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

Sponsored by: RocketReach

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

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

Smart Recruiting: Why Prioritize Soft Skills?

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

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

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

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

How Smart Recruiting Leads to a Stronger Culture

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

1. Understand Your Work Culture

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

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

2. Identify Characteristics That Map to Your Culture

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

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

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

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

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

3. Interview With Alignment In Mind

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

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

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

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

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.

Subscribe to the #WorkTrends podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher. Also, for more great conversations, be sure to follow #WorkTrends on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram!

5 Strategies for Defining Your Employer Brand

Vanilla is one of the most popular flavors in the world. Just ensure it doesn’t become how people describe your employer brand.

Today’s job candidates and workers are often compelled to stay with one company versus another because of the company’s purpose and value. In other words, companies need a strong, direct, authentic employer brand that keeps employees from quitting and joining the Great Resignation. In most cases, a vanilla employee experience won’t cut it anymore.

A Modern Employer Brand

Instead of a basic, old-school employer brand, you need one that’s modern. You need a brand that reflects what your organization stands for and what talent can expect, even if it turns some applicants away.

Companies with substantive employer branding often embrace not being a good fit for everyone. Their employee value proposition statements illustrate their workplace’s true “give and get” nature. With this model, when a team member is willing to “give” in one area, they can expect to “get” something in return. It’s a reciprocal relationship that’s offered up plainly and unabashedly.

If this sounds unusual, it’s because only now are organizations strategically revising and advertising their employer brands more deeply. As employees become more critical of their work environments, many leave their longstanding positions to find companies that align with their values and goals. Especially in the ever-changing workforce, it’s important to learn from others’ mistakes so your company prospers rather than plummets.

Communicate a Meaningful Change

Even massive employer branding face-lifts, like Facebook’s rebranding to Meta, are not enough. Such a change can be perceived as surface-level and doesn’t create or communicate any meaningful change. And because in recent years, candidates have begun conducting employer brand research and digging deeper, transparency and authentic connection are key. Candidates and employees want sincerity. Candidates want to know what your company stands for to decide if it aligns with their passions and purpose. In other words, they want you to lay everything on the table as part of your employer branding.

Where, then, do you start? Below are five employer brand research tactics that will help you define and establish a genuinely distinct employer brand that reflects not only where your company is today but also where it will be tomorrow.

1. Assign a range of leaders to an employer branding committee.

As with any initiative, your employer branding efforts require commitment. An employer branding committee will help construct your employer brand from the ground up and serve as a strategic resource moving ahead.

To get the most out of your committee, including team members from across departments and verticals such as talent acquisition, marketing, diversity and inclusion, and sales will ensure that you aren’t overlooking any key issues as you flesh out what your employer brand means.

2. Host an employer branding kickoff meeting.

After inviting critical players to the table, hold a workshop to allow everyone to get on the same page regarding your employer branding goals. Hold this workshop in person, online, or both. After all, quality employer branding should be geographically agnostic.

During the event, review your employer branding elements. Try to get a handle on how all departments and groups see your organization. Are there disconnects, such as between your mission statement and the experience of workers as measured by employee insights like exit interviews? These are the areas to start cementing your preferred employer brand.

3. Conduct interviews with members of your leadership team.

A huge reason for misalignments between the employer brand you want and the employer brand you have is that leaders’ aspirations don’t always match up to your employer branding expectations.

As part of your conversations, find out what your company leaders demand and admire about their employees. Attempt to get a sense of what working for them looks like so you can revise your employer brand accordingly. Remember that you want your employer brand to be transparent when presenting your organizational work life.

4. Complete focus groups with a cross-section of employees.

Now that you’ve heard from the people steering the ship do a little research to learn more about the daily experiences of employees. Hold about a half-dozen two-hour sessions with up to 10 workers in each session. Use these focus group sessions to find out why the employees chose your organization and what motivates them most — and least. Try to understand the “give and get” exchanges happening. Don’t be surprised if you realize that your employer brand is more complicated than you might have thought.

5. Gauge the market’s view on your employer brand.

At this point, you should start to have a fleshed-out idea of your employer brand. How does it match up to your competition? Ideally, you want your employer brand to gain attention because it’s compelling or engaging. Therefore, spend time investigating the employer brands of your talent competitors.

Check out Glassdoor ratings, social media posts, and other markers of general brand sentiment. Be sure to check out job descriptions, too. Everything you learn can be folded back into maturing and solidifying your employer brand.

Final Words

Years ago, employer branding seemed easy: Pop a ping-pong table in the breakroom, offer beer on tap, and you were done. In 2022, high performers are looking for something deeper and more substantial out of their employee experiences. They’re looking for companies with employer brands that are straightforward and real and that offer workers a chance to be a part of a company they know they can trust and believe in. Developing a research strategy and research infrastructure for employer branding enables you to be that for them.

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!

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!

Why Skilling Investments Directly Correlate to an Organization’s Bottom Line

Sponsored by: Cornerstone

Learning is the most important thing we do at work. 

I know that’s a bold statement. I’m sure you’re already trying to think of things you do at work that are more important than learning. But the truth is that learning is the foundation of how we grow and perform. 

Think about the learning opportunities at your organization. Are there company-sponsored places you can go to learn? Or do you simply rely on Google and YouTube? 

The reality is that many organizations rely on employees to find their own learning and development opportunities. So, what’s the problem with this? 

The problem is that this lack of prioritization for development opportunities at work won’t get us through the current talent and skilling shortages many industries are facing or help us grow into the future of work. 

These aren’t problems that will go away on their own, either. In fact, the current skilling and talent shortages are keeping business leaders up at night. According to a recently published Cornerstone People Research Lab survey, 48% of all employers placed skills and talent shortages within their top three concerns over the next three years. 

This urgency from business leaders is further evidenced in PwC’s Annual Global CEO Survey, where 74% of CEOs reported being concerned about the availability of key skills. 

Cornerstone’s survey also found that while ‘laggard’ and ‘average’ organizations show a consistent employer-employee confidence gap in skills development, high-performance organizations are ahead of the game. 

Let’s explore how high-performance organizations approach skills development and why it works.  

High-Performance Organizations as a Model for Success

High-performance organizations put their money where their mouth is. For example, when asked when they would prioritize skills investments for their company, 72% of respondents reported that prioritization was expected to occur within the next year or had already begun. Meanwhile, 68% of lagging organizations plan to invest in skills development within three to five years. 

According to our research, high-performance organizations aren’t just investing in one or two learning and skill development areas either. Nearly all high-performance organizations are prioritizing learning and development technology, learning content, formal education or university learning, mentoring and coaching programs, and on-the-job skills training.  

Meanwhile, only 34% of lagging organizations prioritize formal education, and 52% invest in mentoring and coaching programs. There’s more than a 30-point gap between high-performance organizations and laggards. 

High-performance organizations are also increasingly adopting an internal talent marketplace mindset. They are using skills data and skills development programs to promote internal mobility. Ninety-seven percent of high-performance organizations agreed that the role of talent development is to improve employee growth. Employees also agree – 82% of employees at high-performance organizations reported feeling that their company had insight into the gaps between current skills and those needed in the future. 

Developing internal talent is the number one way high-performance organizations plan to fill skills gaps. Meanwhile, lagging organizations plan to hire externally to fill those gaps over the next three years. 

Up-Leveling Your Skilling Strategy 

So, where do you start in up-leveling your skilling strategy? 

First, take inventory of the skills currently available in your organization. Then, predict what skills are most important to the future success of your organization. Once you understand what skills gaps exist, you can chart a plan to help close them. 

To do this, AI-based skills assessment and pathing technology can help identify those gaps between existing and future skills and make intelligent job and career recommendations based on skills.  

Once you connect skills development to career growth, employees can more easily chart their desired career path by seeing an integrated view of the skills needed and how it translates to internal mobility. 

This kind of growth investment isn’t just good for your people – it’s good for business. According to a 2021 Gallup survey in partnership with Amazon, skills training is one of the top perks younger workers look for in a new job. Further, 61% of respondents also said that upskilling opportunities are important for staying at their job.  Seventy-one percent agreed that job training and development increased their job satisfaction. More satisfaction leads to better retention. Better retention means better success and outcomes for a business.

The takeaway is simple. When organizations adopt an internal skills marketplace and an internal-first hiring mindset, employees stay engaged and happy, and your business increases its chances of successfully navigating the future.

New HR Processes to Meet Workforce Expectations

The Great Resignation was a very real and present concern for HR professionals in 2021. In December alone, 4.3 million workers left their jobs. As the labor pool shrunk and companies faced skill shortages, there was a palpable power shift among employees. Workers knew they were in demand and could ask for more: more flexibility, more money, and more perks. Average hourly earnings have increased 4.8% year over year as a result.

Companies were already faced with competition for talent before the pandemic. This threw HR professionals in even more of a tailspin when they had to find new ways to meet these workforce expectations while developing work-from-anywhere policies practically overnight.

Although the labor force participation rate shows signs of bouncing back in the coming years — in fact, employment is estimated to increase from 153.5 million to 165.4 million by 2030 — HR must come up with innovative ways to attract and retain talented employees if they want to keep up. That means changing their HR processes to meet workforce expectations.

Meeting Workforce Expectations With New HR Processes

With a tight talent pool, HR professionals have to get creative, embrace new technologies, and find fresh ways of attracting and retaining talented employees. To do this, HR teams should stay open-minded to more progressive employment arrangements. This could include using contract, contingent, and gig work. In some instances, they should even consider employing robots, automating HR processes, and reskilling employees. 

As workers’ expectations change regarding work flexibility and other norms, the onus is on HR leaders to update the following HR processes:

1. Productivity Measurement

Gone are the days when measuring employee productivity meant simply looking at an employee’s time card or hours worked. In a work-from-anywhere environment, managers must shift their mindset to managing employees based on results rather than on time spent sitting at a desk.

It’s up to HR to teach managers how to measure and monitor employee productivity without physically seeing them in their chairs. To accomplish this, HR must clearly define job descriptions. Additionally, managers must communicate expectations. Most importantly, HR should encourage managers to let employees have the autonomy they need to do their jobs while still providing coaching on timelines, issues, and opportunities.

2. Pay Practices

Employees want not only the flexibility to work remotely, but also more flexibility as to when they work. Although 70% of executives want to return to the workplace, only 40% of workers do. Organizations that have embraced a remote environment to meet workforce expectations are now faced with the “work from anywhere” problem. Sure, it’s wonderful that employees can live anywhere in the country — or even the world. But, most HR teams are not set up for payroll, benefits, compliance, or taxes everywhere to support this. This can be a major roadblock when it comes to attracting and retaining talented employees.

In addition, HR leaders have to get ahead of questions from employees about cost-of-living adjustments for cities with higher costs of living. What is your philosophy and compensation structure? Does it allow you to attract talent across all markets nationwide? For example, consider tech companies based in San Jose, which is a tech industry hotspot. Should employees get paid more because that’s a high-cost-of-living area? Or not because they have the option to move? These questions can get quite philosophical and are up to your HR team and other company leaders to decide.

3. Onboarding Solutions

For new employees, the “computer setup” checkbox for onboarding has evolved over the years. Just a few decades ago, someone from IT came to connect the new employee’s system and set up their email at their desk. Now, it’s a UPS package delivery. Then, a two-hour phone call where IT instructs the employee on how to set up and configure settings for their workgroup. The employee needs to learn the ins and outs of how to use the collaboration tools and where to find the information needed for the job.

In addition, new employees might never even meet their HR representative in person to complete paperwork. These situations open up a need for remote onboarding tools. Tools that offer e-signature capabilities and advanced cybersecurity to prevent private information from being breached. They also require a solution for remote I-9s. (Current USCIS guidelines still require a person to provide HR with original ID documents to show proof of eligibility to work in the U.S.) Above all, you should determine how to integrate current tech tools with these new tools to make onboarding remote workers smoother for all involved.

4. Career Growth Opportunities for Employees

Even before the pandemic hit, employees looked for development and growth opportunities in their roles — particularly Millennials, who are known to leave jobs that lack such opportunities. HR can encourage employees to stay with the company longer by offering new forms of recognition and benefits, like upskilling.

Now, more than ever, employees want to know what competencies they need to learn to grow in the organization. They also want to know how these skills will benefit them in their future careers. To meet this need, work with managers to understand the competencies required for each role. Outline a clear path from one position to the next on the hierarchy.

Workforce Expectations for the Future

Meeting changing workforce expectations to mitigate the labor shortage requires updated HR processes that follow new trends in HR practices. Although this HR transformation process can seem overwhelming, the benefits will pay dividends in attracting and retaining talented employees — and securing your company’s future growth.

     

Boost Your Talent Attraction Strategy

There are several job vacancies advertised each day. The question is how many of them manage to attract prospective candidates. Many recruiters struggle to locate and hire qualified candidates. The job market is full of talent, but wrong moves can cost you the right candidate.

Below are some helpful recruitment strategies for attracting the best talent.

Boost by Adding Clarity

In most cases, the job seekers are looking for clarity in the job posting. Clarity around company history, job profile, pay scale, and career opportunities. The savvy recruiters give job seekers a clear picture of what to expect. Communicating job necessities clearly and how someone will benefit from them is important. There are several ways of crafting job posts that can stand out. Note the company culture mentioning how the employees can enjoy the work-life balance while being in the company and the different perks they are entitled to. 

You may be wondering if outsourcing your recruitment is the right move for you. It can give both parties involved in this process an opportunity to do what they do best, and help provide more time for focusing on tasks that really matter, like hiring new employees. You can also take help from PEO services for recruitment. 

Boost with Campus Recruitment

Colleges are full of dynamic and young talent that will show a great deal of enthusiasm in their work. Partner with colleges and universities to get in touch with their placement cells. Campus recruitment is a terrific way of finding students and new graduates. other ways to get in front of students and graduates:

  • Campus newsletters
  • Seminars and workshops to showcase company and career opportunities
  • Invite students to take a tour of your organization
  • Sponsor student cultural events and festivals
  • Provide internship programs

Boost by Adding Flexibility

Employees are often looking for organizations where the pressures of work will not affect their personal lives. A modern-day organization offers many benefits to its employees including a better work-life balance. Provide some extra perks such as a remote or hybrid work model, extra company holidays, or an open office environment.

Several companies have friendly sports events for keeping their employees entertained. It is crucial to have a sense of freedom and rejuvenation in the workplace. Try to get away from the usual working standards.

Leverage Competitions

According to the reports, digital media has gradually become the leading source for finding employment. You can arrange online talent search programs for experts and students to participate in to showcase their skills. For example, Loreal Cosmetics conducts a marketing competition for students called Brandstorm where they are allowed to act as managers throughout the competition. These kinds of competitions allow job seekers to know the organization better and recognize its brand.

Social Media Recruitment

HR teams have to be sufficiently active on social media networks for attracting the best available talent. Develop a reputation and a good connection by using social media. There are specialists available that can guide you in the art of using social media as your mainstream device for promoting yourself as a top recruiter. 

Conclusion

Companies need to flaunt their job requirements in a way that will appear like irresistible opportunities for the top talent.  Think of it as a well-organized marketing campaign. You are selling the brand. If done right, you will find the right talent for your organization quickly and easily.

Ways to Help Veteran Employees Thrive

Sponsored: Orion Talent

I am a staunch advocate of veteran hiring. It is a smart business decision with a positive impact on everything from profitability to innovation to competitiveness. Not only are you hiring men and women with state-of-the-art technical skills and proven leadership skills far beyond that of their civilian peers, but you are also accessing resilient soft skills. Combined, these skills will help shape the future of your company.

While many of you are already on board with hiring veterans, I know retaining veterans is an entirely different animal. In a recent conversation with Meghan Biro, we talked about how many companies don’t transition service members to civilian roles very well. According to SHRM, the average annual employee turnover rate is around 19% making it a formidable hurdle for talent acquisition leaders. When we consider veteran employees, the percentage jumps to nearly 50% leaving their first post-military position within a year.

Much of this turnover can be attributed to a lack of support. Or, an undefined career path, feeling uninspired, or skills misalignment. But this doesn’t have to be the case. Luckily, these issues can all be addressed through a well-planned veteran onboarding and retention plan.

Help Military Veterans Thrive with These Five Strategies

1. Mentorships 

Mentorship is an excellent way to provide your new veteran employees with a connection to another veteran. They can serve as a resource, guide, and advocate in their new role. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs offers a wealth of information on retaining veterans, including information on setting up a successful mentorship program. 

Listed among the benefits of veteran mentoring are an increase in morale, and productivity. In addition, retention, better adaptation to workplace culture, better career development, and promotion of diversity. These voluntary relationships are also a great way to transfer institutional and cultural knowledge.

Technology powerhouse Siemens has been successfully executing its veteran mentorship program for years. Orion Talent has worked with Siemens to hire nearly 2,500 veterans since 2010, and among their veteran retention best practices is a military peer mentorship program. Mike Brown, Global Head of Talent Acquisition of Siemens, explained their program.  “When other military come in now, they get paired up. And I think that really helps with their transition.” 

2. Employee Resource Groups

Similar to the retention benefits of mentoring veterans, creating Employee Resource Groups or Veteran Affinity Groups also offers increased employee engagement and job satisfaction. The VA calls these voluntary groups a “critical element to retention advocated by study respondents”  in their Veterans Employment Toolkit. ERG programs can also include career development, advocacy, community service, and social activities. Make sure to give your veteran employees the time and space to participate in these groups, especially as they onboard.

An additional benefit of veteran ERGs is that they help build your company’s reputation in a job market where candidates, veteran or civilian, are seeking purpose-driven work. They also increase workplace agility as your org chart is flattened in an ERG. Collaboration and innovation often follow!

3. Career Pathing

When I speak with men and women transitioning into the civilian world, their desire for a clear career path stands out. Their military career progression was clearly laid out, with defined goals and requirements. In civilian terms, you can think of this as career pathing. When you hire a veteran for a Junior Electrical Engineer position, you could lay out a plan with steps and milestones to reach Senior Electrical Engineer and then Project Manager, for example. 

Laying out these career paths pays dividends in terms of engagement and retention. Employers also experience higher performance and productivity rates. This Mercer study shows that 78% of employees would stay with their current employer if they were given a clear career path. 

4. Upskilling

Offering continuous development and ongoing education to your veteran employees is a powerful retention tool.  

Not only are you illustrating your investment in their success by providing these programs but you are reaping the rewards. Aside from increased retention, benefits of upskilling include increased employee satisfaction, less need to hire train new employees, and becoming more competitive in your industry.

“Our experience shows that when veterans receive tailored preparation for future roles, it leads to a better fit, a better transition, and ultimately better retention,” explains Laura Schmiegel, SVP, Strategic Partnerships at Orion Talent. “This helps companies save time and money in employee turnover, and it means they get to keep some of their best talent.”

As Meghan discussed in her recent article on veteran hiring, workforce partnerships can play an important part in upskilling. Strategic workforce partnerships like the Department of Defense Skillbridge program allow you to recruit veterans and gain access to their existing expertise while upskilling and reskilling them at the same time. 

5. DEI Initiatives

The veteran population represents a 43% diverse workforce and should be an integral part of a company’s DEI initiative. As with any other group in your initiative, you will want to consider how to prevent bias towards your veteran employees. Unfortunately, some old biases may linger, and your DEI strategy is the place to nip that in the bud. 

This HR Exchange article by LaKisha Brooks explains, “These judgments are often harmful to diversity initiatives because they limit our ability to see people as individuals with unique talents to contribute. For example, bias against veterans includes assuming they have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Bias can also include mental health problems just because of their military background, assuming they have a particular personality type, such as being rigid or stern…It’s essential to put assumptions aside and ask meaningful questions to learn the truth instead.”

These five veteran retention strategies will help highlight to the veterans at your company that yours is a workplace that sees them for the unique individuals they are with valuable skills worthy of investment. But, you don’t have to take on all five at once. Choose one, and make it amazing! Then move on to the next retention strategy. Your veteran employees will be proud to call your company home.

 

Utilizing Partnerships to Improve Military Hiring Practices

Sponsored: Orion Talent

As organizations – specifically hiring leaders – look to fill their talent pipeline, the US Military is an unrivaled source of talented, experienced people. Decades of research and hands-on experience underscore that military training results in well-rounded employees who serve as an asset to any workplace.

The military has a well-deserved reputation as an extremely effective employer, with its firm commitment to training; it teaches people about persistence, mentorship, innovation, leadership, and success. Let’s face it: the military leads the pack in cutting-edge training programs. This fact has long been embraced by organizations that are champions of military hiring, such as Booz Allen Hamilton and Lockheed Martin.

Follow the Leaders

A SHRM report indicates accelerated military hiring initiatives at major companies including Siemens, AT&T, and Allstate Insurance. Here are some excellent stories from Starbucks about the success of their military hiring program. These leading organizations offer a wide variety of resources to veterans and their families. 

There are also more than 230 firms involved in the Veteran Jobs Mission coalition, which plans to hire 1 million vets by 2025, having already hit its earlier target of 100,000. Many other organizations see the value in military hiring but aren’t sure where to begin.

Here’s a tip. The key to an effective military hiring program lies in the utilization of partnerships. Savvy organizations tap the expertise of those who know the intricacies of military candidates and their families. It’s nothing less than wise to have partners help navigate government programs. In addition, speak the military language, define effective communications channels, advise on the transition to civilian life, and more.

Provide a Positive Candidate Experience

It’s no secret that I love a great candidate experience. Members of the military and their families deserve a positive and promising journey. Veteran job programs are created, funded, and maintained for a reason – to help bridge the gap between the military and the workforce. From employer branding to onboarding, people desire and deserve a smooth process that makes them feel valued.

By coming together and utilizing partnerships with similar goals, it makes the process that much better. Let me refer to the 2021 North American Talent Board Candidate Experience (CandE) Benchmark Research Report, published by The Talent Board.  

When they ranked the Primary Areas Where Companies Plan to Contract with External (3rd-Party) Service Providers to Enhance Recruiting Efforts in 2022, veteran/disability services came in at number 3 with 26% of respondents wanting to invest there. 

Reaching Goals through Partnerships

Many businesses are new to the military hiring landscape, and others haven’t even scratched the surface. Regardless of what stage you’re in, capitalizing on partnerships in this area is critical to the success of military hiring.

The SHRM Foundation and USAA recently conducted research to better understand what employers should do to more effectively recruit and retain veterans, especially during challenging economic times. They found that over one-third of employers (36%) said that they do not think their organization has been effective in hiring veterans since the start of the pandemic.

Here’s some data from that research that I find telling: 

  • 43% of employers don’t know where to post jobs to target veterans
  • More than 1 in 3 employers say recruiting veterans is more difficult than civilians
  • 40% of employers don’t know where/how to sign up to exhibit at veteran job fairs

In a situation where employers feel ill-equipped to tap a talent pool, there is a natural call for help. This research indicates a gap in the process that can be filled with the right allies. It’s best to align with organizations that have already established a foundation of trust and employ communications techniques that work. 

The SHRM research referenced above states, “Many employers…struggle to understand the unique circumstances that impact workforce readiness beyond experience and skillsets when veterans transition to the civilian workforce.” 

This challenge underscores the need to utilize partnerships. Partners like SkillBridge, Onward to Opportunity, Hiring Our Heroes, and MilSpo Academy are great examples of partners who would be able to help employers understand these unique circumstances and adequately address them.

Tapping Expertise is Smart Business

Understanding the nuances of military hiring can make a tremendous difference in the approach. Fortunately, there are many organizations dedicated to helping military personnel find gainful employment after service. Tapping these organizations inevitably saves time, money, and resources. 

Recruiting and talent experts Orion Talent understand the importance of expertise in this space. The company has a rich military DNA and provides a full suite of technology-driven talent acquisition solutions. As part of their offerings, they have a partnership program built on more than three decades of experience. One of their many useful solutions helps organizations understand complex government programs, including the Department of Defense’s SkillBridge, as well as other veteran and military spouse training and upskilling programs. 

Here’s a fact that I would want to know if tasked with military hiring: The U.S. Department of Defense pays the service member’s salary and benefits. The service member participates in a SkillBridge program during their final 180 days of service. There is no cost for leveraging and upskilling this unique talent pool.

Build Support Internally and Build Partnerships Externally

In a recent podcast, I was able to speak with Sarah Peiker, CEO at Orion Talent. Sarah shared, “Get the buy-in you need from decision-makers, talent acquisition professionals, human resources, and operations managers. It’s also important to make sure everyone supports hiring military candidates. Track and measure results. This includes metrics on hiring performance data and retention rates. Do your homework before determining your hiring model. Build a hiring process that works towards a positive candidate experience.”

I highly recommend the eBook: Military Solutions for the Business of Work: Unexpected Lessons in Getting the Job Done & Getting Ahead for more on this topic. 

Military hiring provides an excellent opportunity to bring strategic assets into a company’s workforce. I recommend you open your arms to the vast opportunities for rewarding partnerships that focus specifically on veterans and their families. By doing so, you are exponentially broadening your reach, increasing the quality of your talent pool, and building a stronger workforce. 

Massive amounts of talent + partner organizations eager to help both organizations and job seekers = a win-win in the talent war.

Mid-Career Employees and Their Impact on The Great Resignation

The Great Resignation has not hit the world of work. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rates of resignation are highest among mid-career employees. Many of these workers are leaving their jobs and fields to pursue a new career path offering better job security or greater flexibility.

Mid-career workers are attractive to companies because of their skills and life experience. Skills like leadership, problem-solving, and multitasking transfer well to new roles and often give seasoned hires an advantage over younger workers.

It’s almost as if the entry-level openings don’t exist anymore: Thirty-five percent of “entry-level” openings require years of job experience. That’s higher in skill-heavy industries like tech, with 43% of college graduates leaving school without a job lined up. This will affect us for years to come.

We must tackle the dual-pronged issue of investing in these entry-level employees while also retaining our mid-level workers. Younger, less experienced hires need a chance to enter the workforce and get learning, and mid-level employees need to feel valued and cared for within their current roles.

Growing Your Retention Rates

Company leaders need to recognize that both mid-career and entry-level employees have essential roles to play in the success of their business. If they can nurture both experience levels, they can retain and onboard successfully and simultaneously.

To start, leaders need to acknowledge the hurdles that mid-career employees face. Forty-five percent of caregivers said they had considered leaving the workforce because of personal demands on their time, while 34% said they had “lost critical skills” in the past year.

To combat this life stress, mid-career employees need flexibility and understanding. Companies must develop permanent, sustainable methods of retaining talent via flexibility, including remote work, in-office childcare, and flex time. These employees also need the opportunity to gain skills (or grow existing skills) in an accessible, low-cost way.

Helping Employees Grow Their Skills

 Eighty-nine percent of employees are willing to reskill, but too few get the chance. Providing opportunities to learn new skills and develop professionally shows the company is invested in growth. Give employees of all levels some opportunities to skill up, and they will show their worth.

Teaching your employees will lead to better engagement — 2.9 times higher engagement than employees who don’t see opportunities to learn and grow. Upskilling opportunities are also a win for your company. It allows you to move existing employees into roles that are often difficult and costly to fill.

Be a Mentor

Mentorship programs have positive effects on both mentor and mentee, so even mid-career employees who aren’t interested in upskilling can still benefit. Taking a junior employee under their wing creates a sense of loyalty among mentors, boosting retention rates. A program could increase mentees’ communication skills, community engagement, goal-setting, and a sense of purpose — even if the mentee isn’t an entry-level worker.

Furthermore, mentorship is currently underutilized. That means companies adopting mentorship programs will stand out among competitors. As a result, you’ll gain another layer of protection against poaching while also making your business stand out from the crowd.

Companies don’t need a gimmick to make it through the Great Resignation; they need to evolve alongside our changing world. Changes to how we work and train workers are necessary to make it through this event. Utilizing a mentorship program will gain more engaged employees and gain better career outcomes.

Talent Analytics, What is it and Why Does it Matter?

How often do you think talent analytics are used today? More than you may think. We know everyone talks about data. Whether you’re figuring out how to acquire new users or build an audience with content, you’re probably using analytics to set goals and measure what’s working. But a critical area where both qualitative and quantitative data continue to make a difference in the world of work is talent analytics.

At its most helpful, talent analytics takes the guesswork out of hiring the right talent. Talent analytics doesn’t just help you get a warm body in a seat, either. This data can help recruiters and companies ensure a talent match where only the most motivated and those inspired to do their best work sign the dotted line.

When it comes to world-class recruiting in an increasingly competitive landscape, talent analytics play a central role in making HR and recruiting work smarter. Think of it as a way out of the HR fog

That said, understanding the right metrics is key to narrowing down the focus. By applying talent analytics, you can better pinpoint and hire team members who will ultimately serve as positive assets to the organization

What ARE Talent Analytics?

Talent analytics is the term for a data-focused approach to decision-making regarding current and future employees. By analyzing past employee behavior to predict future performance, talent analytics is often used by HR, hiring managers, and recruiters to find the best type of candidate.

According to Deloitte, “Four percent of organizations surveyed believe they have predictive talent analytics capabilities today. Only 14% of companies have any form of talent analytics program in place. Yet, more than 60% want to build a plan this year. 

In a still-relevant Harvard Business Review article about competing on talent analytics, Tom Davenport, Jeanne Harris, and Jeremy Shapiro outlined six types of data used for managing a workforce.

6 types of Data Used for Managing a Workforce

  1. Human Capital Facts: The key indicators of the business’s health, such as headcount, turnover rate, and employee satisfaction.
  2. Analytical HR: Segmented data on the units, departments, and individuals that most need attention.
  3. Human-Capital Investment Analysis: Tracks the activities that have the largest impact on the business, such as how employee satisfaction results in higher revenue, lower costs, and greater employee retention.
  4. Workforce Forecasts: Identifies and predicts the best times to either ramp up or cut back on staff.
  5. Talent Value Model: Provides information on why employees want to stay in an organization or why they choose to leave.
  6. Talent Supply Chain: Predicts how to best staff a company according to changes in the business.

Levels of insight vary – from basic information to predictive modeling. As organizations integrate talent analytics into their practices, deeper insights allow for better planning.

 

Analytics, What is it and Why does it Matter? | TalentCulture

What Moneyball Taught Us About Analytics

Using data gathered from your current workforce can drastically improve your ability to make smarter decisions when recruiting talent. Relying solely on your gut to make a hiring decision is a mistake.

I like to compare talent analytics to the more commonly known practice of sports analytics. This was made famous by the book and film Moneyball. It transformed the way professional baseball teams recruit talent. Instead of relying on gut instincts and old-fashioned scouting, Billy Beane and Peter Brand transformed recruiting by using something now known as “sabermetrics.”

The Oakland Athletics used empirical analysis of baseball statistics to measure in-game activity and thereby predict future performance. Once laughed at by old-school baseball managers, sabermetrics is now used by every team in the Major Leagues.

Just like Beane and Brand, organizations can use talent analytics to hire the right people. Additionally, to better understand how to align company strategy and employee capabilities. Decisions on how and where human capital should be allocated across the organization are much more reliable. Therefore, effectively placing individual employees becomes easier. 

Talent Analytics: Art or Science?

As much as I strongly believe in the power of data, I would never advise someone to rely solely on data to quantify and qualify a human being. 

In my opinion, stellar recruiting is an art as much as it is a science. Using data and analytics as business intelligence is powerful, but your value judgment is fundamental. If talent is a natural ability, it is impossible to precisely quantify. Plus, talent doesn’t (usually) stagnate; it grows and changes, so you need to take that into consideration when assessing data.

Talent analytics has proven to be an ever-growing asset. It allows HR and recruiting teams to better connect with organizational goals. By knowing what you’re seeking, talent analytics can save time and resources. The ability to measure and leverage people data is not only exciting but smart business. 

Tips for Jumpstarting Your Talent Acquisition Strategy

Terms like recruitment and talent acquisition are used synonymously, but they aren’t the same. Recruitment is a short-term fix for most “big-picture” employers, whereas talent acquisition is a long-term solution. 

While you may need to fill a vacancy quickly, organizations should focus on long-term planning if they want to improve their culture and work towards a unified vision.

Talent Acquisition Vs Recruitment

Recruitment is about filling vacancies. Talent acquisition is an ongoing strategy that focuses on finding leaders, specialists, and future executives. For HR to run a successful talent acquisition strategy, they need to plan and find candidates well.

There are other subtle differences, Talent acquisition:

  1. Requires a lot of planning
  2. Uses metrics and data to improve the recruitment process
  3. Focuses more on skills and experiences. Recruitment concentrates on the position.

Although employers hope their employees will give 2-weeks notice before quitting, there are plenty of times where that isn’t possible. Of course, an employee suddenly leaving is why employers prefer the recruitment strategy, but planning can make talent acquisition possible.

Should I Be Recruiting or Acquiring?

Not every industry needs a recruitment strategy, but how do you know if your position requires the acquiring method? Generally, the more specialized and high-demand roles should take an acquiring approach, regardless of urgency.

Some would argue that all positions require talent acquisition, and employer review websites like JobSage prove this. For example, a fast-food cashier is still challenging to fill long-term because front-of-house workers handle angry customers. You’ll want to hire talent that fits your corporate culture to reduce turnover rates, even for easy-to-fill positions.

How to Create a Talent Acquisition Strategy

A poor talent acquisition strategy can impact your organization as a whole. To ensure the right talent fills your vacant positions, follow these steps to create your acquisition strategy.

Start With the Right Communication Strategy

High-quality talent wants to work for companies that offer great benefits, an incredible corporate culture, and growth opportunities. Therefore, it’s essential to communicate your total benefits package and differentiators when promoting career opportunities.

Don’t Forget About Competitive Pay

Inflation has hit hard. The recent 7.5% increase has made even the most well-paying jobs insufficient for people with families. That means salary and salary growth potential are more important than job seekers.

If you’re consistently losing out on talent at the last possible second, look at the salary your competitors offer. Be competitive.

Consider Contractors and Employee Referrals 

Employee referrals are one of the best ways to find new talent. Consider implementing an employee rewards program to make it attractive.

Alternatively, you could seek out independent contractors to fill positions. Not only are they less expensive to hire, but they can work remotely and jump into a job at a moment’s notice. 

Remove Bias From the Hiring Process

Diversity in the workplace leads to increased productivity, creativity, cultural awareness, and marketing opportunities. However, unconscious biases can cause us to choose candidates based on their sexual orientation, race, religion, age, religious affiliation, or gender. 

To make your recruitment process more diverse, use Applicant Tracking Systems, non-bias workplace tests, and a more structured interviewing process that focuses on skills.

Keep Past Applicants Engaged

Keeping a passive talent pool will allow you to pick from it when necessary, but you can’t just promise a job at a later date. Instead, you need to stay in contact with your applicants by telling them you’ll contact them should another position become available.

Create a separate email sequence that speaks to your potential hires to let them know what’s happening in your business. 

Offer a Remote or Hybrid Work Environment

A PwC survey found that 72% of workers prefer to work from home at least two days a week, while 32% want to work from home full-time. Since remote employees are more productive than their in-office counterparts, it makes more sense to offer remote employment options.

By removing geographic barriers, you open up your talent pool beyond your physical location. As more businesses switch to the hybrid office, you’ll need to do the same to be competitive.

Regularly Speak to Students

Your strategy’s unconventional talent acquisition step should include university and college students, especially in fast-moving industries. While students won’t have the experience you’re looking for, they will have new skills and a go-getter attitude.

You can start by sending recruiters to job fairs who can speak to students. Then, consider partnering with specific schools for internships or on-the-job career training to scope out top talent.

Ask for Candidate Feedback

Organizations rarely ask their candidates why they wanted to apply for a position or why they declined an offer. However, you must gather this data to know what kind of candidates you’re attracting and how you can be more competitive.

Make sure the survey is anonymous as not to discourage participation.  You’ll also make your candidates feel like their opinion matters, improving your brand by asking for feedback.

Promote From Within

The best thing about hiring from within is you already know your candidates. Additionally, they already fit in with your company culture and have the skills to move into their new positions. Finally, hiring from within is great for long-term talent retention.

Internal Mobility, The Talent Marketplace, and Why to Embrace It

The world of work is rapidly evolving, and so are the career aspirations of the people. Compared to what we saw decades ago, people don’t want to embrace the same position for years till they retire. Instead, they are looking for opportunities to try new duties, get new skills, and stay flexible and agile.

On the flip side, today’s labor market is highly competitive, and there is a scarcity of skilled workforce. The PwC CEO survey reveals that a whopping 74 percent of CEOs are concerned about the shortage of critical skills and talent.

As a response to those challenges and today’s look at the future of work, internal mobility comes into play very actively.

The ‘secret sauce’ of internal mobility

The modern internal mobility concept evolved as the next logical step after the traditional career management model. The problem with career management was the idea of “waiting until someone is ready.” This resulted in losing top talent who took career opportunities elsewhere. Even if mobility was facilitated—or rather forced by management—it looked more like “assigning” new roles to employees.

Internal mobility today is agility built into the company’s talent processes. This model allows companies to get the most out of the talent and skills their employees obtain. Employees, in turn, get multiple opportunities like taking new and adjacent roles, upskilling, and keeping up with the company without having to leave it.

Internal talent evolution, however, wouldn’t be possible without technology. Today, the HR tech landscape contributes to internal mobility by providing what are called talent marketplace solutions. Simply put, a talent marketplace is a platform that connects employees with career opportunities inside the organization.

From recruiting to employee upskilling: What the talent marketplace brings in

The talent marketplace helps companies improve their employee engagement, development, and retention. Other challenges the talent marketplace helps address are:

  • Accelerating time-to-hire and optimizing hiring costs: Many organizations still pay big bucks to recruit people from outside. With a talent marketplace platform and insights into the company’s skills and talents, organizations can save recruiting expenses and instead connect their internal employees with the internal job openings.
  • Improving productivity of new hires: Employees who joined a new project or stepped into a new area of responsibilities within the company demonstrate better productivity. The reason follows. Internal talents have already spent some time with the company and can bring their valuable insights and skills to the new role. Besides, the opportunity to shift to a new role within a company contributes to employee motivation, engagement, and development.
  • Addressing skill gaps and future-proofing: The talent marketplace also helps the company coordinate all its available talents and see if they match current and future job roles. This way, companies can spot the skill gaps and align their employee development activities with their strategy and market trends.
  • Building a more agile workforce: In the long run, by embracing internal mobility powered by technology, companies can foster transition to a more agile workforce.

Talent insights as a fuel for internal mobility

One more component that makes internal mobility sufficient is data. The lion’s share of it, apparently, comes from within the company. Employee CVs, job profiles, training programs, and other assets containing information about skills are filling the internal mobility machine. Data about internal skills loaded into the talent marketplace platform transform into insights. Some of them allow companies to:

  • Basically, match employees to existing job openings, projects, and tasks
  • Personalize reskilling and upskilling journeys to help employees grow into new roles
  • Benchmarks future skills and future jobs

Another source of insights fueling internal mobility is the external market. Market trends that have run through the talent marketplace provide companies with insights into emerging roles, skill developments, and future business trends awaiting the particular industry.

With intelligence like this, companies can fill existing job openings with existing employees and take internal mobility to a whole strategic level. Specifically, they can make skills in their company transparent. Also, they can know what skills are still missing in their company, and plan strategies to address these deficits. They can plan, personalize, and predict the effort of employee development initiatives aimed to fill in the skill gaps.

Of course, embracing internal mobility doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, investment, data, and the right technology. But most importantly, it requires the right future-oriented mindset. American Express, IBM, Nestle, P&G, Unilever, and Google are just a few examples of brilliantly performed internal mobility strategies set on the future and employees’ development. Hopefully, more prominent companies will join these ranks.

Recruiting Pro Tip: How to Overcome Candidate Communication Barriers

Talent selection is a delicate, multifaceted process. No two candidates are alike, and each presents the recruiter with a unique set of circumstances to navigate.

The selection process is entirely predicated on the quality of communication. With this in mind, recruiters need to do their best to become familiar with the candidates and understand what they do or don’t bring to the table. This depth of insight helps recruiters make the most informed decisions.

It’s important to realize that a number of variables determine the quality of candidate communication. For example, communication channels, the setting, the candidates’ cultural background, psychological makeup, and so on. All these variables can create specific communication challenges and difficulties. Notably, this communication noise prevents recruiters from forming a complete picture of the candidates.

What are the most common communication barriers in the recruitment process?

As the working reality becomes increasingly globalized, it provides unparalleled access to the talent pool. On the flip side, it also creates new challenges for recruiters. Surely, the work of a recruiter has never been more complex. For one thing, there are a growing number of factors to take into consideration during the selection process.

It is virtually impossible to capture the full extent of the complexity of the present-day recruitment landscape. Instead, we will cover some of the most common candidate communication barriers in the selection process. We will examine examples and provide suggestions for overcoming these barriers.

The most common kinds of communication barriers are:

  • Cultural barriers
  • Physical barriers
  • Personality barriers

Let’s take a closer look at each of these areas.

Cultural communication barriers

Indeed, the way we interpret the words and actions of others is greatly shaped by our own experiences. Moreover, recruiters have historically been faced with a high degree of differences among candidates. In earlier times those differences would manifest themselves within a certain cultural context. With technology-enabled access to the global workforce, that is no longer the case.

Approaching candidates from different cultures from a “western” perspective can easily create communication barriers. Let’s take a look at some of their more common manifestations.

False assumptions

Obviously, every culture has its own norms of expression. Something as simple as a head nod can indicate agreement in one culture and disagreement in another. Because of this, a lack of understanding of these differences can easily lead recruiters to false interpretations.

For instance, making eye contact during an interview is interpreted as confidence by western cultural norms. Some other cultures consider it rude and impolite (Chinese, for instance). The same can be said for talking loudly.

As another example, personal questions that we find acceptable in our culture can be too invasive in others. Westerners find name-dropping and referencing influential personal ties to be inappropriate. Conversely, it may be perfectly normal in societies with a strong community aspect.

While it may be true that certain cultures are more explicit, emotional, and passionate in their expression, others may be more restrained and subdued.

These are only several examples from a vast array of cultural differences.

Language barriers

The English language has become a ubiquitous means of international communication. However, recruiters should not assume that everyone uses it at a high level. To be safe, it is best advised to simplify the language and avoid metaphors and other more abstract manners of expression. Generally, this ensures a high degree of clarity and mutual understanding with non-native English speakers.

Stereotypes

Recruiters should be particularly careful to avoid the trap of stereotyping. Whether we are conscious of it or not, we all fall prey to stereotyping. Making assumptions about others based on their fundamental characteristics is part of our nature. Often, humans need to categorize the world around us to interact with it in an efficient manner.

Without a doubt, stereotypes can seep into the way we communicate with others. This creates difficulties stemming from false assumptions. Stereotypes lead us to believe that a person from a certain group will behave in a certain manner. Candidates can easily (and often correctly) interpret stereotyping as an offense.

How to overcome cultural communication barriers

It all starts with understanding and respect.

The more we are familiar with other cultures, the easier it becomes to navigate and interpret them properly. Recruiters should understand the candidate’s fundamental cultural norms and desirable patterns of behavior.

With language, it is all about finding common ground and adjusting our vocabulary to ensure that we are clearly understood.

Stereotypes are more difficult to overcome, as they are often deeply ingrained into our being. Recruiters should do their best to avoid making assumptions beforehand. They must approach all candidates as individuals, removed from any group context. It’s all about their qualifications, not any group labels.

Physical communication barriers

This category refers to the physical setting of the selection process and the candidate communication obstacles it may present.

Candidate interviews take place either in a shared physical space or online. Both come with their own sets of potential obstacles that warrant closer inspection.

In-person interview

The main physical obstacle in an in-person scenario is discomfort. Generally, interviewees always experience a certain degree of anxiety and it is up to the recruiter to make them feel more relaxed and comfortable.

Here are a number of steps recruiters can take to prepare the interview setting and make it more comfortable for the candidate.

  • Find a space that is free from interruptions and distractions such as background noises.
  • Show the candidate the restroom location and allow them to use it.
  • Offer the candidate a hot or cold beverage.
  • Have any other participants in the interview in place to avoid delays.
  • Give the candidate a tour of the office (walking can have a calming effect).
  • Have water and glasses available during the interview.

Online interview

Holding an interview in a virtual setting eliminates many challenges of in-person interviews. It also creates new ones. Basically, the formal goal is to eliminate distractions and allow both parties to focus on the conversation.

Certainly, technology can be unpredictable. The number of tools we use to communicate nowadays creates a situation where things can easily go wrong. However, solid preparation can minimize a lot of these risks. Here are some tried and tested practices for conducting online interviews:

  • Planning and scheduling: Clearly communicate the course of the process. Schedule the interview well in advance. In addition, inform the candidate about the communication platform and check whether they can use it. Inform them about any other participants. In short, make sure you cover every relevant detail in advance.
  • Technology: Test your equipment (camera, microphone, headphones, computer, Internet connection, etc.). Don’t forget software (interview platform, login data). Also, arrange a backup option (different platform or a phone call) in case something goes wrong.
  • Distractions: Ensure no interruptions. First, turn off ringtones and alarms. Minimize background noises. Prepare all necessary items to avoid getting up or shifting around.
  • Voice and gestures: Pay greater attention to your tone of voice and facial expressions. Also, show engagement with the conversation. Account for any streaming delays by making brief pauses after sentences. Try to look at the camera, not the screen.

Personality communication barriers

Candidate personality can create a variety of communication barriers. In this section, we will examine some of the most common situations.

The silent candidate

Some candidates are not very talkative. It can be a case of nerves, lack of proper answers, and many other reasons. Usually, recruiters can attempt to overcome the lack of input by:

  • Asking additional questions
  • Hinting at a longer answer (“Give me a more detailed overview of…” or “Take a few minutes to tell…”)
  • Allowing them to come back to the question at a later point
  • Being direct (“Can you be more specific about…”)

The chatty candidate

Some interviewees tend to give long and winded or generalized answers that often meander away from the question. Because of this, recruiters can choose to write it down as general chattiness. It can also be an indication of nerves or the lack of a proper answer. To keep the interview on track and get the answers they seek, recruiters should:

  • Ask specific questions
  • Summarize the key points of an answer
  • Hint at a preferred shorter answer (“Can you briefly clarify…”)

If none of this works, recruiters should embrace a more authoritative approach by:

  • Being direct and letting the candidate know that they’re not answering the question
  • Interrupting the answer to get back on track
  • Referring to time constraints and reminding the candidate of limited interview time

The nervy candidate

Sometimes, despite the recruiter’s best efforts to relax them, candidates cannot fully reign in their anxiety. Unfortunately, there is only so much a recruiter can do to alleviate the situation, and these are some of the steps they can attempt:

  • Display a relaxed state.
  • Acknowledge the candidate’s nerves without making a big deal about it. Letting them know that it is OK to be nervous can help.
  • Engage in small talk (weather, journey to the interview, etc.) to try to relax the candidate.
  • Offer refreshments.
  • Be patient, make eye contact, and utilize supportive and encouraging gestures and expressions.

Wrapping up

Attracting and managing a globalized talent pool is becoming more and more complex. Thus, recruiters must be more knowledgeable and adaptable than ever before when it comes to candidate communication. Also, communication barriers are multiplying in a fast-evolving world. However, recruiters can still overcome them with a fundamentally astute approach to their work. This includes being prepared, being respectful, and having an open mind.

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.

The Future of Recruiting

Remember the olden days when potential candidates applied to a handful of jobs online and waited for a response? Remember in the stone ages when prospective hires mailed out paper copies of resumes and awaited a phone call or a letter? Well, according to an SHRM survey of over 1,500 talent acquisition professionals from 28 countries, COVID-19 accelerated a shift toward digital-first recruiting.

EBI has reported that the average corporate listing receives 100 to 250 resumes. But according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job seekers who received an interview only have a 36.89% chance of receiving an offer. They apply to jobs widely in a ‘spray and pray’ mentality. For recruiters, the challenge is no longer finding applicants but rather finding the right people in this barrage of resumes. And with virtual hiring likely being here to stay, perhaps it’s time recruiting adapted for today’s hiring culture.

Our Guest: Ben Green, Hirect

On the latest #WorkTrends podcast, I spoke with Ben Green, PR Manager for Hirect. With over a decade of experience in journalism, Ben now plays a key role for Hirect. A free, mobile chat-based hiring platform that instantly connects startups, founders, CEOs, and hiring managers with candidates interested in the growing startup sector.

When asked about virtual recruiting in the COVID era and the future of recruiting, Ben suggests that the virtual trend might be here to stay.

“With more remote work and work from home flexibility, they (recruiters) can attract talent from pretty much anywhere and connect with them instantly,” Ben says. “Everything can really be done online, uninterrupted, and I believe it’s the future of work and recruiting moving forward.”

For those with less time and resources to meet every candidate in person, virtual recruiting also makes the job much easier. But with so many different recruiting technologies out there, how can organizations choose the right one for them?

“There’s definitely several factors to consider,” Ben explains. “Tech versus non-tech, seniority, the position, scale, size of your team. All these things will determine what your budget is and what the tool ROI can be as well.”

The Big Benefits of Virtual Recruiting  

There’s a lot of talk about bias right now. How does virtual recruiting help recruiters and hiring managers eliminate this from the hiring process?

“Ideally, the focus should always be primarily on candidates’ skills and experience, but really the true way to eliminate bias is through blind resume screens,” Ben says. “AI can certainly help with reading or grading applicants without taking into consideration a lot of the personal details and information.”

Beyond helping to eliminate bias, Ben feels that integrating technology and AI in recruiting has vast potential. It benefits both recruiters and job seekers, particularly from a filtering, searching, and matching standpoint.

“With the AI matching algorithms that we have at Hirect, the candidate pool can be narrowed down almost instantaneously based on any number of factors,” Ben explains. “For candidates, AI can help them wade through a lot of the irrelevant posts… and find ones that match their specific or unique criteria.”

But Ben is quick to point out that you can’t rely on AI alone to find the right applicants. Making sure you have a really granular job description and an interview process that encompasses certain skills is also key. And these often require a human touch – something Ben believes there will always be a need for.

“There’s really an art to the close,” Ben says. “Trying to relay a founder or a CEO’s passion or vision to really inspire a candidate to join a young business or a startup… That just can’t be replicated through technology.”

I hope you enjoy this #WorkTrends podcast, sponsored by Hirect. In case you missed it, you can listen to the podcast here. You can learn more about the future of recruiting by reaching out to Ben Green on LinkedIn.

9 Tips to Improve Your Careers Page and Attract Talent

In today’s competitive job market, it is more important than ever to stand out from the crowd. Your careers page is one of your most valuable marketing tools for attracting qualified candidates. This is crucial for finding the right people to work with you.

Research shows that a good careers page can have a dramatic impact on how many applicants apply for jobs.

In addition, it also affects what positions they apply for, and whether or not they accept offers when offered.

If you are currently dealing with a talent shortage and don’t have an optimized page, it’s time to change that.

Here are nine tips for making sure your career page stands up against the competition.

1. Add a video to your careers page.

A well-produced video is more memorable than any other type of content and can help you attract more applicants. You’ll also be able to increase conversion rates. So grab your camera and start shooting.

The video only needs to be a few minutes long, but it should highlight what makes your team unique. You can also opt for pre-recorded video content if you don’t have the resources to create new footage. This can include a video from an internal conference or event.

2. Include a testimonial from an employee who has been promoted in the past year.

Include a testimonial from someone who is currently in the role you’re hiring for, or has recently moved up into a new position.

You can also do this by sharing your company’s top-performers list and showing happy employees talking about their successes. You could even have them speaking about their experience at the company. This is a great way of demonstrating that your company is a great place to work at. And more importantly, you don’t even have to say it. Obviously, this makes a much more powerful statement.

Even if your company is totally remote, you could use video conferencing platforms to interview an employee. This is a great way to get him/her to share their experience working with your company.

3. Update your company’s mission statement with words that are relevant for today’s job market.

Your company’s mission statement may be short and sweet, but it can still have a huge impact on how your employees behave.

If you want to attract top talent, specify what kind of role would help them reach their goals and make sure the words you use are relevant for today’s job market. Words like “collaborative,” “growth,” “innovation,” and “team player” are important. They tend to get more clicks in applicant tracking systems than terms that aren’t as engaging or popular, like “responsible.”

You should also consider including values in your mission statement if they’re appropriate. For example, the value of teamwork comes to mind. Don’t stray away from being authentic to your company culture.

In a post-pandemic workplace, being clear on what your company is all about is important. It makes it easier to onboard new staff effectively and keep them at your company for longer.

4. Showcase the diversity of people at your company and how they work together to accomplish goals.

There’s been a lot of talks recently about diversity at work. How can you show the world that your company is inclusive and highlights different backgrounds coming together to achieve success?

This is a great way to attract applicants whose skills are outside the box. It also shows you as having experience in areas where you’re currently staffing gaps. You might also consider highlighting interns. They tend to be more active on social media than full-time employees and will help spread the word.

5. Create a career opportunities page with open positions, descriptions, qualifications, and application instructions.

If you have open job positions, make sure they are fully fleshed out on your careers page. Also, include a link to the full job description. Your career opportunities should also include application information. For example, include how many positions will be available and when the applications are due.

Applicants who feel like there aren’t enough options or their applications would not be considered might seek a job elsewhere. If you are just starting an online business being clear and setting the right expectations is key to success. This also applies if you have a physical business that’s been running for years.

6. Share content on social media channels.

Online platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook allow you to post your careers page content. This is a great way to spread the word and encourage maximum user engagement.

You can also use your social media channels to promote diversity at your company and attract a wider range of applicants. This can be done while being transparent about what the benefits are when working at your company.

7. List educational requirements with other hard skills on job descriptions.

There’s no need to hire an A+ developer if there aren’t any openings that require those skills.

Instead, list educational requirements with other “hard” skills under “requirements” or “job description” categories. This allows you to highlight what skills the best candidate would have. The opposite would be to show that all the requirements are checked off which isn’t always beneficial.

8. Include salary information on job descriptions and in the description section of the career opportunities page.

Don’t forget to include some compensation details. If you’re hiring for a specific position, there’s no need to list “competitive salary.” Neither is a link to benefits needed since those are already included. It is important to include information about salary ranges on your careers page. This allows candidates to get an idea of what they might make if they apply for your open positions.

9. Speak to potential employees about the company culture and current employees.

When applicants are looking for jobs, they want to know what it’s like to work at your company. However, it isn’t always easy to find out from a website.

Find out if there’s someone at your company who can speak about their experiences working there. Ask your existing staff to post on social media and share with others what makes them happy at work.

You might even consider creating an “About” page that includes specific information. This can include how long your team has been together. Moreover, you can speak about what people do outside of work. It’s also a great idea to include insights into the company culture. Finally, share information about the office or city they work in.

If you focus on recruiting your employees online, all of the above tips make it easier to humanize the digital hiring experience in this day and age.

Conclusion

If there is an opportunity to highlight the top reasons why someone would choose to work within your company, do it. For instance, inclusivity adds a great deal of value to the work culture and team spirit in general. That is worth spreading the word about. The more diverse your workforce is, the better your company will be.

On top of this, employees are likely to have a higher vested interest when specific conditions are met. These include working for companies that have shared what their core values are. It’s also important to try to make strides toward achieving them.

You can always pursue new avenues for improvement on your career page as well. These are just some suggestions we think would help attract candidates with unique skill sets.

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 HR Professionals Can Provide Better Support to Single Parents

A growing number of single parents make up today’s workforce. Besides the challenges of having adequate childcare, these employees are concerned with needs that impact their work time, including sick leave, unexpected school closures, and other emergencies. These pressures can distract them, affecting both productivity and work quality.

To address this issue, HR professionals should take measures to support these employees. Doing so will improve retention while boosting the reputation of your company.

Growing Numbers of Single Parents in The Workforce

According to a 2019 survey by Pew Research, 23 percent of children under age 18 are raised by a single parent. You likely have one or even several single parents in your firm.

HR professionals need to keep in mind that offering help to single parents does not just benefit the employees. It’s also a critical component of employee retention. In a 2020 survey of 1,500 working parents, 40 percent said they were considering resigning in order to better care for their children.

Providing adequate support for the needs of single parents is a must to ensure that your company remains competitive. Here are some options to consider.

Child Care Options

One option that some HR departments can consider is supporting the number one need of these workers—child care services. While some companies can provide child care on-premises, that is not a reality for most companies.

However, it may be possible to partner with a nearby child care facility and provide a discount if you have enough employees with this need. Another option is to subsidize some or all of your employees’ child care costs. However, this may impact the salaries you can offer.

Provide a Variety of Plans

Rather than paying for child care, consider offering your employees a flexible spending account. This allows employees to put aside funds before taxes to save money. Funds can be put towards child care or other needs they may have for their families.

Working parents also need to provide their families with quality health care. Be sure to offer a variety of options for families to help them choose a health plan that fits their needs and budget. HMOs, PPOs, and POSs are the most popular options depending on your budget.

Offer Flexible Work Options

A popular post-pandemic work trend today is continuing to offer remote work. While many employees are heading back to the office, others are opting to remain home. Remote workers may be more productive than those in the office. And that can eliminate the high cost of child care.

Flexible work options do not have to be fully remote. You can offer employees a variety of options:

  • Flexible start times
  • One day out of the office
  • Half days
  • Fully remote except for meetings and on-site required days
  • Job sharing

You must develop policies for remote work days or times. For example, set standard policies for video conferencing attendance, such as no outside noise, proper dress code, and professional-looking backgrounds.

Training in Budgeting and Finances

Another way to support employees who are single parents is to offer training in budgeting and finances. These workshops can benefit your entire staff since COVID-19 had a tremendous financial impact on many people.

Helping your team to become financially literate reduces their stress while improving their loyalty to the company. Additionally, financial wellness programs are attractive perks that improve the value of your company.

Some of the topics you can cover include:

  • Budgeting 101
  • Homebuying tips
  • Boosting your credit score
  • Training on retirement benefits that match what you offer them

It’s important that your department lays out the details of any plans and options you choose to offer, both in the employee handbook and to attract new talent. Discuss these with the legal department and IT to avoid any concerns that may come up, such as data security.

Preventing Employee Burnout

Employee burnout is a real issue, particularly for single parents who work full time. Fully remote staffers can suffer fatigue from too many Zoom calls or working from home. Some parents prefer to go into the office so they can better appreciate their families.

How can you help your remote employees to avoid these issues? First of all, avoid scheduling wall-to-wall zoom meetings. Limit the number you have per day, making sure to invite only those who need to be there for meetings of lesser importance.

Support your employees by checking in with them from time to time. Use emails, surveys, and even phone calls. You can also create remote co-working sessions so employees at home don’t feel isolated the whole day.

Finally, edify your remote employees. Create online team-building activities, offer virtual mentorship programs, and consider providing professional development options that can be accessed online.

Addressing the needs of working parents is the responsibility of every HR professional. Offer the right mix of options to help them to thrive in the workplace. This will help your company stand out as a superior employment choice for single-parent professionals.

 

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.

A Recruiting Must-Know: How to Write a Candidate Follow-Up Email

Writing the right follow-up email is an art. A good follow-up email to your candidates after an interview can do wonders for your recruiting efforts, and even for the candidate you end up hiring.

Maintaining good communication with your candidates ensures they remain engaged and gives them the respect and appreciation they deserve after setting aside time to sit with you. However, not all recruiters have the time to sit down and spend time deciding what to write in a candidate follow-up email.

It’s important to know the anatomy of a good candidate follow-up email so you can write your own follow-up templates. Below you’ll find pre-written examples.

Why Should You Care About Candidate Follow-Up Emails?

Although many recruiters tend to think about candidate follow-up emails as an optional matter, the reality is rather different.

Candidate follow-up emails allow you to establish an open channel of communication with your candidates. It lets them know that your company appreciates their time.

Job interviews are pretty stressful to many, so follow-up emails, even just to let them know you appreciated their time, can go a long way. They allow you to begin on the right foot with whoever you end up hiring and help you leave doors open in the future for the candidates that don’t make it.

According to Glassdoor, 74 percent of candidates read employee reviews from companies before giving their opinion. Candidate follow-up emails help you capture good talent from the beginning, attracting talent instead of hunting for it.

Plus, since over 50 percent of companies expect the candidate to follow up after an interview, taking a proactive approach can help you land better talent.

In essence, follow-up emails help you and the candidate communicate openly, and establish a professional relationship.

Anatomy of an Ideal Candidate Follow-Up Email After an Interview

Here’s what the ideal candidate follow-up email looks like:

Subject Line

The subject line gives your readers a reason to open your email. Although your candidates will likely be eager to open any email coming from you, the subject line helps you establish the tone and gives them a preview of what’s to come.

Here are some examples:

  • Thank you!
  • Thank you for your time this morning/afternoon
  • Follow-up on your [DATE] interview
  • About the [position title] interview
  • Great talk yesterday!

To avoid confusing your reader, tell in the subject line the purpose of the email whenever possible.

You can, for instance, write “Thank you!” in the subject line if you’re not expecting anything of them. Like when you’re thanking them for taking the chance to speak with you or when the job has been given to someone else.

Whatever you end up writing, keep it formal and concise.

Intro

We rarely go immediately to the point in the business world. Instead, you can use the intro to thank them for their time or follow up with something that came up during the interview.

It’s always best to mention your candidates by name and mention the job position they interviewed for.

Body

Now, you can finally deliver on your subject line.

When writing the body of the article, it’s always better to keep it short. Write a body of about 100 words, and break down sentences to make it easier to read. Instead of offering as much information as possible, give them only the information they need to know and go to the point.

However, you can still make it personal by adding a few extra lines on top of your template. This works incredibly well when you’re especially keen on a particular candidate, and want to keep them engaged.

To make your emails even more effective, look through your past email exchanges with other candidates in your email provider or HR software tool and write down the main asking points. Then, you can organically weave the answers into the body of your email and make sure you’re giving the candidate the information they need.

Finally, check on your interview notes before sending an email to make sure the candidate didn’t ask for a file or a piece of information beforehand.

Closing

Now, it’s time to end the email on a positive note. You’ll, again, want to keep it simple, professional, and friendly.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Thanks again,
  • Best,
  • You’ll be hearing from me soon!
  • Let’s stay in touch!
  • Let me know if you have any other questions.

You may also want to take this chance to encourage them to contact you if their circumstances change, to let them know more about the onboarding process, or to soften a rejection with the candidates who weren’t chosen.

After adding your signature, you can use a “P.S.” to quickly add onto a ready-made template some extra information without worrying about fitting it into the body and flow of the email. You can even add a personalized signature to your closing to make it more personal.

Great Examples of Candidate Follow-Up Emails After an Interview

Here are a few examples of follow-up emails to get you started:

Simple Post-Interview Follow Up Email

Here’s a simple template to thank the candidate right after the interview and before you’ve made any final choices:

Hi [CANDIDATE NAME],

I just wanted to thank you for giving us a chance earlier today/yesterday to get to know you better and talk about the [JOB TITLE] opening.

I was impressed with your experience and, although we haven’t made any decisions yet, I was glad to see that [COMPANY] and you share some of the same values. We’re still conducting interviews until [DATE]. After that, you can expect to hear back from us before the [DATE].

Thanks again, it was great meeting you.

[SIGNATURE]

This simple follow-up email is an excellent template for your immediate follow-ups. In less than 100 words, the email gets to the point while keeping the tone friendly and professional.

You can even use this template to automate responses and add a simple “P.S.” at the bottom when you need to add something else in any of them.

Job Rejection Template

Here’s a simple template to let your candidates know you won’t be considered for the job position:

Hi [CANDIDATE NAME],

Thank you for giving us a chance earlier today/yesterday to get to know you better and talk about the [JOB TITLE] opening.

Unfortunately, the hiring team will be moving forward with other candidates.

At the moment, we’re looking to hire someone with a different business profile. However, I would love to keep your resume on our records to let you know as soon as we have a job opening that fits your profile.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any doubts or feedback for me or [COMPANY NAME].

Thank you again for your time. I enjoyed getting to know you and wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.

[SIGNATURE]

This template lets you inform your candidate about your decision of not hiring them in a tactful and streamlined way. The rejection is softened by talking about the candidate’s profile instead of them, and the open invitation for feedback and questions may give you valuable data on your hiring process.

Finally, the closing lets you end on a positive note, wishing them well and leaving the doors open if you reencounter them.

Job Offer Template

Here’s a simple template to offer the candidate a job:

Hi [CANDIDATE NAME],

I want to thank you for giving us a chance earlier today/yesterday to get to know you better and talk about the [JOB TITLE] opening.

The team enjoyed meeting you and, after finishing our interviews, we’d like to offer you the role of [JOB TITLE] at [COMPANY]. This is a [TEMP/FULL-TIME/PART-TIME] position in the [DEPARTMENT] at [COMPANY], with a [MONTHLY/ANNUAL/YEARLY] salary of [$X] and [BENEFITS].

I’m sure you’ll fit right in with the rest of the team, and we’re excited to have you with us if you decide to accept the offer. Please find the list of documents attached to this email to finalize your hiring process.

We need your documents and signatures by [DATE], with [DATE] as your expected start date.

We’re excited to introduce you to the team and start working together.

Best,

[NAME]

When you’re offering someone a job, even if it’s something as obscure as an online job for a college student, it’s okay to flesh out more ideas and write a longer email. After all, the email should include all the information your candidate needs to decide whether or not to start working with your company.

Give your candidate clear timeframes, and make it clear when you expect to hear back from them to follow through with their application. Since you’re welcoming them into your team, you can start to transition to a less formal tone and more into the tone you have when dealing with your teammates.

Make sure you let them know you’re looking forward to working with them, and don’t forget to add any attachments before sending your email.

Conclusion

Not all of us can send a personalized note to every single one of our candidates. However, we can still show how much we appreciated their time with easily modifiable templates, cutting time, and establishing a clear channel of communication.

Streamline your follow-up process through the right recruiter tools, and automate your responses to keep up with all your prospects easily.

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.

Four Ways to Overcome the Frontline Labor Shortage

A record 10.9 million jobs went unfilled in July. Meanwhile, 8.4 million people remained unemployed in August. If there are more jobs available in the U.S than people who need them, why is there a frontline labor shortage that’s causing restaurants to close dining rooms, retailers to reduce hours, and delivery operations to run short on drivers? Why didn’t the decision to cut off additional federal unemployment payments get people back to work?

The Great Resignation is hitting the frontline hard as businesses struggle to regain their footing after a year of shutdowns. Unfortunately, there’s no end in sight. New data from Arlington Research and Axonify shows that 45 percent of frontline workers have already decided to leave their jobs. Retailers, grocers, and restaurants that are already struggling to keep up will find themselves even more understaffed and overwhelmed when the holiday season arrives.

Why can’t we retain frontline workers?

Almost 50 percent of frontline employees were furloughed or laid off last year. Essential workers have dealt with non-stop safety concerns, operational changes, and frustrated customers. Frontline jobs have always been physically and mentally exhausting. The pandemic represents a tipping point for this part of the workforce. As executives determine the way forward for their businesses, frontline workers are making decisions about their own futures.

Many employers have improved their compensation packages as a way to attract and retain workers. Amazon hiked its average U.S. starting pay to $18. Target launched a debt-free education assistance program for its 340,000 frontline team members. Disney offered $,1500 hiring bonuses for culinary roles in its theme parks. These are great improvements, but they’re just first steps because they don’t address the main reason people are quitting: the work experience.

Compensation ranks fourth on frontline employees’ list of reasons for leaving. Burnout is number one. You can’t pay people to stop feeling exhausted. And compensation only goes so far, especially as more employers offer competitive wages. Beyond band-aid solutions, organizations must meaningfully improve the day-to-day work experience to attract the best people—and keep them. With that in mind, here are four things you can do to overcome the labor shortage and become a frontline employer of choice.

Show employees that you care.

Burnout is the biggest reason frontline workers are walking away. Number two: lack of appreciation. The pandemic has made us all reflect on how we work and live, and the subsequent economic rebound has opened new opportunities. Staying in a stressful job where you’re not appreciated just isn’t worth it.

Fix this by making “thank you” the two most commonly used words in your workplace. Next, prioritize mental health by making related benefits and training widely available to full-time and part-time staff. Show new and experienced employees you prioritize their wellbeing by reducing common job stressors. This includes offering flexible scheduling and monitoring employee workloads. Foster a sense of community through social events and recognition programs. Even better, leverage employee-led committees to organize these activities.

Foster an inclusive and equitable workplace.

Frontline employees work in stores, branches, and warehouses. Their time is heavily scheduled, often to the minute. They’re unable to work remotely or adjust their schedules to accommodate personal responsibilities. This inflexibility has a direct impact on their job satisfaction, as 64.2 percent of store-based employees expressed happiness with their everyday work as compared to 81.4 percent of office-based workers.

This workplace inequity extends to factors like career development and pandemic support. In every case, employees who work on-location are less happy with their workplace experience as compared to those who work in an office. Furthermore, part-time employees are significantly less satisfied than full-timers when it comes to compensation, communication, technology, and manager support.

Become an employer of choice by demonstrating that everyone–regardless of role, location, or status–gets an equitable opportunity to succeed. Explore flexible working practices, such as adjustable shift times and hybrid roles. Conduct regular equity assessments to identify and close gaps between location and office-based work.

Empower frontline managers to create positive experiences.

One in two employees have quit a job to get away from a manager. Frontline employees who intend to leave are less happy with their direct managers (66 percent) as compared to those who plan to stay (80.9 percent). On the frontline, the manager is the face of the company, and they play the most important role in preventing turnover.

But managers walk a challenging tightrope between short-term performance goals and long-term relationship building. To avoid the frontline labor shortage, provide employees with the support they need to prioritize their teams. Reduce administrative workloads so they have the time to be present in the operation. Make sure new managers receive training and support immediately instead of waiting for the next program to come around. Provide on-demand resources and microlearning to help them prepare for their new roles.

Build your talent pipeline before you need it.

Many of the frontline workers who left were your best people. They were your future supervisors and managers. Hiring challenges make it unlikely that you’ll fill these gaps with external candidates. Instead, you need to build your talent bench internally ASAP. However, 35.8 percent of frontline employees only receive training during big job changes while 20.3 percent rarely or never receive it.

Frontline workers have always been difficult to reach with traditional classroom-based training. Pulling them out of the operation hurts the business, so their development opportunities have been limited. On the flip side, a reimagined training program is one of your best lines of defense in the war for frontline talent.

Apply new talent strategies, such as mobile and microlearning, that make development opportunities more accessible on the frontline. Design reskilling and upskilling activities that can be completed in just three to five minutes per day, thereby not disrupting the operation.

Employee experience can end the exodus.

The frontline labor shortage isn’t just about pay. It’s about the work itself. If you want to attract and retain the right people, give them an experience that helps them be their best, feel included and supported, and develop their careers. For even more insights on how to reimagine your frontline work experience, check out Axonify’s full report on The State of the Frontline Work Experience in 2021.