Remove Friction from the Application Process

In a challenging job market where job seekers have the leverage, employers need to ensure that their hiring process is “candidate-centric” —and that starts with a frictionless application process.

 

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TRANSCRIPT

The biggest challenge that companies are facing today is talent. They can’t fill open positions, and it’s having a huge effect on their revenue, their profits, and their service.

  • We need to make the process more candidate-centric versus employer-centric.
  • We need to remove the friction from the process, make it easier, and we need to use applicant tracking systems to streamline the process both for the candidate and the company.
  • Trim the question fat–that’s in essence, what that means is just reduce the number of questions that you’re going to ask people–there’s way too many.
  • Change your approach to applications. There’s a lot of things here you can do, like first one is you could use two-stage apps, and that is just ask questions of people, get some information, figure out if that’s a good candidate for you, and then flip over to the second set of questions once you reduce that number to more manageable number.
  • You need to know what your candidate drop-off rate is.
  • You need to know how long it takes for your candidates to complete an application. If you haven’t taken your own application, you should do that to give you a baseline to know what that is.
  • Track and measure your success so you can see if you’re making any improvements, and how it’s working.

And with that, happy hiring!

Present Your Employer Brand Differently

The biggest challenge that companies are facing today is talent. They can’t fill open positions, and it’s having a huge effect on revenue, their profits, and their service. What’s worked in the past isn’t working today.

 

VIDEO

 

 

 

 

 

 

TRANSCRIPT

The biggest challenge that companies are facing today is talent. They can’t fill open positions, and it’s having a huge effect on revenue, their profits, and their service. What’s worked in the past isn’t working today.

We need to make the process more candidate-centric versus employer-centric. We need to remove the friction from the process, make it easier. And we need to use applicant tracking systems to streamline the process both for the candidate and the company. Present your company differently.

  • You need to think about it as you would if you were marketing your product. You need to sell your company. You need to sell your brand.

 

  • Change the title and the first few sentences of your job ad. You need to focus on exactly what would interest that particular person, as opposed to burying it somewhere down–if they have to read too far in before they get excited, they unfortunately, will probably click off your ad and go somewhere else. So if it’s remote work or overtime or whatever it is you’re trying to push, and of course diversity equity and inclusion is an important equation today– it needs to be mentioned as part of your of your deliverable as a company.

 

  • And last, you should you should use videos, employee testimonials– people love those as opposed to just reading ads. It makes it more exciting and differentiates you from your competition.

 

And with that, happy hiring!

How Do You Announce a Job Posting?

Everybody likes something new and shiny. Babies, Tesla’s newest innovation, or the latest iPhone. New gets all the buzz. Job seekers, too, have a predilection for the latest and greatest. A new job posting looks more appealing than one that’s been languishing on online job boards.

For all these reasons, your job posting has more traction during its first few days of life. Search engines rank new job postings higher. Job seekers show more interest in recent job postings. You can maximize the momentum of a new job posting with a strategy that attracts quality candidates quickly.

Ways to Announce a New Job

Your strategy for attracting quality job candidates quickly begins before you announce a new job. Start by identifying your ideal applicant. Go beyond the basics. You know your machinist needs an eye for detail. Or your new server needs to be friendly. Dig deeper to understand what motivates your ideal employee. Highlighting opportunities such as overtime or advancement will attract motivated individuals while helping less enthusiastic applicants disqualify themselves.

With your ideal employee in mind, think about your application process. Keep in mind most job seekers use their mobile device to apply to positions. Assess your application process using both mobile and desktop technology. Keep applicants engaged with text and email responses that communicate the next steps in the application process.

Applicant tracking software can help you in each step of your strategy to attract quality candidates quickly. Using ATS, you can create a branded careers site optimized for both mobile and desktop applications. You can also communicate with applicants via email or text from within the ATS. When it comes time to publish new job, you can streamline the process by posting to multiple online job boards at once. Then the ATS will monitor your online job ad’s performance so you can improve applicant conversion with each new job opening.

Creative Job Postings Examples

With your profile of your ideal applicant and your applicant tracking software in place, you’re ready to write brilliant job ads. Start with a unique job title. If your company has more than one job opening for evergreen jobs, such as server, or machinist, or data entry clerk, then create a distinct title for each open position. Doing so will prevent job boards from tagging your open positions as duplicates.

Pay attention to keyword density. Use your job title throughout your description. Avoid uncommon or gendered synonyms, such waitress in place of server, or journeyman in place of machinist. Use the job title—or words closely associated—to describe actions of the job. Words such as serving, operating machinery, or entering data will all help the search engines pick up the job posting.

Avoid catchy phrases for sample job posting ads on sites such as LinkedIn or Indeed. We all know you’re not really looking for a rock star or a wizard. Endless guitar riffs make it difficult for your other employees to concentrate. And what if your wizard accidentally turns your receptionist into a houseplant? My point is that these overused words have lost their pizazz. Avoid worn and tired words, and seek fresh ways to describe your job.

If you’re looking for examples of creative job postings, check out this recruitment video from Fiverr. Or this job ad from Bud Light for a “Chief Meme Officer.” Both job ads use humor. But they’re effective because they also show applicants what their company is like. In other words, both companies authentically represent themselves in their job ads.

Internal Job Announcement

Your best quality job candidates already have a job. But don’t despair. Around 70 percent of the workforce is open to better opportunities, including your own employees. The best recruitment strategies use internal job advertisements and expansive external recruiting to target these passive job candidates.

Go beyond the job boards. Scour LinkedIn and Facebook profiles connected with companies that employ similar talent. Don’t dismiss old resumes on your favorite job boards. Job seekers often leave their resumes online after they’ve found a job. If you use applicant tracking software, you can create a talent pool of previous applicants who might be a great fit for your current opening. You can start contacting candidates from your talent pool in the first few days your job posting goes online.

Stand out when you reach out to exceptional talent. Send a message that emphasizes your company’s strengths and advancement opportunities. Be aware many people experience online scammers. So be transparent and provide information the applicant can verify.

Leverage your current employees’ connections by creating a referral program. Referred candidates perform better and stay longer than other applicants. Develop a process to determine how closely connected the applicant is to the referring employee. Close connections result in better referrals.

Internal Job Posting Announcement Sample

Current employees can be your best quality job applicants. They already fit into the company’s culture. They understand your industry and your products. Most importantly, they are fully productive more quickly that an external candidate who would need to go through the entire onboarding process. Companies with internal mobility programs understand that advancement opportunities reduce employee turnover.

You can start your internal job posting by reaching out to departments or teams that have the talent and skills you need for your open job. Supervisor and management feedback can be important. But you can avoid favoritism by creating an internal job posting announcement throughout the company.

Employees should easily find samples of internal job postings. Consider creating an internal job posting announcement on the company’s intranet homepage. Post internal job postings on bulletin boards throughout the company.

Final Thoughts on How to Announce a Job Posting

Your job ad loses effectiveness as it ages. Create a strategy to maximize your job ad’s potential before it goes live on job boards and internal job announcements. Writing a creative and effective job description to your ideal client, recruiting passive candidates, and engaging current employees in your search will help you fill your position quickly.

Applicant tracking software can help you synchronize all these steps so that your new job posting is most effective right out of the gate. Post to external job boards with one click and monitor your job ads effectiveness on one screen. Create a seamless careers site that optimizes mobile and desktop applications. Sort the resumes that come rolling in and apply custom status codes to keep it all straight. Build a talent pool you draw from for future positions and create an internal job application process all from within the ATS.

Are you ready to stop hunting rock stars and instead start engaging with your ideal candidates? Give us a call today.

 

Photo by Girl with red hat on Unsplash

 

What Is the Screening Process?

I imagine every recruiter experiences a twinge of dread mixed with excitement as the resumes start hitting the inbox. Somewhere in that digital pile is the best candidate for the job. But all those resumes and applications create a mountain of data to sift through. If you’re like most recruiters, you’ve probably tried a variety of ways to screen candidates. But you may have wondered if your efforts to be more efficient led to a more ineffective screening method. The following screening process steps will help you save time without sacrificing thoroughness in your search for a great new hire.

SMB Pre-Employment Screening Ebook

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Recruitment Methods for Screening

The types of screening methods you use begin before you receive your first application. A well-written job description can help applicants self-screen, while targeted application questions can help you focus on the most qualified applicants.

Your job description is your first communication with potential new hires. Before you can write a description that will “sell” the job to your ideal candidate, you must first have a clear idea of what your ideal candidate looks like. Start by reviewing the current job description with the role’s supervisor and even coworkers. Methods for screening candidates should include a list of your ideal candidate’s attributes, such as the ability to work without supervision or to work well within teams. Then write a job description to appeal to that person. An effective job description will do the following:

  • Clearly state the minimum requirements for the job.
  • Describe personality requirements as appealing benefits, e.g., “work with a close-knit team to collaborate on creative marketing solutions.”
  • Be upfront about undesirable aspects of the job, such as weekend hours or long hours standing.
  • Include a description of the company, as well as its vision and mission.
  • Avoid wording that undermines diversity efforts.

Discerning candidates should be able to tell if your company and position would be a good fit for them from the job description. You can further screen those who proceed with relevant application questions. These questions are examples of screening methods that will give you a glimpse into the candidate’s motivations and values.

  • Why do you want to work for our company?
  • Which of our company values do you think is most important and why?
  • What skills do you want to develop in your next role?

Screening and Selection Process

Your job description and application questions will help ensure that you receive quality resumes and are the first steps in your recruitment and selection process. Your next step in the screening and selection process is reviewing and sorting those resumes. Oftentimes, recruiters feel overwhelmed with the task of manually reading applications. An applicant tracking system can help you save time without sacrificing thoroughness in your new hire search.

The ATS can scan resumes for keywords so that you can find the most qualified applicants quickly. After you review each resume, you need a way to assign a status and place it in a digital “pile.” ExactHire applicant tracking software will allow you to create custom fields to help you move candidates though the applicant funnel. You’ll know right away, without rereading the resume, whether an applicant is under qualified or not a good fit. You can place applicants in the disqualified “pile” and move on to those with better qualifications. The software will store applicant information and your hiring notes to protect you against legal liabilities.

Look for applicant tracking software that allows unlimited user logins so that you can delegate tasks and work with a hiring team. Each login should apply permissions and assign access consistent with the user’s position in the organization. Entry-level employees can manually input applicants who turn in a paper application, while managers can review resumes. You’ll create the most efficient and time-saving recruitment and selection process when you can assign tasks and communicate with stakeholders from within your ATS.

Pre-Employment Screening

Throughout your entire pre-employment screening process, be mindful of liability issues surrounding your hiring process. Be aware of whether the local area where you hire workers allows you to ask about criminal history. If you use social media to screen candidates, make a plan for how you’ll address information you may uncover that is protected from employment considerations. Review with your hiring team questions that may violate state and federal laws.

Consider using pre-employment screening tests to measure applicants’ skills or uncover their hidden personality traits. These tests can help ensure you find candidates whose values align with your company’s culture. Hiring people with qualities such as honesty, trustworthiness and a drug-free attitude can strengthen your team and help reduce employee turnover.

Also consider using background checks to verify applicant information. Criminal background checks and a pre-employment screening drug testing can protect you from fraud and costly accidents. Another example of pre-employment screening measures includes checking civil records to uncover whether an applicant has been involved in lawsuits. Verifications will assure that the applicant has been truthful on her resume. You can verify past employment as well as educational records.

Currently, federal law allows employers to use credit checks in their hiring process. But recently lawmakers have considered legislation to ban the practice. Some states have already banned the use of credit checks for employment purposes. If your company finds it necessary to check applicants’ credit, be sure you comply with the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. Ask the applicant’s consent to run the report and give them the opportunity to review information that influenced your decision.

Screening Questions

As you can see, you can accomplish much of your employee screening process before you speak to candidates. A concise job description and effective application questions will help you sort and organize candidates when you use a time-saving ATS solution. But at some point, you’ll need to start interviewing your short-list of candidates during your screening process for hiring.

Before you pick up the phone, prepare a list of questions for screening and evaluating candidates. Every applicant should receive the same questions. Your interviewers should have a clear set of criteria for documenting and scoring answers. A structured interview applied consistently for all candidates is one of your most effective tools in your employee screening process.

Since the first pyramid needed an architect, recruiters have grappled with the screening process for hiring. Knowing which interview questions to ask is one of the toughest steps of the selection process. But instead of asking candidates trendy, but useless, brainteaser questions, like “how many golf balls will fit in the Great Pyramid?” develop questions that actually help you find the best new hire.

Start by identifying the problems your new hire will face on the job and ask the candidate what steps she would take to solve it. Develop a few questions directly from the candidate’s resume. Ask her the steps she took to achieve a specific accomplishment. Ask how she plans to succeed in the role. Many roles within an organization may never have direct contact with end users. Asking your potential new hire how the position directly impacts customers will help you determine if the he understands how he would influence the company’s success.

Phone Interview Questions

Phone conversations are your most efficient and effective solution for first-round interviews. But interviewers often make the mistake of conducting phone interviews much like they do in-person interviews. Take into account the phone’s unique benefits and shortcomings when developing screening interview questions.

Silence is more awkward on the phone than in person. When speaking to someone in person, you can read body language to fill in the gaps in conversation. As a result, many people compensate by talking more when on the phone. While you don’t want your applicant to feel uncomfortable, avoid being overly personal to convey friendliness. Instead try speaking with a smile. Your tone will be friendly while keeping the conversation focused on the job.

Set a time limit for the phone interview. Remember, the applicant can’t read your body language either. He may overcompensate by over-explaining his answers. Start by letting the candidate know the phone call will take about 30 minutes. He’ll likely give more concise answers, and he’ll know when it’s time to wrap things up.

Remember, a level of transparency will improve your candidate’s experience. Even disqualified candidates can impact your company’s reputation. If you decide during the phone interview that the candidate is not a good fit, politely and respectfully let them know. Or let successful candidates know to expect a follow-up phone call to schedule an in-person interview.

Final Thoughts

You shouldn’t have to choose between saving time during your pre-employment screening process or conducting a comprehensive search for the best candidate. Creating a screening strategy that begins with your job description and includes structured interview questions will help you tame the hiring process chaos while uncovering the best applicant in a mountain of resumes. ExactHire’s applicant tracking software can help you save time while creating a more effective screening process during each stage of your new hire search.

Photo by Darrin Henein on Unsplash

How to Create Digital New Hire Forms

Human resources professionals can improve employee onboarding by creating a process to complete new hire paperwork that is easy to follow and manage. Web-based (or digital) new hire forms are a great way to achieve this. Now, you may have people in your organization that can facilitate a process like this by using Excel, Word, or Adobe PDFs. However, the security of personal information should be a very high priority, and those programs often fall short in that area.

OnboardCentric by ExactHire allows organizations to create digital new hire forms that eliminate any security concerns. Our employee onboarding software contains your company’s handbook, policies, Form I-9, W-4 Form, and other new employee paperwork. Here’s how it works:

Implementing Onboarding Software–What to Expect

The process of building a digital new hire form is much more seamless than one might think. First, ExactHire gathers and reviews all the standard forms that you would like to include. If we have any questions about those forms, we will discuss them with you. And we are happy to answer your questions, as well!

Typically, our questions are aimed at understanding who fills out which portions of various forms. We also need to know which form fields will be pre-filled before the employee looks at the form. From there, our team will take the PDF, Word, or Excel forms provided to us and build the questionnaire into the system.

We will assign you an employee-level login to test your newly created web-based new hire forms. As a result, you will receive an email with a username and password requesting that you complete the forms. Then, you will walk through the questionnaire to submit your answers.

After you’ve viewed and signed your forms as a new employee would, you can view your forms as an administrative-level user would, and complete that aspect of the approval process.

Choosing Onboarding Software–Why ExactHire?

Collecting, managing, and storing sensitive employee data is no small task. While there are many online form solutions on the market, few can meet the specific requirements of a Human Resources department.

Our employee onboarding software is designed by a team with professional HR experience and credentials. Beyond simple forms, our system facilitates internal task management and offers features such as integrated E-verify, and push-to-payroll.

Finally, when local or federal governments release new compliance requirements or updates to forms, our team likely knows about it first. We help you respond to changes quickly, and we are always available if you have questions or advice.

 

Schedule a Personalized Demo

Provide your new hires with a secure, digital method to easily complete employee onboarding paperwork. Sign up for a demo to learn how ExactHire can partner with your organization to modernize employee onboarding!

5 Pro Tips for Quickly Pivoting to a Virtual Employee Onboarding Process

The new normal of living amidst the COVID-19 global pandemic is causing many employers to adopt new business processes…and to adopt them quite quickly.

For those organizations who are fortunate enough to continue hiring new employees, one of those business processes is to learn how to correctly onboard remote employees in a distributed workforce.

A hastily created employee onboarding process will put new hires at risk of feeling disconnected from their work and organization. On the other hand, a productive virtual employee onboarding program will forge a connection between the new teammate and the organization; thereby, positively contributing to employee satisfaction and the goals of the organization despite the uncertainty and hardship attributable to our current coronavirus reality.

Are you ready to pivot to a distributed workforce? Whether virtual employee onboarding is a brand new practice at your company, or you’re just looking for ways to fine tune employee onboarding for distributed workforces, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, I’ll discuss five best practices for quickly pivoting to a virtual employee onboarding process.

1 – Create a “remote-first” pre-boarding experience

With so much uncertainty on everyone’s mind, your new hire’s interactions with your organization in the days leading up to his start date shouldn’t further increase his anxiety. Make a toolkit of digital assets to share with a new teammate to make sure he feels adequately prepared and informed on day one. Here are some ideas:

  • Provide an organizational chart listing all employee names, titles and the hierarchy of the management structure. If you are a part of a very large organization, then a chart of the new employee’s department and/or division may be sufficient.
  • Create a task list or training schedule for the new hire’s first few days on the job. Create this in a shared document (e.g. Google Docs) that can be edited on-the-fly to include additional tasks as time progresses, as well as hyperlinked resource documents. With this approach, the employee can follow links to conduct further research to acquaint himself with your company and its organizational knowledge as his schedule permits.
  • Task relevant co-workers with creating video welcome messages to be shared with the new employee in the days leading up to the first day. We use a variety of tools at ExactHire (ranging from completely free to very affordable) such as video capture on our smartphones, and video applications like Soapbox, Vidyard and Camtasia.
  • Share a short, hyperlinked list of your company’s social media profiles with the new hire, as well as expectations about whether he is likely to be bombarded by social media invitation requests in his first week (as this can be a common way for remote workers to connect with one another).
  • Make it clear what equipment will be provided by the company (and by what date), and/or whether the new hire is responsible for bringing any of his own devices to his remote workstation. Ensure that all devices are accompanied by robust instructions on how to use and/or setup appropriate security protocols for effective work within the organization.

2 – Leverage the unique onboarding resources now available to your organization

While social distancing has caused many of us to approach the work setting in dramatically different ways, it has also led to the installation of a handful of new laws and limited regulations meant to help the American working population and employers cope with this crisis. Aside from new laws such as the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has also recently relaxed its normal requirements for Form I-9 compliance when hiring new employees. This change will help employees who have never hired remote workers to examine and temporarily approve employment eligibility documentation with confidence.

In particular, DHS has “[deferred] the physical presence requirements associated with Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) under Section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Employers with employees taking physical proximity precautions due to COVID-19 will not be required to review the employee’s identity and employment authorization documents in the employee’s physical presence.”

However, not all employers meet the criteria necessary for taking advantage of the option to initially virtually examine new hire documentation. In fact, only employers who have gone 100% remote for all employees may utilize this temporary flexibility in document examination. For more details on which organizations qualify and what documentation is necessary to participate, check out this recent Forbes article.

3 – Make a short list of near-term new hire expectations

To make this pivot toward remote onboarding manageable and relatively fast, focus on only the absolutely critical expectations that you need all new hires to know right from the start. In doing so, make sure you communicate that the current situation necessitates focusing on the “must-knows” initially, but that icing-on-the-cake knowledge and nurturing will be sure to follow as things calm down a bit.

Your new hire will appreciate your candor, and be more likely to establish trust in the organization early because it is helping to flesh out priorities to ensure the new hire’s success.

Here are some examples of employee expectations that may resonate with your team. Be sure to educate your new hire about each of the items below that may be important for his work.

  • Training prerequisites that must be completed before certain aspects of a job can be endeavored (e.g. safety, password security protocol)
  • Preferred methods for co-workers to communicate with each other (e.g. email, phone, Slack, text, video conference, project management tool comments)
  • Mission-critical reports and metrics that must be updated…and with what frequency

Remember that while your ability to equip your new employee with these essential bits of information can shorten his learning curve and improve outcomes, don’t forget that our normal isn’t so normal right now. In fact, it reminds me of an unidentified quote that my co-worker shared on our Slack channel today…one that very appropriately describes the current plight for many of America’s remote workers:

“You’re not working from home; you are at your home during a crisis trying to work.”

There’s a place for grace right now.

4 – Communicate your culture

While company culture can be somewhat nebulous to describe to others, as it is often something experienced for one’s self in-person, there’s no doubt that remote cultures exist, too.

However, it may take longer to assimilate remote workers to cultural norms if you don’t take strides to help them take seed early. Here are some ways to make your virtual culture more quickly tangible:

  • Facilitate video introductions between a new hire and fellow department members and other key co-workers. Make sure all teammates take a turn to introduce themselves, explain their respective roles, and offer suggestions on how they interface with the new employee in his job.
  • Recognize that your organization likely has a multitude of multimedia approaches for communication in different situations. Create a “cheat sheet” of common scenarios to give your new employees a head start:
    • Protocol for out of office messages
    • Appropriate channels for different types of Slack posts
    • Frequency for co-worker video meet-ups and the purpose of each (e.g. is this a project-related call or a virtual happy hour?)
    • General guidelines on how quickly to respond to different inquiries and requests (make sure to allow for time zone differences between co-workers)
    • Location of a schedule of regular working hours for different employees
    • Protocol on whether to use one’s video camera on conference calls (is it preferred or required by various departments?)
    • Acceptable format for email signatures
    • Preferred software applications for different assignments (e.g. MS Word or Google Docs when both are available?)

5 – Implement employee onboarding software for remote hiring success

Depending on the industry in which you work, you likely use a set of software applications critical to the productivity of your business–it’s your tech stack. From CRMs to POS systems, and project management suites to ticketing portals, these varied forms of technology are essential to different industries because they leverage technology to automate and improve repetitive, and perhaps otherwise manual tasks for different employers.

While health clinics may not need POS systems, and safety equipment manufacturers aren’t desperate for software issue ticketing suites, I will advocate that all employers who are currently hiring should consider employee onboarding software.

Moreover, if you are hiring remote employees, onboarding software gives you a significant competitive advantage as you can improve the new hire user experience (aka first impression) as well as minimize documentation errors.

ExactHire’s OnboardCentric employee onboarding software can be implemented either as a stand-alone solution to meet your urgent onboarding needs; or, as a hiring component integrated with our ExactHire applicant tracking system.

As employers face constantly evolving news related to COVID-19, they are adjusting priorities and re-allocating resources on a daily basis. Our team understands the need for fluidity and responsiveness, and we’re equipped to get you up and running with onboarding software quickly.

To expedite implementation and improve your new hire experience despite the current pandemic, we recommend that you start by implementing required new hire forms (e.g. state tax forms, Form W-4, Form I-9, direct deposit, etc.) and allow us to train supervisors who need access right away.

Then, as demands on your schedule decline, our team is happy to work with you to include non-essential nice-to-have new hire forms, discuss onboarding process best practices and conduct more advanced user training with all of your hiring managers. Our responsive team is ready to work as your partner through this crisis.

Demo ExactHire Onboarding Software

Are you ready to improve your employee onboarding experience and respond to the rapidly changing hiring landscape with success? Schedule a demo of OnboardCentric today.

Employer Strategies for Successfully Hiring Justice Involved Job Candidates

My gut tells me that many employers are open to the idea of hiring individuals from the justice involved community, but have historically avoided the opportunity for a variety of reasons. Whether they previously had an abundance of other candidates to consider or were intimidated about the steps involved, many organizations haven’t proactively included this untapped talent pool.

After all, they haven’t been sufficiently motivated to do so. That changes now.

Why you should consider hiring the justice involved population

Today, employers can’t afford NOT to look at every viable employee population. Increased awareness and support for inclusive hiring practices coupled with historically low unemployment suggest that the time is ripe for employers to implement strategies that successfully source and retain justice involved individuals.

Here are a few of the benefits to employers who engage employees who are formerly incarcerated or on work release, parole, or probation.

Better job candidate flow

Low unemployment is especially crippling for industries that traditionally experience high turnover in hourly positions and/or with a contingent workforce. With nearly one in three American adults holding a criminal record (ACLU, 2017), employers who are able to successfully engage this population are poised to win the war on talent.

Text Recruiting | Hourly Workers | ExactHire

Giving justice involved individuals another chance is the right thing to do

The formerly incarcerated combat a pervasive social stigma in many facets of their life, and it often impedes their ability to find work. In fact, according to the same ACLU study, 75% of formerly incarcerated people will remain unemployed a year after release. When someone has served his/her time, society should give them a second chance–not a re-sentence once they are released.

Reducing recidivism pays for itself

According to a 2018 special report from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, across 30 states 5 out of 6 (a staggering 83%) of state prisoners released in 2005 were arrested at least once during the 9 years following their release. Recidivism, or the “tendency for a convicted criminal to reoffend,” is on the rise.

And, it’s no surprise when we consider the absence of sufficient resources to support transitioning justice involved individuals back into society. This makes it hard for the formerly incarcerated to get over what some call the “three hots and a cot” mentality.

Consider that the Gross National Product (GNP) is losing an estimated $78 billion to $87 billion annually as the justice involved remain unemployed, according to the aforementioned ACLU report.

Employer tax incentives

Companies who hire the formerly incarcerated may be eligible for hidden hiring incentives such as the Work Opportunity Tax Credit. WOTC is a federal tax credit available to employers that hire individuals from specific targeted groups that have consistently faced significant employment barriers. Among these targeted groups are “qualified ex-felons” who are defined as individuals who are hired within a year of being convicted of a felony, or being released from prison from the felony.

Create a supportive network to succeed with the justice involved

It’s one thing for companies to be compelled to act based on the benefits mentioned above; however, in order to realize success in hiring and retaining the justice involved job candidate population, your organization must implement an internal infrastructure that can accommodate their unique needs. Additionally, it should utilize established external resources that may already be available in your area to help transition the justice involved back to work.

This is easier said than done, as there is not an abundance of model employers showing the rest of us how to do it. And, perhaps that deficiency is part of the explanation for the slow adoption of hiring this population.

The best intentions are only a fraction of what’s required for success in employing the justice involved. Employers must put systems and services in place to get this source of talent back to work. According to SHRM’s Getting Talent Back to Work Toolkit, employers should focus on

  • Reliable Checks – working with reputable background checking agencies to make sure the data you use to make decisions about a candidate’s suitability for employment is sound.
  • Relevant Assessment – ensuring your organization’s methods for assessing criminal records on an individual basis are relevant.
  • Reasonable Risk – comprehending and assessing the reasonable risks associated with hiring this population so that you can proceed confidently.

Within these three categories, there are many steps organizations may take to set themselves up for a higher percentage of success in employing the justice involved population. Here are some ideas for consideration.

Make connections during the pre-release period

Consider offering a candidate training program for incarcerated individuals six months prior to their release. Just as you would approach tuition reimbursement for an in-demand nursing student, ask pre-release individuals who have been identified as good candidates for a commitment to work for your organization for a period of time so that they may receive important life skills and a starter wage. This type of arrangement can go far in building employee loyalty in a tough employee retention market.

Develop relationships in your community

Employing the justice involved is a careful undertaking, and can be enhanced by positive and close relationships with local sheriff departments and other representatives at the Department of Corrections (DOC), staffing agencies and other transitional support agencies.

Set expectations with internal staff

For success in employing the justice-involved population, you need to dedicate internal resources to properly setting expectations and training existing staff members on how to undergo this initiative in a productive way. Be realistic and transparent around challenges that may surface, and develop strategies about how your company will address those challenges before you find yourselves in the moment.

Make sure that your organizational structure models success for justice involved individuals. For example, don’t have a single working area or department where justice involved employees represent a majority of the unit. This is their time to transition back into the workforce and recognize positive habits and behavior from others who have succeeded in the organization. If you offset that balance, then negative habits can be perpetuated with poor outcomes.

Invest in offering on-site services for justice involved employees

Some justice involved individuals fall circumstance to rising recidivism rates because they don’t have reasonable access to the services and support they need to get a foothold in the world after release. If your organization is serious about successfully employing this population, then consider offering some of these services:

  • Reentry resources – Links to and documentation about existing public reentry services in your community. For example, Orange County, California has a robust post-incarceration resource toolkit on its website.
  • Basic food needs – Make information available about local food pantries and agencies that make sure people don’t go hungry. Help employees apply for food stamp benefits.
  • Spiritual support – Consider on-site chaplain services so employees can nurture any of their spiritual goals and confide in a third party.
  • Medical care – Make sure that employees are afforded time to take care of medical needs and given information about how to obtain access to prescription drugs, including mental health care when applicable.
  • Basic paperwork – Remember that your justice involved hires may need important documents either located and/or reproduced such as birth certificate, Social Security card, personal ID card and/or driver’s license.
  • Substance abuse support – Recognize that some of your justice involved hires may struggle with substance abuse and therefore create an environment that is supportive of substance abuse counseling and rehabilitation so that destructive habits that often lead to crime aren’t repeated.
  • Ride planning – In order to promptly arrive to your workplace, your employees may need ride sharing programs, access to information about convenient public transportation options, and/or an employer-provided bus to transport employees to and from their current residence or halfway house to your job site.
  • Flexibility for required meetings – A common challenge for recently released individuals is maintaining availability for a shift job while also showing up for required probation or parole officer meetings that might happen in the middle of the day. With proper communication, offer these workers flexibility to attend the meetings that are critical for their post-release success.
  • Soft skills training – In some cases, justice involved individuals may have never learned about or been exposed to positive models for appropriate communication, social behavior, or even cleanliness/hygiene. Understand that services around these soft skills may be critical for employing this population with success.

Communicate your intentions clearly

Because much of employers’ hesitancy to hire justice involve populations is attributable to the stigma often associated with the formerly incarcerated as well as the company’s tendency toward compliance and protectiveness, clear communication is a driver of employment success for this talent group.

Clear communication includes both adjustments in traditional employment policy as well as external job advertisements, company culture content and screening and interview process design.

Remember that it is a violation of Title VII to reject applicants because of criminal records unless it is job related and consistent with business necessity. Employers have an obligation to clearly define what is job related and consistent with business necessity. They should reevaluate the role and scope of background checks in the hiring process, and use effective job evaluation to identify which criminal offenses will not work with which jobs.

Set realistic expectations with your justice involved candidates

Not every employer is going to be able to employ every justice involved employee. However, there is power and respect in being transparent about the opportunities and potential path available with your organization. I recently attended an event (more on that below) where they talked about the “ABC Jobs” trajectory for the justice involved:

  • Any job
  • Better job
  • Career

Which of those types of jobs can you offer this population? And, if it is just any job that has a low wage, how can you prepare that individual to succeed in that job and then move on to another organization (maybe one with which you partner on these programs) where they can achieve the next step?

This job pathing model can improve your community by creating work that improves individuals, makes your company productive and advances the public good through reduced spending due to rampant recidivism.

Anticipate potential setbacks

There will be ups and downs in any endeavor to create an infrastructure for employing justice involved populations…as there is with any other talent population, too. However, being aware of setbacks through conversation with other employers, local law enforcement, state agencies, etc. will bring to light things you can plan to address:

  • “Ban the box” legislation – Do you have work sites in geographic areas that are NOT subject to “ban the box”? If so, then take another look at your employment application and consider whether any questions about a candidate’s criminal history are potentially deterring qualified, but justice involved individuals from considering employment with your organization.
  • Shift challenges – Is your work shift schedule such that it makes it impossible to accommodate the needs of justice involved individuals who must attend parole meetings? As previously mentioned, take measures now to consider alternative strategies for meeting transportation needs and addressing shift requirements.
  • Recognize bias toward unexplained issues – I recently met someone who is employed with the city government and who was previously justice involved. She explained that it is not uncommon for little, unexpected things to happen that can adversely impact the positive trajectory of a justice involved individual. She encourages others to get the facts before jumping to negative conclusions. For example, she has seen malfunctioning ankle bracelets cause productive employees who have done nothing wrong to be hauled away by police on the job in front of co-workers. Without sensitivity to the root cause of such problems, bias and gossip could lead to a lack of support, or even wrongful termination.

The time is now

Is your organization ready to get serious about considering this untapped talent population? I hope the considerations outlined in this blog inspire exploration of this talent pool and fine-tuning of any of your existing initiatives.

Author’s Note: I recently attended a remarkable “Second Chance Staffing Visioning Event” held in January 2020 at Butler University and in conjunction with Allegiance Staffing. This interactive session was a kick-off to a joint research project between these partners and others to explore the job performance of those with criminal backgrounds while on the job. There is not yet much (or current) research in this specific area and the event brought together individuals from social service agencies, businesses, and the government–including thriving employees who have been justice involved. I’m excited about the direction of this research as it perfectly aligns with making a positive impact and with the challenging job landscape. Given the lack of formal studies in this area, their goal is to conduct a more detailed empirical analysis of the relative workplace performance of justice-involved citizens, as well as identify factors affecting this performance. Such a study requires the assistance of local employer(s) willing to share data regarding employees’ attendance, aptitude, and attitude, and they are currently in the process of securing these partners.

 

Hiring in the Restaurant and Hospitality Industry

Let’s face it, hiring in the restaurant and hospitality industry is never really easy. Even when it’s an “employer’s job market,” filling open positions is a difficult, often times unpredictable, challenge. Today’s tight job market adds more difficulty to this challenge, as most job seekers have multiple job options.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the quit rate for employees in the restaurant and hospitality industry is 4.9%–more than twice the average for all other industries. Clearly these employees realize that they have employment options, and they’re exercising them. Restaurant and hospitality employers are facing two obstacles in trying to meet their employment needs: employee turnover and job applicant volume.

Job Applicants for Restaurants and Hospitality

A labor shortage has affected nearly every industry, however the tight job market has been especially unkind to restaurants. Often times these businesses seek to employ entry-level employees who will earn near minimum wage, or they need skilled workers who face little competition in the job market. So finding interested job seekers–let alone applicants–is very difficult for these employers when a) compensation is unattractive, and b) qualified workers are scarce.

That being the case, the industry relies heavily on a workforce that skews younger. Often it’s these employees in the 16- to 24-year-old age group who can afford to take minimum wage roles or who are actively training for more skilled roles. The bad news here is that according to the National Restaurant Association, there will be about 1.2 million fewer 16- to 24-year-olds in the labor force by 2028.

Employee Turnover in Restaurant and Hospitality Industry

Complicating the situation is the fact that many employees in the restaurant and hospitality industry don’t stay in one place for too long. There are a number of factors that can cause turnover, but for restaurant and hospitality employers it primarily boils down to one truth: the employer needs the employee, but the employee doesn’t need the employer. It’s upon this background where small conflicts and disappointments in the workplace can cause an employee to abruptly quit.

And there’s no getting around it, restaurant and hospitality work is stress-filled. This work can quickly wear down an employee, triggering a fight or flight response. It should be no surprise that often the response is: “It’s not worth the fight. I’ll get the same job in a new place, with new people.”

Attract and Retain Employees in Restaurant and Hospitality Industry

Employers of restaurant and hospitality talent are not helpless. Increased competition for talent within the industry and the pinch of trying to provide high value to customers by keeping costs (i.e. employee wages) low are daunting challenges. However, employers who look for creative ways to recruit, manage, and engage employees can succeed in a tight job market. Here are five creative ways for employers to do just that:

1 Target Your Employee Personas | Support Your Employee Persona

Develop personas of your ideal employees, and then build an employer brand to support them. The persona should not be a description of your current or past employees, and they should answer questions like:

  • What types of problems would the employee solve and how?
  • Why would the employee choose to work at your business?
  • Why would they stay?

If the answers to these questions are “I don’t know”, then there is work to be done in regard to building a work culture and operation that deserves the ideal employee you are seeking. Too often, crappy culture and poor operations scare off  good employees and job seekers. The mediocre employees stay around until it’s too uncomfortable. And the bad employees are likely the ones who power the poor culture and processes.

2 Billboards Where They Make Sense | A Perk That Works

Depending on where you live, billboards are still thriving in the United States. We often see them on the side of highways, perched atop buildings, or uniquely displayed in thriving urban areas. These expensive locations work to bring awareness to large brands and usually support a fully integrated marketing campaign. Don’t post your help wanted sign here!

However, there are many other billboard locations within metropolitan areas or between small towns that are much more affordable… and noticeable to the people you want to notice them. The catch here is that you must successfully achieve the following:

  • Develop the right message and imagery for the billboard
  • Place the billboard in the right location
  • Offer an enticing perk (and easy method) to respond to the advertisement

While all these points are important, having a great perk is key in order to convert a job seeker to an applicant. Here’s an example of a billboard advertisement located in a working class neighborhood of a large metropolitan area–20 miles away from the wealthy suburb in which the hiring restaurant is located.

 

3 Shorten Your Job Applications | Onboard with Care

How often do you come across a process or resource that is obscenely inefficient, and yet you continue using it because of momentum or tradition? The job application is an often overlooked inefficiency for employers in the restaurant and hospitality industry. It’s a product of the distant past carried forward to today and grossly out of place in an industry and job market where the job applicant possesses nearly all the leverage.

Employers challenged to fill open positions should be trying to make it easier to apply. Yet job seekers are expected to fill out 15-minute apps with short answer questions, provide the address of their high school alma mater, and scrounge around for other non-essential information that will ultimately have no bearing on whether they are hired. It’s no surprise that employers complain about low applicant volume! So here are a few tips to get more applicants with your online job application:

  • Only include the essential questions on your job application. These will likely vary based on the role, location, and type of business, but don’t trick yourself into thinking that every question is essential.
  • Consider breaking your application into two parts. The first part of the application will filter out those who do not meet minimum requirements. The second part of the application–perhaps delivered via text message follow up–will solicit more background and serve to identify the best applicants.
  • Ensure that the application looks and works well on mobile devices. This may be obvious to some, but it’s surprising how many job applications are not mobile-friendly.  And this is important, as 45% of job seekers use a mobile device for their job search–on a daily basis.

A quick, smooth application process is worth nothing if the new hire is greeted by a slow, disorganized onboarding experience. So ideally, the first few weeks of employment should match the expectations created through the hiring process.

4 Shoot Them A Text | Maximize Face Time

In much the same way that employers are clinging to outdated job applications, many are reluctant to move away from phone calls and email in communicating with applicants. While those are still effective channels, they lack the immediateness that text messaging can bring to communication. Receiving and reading all happen at once with text. Add links with the message, and now the applicant immediately knows their application status, next steps, and how to act.

Beyond the practical utility of text messaging, the channel also allows employers to show more personality. Engaging with applicants in a familiar, comfortable way can immediately warm the relationship and set the stage for a more relaxed onboarding experience–that is, if the the onboarding experience matches the tone and feeling created through text recruiting. This means employers must maximize their initial face time with a new hire. Here are a few tips for doing just that:

  • Use video chat or in-person meetings for final candidate interviews.
  • The language used in recruiting should be the same used in onboarding.
  • Do not use text messaging to communicate feelings or sincerity.

While text messaging is great at getting an applicant’s attention, providing them with resources, and communicating the “brass tacks,” it’s not a substitute for face time. Especially when seeking to convey gratitude or appreciation, it’s worth finding the time and opportunity to communicate feelings in person. And when doing so, the new hire should feel as if the person (or people) who recruited them via text is the same person speaking to them in real life.

5 Embrace the Gig Economy | Be the Best Gig In Town

Job seekers have become more comfortable with risk and uncertainty as the gig economy has evolved. This confidence has spilled over to full-time jobs, meaning employees are now more comfortable spending a few months working at one location, only to move to another. Why do they move? The reasons are many and varied, but they might include a job that: pays a bit more; provides a cooler workplace; serves different clientele; is located closer to home or public transportation; or is just, simply, different.

To confront this new mentality, employers can choose to embrace the gig economy and accept the fact that they will be hiring for the same role every 3-6 months. And to the degree that an employer can meet an employee’s needs, the employee may stay longer. Going one step further, the employer can resolve to be the best gig in town by offering a great workplace, competitive pay, and practical benefits like transportation stipends. Here are few ideas for helping to ensure that your new hires dig your gig:

  • Ask job applicants to describe their ideal workplace.
  • Solicit any concerns about the workplace from new hires upfront.
  • When employees leave, ask them why they decided to leave and where they’re going.

Asking questions of applicants and employees regarding their needs is one of the first ways an employer can show that they care. The next step would be to actually meet those needs, although that won’t always be possible. Beyond the impact that this will make in strengthening the employee-employer relationship, discovering the needs of employees will help the employer refine its work culture and protect against “bad fit” hires or early turnover caused by the greener grass down the block.

Hiring Software for the Restaurant and Hospitality Industry

There’s no doubt about it; the restaurant and hospitality industry is in a tough spot. Finding, hiring, and retaining talent is never easy, especially in a tight job market. However, by leveraging technology and making some common sense changes that cater to the job seeker and meet the needs of employees, employers can successfully (and profitably) staff their establishments. Hiring software can support these efforts in several ways, but most importantly it must:

  • Offer integrated text recruiting that allows you to quickly get responses
  • Support two-step applications that allow you to speed up the initial application process
  • Provide insights that help you identify your best hires, so you can hire more like them

The above features will help you differentiate your organization from the competition; however, the groundwork of caring about employees and work culture must be taken care of first. Hiring software is there to help you maintain your focus on the people. This is accomplished by automating much of the hiring process and recording data to provide you with powerful hiring insights.

 

How to Effortlessly Use Texting to Hire Hourly Workers

You only have to look at your smartphone’s weekly screen time report to know that the amount of time we spend accessing our phones is increasing at a relentless pace. Whether our pervasive mobile usage troubles or encourages you, it is undeniable. In fact, according to research done by Hitwise, the average device split for searches was 72% for mobile and 28% for desktop in 2017.

In consideration of the amount of time people spend doing web searches on phones, naturally we’re in a climate where employers must adapt and leverage mobile communication in their hiring process–particularly while unemployment is at an epic low.

Today, the name of the hiring game is speed, and this is painfully realized in industries that employ a large number of hourly, non-exempt workers. The reality of those employers is that if they hesitate to respond quickly, the competitor across the street has already paid their would-be new hire for their first shift.

Signs that you’re not effectively using a text recruiting strategy

We can and should all continuously experiment with and tweak our hiring processes. The hiring landscape changes so quickly that constant attention is required. However, there are telltale signs that help identify when your organization has a more significant mobile communication problem.

Phone ghosting

I was initially surprised a couple of years ago when I heard that many employers of hourly workers, in particular, struggled to get candidates to respond to phone invitations for an initial interview. If your recruiters are frequently encountering full voice mail boxes when reaching out to schedule a conversation; or they discover that a candidate doesn’t even have voice mail set up, then it’s time to try something other than a phone call.

Candidate shelf-life

It’s not uncommon for employers who rely on large numbers of hourly workers to empower the managers and assistant managers of various store locations to screen candidates and invite them to proceed in the hiring process. Because hiring is just one of myriad operational responsibilities for these managers, they don’t always respond to candidates as quickly as may be necessary in this job market.

This failure in prompt candidate engagement all too often sinks a retail location’s recruiting efforts before the ship even leaves port. Or, maybe a manager is in such tremendous need of candidates that he recognizes this deficiency and immediately calls or emails new applicants. However, because many hourly workers tend to fill positions that aren’t necessarily accompanied by a desktop computer or an office landline, their tendency is to communicate via text rather than voice mail or email.

If a job seeker doesn’t recognize a general manager’s incoming phone number, chances are she’ll avoid taking the call–meanwhile, if she has applied to multiple hourly positions, a savvy competitor is grabbing her attention and her time via text before she checks her inbox.

Standardizing communication and respecting candidate privacy

In the absence of a strong hiring software platform that allows managers to contact job candidates via text message, many managers of hourly workers will resort to their own smartphone to contact applicants to connect for an interview.

This is commonplace; however, it isn’t in the best interest of the employer. In many cases, these applicants were not prompted to opt-in to receiving text messages during the job application process–why would they if the applicant tracking system didn’t support text messaging?

Not only is this a privacy concern as it does not allow job candidates to formally opt-out of text messages once they are initiated, but practically speaking, candidates won’t necessarily be on the lookout for text communication from your organization.

Arguably, they will probably quickly adapt given that texting is second nature to many of them, but your organization is missing an opportunity to set expectations about the hiring process and endear itself to candidates…candidates who are in hot demand.

Moreover, when general managers take texting candidates into their own hands outside of an ATS, there is no guarantee of adequate communication documentation with the job applicant. By utilizing applicant tracking software that includes in-application texting functionality, an employer is ensuring that multiple users of the system have access to review communication between candidates.

After all, in this highly competitive recruiting landscape, recruiters have full plates and may be called to work on different job requisitions if a co-worker is on vacation, on leave, etc. What you don’t want is for only one person in your organization to have access to candidate conversations–that’s a significant obstacle for a scaling company.

Why is mobile recruiting an opportunity for hourly jobs in particular?

Hourly workers are often the front-line defense (or offense) for your organization. They are the individuals who are most likely to interact directly with your customers. And, unfortunately, they are often in the positions with the highest turnover–whether that is related to the nature of the job, the typical lower pay (relative to exempt positions), and/or the lack of benefits (at least in the case of part-time hourly employees). In a job market flooded with open positions, candidates will leave for a few cents more per hour.

You see this happen in positions like

  • hosts and servers at your local restaurant,
  • cashiers at your retail store,
  • LPNs at your healthcare facility,
  • service techs at your automotive dealership, and
  • direct support professionals (DSPs) for nonprofits.

People who fill these types of positions tend to be on the go (i.e. not doing a desk job) and may have more than one part-time job at a time. They don’t get into email or voice mail as frequently (if at all), and so they need fewer barriers to communication when it comes to job consideration, as well as long-term engagement with an employer.

Considering that over 58% of America’s working population fills hourly positions (BLS, 2017), there’s real opportunity to leverage texting to be the first to attract and engage hourly job candidates. I’m offering the following steps to help you position your organization as an earlier adopter of the mobile recruiting revolution.

6 steps to successfully use texting to hire hourly workers

1 – Create communication efficiency

Use pre-built text message templates within your applicant tracking system. Create and label them for different stages in the selection process for hourly workers. This saves store managers time when they need to hire three new retail associates–“yesterday!”

2 – Model the right texting behavior

Train your hiring managers on appropriate texting etiquette for your recruiting process. Does the language they use and the tone they convey support your overall employment brand? Additionally, make sure they understand how text messages will show up to the job candidate.

An easy way to accomplish this is to test the messaging feature from within a sample job application. Then, take a screenshot of how it appears to a recipient on your phone and share it with managers. This step will help them understand from what number(s) messages may originate, whether the sender’s name, job title and/or organization name are referenced, and how much of the message will appear on the preview screen before being cut off.

3 – Lightning fast speed

Use text to reply promptly to candidates once they’ve responded to your initial outreach. Don’t make the mistake of resting on your laurels once you have native texting functionality and take your sweet time to reply–jump on message responses!

Remember: texting affords job candidates fewer communication barriers to entry, so they expect organizations to respond quickly, too.

4 – Strategically plan text content

You should absolutely use text to reach all types of job candidates to screen and schedule interviews. However, text messages also present an opportunity–when used thoughtfully and selectively–to reach candidates who are on the fence about joining your organization.

Consider the potential impact of a personalized message sharing a link to a positive article about your company. Or, the likelihood that a hired candidate will end up ghosting you during the pre-boarding phase if you regularly connect with him to prepare him for his first shift.

5 – Flip the script on thank you notes

Use text messages to thank a job candidate for her time and preparation after you conduct an interview. That’s right–once upon a time, we expected job candidates to thank recruiters and hiring managers for their time in order to help them secure an offer–but times are changing!

Thank you notes are still an amazing gesture on the part of a job candidate, but they are no longer a mainstay for job offer consideration in today’s job market given the sorry state of many employers’ candidate pipelines.

Today is about sourcing, not screening. Break through the clutter by proactively thanking candidates with a simple text message and humanize your hiring process.

6 – Hiring process visualization

When candidates know what to expect from the hiring process it

  • helps them visualize how they see themselves interacting with your organization,
  • may allow them to more adequately prepare, and
  • it makes it easier for them to say “yes” when you make the job offer.

You can use text to quickly outline the various hiring process steps at the onset of the recruiting process. Think of this step as reducing friction for distracted job seekers who probably have many options before them. If you can grease their understanding runway regarding your job opportunity–and you can do so quickly–you’ll be the employer who is poaching job candidates from competitors across the street.

Mobile recruiting facilitated by text message communication is here to stay. Armed with the steps outlined above, you’re on the way to engaging the job seekers in your hourly job candidate pipeline and positively impacting your employer’s bottom line.

ExactHire Hiring Software | Text Recruiting