Transparency: A Red Carpet Experience for Candidates

“Your Uber driver is named Pete. Hes driving a white Prius and will arrive in 3 minutes.” 

People aren’t happy about having to slog through poorly designed experiences anymore. Companies like Uber and Lyft are driving demand for white-glove services and full transparency, transforming the age-old experience of hailing a cab into a less anxiety-inducing and more human experience. In the past year, the bar was raised on how people expect to experience many everyday services, and they’re now demanding a more “Uber-fied” experience everywhere. These expectations have even made their way into the employment process, where the war on talent is won by employers and technology providers working together to deliver an experience that meets the candidate’s expectations.

Your Hiring Process is Like Hailing a Cab

From the candidate’s perspective, the experience of finding and starting a new job is like the old way of hailing a cab — awkwardly standing on a street corner waving one’s hand in the air with no idea if or when a taxi would arrive. A resume is seemingly submitted into a black hole, and a similar waiting game begins that continues all the way through the hiring process.

If the candidate is one of the lucky ones who actually receives and accepts a job offer, they don’t often hear anything again until they show up for work on the first day. This waiting game creates anxiety and uncertainty, with candidates worried about the status of everything and wondering what to expect next.

Employers can’t afford for the process to be this way anymore.

Just as Uber disrupted transportation, HR technology vendors are now making a better candidate and new-hire experience possible with processes that are rapid, easy, and transparent.

Transparency = A Red Carpet Experience

Transparency is the key to reducing candidate anxiety and making a great first impression. So what does it actually mean to build transparency into the hiring process? Let’s look at what it means to be transparent along the four main steps of the hiring process:

  • Recruiting: Websites like Glassdoor are now making it very easy for candidates to provide feedback about their recruiting and interviewing experience, whether they are hired or not. Feedback is the new currency in our online world, and putting your best foot forward in this early stage of the process is more important than it’s ever been. Keeping your applicant informed of the status of their application, interviews and prospects will go a long way toward creating and maintaining your brand’s reputation as an employer.
  • Hiring: Hiring is all about momentum and the stakes are even higher in this stage of the process. If your process takes too long or causes anxiety you might lose the candidate you’ve now expended so much time and money recruiting. The Talent Wars rage on and you need to keep your candidate feeling good about their decision so they don’t choose another job. The way to do that is by setting expectations about all that will happen during this part of the process. Tell them what you’re going to do, tell them when you’re doing it, and tell them when each step is complete.
  • Screening: There’s no way to get around the fact that background checks and drug screenings are intrusive. If you doubt that, just take a look at the verbiage in a standard Disclosure for Background Check notification:
    “The report may contain information bearing on your character, general reputation, personal characteristics, mode of living and/or credit standing.”
    This is one time in the process when a human touch can really make a difference. You owe it your candidate to be transparent through the process, not just because regulators are requiring you to do so, but also because you care about creating a good experience for them.Regulators are driving more transparency in the screening process. In five different states, employers are now required to give candidates the opportunity to request a report with the results of their background checks and this trend will likely continue. Go over and above what you’re required to do by letting them know exactly what to expect, keeping them informed of the status of their screenings, and giving them a person and phone number to call with questions.
  • Onboarding: This is your area to really shine with your new hire. A good onboarding process will make them feel great about their decision to join your organization and help them to feel prepared to start on day one. Let them know exactly what paperwork they’ll need to complete and give them the opportunity to do so online before they show up to work on the first day. This is also a prime time for you to lean forward in helping them to get to know your culture and brand. Get information in front of them that helps them get to know the company; like corporate videos, your employee handbook, social media links, and other training materials. 

Transparency gives candidates control of the process, replacing anxiety and uncertainty with trust and confidence. Lead your candidates through the process with an online portal, like TalentWise, that provides real-time updates and notifications, outlines all tasks to be completed, and enables candidates to complete those tasks on their own time, in the comfort of their own home. Create a transparent hiring process where everyone wins.

photo credit: Passage to history via photopin (license)


TalentWise is a client of TalentCulture and sponsored this post.

#TChat Recap: Why Compliance Is A Complex HR Necessity

This week the TalentCulture team discussed why compliance is a complex HR necessity with Todd Owens, CEO of TalentWise.

The ideal goal for HR in any organization is building the best performing teams and finding the greatest talent so that business can scale – and sustain that growth over time. But that doesn’t come easy – HR can’t focus on talent acquisition and management unless compliance is addressed.

HR technology providers need to be partners in compliance for HR because it can help reduce risk and give them more time to focus on what matters most in their organization.

To learn more, listen to the recording and review the discussion highlights below.

What’s Up Next? #TChat returns Wednesday, Sept 16th: #TChat Radio Kicks Off at 1pm ET / 10am PT — Our radio show runs 30 minutes. Usually, our social community joins us on the Twitters as well.

Next topic: #TChat Preview: Candidate Experience Through The Eyes Of The Job Seeker – Wednesday, Sept 16th, 2015 — Our halfway point begins with our highly engaging Twitter discussion. We take a social inside look at our weekly topic. Everyone is welcome to share their social insights #TChat.

Join Our Social Community & Stay Up-to-Date! The TalentCulture conversation continues daily. See what’s happening right now on the #TChat Twitter stream in our LinkedIn group, and on our Google+ community. Engage with us anytime on our social networks or stay current with trending World of Work topics through our weekly email newsletter. Signing up is just a click away!


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The Balancing Act: Technology And The Human Element

TalentWise just wrapped up our best HR Tech conference yet. As I cruised the show floor, engaged with analysts and customers, and chatted with fellow HR tech executives, it struck me how lucky we are to be in this industry. The next 10 years will bring a wholesale change in the way companies recruit, hire, manage, and engage their workforces, not to mention a significant reshuffling of the deck chairs among the vendors supporting them. HR is approaching a critical juncture, and must decide whether to leap forward or risk being left behind.

The keynote speaker, Andrew McAfee, struck a chord with many in the audience. We’ve known that technology is transforming everything from our economy to the minutiae of everyday life, but McAfee focused on the implications of such rapid change. This “second machine age” is no less significant than the first — the Industrial Revolution — where technology replaced physical labor and changed the world.

The challenge is now upon us, as it is upon the rest of the world. We must continue to adapt, or risk becoming obsolete. There is a great deal of fear around this concept — the idea that technology will replace humans, just as the steam engine and tractor replaced the horse and ox. To the contrary, McAfee noted that through the proper marriage of people and technology, the sky is the limit. We must allow technology do what it does best, freeing up humans to do what they do best – human-to-human (now being coined “H2H”) interaction. Nowhere is this more applicable than in the world of HR, where there is little danger of “human resources” dropping the human element. To the contrary, digital technology can unleash the power of human ingenuity, empathy, and judgment. Case in point: by leveraging technology to automate routine compliance-centric administration, HR pros can shift focus to designing smarter processes, implementing best-in-class technologies, and keeping the company’s top talent engaged. This is a business imperative. As technology matures and becomes more broadly adopted, companies will increasingly differentiate on how well they leverage their people. HR managers are no exception. It’s up to them to embrace this technology revolution, and the limitless benefits that it will bring.

At TalentWise, we are proud to be a technology company that realizes the true synergy between technology and people. Is the highest and best use of your most talented HR pros to be mailing offer letters or chasing down a Form I-9? Is there any strategic value in managing vendors as they work independently to fulfill the disjointed process of screening and onboarding new employees? Do your new hires feel engaged on day one when greeted with a stack of paperwork and a ballpoint pen? Clearly the answer to all three is “no.” TalentWise believes that HR must be empowered to focus on the things that matter most — recruitment in an increasingly competitive environment, employee engagement amidst a technology and generational shift, data-driven decision making, etc.

We have developed a single technology solution with which HR can manage the entire hiring process, from offer letter to screening and onboarding. An entirely electronic system, TalentWise reduces time and cost to hire and ensures compliance in today’s tricky regulatory landscape, all while creating an efficient and engaging candidate experience. Like McAfee, we are fundamentally optimistic about the future of both people and technology. We feel uniquely positioned to ride the wave of change that digital technologies continue to bring. Not all businesses will adapt and survive, but the ones that do will thrive like never before.

HR must not miss this wave. IT spending dipped after the 2008 recession, but now it’s back. HR needs to move with conviction in upgrading their HR technology infrastructure. If we can combine the best people with the best technology, the sky is the limit. Change is happening astonishingly fast. Will technology leave you behind or lift you up?

About the Author: Todd Owens is CEO at TalentWise and has been with the company since 2006. Previously he held senior Product Management and Business Development roles at Wind River Systems and Siebel Systems. A former United States Navy submarine officer, Todd has twice been recognized as a “Superstar for outsourcing innovation in support of HR organizations” by HRO Today magazine. Todd holds a BS degree from the United States Naval Academy and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

photo credit: quinn.anya via photopin cc

8 Onboarding Best Practices That Promote Staying Power

A smooth onboarding process can be the difference between retaining top level talent and pushing them away after just a few months at your company.

Onboarding also helps your customers; a study by Dr. Robert J. Vance conducted for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) shows multiple instances of customer satisfaction increasing as organizations made strides to improve their employee engagement. Small and medium-sized businesses in particular face some unique onboarding challenges.

Follow these eight onboarding best practices for new employees that promote staying power – make sure your onboarding process is an asset, not a liability.

1. Don’t Bombard New Hires with Paperwork

This is one of the most common mistakes when it comes to onboarding new employees for SMB’s. Paperwork is necessary for smooth onboarding, but it should be spaced out so that employees do not get overwhelmed by all of the forms they need to fill out and sign.

2. Ask Questions and Answer Them

With so many companies focused on getting new employees up to speed with the company and getting through the process of orientation, it can be easy to forget about the concerns and feelings of the actual employee. Make sure to take time to ask them if they have any questions and answer them as thoroughly as possible.

3. Take Advantage of Technology

It is much easier to type information into forms for an hour than it is to handwrite this information with a pen or pencil. Your business probably already has computers; use them for onboarding to make it easier for your new employees.

4. Call Your Approved Candidates

Instead of sending emails or acceptance letters, pick up the phone to let your interview candidates know they have been hired. This provides a personal touch and makes your candidates feel more connected to your organization.

5. Comply with All Pertinent Hiring Regulations

This is especially important when it comes to onboarding new employees for SMB’s that are in the public sector, such as federal government agencies. Make sure that everyone on the hiring team is aware of regulations about hiring and understands how to follow them.

6. Create a Comprehensive Plan for Error Checking

Ideally, you will be able to put your employee forms through several individuals and departments that can scan the forms for errors and quickly get them corrected, which will save time and hassle down the road.

7. Secure Personal Data

The hiring process usually involves the exchange of a large amount of personal data at once. Keeping this information secure is paramount to ensure that you and your employees do not suffer the consequences of data theft.

8. Streamline the Hiring Process with a Single System

One of the best ways to make onboarding new employees for SMB’s less daunting of a task is to use a dashboard-style system that contains portals to access paperwork, manuals, and other important onboarding materials from a single place. Using these kinds of systems can exponentially lessen the amount of work required by both new employees and the company HR department.

Follow these eight best practices and you have an excellent chance of making your onboarding process one that works to help you retain quality team members and manage the work required from departments involved in hiring.


To learn more about how to create a transformative onboarding experience, download our latest white paper today.

This post is sponsored by TalentWise, a technology company that’s transforming the way HR manages job offers, screens, and onboards new hires. TalentWise has built a single, online platform that streamlines the hiring process end-to-end with compliance built-in. To find out more about how your organization can onboard better, check out our blog by clicking here.

Screening And Onboarding: The “Yin and Yang” Of Hiring

I’m frequently asked why TalentWise offers two seemingly different services—screening and onboarding —as one. What do they have to do with one another? My answer: Everything. They are the two primary components of hiring, the process of moving a candidate from job offer to day one, and must be considered collectively when creating this mission-critical process and making associated technology decisions. Doing so will reduce inefficiency for Human Resources, the hiring manager, and most importantly, the new hire.

The Yin

Pre-employment screening is a high touch service. It involves online and offline research, personal contact, and significant manual processing. Increasingly, the industry is finding new and better ways to automate, but it’s still very reliant upon people and the service they deliver. Organizations will typically select a screening provider based on the combination of service, turnaround time, accuracy, and cost. Screening is often perceived as a necessary evil, a hurdle to overcome as quickly as possible, with very little thought going into the overarching hiring process and how it should be structured to administer screening in a more efficient and consistent way.

The Yang

Onboarding, on the other hand, is entirely a software-driven experience, where process design, employment branding, forms automation and socialization come into play. It’s all about ease of use, workflow compliance, and the new hire’s time to productivity. It is where HR understandably spends more of their time, as they work diligently to bring on top talent quickly and efficiently. HR needs to set up new employees for success, and hopefully, a long and productive career with their organization. Technology shines here, solving workflow and compliance complexities.

The Yin and Yang of Hiring

When considering the relationship between screening and onboarding, it is easier to explore from the perspective of the candidate. Screening and onboarding interactions are his or her first contact with the new employer. These interactions are, in effect, the first real experience with the corporate culture. Where recruiting is quite often a sales and marketing exercise, with a primary focus on attracting and closing top talent, the hiring process at most companies (job offer to day one) is where reality sets in. It is very complex, administrative in nature, and can either be cobbled together through an array of point solutions or optimized under a single technology and service platform. With a single platform comes workflows that are considerate of the entire process—from offer letter approval and issuance, to background screening authorizations and disputes, to employment eligibility verification (yes, E-Verify as well). A single platform brings a single candidate experience, a process without any paper or fax, with zero redundant data entry, a single support team, and total focus on the desired outcome of minimal hassle and faster time to engagement and productivity.

Take a look at the first step in the hiring process—the offer letter. Most companies issue an offer contingent upon a successful background screen and/or drug test. Background screening requires an FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) disclosure, a signed authorization, and often some personal information that may not have been collected during the recruiting process (date of birth, SSN, etc). This critical step, the process of extending a job offer, is quite complex. A smart hiring process is considerate of this complexity, uniting these tasks behind a single, secure, mobile-friendly login. It should be a convenient offer process that increases the likelihood that the offer is accepted, followed immediately by the electronic disclosure and authorizations necessary to begin the background screening process. Fast and easy—good!  Slow and disconnected—not good! What may feel like a check-in-the-box for HR when the screening report is returned can be far more onerous for the candidate, and filled with administration, logistics (think drug testing), phone calls, faxes, emails and multiple logins.

Once the offer is signed and screening is complete, the company is presumably ready to move forward with the onboarding process involving new hire forms, workspace and IT requisitions, employment eligibility verification and more. Once again, more complex than it may seem. A smart hiring process is considerate of this, uniting these tasks seamlessly behind a single, secure, mobile-friendly login. A candidate should expect to sign the I-9 form in the same system and at the same time as the W4, state tax forms, and the rest of the company new hire forms. Yet because there is a tendency to manage the hiring process in a piecemeal fashion, companies procure and cobble together point solutions, taking a checklist approach to digitizing and automating the steps of a process without thinking about the process as a whole and the outcomes desired. While there are endless HR technology solutions for discrete pieces of the hiring process, each marking a box on a checklist, a comprehensive approach to process design and technology selection is needed to create a positive and differentiated hiring experience.

A Closer Look…

Take a close look at your organization’s hiring process from the perspective of your new hire. Count the number of interactions you require of him or her. How many separate logins, emails and notifications are there, from the minute you send the offer letter until the new hire is fully productive and enrolled in benefits, payroll and your other corporate systems? It’s probably more than you think. Look for bottlenecks where the hiring process comes to a screeching halt while you wait for the candidate, an employee, or a point solution vendor to respond. Then imagine what a smart hiring process could bring, reducing the number of interactions, the amount of data entry and the bottlenecks, while allowing the process to flow seamlessly and in accordance with your pre-defined corporate policies.

Screening and onboarding go together, because for the candidate, they are linked. HR needs a hiring process that is the perfect marriage of service and technology, of stellar human interactions and flawless technology experiences, to differentiate themselves as an employer. Disrupt the traditional hiring checklist. Transform your process. Create a superior experience for your new hires and set them up for a short road to productivity and a long road with your organization.

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

photo credit: Stevie Spiers (Photography) via photopin cc

Transformative Conversations And Enculturation

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

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

“Bingo, bango!”

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

Everyone’s a winner; everyone smiles.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bingo, bango.

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: Thom Watson via Compfight cc

5 Reasons To Unify Your Hiring Process

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

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

1.  Compliance.

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

2.  Candidate Experience.

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

3.  Efficient HR Time.

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

4.  Corporate and employer branding.

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

5.  Costs.

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

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

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

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

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

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Mobile Hiring Hits The Fast Lane #TChat Recap

Several weeks ago, we started a #TChat discussion about the rapid increase in demand for mobile recruitment. Why?

Meeting Talent On Talent’s Terms

Smartphones and tablets are now essential tools for many of us, and statistics reveal just how prevalent mobility has become. For example, a report by Marketing Land indicates that nearly 40% of Internet use is driven by mobile devices. And Jibe found that, despite perceived obstacles, 86% of job seekers with a smartphone want to use that device in their search.

Recruiting consultant Michael Marlatt says the staggering pace of mobile adoption shouldn’t surprise us, because mobile devices offer a very personal connection. “It’s one of three things we carry. We never leave home without it. It’s the keys, the wallet or purse, and the mobile device.”

Mobile Hiring: Moving Beyond First Impressions

In this landscape, it makes sense for employers to offer mobile-optimized career sites and application management processes. Mobile-friendly recruitment enhances the candidate experience and gives employers a competitive edge in the quest to find top talent.

Recruitment certainly is a logical starting point. However, it’s only the first chapter in a much larger employment story.

What happens after a candidate is selected? In the critical timeframe between recruitment and onboarding, how can organizations leverage mobile tools to streamline hiring steps? And along the way, how can mobile engagement continue to solidify an employer’s relationship with new recruits?

Ignoring those questions can have costly consequences — for both employer brands and employee retention. So this week, our community expanded the recruiting discussion to look at how mobile technology can transform the entire transition from candidate to employee. To guide our conversation, we invited two experts in hiring process innovation:

Todd Owens, President and COO at TalentWise, a next-generation hiring platform provider, and:
Kyle Lagunas, Talent Acquisition Industry Analyst at Brandon Hall Group.

What’s At Stake For Employers?

Why is mobile increasingly vital for the hiring process? As Kyle recently noted, 22% of U.S. turnover occurs within 45 days of employment. If organizations aren’t fast and efficient at bringing new hires up to speed, they’re at risk of adding to those statistics. And with the average cost of turnover at about 20% of an employee’s salary, failure at this stage can have a significant impact on the bottom line.

So, how can HR organizations leverage the immediacy and reach of mobile to make the entire hiring process more efficient and effective? For wisdom from the crowd, check the resource links and highlights from this week’s events, below. Thanks to everyone who contributed ideas and opinions!

#TChat Week-In-Review: Mobile + Hiring = Good Match?

Todd Owens #TChat Preview Video - Mobile Hiring

Watch the #TChat Sneak Peek Video

SAT 11/9:

#TChat Preview:
TalentCulture Community Manager Tim McDonald framed this week’s topic in a post that featured brief “sneak peek” hangout video with one of our guests, Todd Owens. Read the Preview: “Hiring: Moving Forward With Mobile?

SUN 11/10: Post: TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro offered 5 guidelines for business leaders who want to make the most of mobile recruiting and hiring. Read: “Leadership Is Catching a Mobile Recruiting Wave.

MON 11/11 + TUE 11/12:

Related Posts: Two guest bloggers offered related insights:
Read: “Mobile Hiring: A Smarter Way to Seal the Deal.
Read: “HR Flashback: The Way We Worked.

WED 11/13:


Listen to the #TChat Radio show now

#TChat Radio: Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman spoke with guests Todd Owens and Kyle Lagunas about the business benefits of extending mobile recruiting strategies to the entire hiring process. Listen to the radio recording now!

#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin and guests joined the entire TalentCulture community on the #TChat Twitter stream, as I moderated an open conversation that centered on 5 related questions. For highlights, see the Storify slideshow below:

#TChat Insights: Mobile Hiring — HR Evolution or Revolution?

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Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to  Todd Owens and Kyle Lagunas for sharing your perspectives on the increasingly vital role of mobile strategies throughout the employment lifecycle. We value your time and expertise.

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about hiring or mobile workforce issues? We welcome your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week we celebrate “community” in a big way — as we look back on 3 years of #TChat at a very special anniversary double header with Hootsuite VP of Talent, Ambrosia Humphrey.

Meanwhile, the World of Work conversation continues. So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream, on our LinkedIn discussion group. or elsewhere on social media. The lights are always on here at TalentCulture, and we look forward to hearing from you.

See you on the stream!

Image Credit: Pixabay

Mobile Hiring: A Smarter Way to Seal the Deal

Written by Todd Owens, President and COO, TalentWise

(Editor’s Note: Learn more about issues and opportunities in mobile hiring from Todd and Brandon Hall talent acquisition analyst, Kyle Lagunas. Listen to the #TChat Radio show now.)

During the past few years, innovative technologies have revolutionized HR business processes. The first wave focused on talent acquisition — with the advent of applicant tracking systems, and the recent surge in mobile recruiting. Now, mobile hiring is emerging as the next wave in this era of HR transformation. Why is mobile hiring important? Let’s take a closer look.

The Mobile Workplace Imperative

No one doubts that mobile connectivity is changing the world. 91% of Americans currently own a cell phone, and globally more than 6.8 billion mobile phones are in use. Now, tablets are making tremendous inroads, with sales that outpace mobile phones by a wide margin.

As these next-generation digital devices become central to our personal and professional lives, organizations are recognizing the value of integrating mobile capabilities into every facet of business operations. In fact, mobile technology is just one dimension of the SoMoClo (Social, Mobile, Cloud) revolution that is reinventing the workplace. HR has leveraged the power of SoMoClo for recruiting. The next logical step is hiring.

Mobile Hiring: Building Stronger Candidate Connections

First let’s look at mobile recruiting trends. Each month, one billion job searches are conducted via mobile devices. When properly executed, mobile-friendly recruitment leads to conversion rates that are 5-10 times higher than traditional PC-based recruitment, but at lower cost. A key benefit of going mobile is immediacy. While 70% of mobile searchers act within the hour, only 30% of PC searchers do. It’s no wonder why recruiters are scrambling to source talent through mobile channels.

However, even the best recruiting efforts can be undone when the candidate experience is disrupted by a cumbersome, outdated hiring process. What does it say to the candidate you’ve spent valuable resources recruiting — the one you’ve sourced and attracted through mobile channels — when you send a paper offer letter via snail mail and ask for a reply via fax?

Too often, there is a disconnect between the satisfying high-tech, high-touch experience of mobile recruiting, and old-school hiring methods. Unfortunately, it occurs at the most critical moment — in that stage between the job offer and onboarding. Why take that risk? It’s time for hiring to step up.

The Business Case For Mobile Hiring Now

Early adopters are seeing dramatic results, as the demand for mobile hiring support soars. For example, consider metrics from the TalentWise platform. Our customers send job candidates directly to our mobile-optimized portal to expedite the hiring process. In less than a year, we’ve seen a stunning 5-fold increase in mobile traffic — from only 8% of candidates last year to 43% today. Employers can’t afford to ignore that kind of exponential growth.

Mobile isn’t about devices. It’s about immediacy and “always on” access — and hiring should be, too. A weak hiring process is bound to affect your retention rate. In fact, studies estimate that, without solid on-boarding, 22% of new hires leave within the first 45 days.

Your organization only gets one chance to make a lasting first impression with today’s on-the-go talent pool. A mobile-friendly hiring process can give you a clear competitive edge. Is your offer letter truly digital? Can candidates sign it through a smartphone or tablet? Or must they print an email attachment, sign it, scan it and send it back? That model is just an email twist on a paper-based process, and it comes with all the old compliance risks and security issues of hardcopy workflows.

How To Catch The Mobile Hiring Wave

So what’s the first step to making your hiring process mobile friendly? Take a hard look at your hiring process. Audit every step. Go through it yourself as if you’re a new hire. Decide what is critical, think holistically, and optimize according to your priorities. For example, offer letters and screening authorizations are essential, but 401k enrollment forms may not be as important. HR managers should be able to monitor the status of multiple candidates from their tablets, but payroll may be better managed from a desktop.

Once you have a clear view of your current process, from both a candidate and administrative perspective, you can identify a technology solution that effectively “mobilizes” these functions. The path to a streamlined solution may be easier than you think.

What opportunities and issues do you see on the horizon for mobile hiring? Share your thoughts in the comments area.

WPFl8ZJCTbSWd3aW36zfeEA69ZEo44fOfHHdTeu8j9Q(About the Author: Todd Owens is President and COO at TalentWise and has been with the company since 2006. Previously he held senior Product Management and Business Development roles at Wind River Systems and Siebel Systems. A former United States Navy submarine officer, Todd has twice been recognized as a “Superstar for outsourcing innovation in support of HR organizations” by HRO Today magazine. Todd holds a BS degree from the United States Naval Academy and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.)

Image Credit: Carnegie Library

Hiring: Moving Forward With Mobile? #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Looking for a full recap of the week’s highlights and resources? Read the #TChat Recap: “Mobile Hiring Hits The Fast Lane.”)

Several weeks ago at #TChat Events, our community discussed the rapid rise in demand for mobile recruiting.

The statistics are mind-boggling. Already, it’s estimated that 1 billion job-related searches are initiated each month from mobile devices. That kind of volume means organizations everywhere are racing to make their candidate experience more mobile friendly.

Mobile Recruiting Leaps Forward: Can Hiring Keep Pace?

These explosive mobile adoption figures lead us to wonder — what happens after the recruitment phase?

Are HR organizations committed to mobile-friendly hiring processes — from the offer letter to onboarding — and beyond? What will it take to connect the mobile workforce dots across the entire employee lifecycle? And how can we get there from here? That’s what we’ll explore this week at #TChat Events, with two talent acquisition experts:

Kyle Lagunas, Talent Acquisition Industry Analyst at Brandon Hall Group and
Todd Owens, President and COO at TalentWise, a next-generation hiring platform provider.

Todd took several minutes to help frame this week’s issues in a “sneak peek” hangout with me:

This is an important issue for talent-minded professionals everywhere. So we hope you’ll join the conversation this week. We look forward to hearing your ideas and opinions!

#TChat Events: Mobile Devices + Hiring = Good Match?


Tune-in to #TChat Radio

#TChat Radio — Wed, Nov 13 — 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT

Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talk with Todd Owens and Kyle Lagunas about how mobile hiring processes extend the candidate experience and improve HR effectiveness. Tune-in LIVE online this Wednesday!

#TChat Twitter — Wed, Nov 13 7pmET / 4pmPT

Immediately following the radio show, we’ll move this discussion to the #TChat Twitter stream, where Dr. Nancy Rubin will moderate an open chat with the entire TalentCulture community. Everyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we address these questions:

Q1: What exactly is mobile hiring, and how it is being applied today?
Q2: What are the advantages of hiring anywhere, anytime?
Q3: How can mobile hiring showcase an organization’s corporate culture?
Q4: How can companies get all generations to adopt mobile recruiting/hiring?
Q5: Is mobile hiring a revolution, while mobile onboarding is an evolution?

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed and on our LinkedIn Discussion Group. So please join us share your questions, ideas and opinions.
We’ll see you on the stream!