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Traditional Hiring Practices Are Inefficient for Hiring Leaders

There hasn’t been a time in recent history when the development and application of smart hiring practices has been more important. Companies are struggling to hire the best and the brightest while facing a unique set of challenges. We’ll explore if we are meeting this inflection point effectively — and what companies can do to improve their response.

Our Guest: Lou Adler

On the last Worktrends Podcast, I spoke with Lou Adler. We discussed hiring practices and how businesses can take it to the next level.

‎Lou Adler is a well-known hiring expert, who turned the recruitment industry on its head through his performance-based recruiting model. With over 40 years in the recruiting industry, Lou’s company, the Adler Group has trained over 40,000 hiring managers and placed 1500 executives for many of the fastest-growing companies.

He is a top LinkedIn influencer and author, known for The Essential Guide for Hiring and Getting Hired and the Amazon top 10 best seller Hire With Your Head, Using Performance-Based Hiring to Build Great Teams, translated into multiple languages.

Hiring Decisions: Are We Making Progress?

You contend that hiring results haven’t improved much in the past 25 years. What is the basis for this claim after tens of billions have been spent on new HR tech?

Well, the biggest claim is… I look at the Gallup satisfaction report, which comes out monthly and it hovers around 30 to 33% of people who are actually satisfied with their jobs. And that number hasn’t changed in 25 years since they started taking it.

So as far as I’m concerned, things have not only not gotten better, they have gotten worse. And I contend, I know the reasons why, but that’s least sufficient proof to say, “Hey, maybe we do have a problem.”

The Great Resignation & Job Satisfaction

Let’s talk about the great resignation. In all of the implications, what are you seeing here? And do you have suggestions for companies, recruiters, and job seekers around this?

To me, and it goes back to the underlying problem of why people are dissatisfied and it really comes down to the point that people take jobs and they don’t really know what the work is. And they don’t know what the style of the manager is, they don’t know the quality of the team, and they’re not a hundred percent sure of what the expectations are.

The satisfaction is driven by the work itself, the people, the company, the manager, the projects, the impact they’re making, and people give that to a shrift. They focus too much on the start date, not enough on the actual work they’re doing.

So to me, that’s the underlying problem of dissatisfaction. And it’s gotten worse because people are now trying to hire faster for more money. So now you have the great resignation, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

The Solution: Recruiters Need to Understand the Roles

Recruiting, with no understanding of the role, won’t help us recruit and retain the contributors. It’s time to change the mindset about how we approach discussions with candidates. Quick hiring, without deep consideration of the roles, is fueling negative outcomes. 

I have the knowledge that I believe is correct, but I think you have HR leaders and companies that have a strategy designed, “Hey, let’s fill jobs as fast as we can.”

And yet I believe the process of making that decision, “Should I hire this candidate?” And from the candidate’s perspective, “Should I take this job?” That is a much more detailed, thorough evaluation. That’s an investment on the company’s standpoint in hiring this person and an investment on the candidate, “Hey, should I invest my time in this company?”

And I don’t think the tools that both sides use to make that decision are evaluated properly. I think people have competency models. They’ve got behavioral interviewing. I think that’s a band-aid solution, and I don’t think they’ve really addressed the core problem.

The Solution: Take the Time to Define the Work

There are steps to improving hiring. However, more time on the front end of the process is necessary. This requires a close look at critical performance objectives — and incorporating these into a method, a “scorecard”, that can direct the entire recruiting process.

If you want to implement performance-based hiring, you have to only do two things. Number one is you don’t take a requisition filled with skills, experience and competencies. Instead, you take a requisition that lists the five or six key performance objectives the person taking that job needs to do over the course of the year to be considered successful.

We call that a win-win hiring outcome. Meaning the candidate says, “I’m so glad I had this job over the year and I’m enjoying this work.” And hiring manager says, “I’m so glad I hired that person.” So, defining the work is that core thing.

The other bookend is, don’t accept or don’t hire anybody unless they meet the standards on a tool. We call it the Quality of Hire Talent Scorecard, which determines the 10 best predictors of on the job success. If you just put those two bookends in, don’t hire anybody who doesn’t meet these performance requirements and define those performance requirements up front, you’ll figure out what you’ve got to do in the middle to get there.

In Summary: When Hiring, Emphasize Key Performance Indicators & Consistently Apply That Strategy

Overall, we cannot hope to improve hiring decisions without taking the time to understand the specifics of the role. The ensuing process should not be a race to hire, but a race to capture the important aspects of the role and communicate this effectively to candidates.

The issue to get to that though, requires a lot more work. It’s not just, “Will you take this offer at this point in time?” I have to understand the job, I have to understand the environment, the candidate has to understand, “Is this the right career move? Is it work that I’m intrinsically motivated to do? Can I work with this team? And can I work with a manager’s style?”

I hope you found this episode of #WorkTrends helpful. I know that I found the discussion fascinating.

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8 Learning and Talent Development Topics for Better Employee Retention

Investment in learning and talent development is an essential ingredient of every company’s engagement and retention plans. What is one crucial topic to include in employee L&D that will lead to better employee engagement and retention?

To help you create an effective L&D program, we asked L&D professionals and business leaders this question for their best insights. From including interviewer training to developing individual talents, there are several essential topics that may help you deliver a robust employee L&D for better engagement and retention.

Here are 8 must-have topics for better employee retention:

  1. Interviewer Training
  2. Communication and its Impact on Business
  3. Feedback Delivery
  4. Celebrating Achievement
  5. Leadership Development
  6. Build Emotional Intelligence Skills
  7. Goal Setting and Performance Feedback
  8. Develop Individual Talents

Interviewer Training

A must-have learning opportunity for all employees is interviewer training. By focusing on a task and responsibility that most employees engage in throughout their careers, you simultaneously give your employees the skills to contribute to building a more successful company with the right talent. Additionally, you give them skills to carry with them wherever they go next. Interviewer training empowers everyone to become a brand ambassador. It also encourages a truly inclusive and diverse workplace and gives all employees a chance to be better.

Ubaldo Ciminieri, Co-Founder and CMO of interviewIA

Communication and its Impact on Business

Studies show that collaboration drives workplace performance. Learning the value of communication and how it impacts the business should be a priority for all employees to understand. Beginning with the “why” communication is crucial to show how it can affect and change the culture by building trust across the leadership team and staff.

In creating a high-performing, high-functioning organization, there needs to be collaboration on all levels. This means we need to communicate and over-communicate. Things change when people you work with understand what you are trying to do, the why, and how it affects them. The outcome is a high-performing team where work gets done with highly engaged staff, and the company exceeds expectations on all levels.

Denise Moxam, VP of HR and Engagement at Production Solutions

Feedback Delivery

There are countless learning topics that can positively impact employee engagement and retention. One of the areas that I believe to be crucial is feedback. To be able to skillfully provide regular, accurate, and timely feedback can improve performance, increase trust, and build relationships. All of which have a direct impact on both retention and engagement. Of course, the results are dependent upon individuals’ competency in this area. While some people may have the inherent ability to deliver feedback the right way, at the right time most of us need training and practice.

Greg Forte, Senior Director of L&D at Precision Medicine Group

Celebrating Achievement

Celebrating is a powerful skill that all leaders need to have in their toolkits to confidently & effectively lead now. When you celebrate a teammate, you are demonstrating that you see them, care about them, and value their contributions and how they show up in the world.

Celebrating is a skill, and it needs to be included in your L&D strategy. When you have leaders who properly and consistently celebrate their employees, you will see motivation, trust, connection, belonging, engagement, and retention skyrocket! Throw that confetti, leaders!

Leah Roe, Leadership Coach & Founder of The Perk

Leadership Development

While it’s not typically part of the category of employee learning, building a healthy leadership practice at all levels of the organization may be the strongest driver of employee retention and engagement. Employees need the opportunity to grow and thrive in their careers. This will rarely happen without leaders who recognize and encourage their development.

We know that most learning happens on the job and in conversation with others who already know the job. A learning function that equips front-line, mid-level, and senior leaders with the mindset, skill set, and tool set to effectively grow their employees will have an exponential impact on employee engagement and retention (not to mention business results).

Leaders who simply see employees as a means to the end of profitability, customer service, or meeting their operational metrics miss the key ingredient to meeting these business goals. They will see their employees walk away to another opportunity where they can grow.

Dave Adcox, Director, Learning & Organizational Development at Whitley Penn

Build Emotional Intelligence

By building emotional intelligence skills in our leaders and our teams, we support their ability to create an environment where employees are engaged and want to stay. Through our learning and development efforts, we can help our employees understand and manage their emotions, navigate relationships, and build trust. Additionally, we can help them show empathy, reduce stress, communicate better, and inspire others. In doing so, we create a place where our employees thrive and our business grows.

Mary Tettenhorst, Sr. Vice President, L&D of General Electric Credit Union

Goal Setting and Performance Feedback

Since studies show engagement often hinges on an employee’s first 90 days, providing new hires a supportive onboarding experience that includes context on company objectives, culture, and communication standards is critical. Supplementing this with assistance on goal setting will help level-set expectations and facilitate a growth path for the employee.

Always, make sure that your managers are equipped with the knowledge to articulate performance expectations, deliver feedback and coaching, and provide development opportunities for the employee along the way.

Glenn Smith, L&D Manager at Nextbite

Develop Individual Talents

The single most important L&D topic has to be how to effectively develop your people. Unlike a capital investment that has a fixed ROI, investing in human capital has almost unlimited ROI. Not only are you increasing the capacity and competence of your team to create value, development telegraphs that you believe in your people enough to invest in them. When people feel like valuable members of a winning team, they will provide higher levels of engagement and discretionary effort. Development creates a virtuous cycle that benefits both the organization and its people.

Thane Bellomo, Director of Talent Management and Organizational Development of MI Windows and Doors

Understanding the Great Resignation to Define the Future of Work

The Great Resignation. The Big Quit. The Lie-Flat economy. The Great Reshuffle. The Great Rift. Whatever you want to call it, the way human beings engage with the workplace has changed – permanently. The beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic inadvertently set workplace change in motion in unimaginable ways and at an unfathomable pace. 

As the COVID-19 Pandemic continued to wreak havoc on life as we knew it, in a May 2021 Bloomberg interview, Anthony Klotz, a Professor at Texas A&M University, coined the phrase the Great Resignation. He used the phrase to describe what he believed to be an inevitable workforce “re-think” about how and why we work. Professor Klotz may have inadvertently set in motion the “pandemic” within the pandemic. Or as Arran Stewart, co-founder of Job.com, noted in a recent article, “the largest shift of human capital in our lifetime.”  

The Turnover Tidal Wave

Hundreds of articles followed that describe the different perspectives and even introduced unique names for a tidal wave of turnover, quits, resignations, and retirements throughout 2021. The articles cite reasons that range from a basic desire to establish a more manageable work/life balance to seeking out a more flexible/hybrid workday structure that can support remote work.  Whatever the reason, they all circle back to a fundamental shift, largely ignored, that has occurred in our mental models related to work. Sometimes, we get stuck.

What Do We Do Now?  

The pre-pandemic workplace was generally filled with employees who physically attended work on a regular basis. Employees completed a daily commute, interacted with colleagues, attended meetings in a conference room, stuck their heads around a cubicle corner to ask a question – all generally face to face. That was, generally, how work got done. The COVID-19 Global Pandemic brought that routine to a grinding halt.  

All of a sudden, workplaces around the globe were forced to very quickly pivot away from the face-to-face workplace to a completely virtual environment. Enter the “virtual” meeting.  Whether it was Zoom, Teams, Google Meet, Skype, or another software platform, the virtual meeting was the game changer. Suddenly, employees began to recognize that while fundamentally different, the work was still getting done.  

For some, the work was not only getting done but sometimes the work was getting done faster and maybe even better and more efficiently. For others, the work was getting done but came at an exhausting cost. The challenge of perceived 24/7 availability coupled with virtual school and limited childcare was too much. The boundary between the workday and personal time became blurred. The blurry line is not sustainable and does not seem to be going away. A breach that influences our mental model drastically changed our worldview—and directly impacted the human perspective.  

Redefine the Mental Model

The global pandemic impacted individuals, families, employees, and human beings in general … in very different ways. People are emerging from the last two years with the need to redefine the mental model; redefine the collective response of millions of unique individuals to a series of unforeseen events that changed our fundamental behaviors, perceptions, and attitudes toward the workplace forever. This response is the driving force for the change in our mental model. The Great Resignation is the result.  

There are thousands of articles, blog posts, and even new books that discuss the Great Resignation. Many of them provide anecdotal evidence that offers explicit support for the type of shift referred to and the corresponding result. From the individual in the corporate wellness industry who recognized an opportunity to begin her own consulting firm, to the federal government employee who decided to bake cheesecake for a living, to the denim executive who decided her voice was more important than a large paycheck, to the parent who decided the sacrifice of family was not worth the commute, to the twenty-something RN who will now be a travel nurse for a few years to pay off student loan debt—the examples of purposeful change to perspectives, attitudes, and behaviors are long and getting longer.  

The common theme is a need for the development of organizational acceptance that is meaningful, creative, current, and proactive.  

How Should Organizations Meet the Charge?  

  • Flexibility is key. Embrace hybrid models to meet the dynamic needs of the evolving workforce. It is time to eliminate the outdated office model.  Promote the evolving workday and move forward. 
  • Integrate meaningful strategy. Consider it as a building block for developing a dynamic and sustainable culture. Reward independence, highlight the risk-taker, ask inconvenient questions, and promote the self-starter mentality.
  • Innovate through creativity. Implement time and space within the workday for creative work on ideas or projects that go beyond the scope of the normal daily work tasks. Organizations like Google and Atlassian embrace innovation by encouraging employees to spend time thinking creatively.
  • Burnout is real. Encourage workplace policy makers to define preemptive mechanisms that include proactive identification of transitional objects to provide support.  These tangible and/or intangible objects can be as simple as random accolades from leadership or as complex as the integration of a new organization-wide wellness program.  
  • We hear you.  There is a loud and resounding message in the Great Resignation: Employees want things different. Openly acknowledge the sentiment and develop measurable action items.  

Conclusion

The bottom line is that we have changed. People have changed. The workplace has changed. The United States has changed. The world has changed. Everything has changed. The Great Resignation is much more than an economic trend.  It is a movement; a movement that has made many of us feel stuck—and has permanently shifted our workplace mental model.  

Work Sucks, But It’s Our Fault

Burnout and dissatisfaction at work are nothing new. In fact, a recent Gallup study found that more than one-half of American workers feel disengaged at their jobs. Too often we look at work as a necessary evil. We have to do it to pay the bills, but it’s not really something we’re passionate about. 

Meanwhile, business owners and leaders are left scratching their heads wondering why their employees are unhappy and unengaged. The business suffers as a result. So what’s the solution? How can businesses create a culture that engages and motivates employees where productivity and creativity actually thrive?

Our Guest: Dr. Tiffany Slater

On our latest #WorkTrends podcast, I spoke with Dr. Tiffany Slater, CEO and Senior Human Resources Consultant for HR TailorMade. Dr. Slater believes that the people you work with are the single most important element to building a thriving future for your business. Happy people make the world a better place.

What does it mean that people suck and why should we blame ourselves? Dr. Slater explains:

I know that sounds crazy as an HR person for me to say that but you have to say the whole thing together.  People suck and it’s our fault. As leaders, it is our responsibility to make sure that our team has everything that they need to be successful. And when they’re not successful the first thing we have to do is look at ourselves and ask if we did all that we could to make sure that they were successful. So that’s why people suck because a lot of times we don’t do our part.

Employee Performance

There are so many factors that play into a person’s ability to perform at their best. So how can business owners or leaders identify those factors and ensure that people are performing at the highest levels? Dr. Slater:

Make sure the work environment is conducive to being successful as a team member. I think the most important thing is that we create an environment that people actually love. The days are gone when people are just happy to come to work for a paycheck. People want to like what they do and where they do it.

Dr. Slater adds:

Make sure that people understand what value they add to the organization. Making it very clear what an individual’s role is in the overall success of the organization motivates people to want to work at their highest level.

Hiring People Who Don’t Suck and Firing People Who do

Hiring the right people can be challenging, time-consuming, and expensive. Equally as challenging is knowing when to fire someone vs investing the time to discover ways to help them perform at a higher level. So how do we hire people who don’t suck? Dr. Slater:

We hire people that don’t suck by making sure that we ask the right questions up front, and making sure that upon their onboarding we have a plan already designed to support their success.

And when do we fire people who do? Dr. Slater adds:

We shouldn’t just fire people that suck. So obviously there will be times when it’s necessary but that should not be our first response. We should always look to discover what we can do to help that individual to perform at a higher level. And if we’ve done that once or twice then we should start considering if it’s the right fit and if they truly just suck.

Joy in the Workplace

Bringing joy into the workplace leads to better business results and higher employee performance. Dr. Slater explains.

If you will create a joyful work experience for your team they want to stay. They want to work in your organization. Additionally, they want to help the organization to be successful because they understand that the organization’s success is also their success. So creating joyful work experiences is truly the key to a successful business. And I would be willing to bet that it is the key to making the world a better place because happy people make the world a better place.

I hope you found this recent episode of #WorkTrends informative and inspiring. To learn more about Dr. Tiffany Slater and HR TailorMade, please visit https://www.hrtailormade.com/.

Subscribe to the #WorkTrends podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher. Be sure to follow our #WorkTrends hashtag on LinkedIn and Facebook, too, for more great conversations!

Meeting the Needs of a Changing Workforce

Graduation season is here, and many recent or soon-to-be graduates are about to enter the workforce. In fact, it is estimated that companies plan to hire 26 percent more new graduates from the class of 2022 compared to the year before. Meeting the needs of this new workforce is key to successful talent acquisition and retention. 

The world is different than it was three graduation seasons ago. Businesses have needed to adjust the way they approach the hiring process to build strong teams. For these organizations to attract and retain the top talent within the job market, a different mindset and approach are required.

The future of work is now, and it is reliant upon driving change through technology, different ways of working, fresh perspectives, and diverse voices.

The Demand for Flexibility

Flexibility is an unwavering demand of the new generation of workers. In a world that relishes instant communication and expects full transparency, job candidates are more aware of the vast number of organizations that meet their employees where they are. So what does this mean for companies that are looking to hire and retain candidates who are overwhelmed with options? It means that flexibility is a must – not a “nice to have.”

Flexibility means allowing employees to build a schedule that best fits their needs. Many organizations are adapting accordingly as they recognize this level of flexibility is something they must offer their current and future employees. In fact, 81 percent of executives are changing their workplace policies to offer greater flexibility. This is a standard expectation of our new normal. A failure to keep up with these demands means limiting your talent pool and losing even the most loyal of employees.

Flexibility also means empowering employees to choose where they work. Organizations that promote a “work from anywhere” mindset prove that they truly foster an environment of flexibility and a consistent employee experience regardless of where one is seated. Companies have quickly acknowledged that the “work from anywhere” mindset vastly widens their potential candidate pool. These organizations can focus on recruiting candidates with different skillsets or backgrounds that can positively impact the business.

The companies that will win in the top talent competition are those that realize it is not where one works, but rather it is the breadth and quality of the work produced that is critical in allowing their organization to scale to the next level.

Defining Your Purpose and Aligning With Candidates

As Gen Z gains more stake in the workforce, purpose-driven practices will continue to take hold at the forefront and become the foundation of business. This shift has been bubbling under the surface for a few years, but now it sits firmly at the core of candidate requirements.

Organizations that choose to look intrinsically and identify the true purpose behind their work will find that like-minded talent turns their way. Purpose comes in many forms and can be realized in a variety of ways. There is no doubt that the new generation of candidates will not work for a company that does not have a defined and pursued purpose in place. The questions that all organizations must ask themselves are: What is the purpose of what you do? Who will you positively impact? How can you build a workplace that drives this purpose every single day?

The Impact of Technology

The Insurance industry exists largely to serve and support individuals, families, and organizations across the globe in times of need. This institution is comprised of companies that face challenges of how to bring a fresh and modern approach to help drive their purposes. Due to the length of its establishment, it would not come as a surprise if many candidates, particularly new graduates, saw the insurance industry as old school and have not considered it for their future careers. However, the reality is that there is a multitude of career advancement opportunities as technology such as software-as-a-solution, artificial intelligence, and machine learning continue to mature and become a staple within the industry. Insurance is a perfect fit for the new generation of workers who are inherently creative problem-solvers and who also wish to deepen their technology skillsets.

The companies that truly live out their defined purpose and offer the skills and training programs that employees desire will be the ones that gain the talent pool’s attention and thus deliver the innovative solutions that will be disruptive within their industry.

Cultivating Diverse Talent is the Path Forward

The changing workforce is shedding a bright light on the notable differences in how the varying generations approach their line of work. However, one similarity all generations in the workforce share is that employees only feel satisfied within their careers when they are comfortable enough to show up as their true selves and follow and express their passions and beliefs. Organizations that allow individuals and groups to be heard and empowered will win the competition for great talent. Without a doubt, upholding diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) practices are at the forefront of these efforts.

Companies that promote their DE&I efforts create a culture where employees feel respected, connected, and proud. These organizations that choose to take a stance are more favorable to the new generation of candidates, many of whom will not work for companies that do not have DE&I programs in place. For organizations with customer-facing roles, an increased level of pride from employees leads to an increased level of engagement. Therefore, allowing them to better serve their customers and build stronger relationships with critical stakeholders.

Diversity Fosters Innovation

Organizations with diverse leaders and employees innovate at a faster rate. Diverse thinking and perspectives fuel creative ideas. It also fuels development cycles for new solutions, allowing companies to gain and sustain a competitive advantage by getting to market faster and focusing on the long-term value for their customers. This will in turn drive better business outcomes. 

Recently, our organization held a Diversity Summit to reflect on and discuss the future goals of DE&I in the workplace. It was a transformational three days, and the Summit is the type of event every organization should host more of. The group’s time together was filled with impactful moments that were educational, inspiring, and motivating to our employees. Both on a professional and personal level. 

DE&I initiatives should be incorporated into every part of the business and is not merely a three-day event. Leaders need to make a conscious effort to inspire employees and drive company culture by “walking the walk.” Candidates are not impressed by companies with executive-level and corporate “buy-in”. They are drawn to companies with true executive-level and corporate “believe-in”. An organization’s DE&I stance must stem top-down, and it cannot just be a focus within the HR part of the organization, or it will fall flat.

Every employee at every level within a corporate environment owns the company culture. Every candidate in the talent pool has a vested interest in being a part of an open culture that promotes belonging. 

A Few Final Thoughts

A company’s most valuable asset is its people. 

Companies must regularly reevaluate their hiring and internal processes. These processes are only successful when companies foster programs that empower their employees both professionally and personally and allow them to pursue their passion and purpose.

The companies that do this are the ones that will attract and retain candidates of the highest caliber.

7 Tips For A Successful Remote Hiring Process

Gone are those days when people used to travel to their workplaces. According to a Pew Research report, about one-fifth of workers having the flexibility to work from home are doing so. 

With the onset of the pandemic, global employment methods and the work culture changed forever. By December 2020, 71% of the working population were working remotely. Yet, even as the pandemic threat subsided, many professionals chose to work from home. In November 2021, a report by Gallup showed that 45% of full-timers were still working remotely, either part-time or full-time. 

This sudden paradigm shift to remote work has affected the work culture of almost all organizations worldwide. Today, recruits and even legacy employees demand a flexible hybrid working model. This pushes companies to rethink their business model to incorporate the shifting dynamics of a remote workforce. Companies must design a cohesive culture in a digital environment, and the change should begin right from the recruitment process. 

This article will address the importance of remote hiring in the modern industry and offer actionable solutions to its complexities. 

Why is Remote Hiring Important?

We’ve just emerged from a global pandemic that forced people everywhere to stay confined within the four walls of their homes. In 2020, as governments imposed lockdowns across countries, most organizations chose to operate remotely – this sudden transition was anything but smooth. Although challenging, corporations could stay afloat by adopting radical remote hiring and working strategies. This is when the reliance on digital collaboration tools like Zoom, Google Meet, Slack, etc., skyrocketed massively. 

Soon, companies realized that remote hiring offers numerous advantages, especially for global employment. With the possibility of remote work on cards, most corporations can now hire international employees. 

As the modern workspace is no longer limited by geographical location and borders, organizations can tap into a broader global talent pool. This is a win-win situation for businesses and job seekers. Since companies can source talent from anywhere globally, they can save money on employee relocation costs and forego the hassle of arranging for work permits and visas. On the other hand, skilled and qualified people can apply for their desired roles in top companies without being restricted by geographical boundaries. 

As remote work became the norm, many corporations realized that retaining talent is now relatively easier. With employees working from the comfort of their homes, they can maintain a better work-life balance and be more agile and productive. Remote or hybrid working has had a direct impact on the well-being of employees, with a recent Forbes report claiming that it boosts employee happiness by as much as 20%. 

Thus remote hiring is pivotal for international hiring since it helps build a diverse team comprising skilled and qualified people who are satisfied with their job. 

Guidelines for a Remote Hiring Process

Although companies can source talent internationally now, there remains a shortage of skilled workers, particularly in specialized areas. In addition, upwork reports that around 78% of HR managers consider that skills will become more niche in the ensuing decade. Consequently, about 91% of managers have already resorted to more agile hiring strategies. 

Cultivating a work culture that is both diverse and inclusive starts with remote recruiting. Businesses must adopt an open mindset and implement innovative hiring approaches to build a competent remote team. 

While there’s no shortcut to hiring best-suited candidates virtually, employers can follow these guidelines while remotely hiring employees. 

1. Invest in Remote Hiring Pre-Work

In collaboration with the Harvard Business School, a recent study by Accenture revealed that a significant portion of qualified employees is deterred by online job portfolios put up by employers. 

Hence, employers must switch up their job promotion tactics. For instance, they can create attractive job descriptions highlighting a specific role’s key skills and responsibilities. Hiring managers can also accurately describe their company’s remote policy to maintain transparency across job platforms. They should also include any logistical requirements, such as expected timezones or the frequency of monthly office visits. 

It’s crucial to create tailormade job ads for different platforms. Pasting the same hiring advertisement for all job profiles will mean you risk the chance of losing out on a potential talented applicant.

2. Importance of Video Interviewing 

Today, freelancers and full-time employees feel more comfortable with remote employment. Hence, employers can no longer ignore the importance of video interviewing for remote hiring. Usually, employers/recruiters cannot meet the remote applicants face-to-face, and thus, they have to evaluate a candidate’s skills through video interviews. 

However, video conferencing comes with its challenges. For instance, there can be audio-video glitches or internet disturbance during the interview. Employers can easily overcome these issues by creating a solid interview setup for remote hiring, including a reliable internet connection, double-checking the tech before logging in, etc. Also, it helps to have a Plan B ready if there’s any glitch during a video interview. 

Tip: Be punctual and present in the chatroom when the applicant enters. Slowly ease into the interview process through casual chatting. 

3. Be Transparent 

Recruiting international talent can be a tricky process. However, being transparent about your company’s mission and your expectations from the employees is a commendable start to the employer-employee relationship. This will help you lead by example and gain your employees’ trust. 

4. Prioritize Collaborative Hiring

Fostering teamwork is a pivotal addition to your company’s work culture. Ensure to involve all the relevant teams while hiring employees remotely. It allows your employees to get involved in the core operations and makes them feel valued. 

Collaborative hiring also allows you to acquire valuable input from different team members, making the whole hiring process more comprehensive. Ensure that your Applicant Tracking System (ATS) can facilitate team collaboration and accommodate multiple users. 

5. Integrate Technical Skills Assessment 

All employers must evaluate applicants’ hard skills, especially for highly competitive niche roles. For instance, recruiters may assign projects or coding problems to assess a candidate’s real-world skills for tech roles like data scientist or web developer. 

Project-based assessments are a foolproof way to test a candidate’s competency and skills. For example, a 2021 HackerEarth developer survey states that nearly 40% of working developers prefer to sit for video interviews that provide remote editing tools. 

6. Provide Details Pre-Interview

When recruiters fail to offer detailed information about a role, most candidates are unprepared for the interviews. This makes the entire interviewing process futile. 

You can avoid this by providing applicants with all relevant details related to the job during the pre-interview stage. Also, putting up details online will ensure a level playing field for all candidates. Another great idea is to conduct career fairs before the scheduled interview to help candidates comprehend what you expect from them. 

7. Hire People with Remote Work Experience

This might sound odd, but remote working isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. With minimal to no supervision, remote workers are autonomous – they are their own boss. Unfortunately, this may lead to sluggish outputs and missed deadlines. Founder of Baremetrics, Josh Pigford, explains it aptly, “….. It’s a skill set. You have to know how to work remotely.” 

Thus, hiring people with some remote work experience might make an employer’s responsibility of supervising and managing employees easier in the long run. 

To Conclude

Employers must meticulously plan their remote hiring process to fit the needs of the modern remote workforce that operates across borders. From advertising job vacancies to onboarding remote employees – every step of the hiring process must be well-thought-out. 

We hope these tips help align your remote hiring strategies with your company goals.

Background Screening – What you Need to Know

Podcast Sponsored by: Accurate Background

How is background screening impacted in an increasingly remote-first world of work? No doubt, the pandemic has reshaped the workplace. And in many ways, it’s here to stay. A report by Ladders revealed that by the end of this year, 25% of all jobs in North America will be remote. With that in mind, employers need to adapt their background screening practices to the new normal of remote work.

Our Guest: Chief Compliance Officer at Accurate Background

On our latest #WorkTrends podcast, I spoke with an experienced industry professional and SME on background screening, drug testing, and HR Technology from our special guest, Accurate Background. We asked him to tell us the basics every employer needs to know about background checks. He explains:

The best way to open the conversation today is to remind employers that background screening is heavily regulated. We’re talking about federal laws, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and state laws. These are in addition to the responsibilities that employers have under their federal FCRA and even local laws.

The Range of Background Screening

Both employers and candidates must understand the background screening basics and the different types of background checks.

There’s a wide variety of things that employers utilize throughout the screening process. Criminal history information is one. A subset that we call verifications is another. Verifications range from professional life license verification, employment verification, and education history. And then there are things like drug tests, credit reports, and driving records.

Consent – Yes or No?

Background checks are employers’ principal means of securing information about potential hires from sources other than the applicants themselves. Therefore, we asked if obtaining consent from the candidate is required before conducting a background check.

Oh, it’s required, and it’s required, and it’s required again. So employers, beware. Your disclosure is really a critical piece of the background screening process. If you’re going to do a credit report, tell them you’re doing a credit report. In some states, you also have to tell them why. Criminal history checks, personal or professional reference checks…all need consent.

What if a candidate refuses?

Most employers are conducting background checks contingent on an offer. If the candidate doesn’t want to authorize the background check, they don’t move forward with the process. And employers are well within their rights to leverage that, but they should certainly state it in their policy.

Social Media

Social media sites may seem like easy-to-access information about a potential job candidate. But is it acceptable or ethical for companies to scrutinize social media? What are some of the pitfalls that employers need to avoid?

Employers, hear me now, do not go on Facebook or Instagram or TikTok or even LinkedIn and look at your candidates yourself. That’s a big mistake. You want to engage with a professional organization that is doing this in a manner that is consistent with EEOC guidelines.

A professional social media screen will bring back information about whether or not a person is engaged in activities that could potentially present a risk to the organization. Information to help you make a decision that is ultimately about the true risk to the company and not just a personal opinion or unconscious bias.

The Marijuana Culture Shift

Recent years have seen a significant culture shift in how the use of marijuana is viewed. It’s legal in some states and becoming legal in many others. So what should employers be cautious of here?

There are still federal laws and federal mandates in place for drug testing, where it doesn’t matter what the state law is. Under any law where marijuana is legal, an employer does not have to accommodate use in the workplace. There are a lot of emerging state laws or laws currently in place related to whether or not you can test for marijuana pre-employment. Or whether you can use a positive test result for marijuana in an employment-related decision. But each one of those also has exemptions.

Adapting to the Remote Climate

Background screening shouldn’t take a back seat in this remote work climate. It’s important to understand the risk profile of someone who will be generally unsupervised yet still representing your company.

Take some additional due diligence to ensure that you know who your candidates are, that they’ve done what they say they have done, and that there’s nothing within their risk profile that will be destructive to your company’s reputation.

I hope you found this recent episode of #WorkTrends informative and inspiring. For more information on candidate screening and background check solutions, visit Accurate Background.

And, please mark your calendars! On Wednesday, May 25th from 1:30pm – 2:00pm ET, our #WorkTrends Twitter chat focuses on Background Screening in the Hiring Process, sponsored by Accurate Background.

Subscribe to the #WorkTrends podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher. Be sure to follow our #WorkTrends hashtag on LinkedIn and Facebook, too, for more great conversations!

Hiring Bias – Create a Fairer Hiring Process

Bias can be a powerful factor in the recruitment process. In 2019, researchers from the University of Chicago and the University of California, Berkeley, began secretly auditing some of the top companies for implicit bias in the hiring processes. Their results showed a significant bias against resumes that included candidate names likely to be associated with Black applicants. In other words, even at top-tier employers, bias appeared to be repeatedly popping up in the hiring process.

This may surprise some people who believe that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Act wiped out bias in hiring. After all, it’s illegal for employers to discriminate against potential employees based on gender, race, religion, age, national origin, or disability. Nevertheless, bias in hiring is still an issue.

The Root of Bias in Hiring and Recruitment

When it comes to recruiting, bias is the brain’s subconscious way of labeling a candidate as a “yes,” “no,” or “maybe” according to the recruiter’s subjective feelings about a candidate’s observable characteristics. This means that the recruiter can be biased toward or against a candidate (for example, a male recruiter preferring a male candidate), which can lead to unfair assessments. Given this understanding, it’s clear that bias can show up in almost every step of the hiring process.

Consider a recruiter reviewing dozens of applications for a job opening. The recruiter can show bias when judging candidates. Anything from gender and personal pronouns to alma maters and home addresses can spark common hiring biases. Many recruiters aren’t even aware they’re being biased because many of these judgments happen subconsciously.

Even after the resume review stage, hiring teams can again display bias during interviews. A number of studies over the years, including some from Princeton and New York University, have concluded that it takes less than a minute to form a first impression of someone. That first impression could be based on an unfair preconceived notion — related to anything from previous personal experience to common stereotypes.

For instance, a recruiter may expect candidates to be energetic and cheerful during the initial screening. Under those circumstances, a more thoughtful, serious, or reserved applicant could be removed from consideration before getting a chance to warm up to the discussion. While this immediate impression may have some truth to it, the candidate may need time to truly show what they have to offer, which may be far more beneficial to the organization in the long run.

The good news is that it’s possible to mitigate the effects bias can have on the hiring process. And it all starts with having conversations to acknowledge, understand, and address this issue.

Common Types of Hiring Bias

According to ThriveMap

  1. Affinity bias
  2. Confirmation bias
  3. Halo effect
  4. Horn effect
  5. Illusory correlation
  6. Beauty bias
  7. Conformity bias
  8. Contrast bias
  9. Non-verbal
  10. First impression

Reducing Implicit Bias in the Hiring Process

In my years in the recruitment industry, I’ve encountered some excellent, reliable ways to temper bias. Below are a few recommendations.

1. Implement an applicant tracking system.

An applicant tracking system, or ATS, is a centralized platform used to streamline recruitment and consolidate candidates. A robust ATS can collect, analyze, and review hiring and recruitment data objectively, and can provide an overview of all touchpoints and data collected along the candidate’s journey. At any time, a recruiter can retrieve key information about an applicant from the system.

Not surprisingly, one of the biggest benefits of an applicant tracking system is the ability to reduce bias. Certainly, recruiters can tailor candidate searches by inputting keywords such as “developer” or “Harvard.” Nevertheless, an ATS has the potential to be more impartial than most humans.

Another advantage of an automated applicant tracking system is time savings. An ATS can match up candidates with remarkable speed. At the same time, most applicant tracking systems are customizable and can integrate with other platforms such as marketing tools.

2. Remove identifiers.

Applicant tracking systems remove a lot of unconscious bias from recruiting. But, they can’t conduct interviews for you. Instead, get creative in implementing different methods to decrease the chance of discrimination before and during interviews.

One method I learned that proved successful was to scrub identifiers (such as applicant name, education, address, gender, and related fields) from every resume. As a result, your hiring committee can compare candidates on the basis of their experience — nothing else.

For example, in a previous role, I was tasked with building out the DevOps team. I presented candidates of diverse ethnicities and genders, but the hiring manager kept rejecting them no matter how technically adept they were. When I brought up the high rate of rejection, the hiring manager explained that they were only interested in bringing on male applicants of a certain ethnicity.

Though that explanation was genuinely upsetting, I suggested the method of removing identifiers from applications, and we agreed to try it. From that point forward, I presented only candidates’ qualifications, and the acceptance rate went from near zero to over 95%.

3. Involve a hiring panel.

It’s common in recruiting to conduct a final panel-style interview. This is the opportunity for the candidate to meet their potential teammates and vice versa. Someone on the call may have reservations or be impressed just based on their initial perception of the candidate. Rather than letting this bias influence the interview, let the candidate’s qualifications and cultural fit come into play.

One way to mitigate bias with panel members is to ask them to listen in on calls with candidates rather than join by video. Just listening helps panelists focus on the substance of candidates’ answers rather than their appearance.

Final Thoughts

Everyone has biases, whether they realize it or not. Rather than allowing those biases to unfairly affect the hiring process, set up guardrails to guide the process toward more equitable outcomes. You’ll end up making more appropriate hiring decisions and, ideally, improving the candidate and employee experience.

Employer Branding: Illustrate Your Story With Authenticity

Life lessons roll in at an interesting pace. Sometimes they are slow and steady. Other times, they fly at us with momentum and fervor. Let’s just say that COVID has made a difference in how we’ve been learning and adapting these last few years. Some decision-making was simply made for survival; some decisions gave us an opportunity to shake up the status quo. In the world of HR, I just want you to know: WE SEE YOU. And now, more than ever, there is pressure to retain employees and appeal to future team members in a challenging market. Here’s a tip: Employer Branding Matters! Build an authentic brand by taking visible, measurable action. 

What IS Employer Branding?

According to SHRM: 

“An employer brand is an important part of the employee value proposition and is essentially what the organization communicates as its identity to both potential and current employees. It encompasses an organization’s mission, values, culture and personality. A positive employer brand communicates that the organization is a good employer and a great place to work. Employer brand affects recruitment of new employees, retention and engagement of current employees, and the overall perception of the organization in the market.”

Employer branding isn’t new, but the way we look at it has evolved. People have always wanted to work for companies that treat people well, compensate fairly, and provide something positive to the community or society. And younger generations are quick to point out the importance of the latter. They deeply desire an alignment with an organization that walks the talk. The time is ripe to look critically at employer brands – how they essentially sell themselves to current and potential employees – and ensure there is alignment with the truth. 

Why does Employer Branding Matter?

The company Blu Ivy defines themselves as, “employer branding, talent recruitment and culture architects.” Their website hosts a robust section on employer branding – with broad and specific whys and how.  An article that resonates with me is, “Why Strong Employer Brands Are Ahead of The Competition.” It points out that an employer brand may take some time to construct, so start now. And the top three reasons include:

  1. You can stand out from the crowd. (KEY for today’s recruiting challenges!)
  2. You can walk the walk. (Note: let’s not wait to be “called out” on discrepancies.)
  3. You can share real results and stories. (This is where branding, storytelling and marketing play a role in telling the story of YOUR employee experience.)

The article states, “Winning employer brands…know that the best way to attract candidates to their organization is to show, not tell. For example, rather than having the same-old stock photography showing happy people in cubicles, they’re creating day-in-the-life videos that illustrate what working at their company is actually like.” 

Think Creatively About Employer Branding

Illustrating your employer branding requires creativity and fresh approaches. It isn’t as difficult as it used to be to provide a glimpse into daily life. Consider videos, interviews, true snapshots of your workplace culture… Anyone on social media has grown to expect visuals that give insight into what it’s like to live, vacation, play and even work somewhere. Use visual and storytelling tools across a variety of platforms to offer real insight. 

So what are you doing to illustrate a “day in the life?” Stock photography and some group pictures from the holiday party aren’t enough (or even accurate). While industry may dictate what is more or less appealing on camera (climbing a wind turbine vs. coding), take the time to think about how to depict the positive aspects of your employment. How can it be captured? What is our culture and how do people feel as they accomplish their work?

Employer Branding Should Be Authentic

But the most important point here is to be authentic. If you aren’t all happy hours and foosball and golfing, don’t sell that. Frankly, those arcade-like workplaces have already had their heyday. I would argue that you SHOULD have some enjoyable activities, team bonding, family friendly, pet-loving, character-building activities that you can showcase. But don’t promise anything but the truth. False advertising creates a long and expensive path to unsatisfied employees and turnover. Do employees volunteer? Exercise together? Have reading clubs? What is special about how your leaders and employees interact, grow, learn and succeed?

In a fantastic article on BenefitsPro, “2022: Human resources and recruiting predictions”, “Employer branding will make or break companies in 2022.”

It continues:

“Employer branding has risen to a top, dire priority for companies to attract and retain talent – and it will continue to be top of mind next year. Companies need to effectively communicate their company benefits, perks, values, vision, and most importantly culture, leaning into their unique value proposition and conveying what makes them different. We saw that candidate preferences have changed dramatically this year and companies will need to ensure they adjust their value proposition and policies accordingly to stay competitive.

“HR teams will implement more employer brand-focused initiatives, such as hosting and attending industry and recruiting events, updating their career pages and Glassdoor, applying for company awards, and even hiring a Head of Employer Brand to ensure all communications are aligned and consistent across various channels.”

Go Straight to The Source

In an article on Stories Inc., they underscore this point: you need good content from the right sources. It states:

“The past two years have seen unprecedented challenges, and a heavy burden of proof on your employer brand to show how it supports its people. Candidates are keenly interested in how you’ve cared for your team members in the pandemic and in the demands for increased inclusion, diversity and belonging.

They’re interested in how your culture has held up or changed.

They’re interested in what it looks like to work at your company right now.

And, they’re only going to believe it when they hear it from your employees.”

Ask the Right Questions

So what do you do? Start talking to employees and asking the right questions. Here are some suggestions to get the ball rolling. 

  • Why do you work here? 
  • What makes our team or organization unique?
  • What do you wish you had known when you were learning about us? 
  • How do you describe your workplace environment to your friends and family?
  • What would make your daily job better? 
  • How can we better align our ideals with our actions?

This is a content goldmine, as well as an opportunity to make some changes. Think about how you’re going to ask and capture answers (survey, videos, conversations and notes?) Then, ask yourself: What is worth sharing with the world? What improvements can make us more competitive for future talent? Where are we misaligned with how we present ourselves with the daily experience we provide to employees? 

Employer Branding is Worth the Effort

Employer branding is not a simple undertaking, but almost inevitable. And doing it right requires some hard conversations and auditing about the truth of the brand. Bottom line: In the battle for recruitment and retention, it is critical to KNOW your employer brand, ILLUSTRATE it well, and be AUTHENTIC in how to showcase the business. 

How does your organization ensure that the employer brand matches reality? Email me at ctrivella@talentculture.com to share your tips and successes!

Designing Hiring Infrastructure to Withstand Employment Litigation Threats

In my experience, one of the biggest HR investments aside from payroll tends to be in performance management. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. After all, a poorly performing employee can be a significant drain on a company’s productivity and resources.

It follows, then, that a significant amount of time and money would be spent ensuring underperformers improve. The alternative, after all, would be undergoing a lengthy process of disciplinary measures before letting employees go. Then restarting a costly and time-consuming hiring process.

This makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is that there is little investment in preventing poor hiring decisions in the first place. In cases where performance management investment is high, hiring is treated almost as an afterthought.

Instead of investing in scientifically designed and validated selection tools, some employers use older and less accurate hiring methods, like unstructured interviews and instinct. Beyond failing to guarantee a quality hire, this also puts companies at risk of litigation for discrimination. Despite this risk, many companies stick with what they know rather than invest in scientifically-backed hiring methods.

Why? In many cases, it comes down to cost. If employers are skeptical about the effectiveness of data-driven pre-employment tests, then they’re likely to balk at the added upfront costs that can accompany them. Instead, they’ll opt to continue with business as usual.

Another Way to Look at Hiring

This mindset fails to look at the big picture. In reality, smarter hiring practices pay for themselves many times over. Quality pre-employment assessments and other strategic hiring tools can cut costs associated with poor performance, reduce the amount of training necessary for new employees, increase a company’s overall productivity, and shield businesses against employment litigation.

This last point is worth emphasizing because a poorly structured hiring infrastructure leaves companies vulnerable to employment litigation threats. Both the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures and existing court precedents lay out a clear road map for employers to follow if they want to prevent discrimination and avoid employment litigation. But to do so, companies need to develop a validated hiring process that focuses on requirements directly relevant to the job. This is only possible through hiring methods based on in-depth job analyses and objective assessments.

Protecting Yourself From Employment Litigation Threats

Companies should implement test development and validation services that can stand up to scrutiny and inform quality, holistic, and equitable hiring. By doing so, they prioritize hiring for excellence and create a pre-employment process that can handle any potential employment litigation.

With that in mind, here are four strategies to help employers improve their hiring practices and ensure they stay firmly on the right side of employment law.

1. Base your selection on a job analysis.

To ensure you’re making objective hiring decisions, define the qualifications that are necessary for a candidate to perform a job well. This requires an in-depth job analysis.

An accurate job analysis combines job observations with the insights of subject matter experts to identify which tasks, knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) are critical for a position. From there, you can create a pre-employment process that will stand up to scrutiny.

Don’t forget to document every step of the test development and validation process—especially that of job analysis. This will provide you with the receipts necessary to prove the objectivity of your hiring decisions.

2. Create a validation report.

When making hiring decisions, every aspect of your decision-making should be tied directly to a critical KSA. Even more importantly, you’ll need to be able to provide evidence of this connection.

Create a validation report documenting the entire pre-employment development process, including who was involved and the data that served as the foundation of your hiring decisions.

3. Perform regular analysis of your selection tools.

No pre-employment test is going to be bulletproof, nor will any test be immune to the passage of time. That’s why it’s so important to analyze your pre-employment assessments regularly. The goal should be to determine whether any aspect of the process results in group performance differences, specifically with regard to gender or ethnicity.

If you see a clear adverse impact for one particular group, dig deeper to determine why that is. You’ll also want to uncover how to reduce this impact without compromising the overall validity of your testing. In this way, you can remove any inadvertent bias into your test development and validation process.

4. Prioritize assessments over intuition.

Even with a validated, data-backed pre-employment process, there’s always a chance that the human element of hiring can throw a wrench in the works. Too often, I’ve seen hiring managers decide that personal intuition is more accurate than the high-quality assessments.

Overruling data-driven results is a good way to open yourself up to charges of favoritism or discrimination. While there is always some room for personal opinion—especially when deciding between equally qualified candidates—the best way to ensure the integrity of the process is to focus on data.

Hiring shouldn’t be a guessing game. Companies everywhere now have access to the data and technology necessary for making smart hiring decisions every time. These decisions will ensure a better hiring track record and help companies reduce (or eliminate) bias or subjectivity in the hiring process.

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.

3 Key Steps to Creating a Great Candidate Experience

The world of recruitment has undergone a power shift in the last decade. With job openings at a record high and alarming talent shortages in some industries, candidates have more decision power than ever before. They can afford to be more selective. As a result, businesses are enhancing their hiring strategies to reach top talent, and candidate experience has become the buzzword of the hour in recruitment circles.

There are three steps you must follow to create a great candidate experience. But first, let’s get down to basics and define what candidate experience is.

What is candidate experience?

Candidate experience refers to the perception a job seeker has about a prospective employer. It encompasses all touchpoints between job seekers and organizations, from the initial point of contact all the way to the job offer acceptance. The goal is for candidates to feel appreciated and respected throughout the whole process.

Why is candidate experience important?

A negative experience in which the candidate feels unheard, uninformed, or upset can hurt your recruitment success and reflect badly on your company as a whole. A positive candidate experience, on the other hand, can be beneficial in many ways. It helps to:

  • Secure top talent
  • Shape your employer branding
  • Increase your brand awareness
  • Give you an edge over the competition
  • Attract more candidates
  • Draw in more customers
  • Improve the quality of hires

With all that in mind, here are three steps to a great candidate experience.

1. Make your employer brand shine online.

Have you ever heard the phrase: “Treat candidates as you would treat your customers?” This adage has never been truer. In today’s job market, it’s crucial for you to create a good reputation for your company, not only as a provider of goods or services but also as an excellent place to work. You want people who come across your online content to regard you as a great potential employer. To do this, consider the following.

Social media

Social media could be the first place a potential future employee finds out about your company. So use your social pages strategically. Find out which platforms are most used by your target audience and focus your effort on these platforms. Building an online presence on social media takes time and effort, but it can greatly enhance the way a candidate perceives you as an employer.

Careers page

Visitors coming to your career page want to know what your openings are and what it’s like to work for you. Don’t hesitate to include authentic pictures of your current employees with quotes about the company and its culture. You can also post fun pictures of recent team bonding activities, for example.

Advertisements

You already advertise specific jobs in your postings, but you can also run broader “brand awareness” ads for your hiring needs. These ads serve not to fill a certain spot but to showcase your employer brand and enhance your reputation as a place to work. Talent can be scarce nowadays, and you want to be a job seeker’s first choice. So don’t hesitate to be creative in your hiring methods, for example, by trying out a video ad!

2. Simplify your application process.

Today’s Internet users expect web pages to be user-friendly. They want to be able to find what they want quickly, with the least clicks possible. This applies to younger generations of users but also older ones. So, whoever your ideal candidate is, make sure your whole application process is as smooth as possible. To ensure that happens, consider the following:

Mobile

This is crucial in 2021. Numbers taken from international job platform Talent.com’s internal database show that over 70 percent of the site traffic comes from mobile devices. Since the mobile trend shows no sign of abating, it’s up to you to adapt your application process to modern job seekers’ desires and habits. This means making sure your job postings are accessible through mobile and even optimized for mobile.

Quick application

Put yourself in a job seeker’s shoes and review your current application process. Are there any bugs or malfunctions? Are there redundant steps that could be removed? If so, work on your application process to make it as user-friendly as possible. To achieve this, you could automate certain elements or work with a job platform that offers on-site quick applications.

Jobs postings

In the war for talent, you want to catch the best candidates before your competition. In this context, your job postings can’t be just a list of requirements. They must also encourage people to apply and join your team. Highlight what’s in it for them and why they should pick you. Present your company culture, benefits, and perks. You want to make your job postings as appealing as possible to attract talent.

3. Establish a constant, clear, and fluid communication process with candidates.

Communication is key. And during the applicant process, communication can take many forms. In order to create a great candidate experience, it’s important for recruiters to create functioning communication channels and to have great communication habits. Here’s how:

Honesty

Be honest and transparent before, during, and after interviews. You want to establish an environment of authenticity. When candidates see that you are honest with them, they are likely to be honest with you. This saves time, builds your credibility, and contributes to the development of authentic relationships.

Clarity

Candidates want to be kept in the loop. They want to know if they’ve made it to the next round of interviews, ideally quickly. Therefore, it’s important for you to be responsive and candidate journey map with your candidates. Make sure candidates know what to prepare, how long each step of the process will be, and when they can expect to hear from you.

Tact

Tactful rejection contributes to a positive candidate experience. Not every qualified applicant can be chosen, and it’s your job to communicate your selection in a respectful manner. You can find free rejection letter templates online and adapt them to your needs. You can even give rejected candidates constructive criticism, which could make them more likely to re-apply in the future.

Conclusion

Providing a great candidate experience means making your employer brand shine online, simplifying your application process, and establishing a constant, clear, and fluid communication process with candidates. To keep track of candidates, don’t hesitate to use an applicant tracking system (ATS) or utilize a candidate journey map. It can help you understand your candidates’ states of mind and the challenges they face at each stage of the journey.

How Recruitment Marketing Strategy Can Improve Candidate Experience

How vital is candidate experience to a company’s recruitment marketing strategy? Look no further than a Talent Board study that listed the top three reasons candidates end the application process: disrespect of time (37 percent), poor recruiter rapport (32 percent), and length of the hiring process (29 percent).

Those numbers point to how pivotal creating a positive candidate experience is in attracting qualified, top-tier applicants. Candidates these days can be highly selective, exiting the talent funnel at the first sign of trouble. A customized, memorable experience keeps companies competitive and their talent pipelines brimming. Candidate experience should be a critical element of marketing your company and strengthening brand perception.

The candidate experience in recruiting should provide a picture of not only the duties and responsibilities of a role but also the culture, mission, and values of an organization. It should answer common questions: “What happens after I apply?” “When will I hear back?” “How many steps are involved in the hiring process?” It should set expectations and provide a realistic preview of how candidates move from one phase to the next in the hiring process.

A thoughtful, transparent, and candidate-friendly application experience can be a valuable part of any company’s marketing strategy. Finding the tools and tactics to round that approach into form is essential.

Creating a Positive Candidate Experience With Marketing

Even when you think you’ve perfected your candidate experience, perception doesn’t always match reality. A PricewaterhouseCoopers study found that 49 percent of candidates in high-demand fields turn down job offers due to a poor experience as an applicant.

Employing the right recruitment marketing strategies ensures everyone knows what to expect from the start. These tactics reduce any uncertainty or confusion during the critical stages of the candidate journey where talent can easily be lost. The right candidate marketing strategies also allow you to showcase why someone should choose your organization over other options.

You always want to build a foundation of trust with candidates. That’s what happens when you focus your marketing efforts on candidate experience. You develop a bond with those “right fit” candidates as they learn who you are as a business and why your company is the right fit for them.

How to Improve the Candidate Experience During Recruitment

Given all of this information, it’s natural to wonder how you can go about creating a positive candidate experience that will resonate with top-notch talent. Here are six places to start.

1. Spotlight the process in a variety of ways.

Not everyone consumes information the same way. And with that comes the need to vary the delivery format of essential information during the hiring process.

Besides telling candidates what to expect—both in the recruitment process and while on the job—consider incorporating educational content such as blog posts, infographics, and videos into your recruitment marketing strategy. A human-interest piece from an applicant’s perspective can also help pique the interest of potential hires and create a more marketable candidate experience.

Our company regularly features this type of content in our digital ads and on social media, educating while driving talent to our website.

2. Keep communication consistent during the process.

Clear and regular communication is essential to creating a positive candidate experience. As often as possible, keep talent informed on all subsequent steps and provide a rough estimate of the timing.

Let candidates currently in the queue know when to expect a response and consider communicating all pertinent information across different mediums. Email is an obvious choice, but you might also employ automated messaging, chatbots, and text messaging to be even more responsive while supporting the variety of communication preferences modern candidates have.

Many companies now use automated communication platforms, 24/7 live chat support, and help desk ticketing systems to meet the urgency people often feel during the application process.

3. Humanize the experience.

As the world gets more automated, it’s easy to lose that human element in our day-to-day interactions. Even when talent prefers to handle everything digitally, there are still opportunities for warmth and humanity within the candidate experience during recruitment.

Automation and other recruitment technology shouldn’t be reserved for only rare occasions, though. You can’t beat the speed and immediacy it affords your candidate engagement activities. But you still must ensure all messaging and visuals support your brand and effectively convey the culture candidates will be joining while building a relationship with your candidates. Each touchpoint is an opportunity to strengthen the foundation.

4. Leverage testimonials.

People trust people more than brands. If employee testimonials aren’t already part of your recruitment marketing strategy, you’re missing an opportunity to connect with job seekers on a more impactful level.

Share employee experiences with candidates, connect them with people on the floor, and never forget to capture feedback on the entire recruitment process to improve your candidate engagement strategies continually. You’ll never be able to spot any gaps if you fail to ask for this valuable feedback.

5. Customize the candidate journey.

Candidates are consumers. And like consumers, they want customized experiences during the recruitment process.

Make sure you have a solid candidate engagement platform. This allows you to tailor the experience to suit each person’s preferences. At the very least, choose recruitment technology that offers candidates a choice in the type and frequency of communication on job applications as well as career opportunities that fit specific criteria. The move will help in personalizing interactions and creating a positive candidate experience.

6. Align the candidate and employee experience.

The candidate experience should be a window into the employee experience. If one falls short, you’re doing a disservice to all parties involved—including your business.

Make sure talent truly experiences what it would be like to be an employee. We go as far as providing virtual reality job previews for many of our positions. This ensures candidates feel confident they know what to expect on day one. Conversely, make sure the employee experience matches all the pomp and circumstance of the candidate experience in the recruitment process.

Otherwise, people won’t stay. They’ll likely also spread the word, damaging your reputation with other potential recruits. Own all facets of your business and see it through from start to finish.

The importance of candidate engagement can’t be overstated. It requires time and attention to get it right. Even then, you might miss the mark a time or two. As long as you set clear expectations early in the process, stay in regular contact with candidates, and never lose the human side of your organization, you’re moving in the right direction.

HR Strategy: How to Recruit and Retain Top Talent

Hiring and keeping top talent is a challenge for many companies.

The problem is that not enough companies are taking the necessary steps to recruit and retain top talent. If your company wants to grow, you need to take action now.

Why is culture important?

Studies show that company culture makes a big difference when you want to recruit and retain top talent.

People tend to work harder in a positive environment with coworkers they enjoy working with. Additionally, a friendly office culture will make employees feel comfortable enough to approach management when there are problems. That’s why it’s so important that companies looking to grow focus on creating an enjoyable atmosphere for workers.

How do you build an enviable culture?

Think about all of the things you can do to market your company and promote a positive culture. This can take many forms, whether it’s having an excellent social media presence or offering contests for the community to participate in.

You also want to make sure that your company is open about its practices, including things like how you treat employees and what your benefits package entails.

Let’s go deeper into some of the factors that will allow you to recruit and retain top talent.

1. Organize job fairs/recruiting events.

The best way to attract talented employees is by attending job fairs and recruiting events hosted by local organizations. Make sure your staff knows about these upcoming events and that they have ample time to prepare.

By being present in all the right places, you also start building up your personal brand in the area you want to be best known for, which makes candidates think of you when they are on the lookout for a new job.

2. Provide interview feedback.

Different candidates have different strengths, and you must know how to leverage their talents. You want to make sure candidates feel welcome when they interview with your company, whether or not they receive an offer.

If a candidate is turned down for employment, then having feedback will help the candidate improve their interviewing skills in case there are future opportunities at your company. This should be included on job applications so you can better keep track of what weaknesses need improvement. If you do provide this information, make sure it is kept confidential.

3. Use online applications.

Believe it or not, many are still using paper applications when asking people to apply for a job. The fact is that most people don’t fill out applications anymore. They’re too busy to take the time to fill out paper applications on top of submitting their resume online. If you still use paper applications, then you are missing out on qualified applicants.

Make sure that hiring managers have the option to review resumes electronically instead of handling stacks of paper application packets every day.

How can you turn applicants into employees?

1. Offer competitive compensation packages.

If there’s one thing people look for when looking for jobs, it’s competitive compensation packages. We all want to know that we’re getting paid fairly for our work, which is why money and benefits are so important during the hiring process. Make sure you’re offering a competitive salary when hiring new employees and promoting current employees if you want to recruit and retain top talent.

2. Offer employee benefits.

If your company offers impressive employee benefits, then you’ll have an easier time recruiting quality candidates.

Some of the top benefits include health insurance, dental insurance, life insurance, retirement plans, tuition reimbursement, remote work, and even other employee benefits.

3. Create targeted job ads.

Typically job ads attract people who are currently searching for jobs due to unemployment or underemployment–sometimes even through the help of a recruitment agency.

If you want to attract employees with a higher chance of staying on for the long term, target your hiring efforts by posting ads in places where your ideal prospects gather. For example, if you’re looking for programmers or engineers to work at your company, find out where they hang out online.

Maybe there’s a forum full of them discussing new trends in their fields, which makes it easy for you to post an ad there and get higher-quality applicants interested in what you’re offering.

How can you improve employee retention?

1. Invest in management training.

If your top management team is not properly qualified, then that could lead to an entirely new set of problems when it comes time to manage employees. Consider outsourcing management training so supervisors and directors have the tools they need to work with their teams effectively.

2. Support employee engagement.

If your employees feel engaged with the company, then they will be more likely to stay through difficult times and continue producing quality work. Consider making attendance at company-sponsored events a requirement when it comes to employee evaluations.

Alternatively, you can also incentivize your employees to attend and participate in these events by offering perks to those that do.

3. Address issues quickly and proactively.

It’s important to deal with issues quickly before they become a larger problem affecting everyone involved.

As soon as you notice an issue (and before it becomes white noise in your head), address it so that your team feels like they have someone on their side looking out for them.

4. Foster professional growth.

One of the best ways to improve employee retention is by fostering professional growth for your employees. Make sure you’re empowering them to learn new skills and that they have time to add unique value to the company.

Whether it’s giving them a chance to work on project management, promoting their business ideas, or pursue educational opportunities, you’ll find that these specific opportunities will keep your employees engaged and loyal for many years to come.

5. Create a sustainable mix of employees.

If you have a large number of unmotivated workers, then that could decrease productivity in those who are motivated.

If you have too small of a team where everyone has extensive experience working together, this could also cause morale issues in the future. When hiring, look for the right balance of passionate yet green people mixed with more senior and experienced people to make sure everyone is happy in their jobs.

This also provides opportunities to give mentorship roles to those that are more senior in their positions.

6. Be a role model.

Do you want your employees to be motivated? The best managers know that setting an example can help improve morale across the company.

If you lead by example, then your team will be more likely to follow suit and stay on board with your vision for the future.

Conclusion

It’s important to realize that employee retention starts with hiring the right people for each role. To retain and recruit top talent, you need to start by finding the right people for the job and creating an engaging work environment where they can succeed.

By following these tips, you’ll have a much better chance at improving employee retention and building an even stronger foundation for your company.

Beyond Hiring Algorithms: How to Up-level Your Recruiting Process

For the first time since the onset of the pandemic, the United States experienced a significant uptick in job availability. This resulted in a lot of new talent looking for their next opportunity. Employers across the country added a combined 943,000 jobs to the market in July 2021–the most significant gain in 11 months. This is a relief to the millions of unemployed people still reeling from the pandemic’s impact. However, that doesn’t mean it’s been an easy journey for job seekers. Competition is now greater, and candidates face new challenges and expectations as they submit their resumes.

So what is the leading source of the disconnect between the number of available jobs and the lack of hires? The answer: technology that does not align with an ultra-competitive environment.

It’s a virtual race to the bottom.

Job boards and automation have made it easier than ever to apply for a job. Recruiters have resorted to automation to weed out the noise, leading savvy candidates to keyword their resumes in a never-ending cycle. Something’s got to give. Speed is crucial to success for recruiting agencies. But to quote a high school driving tutorial, “speed kills” too.

For example, most staffing and recruitment agencies utilize software that relies predominantly on incomplete hiring algorithms. These can exclude candidates through assumptions and past “learnings” that may or may not apply to today’s job market. The main issue in using these matching tools is that they are removing many qualified candidates because of the keywords identified–or not identified–on their resumes. Nontraditional candidates then have no opportunity to advance through the process. They are unable to showcase their skillsets because an incomplete algorithm weeded them out as “a bad fit.” This is why many forward-thinking recruiters and hiring managers are reevaluating their recruitment systems so they can look beyond the resume.

The way we work is evolving.

Staffing agencies must adapt recruiting protocols to pandemic market conditions. They should remember that the nature of work continues to evolve with the pandemic. People want to leave current companies or pursue a different career path. Candidates want more flexibility in their work schedules, greater job fulfillment, or a role where they feel safer or more appreciated (financially and otherwise). Those considerations need to be considered, especially in the screening process.

While technology is part of the problem in hiring, it can also be a solution. Staffing agencies can lessen their dependence on automated scoring and outdated matching techniques present at the core of the technology. Or, they can move to scoring that gives insight behind the numbers so recruiters can make their own informed decisions. Agencies can reclaim control over the initial selection of their talent pool.

First, they must determine what kinds of biases are being created by incomplete hiring algorithms. And, also, how these restrictions are limiting opportunities for companies to hire valuable talent. Below are some examples of these restrictions.

  • Education: Companies pass on candidates because of their degree types and from where they were earned. Rather, they should have their experience reviewed to see if it is comparable to the level of education required.
  • Number of years in the industry: This comes into play when someone is changing careers. Some workers might not have direct experience in a role, but do have experience in the industry.
  • Candidate background: Past work experience, titles, and the specific duties they performed should be considered.
  • Employment gaps: There are times when a parent may have taken a few years off to raise a child. Or perhaps someone went back to school to learn a new trade. Uncover these details through nonbiased screening processes and interviews.

The solution beyond technology…

Recruiters can look further than a candidate’s resume to help eliminate these biases. The most valuable concept to incorporate into hiring efforts is “transferable velocity.” This is the probability of a candidate’s continued upward trajectory from one position or career to another. You can evaluate this by looking at the obvious and not-so-obvious benefits and value a person brings to the table. Look at a candidate’s whole story, including where they come from and where they can go next. These are the qualities that keywords and descriptions on a resume can’t showcase, and hiring algorithms can’t grasp.

The next step is to look at activities and initiatives the candidate pursues outside of work. This technique provides insight into a person’s level of transferable velocity. Interviewers will likely uncover what’s important to a candidate. They can also determine where they are willing to invest their time and money. Also, interviewers can learn how these passions may relate to the job the candidate is applying for. This is a good indication of what type of extra work a person is willing to put in to enhance their personal and career goals.

Another necessary element to consider is the need to invest in reskilling and upskilling. Make an effort to appeal to nontraditional candidates. Teach them new skills and techniques vital to the position they’re filling. This investment helps attract valuable talent and retain current team members. Reskilling/upskilling provides them with the tools and resources necessary to move up in the company or to another department. A person’s intrinsic motivation coupled with a robust training program can create the ideal situation for talent to thrive in a new work environment.

The future of work is here.

As businesses wade through hundreds to thousands of applicants during this hiring surge, they must look beyond the resume and move away from algorithms that are inherently regression-based models. Updating hiring and recruitment protocols is a great way to evolve and adapt to the challenges of the pandemic.

Is Your Hiring Process Ineffective? Try These Helpful Methods

What’s the typical order of your hiring process? The common order is usually something like this:

  • Resume screening
  • Interview
  • Assessment
  • Job offer

Your process may not look exactly like this, as some companies have several rounds of interviews and different types of assessments. But if your hiring process generally follows this type of structure, it’s not very effective.

Time Required for Each Hiring Step

Let’s look at a more expanded version of the list above. Consider how much time each step takes, and how much information about a candidate it gives you.

Step Time needed Information received
Resume screening 5 minutes Does the candidate meet the listed requirements?
Phone interview 30 minutes Learn a bit about the candidate and why they applied for the job.
Personality test 15 minutes Find out the candidate’s personality profile.
First interview 1 hour Meet the candidate and learn about their education and previous experience.
Skill and aptitude assessment 30 minutes In-depth info about a candidate’s abilities.
Second interview 2 hours Detailed info about a candidate’s experiences.
Job offer 10 minutes Will the candidate accept the terms?

The time each step takes may vary, of course, so this is just an example. In total, this hiring process takes four hours and 30 minutes of your time. The personality test and skill/aptitude assessments include the time it takes to administer the test and review the results.

Ineffective Hiring Steps

Reading a resume doesn’t take much time, but it also doesn’t give much useful information. You can see if the candidate fulfills the basic requirements, such as skills and experience, but not much else. Candidates will often list their hobbies or personal achievements on their resume, but these are useless unless they’re in some way related to the job. Why does it matter if a candidate loves sailing or is the world champion in arm-wrestling? It doesn’t help you make a hiring decision unless you’re hiring a sailor or an arm-wrestler.

A phone interview lets you ask why they applied for the job and what they expect from the role. It’s also a chance for you to provide more detail about the job and answer the candidate’s questions. It doesn’t take too long, but also doesn’t provide any crucial information.

Personality tests are a quick way to see if a candidate would fit the company culture and be a productive employee. Though there is a lack of evidence for their usefulness. It’s also easy for candidates to lie on personality tests, which they’ll likely do if getting the job depends on it. Therefore the information you get from personality tests is not useful. Considering how unreliable they are, personality tests have no place in the hiring process.

The first interview is usually a typical unstructured interview. You meet the candidate and talk about their experience and achievements. However, you need to filter through a lot of useless information as well. Unstructured interviews are also extremely susceptible to bias. Besides, since they are completely subjective, there is no standardized criteria by which you can accurately compare different candidates. According to one study, unstructured interviews are so inaccurate that they’re counterproductive to your hiring efforts and shouldn’t be used at all.

Effective Hiring Steps

Assessments for aptitude and skill often come after an interview. Skill tests let the candidate directly demonstrate their abilities in a way that you can easily compare to other candidates. Specifically, testing a candidate’s knowledge or skill gives you valuable information that’s critical in making a hiring decision, as job skills are the main criteria for hiring someone.

Aptitude tests are also known as reasoning tests, cognitive tests, or general mental ability tests. They can assess a range of abilities such as problem-solving, abstract thinking, logical reasoning, and others. As these abilities are used in many jobs, candidates who score highly on these tests are promising.

Assessments are relatively easy to administer and don’t require much of your time, at least compared to interviews. While they do take time to create, once you have them in place, the time it takes to administer and review them is relatively short. But, you don’t need to create them yourself. You can use any online pre-employment testing service to do that for you. Thus, saving even more time and making things easier for both you and your candidates.

The second interview round is the opportunity for a structured interview. A structured interview is a type of interview where the questions are prepared in advance. All candidates are asked the same questions, in the same order, and their answers are scored based on predefined criteria. This way you can objectively compare candidates to each other. This step lets candidates provide a lot of detailed information about their experiences, work ethic, professional achievements, and other important data that can help with making a hiring decision.

The Optimal Order of Hiring Methods

Not all methods give equally valuable information, and the time they take varies significantly. So which order should you use them in? To make your hiring process more efficient, you should prioritize the methods which give the most information for the least amount of time and order the hiring process based on these criteria.

To understand which order of hiring methods is optimal, we need to rank them based on how good they are. Fortunately, there is plenty of research that tells us how good each particular hiring method is. Sadly, some of the most common hiring methods, which are widely used, such as resume screening and unstructured interviews, don’t work well. The most effective hiring methods are work-sample tests, aptitude tests, and structured interviews.

Test First…

A work-sample test assesses a candidate’s ability with a sample of actual work. For example, if you’re hiring a programmer, you ask them to write some code. If you were to hire a chef, surely you’d like to know what their food tastes like before you hire them? All things considered, there is no reason not to use this approach with almost any profession.

Aptitude tests assess cognitive abilities such as problem-solving, logical or abstract reasoning, and similar talents. They don’t show if a candidate has the required job knowledge or skills but, according to research, candidates with higher cognitive ability learn more job knowledge, and learn it faster, than those with lower cognitive ability.

Research has consistently shown that work-sample tests and aptitude tests are far more accurate and effective at predicting job performance than almost any other hiring method. Therefore, you should use tests as early as possible in your hiring process, even as the very first step. You can set up your hiring process so that candidates apply by taking the test.

Most candidates will fail a short initial skill test. That may sound bad, but it’s not. Most candidates fail pre-employment skill tests because these tests are designed as elimination tests. By filtering out weaker candidates with a pre-interview skill test, you are narrowing down the selection right from the start of the hiring process. This means that candidates that come to the interview are more qualified than if you had screened them using resumes. In other words, it’s more efficient to test for skills and aptitude before interviewing because testing doesn’t take much of your time but the information you receive from this hiring step is extremely valuable.

… Then Interview

A structured interview requires some preparation in deciding which questions to ask and defining scoring criteria. Once you have it in place, you can see how it’s far more objective than typical unstructured interviews. It’s fair to all candidates since they are all given the same questions and scored based on the same rules. It’s also far better for you, because, since the questions are standardized, you can directly and transparently compare different candidates, which is crucial in making a hiring decision. This approach works for both hard and soft skills, and helps avoid bias.

As a result, structured interviews are almost as accurate and effective as work-sample and aptitude tests. However, they require more time, which is why they should take place after the testing round(s). Testing will filter out weaker candidates, leaving only better-qualified candidates for the interview. Therefore the average time of the interview itself will likely be a bit longer, since more qualified candidates are likely to give more detailed and knowledgeable answers to your questions. But ultimately you’ll need to interview fewer candidates so overall your whole hiring process will take less time.

Conclusion

How you organize your hiring process has a significant impact on how efficient and effective it is. The traditional hiring model has a lot of inefficiencies that can hurt your chances of finding the best candidates.

Ordering your hiring methods optimally, based on data provided by research into hiring methods, not only makes your hiring process more accurate, it also saves a lot of time.

Trends That Define the Post-Pandemic Workforce [Podcast]

The pandemic taught us a lot about ourselves. Like how many of us don’t need to go into an office to be productive. That flexibility and benefits are more valuable to employees than a pay raise. How talent management doesn’t actually have to happen in person, but that HR can bridge the remote work management gap with technology.

While it can be difficult to predict what else we’ll learn in a post-pandemic world, facts like these require businesses to adjust and grow right now. As we watch a new work landscape unfold before our eyes, HR professionals are readying themselves to traverse it as best they can. They’re tracking post-pandemic workforce trends and supporting their organizations as they navigate changes and prepare for the future.

Our Guest: HR Analyst and Content Expert Brian Westfall

On the latest #WorkTrends podcast, I spoke with Brian Westfall, principal HR analyst at Capterra. He covers the latest trends in HR and recruiting software, supporting Capterra’s mission to help business clients find the right software for them. He is a thought-leader in his field, and his research has been published in Forbes, SHRM, TechRepublic, and TIME.

What have we ultimately learned from the pandemic? For one, Brian says, we’ve learned that work doesn’t have to look like it always has: wake up, get ready, drive to the office, come back home. Remote work can get the job done too–sometimes even better than in-office.

“This past year, a lot of businesses were thrown into the deep end with remote work. And I think they realized the water’s not so bad,” Brian says. “I think we’re going to look back at the pandemic as one of those moments where we reassessed all those sacred cows of talent management. Employees don’t have to be in the office to work effectively.”

With the understanding that employees can be productive while remote, there’s also been a surge in HR tech for managing remote workers–and recruiting them. In fact, HR technology has been a driving force in DEI efforts over the last year.

“When HR leaders were asked what they were doing to make their organizations more diverse and inclusive, DNI software tools came in as the second most cited program or initiative they were going to incorporate–only behind hiring quotas,” Brain says. “Organizations now have access to job description tools to remove biased language. They have candidate assessment tools that offer blind hiring modes. Tech is extremely useful for bringing in diverse candidates to create a more inclusive workforce.” 

Burnout and Skills Development: The Focus of Post-Pandemic Workplaces

Of course, while the pandemic showed that we can optimize tech and increase productivity, it didn’t eliminate other issues, like burnout.

“Seventy-seven percent of small business employees in the U.S. experienced at least some burnout last year. For those aged 18 to 25, that number jumps to 92 percent,” Brian says. “Worse, only seven percent of employees reached out to their manager or HR to let them know they were experiencing burnout. Because of this, I think we’ll see companies being more proactive about mental health resources.” 

While productivity among some employees increased while working from home during the pandemic, that doesn’t mean their skills increased too. In fact, according to Brian, 49 percent of small business employees have not developed any new skills during COVID. Fortunately, there are easy ways to implement development programs and manage these issues in a post-pandemic workforce.

“Workers are behind in skill development. And as roles get more complex, businesses are going to hunker down on skills development programs,” Brian says. “Because of tech, it has never been easier for businesses to set up formalized, complex learning and development programs. The tools are there. The content is there. I think it’s only going to make more sense over time.”

I hope you enjoy this episode of #WorkTrends. You can learn more about post-pandemic workforce trends and HR future predictions by connecting with Brian Westfall on LinkedIn.

What Does a Criminal Background Check Look For?

A recent study found that over 96 percent of hiring businesses use background checks. With the help of a background check, business owners are able to vet a person before bringing them aboard. Whether you are using a background check during the hiring process or you are having a background check performed by a potential employer, educating yourself about what this entails is crucial.

Are you curious about what types of things are assessed during a routine criminal background check? If so, check out the useful information below.

Social Security Number Validation

When filling out an application for a potential job, you will have to provide certain information that verifies your ability to work in the United States. One of the main things an employer will need to know to verify this information is your Social Security number. With this number, a potential employer can verify that you are an American citizen.

Your Social Security number will also provide a breakdown of addresses you have lived at in the past. If you are a business owner looking for the right tools to perform comprehensive background checks, then using resources provided by companies like Background Hawk is crucial. Taking the time to learn more about the background screening tools at your disposal is a great way to choose the best ones for your company.

Criminal Records Will Show Up on a Background Check

One of the main things business owners want to know when conducting a background check is whether or not a potential employee has a criminal record. If a person has been convicted of multiple crimes, then an employer may want to avoid hiring them due to the problems this can cause later on. During a criminal background check, certain things will show up like:

  • Records of incarceration
  • Court orders, decrees, and judgments
  • Arrests
  • Felony/misdemeanor convictions
  • Sex offenses

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) prohibits records involving civil suits from showing up in standard background checks. This law also keeps arrests that have happened over seven years ago out of these reports.

Employers Can Pull Credit Reports

Before hiring a new team member, the average business owner wants to know as much information as possible about their background. This is why most background checks include credit reports. With a snapshot of a person’s financial history, a business owner can assess how responsible a person has been in the past. The credit reports a business owner receives during a background check will include information about:

  • Outstanding loans
  • Accounts currently in collections
  • Bankruptcy filings

The FCRA prohibits any collection over seven years or older from showing up on background checks. There are also rules in place that prohibit bankruptcies older than 10 years old from showing up.

Fingerprint Background Checks

Another way someone may look into your background is through your fingerprints. Just as the name implies, this uses a person’s fingerprints and personal information to find out about their history. One of the biggest benefits of this type of search is that all records definitely belong to the person in question.

The purpose and nature of the fingerprint will vary. It depends on what type of information has been requested from the person who wants the background check. In most cases, these checks involve the use of the FBI criminal records database. Another option is the AFIS database system. This can be searched along with or instead of the FBI system.

Misdemeanors and Arrests on Background Checks

When someone conducts a criminal background check, it will usually show any misdemeanor criminal convictions, along with any pending cases that are going on. It is important to note that misdemeanors are not as serious as felonies, and they don’t carry the extreme sentences that felonies do. Some examples of misdemeanors include disorderly conduct, public intoxication, trespassing, and vandalism.

With arrests, things can get tricky. If the arrest did not result in a conviction, it could appear on some of the criminal background checks that are run. This is true if the filing for the case was within the prior seven years. This is allowed by both state and federal law. However, some employers exclude these to ensure EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) guidelines are met.

Some people believe that criminal convictions more than seven years old will not appear on background checks. This isn’t the case for most states. While some restrict the release of these records (if they are over seven or 10 years old), others don’t. If you are concerned about this, it is best to find out the rules in your area before applying for a certain job.

As you can see, you can find a lot of useful information in the standard criminal background check. With this, employers can figure out if a candidate is right for the position. The key to getting a comprehensive background check is working with the right provider.

 

Freshen Up Remote Culture for Work and Play [Podcast]

Eighty percent of employees say they want to work from home at least part-time. And three in four consider remote work the “new normal.” In an attempt to stay competitive, organizations everywhere are offering totally remote and hybrid work options to current and potential employees.

While it’s great that companies are accommodating employee needs, a new issue is arising: How do we maintain a remote culture that keeps employees engaged, even from afar?

Our Guest: Creative Entrepreneur Jeremy Parker

On the latest #WorkTrends podcast, I chatted with Jeremy Parker. He’s an entrepreneur who was named to Crain’s Class of 2020 NY 40 under 40 list. Jeremy formed the Creative Promotional Product Division under MV Sport. He also helped start Vowch Commonwealth and is currently co-founder and CEO of Swag.com, a swag distribution company that supports a healthy remote culture.

Jeremy understands that who you work with is just as important as what you’re working on, especially in the case of startups. According to Jeremy, a great remote culture starts with the recruiting process and finding the right people for what your business needs right now.

“When onboarding new hires, it’s important to find the right culture fit, especially for startups. Different employees are required for different stages of a business life cycle,” Jeremy says. 

And of course, he adds, before offering someone a role, you have to consider the candidate as a person, and determine if they will be truly happy at the company and empowered by the work.

“I think the most important thing across the board is making sure the people you hire really care about what they’re doing. That they’re willing to work hard. They need to feel passionate about the work and feel ownership over it,” Jeremy says.

Bring Remote Workers Together with Pocket Offices and Swag

Once the right remote employees are hired, how do you make them feel connected even when they’re far away? One strategy: Offer them swag.

“If you see somebody wearing a shirt representing your favorite sports team or college, you have an instant connection. It’s the same thing within a company,” Jeremy says. “If you’re wearing the same things, it brings people together around a shared purpose and mission.” 

Also, getting creative with events for remote workers is crucial. While employees may be located all over the world, it’s still possible to offer in-person opportunities for bonding.

“Instead of having one central hub and making employees drive two hours each way, find little pocket offices in different locations. So even if remote employees can’t meet everybody at the company in person, people can get out of the house and collaborate with others,” Jeremy says. “Everyone’s feeling isolated (especially with COVID). So whatever you can do to bring people together and create unity is important.”

I hope you enjoy this episode of #WorkTrends. You can learn more about fostering employee connections in a remote culture by reaching out to Jeremy Parker on LinkedIn.

The Future of Work is Already Here: 4 Ways to Find and Keep Top Talent

Across all sectors in the second half of 2021, corporate America is bullish on rapid growth. Offices and manufacturing plants are re-opening. Job recruitment is already ahead of pre-pandemic levels. The online job search website Indeed.com reported in early April that the number of available positions posted on its platform was 17.9 percent above its pre-pandemic baseline back in February 2020.

Large firms are not alone in seeking top talent in a resurgent economy. According to The Economist’s April 10, 2021 report on the future of work, 2020 was a record year for new company formation in the United States. In fact, more than 1.5 million new firms launched last year. Many of these startups are ramping up talent recruitment to help meet an expected surge of consumer and business demand. Adding fuel to the current competition for high-demand technical and management talent, a record-breaking $69 billion in venture investment flowed into both newly hatched and more mature startup firms in the first quarter of 2021.

Employer and Employee Expectations Out of Sync

Clearly, office doors are–or will be–wide open. Financial incentives are on the table. But will that be enough to bring top talent back to their former workday routines?

Based on recent workforce surveys and trend analysis, the answer is a resounding “No.” This is especially true for the technical and professional workers who are most in demand. It turns out that executive and investor views of the future of work are out of sync with employee expectations generated during the pandemic.

Microsoft’s 2021 Work Trend Index outlines the findings from a study of more than 30,000 people in 31 countries. The study includes workers of all ages and experts in workforce engagement and recruiting. One of its blunt conclusions:

“Leaders are out of touch with employees and need a wake-up call.”

A striking data point:

“41 percent of the global workforce is likely to consider leaving their current employer within the next year. This number is even higher for Gen Z (54 percent). At the same time, 46 percent are planning to make a major pivot or career transition.”

A Defining Workforce Trend: YOLO

One explanation for such widespread workforce restlessness is the YOLO (You Only Live Once) spirit. In a recent New York Times article, the authors characterized YOLO as “the year’s defining workforce trend.”

With the future of work suddenly upon them, and close to half of their current employees at risk of decamping, corporate HR departments are not just competing with other established firms in finding and keeping top talent. They are up against an unprecedented combination of post-pandemic force fields. There’s the lure of startup unicorns, a deep determination among workers to live life to the fullest, and a growing sense that personal fulfillment is most attainable outside the confines of a traditional office.

How Should Employers Respond?

First, it’s time to acknowledge that hybrid work schedules are no longer innovative. Yes, this includes the flexibility to work from home on a regular basis.

Instead, they are intrinsic to the future of work. Even employees who miss face-to-face discussions with colleagues and other aspects of the physical workplace want remote work options to be available as part of their work-life going forward. Flexibility is no longer a differentiator in attracting talent–except as a strong disincentive to join a company that doesn’t provide that now must-have benefit.

Strategies for Attracting and Retaining Top Talent in 2021

If hybrid work isn’t enough, what is needed to retain and recruit top talent in 2021 successfully? Companies must embrace several innovative and interconnected strategies to create a workforce culture that matches the future-of-work reality. A forward-looking workforce recruitment strategy should start with the following four components:

1. Purpose and positive social impact as a corporate priority

Employees care deeply about the impact that their company has on the environment. They also care about their communities and social issues such as diversity, racial justice, and economic equality. Studies over the past decade report that companies prioritizing corporate social responsibility enjoy an advantage in attracting and retaining top talent of all ages. But high-minded mission statements and CEO declarations no longer suffice. In this age of critical scrutiny, results must measure up to stated social impact goals. Companies must lead with purpose; they must also prepare to follow up with transparency in reporting impact.

2. Opportunities for growth across the entire workforce

Opportunity for personal and professional growth is essential for recruiting and retaining talented workers. Traditional support for professional development needs to transcend the scope of narrow productivity goals. It must encompass learning and applying new skills in contexts that support all stakeholders. The future of work will demand that development and growth opportunities previously reserved for professional levels are available across the workforce.

3. Multi-directional mentoring

The long-standing tradition of workplace mentoring strongly correlates with increases in employee productivity, job satisfaction, and also retention. In addition to benefiting those who receive mentoring at work, studies show that the mentors report increased personal fulfillment and organizational commitment. And yet, today’s mentoring programs are too often limited in scope. They remain stuck in a seniority-based one-to-one framework. Intergenerational, peer-to-peer, and group mentoring programs can be a powerful force in overcoming workplace silos and building a culture of mutual learning and support.

4. Empowered teams

Employers must reinvent the omnipresent project team to function effectively in the world of hybrid work. They must empower team managers and members to redefine roles and balance both group and individual accountability. They must allow experimentation with different modes of collaboration and communication. After all, collaborative, empowered teams will remain an essential foundation for future workforce engagement.

The future of work is already here. And to find and keep top talent during what is already an ultra-competitive job market, companies must be ready. As they chart their course for the months ahead, companies must remember that YOLO also applies to them–and they may only have one shot at getting this right.

Image by Roman Samborskyi

Moving Beyond the Pandemic: The 3 Highest Priorities for Hiring Managers

One year after the onset of the global pandemic, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Economies are opening back up, the vaccine rollout is underway, and companies are finally ready to ramp up hiring again. During the pandemic, hiring managers transformed their processes in surprisingly more efficient ways while providing an improved experience for hiring teams and candidates alike. These leaders are now in a unique position: 

They must plan for the future while also embracing what worked during the year that changed it all. 

We wanted to dive into these leaders’ minds to understand better the changes and challenges hiring teams have experienced over the past year. So our company, HireVue, surveyed over 1,100 hiring managers across the United States, Australia and the UK. The result? Yes, the pandemic’s impact on the global workforce was severe. However, it also provided valuable learnings and opportunities for hiring teams and job seekers alike. More importantly, we learned the three key priorities hiring managers must keep in mind as they move forward.

Hiring Managers: Embracing Technology’s Rapidly Expanding Role

2020 forced organizations to turn to technology to execute most, if not all, day-to-day operations, from hiring to remote onboarding. Our survey showed that HR tech didn’t just get the job done — it actually improved the hiring experience:

  • More than half of respondents (54%) noted that shifting to virtual interviews unexpectedly resulted in a speedier recruitment process
  • 41% say it helped them identify the best candidates
  • 37% of respondents experienced cost savings when incorporating more technology into their hiring practices
  • 36% noticed an increase in the diversity of candidates
  • And 35% were able to increase time spent on candidate engagement

The survey also showed that nearly half of the organizations moved solely to virtual interviewing in response to the pandemic. However, looking ahead, 41% of respondents plan to use a combination of in-person and virtual interviews — an additional 23% plan to move solely to video or virtual interviewing. Finally, 14% of hiring companies plan to automate much of the hiring process with AI, chatbots, and text. 

The pandemic showed us that the acceleration of technology isn’t slowing down. To thrive, companies must be strategic in their tech implementation. Every aspect of people’s lives has moved either completely digital or to a hybrid model. This means the average candidate has greater expectations around their experience. It’s becoming clear that virtual interviews and new candidate engagement methods like text are here to stay as recruiters implement a digital-first hiring process moving forward.

Which brings us to the top three post-pandemic priorities for hiring managers…

Prioritizing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Building a more diverse, inclusive and equitable workforce was brought to the forefront in 2020, so it’s no shock that 100% of respondents listed the topic of DEI as “extremely” or “very relevant” to them, with one-third ranking it as a top and immediate priority. What’s interesting is that 35% of respondents found diversity to be a benefit of virtual interviewing.

Because of safety concerns around COVID-19, businesses turned to virtual technology to vet and interview candidates. Simultaneously, global office closures forced them to expand their searches to include remote workers in a more permanent capacity. These circumstances led to more diverse hiring decisions and a broader candidate pool. But when COVID-19 is in the rearview mirror, HR leaders will need to consider how technology can continue to be used to build a diverse workforce. They’ll need to continue to learn how best to meet candidates where they are — when they’re available — will be critical. In fact, more than half of interviews through HireVue now occur outside of regular business hours, proving just how limited the candidate pool is when you rely on a strict Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 window. 

Using Standardized Assessments to Reduce Bias

Another way to mitigate bias is by using standardized assessments that focus on competencies rather than subjective indicators like resumes. In addition to assessments, chatbots and text capabilities work to remove structural barriers and create channels of communication that are more equitable and engaging for candidates.

Of the respondents with plans to take action on their DEI goals:

  • 62% plan to expand their recruiting network by seeking out candidates from nontraditional places
  • 55% will partner with organizations that connect underrepresented professionals with internships and jobs
  • 53% will recruit from universities with diverse student bodies
  • And 30% plan to use structured interviews to minimize unconscious biases within the hiring process

One of the biggest challenges of recruiting for DEI is the need for a quicker recruitment process. Organizations need to be deliberate and diligent in achieving these specific outcomes, which often takes time. With video-based interviewing technology, the process can achieve efficiency while simultaneously mitigating human bias. Just as important, the technology enables the vetting of candidates at a higher volume.

Pivoting Toward Process Efficiencies

COVID-19 has created a unique opportunity and demand for hiring leaders to innovate and rethink the way they hire. Moving forward, they want to automate administrative tasks — like reviewing stacks of resumes, scheduling interviews, and sharing feedback with their colleagues — so they can spend more time engaging with candidates and improving the hiring experience. In addition to trusting technology to help them streamline and simplify their own workload, 96% believe virtual interviews improve the recruitment experience for candidates. 

Another area we’ll see continue to evolve on the video front is the use of on-demand video interviews in place of real-time conversations. After all, hiring managers and HR professionals spend so much time scheduling and rescheduling interviews — and on-demand interviews free up time and offer more flexibility to both the candidate and hiring team to complete the interview process on their own time. This opens up the pool of candidates even more by not limiting it to those who can interview in the middle of a Wednesday afternoon. The on-demand approach also solves many other issues that come with live, human-led interviews, such as unconscious biases, leading to a more fair and equitable process.

The role of hiring leaders as strategic business partners was front and center in 2020. During that time, the business case for implementing technology that enables greater focus on candidate engagement instead of rote tasks practically wrote itself. Like many other hiring leaders, I believe the future holds less of a return to normal. Instead, I see an opportunity to make business operations more tech-driven, inclusive, and efficient than ever.

 

Image by Olivier Le Moal

Talent Acquisition Requires Better Candidate AND Recruiter Experience

As we start to put the crushing impact of the pandemic behind us, businesses — and the talent acquisition function of HR in particular — continue to face a dilemma.

On the one hand, the hiring process must be efficient. On the other hand, it’s difficult to make hiring personal — more human — when so many potential candidates apply for every job. Any lack of efficiency means your business is trailing the competition. But a lack of personal touch may drive away candidates. Winning the war for talent depends largely on striking a balance in this all-too-gray area. 

This episode of #WorkTrends will help. Today, we discuss HR technology designed to help businesses like yours find that happy medium. 

Our Guest: Alex Murphy, CEO of JobSync

With me today is Alex Murphy, an entrepreneur, investor, and advisor to start-ups and other companies in the Talent Acquisition Technology (TAtech) industry. He is currently the CEO and co-founder of a 2021 TalentCulture HR Tech Award winner, JobSync. At JobSync, Alex and his team create a simple, seamless, and secure hiring experience for employers and candidates. 

I started my conversation with Alex by asking why many of the tools available to HR today fail to meet the needs of candidates and recruiters. Alex described the root cause of the issue perfectly:

“Companies and buyers try to make the decisions that make their teams more efficient. But adding more standalone systems actually makes their teams less efficient. When a company gets to be hundreds and thousands of people, there are often 50, 80, 100 different data points unique to that company.” Alex added that far too often, vendors don’t design those systems to work together. And, despite the best of intentions, it sometimes brings the hiring process to a halt.

“There isn’t enough understanding around how to get that data to come together and to create that interoperability that connectivity we all need.”

Next Level Talent Acquisition: Improving Candidate and Recruiter Experience

Alex went on to say that without that connection, it is difficult at best to serve candidates and recruiters well. As a result, recruiters become Excel jockeys, and the expectations of candidates are left unmet. There must be a better way, right?

“That’s why we exist. We create these prebuilt connections between the various systems to be able to enable that data flow. It’s important… it’s imperative…  it’s a requirement that the company has a company-first and client-first point of view.”

I couldn’t agree more. When it comes to recruiter efficiency and candidate experience, any discussion of talent acquisition must include “and” — not “or” — statements.

So you can learn more about the importance of an HR Tech stack that treats candidates and recruiters well, I encourage you to listen in to this week’s episode of #WorkTrends

And be sure to connect with Alex on LinkedIn and Twitter!

 

Image by Olivier Le Moal

The Resilient Workforce: How Psychometric Testing Predicts Adaptability

When building a resilient workforce, adaptability isn’t a nice-to-have quality in employees; it’s an essential component of a workforce capable of accepting and overcoming unexpected challenges. Resilient companies have long shown a higher likelihood of surviving and even thriving through crises — a theme that the pandemic has underscored. Success is related to how quickly and effectively workforces pivot to address change.

Human resources leaders who recognize the power of building a resilient workforce need to seek out adaptable employees. But how can they tell whether a job applicant possesses a high degree of adaptability?

Résumés might give an inkling of potential resilience and under-pressure responses. However, they don’t tell the whole story of how someone will react and adapt in the face of the unexpected and unprecedented. That’s where the power of psychometric testing can come into play for employee recruitment strategies.

Building a Resilient Workforce: Leverage Psychometric Testing

Psychometric testing isn’t a new concept, to be sure. Many businesses have used psychometric assessments for recruitment and selection for decades. In fact, these types of tests — sometimes referred to as personality tests — gained popularity more than a half-century ago with the creation of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

Today, many other psychometric test vehicles are available on the marketplace in addition to Myers-Briggs. Many of them share a general purpose: Identify a person’s key strengths and weaknesses. Once identified, those aptitudes, skills, and abilities can form a picture of what the person will be like in everyday life. And, most important to those involved in corporate human capital, how they will be while at work.

The problem, of course, is that psychometric personality tests can be simultaneously accurate and flawed. Why? They’re usually a good measurement of the test taker’s self-perception. But without deeper interpretation, they may not fully indicate how others perceive the test taker. Case in point: It’s possible for someone to self-assess as a leader. But it is also possible not to be seen as a leader by colleagues.

This doesn’t mean that HR leaders should do away with psychometric tools for recruitment. What it does mean is that the tools require thoughtful planning and implementation. When handled correctly, they help a company build a team of vibrant, versatile performers who can adapt to changing needs.

3 Strategies of Psychometric Testing

If you’re not convinced you’re getting the most out of the psychometric testing you’re doing right now, apply the following strategies. These steps can help you improve the results of psychometric tests and avoid common pitfalls:

1. Look for proof points

Valid and effective psychometric tests will likely be backed by historical research. Look for third-party and proprietary studies from the organization that created the test or outside case studies from companies that have used it. Without data and proof points, it’s difficult to predict whether a test will produce accurate and valuable results for your organization.

As you’re researching options, also be wary of any tests that seem to oversimplify results. Personalities are complex and multidimensional. A test that simply places users into predetermined categories with little additional context in the report likely won’t give you the insights you need to determine true adaptability.

2. Make the test a collaborative effort

Far too many companies adopt a “set it and forget it” mentality when it comes to psychometric tests. They ask candidates or workers to undergo assessments. They then receive a compilation of the outcomes and allow everything to continue as usual. The best testing methodologies, however, go a step further. They incorporate trained interpreters to work with test-takers.

The interpreter can go over the data and co-create results with the test taker. They’ll talk through the data and may even relate results to the individual’s past experiences. Often, this process produces profound self-discoveries. At this point, the interpreter and test taker can use the data to help the employee set goals, such as improving resilience and innovative thinking.

3. Go beyond initial data

Generally, hiring teams should not use psychometric tests as a pass-fail assessment for job candidates or current employees. They are excellent tools to integrate as one element of a comprehensive interview, selection, and training process, but they’re not meant to stand alone. Think of the tests in terms of the insights they can offer to give you a jumping-off point for diving deeper. For example, if a test shows that working under pressure may be a top skill for a candidate, ask the candidate to describe a time they have experienced such a situation and how they adapted to overcome it.

Psychometric Testing: The Goal is Awareness

Remember that the goal is awareness — you want to get the fullest picture of a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses so that you know what to leverage and where to compensate. So when building resiliency in a workforce, use these tests to identify potential areas for training and development. 

For example, If a candidate shows a high aptitude for communication — a great fit for a specific role. But the test also shows their ability to be flexible could use some work. You can then focus on developing the skill of adaptability in their first few months on the job to make them a great asset within for building a resilient workforce.

Working with a team of adaptable employees means you don’t have to worry as much about people digging into their comfort zones and resisting change. Use thoughtful psychometric testing as part of your employee recruitment strategies, onboarding, and continuous improvement processes. The tests can help you create a workforce that’s eager, ambitious, and flexible — even in the face of the unknown.

 

Image by Vladim Kluchnik

Attract the Best: Help Gen Z Workers Thrive in the New Workplace Normal

According to CNBC Make It, “Millennials and Gen Z currently account for slightly over a third of the workforce.” In the next decade, they expect that figure “to shoot up to 58 percent, making the youthful generations the most dominant in the workplace.” So how can employers help Gen Z workers thrive?

Members of Generation Z are the youngest group in the current workforce. Many Gen Z workers’ first work experience abruptly ended or was postponed altogether when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. To reboot their careers, they’ll lean on companies that feature modern recruitment techniques, flexible work, and opportunities for advancement.

As an employer, you will have to plan how you can best create an inviting and welcoming work environment for Gen Z employees. You’ll also need to think about how you can prepare them for thriving through future uncertainties. To help get these thought processes started, here are four ways businesses can help Gen Z workers thrive in the new workplace normal.

Four Ways Businesses Can Help Gen Z Thrive

Gen Z workers are changing the way companies recruit, retain, manage, and develop their employees. The next generation of workers fosters an entirely different set of values, needs, and priorities than their millennial, Gen Y, or baby boomer cohorts. These include high demand for flexibility, a modern benefits package, and a desire for independent work models, among other values.

To help Gen Z workers thrive in the new workplace normal, here are four things you can do right now:

Implement advanced technology.

Generation Z grew up with technology a part of their everyday lives. The way they connect, communicate, and navigate this world depends on their efficient use of the best technology offered. An employer that provides high-quality technology to Gen Z aids their comfortability, productivity, and enthusiasm for their job duties.

However, it’s best to implement advanced technology while still prioritizing the impact of face-to-face collaboration with other workers. Inc. states that “More than 90 percent of Generation Z prefer to have a human element to their teams, either working solely with innovative co-workers or co-workers and new technologies.”

With the Gen Z workforce priding themselves on being highly tech-savvy, you must meet their technology expectations throughout your company:

  • Productivity tools like Google Suite and Trello
  • Collaboration tools like Slack and Asana
  • Business software like Quickbooks and Hubspot
  • New computer monitors and/or portable laptops for remote workers
  • Tablets and updated cell phones
  • Updated shipping stations
  • New and efficient manufacturing equipment

Create flexible work schedules and job descriptions.

Gen Z workers support companies that see the value in flexible work schedules and adaptable job descriptions. When employers don’t confine this young generation of workers to an office, traditional 9-5 schedule, or monotonous job descriptions, their productivity soars.

Companies scattered around the world were experimenting with fully remote work and hybrid schedules before the COVID-19 pandemic. Statewide stay-at-home orders issued across the country fast-tracked a full implementation, and business owners were pleasantly surprised in terms of engagement, work quality, and profitability.

Avoid workplace burnout, absenteeism, and presenteeism by offering the option to work from anywhere in some capacity. Go a step further and provide potential workers the opportunity of freelance, contract, or part-time work should it fit their needs better. You’ll soon see a return on investment in the form of productivity and cost efficiencies.

Understand their values.

When the company they work for understands what they value, Gen Z workers thrive in the new workplace normal. Trust, pay, and culture are currently some of the essential values of Gen Z workers:

  • Trust matters because it drives the workforce and company forward
  • Pay because they value financial wellness
  • And culture because they appreciate a positive, supportive work environment

You should also build a diverse and inclusive workforce to retain Gen Z workers. They value working with people of all ages, genders, cultural backgrounds, economic statuses, and so forth. After all, every aspect of diversity brings a unique element to the team. They’re also attracted to companies actively improving social and environmental challenges like:

Speak with each of your employees. Find out what’s most important to them. Then restructure job descriptions based on said values to attract more top talent, drive performance, and enhance innovation.

Offer intentional career development.

With a rapidly changing workforce, it’s now considered a requirement to enable workers’ development personally and professionally. While baby boomers put the ball in their company’s court as far as professional development, Gen Z workers feel responsible for their growth and advancement.

They’re enthusiastic about advancing their skill set and receiving feedback that challenges and elevates them. Sixty percent of Generation Z-ers want weekly, if not daily, check-ins from their manager. They want to work for companies that also understand that skills require constant nurturing. And Gen Z migrates toward employers that deliberately focus on effective talent development. So ensure you’re offering employees various training opportunities – in-person and virtually. And give them the option of mentorship, guided self-education, formal training by a company leader, and an occasional direct connection to founders and executives

Are You Ready to Help Gen Z Workers Thrive?

The youngest generation is taking over the workforce at a rapid rate. Want to attract the best of them? Want to help Gen Z workers thrive in our new workplace normal? Offer talent development opportunities, understand their unique values, create flexible work schedules and duties, and implement advanced technology throughout your business.

Image by Daniil Peshkov

3 Ways Recruiting Technology Improves Candidate Experience

The pandemic’s fallout illustrates an impactful point: Employees are more resourceful than leaders sometimes give them credit for being. As employers, our recruiting technology must match their level of resourcefulness or we risk providing a bad candidate experience.

Most of our company went remote soon after the pandemic lockdowns began, and everyone adjusted accordingly. Supervisors didn’t have to hold their employees’ hands or provide additional layers of oversight. Over time, the trust between managers and their teams increased.

Of course, going remote so quickly required having the right people in place and having the infrastructure and technology necessary to support our teams. Especially the technology. An Ivanti survey revealed that 85% of workers believe they don’t have the technology they need to produce effectively — a demographic our team did not want to be known for in a competitive market.

The workforce is becoming increasingly more talent-driven. Even with fewer job openings, qualified candidates are carefully plotting their next career moves. For recruiters, this move means they have to work diligently to create engaging and applicant-friendly hiring experiences. And that’s where a thriving tech stack comes back into the picture.

The 3 Core Benefits of Recruiting Technology

Sourcing, recruiting, and hiring talent requires person-to-person interaction and collaboration. That doesn’t negate the importance of recruiting technology, though. With the use of technology in the recruitment process, hirers can become more efficient, improve the candidate experience, and better serve the people they’re trying to place.

How else could an active recruitment professional complete multiple tasks for multiple clients in various stages of the application process — and still sleep? Below are just some ways emerging online recruitment tools and tech processes help augment candidate engagement strategies.

1. Technology fosters humanity

Contrary to what some people might think, online recruitment tools have improved our personalization with associates. By leveraging solutions like AI chatbots to carry out repetitive duties, we can concentrate on the human element of recruitment interactions.

While a chatbot answers basic questions or helps candidates pick their preferred employment tracks, a live recruiter can conduct in-depth interviews. This keeps everything flowing seamlessly without overburdening recruiters.

Measuring the effectiveness of personalized candidate engagement strategies can take several different forms. Make use of a net promoter score (NPS) and also conduct a survey that asks applicant recipients questions like “What is the likelihood that you will recommend our agency to someone else?” Log and chart your NPS as you incorporate new technological components into the mix to see how they affect the NPS to track the benefits of technology in recruitment.

Another measure of candidate engagement success is your app-to-hire ratio. As you implement new technology and improved candidate touchpoints, you should expect to see this metric trend down as more applicants complete the candidate journey and receive job placements.

2. Technology increases efficiency

Applicants don’t want to linger in the pipeline for too long. With online recruiting tools, we can hasten the cycle from posting an advertisement to locking in the right applicant. It’s remarkable how quickly people can move through frictionless digital systems without going through an old-school manual application process.

The key here is to provide flexibility. After all, you want to keep candidates moving through the process. But not at a pace where they feel like they are being rushed or “sold” into open positions. Let the applicant help determine the pace. The same seems true of Hilton; the hotel and resort chain scaled its hiring processes by leveraging predictive AI and ditching outdated assessments. Their move toward installing hiring software reduced its hiring from six weeks to five days.

To gauge how much the use of technology in the recruitment process improves time-to-hire speed, set and analyze relevant key performance indicators (KPIs). For example, our company uses opportunity centers as in-person recruitment locations where we track how many candidates are submitted to the client we’re hiring for at the time. After adding tech, we have seen our productivity steadily increase. This metric is now 40% better than when we started — and we’re always open for improvement.

3. Technology helps meet candidates where they are

To improve the candidate experience, recruiters must meet applicants on their terms and expectations. Technology helps us keep satisfaction higher by removing common obstacles to developing a positive working relationship with candidates.

Case in point: We’re moving toward omnichannel communication choices to give candidates information where and how they want it. That includes text, email, or perhaps also a direct message.

When you transition to a multichannel recruitment approach, you can often decrease the amount of time between when a candidate gets a message and responds to that message. It’s possible to measure that time frame as a KPI. It is also wise to keep tabs on which channels offer the most direct path toward candidates.

Candidate Experience: The Real Benefactor of Recruiting Technology

The use of recruiting technology is hardly new. Still, it has become so essential that it’s challenging to improve the candidate experience without paying attention to your tech stack. Use technology to augment your recruiters by removing redundant and time-consuming tasks. Ultimately, you’ll free them up to create better people experiences.

You don’t have to add every new advancement that comes along — but keep an open mind. And learn the many ways you can free up your team and improve your brand equity with tech. Your candidates will thank you. And so will your bottom line.