The HR Solutions category of the ExactHire blog discusses wide-ranging topics, trends, and best practices within the Human Resources and HR Technology industries.

What Is Your Onboarding Data Telling You?

An effective onboarding process can have a positive impact on nearly every aspect of your business, from improving retention and engagement to strengthening your company’s culture and employer brand. But to create a stellar onboarding process, you need to understand where you’re currently falling short. That’s where your onboarding data comes in.

Data and KPIs will help you identify ways you can improve your onboarding process. Over time, you can see how your onboarding improvements contribute to your company’s success. In this article, we’ll show you why onboarding data is important, the most important onboarding data you need to track, and ways you can improve your onboarding process.

New Hire Onboarding Statistics

Half of new hires leave in the first 18 months of employment, according to onboarding statistics by SHRM. And that turnover is expensive. SHRM onboarding statistics in 2022 also say filling that empty chair costs up to nine months of that position’s salary. Yet many new hires leave before the company ever sees a return on their recruiting investment.

According to statistics, the importance of onboarding is the key to guiding new hires through those potentially sticky first months of employment, when they must merge their enthusiasm for their new role with its realities. Onboarding is also the company’s opportunity to deliver on the employee value proposition (EVP) they promoted during the recruitment process.

In fact, not delivering on promises is the fastest growing cause of voluntary turnover. According to The Work Institute’s 2020 Retention Report, the percentage of those who cited disappointment with a job’s characteristics as a reason for leaving more than doubled since 2013.

Good onboarding can prevent all of the preventable reasons for turnover cited in the Retention Report. Yet most companies do a bad job of onboarding according to statistics. According to onboarding statistics by Gallup, only 12% of employees think their company hits onboarding out of the park. That means 88% of companies need to improve their onboarding process.

Important Employee Onboarding Data

Your company can improve its onboarding process by collecting and analyzing onboarding data. But which data, exactly, can help you improve your onboarding process?

How to Measure Employee Turnover

Turnover measures how many people leave your company over a given period, usually annually. Measure turnover by dividing the number of employees leaving by the number of employees at the start of the given time period. Compare your results with the national average for your industry or region using the annual total separations compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

You can also break down your turnover measurements further by separating voluntary from involuntary turnover or by focusing on new hire turnover.

How to Measure Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is one of the most important predictors of company growth and can be improved significantly with an effective onboarding process. You can measure employee engagement by conducting a company-wide survey based on Gallup’s Employee Engagement Survey.

You can use the results of your employee engagement survey to make focused improvements to your onboarding process. Then, by conducting the survey periodically, you’ll know if your onboarding process is improving employee engagement.

How to Measure Time to Productivity

Time to productivity is more difficult to measure but essential to improving your onboarding process.

First, develop measurable, time-bound KPIs for the new position. These KPIs are tasks which you expect the new hire to accomplish independently within a predetermined time.

Then, divide the number of days it should take the new hire to accomplish the tasks independently by the number of days it actually takes the new hire to achieve the KPI.

For example, perhaps you expect Susan to operate the telephone switchboard independently after 5 days of training. If Susan masters the switchboard within 3 days, then her rating for time to productivity is 1.66, or 166% of the goal KPI.

Employee Onboarding Experience

You can use your onboarding data to know the effectiveness of your onboarding process and to identify areas of improvement. But what makes a great onboarding process?

A great onboarding process emphasizes the employee, rather than paperwork and processes. It’s an onboarding concept in HR by which you focus on providing the new hire with the 4 Cs.

  • Compliance: These are the basics and include paperwork, policies, and rules. While your safety and harassment policies are crucial, it’s the other four Cs that will help you improve employee retention.
  • Clarification: A great onboarding process provides the new hire with clarity regarding her role and responsibilities.
  • Culture: Forbes says, “a strong company culture is the best retention strategy.” Your company’s culture reflects the values from which decisions are made. Including culture in your onboarding process ensures new hires align themselves with the company’s values.
  • Connection: To understand how important connection at work is, you only need to take a look at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. After our physical needs are met, a “feeling of belonging” becomes the most important ingredient to happiness. The best onboarding processes recognize the new hire’s need for belonging and use creative solutions to foster connectedness.

Best Onboarding Practices

Your onboarding data may have revealed shortcomings in one or more of the 4 Cs of onboarding. The following best onboarding practices for new employees will help you improve every aspect of your onboarding process.

Improve Compliance

  • Use an applicant tracking system and onboarding software to digitize your data and forms. Companies with the best onboarding practices in 2021 take full advantage of technology. When applicants and new employees fill out their information with the software, the data can be automatically transferred to a variety of HR forms and files.
  • Create online training modules and assessments to ensure new hires understand important policies and rules in the employee handbook.

Improve Clarification

  • Document every position’s duties and responsibilities.
  • Using this document, create a comprehensive training timeline.
  • Assign a stakeholder who will be responsible for each item in the training timeline.
  • Provide opportunities for new hires to ask questions.
  • Schedule periodic check-ins to ensure the new hire stays on track.

Improve Culture

  • Create a training that introduces your new hire to the company’s history, values and mission.
  • Connect your new hire’s role to the company’s larger purpose.
  • Recognize your new hire’s accomplishments.
  • Communicate frequently with your new hire and provide frequent feedback.

Improve Connection

  • Assign a long-term employee to act as a buddy to your new hire. The buddy should help the new hire learn the unspoken rules of the company and be available for questions.
  • Introduce your new hire throughout the company. Introductions within the team should be more personable. Introductions to the larger company can be made via a posting on the company’s intranet or other common area.
  • Send your new hire to work a day in different departments. Doing so will enhance relationships as well as dismantle silos.

Employee Onboarding Checklist

An employee onboarding checklist is a great way to make sure you don’t forget anything when onboarding new hires. The checklist can include everything in the onboarding process throughout the first year.

You can use employee onboarding data and software to create custom checklists for each position. Stakeholders can update the checklist within the software as the new hire completes the onboarding process.

You can also download ExactHire’s “The Essential Onboarding Checklist.” We’ve created a comprehensive new employee onboarding guide pdf to get new hires up and running. Our checklist is an onboarding strategy divided by time frame and category and breaks down everything you need to do within the new hire’s first year.

Download ExactHire's Employee Onboarding Checklist

Sample Onboarding Plan

A sample onboarding plan for new employees can solve a host of business problems. Everything from high turnover to low engagement and poor productivity can be turned around by a great onboarding plan. But to craft that plan, you need to measure key onboarding data. When you measure the most important KPIs of onboarding, including onboarding experience surveys, you can begin to create a plan that will ultimately improve business outcomes.

The improvements you make should address the 4 Cs of onboarding: compliance, clarification, culture and connection. The onboarding tips for new employees we’ve listed are a great start to revamping your onboarding process. You can further improve your onboarding for new employees for maximizing success when you download our checklist.

Using onboarding software can automate many of your onboarding action items. By having a centralized place that tracks onboarding efforts, stakeholders will always know the next steps and you’ll always know the status of a new hire’s onboarding process.


If you’re ready to learn more about how onboarding software can improve your business, contact ExactHire today.



Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

5 Signs You Need to Automate Your Hiring Process

Has your hiring process grown unmanageable? Evolving technology, burgeoning job sites, a shrinking labor pool and the widening skills gap are just a few of the reasons hiring is a lot tougher than it used to be.

If you’re receiving resumes in your email or logging into each job board individually, you’re spending even more time hiring candidates. And, as if hiring wasn’t a towering task already, not hiring effectively can have damaging effects down the road.

If hiring the right candidate has ballooned into an HR headache, streamlining your hiring process may help. In this article, we’ve compiled 5 signs you need to automate your hiring process.

You Don’t Know Your Recruitment Metrics

Understanding your recruitment data is the first step to taming your hiring process. The best applicant tracking systems can help you easily access the most important metrics. Below are some common recruitment metrics you should know:

  • Time-to-hire is calculated by counting the number of days between a candidate applying for your position and accepting the job. Learn how effective the changes you make to the hiring process really are by benchmarking this number.
  • Cost-per-hire is the sum of external and internal hiring costs divided by the number of new hires in the same time frame. Your cost per hire may be more useful if you calculate it for type of positions, e.g., you expect to spend more to hire a mid-level manager than you would an entry-level employee.
  • New hire turnover rate is the percentage at which new employees leave within a given period of time–you can decide what qualifies as “new” based on your organization, but many consider it to be under one year. By looking at how frequently new hires leave and why, you can uncover ways to improve both your hiring and onboarding processes.
  • Retention rate is the percentage of employees staying with the company over a given time period. Calculate retention rate by dividing the number of employees remaining in the company or department by the total number of employees present at the beginning of the time period being measured.
  • Job application completion rate can tell you how often job seekers complete your application, and it can reveal whether changes need to be made to your online job application. Reducing the number of abandoned applications (or your applicant drop-off rate) will improve your hiring success.

A hiring process overrun with manual processes is difficult to measure. Automating your hiring process can help you track its effectiveness.

You Need to Reduce Your Time-to-Hire

Time-to-hire varies widely across industries. According to DHI Group, hiring in the health services takes 49 days, while construction industry’s time-to-hire is the shortest at about 12 days. Whether your time-to-hire is longer than your industry’s average, or you just want to shorten it to avoid lost productivity, automating your hiring process can help fill those empty chairs more quickly.

Here are some ways applicant tracking systems can reduce your company’s time-to-hire:

  • Automate time-consuming tasks. Logging into multiple job sites individually to post the same job is slow work. And it takes even longer if you push tedious tasks like this to the bottom of your list. Post your job opening with a click of a button to multiple sites at once.
  • Adopt mobile recruiting. You can speed up the application process for your candidates by adopting mobile recruiting methods. A mobile-friendly application brings the candidate to you more quickly. And text messaging avoids voicemail delays. You can further simplify the recruiting process by inviting applicants to apply with their phone number or by using a QR code on print or other display media.
  • Use programmatic job advertising. Don’t wait for top talent to come to you. Use programmatic job advertising to put your job ad on the same sites your top candidates visit.

You Need to Hire Better Quality Candidates

Your recent new hires have been disappointing. They seemed qualified, but six months on the job and they still seem lost in the software. They interviewed so well, but after their first run-in with a customer, you can see they’re lacking soft skills. Whatever it was that made you hire them turned out to just be a mirage.

Automating your hiring process with an applicant tracking system can help you make better hiring decisions. Here are a few ways automation can help:

  • See the best candidates first. An applicant tracking system can use your application and the candidate’s resume to rank applicants. The most qualified applicants will go to the top of your list.
  • Create deal-breaker questions on your application. Willing to work weekends? Certification updated? Reliable transportation? Whatever the dealbreaker, start screening for it right away. An applicant tracking system can automatically filter out candidates with dealbreaker traits.
  • Use assessment tools. Peel away the polished interview skills and test the resume claims with assessment tools. From people skills to software proficiency, assessment tools can uncover a candidate’s real traits.

You Hire for a High-Turnover Industry

Some industries just have high turnover. Hospitality and retail are notorious for their low retention rates. For some job seekers, these jobs may be seen as steppingstones to higher paying jobs. Even after improving your employer brand and doing what you can to increase engagement, the nature of these jobs means you’re always hiring.

You can make your hiring process more efficient and still have time for other, pressing HR responsibilities by automating these hiring tasks:

  • Use message templates. Write messages once and send them automatically to applicants. The ATS will fill in the applicant’s name and other details to personalize the message. Save time by letting the ATS automatically send interview requests, rejection letters, and receipt of application confirmations.
  • Conduct initial interviews by text. An applicant tracking system can make interviewing by text easier and safer. Interviewing by text saves time. And by using an ATS, hiring managers don’t need to use their personal cell numbers, and the text conversation is automatically documented and saved.
  • Schedule interviews more easily. Sometimes, there’s a bit of back and forth when it comes to interview scheduling. You can automate the interview scheduling process with an applicant tracking system. The system will integrate with your calendar. You can send the candidate multiple choices for interview times. If the candidate needs to reschedule, he can just click on a link in the confirmation email.

Increasing HR Responsibilities Leave Less Time for Manual Processes

Once upon a time, human resource professionals spent most of their time hiring, managing benefits, and increasing workplace safety. Not anymore. Today, companies understand that employees are their most important asset. They know that having a healthy company culture, strong employer brand, and highly engaged employees increases their bottom-line.

Of course, these workplace values make working in human resources more exciting and more rewarding than ever. But the work of developing those workplace assets falls on human resources. If increasing HR responsibilities are leaving you little time to make high quality hiring decisions, then automating your hiring process may help.

There are probably a dozen reasons the hiring process has become unmanageable. If the increasing chaos of the recruitment process leaves you little time for calculating recruitment metrics, much less time to improve them, an applicant tracking system can improve your results. Automating recruitment tasks will leave you time for finding creative solutions to your pressing HR issues.

Are you interested in learning how automating your hiring process with applicant tracking software can improve your recruitment outcomes? Contact ExactHire today.

Photo by Riccardo Annandale on Unsplash





Avoid HR Headaches with these 25 Tips

The expectations business leaders place upon their human resource departments are increasing. Years ago, the role of HR centered around filing employee paperwork, navigating benefits, and a range of activities meant to avoid compliance fines and lawsuits. Of course, human resource professionals came into their roles with a higher calling: cultivating the company’s human capital, its employees.

The times have caught up with the nobler side of human resources. Even the most profit-focused executive understands the high cost of low retention. And much of the business sector embraces concepts like culture and employer brand after witnessing the tech industry wield them successfully. As a result, business leaders expect much more from their human resource professionals.

Throw in COVID and the ever-increasing labyrinth of laws and regulations, and any HR professional may start measuring their dedication in aspirin. But you needn’t suffer migraines to chase your HR calling. We’ve identified 5 common causes of HR headaches and compiled a list of 25 HR tips to avoid these issues.

Eliminate Workplace Discrimination, Promote Diversity

  1. Elevate your training beyond a blurb in the handbook. Create a comprehensive anti-discrimination training plan using how-to videos and assessments to ensure understanding.
  2. Create additional, in-depth training programs for managers. When a potential HR discrimination issue arises, it will likely be brought to the attention of one of your managers first. Make sure they know how to handle discrimination situations to avoid making the company vulnerable to further legal action.
  3. Address the anti-discrimination HR issues unique to remote workers. Virtual meetings are a fact of work life, whether employees are in the office or at home. Likewise, in the absence of physical proximity, employees rely on email and other forms of communications more often than ever. Make sure your anti-discrimination policies take into consideration the increasingly virtual nature of work.
  4. Avoid claims of hiring discrimination by using applicant tracking software (ATS) to thoroughly log hiring decisions. Keeping an electronic record of interviews, impressions and the reasons behind your hiring decision will protect you in the event of legal action resulting from a hiring decision.
  5. Create a diversity plan in your hiring process. Remove excessive educational or other onerous job requirements. Advertise your job openings to marginalized groups.

Avoid Wage and Hour HR Issues

  1. Take advantage of the training modules in your onboarding software to educate workers about expectations regarding working during off hours. Clarify that they are not allowed to work beyond their scheduled hours without approval, and tell them to approach HR if they feel their manager is pressuring them to perform unpaid work during their off-hours.
  2. Know the wage and hour laws in each state where remote workers or contractors reside. For example, California updated its employment laws regarding the classification of independent contractors. Even one remote worker in a state may make your company liable for franchise taxes or a different standard of workers’ compensation insurance.
  3. Require employees to sign-off on any changes to their time worked or their paycheck. Sometimes payroll mistakes will happen. When they do, provide documentation explaining the error and require the employee to sign it before corrections are implemented.
  4. When hiring, the role should be clearly designated as being exempt or nonexempt. Be consistent with your job descriptions and training for jobs. Utilize your ATS and onboarding software to help keep track of the details. Don’t recreate the wheel every time the chair is empty.
  5. Classify bonuses correctly for nonexempt employees. The overtime rate for your nonexempt employees is “one and one-half times the regular rate at which they are employed.” When you give nonexempt employees bonuses, that bonus amount most likely needs to be calculated into their “regular rate” for overtime calculation.

Avoid HR issues and Turnover by being Proactive

  1. Use your onboarding software to create employee training plans for each position. Rather than relying on the same onboarding process for every new hire, tailor your onboarding plan for each position. Include training modules as well as peer training.
  2. Create a career development plan for employees. 65% of employees expect their employers to provide resources for continued learning. You can increase engagement and reduce turnover by supporting your employees’ career development goals.
  3. Create a mentorship program. Pair current leaders with your star employees to form a mentorship program. Upskilling your current workforce is less costly and more effective than hiring new employees. Current employees who show potential but lack training already understand the company, its culture and its mission.
  4. Consider sponsoring employees for paid certifications and workshops.
  5. Avoid a one-size-fits-all approach by conducting a performance analysis to pinpoint the source of performance issues. Employee surveys, accident reports, customer feedback and other tools can help you determine if the problem is specific to an employee, a manager or the entire team. They can also help you uncover company-wide inefficiencies that contribute to performance issues.

Avoid Employee Conflict

  1. Encourage inter-departmental communication early. During your onboarding process, assign new hires to work in different departments for a day. They’ll learn how their role affects the company, and they’ll form working relationships with their colleagues.
  2. Respect personality differences and adjust for employee strengths. Often, a perceived weakness is masking a corresponding strength. An introvert struggling in a team setting may excel if given the opportunity to work independently. Use personality tests and strength-based assessments to ensure everyone can thrive in their role.
  3. Foster team relationships with company-sponsored events. Whether it’s a company-wide baseball game or a smaller outing to a comedy club with the team, give employees a chance to get to know their colleagues beyond their work role.
  4. Incorporate relationship-building and social needs into your onboarding process. Get new hires off to a great start by encouraging workplace friendships. Ask your new hire to write a short biography, including information such as hobbies or pets. Post this biography in a prominent place on the company intranet. Assign a peer buddy to each new hire to help them learn the company’s culture and unwritten rules, and schedule lunches with team members.
  5. Reexamine your incentive and rewards program. Make sure to revise employee incentives that may encourage too much competition and create conflict.

Improve Your HR Recruitment Results

  1. Use an ATS to automate repetitive tasks such as posting to multiple job sites, texting candidates and tracking progress. By doing so, you’ll have more time for creating a strategy that improves your hiring process.
  2. Harness the power of data. Your ATS can tell you important information, such as your time-to-hire ratio, drop off rate, how long it takes applicants to complete an application and more. You can use your ATS to find out where you can make improvements in your process.
  3. Implement an employee referral program. Employee referrals result in more new hires than any other method. And they tend to stay with the company longer.
  4. Use a team approach to make better hiring decisions and avoid unconscious bias.
  5. Make it easy to attract top talent by developing your employer brand.

Take the Headache Out of Human Resources

The causes behind the most common HR issues are increasingly complex. Discrimination, once confined to the office, can now happen across great distances. And greater social awareness is bringing a wider range of claims to the courts. Wage and hour laws, always notoriously complex, can be downright perplexing when it comes to remote workers.

Training has become a key expectation from top talent. Employee conflict, which affects your productivity and culture, is even more damaging in the tight post-Covid labor market. There are a lot of factors that support the current labor shortage and the Great Resignation phenomenon we are experiencing. Unfortunately, neither are going to change in the near term.

Without a doubt, a career in human resources can be a wild ride. On the one hand, you’ve got a pile of new laws and regulations to decipher and an executive team demanding more metrics. On the other hand, you get to help people reach their potential and assist them when they need support along their work journey. If you want to reclaim part of your workday and throw away your aspirin bottle, I suggest you work with companies that are truly interested in partnering with you and your success versus just selling you software.

If you are ready for real help from real people, check out our applicant tracking system and onboarding software. Contact us today to find out more.

Photo by Vinicius “amnx” Amano on Unsplash

Can an ATS Really Help You Find Your Next Candidate?

It makes more sense than ever to pay as much attention to the way you treat candidates as you do your customers. After all, the pandemic and the resulting Great Resignation arrived at about the same time as the long-expected skills gap and talent shortage. When it comes to netting top talent, hiring managers in 2022 are caught in the perfect storm.

That perfect storm is why businesses are paying close attention to concepts like candidate experience and their employer brand. But now that we’re finally thinking about the humanity behind our human capital, where does that leave our use of applicant tracking systems? Isn’t there something antithetical about reducing applicants to a data set while working to create a hiring process that makes them feel valued?

True enough, early applicant tracking systems were built to improve the recruiter’s experience. I think we can all agree that writing Excel macros should never be part of a hiring manager’s job description. ATS freed us from Excel and from a leaning tower of paper resumes and applications.

But the best applicant tracking systems in 2022 can take your candidate’s experience to the next level, too. In fact, the right ATS can boost your employer brand and make your company a place top talent wants to work. Read on for 4 reasons an ATS can really help you find your next candidate.

An ATS Can Make Your Branded Careers Site Do More

Your next new hire can find your job opening in a number of ways. Whether they start their application process at one of the top job sites, a niche job board, or from your social media page, an ATS will take them to the same place: your branded careers site.

Why is a branded careers page important?

To start, job seekers can read about your company’s mission and values. They can see photos of smiling employees and an enjoyable workplace. You can even include a virtual tour of the office. Your branded careers site is where you set the stage for a welcoming place to work.

But when it comes to applying, simplicity is key. A single webpage–or applicant portal– linked from your careers page (and integrated with your ATS) puts the focus on your job opportunities and encourages job seekers to do one thing: Apply!

Applicants should be able to browse all of your job openings. They may find a position for which they are better suited than the one that initially caught their interest. And you should make it easy for them to apply for more than one job without re-entering the same information multiple times.

Applicant Tracking System Makes Applying to Your Job Opening Easier

Online applications are great for recruiters because the information candidates enter goes directly into the ATS. But if your applicant tracking system is outdated and old school, you may be giving your candidates a headache. Manually entering information like work history and education only to also upload a resume will drag down your candidate’s experience.

The best applicant tracking systems will allow for custom job applications that provide applicants the the option to upload a resume or provide just the basic information needed to start the application process. Now you can save your candidate time and also include some screening questions that can’t be answered from the resume. You’ll have fewer abandoned applications and a greater wealth of data from which to screen applicants.

Many candidates prefer to fill out applications on their smartphones for a variety of reasons. Younger candidates tend to prefer smartphones over laptops for just about everything. And many applicants for hourly positions may only have access to a smartphone. That’s why an applicant tracking system that includes a mobile-friendly careers site and application is so important to improving your candidate experience.

ATS Lets Your Candidate Decide the Best Way to Keep in Touch

Text message? Phone call? Email?

Letting your candidate decide the best method to communicate isn’t just about prioritizing their preferences. If your candidate already has a job, a phone call during business hours may not be possible. Or if an hourly worker has multiple jobs or commitments, getting that first screening out of the way by texting can make background noise less of an issue.

Using an ATS lets you ask applicants up front which mode of communication works best. And it also protects your company. When managers reach out with a text message, they’re doing so from within the ATS rather than their personal phone. And all messages, including email, are stored with the candidate’s information regardless of who was sending the message.

Use an ATS to Craft an Organized, Seamless Candidate Experience

Part of creating a positive candidate experience is reassuring the applicant that your company is run well. A well-planned hiring process that is free of drama is a great place to start. An applicant tracking system will allow you to create a hiring process complete with tasks assigned to different stakeholders.

You’ll always know which step of the hiring process is next, and you can clearly communicate a timeline to the candidate. With all of the candidate communications in one place, you can avoid calling twice to schedule an interview or phoning an applicant at their place of work when they clearly prefer a text message. You can also create email templates for each point of communication. Your emails will always hit the right tone without typos no matter how hectic your day is.

All of these features found in the best applicant tracking systems certainly make your job easier. But they also create a smooth, orderly experience for the candidate. After all, the hiring process goes both ways. And when you make that offer to a stellar candidate, you want to make sure you’ve put your best foot forward each step of the way.

Keep the Positive Candidate Experience Going by Building a Talent Pool

By the time you get to your final round questions, you’ve got two or three high quality candidates. But you can only choose one–for now. You know you can count on another position opening up. And when it does, you’d love to call those great candidates back.

You can easily call up past candidates’ information when you use an applicant tracking system. But if you’ve also used your ATS to improve the candidate experience, you’ll increase the odds those top applicants are still interested. And if they’re not, they’re likely to refer a friend if you’ve used your ATS to treat your candidates as great as you do your customers.

Find Your Next New Hire When You Use an ATS to Improve Candidate Experience

If you’re using an old school ATS from the early 2000’s or still writing macros in Excel, you’re probably spending a lot of time reading through resumes or scrolling to find that one highly qualified applicant that piqued your interest–if only you could remember her details. And if the hiring process is a headache for you, chances are it’s miserable for your prospective applicants.

You’ll win the talent war when you treat your candidates (and employees) as great as you do your customers. And that’s where the real power of the best applicant tracking systems shines.

An applicant tracking system can improve your candidates’ experience at every step. Your branded careers site can put your employer brand on display, while also providing a simple, clean interface to apply for multiple open positions. Mobile-friendly, custom online applications make the application process shorter and friendlier. You can put the candidate first starting with the initial contact. Your entire hiring process will sell your company as a great place to work. And if that candidate isn’t the one, they’re more likely to point their friend in your direction.

Ready to modernize your hiring process with a top-rated ATS? Give ExactHire a call today.

Photo by João Ferrão on Unsplash

6 Signs Your Onboarding Process Needs Improvement


How’s your employee onboarding process? Many companies are eager for their new hires to be off and running in their new roles. After all, that empty chair costs the company money in terms of lost productivity and hiring costs. It takes, on average, 42 days to find a new employee. And hiring a new employee costs $4,000, on average.

But if you think the work of hiring new employees ends with their first day, you’re missing an opportunity to improve every aspect of your business. Onboarding new employees effectively improves employee engagement, increases the new hire’s productivity, and contributes to a positive company culture that creates a cohesive team.

Revamping your onboarding process can solve a surprising number of seemingly unrelated problems. This article touches upon 6 signs your onboarding process needs improvement.

Your New Hire Time-to-Productivity Exceeds Six Months

One survey found that new hires take a year or longer to be fully productive at 30% of companies. And while those companies wait for new hire’s to become productive, their colleagues get overburdened with filling in the productivity gaps.

In reality, a comprehensive onboarding process can bring most new hire’s up to speed within three months, or six months for mid-level positions. Creating an onboarding process checklist that includes training modules and digital access to important documents will help new hires learn vital information independently.

You’ll always know how far new hire’s have progressed in their training. And coworkers won’t be saddled with training the basics in addition to their own responsibilities.

You See New Hires Leaving Before Their First-Year Anniversary

If you’re losing a significant number of new hires before their first-year anniversary, you need a better onboarding process.

The Work Institute’s 2020 Retention Report found that nearly 40% of new hire’s left the company within their first year. Of those, 2 out of 3 leave within the first six months. The reasons these new hires leave vary, but include work environment, well-being, career development and other reasons that can be avoided with a thoughtful onboarding process.

A welcoming onboarding process that takes into account the new hire’s needs and career goals will help stem the tide of exiting employees. Include items on your onboarding checklist that insert the new hire into your company’s fabric. Make one of those items a goal-setting session, where the new hire can express their professional aspirations and explore ways your company can support them. After setting meaningful goals, there should be a mutually agreed upon plan to check in at regular intervals. In this way, the new hire can see how the company is invested in their development.

Your Employee Engagement Survey Reveals Unhappy Workers

Having an engaged workforce improves several business outcomes, including customer ratings, product quality and safety measures. Overall, engagement makes your company more profitable.

Engagement is almost always connected with an employer meeting a new hire’s expectations. Your employee onboarding process, along with your hiring process, is critical to setting expectations for new hires. And so it’s not only important to provide a welcoming, fun, and comfortable experience, it’s important provide the new hire with honest, realistic expectations of what success looks like in their role.

When you create an onboarding checklist and training schedule tailored to each position, you help new hires know exactly what is expected of them. Additionally, things like making sure that new hires have all their equipment on day one, or asking for their feedback on their onboarding experience, will set the stage for a highly engaged, long-term employee.

Need more proof  of how employee onboarding impacts employee engagement? Gallup developed a survey with 12 “yes” or “no” questions to measure engagement.  All 12 areas of engagement could be directly linked to onboarding and the new hire’s early employment experience.

New Hires Quit, Citing Poor Company Culture

Company culture is another one of those employee experience items that have a big impact on your company’s success. According to this article in MIT Sloan Management Review, employees leaving during the Great Resignation cite a toxic culture as the most common reason.

In today’s job market, new hires will judge company culture fairly quickly and leave if they are unsatisfied–there’s no sense wasting time working for an organization where they feel unappreciated, used, or uncomfortable. The employer will only receive the benefit of the doubt for a short time.

The elements of a toxic culture vary, but they are easily sniffed out early–during the onboarding process. Employees may feel that management is disrespectful. Or they may witness unethical behavior. Essentially, anything that has a negative impact on your employee’s onboarding experience will be seen as proof of a poor company culture.

So onboarding is a golden opportunity to take the reins and steer your new hires and your company culture in a positive direction. Use your onboarding checklist to introduce your company’s mission and values to your new hire. Educate your new employee on your company’s history. And tie your new hire’s role the company’s larger purpose.

You Play Moderator Too Often When Employees Don’t Get Along

Constantly bickering employees are the result of a poor company culture. The whole team suffers when employees don’t get along. The negative energy impacts everyone, engagement plummets, and the drama can escalate to sabotage that hurts a company’s bottom line.

Onboarding employees effectively means introducing employees to their colleagues as well as the company. You can set the foundation for friendly and respectful relationships during the onboarding process. Without a formalized, purposeful onboarding process–one that supports a clearly defined company culture–employees are left to create their own culture, which is a lost opportunity to build trust and respect of leadership.

So it’s critical to effectively introduce a new hire to all areas–and all people–of a company. For example, part of your onboarding process could include sending new hires to work one day in each department. Doing so will help prevent the creation of silos that often lead to misunderstandings, which in turn can develop into organizational disfunction.

Gallup’s research shows that having a best friend at work increases productivity and reduces turnover. So it’s wise to use the onboarding process to help your new hires develop friendships. Doing so will not only increase your team’s harmony, but also improve retention.

You can jumpstart your hire’s new friendships by adding a few simple steps to the onboarding checklist. Assign a workplace buddy to help the new hire acclimate to the unspoken rules of the office. Have the new hire fill out a questionnaire or write a short bio to post on the company’s intranet. Host a monthly lunch to bring new hire’s together.

You Worry About HR Compliance and Risk Management

A regulatory fine costs businesses an average of about $30,000. Much of a company’s regulatory burden is HR related. Failing to maintain employee documentation or thoroughly track hiring decisions can land your company in hot water with a government agency.

Poor record-keeping can also leave you vulnerable to a lawsuit. If an applicant files a discrimination lawsuit, are you confident you’ll be able to find all the documentation surrounding your hiring decision? If your onboarding process checklist doesn’t include important safety trainings, you could be liable for significant damages if an employee injures himself.

Your risks are far greater if your onboarding process doesn’t include digitized paperwork with varying degrees of password protected security. And if the risks of sloppy organization of HR-related paperwork isn’t keeping you up at night, it should.

How to Improve Employee Onboarding

A comprehensive employee onboarding checklist that considers the employee’s needs as well as the company’s will solve a host of HR related issues. Start by analyzing various company-wide problems that develop among employees and teams. Issues such as low engagement and poor workplace culture contribute to poor retention and stunted profits.

Studies show time and time again that creating a workplace culture that contributes to your employees’ overall well-being will improve your company’s success. Higher retention, fewer safety-related incidents, better product quality, and improved innovation are the byproducts of happy employees.

Your onboarding efforts set the stage for your employees’ engagement. The more effort you put into your new hire’s development during that crucial first year, the less you’ll ultimately spend on your hiring efforts.

Take your onboarding to the next level with onboarding software. Doing so, you’ll automate much of the tedious record-keeping associated with hiring. The checklists, training modules and role assignments will keep your onboarding process on track. Most importantly, you’ll free up your time for implementing creative onboarding ideas.

Are you ready to take your onboarding process to the next level? Contact ExactHire today.

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Build a Remote Workplace Strategy

If you’re a company that can’t address and handle remote working, you need to build remote workplace strategy.

If you’re not, your competition will…and it’s going to hurt you.


VIDEO: Build a Remote Workplace Strategy



TRANSCRIPT: Build a Remote Workplace Strategy

With the onset of COVID, lots of employers were forced to allow employees to work from home. And at first, I don’t think they really liked it very much. They were having trouble finding a decent space to work in their new home–and if there were two people at the house working, they were fighting for the quiet time they needed to handle the zoom call.

But as time wore on, employees started to like it–much to everybody’s surprise, including mine.

But for most industries today, it’s hard to find a person if you’re not offering some type of remote work in your job ads.

Remote Work Employee Perspective

Only 37 percent of employees want to work in an office full-time…37 percent. And about 23 percent are saying that they’d even take a pay cut if you let them work from home or work remotely part of the time because it adds so much to their lives.

From an employee perspective, they reduce their commute time significantly–that could be 20 minutes a day could be a couple hours a day that really adds to to their usable life during the day, and it’s pretty important. They lowered their commuting costs three to five thousand dollars a year, their child care cost probably went down somewhere between 500 and 1400 a month. This was kind of like getting a tax-free raise.

But this isn’t all one-sided.

Remote Work Employer Perspective

The employer is finding that they’re getting more productive employees, their turnover is going down, their absenteeism is going down, their productivity is going up, and they’re actually able to reduce their real estate footprint, which saves them money. And most importantly because remote work is becoming part of the equation, they can increase their geographic horizon from which they can hire–which is really important in a hiring environment like we are today.

The job ads that mention remote work are getting a lot more applicants. So if you’re a company that can’t address and handle remote working, you need to build a remote workplace strategy that works. If you’re not, your competition is, and it’s going to hurt you.


ExactHire provides hiring software and strategy to help employers adapt to job market changes and succeed in hiring. Learn how our software and team of strategists can help you hire and onboard a remote workforce.

How Do I Find Blue Collar Employees?

Blue collar jobs have long suffered from an image crisis, despite blue collar employees enjoying a high level of job satisfaction.

According to a study by The Harris Poll, 85 percent of blue-collar workers enjoy job satisfaction and are optimistic about the direction of their life. Yet, most high school graduates are opting to pursue a four-year degree. As a result, enrollment in Career and Technical Programs, where many students go to learn skilled trades, is at an all-time low.

Throw in an infrastructure bill and an all-around labor shortage, most businesses will be struggling to find blue-collar employees for the foreseeable future. Finding blue collar employees takes a mix of understanding this demographic, addressing its image and training issues, and being a whiz at advertising blue-collar jobs on the most relevant jobs sites.

Blue Collar Meaning

Finding blue-collar workers begins with understanding the term. Blue-collar generally refers to any job requiring manual labor. For decades, these workers didn’t require much technical know-how. Most learned their trade on-the-job, hiring into factories or construction companies right after high school.

Today, though, blue collar jobs refer to a wide-range of skill levels and pay scales. Electricians can make up to $98,000, while machine operators make less than $30,000. Many skilled blue-collar jobs require very little formal education. Instead, paid internships offer a path to licensing and employment.

Bias Surrounding Different Types of Collar Jobs

The blue-collar worker’s image is tied to our perception of social class in America. Even the term “blue-collar” is a reference to the dirt and grime associated with these workers who wear durable blue clothes that resist stains. In contrast, “white-collar” workers are associated with clean offices and intellectual work.

Blue-collar bias even affects college grads who come from a working-class background. In one study, researchers sent fake resumes to top offices and law firms in Australia. The resumes were identical as far as education and work experience. Some resumes, however, included upper-class hobbies, such as polo and sailing. Other resumes included typical working-class activities, such as track or country music. The resumes from presumably upper-class candidates received far more callbacks than those with working-class extracurricular activities.

But like many of our biases, these stereotypes have no place in our modern workplace. Blue-collar workers are indispensable. Anyone who’s had a broken pipe in their house or a fallen tree on their roof can attest: plumbers, construction workers, electricians and others build and maintain the framework for our society.

And they’re starting to get more respect. Blue-collar employees are seeing a 10 percent wage growth, compared to only 7.5 percent for their white-collar counterparts. And, according to this article about blue-collar stigma in Deseret News, “20 percent of technical certificate holders make more than the average [bachelor’s degree].”

Despite the surge in demand for blue-collar employees, many don’t enjoy the same perks white-collar employees take for granted. They often get less paid time off. When they go to work, they often don’t get free coffee from the breakroom or clean restrooms, often making do with a thermos from home and porta-potties.

Increasing Blue Collar Jobs Training

Fighting against the stigma attached to blue-collar employees is the first step to encouraging enrollment in trade schools and apprenticeship programs.

If your company isn’t already participating in your local high school’s career day, it’s time to get started. Representatives from your company can educate students about a blue-collar employee’s wage potential. You can also educate students on the costs of trade school as compared to a four-year university and the rising demand for blue-collar workers.

You should also be in contact with your local high school’s counselors throughout the year. Make sure they’re aware of the opportunities for blue-collar employees at your company. Talk to your local school board about setting up a vocational education program for kids still in high school. Encourage blue-collar jobs training by offering scholarships to trade schools. Or perhaps your company can offer paid, on-the-job training.

Use your social media outlets to promote blue collar jobs. There’s a large, grassroots movement to promote trade schools and end the bias against working-class workers. Relentless promoter of blue-collar trade schools and host of the TV show Dirty Jobs, celebrity Mike Rowe is never far from the spotlight and a great source for shareable articles. Create a Google alerts for search terms such as “trade schools” or “blue-collar” so you’ll never run out of content to share on your social media pages.

Finding Blue-Collar Employees

Promoting trade schools to current high school students is an effective long-term strategy for finding blue-collar employees. But it isn’t how to recruit blue-collar workers for the openings you have today. You can find blue-collar employees for your immediate openings by expanding your talent pool and advertising on the sites where blue-collar workers are.

You can actively recruit blue-collar workers by targeting specific groups. Many veterans already possess the training they need to excel in your blue-collar job openings. Check veterans’ job fairs in your local community or online. A Regional Veterans’ Employment Coordinator can help you connect with veterans seeking blue-collar employment in your community.

You can find blue-collar employees through a largely untapped talent pool. Former offenders usually get overlooked by hiring managers. But a third of U.S. adults have a criminal record. Including these individuals in your search for blue-collar employees is the right thing to do and more important than ever in the current labor shortage. Some local and state governments are offering incentives for hiring justice involved candidates in addition to the tax credit provided by the federal government.

You can find blue-collar employees on sites like Indeed if you use these effective keywords.

  •       Skilled Trades
  •       Apprentice
  •       Manufacturing
  •       Operator
  •       CDL

But you’ll be able to find even more blue-collar employees if you expand your job advertising to other, niche sites. is job board that help employers find blue-collar workers in all industries. Also look for niche job boards for your industry.,, and are several examples. “Jobs on Facebook” is a new paid advertising site on the social media giant and an effective place to find blue-collar workers.

Hiring for Blue-Collar Jobs

The current labor shortage probably has you wondering more than ever, “how do I find blue-collar employees”. By addressing the stigma around blue-collar workers and promoting trade schools in your area, you can position yourself to find blue-collar employees in the near future. But by directing your recruiting efforts to marginalized groups and your job advertisement campaigns to blue-collar workers and the sites they frequent, you can hire for your immediate openings.

ExactHire ATS can help you improve your time-to-hire metrics for all of your open positions. You’ll be able to access over 25,000 job boards and advertise your job openings with one click. You can then monitor each job site’s performance to learn which sites perform best for your company.

ExactHire ATS also makes it easy for blue-collar workers to apply to your open positions with a mobile-friendly careers site and application. You can even seamlessly text with your applicants from within the software.  You can run a report rather than sift through files when it comes time to file for your Work Opportunity Tax Credit.

To learn more about how ExactHire can help you find blue-collar employees, contact us today.

Photo by Jason Richard on Unsplash

Best Ways to Attract Applicants to Apply

If you’re having trouble attracting talent to your workplace, you’re not alone. The U.S. has 11 million job openings, but only 7.7 million applicants to fill them. That means companies like yours have to work hard to attract applicants. The big fish like McDonald’s and Amazon are raising their wages to recruit candidates.

But small and medium-sized businesses, still reeling from the pandemic’s economic downturn, can’t write big paychecks to attract employees. Many small businesses are getting by on shortened hours and fewer employees. But these emergency measures can only work for so long before customers start taking their business elsewhere.

Fortunately, unemployment claims are finally inching downward. But that isn’t a light at the end of the tunnel. The U.S. is still missing over 4 million workers who are sitting out the labor force because of COVID concerns, family obligations, and other reasons. Small and medium-sized businesses are still in a cut-throat competition with big chains to attract quality talent. Luckily, many of the best ways to attract applicants don’t require deep corporate pockets.

Get Job Applicants to Apply

Figuring out how to get job applicants to apply to your company begins with your employer brand and your employer value proposition. In other words, what are you doing to make your company a place where people want to work?

Start by checking your company’s reviews on Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and Indeed. These sites will give you valuable feedback about what employees really think about working for your company. They also influence candidates, who will forgo applying to your company if they read negative reviews.

But don’t wait for employees to voice their grievances online. Consider conducting an anonymous employee survey to uncover potential problems as well as those things that make you a great employer. Most importantly, after you’ve collected your feedback, act on it.

Consider also the obstacles job seekers are facing. Nearly 1.5 million of those missing from the workforce are mothers with school-aged children. Schools may be welcoming children back into the buildings, but parents still aren’t off the hook when it comes to COVID. As the virus sweeps through the classrooms, children are forced home to quarantine or recover. Revisit your policies and examine ways you can support working parents juggling jobs and children.

Many workers are also staying home due to COVID concerns. Vulnerable populations are still susceptible to serious illness, even with a vaccine. Unemployed workers caring for aging parents or unvaccinated children may be waiting until the virus is better controlled. You can encourage these employees to return to the workforce by maintaining your COVID precautions or implementing a remote work policy.

Best Place to Find Job Candidates

To know how to find good candidates for jobs, you need to know the best places to go. Most companies assume they’ll find the best candidates on Indeed and LinkedIn. But there are countless job sites out there, and your ideal applicants may be on smaller, niche job boards.

Are you tracking recruitment success rates across job sites? If you use an ATS that includes applicant source reports, you can know which sites are the best places to source employees for your industry. ExactHire ATS can filter source reporting by applicant status, so you’ll know which job sites are netting low quality talent and wasting your time.

Use social media to boost your online recruiting success. The people who follow you on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram already have a positive view of your company. Even if these users aren’t looking for a job themselves, chances are they know someone who is. Take advantage of your followers’ social connections to find job candidates.

Don’t rely solely on the internet to source talent. Take advantage of job fairs, universities, and your local employment office. Implement an employee referral bonus. According to Statista, referrals were a close second to LinkedIn as the most effective source for staffing firms. New hires are more likely to become successful long-term employees when they come from an existing employee’s network.

Create a talent pool of previous applicants to source your future hiring needs. Oftentimes, your hiring decision is a close call between two or more applicants. You can keep in touch with those who didn’t get the job. Of course, you need to implement a stellar candidate experience so rejected candidates will still want to work for your company.

Creative Ways to Attract Talent

These basics will go a long way in helping you attract and retain talent. But in the current labor shortage, you’ll need creative ways to attract candidates.

When you’ve ironed out your employer value proposition and you know the core benefits your company offers employees, create content to get the word out. Your branded careers site is the perfect place to showcase employees’ individual accomplishments. You can also create videos to give candidates a feel for what it’s like day-to-day in your workplace.

Create a lot of recruitment-related content and spread it around the internet. Think about all the things potential applicants want to know about your company. For example, on, you’ll find articles about “How to Get a Job at Amazon” and the “5 Things You Need to Know Get a Job at Facebook.” You can post workplace photos on Instagram and links on Twitter. Or upload recruiting videos that highlight your culture to YouTube.

Consider joining a virtual job fair or hosting your own. If you haven’t seen job fairs in your local community, it could be that they’ve gone virtual. Search for virtual fairs locally as well as nationally to recruit candidates interested in moving. You can also create your own job fair. You can create a space in which job seekers can learn more and ask questions. Then, you can create meeting rooms where hiring managers can interview attendees.

Outside-the-Box Recruiting Strategies for Conversion

Up until now, we’ve focused on getting job seekers to want to work for your company. Now, it’s time to get them to want to complete your job application. The sad fact is most job seekers quit the application process. If you want to increase the number of completed applications you receive, think outside-the-box and consider your candidates’ perspective.

Your ideal candidate either already has a job or is so motivated to work that she’s made finding work her job. Either way, she’s too busy to fill out a long, complicated job application. And with so many jobs available, she doesn’t have to.

Make sure your application takes less than 15 minutes to complete. Your employer branding efforts may convince job seekers your workplace is amazing. But that doesn’t mean they’ll spend half a day filling out your job application.

Many candidates prefer the convenience of their mobile device when searching for jobs. Hourly workers may only have access to a smartphone. And many Millennials prefer using their smartphones to fill out job applications. In other words, regardless of the position for which you are hiring, you’ll attract more applicants if your careers page and application are mobile friendly.

Make sure your branded careers site contains an Applicant FAQs page. You can improve your candidate experience by providing an overabundance of information. Applicants will want to know how long the application will take, how to apply to multiple positions, and how to check on the status of their application, to name a few questions.

Your careers site and application form are your candidates’ first interaction with your company. Making these pages mobile-friendly and easy to use is your first step in creating an exceptional candidate experience. Your candidates’ experience continues during the interviewing and hiring phase.

HR Best Practices for Interviewing and Hiring

You can improve your candidates’ experience during the interviewing and hiring phase with these HR best practices.

  • Clearly communicate during each phase of the hiring process using the candidate’s preferred method. An ATS that incorporates text recruiting, message templates and interview scheduling can help.
  • Introduce interviewees to the team and take them on a tour of the workplace. You’ll demystify your workplace and allay candidates’ anxieties.
  • Provide a lot of information. Tell candidates whom they’ll meet with. Give them detailed instructions on where to park and what to wear. And tell them what to expect from your hiring process and your timeline.
  • Follow-up with candidates who didn’t get the job. Give them gentle feedback and ask them for feedback about their experience. And don’t forget to wish them well in their job search.

A massive labor shortage on the heels of a debilitating pandemic is pushing too many small and medium-sized businesses into survival mode. But you can get back to your regular business hours and get on with serving your customers with these best ways to attract talent.

Attract applicants to apply by developing your employer brand and make genuine efforts to be a great place to work. Remove obstacles that are holding back 1.4 billion Americans from searching for a job. Then get creative with your recruiting efforts. Finally, create an exceptional candidate experience and create a talent pool to invite past candidates to apply again.

You have to work harder to attract applicants to apply to your company. But an ATS can make your recruiting efforts more efficient and save you time. Using ATS data and reporting features will help you implement the best strategies for finding candidates and avoiding time-wasters.

Contact ExactHire today to find out how our ATS can help you find quality applicants.


Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

What Is Good Employer Branding?

In 2021, as the pandemic continues, and the Great Resignation upends the labor market, and the reckoning with the country’s decades-long skills gap arrives, companies are pulling out all the stops to fill positions with the best talent possible. If you’re like most recruiters, you’ve researched the best jobs sites and you’re capable of writing killer job ads that get job seekers’ attention. And if you’re like the smartest recruiters, you’ve invested in an applicant tracking and onboarding system that simplifies the hiring process and lets you focus on the big picture strategies to attract high quality applicants, like good employer branding. But what is employer branding and how will an employer branding strategy help you hire the best candidates?


Download ExactHire Company Culture E-book

Why Your Employer Brand Is Important

Good employer branding in recruitment is the blueprint for attracting the attention of and creating a relationship with prospective candidates.

In the digital noise of the current post-information age, companies have to work harder to stand out. I say “post-information age” because, apparently, the experts haven’t quite figured out what to call the emerging age. The “Era of Innovation” is one contender. Then, there’s the rather pessimistic “Age of Reckoning.” Or the straightforward “Age of Automation,” as coined by a self-described former Mechanical Engineer on a Quora forum.

All of this is to say that everything is changing. Really fast. Which is why you may have had trouble figuring out how to develop your employer brand or even why you need an employer brand in the first place.

The speed at which everything is changing is also exactly why job candidates need you to have a strong employer brand. Your employer brand helps candidates know what employees can expect from your company. In the Age of—Something—candidates are looking for assurance that your company can successfully navigate current and future changes. In other words, is your company a steady ship?

That isn’t to say that your employer branding is all about easing your candidates’ anxieties. It’s actually quite the opposite. It’s about proving you’re adaptable and resilient.

It may seem like the key elements that affect an employer’s brand is a lot like your overall brand. To a degree, the character you present to your customers should extend to your employees. Also, after reading your job description, prospective candidates will familiarize themselves with your overall brand. But the benefits of employer branding will help candidates imagine whether your company will support their professional and personal goals—or not.

Assess Your Employer Brand

The importance of employer branding lies in attracting and retaining talent in the modern corporate world.

Do you have a strong Employee Value Proposition? Or is your mentality stuck in the Great Recession, when prolonged unemployment shifted power to employers?

If the employee push to remote work tells companies anything, it’s that employees want work and life balance. Today’s workforce simply isn’t willing to sacrifice their personal life for their career. Flexible schedules, remote work opportunities, and childcare stipends all help employees achieve that balance.

Are your company’s values well-defined? And do those values extend to how you treat your employees?

Your value statement probably talks about things like integrity, trust, and accountability. If your company thinks about your employees as highly as it does your customers—and it should—then those values should also apply everything from your benefits package to your discipline policy.

Is your mission inspiring? And do your new employees have an opportunity to participate in the mission so that their individual roles have meaning?

We all have a basic human need to feel like we are doing something meaningful. You can motivate even entry level employees by connecting their daily duties to the company’s overall mission.

Does your company value social justice? Do you have strong programs aimed at increasing diversity in your organization?

Candidates recognize the importance of diversity, and not just for the value it brings to marginalized groups. Companies with a diverse workforce benefit from fresh ideas and new perspectives. Prospective candidates will be looking for evidence they’ll find inclusion in your workplace.

Does your company have meaningful social responsibility initiatives?

Candidates, as well as your consumers, understand that only strong collective efforts can solve big problems, like climate change and poverty. They’re looking to support businesses committed to contributing solutions.

Make Employer Branding Important

The best employer branding ideas of 2021 start with creating a composite of your ideal candidate. You may have several ideal candidates across multiple positions and departments. But all of your profiles should have common values that drive your business’s success. You will measure employer branding strategy alongside this representation of the model candidate.

Next make an honest assessment of your current work environment. Is it the kind of place your ideal candidate would want to work? The questions in the previous section are a good place to start. But, also gather feedback from your current and former employees.

Check review sites such as Glassdoor and LinkedIn to find out what people are saying about your workplace. Consider conducting an anonymous survey of your current employees. Review your notes on exit interviews with parting employees.

Take stock of your current recruiting results. Applicant tracking software can help you gather important data, such as the most effective jobs sites for your open positions and what percentage of your new employees stick around past their first anniversary. Using assessments to quantify the strengths which make your best employees shine will help you create a recruiting strategy to attract more individuals with the same qualities.

You can begin to develop your employer branding strategies by sorting the information you gather. Make lists of what you’re doing right and what you could improve upon. Strategies for improving the employee value proposition are accessible to even small businesses.

While some important employer branding examples, such as pay and benefits, may require a sizable investment, other less-costly strategies can also pack a punch. Items such as improving your culture, creating a more equitable discipline policy or promoting from within can improve your employee retention while also attracting talent to your organization.


Download ExactHire Company Culture E-book

Employer Branding Ideas

After taking stock in what makes your company a great place to work and implementing strategies to improve shortcomings, you’re ready to create a game plan for communicating to prospective candidates the mind-blowing awesomeness that is your workplace.

Your website is fertile ground for growing your employer branding strategies. Microsoft demonstrates that they value their employees’ unique talents, even if those talents are not work-related. Their Microsoft Life page features employees’ passions outside of the office. From bakers to farmers to disability advocates, employees open up about their personal lives, which is a powerful indicator to potential applicants that Microsoft expects and encourages the kind of life balance they’re looking for.

You probably already use social media to post job openings. Go beyond job posting and news releases when developing employer branding strategies. Include photos of employees at work. Highlight the company picnic. Congratulate employees on promotions or other milestones. Share stories about causes your company supports.

Your candidate experience is an important part of your employer branding strategy. Even candidates that don’t get the job can become powerful brand ambassadors if you take steps to make their experience positive. Communicate with candidates. Let them know the next steps. Always provide a respectful review of the reasons they didn’t get the job if you decide to hire someone else. Even better, ask them for a review of their candidate experience in return.

Involve your marketing department. Employer branding ideas require quite of bit of marketing. Candidates have a wealth of information at their fingertips. The best candidates also have a wealth of options. Your marketing department can help you craft a branding strategy that gets in front of your ideal candidates while also persuading them that your company fits well with their professional and personal goals.

Employer Branding Strategy

Your marketing department will also let you in on the secret to codifying your employer brand and attracting the best talent: storytelling. When you incorporate storytelling into your employer brand, you achieve several important goals.

First, you convey a consistent message. Great stories can be summed up one sentence. Authors call this sentence the hook, and it succinctly and enticingly conveys what the book is about. As the hook relates to your employer brand strategy, it tells potential applicants what your company is about.

Take the single line at the top of Charity: Water’s branded careers site: “Quit your day job and come change the world.” That one sentence tells the story of what Charity: Water’s employees do every day. All of the copy on career’s page expounds on that story.

Storytelling has another very powerful function: it inserts the reader into the story. On Charity: Water’s careers page, applicants begin to imagine themselves joining the company on their mission to solve the water crisis.

Which brings us to the most important job of storytelling: eliciting emotion, which your marketing company would happily tell you is the key to selling. From the perspective of employer branding, eliciting emotion accomplishes another crucial task: helping candidates qualify (or disqualify) themselves from the job.

Charity: Water’s careers site tells a compelling and pointed story. Applicants can insert themselves into the story and tell right away if they want to be part of it. And if they don’t—then, the company saves themselves the expense of a bad hire because job seekers who are a poor fit move on.

Final Thoughts on Employer Branding

In the Age of—Something—recruiters have their hands full with hiring tasks.  While the internet helps recruiters reach more candidates, it also makes it more difficult for companies to attract their attention. If you’re ready to take a wider perspective on recruiting to create employer branding strategies that will help you hire the best talent, an applicant tracking system can take care of the mundane details such as tracking and sorting candidates. Schedule a demo today to find out how you can free up time to create an amazing employer strategy and reduce your time-to-hire metrics.

Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash