to help organizations track and store employee data and records for essential administrative needs. As the HR function grew more complex, HRIS platforms added modules to support talent acquisition processes and recruitment operations, as well as employee information management and maintenance. 

2. HRMS – Human Resource Management Systems

Over time, HR became more deeply integrated with other functions, so HR tracking software had to meet these expanded business requirements. Now, HRMS/HRIS systems are used interchangeably to support operations such as payroll, time tracking and compliance management. 

3. HCM – Human Capital Management Systems

HCM supports a more expansive set of HR operations, including employee performance analysis, compensation planning and projection, workforce development and more.HCM covers all HR functions with a comprehensive solution that can be customized to support the entire employee lifecycle.

Why Employee Experience Matters

A strong employee experience is essential to attract top talent and keep people engaged with your work culture. As Gartner says, “Employee experience is the way employees internalize and interpret the interactions they have with their organization, as well as the context that underlies those interactions.”

But as many organizations have discovered, an exceptional employee experience isn’t easy to develop and maintain. In fact, according to Gartner, “Only 13% of employees are fully satisfied with their experience.

What’s at stake? A negative employee experience leads to low morale, poor work performance, and other issues that directly affect organizational culture and business results. On the other hand, a positive employee experience helps lift morale, productivity, efficiency, and work quality.

How HR Tech Can Improve Employee Experience

Clearly, creating the best employee experience possible leads to significant business benefits. So, to achieve the highest potential impact, consider these five priorities:

1. Automate Tasks and Streamline Workflows

Is anything worse than monotony? It is just as painful for your HR team as it is for others in your organization. Many manual HR tasks are excellent candidates for automation. Focus first on business processes that will free your HR team from tedious, time-consuming, redundant paperwork, and email communications.

Start by developing an employee journey map to better understand your current processes. Then look for bottlenecks, gaps, and disconnects. These issues are opportunities to streamline processes or speed response times.

Organizations often begin by mapping onboarding or offboarding processes. This ensures that an employee’s first and last impressions will align with company values and the employer brand.

2. Gather Employee Feedback

A silent employee can be a dangerous or at-risk employee – even if they don’t realize it. Many workers hesitate to speak up for a variety of reasons. Some fear punishment if they express negative opinions, while others think their input won’t be heard or appreciated.

If an employee doesn’t have a chance to share feedback or ideas, they could feel undervalued and unimportant. You can remedy this with HR technology specifically intended to improve communication.

Consider feedback tools that encourage employees to make their voices heard. Monthly surveys, quarterly outreach messages, and other kinds of digital communication can help build stronger connections and spark more useful conversations.

But that’s just the beginning. Once you receive input, you need to respond or implement changes. Otherwise, people could become more frustrated if you solicit input but don’t seem willing to act upon it.

3. Provide Self-Service Portals

One of the best ways HR technology improves employee experience is through self-service applications. Many platforms can help organizations build and deploy custom tools that help employees serve themselves at their convenience.

One of the best-known examples is a benefits portal. Many employers offer secure web-based destinations with all the information and tools people need to research, select and manage their particular benefits. This frees employees from having to manage the constant back-and-forth of emails or phone calls just to get basic benefits information or answer common questions.

This kind of solution increases efficiency, while giving employees more control. At the same time, portal analytics can help your HR team understand employee preferences and identify content and functionality that can better them.

4. Offer Anywhere, Anytime Access

Unfortunately, many employees feel totally disconnected from HR. Some need guidance and oversight, but HR teams and managers are stretched too thin to engage.

Integrated real-time HR communication tools can help you and your management team focus less on paperwork and more on people. Think of it as the digital equivalent of an office with an open door!

The benefits of integrated communications extend to employees, as well. This leads to a more closely-knit workplace culture that operates more efficiently and is better aligned with business priorities.

5. Design Intuitive Workflows

Demand for better, faster response started with customer service. But it has quickly spread to internal organizational functions, as well.

When we ask HR a question, we want the answer now. We also want to find answers ourselves, ideally with no more than one or two taps on a smartphone.

This aspect of HR technology requires decision-makers to put themselves in an employee’s shoes for a reality check. How easy is it to perform a task you want to accomplish? For example, if you’re a full-time manager using a self-service benefits portal, how intuitive is the path to information you need at the moment you need it? How much information do you have to dig through to find a useful answer?

This aspect of HR technology is central to the employee experience. Why? Because, if employees struggle to use a digital tool, they will also struggle to adopt that tool and succeed with it.

Final Thoughts

HR technology can play an important role when you want to improve employee experience. Whether you’re implementing a self-service portal to support job applicants, deploying an employee feedback tool or expanding business process automation to improve HR response times, your efforts can positively influence talent acquisition and retention. These 5 priorities can help your team focus on solutions that will make a strong impact.

Are You Cultivating a “Culture-Add” Talent Strategy?

In recent years, I’ve been encouraged by a groundswell of employers that are choosing to embrace “culture-add” people practices. In fact, several months ago, I wrote about it in a Sage Masterclass article.

Because this concept is central to the future of work, I’ve continued to ponder, read and discuss culture-add issues with others. Now I’m convinced this topic deserves much more than just one blog post. So let’s explore it further here. I hope this underscores the need for a shift to a culture-add recruitment and retention mindset. But more importantly, I hope it inspires constructive change.

What Does “Culture-Add” Mean?

The term “culture-add” speaks to a paradigm shift beyond traditional “culture-fit” talent strategies. On the surface, the culture-fit approach seems appealing. However, it ultimately leads to one-dimensional groups, teams, and organizations. And history tells us homogeneity can have dangerous consequences:  blind spots, groupthink, and poor decision-making.

In contrast, a “culture-add” approach actively seeks people with diverse perspectives that enhance teams and organizations. As we learn more about the significant benefits of a diverse workforce, culture-add hiring is emerging as an important way to strive for differences that make a positive impact.

As I noted in my previous article:

Most of us know that employees who align with a company’s values and fit into the culture generally have higher job satisfaction, improved job performance, and frankly, stick around longer. However, we are resting on our laurels if we use this as our rationale for continuing to use the culture-fit model.”

Embracing Organizational Change

We all know humans tend to resist change. In fact, the old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” was suitable for a long time. It still holds some merit, so let’s not dismiss it completely. Tried-and-true processes can potentially save us from all kinds of turmoil — emotional, logistical, financial, and more.

However, if we want to innovate and grow, we must also be able to adapt. No doubt, changing an organization’s cultural fabric can be daunting. But it is necessary for long-term viability.

As Stephanie Burns says in a 2021 Forbes column, Why Evolving Your Business Right Now Is Critical:

Anyone who has wanted to cling to how things were will be in for a surprise this year, as COVID-19 entirely shifted the original paradigm. However, it’s also presented an opportunity for businesses and individuals to evolve into new ways of being.

COVID hasn’t just turned the world on its head, it’s accelerated trends that were already happening, such as the shift to remote work and the collective desire for more convenience…

Still, some founders don’t want much change. This could be due to fear of the unknown or fear that leaving their old business model, which had worked so well for so long, could be catastrophic. However, we’re reaching a critical impasse where businesses that don’t evolve may very well fade out of the picture. Evolution is a natural part of all of our lives, and our businesses are no exception.”

Leaders would be wise to heed this important advice, even if it seems overwhelming. It’s time to change. Our work cultures are constantly shifting. We, too, should remain prepared to embrace new ideas, processes, and people who can make us better.

Culture-add hiring can support this process by inviting more diverse minds and voices to the table as we dream up fresh ideas and orchestrate change. This reminds me of a related term — new blood. We need new blood to thrive.

Connecting Culture-Add and Diversity

This conversation leads us directly to the benefits of diversity. There’s an excellent article on the NeuroLeadership Institute blog, Your Brain at Work: Why Diverse Teams Outperform Homogeneous Teams. The entire piece is worth reading, but here’s a noteworthy excerpt:

Diverse teams are particularly good at exposing and correcting faulty thinking, generating fresh and novel ideas, and accounting for a wider array of variables in planning.

Part of the reason this happens is due to what scientists call cognitive elaboration — the process of sharing, challenging, and expanding our thinking. In essence, diverse teams compel each other to think more deeply about their reasoning and interrogate the facts more objectively.

They share counterfactuals as they go, they don’t take things for granted, and there is minimal ‘social loafing’ — or just accepting things at face value. In short, diverse teams tend to come to better conclusions because those conclusions have been road-tested more thoroughly.”

The science of diversity in teams is truly fascinating. It tells us that recruiting and hiring leaders can help by feeding teams with talented people who can accentuate the benefits of diversity.

Of course, diversity and inclusion don’t end with hiring. The next step is fostering a workplace that makes a wide variety of people feel valued. This is not an easy task. However, it is essential. So let’s look closer at what to consider…

Tips For Building a Culture-Add Mentality

1. Actively weave a sense of belonging into your workforce

As you build a more diverse organization through culture-add hiring, don’t be surprised if cliques and segmentation develop based on geographical, cultural, and other distinctions. That’s natural! But challenge your people to also learn and share what they have in common with others. Allow space for these common interests and goals to surface.

The Why Diverse Teams Outperform Homogeneous Teams article offers a compelling reason to make this a priority:

The benefits of diversity aren’t likely to accrue if we simply put together a team of diverse individuals and assign them a task. The environment in which they’re working should be inclusive — one in which all members feel valued and as if they have a voice.

In that inclusive environment, the benefits of diversity are far more likely to materialize. If not, employees will leave the organization, or worse, stay but not contribute. Diversity without inclusion only creates a revolving door of talent.”

Vigorously work on building a sense of belonging so people of different ages, backgrounds, and lifestyles feel celebrated for their differences. After all, you’ve brought them in to add to your culture, so allow them to shine.

2. Prepare to fully retrain your recruiting and hiring staff

This tip could stand alone as an article, white paper, or college thesis. But to be brief, let’s use an example to illustrate how deeply culture-add hiring upends the traditional approach:

Previously, when Bob hired someone at XYZ insurance company, he considered a candidate like Stan an excellent fit. That’s because Stan lived in a similar neighborhood, was married to a well-liked woman, and had kids who were high achievers. If Stan also golfed on the weekends and enjoyed a steak dinner, even better! He’d fit right into XYZ Insurance and would have a fulfilling career.

As mentioned previously, this model once made a lot of sense. Cultural similarities and a genuine “he’s one of us” mentality created a comfortable atmosphere where longevity was often the result. Unfortunately, homogeneous organizations were also the result.

Today’s businesses face new challenges that require a different approach. Your talent acquisition team can start by taking the initiative to reassess the criteria they use to find people (where, how). Then you can reframe the recruitment conversation from end to end.

Instead of looking for people to fit a standard outdated profile, allow questions and conversations to emphasize and embrace differences in candidates. What can they add versus how do they fit?

Begin by asking yourself and others in your organization to talk openly about how hiring is being handled, and what kind of outcomes this approach is creating — for better or worse.

If a culture-fit model still drives your talent decisions, don’t be ashamed to admit it. But if that’s the case, you’ll want to start making changes soon. Because I assure you, your competitors are already moving toward culture-add for the win.

Are Job Candidates Ghosting You? Try This Recruiter’s Advice

Spooky season is upon us! People are carving pumpkins, dressing in crazy costumes, and swapping scary stories. So, in the spirit of Halloween, we’re taking on a truly horrifying subject. This is so frightening it can make a hiring manager’s hair stand on end at the very mention. That’s right. We’re talking about candidate ghosting. Beware!

Is Ghosting For Real?

Oxford Languages defines ghosting as “the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.”

When somebody ghosts you, they stop replying to your messages, they don’t answer calls, they stop all forms of communication. There’s never any explanation—they simply disappear without a trace.

Originally a dating term, ghosting is becoming increasingly common in business, especially in the context of recruiting. For example, a 2021 survey by Indeed found that 28% of job applicants had an employer—10% more than in 2019. And today’s reality seems much worse. In fact, a U.K. poll earlier this year found that more than 75% of job hunters admit to ghosting in the past year. Scary statistics, to be sure!

Why Do People Act So Creepy?

There’s no single reason why candidates ghost potential employers. But ghosting clearly seems more common when job vacancies are prevalent in a particular sector. 

When more opportunities are available, applicants have less incentive to keep in touch. They will often receive viable offers more quickly, so when they do, they’ll accept the most attractive option and move on.

However, ghosting also happens when vacancies are few and far between. We’ve seen it up close at our own recruiting agency, even in niche roles where very few opportunities exist. 

In a discussion with our team, one brave team member confessed to ghosting a prospective employer in the past. She explained, “I was pretty far into the interview process when a few issues raised concerns for me. These were mainly about time off, travel expenses—things that probably should have been resolved up front.”

The truth is, we can make some educated guesses about a candidate’s motivations, they can ghost us for any reason. Without an explanation from the candidate, you’ll never know for sure what happened—and that’s what makes it so frustrating.

The Business Impact of Ghosting

Probably the worst impact of ghosting is that it wastes time. You could spend months sourcing credible talent and conducting interviews. You may even get to the stage where you’re negotiating a package. And then without warning—poof!—that top candidate goes silent. 

Ghosting is not only time-consuming—it is expensive as well. Consider this:

The average U.S. cost per hire is $4,700 for a non-executive role and $14,936 for an executive, according to Zippia. Most roles are filled within roughly 42 days, but it can take much longer when ghosting comes into play.

And it’s not just about the extra cost of a delayed hiring process. It’s also important to take into account the business cost of an unfilled role, which can cost employers dearly in terms of lower business productivity, quality, and responsiveness.

How Can You Combat Ghosting?

Although it’s impossible to shut down ghosting altogether, we’ve learned some techniques to help employers prevent candidates from vanishing into thin air.

1) Invest in the Relationship

Put yourself in a candidate’s shoes. As one recruitment specialist told the BBC earlier this year, “Candidates are being approached all the time with an abundance of jobs to choose from […] if they have multiple applications on the go, it can be easier to simply ignore one of them.”

If a candidate is in contact with multiple recruiters or hiring managers, it’s easy for several to fall off of the radar. But if you develop a working relationship with candidates, you’ll remain top-of-mind. Just as you would with a friend or colleague, make sure you stay in regular contact with candidates. Show that you care by touching base when you say you will and by keeping them updated throughout the hiring process.

2) Be Transparent From the Start

Before you move forward, strive to clarify what a candidate is seeking in a role, and reflect on whether your offer will meet those expectations.

People may feel uncomfortable telling you they’re unhappy or unsure about an aspect of a role. Instead, they may find it easier to simply move on. So be sure you understand their job requirements from the start of your working relationship.

In particular, don’t keep the details of an offer secret. For example, if a candidate is interested only in working remotely, an in-office location will likely be a dealbreaker. It’s best to be upfront about every aspect of the role before you make an offer. This saves time for both you and the candidate.

3) Establish a Long-Term Connection

Smart hiring managers and recruitment specialists help candidates recognize the value of maintaining a relationship throughout their careers. Rather than just completing an immediate transaction, recruiters can introduce candidates to influential people within their industry and help build their professional network over time.

Ghosting can cause unintended reputational damage. So, if you help candidates see the long game, they’ll be less likely to abruptly end your communication. 

4) Respond Kindly to a Rejection

We’ve seen employers lash out at candidates who decline an offer. This is a surefire way to encourage more ghosting! If a candidate rejects a job application, remember they’re doing you a favor by responding at all.

Keep responses polite and professional. Thank the candidate for their transparency, wish them well, and keep the door open for the future. It’s a surprisingly small and very well-connected world. So think about how much goodwill a gracious response can help your organization, in the long run.

5) Ask People Not to Ghost

Sometimes the best way to encourage candidates not to ghost you is just to…ask! Tell people upfront that if they change their mind about the opportunity at any point, you would really appreciate a heads-up.

This approach has often worked for our team. It lets us be more proactive in filling roles for our clients. Because we have spent time nurturing trust with our candidates, they tend to be candid in sharing their thoughts.

Of course, this may not work every time, but it can’t hurt to try.

6) Recognise When You’re Being Ghosted

…and move on. Don’t assume that a candidate will eventually get back in touch with you to seal the deal. If a candidate is wasting your time, then your energy is better spent on finding a more suitable applicant elsewhere.

Similarly, you should never put all your recruiting eggs in one candidate basket. With ghosting on the rise, it’s crucial to have at least one active candidate at any given time. But ideally, you should keep two or three more high-quality candidates in the running for an open position, as well.

7) Don’t Ghost

You may have been ghosted, but there’s never a reason for an employer to be a ghost. Employers who blow off applicants can quickly develop a bad reputation for ghosting and wasting candidates’ time, too. 

If we expect candidates not to ghost, we must treat them the way we would like to be treated. Recognizing the time and effort unsuccessful candidates have put into their applications is a must.

Employers should keep all candidates informed of the outcome of their application, whether it is positive or negative. Otherwise, that negative candidate experience may come back to haunt your organization in the future.

All this Ghosting Talk Is Kind of Scary!

But don’t worry, you made it to the end. And now you’re much better equipped to avoid those wicked ghosts. Poof!

Great Hires Are Better Than Frequent Fires: How Smart Recruiting Helps

Sponsored by: RocketReach

Hiring teams know just how hard it is to find candidates who hit the mark with both soft skills and technical skills.  Ideally, a new hire brings the majority of the hard skills required to do the job well. But soft skills are equally important, if not more important, depending on your company’s philosophy. In combination, hard and soft skills allow for a highly productive team and culturally rich environment.  So, how do you identify these powerhouse candidates? This is when smart recruiting tactics can make a strategic impact.

Why? Finding and placing high-performing candidates should be every HR professional’s primary goal. But if recruiting focuses more on an individual’s experience than their ability to enhance your culture or have the right attitude to learn, that hire could likely be a mismatch long term. How can you avoid this? To illustrate, let’s look closer at how we approach hiring at RocketReach

Smart Recruiting: Why Prioritize Soft Skills?

Of course, every job depends on a core technical or business skill set. However, we over-index on culture and behavioral skills because a candidate’s character matters, here. Well, not just here, but in all successful, people-first organizations.

A candidate with great skills requires less on-the-job training. But someone who’s a great cultural fit often possesses untrainable qualities that embody an organization’s values and vision. So it’s wise to get a read on each candidate’s potential to adapt to your culture and perform well with the team. 

What exactly is at stake? Well, according to a new SHRM report, over the past five years, 20% of Americans left a job because the company culture was bad. In fact, the cost of this turnover is estimated at more than $223 billion.

Here are several more findings to consider: 56% of Americans now say they feel less-than-fulfilled at work, while 26% say they dread going to work each day. In today’s talent market, finding an ideal candidate may not be easy. But hiring a strong candidate who also fits your company culture is arguably just as important (if not more so!) as hiring someone just because they have the desired level of experience.

How Smart Recruiting Leads to a Stronger Culture

Clearly, it’s important to build and sustain a people-first company culture. But how can smart recruiting help determine if a candidate is (or isn’t) a good “fit”?

1. Understand Your Work Culture

When considering your company’s culture, don’t just analyze intangible items like general employee vibes. Also include your leadership structure, core mission, and vision, office environment, feedback and performance review processes, as well as overall interpersonal communication styles. These and other factors contribute to the relationships within your team and how the company is investing in its people. They also influence employee retention and how others perceive your organization.

Harvard Business Review agrees that a carefully crafted positive company culture helps develop workforce well-being. At this point, we all know how important culture is for working professionals. Every employee touchpoint, from onboarding to offboarding, influences how your organization’s culture affects your employees. As a result, people rank workplace well-being higher in importance than monetary compensation or material benefits. So, culture deserves to be top-of-mind with each new hire. 

2. Identify Characteristics That Map to Your Culture

Once you’ve clarified your company culture, let’s assume you want to sustain it. Using your analysis, you can identify the characteristics of current employees who are thriving. You can also compare and contrast those characteristics with previous employees who are better suited to a different culture. 

On the other hand, if you’d like to improve your culture, you can start identifying candidates whose soft skills align with your desired organizational direction.

For example, say your workforce is fully remote. This means collaboration is probably more challenging than in a traditional office environment. You may want to focus on candidates who demonstrate that they’re self-starters with a strong sense of resourcefulness, self-efficacy, and proactive ownership

Or, if your company’s mission and values emphasize diversity and inclusion, you may want to focus on candidates who are open-minded, adaptable, and have a curious approach to problem-solving. Try targeting candidates who seem resistant to change and more accepting of those with different backgrounds and ideas.

Of course, the idea of cultural alignment isn’t new. For example, a popular 2005 personnel study still cited today concludes that when employee characteristics align with company culture, their job satisfaction and performance are also stronger.

3. Interview With Alignment In Mind

After you understand the qualities a candidate needs to be successful in a given role, it’s time for interviews. Along with questions that evaluate hard skills, what are some questions you should ask to determine a candidate’s soft skills?

  1. What about our organization made you want to apply for this position?
    Pay attention to the enthusiasm and focus of each candidate’s answers. Did your benefits seem particularly attractive? Was it your company brand or careers page? Or was it the job description, itself? Do the candidate’s personal values align with your company’s? Each answer is a clue about the individual’s perspective, motivations and interests. This can determine how closely a candidate’s values align with your team’s and how you can sell them on these things down the line if they are a great fit.
  2. What does your ideal next role look like?
    This can tell a recruiter tons about the type of environment in which a candidate will thrive. Do they envision working independently or in a group? What main responsibilities does this person want to own and enjoy most? Are they hoping to grow in mentorship or people management?? This can show you if your current team and environment fit the candidate’s needs.
  3. If one of your colleagues disagreed with you in front of a group during a board meeting or a meeting with leadership, how would you handle this?
    Sharing a hypothetical question about a challenging situation and asking for a suggested solution can reveal someone’s ability to listen and collaborate, think critically, and have the right attitude under pressure.
  4. Tell me about a time when you felt an employer’s culture didn’t suit your needs. Why do you believe it wasn’t the right fit for you?
    Sometimes a direct approach is the best approach. Pay careful attention to see what the answer reveals about the potential fit with your current culture (or the culture you’re working to achieve).

There are a million ways to ask interview questions that focus on soft skills and culture. But whatever questions you choose, make sure you tailor each to your company’s values and needs.

Hiring managers will understand the characteristics that align with an open position and the overall company culture. This frees you to get creative and keep interviews candid and human. The less “cookie cutter” your questions are, the better they will serve your talent strategy in the long run. More importantly, ensure that your interview teams are trained to over-index on culture and company values – that way everyone is looking through a people-first lens. So whether you’re conducting a pre-screening interview, or you’re in a final-round group interview, put your culture front and center. 

Talent Acquisition 2021 Recap and Forecast for 2022

The pressure is officially back on for talent acquisition teams to engage the right employees and help businesses stay competitive.

Early on in the pandemic, millions of workers were laid off in a race to downsize. Economists predicted a grim year of people scrambling to get their old jobs back—except, that isn’t quite what happened.

Instead, Americans have started leaving their jobs (and not coming back) at historic rates. In fact, according to Lawrence Katz, the Elisabeth Allison Professor of Economics at Harvard, “we haven’t seen quit rates this high since 2000, when the BLS started recording the statistics.”

For businesses with an eye toward the future, it’s time to learn from the mistakes of 2021 (like why employees aren’t in a hurry to come back to work) and use that knowledge to stay ahead. When you’re vying for the same talent in a seller’s market, reaching the right candidates and making the right offers once you find them are critical to your success.

Our Guest: Michael O’Dell, Talent.com

On the latest #WorkTrends podcast, I spoke with Michael O’ Dell, President of Talent.com. With over 20 years of experience in the recruiting and digital talent acquisition industry, Michael became president of Talent.com in January 2020 where he has been spearheading their rebranding and overseeing U.S. sales operations. He’s also the host of his own show, the Workscape podcast, where guests join him in analyzing trends and the future of the labor economy in the U.S.

When asked how the business of recruitment marketing has changed with fewer people looking for jobs, Michael suggests that there might not actually be fewer people.

“I think it’s a different set of people and a lot of the same people over and over,” Michael says. “Maybe it’s the great reshuffling. It’s a musical chairs of professionals.”

The move to remote, hybrid work from home has also been a major shakeup for those in the recruitment advertising industry – with remote jobs going from being a small part of the ecosystem to an important part of the conversation.

“For the longest time, remote jobs have been part of our ecosystem, but it’s been a very small part,” Michael says. “But come last year, it was like 4% of our jobs had a remote or work from home location. And that I think went up like 20x in a three or four-month period.”

For Talent.com this actually meant changing their search algorithms to make sure that they aren’t just matching the right job to the right person in the right place:

“When you have three major inputs in a search and one of them is finite, i.e., location, you have some pretty nice guardrails. Now, we have to just be better.”

The Big ‘R’: How to retain your top talent

Paying people their worth, being a good human, and paying a living wage are a no-brainer when it comes to retention, but what more can employers do?

“Go and have a conversation with your people,” Michael says. “If you value them, if they’re good, if they’re good to you, be good to them.”

Michael points to a recent LinkedIn survey that shows people are starting to leave for different industries. Interestingly, it doesn’t seem to be a one-way street. He discusses how different industries are starting to look for skill sets that they may not have considered before, which is putting increased pressure on recruitment advertisers.

You’re looking at competition from different industries,” Michael explains. “So, you do have to be better. You have to be quick. If you think you can put jobs out there or source candidates and engage with them for three or four days, you’re going to lose that person.”

A mass exodus in the workforce

There are also those leaving the workforce altogether. Michael has some interesting research about the differences in why some age groups, working groups, and genders are deciding to resign. Baby boomers, he says, have benefited from the stock market over the past couple of years and seen their retirement funds grow, causing many to take a step back and retire.

“And then you have the other side,” he says. “We have some of the lowest labor participation from younger workers now than ever.”

He also notes that some young men are realizing they can work part-time at different jobs and make as much or more than they did full-time at another job, while female workers struggle to find a job that accommodates the fact that they have a proportionally larger share of elder and childcare. Interestingly, people with disabilities are benefitting from the move to remote and hybrid work from home.

“There’s a lot of organizations that have always looked past working from home, regardless of who it is,” Michael says. “And now folks with disabilities have tremendously more opportunities to work in an atmosphere that is comfortable and productive for them.”

I hope you enjoy this special podcast of #WorkTrends, sponsored by Talent.com. You can learn more about talent acquisition 2021 recap and forecast for 2022 by reaching out to Michael O’Dell on LinkedIn. And, in case you missed it, listen to the podcast here.

Photo by Roman Samborsky

How to Restructure Your Hiring Process for Fit Rather Than Vacancy

Few things frustrate business leaders more than a failed new hire. And yet, chances are your hiring process still focuses on filling a vacancy instead of finding a good culture fit. 

Think about it: Finding the perfect candidate for a job takes much time, energy, and money. So it is incredibly frustrating for a new hire to leave the company before recouping the investment. According to a Leadership IQ study, 46% of new hires either move on or get fired within their first 18 months on the job — and only 19% rate as an unequivocal success.

Those are certainly discouraging statistics. Often, our hiring considerations are so focused on assessing competency (i.e., “Can the candidate do this job?”) that we overlook chemistry (i.e., “Is the candidate a good cultural fit?”). When we take a utilitarian approach to the hiring process, we consider what’s on the résumé, identify the most technically proficient candidate, and then hire them.

Our long-standing hiring processes trap companies in a never-ending cycle of hiring the wrong people for the same position — all while wearing out existing team members with the start-and-stop nature of the process. That is why I approach hiring holistically, going beyond technical abilities to look at how a candidate’s personality will fit within the company’s cultural scope.

The Best Hiring Process: Find Candidates Who Fit the Culture

When my company started, it was just me, my girlfriend, and a few friends. We all trusted and felt comfortable with each other, so there was zero trepidation when making decisions and getting stuff done. When tensions did arise, it was because we’re all passionate people committed to success.

To be clear, finding a good culture fit doesn’t mean hiring people you want to grab a beer with after work (though it doesn’t preclude that). It means restructuring your hiring process from the ground up to look for more than just technical proficiency. Here are three ways to begin that process.

1. Create a “Personality Profile” of Current Employees

A few years ago, my company was in a rush to fill a management spot in our customer service department. After sifting through piles of résumés, we hired one of the first and most qualified applicants we found. A few months (and a few dissatisfied customers) later, the hire wasn’t working out — and stunted our projected growth.

The moral of this story? Get to know your employees and find out their likes, dislikes, similarities, and differences. You’ll likely start to see trends, and you can use that information to direct your company forward. This doesn’t mean every hire has to be exactly like the people already on your team. But forming a “personality profile” of your current staff will help you see blind spots or biases you can keep in mind as you bring on new hires.

2. Take a Sledgehammer to Your Current Hiring Process

Does your hiring process value chemistry and know how to find it? I’m not talking about silly concepts like “the “long flight test.” There are plenty of people I love hanging out with who wouldn’t fit in at our company. Likewise, you can probably think of people in your organization who are great at their jobs but honestly drive you a little crazy on a personal level.

Take your organization’s personality profile and intentionally apply it to every step of your hiring process. Look at the interviews that led to your best hires. What common themes emerge? How can you look for those same traits in a strategic, intentional way?

One way we’ve put this into practice at our company is through group interviews. This process lets our company’s DNA shine through, and it allows us to observe how the candidate aligns (or clashes) with our current culture and operating system.

3. Rethink What (And How) You’re Asking

According to Leadership IQ, only 11% of hires fail because they lack competency. With this kind of discrepancy, it’s probably best if the current method of interviewing — see a résumé, select a candidate — undergoes an overhaul.

That isn’t to say that companies should completely ignore competency. Instead, dedicate interview time to how candidates felt about their previous work experiences and what they liked or didn’t like about those jobs. Look at each potential hire’s analytical and problem-solving skills. Spend assessing their interpersonal dynamics. Get a read on how potential hires operate and be bluntly honest with them about your organization’s personality profile. Finally, ask for stories about how they’ve operated before in work environments like yours.

This is not a one-time restructuring of your hiring process. 

Keep everything that works for you, and learn from any hires who don’t pan out. Along the way, you’ll begin finding candidates who didn’t rise to the top of the list based on competency alone but who intrinsically gel with your organization. These are the people who last, build synergy with those around them, and become invaluable pieces of your organization’s future.

Photo: Ricardo Resende

Is Diversity Baked Into Your Hiring Process?

A few years ago, we were asked to help a market leader that was intent on changing its culture to be more creative and innovative. (Sound familiar?) The company was spending a million dollars on messaging and elaborate company meetings to help “get the word out” and create excitement for this new, transformative initiative.

But even as its leaders spoke eloquently about the need for change — even hiring a guru to guide their efforts — few process changes were made, and they were hesitant to reconsider the kind of people they hired. They talked of needing people who were “cultural fits” even as they held meetings in which they touted the need for cultural change and disruption.

Why traditional hiring practices backfire

The company’s hiring practices were similar to those we see in most organizations, perhaps even your own. After candidates were identified, an internal team of “high performers,” along with HR representatives, reviewed the applicants’ résumés to ensure they had the requisite experience. Unfortunately, this meant most applicant experiences were similar. The unintended result? A candidate pool with little experiential diversity.

But it didn’t end there. After “qualified” candidates interviewed with the hiring teams, they were ranked by the group. If any members of the hiring team had a concern about a person, those concerns were noted. Strong objections by a couple of group members, as a practical matter, were enough to give a candidate the boot.

Predictably, the least objectionable candidate — who typically looked, acted, and thought like other members of the group — became the team’s preferred choice.

If we want change, we need to expect challenges

When we asked the hiring team how the hiring process supported a culture of innovation, team members told us that their hiring criteria included experience in helping organizations change.

Pushing back, we asked the team to consider which types of people would contribute different and creative ideas. What employee characteristics would help the organization change? For instance, had they valued people who were:

  • Diverse in race, ethnicity, and background?
  • Rarely satisfied with the status quo?
  • Impatient and not always willing to take “no” for an answer without significant debate?
  • Disruptive, at times disagreeable, and willing to question authority?
  • Not easily managed?
  • At times, slow and hesitant to make decisions based on what was done last year? (Creativity takes time.)
  • Unwilling to go along just to get along?

 Their response neatly framed their hiring challenges:

“Why would we hire someone who is hard to manage, never satisfied, and always questioning what we do? We’re pretty good here, you know. If we hired people who we knew would consistently challenge what we learned yesterday, we’d never get anything done.”

We say we want change, but do we?

Yes, we say we want to change. We say we want creativity. We say we need diversity, but do we honestly believe it?

The truth is, even if we’re committed to recruiting more diverse teams, we’re often painfully unaware of how our hiring processes give preference to people who are more like us. As a result, we often allow the long-term effects of our biases, knowingly or unknowingly, to be hidden in our collective consciousness, in our culture. Over time, groups that cling to such processes tend to become more homogeneous, not less.

Even when we manage to hire authentically diverse teams — composed of different backgrounds, races, genders, ages, perspectives, and beliefs — we expect everyone to come together in a fabled “kumbaya” moment.

True diversity begins with intention

Recruiting a more diverse and successful team begins with intention. The kind of intention that’s required is more than a desire or wish. It’s a conscious, mindful choice based on a belief that diversity is critical to the team’s success. It requires that we create processes that are built for diversity. Our preference for people who look and think and act like us is strong and can only be overcome with a structured commitment to embrace people who often make us uncomfortable.

So, where should we start? Here are a few ideas:

  1. Start early. It’s easier to become diverse before biases have become ingrained in our hiring practices.
  2. Be clear on the type of people you hope to hire. Do they share your values? Are they competent? Good thinkers? Willing to change? Ready to speak truth to power? Confident? Good leaders? Having clarity is a necessary first step to building a successful hiring process.
  3. Recruit blindly. Superficial aspects of a person’s bio often outweigh an applicant’s talent or potential. The fix? Implement a blind submissions process — stripping away names, ages, and gender. Create a process in which people cannot “see” the applicants when initially judging their competence.
  4. Put more diversity, of all types, on your hiring team. The research on this is clear: a diverse hiring team will recruit more diverse members.
  5. Expand your personal and professional networks. Our personal preferences are affected by our experiences. For example, research shows that fathers with daughters are more likely to hire women. Having more experience with an unrepresented group makes their inclusion more likely.
  6. Confront bias when you see it. When we tolerate bias, we teach that it’s acceptable.

Learning to appreciate our differences — and to embrace diversity — is what ultimately fuels an organization’s competitive advantage. Only when people challenge us to think and act differently can we create the remarkable. So, let’s get to it.

Photo: Bethany Legg

Why You Should Recruit Introverts — and How

In this extrovert-biased world of ours, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Many job candidates aren’t making it past the hiring process to get the jobs they’re qualified for. The reality is that if introverts don’t interview in a bubbly, enthusiastic manner, they likely won’t make it to the next round. And if they don’t share their accomplishments with confidence and bravado, they’re likely to be overlooked for positions in which they would thrive. 

The costs to our organizations of this lost talent are staggering to consider. 

Yet, emerging evidence shows that the tide is turning. In a 2019 Workplace Survey of some 240 introverts, a promising 38% of respondents said their organizations demonstrated a willingness to hire and promote introverts. And as general awareness of introversion increases, it may become less of an exclusionary factor. 

Hiring a diverse workforce is just the first step. Companies must also do the work to create places where people of all temperaments feel included and experience a sense of belonging. When introverts can see many different pathways to success and opportunities to thrive, it’s more likely that they’ll stay in an organization and do their best work. 

Consider How Introversion Impacts The Job

In the hiring process, weigh whether personality actually makes a difference for the position. 

Susan Schmitt, group vice president and head of human resources at Applied Materials, says, “The main thing that matters on temperament: Is there any element of this person’s temperament, nature or behavior that will impair them in this particular role or a future role?” 

In essence, how might their temperament work for or against them in that particular role? Susan gave the example of a new hire that appeared to have low energy during the interview process. “She was somewhat slow in her responses, thoughtful and reflective, which led some interviewers to think she may not be right for the role. But her skills, knowledge, experience and education were super strong, and her capacity for complexity and conceptual capability were outstanding.” The team hired her. 

“This hire became a success story, and she ended up becoming a vice president. Had she been dinged for her low-affect personality in that first interview, think of the lost contributions,” remarked Susan. 

To ensure that people with introverted personality types are included and embraced within your organization, make certain that introversion is a key dimension of diversity within your larger talent management strategy. This would establish that an introverted candidate who didn’t come across as the kind of person an interviewer would “like to have a beer with” wouldn’t get shot down for that reason. After all, not every position requires a candidate to be great at after-work socializing, right? Furthermore, if everyone inside an organization knows the introvert-inclusive criteria for hiring and promotion, then they can build a stronger introvert-friendly culture throughout. 

Through hiring greater numbers of introverts and embracing all personality types in our organizations, we may one day reach a critical mass of introverts who are recognized, respected and heard for their wise and understated input.

How Can You Attract Great Introvert Talent?

Here are some ways to ensure that you cast the widest net and seriously consider introverts in all hiring decisions. 

  1. Give them a sense of what it’s like. How do potential recruits view your company? Ryan Jenkins, Millennial and Gen Z expert, says that companies need to manage their YouTube channels and make sure they offer people the experience of seeing what it is like to work for your company. Introverts, who like to research and spend time in reflection, will be looking to social media channels to figure out if they have a connection to your brand. You may never even see those potential introverted hires if you have a sparse online presence. 
  1. Create an introvert-friendly interview process. Integrate these three strategies: first, prep the room. Avoid blazing lights and noisy areas. Consider chair placement; sitting too close together can be off-putting for introverts who value personal space. If it’s a group interview, seat the candidate at the middle of the table rather than at its head, so the candidate feels less scrutinized and can make eye contact with everyone. 

Next, schedule adequate time. If you schedule yourself too tightly between interviews, you may feel pressured and impatient if the person doesn’t respond quickly enough, especially if you are an extrovert. Introverted candidates are likely to pause before answering questions, and you want to provide them with the time they need to fully express themselves. 

And finally, attend to energy levels. One hiring manager said that she noticed her more introverted candidates were “not the same people at the end of the day. They deflated without a chance for breaks with back-to-back interviews.” To avoid overwhelming the candidate, only put people on the interviewing schedules who are essential to the process. Consider breaking a packed interview schedule into two days. 

  1. Check your bias at the door. If you’re more extroverted, beware of projecting your bias about introverts onto the candidate by wishing they showed more emotion or visible energy. If you’re an introvert, you’re more likely comfortable with a slower pace and pauses, and the possible self-effacing manner of an introverted interviewee. Check yourself for confirmation bias — that is, the tendency to seek answers that support your case and point of view while minimizing other important responses. Diversify your pool of candidates by being open to everyone. 
  1. Employ paraphrasing. Reflecting back what you heard gives candidates a chance to modify or validate what they said. It also offers a needed pause for introverts so they can process what’s being said in a reflective way. Both introverts and extroverts will appreciate the chance to clarify their thoughts and round out their responses.
  1. Use AI tools (with caution). Using artificial intelligence screening is receiving more attention as one solution to reducing the costs of hiring and to promote more diversity. AI can allow you to cast a wider net and includes those with introverted temperaments who might not be considered in the initial screening process. Digital interviews record verbal and nonverbal cues of candidates and analyze them against position criteria. But many experts suggest using a slower approach rather than a full-scale adoption of these tools at this stage, as they can bear unintentional biases. 

To capture introvert talent, think beyond hiring (and promoting) for personality. It starts with checking your own temperament bias and valuing introverts in your talent management process. 

 

6 Fixes That Immediately Improve Your Hiring Process [Infographic]

The “hiring is broken” reputation is a hard one for recruiters to shake and the hiring process is only predicted to become even harder this year. 

To help you maintain your recruiting sanity, I’ve compiled a list of 6 fixes to improve your hiring process summarized in an infographic below.

6 Fixes That Immediately Improve Your Hiring Process [Infographic]

  1. Attract more candidates by promoting your employer brand

A LinkedIn survey found the #1 obstacle for job seekers changing jobs is “not knowing what it’s really like to work at the company.”

This uncertainty is a big reason why recruitment marketing has become so popular. As a central part of recruitment marketing, your employer brand is a reflection of your company’s culture, values, and mission.

Whether it’s through your company’s videos, photos, blogs, and social media statuses or third party review sites like Glassdoor, dramatically improve your hiring process by ensuring your employer brand is searchable, authentic, and compelling.

  1. Improve your job posting by adding your employee value proposition

Improving your job posting is a simple but overlooked fix to improve your hiring process. Most job postings seem to be written as an afterthought: long, boring, and technical. Worst of all, they tend to be company- rather than candidate-focused.

Research has found that job postings that emphasize what the job offers to fulfil the candidate’s needs not only attracts more applicants, but a higher quality of applicants too.

One of the best ways to highlight this job-candidate fit is to include your employee value proposition: the rewards or benefits that an employee can expect to receive in return for their performance.

Your employee value proposition should include what differentiates the job and company from whether it’s career progression, autonomy and flexibility, or amazing perks.

  1. Reduce time to hire by automating your resume screening

For every 100 applicants a high volume job posting receives, around 65% are ignored.

Automating resume screening using software powered by AI eliminates this resume “ignore problem.”

iCIMS found a resume spends 23% of its time in the screening phase. Using AI to automate your resume screening improves your hiring process because it drastically reduces time to hire without sacrificing quality of hire.

In fact, AI for resume screening has the potential to increase quality of hire because it screens every resume instantly screened which prevents good candidates from falling through the cracks and ignored.

AI for recruiting software analyses your existing resume database to learn what the qualifications of successful employees are and then applies that knowledge instantly screen, grade, and rank new candidates (e.g., from A to D).

  1. Reduce candidate acquisition costs by rediscovering candidates

Although the typical large company is sitting on thousands – if not millions – of resumes, most ATS software lack the ability to accurately search an existing resume database to match previous candidates to current reqs.

Talent rediscovery software solves this issue by using AI to analyze your job description and then searching your existing ATS to find candidates who have applied to your company in the past who fit the requirements of a current job opening.

Rediscovering previous candidates improves your hiring process because eliminates the need to come up with Boolean or keyword searches to conduct a resume search manually as well as saves you money on candidate acquisition costs.

  1. Improve your hiring process by personalizing your candidate experience

A CareerBuilder survey found that the #1 complaint of job seekers about the hiring process is a lack of personalization.

Employer behavior falls short of candidate expectations: while 52% of employers respond to less than half of the candidates who apply, 84% of candidates expect a personal email reply to their application and 52% expect a phone call.

One of the biggest benefits of using technology to improve hiring is reducing the administrative burden and freeing up recruiters’ time to personalize candidate experience.

By automating your resume screening, each and every application can be screened, ranked, and replied to. Recruiters can concentrate on the shortlist of candidates identified as strong matches, for example, all candidates graded as am A.

Recruiters can use this freed-up time to create more in-depth, high-touch relationships with qualified candidates to uncover their needs, determine fit, and persuade them to consider to opportunity.

  1. Show your recruiting value by using business-related metrics

Recruiting metrics are measurements that provide insights into the value and effectiveness of your recruiting process.

They provide information for recruiters to identify where process improvements are needed and justify investment into specific recruiting functions.

Measuring recruiting metrics and linking them to business outcomes, for example, reduced costs related to decreased turnover or increased revenue related to hiring top performers, significantly improves your hiring process because it demonstrates your financial and strategic value to the company.

The article was originally posted on Ideal.

Photo Credit: reobuyer Flickr via Compfight cc

5 Tips For A Winning Candidate Experience

Let’s face it – The hiring process is stressful for both sides. The job seeker is putting their talents and career future on the line, which is a vulnerable place to be. The organization is investing considerable resources in hopes of finding a star in the making. This is important stuff.

And yet far too many organizations make a mess out of the candidate experience in the recruiting process. This is astonishing, and just plain self-destructive.

Get this: The Talent Board, which runs the Candidate Experience Awards, surveyed over 45,000 job applicants about their experience. Of those who had a positive experience, 61 percent would actively encourage colleagues to apply to the organization; 27 percent of those who had a negative experience would actively discourage colleagues from applying. In addition, almost 40 percent of the positives would buy more of the goods or services the company sells, even if they weren’t ultimately hired; 30 percent of the negatives would buy less goods or services. Finally 50 percent of positives share their positive experience; 32 percent of negatives broadcast their bad news.

In other words, a good candidate experience is brilliant marketing for an organization; a bad one is an ongoing black eye for people interested in your employer brand. Devastating as that is, this fact is even worse: a bad hiring experience may cause the right applicant to turn down the job. Top talent has no desire to work in a disrespectful organization with leaders who simply don’t care about the recruiting process.

Savvy organizations turn HR into a powerhouse marketing and recruiting tool. Here are 5 steps you can take to follow their lead:

1) Walk in the job seeker’s shoes. We’ve all been job seekers at some point in our careers. As you design or improve your hiring process, keep the applicant experience front and center at all times. Yes, this is about fulfilling your organization’s needs, but the more you understand and design the process from the applicant’s point of view, the more successful you will be. Role playing can be invaluable here. Have a team member play an applicant as you design each step of your process.

2) Communicate. Remember that disgraceful statistic: over 70 percent of online applicants never even get a form reply. This is often a symptom of dysfunctional Leadership and HR; it violates the rules of common human courtesy and smart communication. You must explain every step of the hiring process to an applicant. Always meet the deadlines and markers you have established. If for some unforeseeable reason, you’re unable to, communicate that swiftly and directly to the applicant. Stay transparent and honest all the way through.

3) Bring employees in the process. Jobs don’t exist in a vacuum. You want to hire people who are going to mesh with your culture. The best way to ensure this is to seek employee input in designing and implementing your hiring. A fresh pair of eyes can sometimes provide just the insight you’re seeking. And consider having promising candidates meet with their possible future teammates to gauge workplace culture fit. Too many HR departments want to guard their culture from the world. That’s a mistake. Moliere once said: “I take my good where I find it.” He’s one smart guy.

4) Personalize the recruiting process. You’ve heard me say it again and again: when it comes organizations and their people, one size fits no one. You want a hiring process that has built-in flexibility, not rigid rules. Some of the best talent is idiosyncratic, eccentric and maybe even a bit weird (exhibit A: Steve Jobs). The last thing you want is a process that eliminates stellar talent for bureaucratic reasons. Yes, a college degree is nice, but is it really the key determinant of an applicant’s future performance? Methinks not.

5) Seek honest feedback. Your hiring process should be ever-evolving. Social media has handed HR powerful new tools that impact every step of the process. Actively seek feedback from candidates, both those you hire and those you don’t. Listen and respond, just keep tweaking. A static hiring process will soon turn stale. Think of feedback as a dialogue, a lesson, and an inspiration.

Hiring lies at the very heart of HR and Leadership. When candidates are hired after a positive experience, they hit the ground running, their commitment to your organization having been nurtured and strengthened during every step of the process. When candidates aren’t hired, they walk away feeling respected and appreciated, and are far more likely to recommend other talent look into your organization. This is world-class HR. And you can make it happen!

A version of this was first posted on Forbes

Image credit: StockSnap.io

7 Ways Candidates Blow A Phone Interview

I’m consistently amazed by how unaware the average job seeker is of how to establish a positive first impression on a phone interview. I hear the same frustrated complaints from employers of all industries and sizes – that candidates who voluntarily submitted their resumes in hopes of discussing a position they’re supposedly interested in just can’t seem to get it together. Remember when all you needed was a solid resume to be guaranteed a face-to-face interview? For the sake of saving time, resources, and money, recruiters have become much more selective on who they decide to meet in person. In an effort to weed out time-wasters and soft-skill-deficient candidates, recruiters are conducting phone screens to find out who’s off their game.

1. They’re unprepared to take the call.
If you’re 4 beers deep at a Yankees game or trying to wrestle a dirty diaper off a screaming baby, you probably shouldn’t answer a call you don’t recognize. Yet, most of the candidates my recruiting team speaks with are under the impression that it’s better to answer a call you’re not completely prepared for than to miss the call altogether. It’s not. If you find yourself in a situation that isn’t suitable for a professional conversation, don’t pick up. Instead, call back within 24 hours, after you’ve collected your thoughts, can speak confidently, and have locked down a quiet location.

Not to mention, they start timing you from the second they leave a voicemail, which brings me to my next point. If you’re actively looking, you should have a professional voicemail with specific instructions to avoid an unwanted game of phone tag. For example, “Hi, you’ve reached Mark Smith. If you’re calling in regards to my resume, please leave your name and number as well as the best times for me to reach you.”

2. They expect the recruiter to fill in the blanks.
“Hi, what job did I apply for again? What company are you calling on behalf of?” It pains me to admit this, but these responses are the norm when an employer reaches out to a candidate, even for high-level positions. You’re a job seeker, which means you probably apply to several jobs each week. We understand that it’s tough to keep track, but it’s essential – if only for the sake of a recruiter’s sanity – that you start taking notes. Just by picking up the phone and saying, “Hi Wendy, you must be calling in regards to the Customer Service position I applied for last week.” Mind blown.

3. They conduct an unorganized job search.
This goes hand in hand with my last point. Today, it’s not enough to print out a handful of resumes and call it a day. We always recommend that our candidates keep a spreadsheet of every job application they submitted with corresponding dates, company names, and relevant contacts. Or, if you’re a tech wiz, try these awesome job search apps. That way, when the phone rings, you’ll have a handy guide that’ll save you from playing guessing games. Also, it’s important to keep your background information and portfolios within arms reach to provide some quick material for preliminary questions. It says a great deal about your personal brand if you’re prepared to answer a challenging question, and even have some on-hand stats to back up your argument. And for bonus points, don’t forget to browse company websites and connect with HR personnel on LinkedIn. Taking that extra step makes a huge impression.

4. They don’t understand why recruiters really call.
More often than not, recruiters aren’t calling to simply schedule a personal interview; they’re calling to conduct a prescreen. In other words, to decide whether they want to move you forward. Remember all that research you were supposed to do when you applied for the gig? Use it to show recruiters you know something about how their company culture works and that you’re serious about the job.

5. They have a bad “radio personality.”
Phones are tough – all you have to make an impression is your voice. Candidates, especially introverts, often fail to heighten their energy over the phone. Nobody’s expecting you to sound like Ron Burgundy, but you should at the very least sound excited, confident, and prepared. Excessive “umms,” stammering, or sounding like you’re dead inside are huge turnoffs to recruiters. The only way to overcome this obstacle is through practice. Record yourself on any device you have handy, and ask yourself this difficult question: “Would you hire you?” Getting your career narrative down in a way that engages and connects with an employer is essential to winning that face-to-face meeting.

6. They have a weak or unprofessional online presence.
Chances are, if recruiters are interested in what you have to say, they’ll be googling you before then end of your conversation. A half-complete LinkedIn profile or a racy Facebook picture is all it takes to eliminate you from the game. Just last week, one of my recruiters found a candidate with a stellar background and scheduled her for an interview right away. But just minutes before their call, she discovered an R-rated photo online that involved a stripper pole. Needless to say, the recruiter’s mind was made up before the conversation started.

7. They fail to treat a phone interview with the same decorum as they would a personal one.
Just because you didn’t put on a suit or block out time in your day doesn’t mean it counts any less towards your chances of securing the job. Request follow up procedures, send personalized thank you notes, and be sure to highlight any takeaways to reinforce your sincerity. Take it from me, the small things really do matter.

photo credit: Phone Talkin via photopin (license)

Is Your Hiring Process Mobile Friendly?

mobile hiringWe’re living in a world of hyper- connectivity.  These days, everything must be mobile optimized- from websites to online shopping carts and even online job applications.  Yet according to a recent CareerBuilder survey, only 10% of businesses optimized their job applications for mobile.  The failure of the other 90% to optimize their applications for mobile amounted to missing out on roughly 94% of candidates using their mobile phone or smart device. If your hiring process isn’t mobile friendly from beginning to end, your business could be missing out on the most digitally mature candidates.

Creating a Mobile Friendly Hiring Process

Increasingly, more candidates are logging on and searching for jobs from mobile devices.  Many of these candidates continue to log on from mobile devices to communicate with recruiters, answer additional hiring questions, and submit documents.  With this in mind, how do businesses create a mobile friendly hiring process from beginning to end?  Try the following suggestions:

  • Create video job postings.  Video is a very mobile friendly way to attract candidate interest.  Videos are easily viewable on any mobile device and can enhance the hiring process for technologically sophisticated candidates. By filming a video, candidates can easily digest what the position is and how they might see themselves in the role. Video also enhances the candidate experience because it’s more interactive.
  • Optimize career pages. The problem with many career pages is that they aren’t on mobile- friendly platforms nor do they offer mobile friendly options.  It’s time for employers to collaborate with the Marketing team to design custom landing pages that enhance the mobile hiring process, not detract from it. Consider how your team can present the employer brand with engaging and dynamic content. This could be a video job posting, live chat options with brand ambassadors and team photos.
  • Create SMS recruiting content. Employers have an opportunity to enhance candidate communication with little effort on their end.  Consider creating mobile friendly recruiting messages that are brief, but inspire action.  Rather than creating spammy canned emails like those that some recruiters send out on LinkedIn, create tailored messaging that encourages the mobile candidate to view more content or dive further into the experience with a brand ambassador via mobile.  The key is to think creatively but think in terms of brief engaging content.
  • Simplify the application process.  Few businesses’ application processes are mobile friendly.  Couldn’t a company offer a way for candidates to automatically submit their resumes via QR code or LinkedIn?  This would enhance the mobile hiring process instead of automatically linking to an ATS that requires 9 pages of typing and retyping qualifications, references, GPA’s, and contact information. What’s the point of automatically parsing a resume if the hiring process begins as a headache? This can actively deter top candidates instead of attracting them to the job posting.  The answer is to simplify the process as much as possible to make it more attractive and engaging.
  • Offer mobile friendly video interviews. Video interviews can be extremely mobile friendly and enhance the hiring process.  Candidates can log on and record an interview on demand so the recruiter can screen them.  Or candidates progressing through the hiring process can log onto a live video interview via mobile app.  Video interviews are a great way to connect with mobile candidates in a meaningful way. Now both employers and candidates can tell their story via mobile.

As mobile usage continues to grow, more candidates will start their job search on mobile devices.  The challenge for employers is to successfully create a mobile hiring process that enhances the candidate experience, not harms it.  We will begin to see more focus in 2016 on mobile recruiting, but employers who advance their mobile hiring process now will  be ahead of the pack.

 

 

 

Time-to-Hire Increasing. What Can We Do About It?

What do you get when you combine rising skills gap and an internal need for specialized employees? Longer hiring periods and higher recruitment costs – neither of which are particularly appetizing for organizational leadership. The response is a growing desire for companies to spend more strategically and save time during the hiring process. But what does that actually mean? To get a grip on the increased time-to-hire enigma, there are a couple of steps you can take to understand and reduce the growing costs of filling open positions.

Why is the Price Tag Rising?

In 2014, organizations in the United States spent anywhere between $3,976 and $5,380 per hire depending on the size of the organization. With a hiring cost of nearly $4,000 at best, it begins to make business leaders wonder why each new hire costs so much.

The price tag is much more than the number of zeros at the end of the numeric value. It is costly in time and effort on the shoulders of the recruiters as well. A thinner recruitment staff can mean a longer time-to-hire simply because they have taken on a larger workload to compensate for the influx of candidates. Mark Mehler, Co-Founder of CareerXroads said:

 

“Depending on how many hiring managers [company recruiters are] dealing with, it’s impossible.”

 

Make Smarter Hiring Decisions

I don’t mean you don’t already make smart hiring decisions, I’m sure you make the best decisions you can with what you have to work with. But that is the issue. You don’t have the necessary resources to make more highly educated hiring decisions in a timely manner. Max Messmer, Chairman and CEO of Robert Half International, said:

“If you’re desperate to fill a position right away, you’re more likely to rush a decision, and you have a higher chance of choosing the wrong candidate for the job. You may determine an applicant is ‘good enough’ just to place someone in the role.”

Unfortunately, without the right tools, you run the risk of hiring the candidate who barely fits the minimum requirements. Don’t rush the process, but rather streamline the system to make better hiring decisions.

 

Tech Choices to Streamline

Again, in 2014, Deloitte noted the source of the most candidates was the company’s career site. So, you need a platform that is able to publish your job ads to job boards, social media sites, and your career site. In order to streamline the hiring process, 57% of companies were already looking to make HR purchases within 18 months in 2013.

With the right ATS and other platforms to augment your current recruitment and hiring system, you can streamline candidate files. With an organized system of automated responses and candidate information, responding to and choosing the right candidate is faster. Which is a plus for the recruiter (saves time and effort) and the organization (saves manpower and money).
The price tag for both time and fiscal value of time-to-hire is steadily on the rise. However, you can take measures to streamline the process so it doesn’t dissolve your recruitment and hiring resources. Don’t rush through candidates just to fill the open position. The rush can lead to a higher turnover and lower employee productivity because they aren’t truly fit for the role. Good enough shouldn’t cut it. To help you weed through the talent pool, consider investing in some of the ATS HR technology companies have to offer. They keep your candidate files organized and automated so your team can spend time doing the things that take higher priority over the administrative tasks. Understand your time-to-hire to take the next step in making better hiring decisions.

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Prevent Bad Hires with Your Hiring Process

There’s nothing worse than investing time and energy into hiring someone and finding out you’ve made a mistake. Recruiters fear that after weeks of pouring through resumes and talking to candidates, they’ll select the wrong one. A bad hire can be a drain on the organization from multiple angles. It costs money to hire and train someone who ultimately won’t work out. And it can drag down the morale when someone new is introduced and then exited. It can cause a sense of fear and panic to reverberate throughout the organization. But what if you can prevent bad hires upfront? What if you can pick apart your hiring process to prevent bad hires? Let’s examine the steps within the hiring process that can be improved to prevent a bad hire.

 

Enhance Your Hiring Process to Prevent Bad Hires

Every company’s hiring process is different.  But some companies have their hiring process down to a science.  They run like well oiled machines and seem to attract the best candidates.  What are they doing differently in order to attract better candidates and prevent bad hires?  According to Talent Board’s 2014 Candidate Experience Report , top companies are creating better candidate experiences with transparency and support.  These top companies are operating in tune with what candidates desire.

We’re in an age where information is plentiful.  We are literally bombarded with messaging at all angles.  To find out anything, we can hop on our smart phones and surf the information super highway for answers.  But some companies are still stuck in the past.  They don’t offer information up front to draw top candidates.  This is where you can enhance your hiring process.  Your organization can move beyond simply offering a career page to branding it to attract top talent.  This is where the company can really shine: you can offer insights into teams, company culture, and branded videos to appeal to the top candidates.  Great companies often take it a step further and offer immersive interviews via video interview software.  This allows candidates to get the full experience of what joining this company would be like.  Often, these kind of information rich hiring processes are able to prevent bad hires.

Review Expectations Up Front

Sometimes, a bad hire is not the result of the hiring process, but really unrealistic expectations.  We’ve all heard stories where candidates were hired on for a role like marketing, but the hiring manager’s uncommunicated expectation was that this hire would produce their yearly salary in sales in their first month.  These kinds of expectations should be examined up front by both the hiring manager and the recruiting or HR department.  Sometimes, if expectations are not realistic or in alignment with the position, it can produce a bad fit.  In these cases, the new employee could be confused about how they fit into your organization.  A careful review of these expectations can help prevent hiring someone that will ultimately be classified as a bad hire.

Similarly, job descriptions should be carefully reviewed prior to posting.  Does an hourly cashier position truly require a bachelor’s degree?  Or will this kind of requirement produce a smaller talent pool that is more likely to leave when another opportunity comes along?  These kinds of questions are crucial to the hiring process.  By addressing these concerns prior to posting, your team can work together to prevent bad hires.

Realign and Recommit to Quality Hires

Once a recruiting strategy is in place, it’s up to the recruiting team to pursue quality candidates.  By auditing these critical steps in the process, an organization can work towards preventing a bad hire.  But it’s not a fool proof system.  Sometimes, recruiters have an off day.  And sometimes, candidates lie convincingly enough to get hired.  With these steps in place, these kinds of mistakes should be minimized and produce quality hires over time.

How To Build High-Performing Teams

Imagine a stack of resumes that rises far over your head, towering up to the sky as far as the eye can see.

That’s what it can feel like to hire a new employee. The stack of resumes may not rise to the ceiling, but it certainly rises in your inbox. Yet there are hidden patterns within that stack, and if you know those patterns, you’re more likely to pick the right person for the job.

After researching 500,000 people, I’ve found patterns within the hiring process.

The sheer crushing volume of resumes favors people who know how to look good on paper. Yet often, the best hire for you will be the quietly methodical communicator who doesn’t radiate charisma in an interview, or the pragmatic detail manager whose advantages don’t always shine on a job application.

You can turn an average team into a high-performing team. You don’t have to clean house. You just need to identify each person’s personality “specialty.”

The Fascination Advantage® assessment will help you understand your talent around you, so you can create better relationships, grow your business, and become intensely valuable to those who matter most.

It’s understandable that managers will unintentionally hire to replicate themselves, or that a gatekeeper will evaluate on the basis of resumes submitted, yet this is not necessarily effective. It leads to imbalanced teams and conflicted cultures.

It’s tough for members of a team to each add their highest value, if nobody knows each other’s highest value in the first place.

Hire To Optimize Your Team, Not Replicate Your Team

You probably already recognize strengths. If you want more value from your team, start to recognize differences.

Your Fascination Advantage results will identify your unique Advantages, and the Advantages of your team.

A team will succeed in predictable areas, and lag in others, based on the composition of Advantages within that team.

HR managers can handpick certain Advantages, hiring specifically to balance and complement existing team members, or hone specific specialty traits for the overall group.

The more accurately you’ve assessed how a team is seen by the outside world, the more precisely you can guide that team’s interaction with customers and clients. Corporations can better understand and optimize their employees for anything that requires communication, from sales and customer service to hiring and nurturing high-performing talent.

It’s even more important for each team member to understand which of his or her Advantages are most valuable to the team.

Diversity isn’t just about hiring a balance in terms of ethnicity, gender, and age. It’s also about hiring a balance of personalities.

Each speaks a different “language,” based on his or her approach to communication.

Often you’ll find raw gems of potential hidden underneath layers of one-size-fits-all expectations.

The 7 Advantages are…

Innovation: the language of creativity

Passion: the language of relationship

Power: the language of confidence

Prestige: the language of excellence

Trust: the language of stability

Mystique: the language of listening

Alert: the language of details

If your company has become stale and you struggle to innovate, you probably want to recruit people with a primary Innovation Advantage, because they’re creative and tend to challenge the status quo. If your team is chock full of enthusiastic, larger-than-life characters, then you will do well to recruit people with a primary Trust or Mystique to balance the team. Each Advantage contributes a different form of value.

If hiring someone new isn’t an option, that’s okay. Get a clear look at what Advantages already exist on your team, so you can maximize those.

Hiring Based On Advantages

Consider new hires in terms of Advantages and personalities, rather than just skills and experience.

HINT: On the Archetype Matrix (found at HowToFascinate.com/matrix), find the adjectives that describe the qualities you are seeking in a job applicant, a committee seat, or other role. Then, fill the role with a preference for those Advantages.

If you want precise analysis, for instance, you might screen prospects to find someone for Alert. If you want a conversationalist who can quickly draw in prospects, you might search for an applicant with Passion or Power.

By supporting and accentuating each person’s natural traits, companies can increase engagement. Engaged employees are more satisfied, and more likely to satisfy customers, which in turn leads to greater revenue and higher goals.

Your dream team is waiting for you. (And you might not even have to sort through that enormous stack of resumes to build it!)

Your free code to the Fascination Advantage assessment:

+ + THE FASCINATION ADVANTAGE + +

Most personality assessments tell you how you see the world.

Only one measures how the world sees you.

Here is your private code to find out how the world sees you:

—-> 1. Go to HowToFascinate.com/YOU

—-> 2. For the access code, enter TCHAT

The Fascination Advantage is the first marketing-based personality assessment. Answer just 28 questions, and you’ll find out how others perceive you. Created by Sally Hogshead, and based on results of 500,000 participants, this test will reveal the very best of how the world sees you.

World-class branding expert Hogshead has discovered a new way to measure how people perceive your communication. Find out what makes you intensely valuable to others, so the world will see you at your best.

Hogshead rose to the top of the advertising profession in her early 20s, writing ads that fascinated millions of consumers. Over the course of her ad career, Hogshead won hundreds of awards for creativity, copywriting and branding, and was one of the most awarded advertising copywriters right from start of career, including almost every major international advertising awards.

Note: Sally Hogshead will appear on the February 11th edition of the TalentCulture #TChat Show.

About the Author: Sally Hogshead is the creator of The Fascination Advantage™: the world’s first personality test that measures what makes someone most engaging to others.

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Could Employee Appreciation Transform Your Hiring Strategies?

Employee retention is an important business consideration because high turnover rates are costly and often detrimental to overall team performance. However, even with the best retention rates, companies usually need to hire new workers once in a while. Whether they’re expanding or filling the holes left by retirees, leaders seek talented candidates who are excellent fits for the open roles. Anyone who’s been involved in the hiring process can attest to the fact that the whole ordeal can be quite a hassle, often with less than optimal results.

So are you stuck with the traditional routine, even if you’ve had lackluster candidate pools in the past? Perhaps not. The old strategies of posting a job description, sifting through piles of usually unpromising resumes, interviewing select candidates and choosing the best of the bunch might not be the only option. That’s what Zappos is banking on: Rather than relying on people to take interest in a job description and come to them, the company is taking advantage of an engaged, passionate workforce to be recruiting partners.

Hiring: The Zappos way 

According to the Boston Globe, Amazon-owned, Las Vegas-based online shoe retailer Zappos has decided to do away with the traditional job postings in favor of a more personal, relationship-based approach. The company created a new career site and is utilizing social media to showcase its culture and opportunities. Interested candidates can chat with current employees to gain an inside perspective on life within the organization.

The company’s HR manager, Michael Bailen, explained in a blog post on ere.net that this change reflects the business’s commitment to focus more on people. To do so, he added, Zappos needed to depart from what he considers a “fundamentally broken process” that constitutes most recruiting approaches.

“Recruiting has become a walking contradiction. We care about the candidate experience, but we spend five to seven seconds looking at a resume. We are dedicated to get back to all candidates in an effort to provide great service, but the vast majority of candidates get a rejection email,” he wrote. “I want our recruiters to build long-term, sustainable relationships with people.”

Building on a foundation of company loyalty

In order for such a people-centric approach to work, Zappos had to create a corporate culture that would be attractive to candidates as well as foster company loyalty among employees to be able to have confidence that they’d participate effectively in the recruiting platform. Zappos created such a culture by focusing on employee appreciation and engagement. By offering rewards — most of which were non-monetary — to recognize and inspire employees, Zappos put its people at the forefront of the company.

By motivating workers based on intrinsic, value-driven incentives, rather than superficial cash or prizes, companies can foster the type of organization that draws top talent because it’s known as an excellent place to work. Additionally, employees become ambassadors for the firm, which is often a more effective form of recruitment since current workers are likely to identify friends and acquaintances who will be well-suited to the realities of the job.

About the Author: As Vice President of Client Strategy for TemboStatus, David Bator works with growing companies every day and helps them bridge the gap between assessing employee engagement and addressing it with action.

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#TChat Recap: Empowering HR And The Hiring Process

Empowering HR And The Hiring Process

There’s something to be said about the way the World of Work completes its hiring process. It’s no longer about pushing paper in front of people and asking your HR department to find golden candidates instantaneously. It’s a little more intuitive than that. It’s about being efficient, timely, and making time to connect with people. At least, that’s how it should be. This week on #TChat, we learned that empowering your HR people to deliver a more productive and engaged candidate experience begins with your hiring process. Our guest: Todd Owens, CEO at TalentWise, whose organization has processed more than two million new hires, knows how valuable the hiring process is. And why shouldn’t it be? That’s where the fun starts. Empowering HR to perform better, means cutting back on processes that hamper its efficiency and engagement.

Todd made us remember how valuable time is, and what it means to focus it on engaging with people versus spending it on administering outdated processes. He points out that:

It sounds nerdy, but nerdy is fun and usually right. HR employees can’t be expected to do all the work. They need to be offered viable solutions to tackle the hiring process. It’s no secret that they’re being bombarded with hundreds of resumes on a daily-basis, and one of their biggest challenge is finding the right candidate.

Part of how candidates perceive organizations relies on how HR and hiring managers present themselves to candidates during the hiring process. The hiring process has to make candidates feel like they’re being swept off their feet. Why? Because who you are with candidates on day one, says something about why they fail or voluntarily leave your organization. So where do we go from here? We change and grow for the better.

Eliminating excess work and processes for HR, means taking a proactive approach to trimming the hedges where they need to be trimmed. Start by asking HR employees where most of their time is being allocated to, ask them for feedback about any solutions they may have, and consider investing in HR technology that makes the hiring process more efficient and productive.

Again, the message is about driving home a better hiring process. Have HR spend less time on administrative processes that are time consuming. Put HR in a position to engage with candidates. Give HR employees a chance to do their jobs effectively. Automate the processes that need to be automated, and focus on fine-tuning the areas that could use some flare. If you want a better hiring process, then start by listening to what you’re people are saying about it and how you can improve it. Take the time to listen, learn, and react.

Want To See The #TChat Replay?

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

Thanks again to our guest: Todd Owens, CEO at TalentWise. We enjoyed having you share your insights on empowering HR and the hiring experience. 

But wait, there’s more!

TalentWise has launched a tweet contest about what HR needs to be empowered. Tweet them at @TalentWise with #EmpoweringHR for a chance to win a $50 Starbucks card!

Here’s how it works:

  • Between now and October 10th, 2014, tweet out what empowering HR means to you
  • Use the hashtag #EmpoweringHR (along with #TChat) and include the Twitter handle @TalentWise in each of your tweets
  • For example, you could tweet: #EmpoweringHR means having a supportive executive team that believes in engaging talent @TalentWise #TChat
  • Or you could tweet: #EmpoweringHR means we have a highly intuitive onboarding system that lets #HR focus on the new employees @TalentWise #TChat
  • Creativity is welcome, but keep it positive and empowering for HR and business.
  • Tweet-enter as often as you want from 9/24 to 10/10
  • Make sure to see TalentWise in booth #1335 at this year’s HR Technology Conference & Exposition from October 7-10 – and tweet live with us to enter the contest!
  • TalentWise will review all the entries between September 24 (when the TalentCulture #TChat Show occurs) and October 10 (last day of the HR Technology Conference & Exposition) and then select the top 5 tweets
  • The top five Tweets win a $50 Starbucks card!

Raise the business bar by #EmpoweringHR. Every day. Tweet with TalentWise today!

EmpowermentTweetCardImage

#TChat Events: How to Successfully Work from Anywhere

TChatRadio_logo_020813 #TChat Radio — Are you plugged in to #TChat radio? Did you know you can listen live to ANY of our shows ANY time? Now you know. Click the box to head on over to our channel or listen to How to Successfully Work from Anywhere.

Note To Bloggers: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about trends on the engagement experience?

We welcome your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we may feature it! If you recap #TChat make sure to let us know so we can find you!

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Save The Date: Wednesday, October 1st!

Join us next week, as we talk about The ROI of Workplace Transparency during #TChat Events. The TalentCulture conversation continues daily on #TChat Twitter, in our LinkedIn group, and on our new Google+ community. So join us anytime on your favorite social channels!

Passive-Recruiting

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#TChat Preview: Empowering HR And The Hiring Process

The TalentCulture #TChat Show is back live on Wednesday, September 24, 2014, from 7-8 pm ET (4-5 pm PT). The #TChat radio portion runs the first 30 minutes from 7-7:30 pm ET, followed by the #TChat Twitter chat from 7:30-8 pm ET.

Last week we talked about the ROI of workplace transparency and the race for talent, and this week we’re going to talk about empowering HR and the hiring process.

HR carries the talent torch everyday. It’s responsible for recruiting, hiring, training and engaging their organization’s most important asset – the people.

Unfortunately due to increasing corporate complexity and a constantly changing regulatory environment (not to mention a tightening corporate budget), HR has had little choice but to spend its limited time administering process first, and engaging people second.

HR technologies today are supposed to free HR from routine administration, while helping them keep their organization compliant. Ultimately, it’s about empowering them to deliver a more productive and engaged workforce starting with the hiring process.

Empowering HR from day one is the ultimate outcome, which in turn creates a productive and engaging day one for the candidate and co-workers alike.

Join TalentCulture #TChat Show co-creators and co-hosts Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman as we learn more about empowering HR and the hiring process with this week’s guest: Todd Owens, CEO at TalentWise.

Sneak Peek:

Related Reading:

Todd Owens: Screening and Onboarding: The Yin and Yang of Hiring

Meghan M. Biro: Shine Your HR Tech Talent Torch Even Brighter

Adi Gaskell: Is Your Onboarding Stifling Innovation?

Carol McDaniel: The Onboarding Conundrum

Toby Beresford: Why Gamification Makes Onboarding More Effective

Shannon Smedstad: Onboarding Requires A Little Thoughtfulness #hrbasics

We hope you’ll join the #TChat conversation this week and share your questions, opinions and ideas with our guest and the TalentCulture Community.

#TChat Events: Empowering HR and the Hiring Process

TChatRadio_logo_020813#TChat Radio — Wed, September 24 — 7 pm ET / 4 pm PT Tune in to the #TChat Radio show with our host, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman, as they talk with our guest: Todd Owens.

Tune in LIVE online this Wednesday!

#TChat Twitter Chat — Wed, September 24th — 7:30 pm ET / 4:30 pm PT Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin and Todd will move to the #TChat Twitter stream, where we’ll continue the discussion with the entire TalentCulture community. Everyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we gather for a dynamic live chat, focused on these related questions:

Q1: What does it mean to empower HR and new employees from day one? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Q2: How much of the hiring process can and should be automated with technology? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Q3: What does it mean for HR to be strategic and create a sustaining, high-performing, competitive organization today? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed, and in our new TalentCulture G+ community. So feel free to drop by anytime and share your questions, ideas and opinions. See you there!!

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Transformative Conversations And Enculturation

“How many times
Do we chaff against the repetition
Straining against the faith
Measured out in coffee breaks…”
—Neil Peart

His smile ricocheted off the booth and hit the back of my head. I couldn’t help but smile right back.

“Bingo, bango!”

He’d just won a $50 gift card after spinning our fabulous PeopleFluent prize wheel at the recent IHRIM Conference. In fact, anyone who came to our booth to hear about how to drive higher levels of contribution and deeper engagement through better “people management” experiences and platforms spun the wheel and walked away with a prize.

Everyone’s a winner; everyone smiles.

Bingo, bango. Like the feeling you get when you land a great job after an exhaustive search. I remember the recruiting and the hiring process, a little over a year ago, excited for day one, ready to get on with it and get to work. The yummy branded cookies sent to my house the week before I started were a nice touch as well, bringing smiles to my little girls (and sugar to their lips). Plus, my new manager had already been mentoring me and working with me prior to day one.

Get to work I did. Sure there was the physical and online paperwork, the administrative subterfuge, but mercy me was it exciting. Then on to week one immediately immersed with colleagues and culture and the work you’ll do.

Thirty days. Sixty days. Ninety days. Six months go by…

That’s when you have to remember the smiles, when you’re “straining against the faith,” because over time the world of work leaves marks no one else can see, no matter how sweet the sugar is; no matter how many coffee breaks we take. Priorities change, responsibilities change, co-workers change, leaders change – you feel like you’re the one spinning on the prize wheel, each and every slot a whitewashed blank.

Bingo, bango. It’s all worth it when you get to do what moves you though, because that’s what moves the business. These moves generate huge payoffs in employee retention, satisfaction, and overall business performance, even with the ups and downs.

Everyone’s a winner; everyone smiles. Like the feeling we get when we’re immersed in a new job, doing things we love, and colleagues and a culture we’re really jazzed about. Like having a repetitive positive onboarding experience every single day.

This is what a high-engagement workplace culture provides – an environment where employees love what they do and with whom they do it.  When all employees are emotionally and intellectually invested, and leadership is just as committed (if not more so), then extraordinary effort and positive financial results follow.

If the recruitment process brings on momentum, then onboarding is the tipping point, the winning spin, one you want to replicate again and again.

The 2013 Candidate Experience Awards survey results revealed that onboarding practices are relatively consistent among participating employers:

  • 65.4 percent of those new hires surveyed had completed paperwork online, versus 69.4 percent for the winning organizations.
  • 42.3 percent of new hires received a call from HR, versus 49.2 percent for winning organizations.
  • 35.5 percent of new hires received a call from the hiring manager, versus 39.7 percent for winning organizations.

Despite less-than-perfect practices by both overall and award-winning firms, these candidates – now new hires who most certainly consider themselves winners in the competition for a job – are nearly universally positive about their onboarding experience:

  • Overall, 79.5 percent of the hired candidates were positive about their onboarding experience, versus 87.2 percent of the candidates of award-winning firms.

Onboarding should be a people-centered process requiring quality, consistency and an ample investment of time. Technology helps to facilitate it all, but not completely replace it. With this understanding in place, companies will always benefit from a successful onboarding process that engages employees from the get-go.

Bingo, bango.

In fact, the best better approach would be to use the time between when the candidate accepts the offer and before they start to actively immerse them in the company culture empowering transformative:

  • Conversations. Having the new hire participate in a webinar or other type of interactive training session, facilitating conversations between the employee and the hiring manager and enabling them to go onsite to see the workplace and meet key colleagues before the actual start date.
  • And Enculturation. Rather than spending most of the onboarding process filling out paperwork, employers will benefit from helping the new hire become acclimated to their new office and co-workers, maybe even assigning them a “work buddy,” thereby improving engagement and making a strong impression at the start of their tenure.

Just as Todd Owens, the President and COO at TalentWise, recently told us – Culture comes from every breath and every step, from before day one and beyond it…

And every single spin of the prize wheel thereafter. Everyone’s a winner; everyone smiles.

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5 Reasons To Unify Your Hiring Process

Employers invest significant time and money to find the best candidate. However, too many companies are jeopardizing their investment by failing to unify the subsequent hiring process. The hiring process bridges the gap between recruiting and day one, most often served by a wide variety of point solutions.  These point solutions can be simple paper or fax-based processes, or quite automated, such as an electronic I-9 solution, drug testing or background screening system. A disjointed hiring process doesn’t talk well with payroll or core HR systems and requires too many unnecessary steps for both the candidate and HR.

At TalentWise, we believe a unified hiring process, where systems work together and where data flows seamlessly, is critical to long term engagement and retention of your new hire. We’ve built our business around this. Here are five reasons your organization should take a hard look at your hiring process and start unifying it.

1.  Compliance.

This is a no-brainer for HR. Costs of non-compliance are higher than ever. From the federal to industry and corporate compliance, HR needs to ensure they have their “I’s” dotted and “T’s” crossed. This is where automation shines. Smart forms ensure that information provided by the candidate is both complete and validated.  Furthermore, workflows are designed to reflect the latest legislation, including updated forms such as the I-9, W-4, and state tax withholdings. Instead of managing this process through will and determination alone, a unified hiring process can manage this process for you, with compliance “baked in.”

2.  Candidate Experience.

This is the hot topic of the day, particularly with Millennials and competitive job markets. A poor hiring experience can mean your organization will come up short in the war for talent. Conversely, a great hiring experience will set your company apart. No candidate wants to rekey information into multiple systems, scan paper forms or be required to find a fax machine. By automating tedious new hire tasks and leveraging a single automated system to navigate the hiring process, HR can reduce the number of candidate interactions, eliminate redundant data entry, and allow the candidate to complete the onboarding process anytime, anywhere, from just about any device.  Besides winning talent, a great hiring experience puts the candidate well on his or her way to becoming an engaged and productive employee.

3.  Efficient HR Time.

Hiring top talent is a most critical function of HR. Time should be spent sourcing top candidates and engaging new employees, not quarterbacking a paper-based hiring process. Eliminating time spent on “administrivia” frees up time for quality onboarding and strategic initiatives that increase new hire engagement. Let technology automate the tedium; eliminate email notifications, fax, and paper chasing; and save priceless human interaction for activities that matter the most.

4.  Corporate and employer branding.

The hiring process is the candidate’s first close-up look at the corporate culture. The recruiting chase is over, leaving the candidate to navigate their first administrative process as an employee.   Social media has changed the game; so let’s hope it goes well. If a candidate is subjected to a disjointed process, they are more likely than ever to talk about it. Furthermore, the lines between candidates and customers have blurred. Every employee is a brand advocate and every unhappy candidate is a potential lost customer. How you hire is a key part of building your brand.

5.  Costs.

Everyone is looking to save money, but it’s surprising how few people are looking at the real costs of hiring. Recruiting costs are tracked down to the dollar, but few employers are tracking the costs associated with moving from job offer to day one. Multiple vendors and platforms are expensive; more expensive is the time spent trying to manage them all, and even more expensive than that is the cost of losing a frustrated candidate to a competitor. A unified hiring process will reap tremendous savings – but first HR must understand the real costs of their current hiring process.

So where to get started? The first thing to do is to define your process. You have one, even if you don’t realize it. It may just be a checklist, or perhaps tribal knowledge spanning several departments. Do your best to document your process and pay particular attention to the candidate experience. How many distinct interactions does the candidate have prior to their first day?  How many systems are involved? How many emails are they sent? How many times are they asked to log in?  Does information from the recruiting process seamlessly flow into the new hire process, or are they required to provide information again? A unified hiring process, with a single portal for candidate and HR access, is a game changer for employers. Bridge the gap between recruiting and talent management and make your organization the winner in the war for talent while ensuring compliance, saving time and money, and communicating the brand you want to be.

(About the Author: Todd Owens is the President and Chief Operating Officer at TalentWise and has been with the company since 2006. Todd previously held senior Product Management and Business Development roles at both Wind River Systems and Siebel Systems. Early in his career, Todd was a United States Navy submarine officer serving aboard the USS Pogy (SSN 647) and on the Third Fleet staff.  He has twice been recognized as a “Superstar for outsourcing innovation in support of HR organizations” by HRO Today magazine.  Todd holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Naval Academy and a Masters in Business Administration from the Harvard Business School.)

To discuss World of Work topics like this with the TalentCulture community, join our online #TChat Events each Wednesday, from 6:30-8pm ET. Everyone is welcome at events, or join our ongoing Twitter and G+ conversation anytime. Learn more…

TalentCulture World of Work was created for HR professionals, leadership executives, and the global workforce. Our community delves into subjects like HR technologyleadershipemployee engagement, and corporate culture everyday. To get more World of Work goodness, please sign up for our newsletter, listen to our #TChat Radio Channel or sign up for our RSS feed.

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