Skills Based Hiring

Part 3 of our Indiana HR Conference continues today. Another important concept our SHRM certified strategists addressed was the topic of Skills Based Hiring. Human Resources professionals know it is not easy to fill job openings. Currently, there are approximately 10 million vacant jobs in the United States. Where are all the candidates? That is a question that cannot easily be answered. However, there is a recruitment strategy ready for utilization to attract more qualified candidates, and that is skills based hiring.

Skills based hiring is the concept of screening and evaluating candidates based on their knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) and performance potential. This would be instead of focusing on the degree, if any, that they earned and their past job history. Skills based hiring is a way to help organizations fill high-volume and high-turnover positions in particular. It can also be applicable for use in other roles too though. Skills based hiring offers an organization a way to fill vacant roles while exponentially expanding its applicant pool by allowing previously excluded applicants the opportunity to validate their ability to perform in sought after job openings. 

Addressing Concerns

Skills based hiring can generate some nervousness within an organization. In a sense, it shatters the philosophy of “We have always done it this way.” believed by many when it comes to the evolution from traditional hiring practices. Changing processes, and especially mindsets, can make a positive impact and promote growth within a company. Shifting from traditional hiring to skills based hiring takes planning, research, communication and teamwork. For major change to occur in the workplace, senior and executive leadership must champion the cause with Human Resources. Their support and investment will then flow to hiring managers who will be the ones responsible for applying the concept. As buy-in occurs, the momentum shifts, and the ability to hire focusing on skills begins.

How to Get Started with Skills Based Hiring

Now that the organization is ready to progress with skills based hiring, what is next? In partnership with leadership and departments, Human Resources must identify and itemize the particular skills that are essential to perform the functions of the roles in the company. What skills are needed for the company to operate at high productivity? Are there skills our current employees have that contribute to the company’s success?  What skills do we need to maintain or improve operations? Are there skills we’re lacking? Composing an inventory of skills takes time.

Analyze existing job descriptions to identify essential components. Examine requirements closely. While certain fields (ex. Healthcare and Education) require specific credentials for various roles, determine if other roles must have certain criteria required. For management, sales, or service roles, does the job really need a bachelor degree? A degree is not an automatic indicator for success in a role, but job-specific demonstrated skills can be indicators of potential success. 

Incorporating Skills Based Hiring

After a thorough internal skills assessment, it is time for an organization to take the initiative. They need to reduce the company’s gaps by filling vacant roles. Job posting, when doing skills based hiring, takes diligence to communicate what is essential while removing what is not while using language that is inclusive. Careful wording is essential. According to LinkedIn, job posts that highlight “responsibilities” instead of “requirements” get 14% more applications per view. It takes meticulous review and thought to remove any conscious and unconscious bias. Within the job description, skills based hiring shifts focus from degree(s) attained and experience by targeting potential applicants who meet an itemized list of specific competencies and skills required and preferred for optimal performance.

When creating a skills based job listing, stakeholders must identify the competencies needed for job success. Then you should rank those in priority order. Specify deal breakers by classifying which skills are “must have” and which skills are “would like to have”. Doing so will still filter unqualified applicants but yet not close the door on applicants who have some but not all of the skills listed for success.  According to Harvard Business Review, women will not apply to a job listing if they do not meet 100% of the criteria while men usually apply after meeting about 60% of the criteria. Skills based hiring is meant to identify qualified candidates who can successfully do the job so ensure that required and preferred skills are carefully and accurately labeled. If criteria is labeled incorrectly, an organization will miss out on qualified candidates and impede cultural growth and diversity. 

Helpful Accessories for Incorporating Skills Based Hiring

HR professionals and hiring managers should use their applicant tracking system (ATS) to post their skills based job listings to operate efficiently and select a variety of job boards to post to in one attempt.  As HR and hiring managers screen candidates, communicate quickly with applicants to increase engagement and before they get hired by a competitor. Text or email to set up an initial phone screen. In the phone screen, ask questions which allow the interviewee to share past and current experiences that elaborate upon and validate employer sought skills. Create specific skills based interview guides in the ATS to standardize the interview process. Focus on the goal of finding the right talent instead of the intricacies of degrees earned or not earned. According to McKinsey, hiring for skills is five times more predictive of job performance than hiring for education.


Skills based hiring offers many benefits. It promotes equity for people in their desire to earn a high-paying wage.  Millions of job seekers who were previously overlooked or ineligible for consideration can attain better financial stability in higher paying roles which were previously unattainable to them due to degree requirements. According to LinkedIn, employees without a bachelor degree tend to stay 34% longer than employees without a degree. Organizations benefit with an expanded talent pool to relieve employee shortages and see an increase in employee loyalty. Workforce diversity increases which enhances productivity. Skills based hiring is a win-win for organizations and job seekers. If you would like to see skills based hiring in action with ExactHire’s Full Service Hiring, please reach out to us to discuss how this service can save you time and money.

HR Conference Takeaways: I-9 Info

Our team of SHRM certified strategists recently traveled to the annual Indiana HR Conference. They came back with a plethora of useful and important information. Over the coming weeks ExactHire will be detailing what we believe to be the most important takeaways from this conference. Starting off this series is the importance of the I-9 Form.

What is an I-9 Form?

After working diligently to fill vacancies with key talent, Human Resources professionals are tasked with onboarding new team members efficiently. HR has a plethora of supportive responsibilities with the new hire. Welcoming them to their team and company as a whole, acclimate them to the environment, answer their questions, support their growth, and so on. Those duties put the “human” in “human resources”.  However, HR is tasked with compliance obligations that cannot be ignored. One of the most important tasks that HR is responsible for is verifying the new hire’s eligibility to work through the use of the Eligibility Verification Form (I-9). This process is required by the federal government. If it is not completed or completed incorrectly, penalties may be incurred. 


Here are some pieces of key info that can guide HR professionals about the employment eligibility and onboarding processes. Note: ExactHire does not provide legal counsel so please check with your company’s legal team regarding employee work eligibility questions. 


If a company hires individual(s) who are not legally eligible to work, or if the company maintains employment of employees whom they know are not legally eligible to work, the company may be fined. These fines are not pocket change. Penalties can range from $230 to $20,130 PER violation. Frequent violators tend to receive higher penalties. If there is a pattern of hiring unauthorized employees, employers may be subject to criminal penalties. HR professionals must be cognizant of which documents qualify as employee verification tools and complete the verification process accurately in a timely manner. It is possible that a new hire might provide several pieces of documentation that satisfy I-9 requirements. If this occurs, do not record more than is necessary. Have the employee select an acceptable document that meets List A or documents that meet List B and List C. 

Who Needs an I-9 Form?

Employers are required to maintain the I-9 for potential inspection for all current employees. When an employee is terminated or willingly leaves, an employer must keep the I-9 on file for at least three years from the date of hire or for one year after the employee is no longer hired, whichever is longer. This is where onboarding software is essential. Companies who use onboarding software have a secure means to collect confidential items securely and in a timely manner. They can also keep them organized to refer to when necessary. Messy handwriting on forms is no longer an issue when new hires can securely input personal data into the platform.  Keep in mind that within three days of a new employee’s start date, the I-9 must be completed and countersigned. Instead of chasing down people to complete the task, save time and money by automating.

How to Properly Complete the I-9 Form

Let’s talk about the three day window on signing and countersigning the I-9 in more depth. The new hire must complete Section 1 of the I-9 by the end of the first day of employment. Once the new hire signs Section 1, the employer is now obligated (in most scenarios) to complete Section 2 within three days after the new hire’s first day of work. Weekends do count as business days if the company is operational over the weekend. Ambitious employees can complete the I-9 before their first day of work. As long as they have accepted the job offer for employment with the company. Companies should not start the I-9 process before hiring an employee though.

It is important to make sure that an employer is using the correct version of the I-9 at all times. The latest version of the I-9 was released August 1, 2023 and will be required for use starting November 1, 2023. A HR employee might be unsure if they are using the most recent version. Always check the version date which is listed in the bottom left corner. The version, previous to the new August one, which was released October 21, 2019 can be used through October 31, 2023.

Another perk of using onboarding software is having the form automatically updated within the platform so HR will know they are using the correct form. There is a Spanish I-9 form, but it is only for use by employers and employees in Puerto Rico.  If an organization has Spanish speaking employees who are not fluent in English, it is important to find a translator to assist in translating the English version and answering any questions the employee might have. 


A very handy and intuitive tool used in the employment verification process is E-Verify.  E-Verify is a web-based system that allows employers to confirm employees’ eligibility to work in the United States. This does not replace the I-9; however, it electronically confirms an employee’s information against millions of government records. When an employer uses E-Verify, it shows a bona fide effort to hire eligible workers. It provides an extra layer of reassurance to employers knowing they have taken additional measures to prevent the employment of unauthorized workers.


Finding key talent is challenging and full of competition.  After Human Resources completes the hiring process starting with Point A, an employer cannot forget about Point Z. Having a streamlined onboarding process that focuses on welcoming and acclimating new hires to the environment is crucial for retention. Spending time chasing new hires to complete paperwork is not cost effective nor does it demonstrate a “personal” aspect to the new hires.

It is important that organizations identify and understand the value of using onboarding software to automate tasks and shift focus to the human side of human resources. Simplify the employment verification process with the integration of E-Verify. While E-Verify is not a required tool for verification purposes, using an onboarding platform with E-Verify can offer so much more efficiency and simplicity. If you would like to learn more how ExactHire’s OnboardCentric, available with E-Verify, can boost your company’s productivity and save you money, reach out to us here or call us at 317.296.8000.


Key Strategies to Attract Top Talent


In today’s competitive business landscape, attracting and retaining top talent is a critical priority for companies striving for success. The ability to attract talented individuals not only enhances the overall performance of an organization but also contributes to its long-term growth and success. However, with the job market evolving rapidly, companies need to adopt innovative strategies to stand out and attract the best candidates. In this blog post, we will explore some key strategies that companies can employ to attract employees effectively.

If you have any trouble attracting top talent Full Service Hiring could be exactly what you need. Take the guesswork and hassle out of hiring and have our SHRM Certified strategists handle your hiring needs!

Build a Strong Employer Brand

Establishing a strong employer brand is crucial to attracting top talent. Potential employees want to work for companies that have a positive reputation and offer fulfilling experiences. Develop and communicate your company’s values, mission, and culture consistently across all channels, including your website, social media platforms, and job listings. Highlight employee testimonials and success stories to give candidates a glimpse into what it’s like to work for your organization. Cultivate a positive online presence, respond promptly to candidate inquiries, and leverage platforms such as Glassdoor to showcase your company’s strengths and engage with potential candidates.

Attract Top Talent Through Compensation and Benefits

In a competitive job market, offering competitive compensation and benefits is vital to attracting high-quality talent. Research industry standards and ensure that your compensation packages are on par or even surpass those of your competitors. Consider offering additional benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, flexible working arrangements, and professional development opportunities. Tailor your benefits to align with the needs and preferences of your target candidates to create a compelling package that sets your company apart from others.

Embrace Workplace Flexibility to Attract Top Talent

In recent years, workplace flexibility has become increasingly important to employees. Offering flexible working options, such as remote work or flexible hours, can be a significant draw for talented individuals seeking work-life balance. Companies that embrace flexibility demonstrate their trust in employees and their commitment to supporting their well-being. It also widens the talent pool, as it allows companies to attract candidates who may not be able to commit to traditional office-based roles. Implementing flexible work policies can be a win-win situation for both the company and its employees.


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Prioritize Employee Development and Growth

Top talent is often attracted to companies that invest in their employees’ development and offer opportunities for growth. Establish a robust performance management system that includes regular feedback, coaching, and clear career progression paths. Provide training and development programs to enhance employees’ skills and expand their knowledge. Offering mentorship programs and educational reimbursements can also signal your commitment to their professional growth. By demonstrating a genuine interest in your employees’ career advancement, you will attract ambitious individuals who value continuous learning and development.

Foster a Positive and Inclusive Work Environment

Creating a positive and inclusive work environment is essential for attracting employees from diverse backgrounds. Ensure that your company promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) throughout its operations and culture. Implement policies that prevent discrimination and foster a sense of belonging for all employees. Encourage open communication, collaboration, and respect among team members. Celebrate diversity and offer opportunities for employees to share their experiences and perspectives. When potential candidates see a company that values diversity and inclusivity, they are more likely to be attracted and engaged.

Attract Top Talent Through Effective Recruitment Practices

In today’s digital age, companies must adapt their recruitment practices to connect with top talent effectively. Leverage social media platforms, professional networks, and online job boards to advertise open positions. Craft compelling job descriptions that highlight not only the required qualifications but also the company’s unique selling points. Streamline your application process to make it user-friendly and efficient. Embrace innovative recruitment methods, such as video interviews and skills assessments, to gain valuable insights into candidates’ abilities and potential fit within your organization.


Attracting top talent is a multifaceted challenge that requires a proactive and strategic approach. By building a strong employer brand, offering competitive compensation and benefits, embracing workplace flexibility, prioritizing employee development, fostering a positive and inclusive work environment, and engaging in effective recruitment practices, companies can position themselves as desirable employers and attract the best candidates in the market. Remember, attracting and retaining top talent is an ongoing effort that requires continuous evaluation and adaptation to remain competitive in today’s dynamic business landscape.

4 Tips For Better Job Candidates

Getting the best Job Candidates available is critical for a company’s success. Better employees means more efficiency, ingenuity, and thus better results. To ensure you are doing your do diligence in getting the best possible candidates, you should consider using ExactHire’s ATS to cross reference hundreds of candidates against various criteria, so you can guarantee getting the most qualified candidates every time!

One consistent characteristic about the job market is that it will have its ebbs and flows. During times of high job vacancies, job seekers possess a unique advantage to seek higher pay and/or additional benefits. When job vacancies are minimal, companies maintain the option to be more selective with pay and benefits as they filter through candidates to find the one who will be the best cultural fit. No matter the current hiring environment, there are ways organizations can improve the quality of candidates who apply. Here are four tips to implement in an organization’s hiring process to find better job candidates:


Create a simple application process to get better job candidates

Job seekers do not want to spend an exorbitant amount of time completing an online application. Ideally, an online application process should last five minutes or less. From the time the applicant starts the process to the time they click the button to submit. Human Resources professionals should take time to test the application and proceed through the content as if they are an actual applicant. From an applicant’s perspective, was the process cumbersome or simple?

Evaluate the questions included in the application. Can some or most questions be set as optional instead of being set as required? Which questions can be removed from the application? Do you really need to collect the applicant’s full address or the complete addresses, down to the zip codes, of past employers? Is it necessary to request references’ contact information at the time of application? Eliminating the muss of unnecessary questions will reduce the applicants’ fuss. 

Job seekers are often applying to jobs during work breaks, in between appointments and child care pick up, and even when stuck in traffic. The job application process must be quick and convenient. Make sure that the application process offers individuals the ability to apply on mobile phones and devices. TIme is of the essence to job seekers. Check your Applicant Drop Off report to get some insight, and do not ignore the message conveyed by the data.  The higher the drop off rate, the more likely it is for Human Resources to take action. It is important to use analytics to improve the application process. 


Craft accurately detailed job listings

When job seekers read through a job listing, they try to picture themselves in the role completing the listed responsibilities.  If the listing is vague, it is harder for a job seeker to imagine themselves in the role. Not enough detail will motivate the job seeker to skip applying. Communicate what the job entails and what qualities are needed by the person to be successful in the role. Integrate descriptions of company culture in the listing so the job seeker can get a feel for the work environment.  Specify if the role is remote, hybrid or onsite to eliminate questions.

Use bullets to identify key tasks and duties. Evaluate the level of education that is essential for success in the role. Is a bachelor degree really a requirement for the role? Some roles can be successfully completed by someone who has an associate degree or less but with the desired experience and skill set. Include any coveted benefits that differentiate the company from others such as unlimited or extended PTO, four-day work weeks, pensions, retirement matches, etc. 


Communicate with applicants

Starting when the applicant submits their application to an organization, communication should begin. Set up your Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to send a personalized, automatic email to the applicant confirming that the application has been received by the company. No matter the tech savviness level, the job seeker gets reassurance that their application was officially received by the organization. The ideal hiring process, from application submission to offer extended and accepted, should take no more than 30 days.

The longer the process takes, the more likely an organization will lose candidates to competitors. Do not leave applicants wondering if they are still in consideration. If they are not in consideration, be kind, and let them know by sending a message template. Good ATS platforms will offer ways to use wildcards to “personalize” text and email templates without users taking the time to manually input names, job titles, etc. Applicants will have a better applicant experience if they receive updates, even if it is not the news they want to hear. Sending timely, personable updates to applicants will positively portray the company’s branding. Word of mouth can help or hinder a company so ensure that job seekers’ experiences applying to the company is worth sharing. 

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Boost your employee referral program

What better way can an organization expand its talent pool by reaching out to current employees to get their recommendations of talent? Current employees have a solid understanding of the work culture and what is needed to thrive. They can be excellent judges of who in their network could be an asset to the organization. If an organization does not have an employee referral program established, create one with a variety of benefits. Offer financial stipends to current employees if a referral is hired and stays for a company designated timeframe.

Gift cards, event tickets, company swag and additional PTO are other ways to reward employees for bringing talent to the organization. To make sure proper credit is given, include a question on the employment application asking who referred the job seeker to apply to the company. Employee experience matters here also. Do not overlook former employees as a referral source. Former employees can share their testimonials and recommend colleagues to apply to their past employer so reward them fairly.  


Share on Social Media To Get Better Job Candidates

Global internet users spend almost 2.5 hours daily on social media. Job seekers and individuals not actively looking for a job will scroll intentionally and aimlessly to whatever catches their attention. Post company jobs on social media platforms, and consider sponsoring job listings for additional traffic. Job seekers can land on companies’ corporate pages through scanning job listings on job boards so make social media buttons highly visible on the company’s website to entice viewers to follow.  Share QR codes of vacancies to give job seekers quick access to apply.  Even if a viewer does not find a role that they want to apply to, they might know of a stellar candidate and share the link with them. 


In a competitive job market, it is challenging to find talent so companies must find ways to make themselves, and their job openings, uniquely attractive to entice job seekers to apply. By accurately portraying the company as a culture welcoming to all, individuals are more likely to explore opportunities to start a career at the place. Companies must communicate their message across multiple channels to reach different audiences. Get the message out that your company is THE company for job seekers.

2023 Hiring Challenges: How to Prepare and Fix Them

Hiring challenges are robust and consistent anytime of year, use ExactHire’s ATS to minimize these challenges and get you the best candidates on the market.

No matter how revolutionary your product or service is and no matter how innovative your solution is, your business won’t grow without high-value staff. Your bottom-line results are directly connected to your ability to attract, hire, and retain incredible workers. And today’s workforce and hiring environment are challenging. In fact, these are the top 2023 hiring challenges, along with insights to prepare for and fix them. 

Attracting Diverse Workforces

As an employer, you’re feeling the pressure to expand your company culture to be more inclusive and diverse. However, trying to attract and retain a more diverse workforce can be challenging. To improve your efforts and attract more diversity to your teams, it starts with a shift in company culture. Consider redefining your company’s position on inclusivity and diversity. And from there, branch out by developing targeted recruiting strategies that open the door to more applicants. Look for job fairs and networking events that specifically support underrepresented groups. Additionally, create diversity position statements in your job descriptions and throughout your online marketing. 

Finding Top-Quality Candidates

Another 2023 hiring challenge you’re likely facing involves finding top-quality and high-value candidates for your key positions. The competition right now for skilled candidates is fierce. Those applicants with the rooted experience you need are going to be tough to find. But, you can expand your recruiting efforts to include a more robust presence on the job boards. Be open with your marketing channels, like social media and your website, about unique job openings. Tap into your professional networks to create buzz about your role and ask for referral candidates. The top-quality candidates you’re looking for may also be working elsewhere right now. So, look to develop a strategy for connecting with passive candidates who may be ready for a career change but aren’t actively looking.

Remote Hiring Challenges: Job Candidates Need Flexibility 

It’s a worker-driven economy right now, meaning employees and job seekers have more opportunities to consider. Yes, they need to work. But they’re also being choosy about which positions to apply for and the companies they work with in the end. Regardless of how you feel about remote working dynamics, today’s workers need that flexibility and won’t change careers without it. But there’s more to flexibility than just remote and hybrid work. As an employer, you can offer more flexibility in terms of redefining working hours or work weeks. Consider implementing more progressive approaches to work-life balance initiatives that place value on employee experiences. 

Applicants Want the Opportunity to Explore New Skills

Internal mobility is the order of the day. And to address the 2023 hiring challenge relating to workers who want to try new things, you’re going to need to adopt a more comprehensive approach to internal promotion and in-house opportunities. Employees are more often looking to transform their careers in new directions. And they’ll stay with employers who routinely offer opportunities for continued learning, additional certifications, and new skills in other departments. To fix these hiring challenges, look to internal growth initiatives. When your new hires and existing employees show interest in exploring new paths, provide them with the roles and opportunities so they can continue to grow and improve – with your company and not someone else’s.

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Skills-Based Hiring Carries More Weight

If you’re struggling to find and hire top talent, take a look at your job requirements. The days of strict educational requirements and industry experience are in the rearview mirror. Today’s companies are adopting a more skills-based approach to hiring, seriously considering candidates with relatable skills and trainable characteristics. Create your job descriptions in a way that outlines the precise skills needed for the role. Instead of a bachelor’s degree in marketing, be open to those who have relevant experience with marketing on social media, content creation, or email campaigns. Broaden your lens to include skills, and you’ll broaden your pool of worthy applicants.

Retaining Your Best Talent

Hiring challenges in 2023 also extend to retention strategies. Once you do find great workers, you’re going to have to prepare for the challenges related to retention. This means sitting down with your current staff and gathering feedback about what they value most from an employer. And then, create an attractive strategy for keeping your best team members for the long term. Consider more comprehensive benefits packages, increased job flexibility, improved company culture, competitive compensation, and professional development opportunities. 


Prepare to address the unique hiring challenges in 2023 with these insights rooted in data and the latest hiring trends. And when you need a partner to help facilitate your new strategies, let ExactHire be your guide!

How an ATS can overhaul your hiring efforts

To ensure you are doing your do diligence in getting the best possible candidates, you should consider using ExactHire’s ATS to cross reference hundreds of candidates against various criteria, so you can guarantee getting the most qualified candidates every time!

Making work life more efficient is one of the many goals for individuals in the recruiting world. It takes substantial amounts of time and money to find, evaluate and hire talent which fit into an organization’s culture. Using an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) can overhaul an organization’s hiring efforts, saving much needed time and money for the company.


According to a 2022 survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers, 39% of survey respondents said that the top two challenges in Human Resources today are recruiting/hiring and collecting/analyzing HR data analytics and insights. While these challenges can be tackled through manual recruiting efforts, manual recruitment yields more headaches and inefficiencies instead of simplicity. Using a robust ATS helps an organization consolidate job postings and applicant content in one central hub. That hub is accessible to permitted employees to view applicant information and interact with candidates expediting the hiring process.

 How Does an ATS Help?

HR needs accessible data for reporting to management, departments, government entities and for their own internal purposes. A powerful ATS should allow quick access to reports such as Time to Fill and Time to Hire in addition to having the ability to build ad hoc reports. Analytics can also assist recruiters to get more bang for their buck with their recruitment budget. This is done by identifying where the most applicant traffic originates. This way they can focus their funding on the most productive sites.

After using recruitment analytics to find the most effective sources for candidates, an effective ATS should have an extensive library of job boards available for selection with the ability to automatically push job listings to key job boards. Time is of the essence, and recruiters cannot spend endless amounts of time posting to job boards A, B, and C, without tangible results. The competition for talent is fierce. If it takes too much time to post, screen and contact an applicant, that applicant will be hired by the organization’s competitor.

ATS Features

Candidates who apply for one job vacancy might not be the right fit for that particular role. They could possibly be a good fit for a different opening though. The convenience of copying an applicant to a different job listing saves the applicant time by not having to apply again and benefits the company by having that candidate’s info ready for review. For those job seekers who might walk in with a resume or stop by a company’s booth at a job fair, HR needs to have the ability to manually add that applicant to the ATS for consistency. Having an ATS that allows users the ability to tag particular skills on applicant records for positions helps recruiters. It allows them to examine talent that has shown interest in the company. Then they match those skills to the skills needed in vacant roles.

Locked file cabinets and desk drawers are not a secure way to house applicant files. Passing information manually between employees is a security risk. Using an applicant tracking system enhances safety and compliance. An applicant tracking system hosts candidates’ data in a secure, cloud-based central location. An ATS offers an organized, uniform place to screen, note and communicate with an applicant. Eliminate confusion regarding who has spoken to whom with the ability to see which employee has communicated with an applicant and what content was discussed. Keeping data in a central location with time stamped comments and communication provides quick access if there is a legal request for that data.  While email is still a consistent means of contact with candidates, use an ATS with the ability to text applicants who opt in for texting for speedier communication.

 Application Efficiency

Job seekers are examining the companies to which they apply. Is company A a better fit than company B? Consider the application process and how that is perceived by job seekers. If an organization is using paper applications, job seekers can legitimately question how technologically savvy the company is. QR codes generate opportunities for job seekers to apply with ease and convenience.  A company’s job site must be mobile friendly. Job seekers use phones to apply. However, if a company has an electronic application, if it is too long the job seeker will stop applying and apply elsewhere. Having insights, such as Applicant Drop Off reporting, help recruiters identify challenges with the application process.

When selecting and implementing an ATS, knowing there is a responsive and personable support team is reassuring. Even for the most technologically savvy employees, questions will arise when using an ATS so having an accessible support team with the knowledge to answer the asked, and often unasked, questions is imperative. Service and support must be a priority item when selecting and implementing an ATS.


Automation saves time and money. Job seekers will not accept a long hiring process. If an organization does not effectively communicate and cycle the candidate efficiently through a short-phased process, talent will go somewhere else. Vacant jobs cost a company exorbitant amounts of money due to productivity loss. An organization cannot afford to have lost productivity. Or even overstretch existing employees as a temporary remedy to offset the open positions. If management is concerned that an ATS is too expensive for an organization, calculate and compare the loss of productivity. Then calculate valuable talent to the investment and cost savings of the implementation and use of an ATS. The cost-savings will be visible and reiterate the benefits that exist from using an ATS. Using an ATS will change the trajectory of recruitment to lead an organization along a path of success.

Quiet Hiring

Recently, the concept of quiet quitting took center stage in the spotlight as many employees experiencing or on the cusp of experiencing employee burnout shifted their mindset to do their jobs but consciously deciding not to go above and beyond basic duties. Status quo provided enough satisfaction to keep quiet quitting employees from formally resigning.  Quiet quitting is not necessarily a bad concept. There are employees who are satisfied in their current roles and do not seek to take on additional responsibilities. Even if compensation or promotions are offered. Companies need to realize that these employees can fulfill a company need. It is often challenging to retain employees holding low-level positions. There are some people who want to stay where they are, and then there are others who do not.  And that is how companies have opened the door to “quiet hiring”…

What is Quiet Hiring?

Lately, a new term has evolved: “quiet hiring”. It is the paradox of quiet quitting. While the term of quiet hiring is new, the concept is not. Quiet hiring has taken place consistently in the past, particularly when the economic state of a country is less than stellar. Periods of high inflation, with or without a recession, are the most common times companies quiet hire.

Quiet hiring is the concept of an employer adding or reassigning additional tasks onto employees. To fill vacant positions, a company might hire short-term contractors to fulfill the need or temporarily move employees into different roles. Most often, companies tend to reallocate duties to existing employees to reduce internal costs. Money is not spent on recruiting and onboarding new hires when existing employees complete additional tasks. This saves the company thousands of dollars. Quiet hiring is used to help companies prioritize the most essential functions of the business to ensure operations continue and meet projected financial targets.

Monster just released survey data on quiet hiring, and the results were profoundly loud.

  • 80% of employees have been “quiet hired” with 50% of the workers saying the role was not aligned with their skill set.
  • While 63% of the people surveyed feel “quiet hiring” provides them with an opportunity to learn new things, only 19% of the people surveyed said they would be open to taking a new role only if it was temporary.
  • Longevity is uncertain for some who are quiet hired. 27% of those surveyed would quit if they were quiet hired. 39% would not quit because it would give the employees an opportunity to try something new.

When should you Hire Quietly?

Quiet hiring is specifically designed to meet an immediate need. As layoffs and hiring freezes increase in various industries, examining employees who already know the company culture is the starting point to find talent to assume additional responsibilities. Companies who are quiet hiring need to examine their internal talent pool.

Before automatically shifting duties from vacant position(s) or sunsetted departments, examine who would be willing to accept additional responsibilities. Use the company’s onboarding software to send a survey to employees soliciting their interest in assuming new skills and responsibilities before assigning new tasks. Maintain an internal application within the company’s applicant tracking system, and create specific questions in the company’s internal application asking about interest in advancement. Seek employees who are motivated and excited to assume additional duties before automatically assigning tasks to all.

For companies that are “quiet hiring”, management must carefully evaluate financial implications if they do not provide additional compensation to employees who have assumed additional responsibilities. Typically, a pay raise is provided to the quiet hired employee; however, if funding is tight, explore alternate options. Compensation can come in a variety of ways such as flexible working conditions, PTO, flex time, etc. Employees who willingly take on additional duties might be seeking promotions. Others might want more flexibility, remote options or other resources to enhance work-life balance. Find out what the employee seeks as motivating factors, and discuss available compensation options with them.

How to Hire Quietly

Transparency is essential if management seeks to quiet hire. Taking advantage of employees and adding additional tasks to their workloads without proper discussion is going to foster frustration. This could potentially yield high turnover rates. If a company already is lacking talent to fulfill certain roles, they do not need to exacerbate the lack of talent issue by chasing off existing talent. Management must convey that the new assignment(s) are opportunities for growth and learning that come with benefits to the employees.

Discuss timeframes of new tasks. Be forthcoming if this is a permanent or temporary arrangement. If there are struggles with company finances and successes which make these changes necessary, communicate that with the employees so they can understand the validity of the need to redistribute tasks. Mitigating turnover is an essential goal, and honesty can reduce the chance of departures.

Candidly, quiet quitting employees are not the employees envisioned by management to assume additional responsibilities. Ambitious, and often new to the workforce, employees are the ones who capture the attention of management as potential quiet hires. Employees who seek to be quiet hired need to examine their current workload and ask themselves if they have the resources to take on additional responsibilities. Carefully evaluate if there is enough time in the work week to complete the additional tasks.

Be candid with management and find out how the compensation will, or will not, change. Discuss with management to see how the newly proposed duties will align with current career goals. Once arrangements are finalized, the employee, management and Human Resources should have a copy stored in their onboarding platform with specific details regarding tasks, compensation and timeframe.


Quiet hiring can be viewed in many ways. Repositioning of talent and assets…agile workforce…no matter the views, it is a redistribution of tasks and responsibilities within an organization. Employers need to partner directly with their employees when examining how tasks and responsibilities might shift. Honesty and transparency will increase employee loyalty. There is no smooth sailing when the waters are choppy. But if the captain can reiterate the long-term goals by motivating the team to assume all-hands-on-deck, the destination will be worth the ride.

A Positive Candidate Experience Increases Retention

Today’s hiring landscape and workforce are changing. Anyone who’s been in a hiring, interviewing, or an onboarding role for any period of time will tell you just how different today’s candidate marketplace is. Everything about the application process is shifting. From how candidates apply for jobs to how today’s companies successfully attract top talent. One important aspect businesses can take steps to improve their hiring process is the candidate experience.

If you’re exploring new methods for improving your hiring process, continue reading. Today, we’ll share insights about creating a positive candidate experience. The benefits of such methods can be game-changing in how you attract and retain top talent. Consider these candidate experience-related strategies and find your path to onboarding success, increased retention, and bottom-line company growth.

Defining a Positive Candidate Experience

Before you can improve a candidate’s experience, you should first understand what that experience entails. When an applicant reaches out to your company intending to submit for a position, every engagement that person has with your brand throughout the recruiting, interviewing, and onboarding process is considered the candidate experience. These interactions might include direct and non-direct communication, software and digital forms, and brand messaging.

Based on the definitions and candidate experience interactions, here are a few examples of areas of engagement:

  • Your company’s career website or landing page
  • Your company’s job postings and job descriptions
  • Your company’s online application submission process
  • Your company’s communication through any applicant tracking systems
  • Your company’s direct communication with internal hiring managers and staff
  • Your company’s candidate acceptance and rejection notices

However when you strategize to make improvements to create a positive candidate experience, you’ll aim to impact these interactions in a way that provides convenience and value. Start your enhancement efforts by analyzing each aspect of your current recruiting process. Begin outlining the next steps through the lens of an applicant to better understand what their experience is like.

Why the Candidate Experience Matters

In today’s recruiting landscape, ignoring the candidate experience can be detrimental to your hiring success. And creating a positive candidate experience matters, especially if your goals include finding, hiring, and retaining top talent quickly. Companies not addressing this aspect of the process will soon begin experiencing:

  • Difficulties in filling open positions, thus hindering company growth and stability
  • Lower application rates due to the word getting out about one or more poor candidate experiences
  • Business loss due to poor candidate experiences affecting consumer purchasing decisions

Here are some alarming stats to consider. One study outlined these metrics, demonstrating how detrimental a poor candidate experience can really be for a business:

  • 60% of candidates never hear back from a company after an interview
  • 42% of dissatisfied applicants say they will never apply with that unresponsive company again
  • 22% of those disgruntled candidates will advise others to avoid applying
  • 9% of dissatisfied applicants would ask their networks to boycott a company’s products and services

Your company’s success is directly correlated to the skills and dedication of your employees. Focusing on how you attract and retain those critical roles will ensure you continue to create the most positive candidate experiences with the best-fit applicants for every position you need to fill.

The Framework for a Positive Candidate Experience

Consider developing a positive candidate experience framework, from the initial job description posting through to the final onboarding steps. Be sure to include these objectives in your outline, ensuring every improvement you make supports the overall company objective and the candidate experience.

  • Clearly defined job descriptions outlining realistic expectations for the role
  • Clearly defined employee-level value propositions (what’s in it for them)
  • Clearly defined details and resources they need to make their decisions
  • Easy-to-use interfaces for both online and mobile-friendly application processes
  • Respect at every level of communication and engagement, including thank you and courtesy correspondence
  • Pleasant and seamless interviewing experiences
  • Simplified transitions for applicants onboarding into new roles
  • Professional and respectful job applicant rejection communications
  • Robust and thorough training for all onboarded new employees

How Companies Can Improve Engagement in Recruitment

What today’s hiring managers really want to know is how to improve the candidate experience in the recruiting process. Start by exploring these solutions. They involve actionable steps you can take right now to impact a more positive result within your recruitment efforts.

Get Technical

Use all the available innovations and software solutions you can to improve your candidate experience. This might include the use of video for interviews, or maybe applicant-facing dashboards where candidates can find real-time updates and information. Right now, Jobvite says the average recruiter fills a position within 30 days. These tech and software enhancements can speed up the hiring process and offer more robust communication and transparency for applicants.

Simplify the Application Process

Look for complicated steps in your current application process and strategize ways to simplify them. Every step a candidate takes should be straightforward and easy. For example, don’t ask for them to upload a resume AND fill out a lengthy internal application. Instead, offer one or the other. And any online forms you do require, make sure you have an auto-save feature that allows candidates to save their progress as they go. However today’s recruiters should also make sure to offer assistance with online application processes, including closed-captioned videos and alternative assistance features.

Personalize Communications

While automations make the application process more transparent and efficient, there’s still a need for personalization and customization with your candidate communications. Explore ways to incorporate more tailored messaging to applicants at various stages of their recruitment process, including addressing them by name.

Ask for and Provide Valuable Feedback from Candidates

LinkedIn recently shared its Talent Solutions report, indicating that 94% of today’s job seekers want feedback from their interviews. It also suggests that only 41% of applicants actually receive feedback. Look for opportunities to send feedback with every engagement. And tap into the value of post-interview surveys to obtain candidates’ sentiments about their experiences, as well.

Make a Positive Impression

Apply for your own job as a candidate. Be mindful as you navigate your process to look for what kind of impression your company makes. Is your brand message incorporated throughout? Does your application web page take too long to load? Are there images or pages with broken links? Are there typos in your job description? All of these details, which may seem minor, could be making a negative impression on candidates.

Tighten Up Communication Timelines

Don’t leave candidates hanging about final hiring determinations. If your evaluation process is going to take two weeks, communicate those timelines to the applicants. They’ll wait two or three weeks if you set the expectation accordingly. They will not wait if you don’t follow up at all and will likely venture elsewhere for employment.

Today’s companies are learning to prioritize the candidate experience. Consider these insights and improvements as you evaluate your processes. And remember, the ExactHire team can help! Contact us to explore better ways you can create positive candidate experiences with your recruiting efforts. You can’t change the job market. But we can certainly help you change your approach to it.

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Job Screening Questions to Include on a Job Application

Nearly three years from the start of a global pandemic, employers are still journeying through unknown waters. “Help Wanted”, “Now Hiring” and “Sign On Bonus” signs permeate scenery as one travels along any road.

Employers know that the application process cannot be the same as it was just a few years ago. Having a quick, mobile-friendly application process (with approximately 25 key screening questions) will help employers convert more job seekers into applicants. This especially true when compared to companies that use a long application that asks for “nice to know”–but not essential–information. With 25 questions being a goal number, what kind of questions should be included?

3 Types of Screening Questions to Include on Job Applications:

Screening Questions on Veteran Status

Establishing veteran hiring initiatives within an organization helps both the employer and the military veteran. Veterans offer a skill set that can complement the organization’s mission and vision. Veterans can amplify leadership and performance in the civilian work environment. They have proven themselves to be team players, attentive to detail, an able to handle stress.

While some companies might receive tax breaks for hiring veterans (i.e. WOTC ), careful verbiage asking about veteran status is prudent on the employment application. Military discharge type should not be asked. The EEOC has established that hiring decisions based on military discharge status alone violates Title VII. Military discharge information should only be asked when there is a legitimate need in regard to the job listing.

If an employer includes a question about military discharge status in the application, it needs to include a disclaimer. This disclaimer should state that discharges less than honorable are not absolute bars to employment.

Screening Questions on Reliable Transportation

Absenteeism can have tremendous financial implications on a company. According to Forbes, absenteeism costs $3,600 per worker each year across employers and employees.  So including a question that asks an applicant if they have reliable transportation to and from work is not intrusive.

It is asking the applicant to confirm their ability to attend work regularly, reducing absenteeism due to transportation issues. Also, asking if the applicant has reliable transportation does not spotlight those who do not or cannot drive; the question includes individuals who do not have a valid driver’s license due to infractions or by choice.

Screening Questions on Remote Work

This is an evolving topic as more companies are moving to permanent or semi-permanent remote work arrangements. COVID-19’s global shutdown forced employers of all sizes and scope to re-examine work arrangements due to health, family and safety. Remote work environments can also reduce overhead for an organization through the elimination of a single worksite.

If asking about remote compatibility, companies may ask about reliable access to the internet and/or private workspaces to accommodate remote work.Keep in mind, it’s important to be sure questions like this are job specific, which will help filter applicants. Job specific screening questions are questions unique to the job listing.

For example, if a company is hiring for a registered nurse, there is no need to ask every applicant for every job listing if they have an unencumbered nursing license. ExactHire HR Software offers the ability to add one or more groups of job specific screening questions to a job listing so the company can ask pertinent questions related to that job listing to help narrow the applicant pool to the most qualified applicants.

3 Types of  Questions to Avoid on Job Applications:

Screening Questions about Convictions

Unless there is a bona fide reason to ask about conviction, consider leaving off conviction related questions in the application. Background information can be communicated in the interview or when a background check is completed prior to hiring.  Former offenders are a population of individuals who are often overlooked but are willing and dedicated to being successful employees. Many states and localities prevent asking about conviction on the employment application.

Screening Questions about Salary History

Many local and state municipalities prohibit the inclusion of any question related to salary history to help reduce the disproportionate pay ranges between gender. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, in 2020, women’s annual earnings were 82.3% of men’s, and the gap is even wider for many women of color.

Human Resources professionals are knowledgeable of the pay grade for vacant job listings. According to SHRM, salary information and benefits are the most important to job seekers. Instead of making a job seeker wonder about the salary range of a job listing, include that information so the job seeker can decide if it is a role of interest–duty and salary wise. This will help eliminate subsequent applicant withdrawals should they find out the salary does not meet their needs.

If the salary has some flexibility, consider listing the base anticipated salary with the caveat of “higher salary depending on experience and qualifications”. This will help accommodate applicants who are unsure of applying when the baseline salary provided is lower than what they desire.

Screening Questions about Vaccination

As more organizations are establishing requirements for COVID-19 vaccinations, employers must be cautious in what is asked on the employment application related to COVID-19. Employers should only ask vaccination questions on an employment application if it is pertinent to the job listing (i.e. healthcare). Additionally, a company’s legal team should approve the language prior to its inclusion in the application.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has clarified that asking employees whether they have received the COVID-19 vaccine is not a disability-related inquiry under the ADA; however, applicants are not employees, so asking about vaccination status could directly or inadvertently affect the hiring decision through explicit or implicit bias.

If a company is not asking its employees about their vaccination status, then it should not be asking applicants of their vaccination status either.

ExactHire does not provide legal counsel, so please check with your company’s legal team regarding the legality of application content.

The application process forms an applicant’s initial perception of a company. This perception and the word of mouth and social media discussions that may result from it will impact employer brand. So it is crucial to have an engaging, inquisitive–but not intrusive–application process.

A time-consuming job application will increase your applicant drop-off rate. Focus on core questions that are essential to the effective screening of applicants. Go one step further, and use those key questions to positively engage with applicants, and you will underscore the human part of your human resources role.


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