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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What Do Job Seekers Want in 2023?

Your company needs to be able to attract and retain top talent if you expect to grow and scale in 2023. Hiring practices and onboarding processes of yesterday won’t necessarily be effective today. And the professionals you need to bring into your organization are going to be more careful about making career shifts. learning about job seekers wants and needs can give you a leg up on competition and put your job posts at the front of peoples wish lists.

Passive and active candidates alike have a new playbook for what they need from their employers. As well as what they will and won’t consider in company culture, benefits, pay, and growth potential. Improving your hiring strategies means understanding what job seekers want most in today’s employment landscape. Here is some of what hiring managers can expect from 2023’s candidate pools.

The DEIB Dynamic

Job seekers will be doing their homework on potential employers before they even apply. Companies that don’t have a visible and transparent position on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, or DEIB, will likely be overlooked. Company inclusion is a top priority for candidates who are looking to elevate their careers with best-fit organizations. When your company provides relevant efforts and initiatives that support DEIB in the workplace, you can attract more top-quality candidates in 2023.

The 32-Hour Work Week

There are other trends rooted in surveys and job seeker feedback, including an emerging preference for a 32-hour work week. Forbes shared additional reasoning behind this more commonplace conversation, including an employee preference for less demanding work environments. Work-life balance is a big factor for professionals who are looking to make career changes. And while your company may not be fully prepared to adopt a shortened work week, you can be making improvements that prioritize a less stressful, less demanding work week.

Career Development and Growth Opportunities

Job seekers are looking for employment opportunities that also provide additional learning and growth. There is more value placed on a company that provides various paths for continuing education, professional development, and internal promotion. When crafting your job descriptions and benefits outlines, be sure to include career development initiatives and support your company has to offer as an incentive for job seekers interested in growth.

Tech, Software, and Modern Management Styles

When applicants interview for new positions, they’ll also be looking to identify whether or not the employer is a forward-thinking enterprise in growth mode. They won’t take the leap to join an organization that feels stagnant or is practicing outdated methods. As an employer looking to attract and retain top talent in 2023, be forthcoming about your company’s growth initiatives. Share new technologies or innovations your business has or plans to adopt. Modern management styles, including employee dashboards for HR and companywide suggestion channels, also signal to a potential hire that the company is employee-centric.

Remote and In-Office Flexibility

Be ready to have the interview conversations about remote work flexibilities. Job seekers don’t just prefer work-from-home or hybrid work environments; they’re growing to expect it in 2023. Of course, not every role within your organization can accommodate a remote work structure. However, when employees can work from a home office, it’s best to negotiate a flexible schedule accordingly.

Inspirational Company Culture

Most applicants won’t expect your company to offer bean bag lounge chairs and gaming stations like some of the entities in Silicon Valley do. However, an inspirational company culture is necessary for today’s hiring landscape. It’s not enough to develop a DEIB practice, either. Consider gathering feedback from your existing teams about what they love and maybe don’t love about coming to work. And follow up with your leadership teams about management styles that welcome new ideas, problem-solving, and reporting methods that employees can wholeheartedly get behind in their day-to-day work environments. Make sure your employees feel connected to the brand and know how they individually contribute to the success of the company. Those improvements will attract new candidates who want to be a part of your inspirational work environment.

Valuable Benefits

Consider reviewing your current roster of employee benefits. Are there perks that aren’t being used? Are there incentives that no one seems motivated to get? Today’s job seekers are more precise about what they value as a company benefit. Beyond pay structure and time off, they’ll be looking for customized and more unique company perks, including those relating to:

  • Financial Wellness
  • Family-Friendly Benefits
  • Affordable & All-Inclusive Healthcare
  • Voluntary Benefits

Knowing what job seekers want from their employers in 2023 will help you better prepare to meet those emerging preferences and new standards. Consider these insights as you improve your hiring, onboarding, and retention strategies. And if you need a partner, who can help you change your approach to hiring, let ExactHire be your guide!

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Improving Your Applicant Screening Process

The growth and success of your company will depend on a few key criteria. While most companies are focusing on innovating products and services, it’s imperative to also review your current methods for screening new candidates. Your applicant screening process plays a pivotal role in whether or not you’re able to hire the staff you need to grow and scale.

Today’s applicants have different expectations and preferences, too. And below are steps that you can consider to ensure your applicant screening process is adapting with those potential top-talent candidates.

Evaluating Your Company’s Current Applicant Screening Process

You can’t make changes to your process without first evaluating its current effectiveness. Consider sitting down with your hiring teams and walking through every stage in the applicant screening process. Review how you craft job descriptions and where you find the most interactions online.

Scrutinize the timelines from application submission to first contact, and from resume evaluation to interview determinations. Look at your current methods of communicating with potential candidates, too. And rely on the feedback of past applicants and human resources hiring staff to help you identify what areas could be improved.

Look for Ways to Improve Efficiencies

Another area of improvement for application screening involves your standard processes. How much time is your team spending reviewing applications? Are they sorting through CVs, and sending individualized correspondence? Are applicants falling through the cracks before they can engage? Are your hiring managers burning out on tedious organizational tasks? Evaluating the step-by-step procedures in place is imperative to spotting inefficiencies. 

One of the most exhausting and resource-consuming processes is interviewing. You can make leaps and bounds improvements when you focus on streamlining your applicant interviewing techniques. Being more selective about which candidates make it to the interview phase is a great first step. Additionally you can also explore other interview aspects, like:

  • Length and Duration of the Interview
  • Number of Interviews Needed
  • Number of Interviewers in Each Engagement
  • Times and Dates Interviews Are Conducted
  • Scope and Line of Questioning

Automating and Simplifying Your Applicant Screening Process

With that list of inefficiencies in mind, you can move forward to leverage automated hiring solutions to help simplify those time-consuming tasks. Incorporating just a few automated responses or calculations in your applicant screening process can save hours of time and thousands of dollars.

However, not all apps and hiring solutions will be conducive to your candidate’s experience. So, be selective about choosing those automations that simplify your process, but also bring value or improvement to how your candidates experience your hiring process.

Effective Applicant Tracking Software

One core solution worth exploring is the effectiveness of your current applicant tracking software. If your ATS doesn’t offer these benefits, it’s likely time for an upgrade. 

  • Robust Advertising Options for Job Postings
  • Mobile Recruiting Solutions
  • Customizable Application Options
  • Background Check Tools
  • Candidate Skills Assessment 
  • HR Compliance and Administration Resources
  • Applicant Communication Solutions
  • Integrated Onboarding Tools
  • Custom Reporting and Analytics

Better Evaluation of Applicant Skills

Screening potential candidates can be another tedious process, subject to personal interpretation, which can lead to inconsistencies in your hiring practices. Consider looking for ways to improve how your team evaluates applicant skills and requirements by leveraging better assessment tools.

Additionally, for many company leaders, it may be time to redefine the skills that matter most to each role. Today’s applicants bring degrees and endorsements, bu they also bring soft skills and experiences that can be equally valuable to your company. Look for ways to level the playing field and make resume comparisons more of an apples-to-apples approach for your hiring managers and recruiters. Create lists of valuable skills to look for, tangible and intangible, to improve how candidates are evaluated in the process.

Communication Strategy Improvements


Keeping applicants engaged, informed, and enticed is paramount if you want to hire today’s top talent (because you can’t screen applicants that leave your process). So if every other aspect of your applicant screening process is buttoned-up and streamlined, you can almost always find additional improvements within your candidate communication efforts.

Consider re-evaluating your communication channels and messaging, and look for better tools and methods of communication. The best-fit candidates will choose to work with a company that over-communicates versus the brand that ghosts them or seems unresponsive, every time. 

The ExactHire Difference

As you seek to spot improvements in your applicant screening process, it can pay big dividends to bring in a professional partner. When you work with ExactHire, you can effectively change your entire approach to hiring. With ongoing metrics and resources to help you improve your applicant tracking and hiring outcomes, you and your teams can remain confident in your processes. 

Contact our team to explore our hiring solutions today! Your company can’t grow without the right people in the right roles. And ExactHire can ensure you find, engage, and hire the people you need to maintain your growth and scaling.

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What is Fair Chance Hiring?

Please note:  The ExactHire team is not legal counsel, and we do not offer legal advice, so any questions regarding your company’s eligibility for exemption with the “Ban the Box” or FCA legislation and/or proper verbiage for your company’s employment application(s) should be discussed with your company’s legal counsel.

To understand Fair Chance Hiring, you first need to understand the United States incarceration problem. The United States has one of the highest incarceration rates in the world. Today, the number of incarcerations stands slightly over 70 million.

Sometimes, a criminal record can follow a reformed criminal for years. Making them feel physically and financially imprisoned long after serving their sentence.

Formerly incarcerated persons are no different from other Americans. They have the right to get a job, secure employment, and enjoy financial security and sustainability.

Previously incarcerated persons need to earn a living, support families, and feel they positively impact society. Being part and parcel of a thriving society helps reduce recidivism.

Unfortunately, having a criminal record often presents a demoralizing reality to past offenders. Due to their criminal history, past offenders are likely to be ruled out during interview and hiring processes. A study by Harvard University has shown that a criminal record interferes with an offender’s future job prospects. Having a criminal record reduces an employer’s call-back rate by half. Offenders are also likely to be ruled out in interview processes even when qualified.

These factors are the fuel behind the Fair Chance Hiring Act.

Fair Chance Hiring

The Fair Chance Act, or FCA, is based on the premise that everyone, regardless of their past criminal history, should have a chance to be employed if they are qualified for a position that they are applying for. The Fair Chance Hiring Act deems everyone equal and worthy to be assessed for positions they are qualified for and proficient in.

What are the benefits of fair chance hiring?

Companies and organizations that embrace fair chance hiring have an opportunity to expand their talent pool. They can also better understand their markets and customers–and achieve improved customer outcomes. So if you’re looking to bridge market and customer gaps, fair chance hiring may help you do just that.

Diversity and inclusivity

Although most organizations want to build a diverse workforce, conversations about inclusivity often stop at gender, race, and orientation. The conversation needs to extend to persons with criminal histories to build really inclusive workforces. Fair chance hiring helps organizations create a diverse and inclusive workforce by expanding the definition of a diverse talent pool.

Competitive positioning

In times of low unemployment, it’s a candidate’s responsibility to play the field and identify the most rewarding opportunities. Low unemployment rates mean job candidates will try out many job opportunities before deciding which one is ideal for them. This situation makes it hard for organizations to find, train, and keep new hires quickly and efficiently.

Fair chance hiring practices expand your reach to potential candidates that your competitors may not consider. And since persons with criminal histories have a challenging time finding jobs, you might not deal with a drawn-out hiring process, or deal with high turnover rates.

Better ROI for hiring

According to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, 80% of managers acknowledged that the value brought by persons with a criminal history is equal to that of workers with no criminal history.

Another study by the John Hopkins Hospital found out that after four years, workers with a criminal history had 44% better retention rates than persons without a criminal past. John Hopkins Hospital has employed persons with criminal past since 2000, making it a trendsetter in the fair chance hiring discourse.

But how does that translate into a better ROI for hiring? When hiring, companies my feel the need to spend excessively on recruitment by sponsoring job posts to beat our the competition. When onboarding, organizations will spend a significant amount of money hiring and training, which is a wasted if the new hire hops to another workplace. Fair chance hiring practices can offer a better return on investment by reducing the need to spend on recruitment and producing candidates that are appreciative of the employment opportunity and will therefore stay longer.

How do Companies Utilize Fair Chance Hiring?

Hiring persons with criminal records helps reduce recidivism rates, keeping past offenders from conflicts with the criminal justice systems. However, hiring persons with criminal histories isn’t just good for society; it has multiple business benefits.

Here are some key ways companies make good use of fair chance hiring practices:

  • Large talent pool. Businesses that use fair chance hiring have a more diverse talent pool in their pipeline. Fair chance hiring allows organizations to expand their search, accessing sometimes hidden talent and ingenious skills from formerly incarcerated persons.
  • Engagement rates. According to a study by Checkr, fair chance candidates outperform other candidates in engagement and trust by 30%. Organizations seeking to foster a strong work culture must include past offenders in their hiring talent pipelines.
  • Reduced turnover rates. Organizations that use high-volume hiring are victims of high turnover rates. Hospitality, retail, and construction are some of the most affected sectors by high turnover rates. Luckily, studies have shown that employees with past criminal histories are more loyal to their employers. And based on a published survey, employers who’ve hired fair chance workers have positive remarks about this talent pipeline.
  • Diversity and inclusion. Organizations are moving towards sustainability. There are many ways to examine sustainability, including environmental and social wellbeing. A crucial part of sustainability efforts is ensuring and upholding fundamental human rights, including the right to fair treatment regardless of race, color, ethnicity, religion – and criminal history.

Needless to say, hiring fairly is hiring diversely; organizations that hire formerly incarcerated workers enjoy diversity and inclusivity because they welcome candidates that are often marginalized and locked out of other job opportunities.

Today, more than ever, organizations have a clear chance to right a systemic wrong by simply acknowledging there’s an unfair playing field in the recruitment space. And by giving all applicants an equal chance, organizations can pursue short-term and long-term business gains.

How to Incorporate Fair Chance Hiring in your Organization

Looking beyond a criminal record can be challenging, especially for human resource and talent acquisition managers. Here are a few suggestions to get everyone on board in your organization with a fair chance hiring program.

Educate yourself and your team about the FCA

You must educate yourself and your team on the fair chance hiring act and best practices. When deploying fair chance hiring programs in your organization, start by educating hiring managers and HR personnel on the challenges faced by persons with past criminal histories. For instance, you can share existing statistics on criminal records and define the challenges experienced by formerly incarcerated persons.

The best practices in this step include:

  • Training all personnel involved in the hiring processes
  • Eliminating exclusions of persons with any type of criminal history
  • Eliminating and avoiding questions about past incarcerations in interview processes
  • Developing evidence-based policies for evaluating candidates with a past criminal history
  • Limiting questions about an applicant’s criminal history to what’s stringently related to employment situations or business performance
  • Keeping applicant’s information confidential

Organizations must be steadfast to implement fair chance hiring practices.

Focus on a candidate’s potential

It’s crucial to look at a candidate’s potential as opposed to their criminal history. While the criminal past may present realities about whom you’re working with, you may fail to notice a change of behavior or undermine their abilities if you consider criminal history as an overarching assessment metric. So, focus on a candidate’s potential and proficiency as opposed to their past criminal history.

Evaluate candidates based on roles

It’s critical to ensure you’re only looking at past criminal behavior as it relates to the job at hand or the nature of business operations. For instance, an organization dealing with cash, sensitive customer information, or confidential business transactions may reserve the right not to employ formerly incarcerated persons for genuine, tangible reasons.

However, organizations failing to employ candidates with past criminal histories for purposes other than the above violate the fair chance hiring act.

The EEOC calls out three metrics known as the Green Factors for determining whether or not a person’s criminal past is relevant to the job position at hand.

These factors include:

  • Nature, conduct, and gravity of the offense
  • The time that has elapsed since the offense or completion of the jail sentence
  • The nature of the job sought or held

Organizations must ensure they satisfy the above requirements before ruling out qualified candidates based on criminal histories.

Why Was the Fair Chance Act Passed?

The Fair Chance to Compete for Jobs Act, otherwise referred to as the Fair Chance Act, was passed on December 17th, 2019, as part of the National Defense Authorization Act. The below section demonstrates the key provision of this ‘ban the box’ act and its implications on the employment of persons with criminal histories.

The key provisions of the Fair Chance Act FCA include:

  • Federal agencies and federal civilian contractors will not request information on conviction history from applicants before a conditional job offer is passed to the job candidate.
  • Law enforcement agencies with access to confidential information such as criminal justice histories are exempted by law from discriminating against candidates based on protected information.
  • The US Office of Personnel Management OPM will use the policies and regulations implementing features of the Fair Chance Act FCA to be adopted by the General Services Administration and other oversight authorities.
  • The oversight agencies will establish procedures directing private contractors and job applicants to file complaints against violators of the Fair Chance Act 2019.
  • Another provision of the Fair Chance Act is that stringent and escalating penalties will be issued after a formal written warning to a Federal Agency representative violating this law. Federal Agencies will suspend payments or salaries to employers until the employer complies with the FCA law. But this depends on the severity of their violation.

The Fair Chance Act will begin two years after enactment, which means that as of 2021, the law came into effect, changing what has been once a discriminatory employment landscape for past offenders.

Who Benefits from Fair Chance Hiring?

Individuals, private organizations, and contractors benefit from the fair chance hiring act. For instance, organizations can take advantage of fair hiring to complement their mass hiring efforts, thus meeting short-term labor demands and navigating an unpredictable labor market.

In addition, governments can take advantage of fair chance hiring to create employment for past offenders and reduce recidivism rates. Government contractors and civil servant agencies can benefit from the wealth of knowledge past offenders have, especially relating to correction and post-jail adjustment.

ExactHire – Your Partner in the Adoption of Fair Chance Hiring

Are you an individual, organization, or institution looking to use fair chance hiring? Well, don’t worry. At ExactHire, we help you customize your recruitment, application, and screening process to align with your hiring priorities and strategy.

Take the first step, by scheduling a demo today.


Why Applicants Are Ghosting Your Company

The Covid-19 pandemic  shifted the hiring equilibrium. Specifically, it led to a higher demand for labor in certain industries, and in others, it contributed to massive layoffs. The red-hot demand for labor in many industries is one reason why job applicants and employees began “ghosting” employers.

Even now, candidates are still disappearing at various stages of the hiring process–and even after accepting a position. Here are a few areas where employers may encounter ghosting:

  • Face-to-face interview
  • Phone screening
  • First day of work
  • Employment offer letter
  • After lunch, especially on the first day at work

So we we set out to examine some factors that contribute to applicants ghosting a company at these various stages.

Reasons Job Applicants Ghost Employers

Here’s why job applicants are likely to ghost a company.

1.) They are nervous and panic.

The hiring process can be a strenuous exercise of identifying the best candidate to fill an open position. Companies, by using hiring managers and recruitment personnel, design sophisticated recruitment measures to filter out the best from the rest.

All recruitment exercises aim to find the best talent for an available position. Unfortunately, seeking the best talent often leaves much to be desired in the eyes if the applicant, thus creating anxiety and confusion among them.

So, applicants may ghost a company if they find the recruitment process strenuous or overwhelming. This means that employers should seek to balance their priorities of speed-to-hire and best-fit selection with the applicant’s interest in feeling welcomed and valued.

2.) They are unsure of their qualifications for the position.

It’s a common scenario for employers to include many professional and educational requisites in job advertisements. While job ads aim to capture the best candidates, the job description may create expectations that are too demanding.

Employers should ensure that job requirements do not unnecessarily intimidate prospective candidates. Some qualified applicants shy away from ads that require extensive professional experience, so employers should be realistic in regard to what is truly required from the role.

The job ad must seem appealing to a wide range of qualified job seekers in order to maximize the number of job applicants. Make the job description welcoming and try to avoid writing it for specific candidates, as this may hurt your recruiting outcomes.

3.) They have other interviews lined up

Let’s be honest: a candidate is not likely to ghost an employer without an alternative or competing job offer.  Many times, job applicants ghost employers because they have other plans or available opportunities–and they act on them. This is difficult for employers to address, so it’s vital that they do everything they can to mitigate the risk.

One way to do this is provide creative job offers that include signing bonuses and early performance-based incentives. These benefits can help turn the attention of job candidates away from other job opportunities. They will also motivate new hires to remain loyal through those crucial first weeks and months.

4.) Ineffective communication

Job applicants will ghost your company if your communication is inadequate or ineffective. For instance, failing to communicate with applicants may create an impression that your company doesn’t care or, perhaps, even exist. For high-demand job seekers, this is a red flag that will encourage them to quickly look elsewhere.

It’s vital that employers communicate with applicants at every stage of the hiring process. This is accomplished by creating a communication plan that aligns with the hiring process. A communication plan builds rapport with job applicants by reassuring them that it’s worth the effort to apply and stick with the hiring process. Having this plan in place will also improve the chances of retaining new hires, as it provides a strong foundation for an excellent new hire experience.

5.) Your company is different from what they expected

Can you stay at place that you don’t like? Well, for the most part, you can’t. Why? Because we’re attracted to what we love or like. Our likes and passions inform our preferences in life – be it in school, home, workplace, or wherever.

Job applicants and new hires often ghosts employers because they don’t consider it an ideal place to work. This realization can occur at different stages in the hiring process, but when it does, it spooks the applicant or new hire–and they ghost!

An example of this could involve an applicant who is interested in a workplace that supports collaboration and teamwork. If that applicant is sold on an employer that provides that type of workplace, but then feels left alone and unwelcome in the first week of employment, they will ghost. So creating expectations is important, but it’s more important to ensure those expectations are realistic.

Other Reasons Job Applicants Ghost Your Company:

There are many other reasons employees are likely to ghost a company.

  • They saw or heard negative reviews or comments about the company
  • They feel that the job opportunity is a lateral move and decide not to risk it
  • They don’t see evidence of continued professional development
  • They’re unsure of a company’s culture
  • They’re using the interview to secure a counteroffer from another employer

Finally, a lack of psychological or emotional incentives like work-from-home, unmonitored working, and minimal supervision may contribute to applicants ghosting your company.

How to Handle Applicants Ghosting Your Company?

There’s value in using a proactive approach to prevent ghosting, but eliminating it completely is not likely. So, here’s what an employer should do if a job applicant ghosts them:

  • Write messages. The first step is to write emails or messages that evoke a response. If employers are still interested in pursuing a job candidate after they’ve not replied, sending a series of quick voicemails or emails, ‘when are you available to discuss your offer?’, could generate a response.
  • Cut your losses. For some employers, it’s probably best to cut their losses if they send a message that requires a response, but the applicant fails to respond. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, a job applicant’s failure to respond may reflect a character flaw that would make them a bad hire.
  • Keep a record. It’s advisable to keep a record of no-shows and ghosts. Keeping this list may save you money, time, and hiring resources in the future.
  • Boost morale. Sometimes employees may feel demoralized when a new hire fails to show up for a position that has been vacant for a long time. So, it’s advisable for employers to look inward at ways to improve a team’s morale–in addition to the  improving hiring process.

Employers must communicate and build rapport with job applicants to create an effective hiring process that minimizes the chances of ghosting. However when  ghosting does occur, it’t a sign that there may be something wrong with an employers hiring process, work culture, or both. Ghosting is not something to be ignored.

ExactHire – Enhance Your Hiring and Recruitment Efforts

ExactHire helps employers bridge gaps in the hiring process by offering two different solutions:

  • ExactHire Full Service Hiring – our team handles all the work of promoting open positions and screening applicants, then–delivers a short list of candidates for employers to choose from.
  • ExactHire Applicant Tracking System  – employers use our software to efficiently run an in-house hiring process with minimal staff.

To learn more about how these two solutions may address you current hiring need, please schedule a short consultation with us.

Employee Onboarding Efficiency

Onboarding was adopted in the 1970s as a management term for introducing newly hired employees into the organization. Onboarding is the mechanism by which job candidates are introduced to the organization by obtaining the relevant knowledge, skills, and behaviors to operate effectively. It also covers the end-to-end process of integrating new hires into the workplace to effectively meet their roles. The integration process includes: setting up new workstations and familiarization with the company’s culture, roles, and expectations. Onboarding further captures the orientation of the new hire with existing employees.

Why is onboarding important in the HRM process?

Onboarding is an indispensable component of the human resource management. The onboarding element gives life to the human resource function, enabling HR managers to meet their human capital planning needs. How?

1.) Gives New Hires Capacity

When you think about your first day at work, chances are you were excited to land a new job but nervous to learn and start right away! If you don’t receive enough instructions and guidance that resonate with your feelings and emotions, you won’t get the capacity to speed up in your new role.

Onboarding gives new hires direction, support, and guidance to succeed in their assigned roles. Employee onboarding integrates new hires, creating an ecosystem of learning and adaptation. This, in the long-term, helps new hires or employees learn and adapt to the company growth.

2.) Retention

Onboarding lets employees learn and gain knowledge of diverse cultural and behavioral issues around your organization. It is a stepping stool to your organization’s higher ideals.

Most importantly, the internalization of organizational values and cultures that happens during orientation and onboarding exercises helps with retention. Retention levels are reported to be higher in organizations that foster cultural conformity and cultural awareness.

3.) Productivity

Another benefit of onboarding in the HR process is that it enables human resources to reach productivity goals (or capacity) faster. If your employees do not receive adequate help from hiring managers or co-workers, and they constantly have to figure things out on their own, your company is likely to lose revenue that these hires would otherwise be bringing.

However, if new hires go through a well-developed and robust onboarding exercise, they will learn and adapt faster. Onboarding helps employees to settle and start adding value to the team.

How to make the onboarding experience more efficient?

There are many things you can do to help new hires when designing the onboarding process. For instance, you can send them a gift card, or a welcome package, arrange for lunch, or prepare dinner with colleagues.

Whatever you decide to include in your onboarding process, there are several steps to take to make onboarding more efficient.

Top 3 keys to an efficient onboarding program

1.) Communicate early

Communication is the cornerstone of any efficient onboarding process. If you’re considering hiring new candidates, establish potential communication channels. Ensure you communicate with them regularly and show that you’re looking forward to having them on your team.

Regular communication and outreach, coupled with feedback mechanisms from potential hires are key in reinforcing your onboarding. You can send them an employee handbook or prepare a presentation about the company’s history and philosophy. Either way, you stand to build rapport with potentially talented candidates if you foster your communication and outreach approach.

2.) Plan extensively

It’s advisable to plan if you’re to succeed in your onboarding. Prepare the new hire’s first-week schedule. Have everything laid out for them. Most new hires are uncertain of what is expected during their first week.

When hires arrive, they’re uncertain of their work. It’s up to you to show that you’re fully prepared to guide and direct them towards meeting their goals and purpose. So, it’s advisable to prepare a detailed plan for their first week at work.

Check all the important boxes like workstation arrangement, giving tools for work, and evaluating their comprehension of work requirements. Extensive planning is the key to building an efficient onboarding process.

3.) Friendly welcome

The first day has a lot of implications on the hire’s overall perception. Be positive, friendly, and enthusiastic when welcoming your new hires. Give the new hire a company walk-through – from the workstation, kitchen, washrooms, rec room ping pong table – to the manager’s office.

It’s advisable to provide a feedback platform or channel. That’s because most new hires are faced with challenges they can’t overcome. And without a proper feedback mechanism or communication channel, they may fail to execute their duties effectively.

Friendly gestures are an important incentive for the onboarding process.

Why is effective onboarding important?

Effective onboarding is the secret to excellent human capital planning. When human resources hire and onboard effectively, they help organizations properly manage their human resources and optimize their workforces.

So, why is effective onboarding important?

1.) Employee experience

An efficient onboarding process leads to a strong employee experience. After the Covid-19 pandemic, job openings are at an all-time high, meaning job seekers have plenty of job opportunities around.

If your new hires don’t enjoy their first-time experience, they can find better opportunities that suit them. A great onboarding process sets out the foundation for employee experience and engagement.

Remain focused on aspects like frequent check-ins, employee culture, and employee professional development to improve the job candidate’s first-time experience. Indeed, being actively engaged in the onboarding process reinforces the overall experience – from hiring to retirement!

2.) Employee engagement

Employee engagement refers to the strength of psychological, emotional, and mental connection that employees feel to their organizations, their teams, and their work. This helps employees to remain psychologically and emotionally connected to their job.

Highly engaged employees share many characteristics:

  • Better employee safety
  • Increased productivity
  • Higher attendance rates for work-related events
  • Happier and healthier employees
  • Readiness to take on new challenges
  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Lower employee turnover rates
  • Improved business growth and outcomes

Employee engagement determines employees overall performance and productivity.

3.) Employee retention

Onboarding efficiency is critical in retaining employees. There’s a rising demand for highly skilled employees in tech – programming, software development, data architecture, and cloud computing.

Indeed, the demand for highly skilled employees in mathematics, sciences, and technology continues to highlight the need to attract and retain personnel qualified in these areas.

So, organizations dealing with data and businesses adopting the technology will have to look at onboarding efficiency as an element of employee retention. These organizations will have to view onboarding efficiency as a tool for human capital planning.

ExactHire – Streamlining Employee Onboarding and Internalization

The emergence of new automation tools and software has helped streamline hiring. For instance, ExactHire provides an applicant tracking system that assists HR managers track applications and improve the speed and accuracy of processing applications.

In addition, ExactHire provides employee onboarding software that helps you keep track of all your onboarding processes – from inception to completion. ExactHire’s employee onboarding software is a custom solution for organizations seeking to improve the efficiency of their onboarding, whether on-premise or remotely.

Contact ExactHire to access the employee onboarding software and improve your employee onboarding efficiency.



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