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 Are the Most Important Onboarding Forms?

If you’re paying closer attention to your onboarding process, congratulations. You’re one of the few employers that recognizes that turnover is costly and mostly preventable. An effective onboarding process—complete with the most important onboarding forms—is the first step to creating productive, long-term employees.

Employee separations are costly to a company’s bottom line. Work Institute estimates that the cost of an exiting employee is 33 percent of his annual salary. Turnover costs increase if an employee leaves before his first anniversary. Most employee separations are spurred by employees voluntarily quitting their jobs. For example, in January 2020, 62 percent of separations were voluntary quits. In 2016, voluntary separations cost U.S. employers $536 billion. The “productivity costs” can be even greater. Companies with high turnover simply don’t perform as well as companies that are able to retain their employees.

If your company wasn’t fiscally austere before, the pandemic likely created an urgency to reduce costs. Now that 2021 is underway, you’re probably considering the high cost of turnover and looking into ways to reduce it.

A comprehensive onboarding plan is the best way to start building a team of long-term employees. But as you ramp up your onboarding efforts, how do you organize all the pieces? Specifically, can modernizing your onboarding process help you keep track of the most important onboarding forms?

 

Download ExactHire's Employee Onboarding Checklist

Employee Onboarding

A good onboarding meaning is this: the process by which you introduce the new hire to the company and his role. But don’t be deceived by the simplicity of this onboarding process meaning. When planned well, your new employee’s initiation helps your company in countless ways. Those who quit before the first year likely do so because they’re unhappy with the job’s characteristics. Effective onboarding continues well beyond the first week and ensures your new hire gets support to meet the expectations of his position.

Onboarding paperwork is a crucial piece of your employee’s inauguration into your company. The data you collect will make its way into the employee’s personnel file. This information will inform everything from your employee’s direct deposit to her tax withholdings. Onboarding forms, like all employee-related files, will protect you in the event of litigation or audits. Your employee’s documentation must be correct and organized from the first day.

You put yourself at risk if you aren’t storing your onboarding forms and other employee documentation electronically. Your new hire may accidentally leave a form incomplete. Messy handwriting may increase data entry errors. Worst of all, you may find yourself on a scavenger hunt when you need the forms in the future. If key people leave the company, they make take the secrets of their ad hoc filing system with them.

Filing your forms electronically with onboarding software solves these problems. The software will alert the employee if she left any fields empty. You won’t need to decipher messy handwriting. You can ditch the data entry too. The data your new hire enters will transfer to your HR and payroll systems. And you can save the scavenger hunts for team building exercises. Your employee’s information is safe, secure, and accessible to only those who are authorized.

Employee Onboarding Process

A comprehensive onboarding process increases the return on your recruitment dollars. Your new hire will become productive more quickly. He will feel supported, without the frustration that commonly leads to high turnover in that crucial first year.

Onboarding is your chance to help your new employee become engaged in his new role. Her perception of your company begins with her first interaction and develops during that first year. Finally, onboarding is an opportunity to prevent cultural problems common in business: infighting, toxicity, and other problem behaviors that undermine the organization.

You’re probably considering what are the phases of onboarding. Remember, if your new hire leaves she will most likely leave before her first anniversary. Plan on continuing your new hire’s onboarding phase until at least the end of that first year. You can create an onboarding checklist to keep the process on track.

When considering what is the onboarding process for a new employee, think about the goals surrounding the position. Refer to the job description to create a timeline. Set the dates by which you expect the employee to be able to work independently on important tasks. Then, create a training plan to support the employee in learning her position’s responsibilities. Information about the new hire’s training plan can be organized and kept electronically with the rest of her onboarding forms.

If you use onboarding software, you can start with a training module introducing the employee handbook. The module can walk the new employee through the handbook and, when completed, she can electronically sign it. Onboarding software can present the next training module upon completion of the first to prevent overwhelm. You can set deadlines for completion of the modules that supports the overall training plan. If your new hire falls behind, onboarding software will send her reminders.

Onboarding Process Documents

Documents related to the onboarding process have far-reaching significance. These documents go beyond those required by state and federal governments. Your new hire’s onboarding forms shield you from liability. Items such as signed receipts for the employee handbook and harassment policies can be organized using onboarding software. Onboarding software ensures all the forms are completed and remain accessible for authorized staff.

Paperwork such as the I-9 and W-4 are obvious choices to put into digital form. But don’t forget about other onboarding documents. Non-disclosure and non-compete agreements are essential documents that should be digitized for safe-keeping. A completed application form contains verifiable information and the employee’s signature that the information contained is true.

There’s no need to use printed forms if you implement onboarding software. Electronic signatures are legally binding—as long as you follow the rules. Onboarding software will ask employees if they consent to electronic signatures. Employees will also be required to enter a password before signing a form. The consent and password will ensure your digital forms are legally signed and stored securely. Just as importantly, you always have the digital forms available even if key stakeholders move on to other positions.

Storing your onboarding documents electronically will help you adhere to the requirements surrounding these forms. For example, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission requires you to hold onto several onboarding forms for terminated employees. Onboarding software will ensure that items, such as drug tests and accompanying results, are stored in compliance with these regulations.

Electronic forms also help you adhere to guidelines requiring you to control access to certain forms. EEO-1 forms identifying employees’ race and ethnicity have more stringent security controls than other, less sensitive data. Onboarding software with multiple security levels is the best way to keep sensitive documents secure.

Free Onboarding Checklist

Are you ready to reap all the benefits of a well-organized onboarding process? We created a free onboarding template to get you started. Our checklist helps you organize your onboarding process. We divide onboarding into four phases with associated tasks and onboarding forms for each phase.

Our checklist is further divided into categories, so you know exactly how each task and document fits into your larger onboarding process. Tactical tasks take the chaos out of compliance. These administrative details help ensure that you’re ready for audits and EEOC reporting.

Our strategic and cultural tasks are designed to help you improve on key performance measures. These are the tasks that will improve your company’s employee retention rate and your new hires’ time-to-productivity. Cultural tasks are activities that boost employee engagement and foster support to help new hires make it to their first anniversary.

Onboarding begins before your new hire’s first day and continues throughout his first year. During each phase of onboarding, different stakeholders will take on tasks to support your new hire. Our free onboarding template will help you identify these individuals and identify the ways they contribute to the onboarding workflow.

Each position may need a slightly different onboarding plan. Additional factors, such as multiple locations, can complicate the onboarding process. Onboarding software can track these variables. Using the software, you’ll be able to create an onboarding plan for each position and corresponding location. Within each onboarding plan, you can include the most important onboarding documents. The software ensures these forms are completed.

Previously, you may have been hesitant to take on a comprehensive onboarding process. You may have been overwhelmed with the many tasks associated with onboarding. Our free checklist will help you create an effective onboarding process while ensuring related documents are completed.

Creating a New Hire Checklist for Your Company

Your new hire paperwork checklist should have several phases. Pre-boarding begins before the employee’s first day. During this phase, you can send your new hire important documentation via email. Documentation could include a complete description of the responsibilities for the new hire’s job. An organization chart, corporate mission, and values will help your new hire to familiarize herself with the company. You can include a link to online information, including the company website and the benefits portal.

During the first week, your new hire will complete standard employment paperwork. You may consider taking her photo and inviting her to complete a short biography to post on the company’s intranet. Now is a good time to go over the results of any employee assessments you’ve administered and the training plan you’ve developed.

During the first 90 days, the employee is becoming more familiar with her new coworkers and her role within the company. Providing her with information about the company’s past and its objectives for the future will help her see how she fits in. Now is a good time to provide her with information about any incentives for bringing on new clients or employee referrals. A scavenger hunt or Bingo card will make seeking out information fun and memorable.

Once your new hire reaches her one-year anniversary, she is more likely to stay and become a valuable long-term employee. It’s important to include in your onboarding a plan for support for the period from the first 90 days to that one-year anniversary. Provide the employee with documentation about benefits as she becomes eligible for them. Go over her training progress and perform an employee performance review. Create a plan for support to help her overcome any revealed difficulties.

Conclusion

The global pandemic made businesses reevaluate their fiscal responsibilities. Companies are thinking about ways reduce costs without sacrificing performance. Reducing turnover is the key to saving money while also improving revenue.

Employees initiate most separations in the first year of employment. These departures cost your company a third of the employee’s annual salary. Your business can spend thousands recruiting and training new hires. A comprehensive onboarding plan is the most effective way to stem the flow of exiting employees. Onboarding doesn’t just reduce turnover. Effective onboarding will help you curate a winning team.

Expanding your onboarding may seem daunting if you’re still using paper forms and filing cabinets. Onboarding software can help you develop an onboarding process customized for each position. You can ditch the piles of paper and effortlessly organize your onboarding forms.

Are you thinking about implementing a more efficient and effective onboarding process? Our team is happy to help you.

 

Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

How Text Messaging Fills Positions Faster

Move over Zoom. The pandemic has bumped up another mode of communication: texting. Overall, 50 percent of the population is using text more often since the pandemic began. And if you’re one of the few recruiters not using text messaging for hiring, I might be SMH (shaking my head) at you.

Texting has been on the rise since the first 10-year old Millennial received a cell phone—check that—since the first two 10-year old Millennials received a cell phone. Businesses have been marketing with text for years and have seen huge results. Success with text marketing is no surprise considering a read rate of 97 percent within 15 minutes.

Okay, so maybe every American sends and receives about a 100 texts per day. But does that really make text messaging effective for recruiting and hiring?

 

Leverage Text Recruiting

Text Messaging Is Effective

Just ask Home Depot. The home improvement giant saw a 50 percent increase in response rate for texting applicants versus other methods since implementing a robust text recruiting strategy.

Like working from home and Zoom calls, text messaging in business recruiting is here to stay. There are just too many benefits of text recruiting, including speed and efficiency.

Both the hiring manager and the applicant save time composing a text versus an email. And unlike email, nearly everyone reads their texts, oftentimes within 15 minutes.

And if you’re still wondering is email or text messaging more effective for response rates, 82 percent of people turn on notifications from their text messaging apps. That’s probably much more than email considering only 27 percent of those who primarily use their phone to check email do so as the emails arrive.

Busy recruiters can manage multiple conversations in less time. That kind of efficiency is especially helpful for positions that typically have a high turnover rate. If you hire for these high turnover jobs often, then pre-screening may become one of your favorite benefits of text recruiting.

Pre-screening applicants over the phone can be time-consuming. But what if you could start winnowing down your hiring choice with a text conversation? You could get a lot of common deal breakers out of the way, such as verifying the candidate is still looking for a job and has reliable transportation.

The speed and efficiency of texting can reduce your time-to-hire metrics, especially for your high turnover, hourly positions. If you’re still wondering is text messaging acceptable, just ask the 86 percent of Millennials prefer texting during the recruiting process.

Hiring Problems That Text Messaging Solves

Text messaging has grown from a vehicle for informal teen chats to a commonplace form of communication in all areas of life. Texting efficiently relays information without the time-consuming small talk of phoning. It’s only natural that texting has made its way into the recruiter’s toolbox as an effective solution to several problems.

Text messaging applicants is more efficient than phone interviewing. Phoning potential interviewees is time-consuming. You’re unable to do anything else while you’re dialing, waiting for an answer, and actually talking to the candidate. Multiply the process by the several calls required for each open position and you’re easily losing hours in the first step of the interview process.

When you text message job candidates, you can quickly narrow down your choices. Save time by text messaging screening questions concerning a candidate’s availability and access to transportation. When you’re ready, you can schedule candidate interviews with text messaging.

Text messaging will reduce applicant ghosting. Increasingly, job applicants don’t respond to traditional communications. Most email messages—80 percent—remain unread. Entry-level job seekers do not always have email. Most people don’t answer calls from unknown callers, and many voicemail boxes are full or not set up.

On the other hand, nearly all texts are read within 15 minutes of being sent. Millennials, especially, are open to responding to texts from unknown senders. Typing away on a smartphone doesn’t deter applicants who already use their phones to apply for jobs.

Phone calls and emails can’t match the speed and effectiveness text messaging offers. But if you don’t have applicant tracking software to manage your text messaging efforts, you risk appearing unprofessional.

How to Text Message Professionally

If you didn’t know what SMH meant before reading this article, don’t feel bad; I didn’t either. Luckily, neither of us needs to be as fluent as a teenager in texting slang. If you’re recruiting via text, then you want to keep it as professional as possible. Adhering to professional text messaging etiquette while recruiting will reinforce a positive impression of your company.

  • Ask for permission to text during the application process. While it may be convenient for you, it may be a hassle for your applicant. Think of asking first as the golden rule for any business wishing to communicate via text.
  • Identify yourself, your company, and the reason for your text. Candidates have probably applied to multiple companies. Clearly identifying yourself and your purpose prevents any confusion. Using a text messaging template for recruiting will help you keep it professional.
  • Avoid texting slang. Always spell the word rather than rely on acronyms. Use proper punctuation and capitalize the first letter of every sentence. Never, ever use emojis.
  • Be personable. Don’t let your applicant feel as if she is talking to a chatbot. Address her by name and thank her for her time. Remember, your text is her first indication of how the company will treat her if she becomes an employee.

You can use applicant tracking software to create a professional texting strategy. A custom online application can ask the applicant for permission to text. From there, you can create text messaging templates for your hiring needs. You can even set the text messaging time of day using applicant tracking software.

Develop a Text Recruiting Strategy

Incorporating text messaging as part of your talent strategy can improve your time-to-hire metrics. Applicant tracking software that includes text recruiting campaigns will streamline and organize your efforts. Your strategy should develop text messaging cadences to avoid overwhelming the candidate with too many messages. You’ll reduce applicant ghosting significantly when you combine text messaging with email and phone. Finally, text messaging templates for hiring will help ensure your text recruiting campaign reflects your brand’s voice.

Text messaging was rising long before the pandemic. Now, social distancing means people are texting 50 percent more than before. Covid made texting mainstream, much like remote work and Zoom meetings. It makes more sense than ever to use texting in your recruiting campaigns.

Are you unsure of how to start engaging applicants on their mobile devices? Download our guide, Leveraging Text Recruiting to Engage Job Seekers. You’ll learn how to measure and maximize your mobile recruiting effectiveness.

 

Photo by Domingo Alvarez E on Unsplash

 

Virtual Onboarding Ideas For HR

The benefits of onboarding can’t be overstated. Propelling your new hires to productivity, reducing employee turnover, and promoting a positive company culture are all a boon to your bottom line.

Chances are your company understands the importance of introducing a new hire to the organization. You probably already had an effective onboarding program in place before 2020. When COVID hit, you may have hastily reworked your current onboarding process into a virtual plan. It probably included ad hoc Zoom meetings and email blasts with links to scattered documents.

The dust has settled, so to speak, but the pandemic rages on. Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds of employees who have been working from their home prefer to continue doing so after the pandemic ends. And yours may be one of the many companies that are realizing the benefits of a more productive workforce and less rent for office space.

If your company is embracing remote work for at least some of your employees, it’s time to build a virtual-first onboarding experience.

Build a Virtual Onboarding Experience

COVID has given you a sampling of the difficulties around virtual onboarding and the new hire experience.

Working from home means missing out on the benefits of casual, in-person interactions. New hires have an even more difficult time bonding with their team members. Your virtual onboarding experience needs to help your new hire feel like part of the team.

Virtual onboarding during COVID may have left you disappointed with your new hires’ rate of productivity. It’s just tougher to get the new person up to speed when no one is near to see how things are going. You need to plan for more support for your virtual onboarding process.

One of the benefits of virtual onboarding is that you can steer your company’s culture in a more positive direction. Remote employees won’t have run-ins with the complainers or gossips at the water cooler. And you can facilitate virtual lunches and coffee breaks with the people who have upbeat outlooks.

Making your new employee feel welcomed, getting that person productive, and managing your company’s culture are all possible when you put together the right virtual onboarding checklist.

Best Practices for Virtual Employee Onboarding Process

Putting together a virtual onboarding process that accomplishes all of your goals may seem nearly impossible now. But since constraint is the key to creativity, you may find your best onboarding ideas in 2021.

One of the first things you should do is create a virtual onboarding email template that includes a quick rundown of important information and links to important documents. Onboarding software can help you organize all of your new employee forms. You can even include in your welcome email a link to training modules in the onboarding software.

When it comes to virtual onboarding, the best practices facilitate bonding between co-workers as effectively as in-person interactions. Virtual onboarding ideas that will strengthen your team include assigning multiple “onboarding buddies” to your new hire and planning virtual lunches for them. The virtual lunch gives employees an opportunity to get to know the new hire and offer to help orient them. Often, the casual feel of a lunch lends itself better to positive interaction among employees.

As mentioned, the idea behind these virtual employee onboarding examples is to encourage interaction. Assigning multiple onboarding buddies to your new hire connects her with helpful, relevant resources that will help her become productive more quickly. Remember also to task your buddies with checking in on the new hire and setting up virtual coffee breaks or lunches.

Giving your new hire several people to lean on for support spreads the weight. Introducing your new hire to people from different, but related, areas of the company will help her understand the big picture. And finally, assigning multiple onboarding buddies will increase the odds that one of them will be a good personality fit with the new employee.

Virtual New Hire Orientation

Your virtual new hire orientation is a chance for new employees to learn about the company and their role within it. Orientation is often a more formal process than some of the fun virtual onboarding activities we’ve discussed, however you can still make it memorable.

Consider sending a welcome mail package to the new employee. Company swag will help your new hire feel like part of the team. Include printed copies of the handbook, benefits information and organizational chart. Your new hire will often remember information better if she can take notes on printed materials.

A virtual welcome email from the new hire’s manager can get the relationship off to a good start. Encourage team members to send a “welcome onboard” email too. They can offer assistance for questions, set up a virtual get-to-know you meeting, or come up with their own unique onboarding ideas. In fact, getting employees involved in the creation of new hire orientation ideas is the best way to create a process that complements your company culture.

When brainstorming virtual new hire orientation ideas, you should aim to create activities that are fresh and engaging. There are plenty of creative new hire orientation ideas that acclimate your new hire to his role without putting him to sleep. Some engaging virtual new hire orientation ideas include creating a scavenger hunt that will have your new hire delving into information found on the employee portal and company website.

ExactHire has created an onboarding guide with 77 ideas to get you started!

You can rework standard new employee orientation games for a virtual world. Ice breaker games such as Two Truths, One Lie still work well on Zoom. Create a trivia game that pulls information from the printed information your new hires receive in the welcome package. A Door Dash gift card prize is both easy and suitable for social distancing.

Finally, send a new employee introduction email to team members with a bio that includes personal facts such as hobbies and pets to discover shared interests. Make it a group email including the new hire and encourage employees to respond with information about themselves. Again, it’s all about positive interaction–even if that interaction is virtual.

Conclusion

Effective onboarding can help your new hires become productive, long-term employees. It creates a better company culture. Lower employee turnover and a stronger team will reduce costs and increase profits.

At least some of the workplace changes the pandemic brought are here to stay. Done correctly, a virtual onboarding process for remote employees can be every bit as effective as an in-office orientation. Download our in-depth guide for more ideas on how to improve your onboarding process.

Photo by Arnel Hasanovic on Unsplash

How to Use an Applicant Tracking System

Of all the decisions you make about your business, whom you hire may be the most critical. The people in your organization produce your product, provide service, and interact with your clients and the public. Your company’s reputation and, ultimately, its success depend on your employees.

So how can you find the right employees for your organization?

Fortunately, you can cast a wide net in the digital age. Thousands of job boards and networks offer you access to millions of job seekers. Unfortunately, when you post that job ad, you get slammed with too many applicants. Many of those applicants turnout to be unqualified candidates. You’re not exactly sure where your ideal candidate is hanging out in the digital world.

But you know the perfect candidate is in the pile somewhere. How can you find them? And how can you improve your hiring process to weed out poor candidates and attract higher quality applicants in the future?

As with every other business decision, making the right choice often depends on working with the best data. An applicant tracking system offers you easy access to hiring data and screening tools that help you avoid interviewing candidates who are a poor fit.

HRIS 101: Using An Applicant Tracking System

A human resources information system (HRIS) does more than manage your applicant and employee information. The right software will help you easily manage your hiring process from start to finish.

From keeping track of job ads for all of your open positions across multiple online platforms to finding the star candidate hidden in the heap of unremarkable resumes, an ATS will save you time.

An HRIS applicant tracking system can help you find the best candidates out of the hundreds of applications you receive. An ATS can scan resumes for the skills and experience you’re looking for. You’ll see your best candidates first.

With everything on your plate, you may be thinking you don’t have time to learn how to use an applicant tracking system. In fact, the right applicant tracking software is easy to learn and will save you time as soon as your first log-in. Applicant tracking systems often come with templates to get you started quickly.

Free Applicant Tracking System Implementation Template

If you’ve ever implemented new software, you know there’s a lot that can go wrong. However, a good provider will know how to implement an ATS without disrupting your business. This starts by choosing a provider that takes the time to understand your current hiring processes.

With the provider understanding your hiring process, your hiring team is more likely to be on board with implementation. Then, your provider can show your team how the software can make your HR processes more efficient. A good HR software provider should also encourage your hiring team to provide feedback on their suggestions.

Choosing a vendor that understands your hiring process and can provide suggestions to improve your HR processes is a good start. But you also need to ensure that the software is designed to help your team realize efficiencies right away.

The implementation of an applicant tracking system can be stressful if it doesn’t come with free templates–or default configurations. Without well-designed templates, your team will spend too much time creating fields and reports instead of using the software to manage applicant data. But be careful. There is no “one-size-fits-all” ATS, so look for a provider that will help you customize the system to fit your unique hiring needs.

Applicant Tracking Software that comes with free templates, yet has plenty of options for customization, is the best of both worlds. You’ll be able to see results quickly. And as you get to know the software, you can customize it to suit your needs.

Finally, make sure your provider will continue to work with your team to ensure success beyond the initial ATS implementation. Installing your new ATS and testing it to work out the kinks is only the first step. Your new software won’t do any good if your hiring manager is still clinging to spreadsheets and a filing system that doesn’t make sense to anyone but him.

Applicant Tracking System Training

The best practices for implementing applicant tracking software will include training for key stakeholders. It’s important that the company you choose provides applicant tracking system training and support.

The training should be focused on each role within the hiring team. For example, training your HR administrator is going to be a little different than training you hiring manager.

An applicant tracking software’s ability to organize documentation is one of its most useful features. When you use an ATS, you get the benefits of a well-organized and digitized knowledge base to replace clunky Excel files and loose paper stuffed in manila file folders.

The basics of an applicant tracking system will funnel applicants through your hiring process so you can choose the best candidate. Over time, your software will collect more data. You’ll be able to use this data to discover the best strategies for attracting quality applicants.

You’ll be able to create custom reports to help you know everything from the most effective screening tools to which job boards netted poor quality candidates. For example, you’ll be able to see performance statistics for all the job sites you’ve used on one screen. You’ll know which online platform works best for your industry and area.

Recruitment Tracker Checklist

You can use your new ATS as a recruiter tracker and so much more. Applicant tracking software will give you the power to manage and organize your entire hiring process.

ExactHire HR software allows you to create users with differing security levels associated with their applicant tracking system login. Your administrative department can enter data and run reports, while your hiring team uses a robust search engine to find the best applicants.

When you use ExactHire Applicant Tracking Software, you’ll be able post your job ad to multiple job boards with a single click. You’ll also be able to track applicant activity for all those online platforms side-by-side, on one screen.

Sort candidates using built-in status codes or create your own. Store applicant data to create a job pool for future openings. You can even flag low quality applicants to prevent them from being considered for future positions.

Finally, robust reporting features are the secret for how to use recruitment software to make hiring more successful and efficient. In addition to easy-to-use, built-in compliance reporting, ExactHire software also features source reporting. Using this feature, you can discover the hiring strategies that lead to successful, long-term employees.

Conclusion

Your company’s future depends on the people you hire. Your employees play a part in everything from implementing your business strategy to working with your customers. In short, your company won’t be successful if your hiring methods fail to find good people. An applicant tracking system will give you the tools to control your hiring process and uncover the strategies that lead to great, long-term employees.

 

What is the Best Employee Onboarding Process

The benefits of effective employee onboarding are often overlooked. But, done correctly, onboarding will contribute to your organization’s financial health. When you make the effort to acclimate your new employees to their new roles, they will become productive more quickly and will stay longer.

Finding and training the right people is expensive, and you risk wasting financial resources if you don’t do everything you can to make your new hires successful. By creating an effective onboarding plan, you’re also shaping your company’s culture into an environment that bolsters teamwork.

Onboarding acclimates your new hires to the company and their position within it. The best employee onboarding process will steer new hires toward success in their roles and create alignment with the company’s culture and values.

New Employees and Getting Started

It’s easy to be overwhelmed when considering how to onboard a new employee. You’ll need to create an onboarding schedule that’s unique for each role, even though many tasks will be the same for all new hires. For example, every employee will need to know and understand your harassment policies, but those in management will require further training.

Additionally, there’s pressure to come up with creative new ways to onboard employees. Like most employers, you’re probably experiencing a shortage of qualified applicants. You don’t want to risk losing your new superstar under piles of employment forms and reels of outdated videos.  

COVID-19 has created yet another series of challenges as many human resource professionals wonder how to onboard new employees remotely. You can get started by breaking down the steps to onboard a new employee.

First, consider your onboarding goals. These goals will vary for each position. In general, the onboarding process should transform a new hire into a productive team member.

Determine the metrics you’ll use to measure how long it does take for a new employee to be productive. These metrics will become goals for the new hire. Determine the support your new hire will need to achieve each goal. Armed with this information, you’re ready to create an onboarding process flow chart.

Employee Joining Process Flow Chart

An employee onboarding process flow chart is a powerful visual tool because it creates benchmark deadlines. Your onboarding flow chart should take your onboarding processing from the preboarding stage through to the employee’s first annual review.

A team member should be assigned to each phase of the flow chart and a deadline should be assigned. Goals should be clearly communicated for each item. You can use onboarding software to manage communications and organize important documents.

Onboarding software can help you create a flow chart for the new hire training process. The flow chart you create with onboarding software can assign tasks to your onboarding team. The customized workflow can automate assignments and trigger reminders. Team members will be able to access files and reports from within the system.

Software can help you organize your onboarding process and save you time. Using software, you can easily create an onboarding process flow chart template for every position in your organization. New hires will be able to fill out their employment forms digitally and their information can seamlessly merge with your human resources system. Everyone on your team will spend less time inputting data and managing records.

New Employee Orientation

The best orientation practice will help your new employee understand how his role fits with the company’s larger picture. Orientation is your opportunity to present your company’s mission. This crucial introduction will help rally your employees around the company’s values. It’s a key component to creating a strong team.

Many organizations create games to make new employee orientation fun and memorable. You can create a mock game show using questions about the employee handbook. Or you can create an office scavenger hunt for new employees. To help new hires get to know their coworkers, give them an autograph book. Tell current employees to initiate a short get-to-know you conversation when they sign the book.

The best practices for employee onboarding will incorporate a technology perspective. You can use onboarding software to create training modules for your new hires. Use the triggering feature to avoid overwhelming employees. You can even send automatic reminders to gently nudge employees to complete training modules.

Onboarding software will come with free templates and checklists to make new employee orientation easier to manage. You can create new hire packets quickly and easily.

Virtual New Hire Orientation Ideas

COVID-19 has upended the onboarding process for many companies. If your organization operates in a state that has mandated work-at-home policies, you may be concerned about providing your new employees with the support they need. Even if your employees are able to work onsite, masks and social distancing policies may undercut your efforts at team building.

Now it’s even more critical to make sure new employees are able to build rapport with their coworkers. Advise supervisors and team members to check in with new employees while they learn to navigate their role in a pandemic world.

Many organizations have turned to creative ideas for new hire orientation during the pandemic. Make the most of virtual meetings. You can avoid “Zoom fatigue” by utilizing breakout rooms and doing interactive activities.

Team members can also create a welcome video for new hires. You can also encourage team members to have a virtual “coffee break” during which they can chat and get to know each other. You can use these techniques and others to encourage the socializing and relationship-building that happens naturally in the office.

Ideas for orientation can include a presentation for new hires during which the team can get to know each other with ice breaker questions. These ideas include employee orientation videos and PowerPoint slides that new hires can view remotely.

New Employee Welcome Packet PDF

You can send the digital portion of the welcome pack to the new hire’s email. Include welcome messages from the new hire’s manager and team members. Also include a link to the online benefits portal as well as their digital employment forms.

The welcome pack should include the things all new employees need to know. Include the company’s mission statement and organizational chart with the employee welcome booklet. The new employee welcome packet PDF should also include the company handbook and policies.

The welcome packet is also an opportunity for your new hire to get to know your brand. Throw in some company swag such as a t-shirt or a hat. Mix in professional items with fun items. A personal development book with something fun like a mini basketball net to go over the waste basket will foster productivity and creativity.

Your new employee will grow as she moves through the stages of the onboarding process. The welcome packet, orientation, training, productivity goals and ultimately the first year performance review should all be structured to support your employee’s success.

Employee Onboarding Process Flow

The key to a smooth onboarding process is a checklist. Software can help you easily create and customize a checklist for each position. You’ll be able to assign tasks and deadlines from within the application. Each stakeholder will be able to access the checklist and communicate from within the software.

The employee onboarding process should flow seamlessly from the preparation stage all the way to the first annual review. When you use onboarding software, you can track your progress and data so you can improve the onboarding checklist over time. You can create a questionnaire for new hire’s to complete at the end of their first year to find ways to improve your onboarding process.

If you’re wondering what the phases of the onboarding process are, we’ve broken it down for you here.

Employee Onboarding Process Summary

Strong job growth over the past decade and, more recently, the pandemic have forced organizations to get creative with their employee onboarding process. The talent shortage of the past few years has made hiring more difficult. COVID-19 has made it difficult for new hires to build relationships and acclimate within their new organizations.

The unique challenges companies face going into 2021 mean the employee onboarding process is more important than ever. By using digital tools to foster community and putting extra effort into team building, you can increase employee retention and build a stronger team.

Companies are finding it takes more than converting their welcome packet into a PDF file to meet the digital challenges during the pandemic era. As it becomes more difficult to find and keep talent, more companies are asking what is the best employee onboarding process that will reduce turnover.

But the best onboarding process hasn’t changed in these stormy times. A new set of challenges simply helps you see the solution more clearly. By seeing the onboarding process as an opportunity to support your employee’s success and develop a dynamic company culture, you can bolster your organization’s financial health. 

 

Want to learn more about onboarding software?

Schedule a live demo today!

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What are the Phases of Onboarding?

Onboarding is your secret weapon for attaining all sorts of goals for your business. For example, taking the time to make the best impression for new hires can help increase employee retention. Having a well-rounded training plan in place can catapult your new employee from lumbering novice to an agent of productive wizardry. The onboarding process can help you take the helm of your company’s culture to increase collaboration and reduce petty grumblings.

Small to medium-sized businesses often neglect the onboarding process at their peril. But realizing the potential of onboarding requires thoughtful planning. Taking new hires on the journey from clumsy newcomer to accomplished contributor calls for a phased onboarding plan.

Employee Onboarding Process Stages

You may find yourself saying “I hate the term onboarding” once you really take a deep dive into how you can make this process better. But I assure you, if you don’t take control of your new employees’ experience, your organization will suffer.

A good onboarding definition is simply the process of introducing your new employee into the organization. Employee onboarding can help your organization reach its financial goals, and that prospect is maximized when you create a phased plan for this important process.

Employee Onboarding Process Phases

There are six stages to employee onboarding. The first is project management, during which you plan and break down the steps for onboarding your new hire.

The second is preparation and pre-boarding. During this phase, you complete your background checks and brief the staff who will be taking part in the onboarding process. You’ll also communicate with your new hire to help ease lingering doubts about his new position.

Next is the tedious, yet necessary step, that you’re already familiar with: new hire paperwork. Employee onboarding software can help you easily crank out this administrative detail while saving time and reducing errors.

The fourth step is new employee orientation, followed by new employee training. During this phase, your new hire will be introduced to your organization’s structure and will learn how he fits in.

Finally, the last step, reviewing productivity and performance, will help you assess the success of the previous steps.

Process Project Management

In many ways, bringing in new hires and helping them evolve into productive and contributing members of the organization is no different than any other project. You can use the principles of project management to create your employee onboarding process flow. In this first phase, you consider your goals for the onboarding process and develop the basics, such as a timeline.

The goals you set for your new employee will help determine your metrics for the onboarding process. Make the goals specific with clear standards for success.

You want new hires to feel comfortable with how things are done at your company. You can do this by identifying what new hires need to know about the company’s culture and work environment. Consider assigning a coworker to mentor the new hire in the subtleties of staff interactions.

Remember that onboarding is a key factor in employee retention. Consider each onboarding stage from your new hire’s perspective. Consider what impression you want your new hires to have throughout each phase of the onboarding process.

The project management phase for the onboarding process workflow is also when you determine your timeline. Most employee turnover happens in the first year of employment. Incorporate support for that entire first year into your onboarding plan.

The project management phase is also a good time to rally your onboarding team. These are the people who will play a role in helping the new hire acclimate to her new role. Make sure each of these people understand their role in welcoming the new employee.

At the end of this stage, you’ll be able to create an onboarding process checklist. While many of the tasks on this checklist will apply to all new hires, you want to create a detailed checklist unique to each new hire’s position.

Download ExactHire's Employee Onboarding Checklist

Employee Onboarding Preparation And Pre-Boarding

The following onboarding process steps include everything on your checklist that happens before the new hire’s first day.

Don’t forget to think about the onboarding process project from the point of view of your new employee. In this sense, bringing on a new hire is much like your customer onboarding process. In other words, extend as much consideration to your new hire as you do your new customers.

Consider sending him a welcome email with photos and welcome messages from co-workers with whom he’ll be working closely. Include information about parking. Let them know which door they should enter through and who his first point of contact will be.

During the preparation phase, the new hire’s workstation should be set up with the relevant equipment and supplies. Don’t forget some company swag. It’s also a good time for the hiring manager or supervisor to send an email invitation to lunch.

This step in your employee onboarding process is also when you coordinate with security and the IT team to make sure the employee is outfitted with appropriate user IDs and access. Don’t forget to add the new hire to calendar invites and email distribution lists.

New Hire Paperwork

While business has seen a lot of changes in 2020, the content of new hire paperwork has stayed largely the same. From tax forms to payroll forms, the data gathered from paperwork keeps your company rolling and in compliance with important government guidelines.

The most tedious part of the new hire checklist, paperwork, is prone to mindless errors. Onboarding software can automate employment paperwork to save time and reduce errors. New hires will need to enter information only once to populate multiple forms. And the data they enter can cross over to your other human resources software.

After the new hire digitally signs her paperwork, paperless onboarding software can automatically direct her to the orientation checklist and training modules.

New Employee Orientation Checklist

Orientation is your opportunity to help your new hire acclimate to your company’s culture and conform to procedures. Your employee onboarding checklist will include all the items to go over during orientation. You can automate this portion of the new employee checklist with onboarding software. 

During this time, introduce your new hire to the company’s mission and its organizational chart. Your new hire checklist wouldn’t be complete without a review of the employee handbook and safety policies. Your new employee orientation checklist should also include benefits documents and basic administrative procedures from security to the telephone systems.

Your new employee onboarding checklist should include activities and/or content to help the new hire better understand your organization’s culture. Schedule lunch outings with key employees. Personal fact sheets are a great way for coworkers to learn about each other. Invite your new hire to complete one and give her access to her coworkers’ fact sheets.

Onboarding software is a great way to manage your new employee orientation checklist templates. You can find a free checklist here if you need ideas for what to include during orientation.  

Employee Training

Employee training is when your new hire learns the nuts and bolts of his new position. How long it takes to learn a new job depends on many factors. Your onboarding process should be thorough enough to encourage success, yet succinct enough for your new hire to get up to speed quickly. 

How long it does take for a new employee to be productive really depends on a comprehensive onboarding process. You should give your new employee access to training modules. Onboarding software can make the distribution and tracking of these modules easy.

New employee training should also be collaborative. Assign knowledgeable staff members to teach the new hire how to do various tasks. If you incorporate these tutorials as items on your onboarding software, you’ll be able to track their completion and coordinate communication between the stakeholders.

Throughout the training process, you should give your new employee clear standards by which they can gauge their own success. Help them feel comfortable and encourage them to ask questions. Their productivity and performance will depend on how well they grasp key information during the training phase.

New Hire Time to Productivity and Performance

Hopefully, these onboarding steps will lead to success in the last phase: productivity and performance. All of your goals for onboarding hinge on making sure your new hire graduates into a productive employee.

Once your new hire is trained, you can continue your onboarding efforts with support and feedback. Schedule meetings to provide feedback on the new hire’s performance. This is also a good time to introduce your new hire to additional training opportunities.

Let your new hire know his input is important, too. Ask him to provide feedback about the onboarding process. Encourage him to ask questions and address concerns.

From time to time, you’ll need to part ways with a recently hired employee. You can use onboarding software to manage your offboarding checklist. The data you acquire can be incorporated to give you a clearer picture of how to increase employee retention.

If you’re using onboarding software, you can effortlessly measure your onboarding success. Over time, you’ll collect enough data to know the average time it takes to onboard a new employee. You’ll be able to use that data to measure the time it takes that employee to reach the position’s expected level of productivity and competence.

A great onboarding process will help your organization develop effective, long-term employees. By reducing turnover and reducing the time it takes new hires to be fully productive employees, you’ll have a healthier bottom-line.

 

Want to learn more about onboarding software?

Schedule a live demo today!

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Why Are Applicant Tracking Systems Important?

It’s no easy feat being a hiring manager in the digital age.

A dozen online job boards means a dozen passwords and methods for posting openings. Over 150 million applicants are scouring those job search sites. Every position you post will likely receive hundreds of resumes. You have to sift through them all before you find the four to six candidates with the skills and experience to warrant an interview.

Or maybe you don’t. An applicant tracking system will give you the power to harness the digital age to make the most of your recruiting data.

You can let an applicant tracking system do the grunt work for you. The benefits of using software to track your hiring efforts go beyond saving a few clicks or tossing your password book. The built-in analytics that come with the system will help you hone your most effective hiring and retention practices. Ultimately, better candidates will become more valuable new hires with better retention rates.

Intro to Applicant Tracking Systems

An applicant tracking system will help you manage all your recruiting efforts, from posting the position to sending the offer letter and everything in between.

You’ll finally be able to post your open positions to multiple job boards and social media sites with just one click of your mouse. You’ll also be able to monitor your posting’s response across all those platforms. The data an applicant tracking system provides will help you optimize postings to attract higher quality candidates.

An applicant tracking system will allow you to customize your application for each position and location. You won’t need to depend on an individual job board’s capabilities. You can also use job screening questions to automatically rule out unqualified applicants. With an applicant tracking system, you can test your candidates’ resumes by requiring them to complete assessments.

Now that you have only qualified candidates in your job pool, you can begin sorting and applying status codes to applicants. An applicant tracking system can find resumes using keywords and other search parameters. You can save applicants and import them as potential candidates for future job openings.

An applicant tracking system doesn’t just make finding the perfect new hire easier. It also helps you track data for federal reporting purposes. You can automate the tasks and reports you require to ensure recruiting compliance. An applicant tracking system will even update the latest requirements to help you remain compliant.

Applicant Tracking System Features and Benefits

Applicant tracking software offers benefits and features throughout the hiring process.

Being able to attract more qualified candidates is just one applicant tracking system feature. For example, perhaps you’ve been too swamped to post your positions to more than a couple job boards. If so, you may have been missing out on your ideal applicant. With an applicant tracking system, you can post to multiple job websites with a single process.

Once job seekers find your posting, they can opt to apply for more than one job. The resumes and applications you receive can be saved for future job openings. With an applicant tracking system, you’ll be able to create a pool of applicants who have already expressed interest in working at your company.

You’ll be able to engage applicants on the devices they use the most. Millennials make up the largest demographic in the workforce. Your hiring process must be mobile friendly if you are going to reach the most candidates.

An applicant tracking system will make it easy for job seekers to post their resume and fill out your application from a mobile device. When it comes time to contact desirable candidates, you’ll be able to send text and email messages from within the applicant tracking system.

An applicant tracking system can improve the workflow of your entire hiring process. Everyone on the hiring team can work within the same platform. You can set up multiple users with varying levels of access. You’ll be able to set up interview questions and other documents for each position. You can search, sort and apply a status to applicants so only those who are most qualified are at the top of the pile.

From there, you can easily view all your communications with applicants. You’ll be able to schedule interviews. You can even disqualify candidates for future consideration. You can order background checks and send offer letters from within the program. Once you have your new hire, you can transfer all of her relevant information into employee onboarding software.

Applicant Tracking System Advantages

Companies spend billions each year in their recruiting efforts. Much of this cost comes from the time it takes to find, hire and train new employees. The cost is compounded when new hires leave before their first anniversary and hiring managers must go through the process all over again.

An applicant tracking system can help you reign in those costs. Many companies lack a centralized platform for their recruiting efforts. Job postings, resumes, and candidate communications are scattered in a slipshod collection of spreadsheets and filing cabinets.

An ATS offers features that you just can’t replicate. For example, the system can seamlessly integrate with online job boards. When an applicant tracking system is an Indeed partner, you’ll be able to allow candidates to view and start the application process for your job posting directly from Indeed. An applicant tracking system can upload a resume in PDF format to make it easy for job seekers on-the-go to quickly indicate their interest. Then, you may invite screened candidates to provide more information later in the selection process with a multi-step job application.

Putting your hiring documents and information in one easy-to-use platform will help you avoid wasting your team’s time. A robust platform that integrates with the latest hiring trends is better than learning how to build an ad hoc applicant tracking system with spreadsheets and a paper trail.

An applicant tracking system is better than an Excel template because it’s designed to parse through a large collection of data. Applicants will be loading their information into the system themselves when they apply on an easy-to-use job site featuring your company brand. From there, you’ll be able to search through applicant data without complex formulas. You’ll have simple searches and reports readily available.

With your system and hiring process in the cloud, you won’t need to rely on your company’s slow IT team. Your applicant tracking system also won’t be limited by the functional requirements of your company’s server. The scalability of an applicant tracking system means it can grow with your company.

Applicant Tracking System Disadvantages

Tracking applicants through an ATS doesn’t work for all employers.

It’s nice to have the capacity for data. But you’ll need to invest time for training stakeholders to manage the hiring process within an ATS system. For that reason, even stand-alone applicant tracking software is not for employers who hire rarely. And, an ATS that may be a part of an enterprise HRIS (human resources information system) is generally used by mid-sized organizations and larger businesses.

An applicant tracking system may not be necessary for employers that are not required to file recruiting compliance data. For example, businesses with fewer than 50 employees that also don’t have government contracts may not benefit from the data capabilities of an applicant tracking system. Such companies likely have just one person who manages the bulk of the hiring process using email folders, spreadsheets or a web form on their corporate website.

Characteristics of Top Applicant Tracking Systems

The best applicant tracking systems in 2020 bring candidates and the entire hiring team together. They’re more than a holding place for data. These platforms work harmoniously across users and sync across multiple websites.

Look for a platform that gives appropriate levels of access for all stakeholders. Your team will be able to collaborate from within the program. From the job’s qualifications to the interview questions, you’ll have an organized repository for the position’s important information.

A great hiring experience isn’t just important for your team. It’s essential for the applicants too. Look for a system that offers a customized online application on a jobs site that complements your branding.

The top applicant tracking systems in 2020 work seamlessly with the latest hiring trends to save time and money. But the savings don’t stop with the text recruiting feature. ATS analytic capabilities will help you zero in on the hiring practices that net you the best new hires. Increasing hiring efficiency is how many companies use applicant tracking systems.

Countless valuable features are why 98 percent of Fortune 500 companies rely on applicant tracking systems.

Perspective on the Applicant Tracking System Free Scan

One of the most powerful features of applicant tracking systems is their candidate profile scanning capabilities. You want to make sure the system you choose gets this feature right. Otherwise, the best candidates may float to the bottom of your talent pool if you can’t perform robust search queries.

Tech-savvy applicants will strive for an ATS-friendly resume. They may load their resumes with the keywords they think you’ll search for in your job scan. There are plenty of blog posts about applicant tracking system free scans online that may inform them and impact their perspective.

You don’t want a new hire who can manipulate the system. You want the best qualified candidate for your position.

Some online job boards offer an applicant tracking system free download. But these low-quality platforms don’t offer a robust job scan for candidate profiles. An applicant tracking system that’s free is not necessarily good for qualified job seekers and could sabotage your hiring efforts.

The digital age connects you with more highly qualified candidates than ever before. But if you don’t have a robust applicant tracking system, you’ll be bogged down with too much data and redundant processes. You’ll never know where you consistently find your best hires, and you’ll have trouble knowing how to increase your employee retention rates.

Coordinate more efficiently with your team. Advertise across job boards and social media sites with minimal effort. Find the best resumes without bothering with low-quality job seekers that try to buck the system.

A robust applicant tracking system will help you manage and organize your hiring efforts. Once your open positions are populated with rock stars, you’ll be able to retrace your steps and gain insight that will save time and money in the future. 

Want to learn how to choose the right recruiting and HR software?

Choose Right HR Software | ExactHire

Photo by Alesia Kazantceva on Unsplash

Don’t Expect Job Seekers to Complete Your Long Employment Application

While you have the best of intentions when it comes to improving your employer’s hiring process and better engaging job seekers, if you’re being honest, you’ve let a few excuses keep you from taking action to attract more applicants and retain employees. Don’t let excuses like the global pandemic continue to immobilize you from taking action to hire top talent now.

One of the common excuses we at ExactHire have seen lately is when prospective clients assume that they don’t need to shorten their employment application because a higher unemployment rate will ensure they still receive plenty of eager job seekers–regardless of a job application’s length. They do need a job after all, right?

This is the second video in a series about identifying the excuses we often hear and the strategies that ExactHire has the experience to know make a difference in your hiring success.

Long Job Application | Hiring Process Improvement

Video Transcript:

Hi, I’m Jessica Stephenson with ExactHire, and I’m here to share my latest “no excuses” video for those of you looking to fine tune your hiring processes for better job seeker engagement. And even though it can be tempting to use the pandemic as your excuse for waiting on those unemployed job seekers’ applications to roll in…your employment competitors already know that you can and should do more to engage future employees. And, they’re taking advantage of that knowledge, too.

Excuse: If they really want the job, they’ll complete the whole application!

So here’s the next excuse we at ExactHire know that some employers have been holding onto for far too long!…. If they really want the job, they’ll complete the whole application.

Once upon a time, this was more true. And, perhaps it will be sort of true once again as economic factors continue to shift over time.

In the meantime, your organization–however beloved it is in the eyes of your community–will never be so precious that it can entice top talent to complete a 52-question job application.

The job application rate numbers don’t lie.

According to an Appcast study referenced by SHRM, job application completion rates plummet by nearly 50 percent when an application has 50 or more questions rather than 25 or fewer.

Others say the impact is worse–Indeed research suggests that employment applications with just 20 screener questions lose 40% of candidates, with abandonment rate increasing as more questions are added.

You can bet that increasingly tech-savvy and on-the-go job seekers are abandoning your laundry list of a job application as we speak…their attention is only retained if you can allow them to raise their hand of interest on your opportunity quickly.

Your job seekers…and you…deserve better!

Strategy: Trim the question fat.

So, what do you do first? The obvious initial strategy is to shorten your application. But, obvious doesn’t mean easy.

Take the time to audit your application questions and consider what really needs to be asked at the onset of your hiring process. Do you need their references on the app; or, can you get them at the interview?

Modern hiring software makes it easy to edit and preview your application to include the optimal number of questions for your organization.

Think about how your application will appear to a job seeker as you make edits and then save it as a draft before you decide to publish it.

Still feeling overwhelmed? Okay, but probably not as overwhelmed as your job seekers are when they look at your current job application? No worries, we can help at ExactHire. Check out the link below and let’s improve your job seeker employment journey together!

Schedule a demo with ExactHire now!

We’re ready to learn about your hiring process!

Check out the other videos in this series…

Application Process is Worse Than You Think
Job Seekers Aren't Patient in Hiring Process
Long Job Application | Hiring Process Improvement

 

High Unemployment is Not an Excuse to Avoid Hiring Process Improvement

I’ve seen a lot of change in HR technology over the past decade as well as many employer pitfalls when it comes to leveraging technology to improve the quality of hire and increase the number of job applicants.

Those employer pitfalls have really stuck out like a sore thumb this year, as the global pandemic has had a profound impact on employer recruitment and retention success. Creating a great hiring experience has never been more important to workforce productivity.

The excuses your organization may have made in the past about why you haven’t taken the time to improve your recruiting process must be remedied if you hope to compete for top talent in a post-pandemic world.

This is the first video in a series about identifying the excuses we often hear and the strategies that ExactHire has the experience to know make a difference in your hiring success.

High Unemployment | Hiring Process Improvement

Video Transcript:

Pre-Pandemic Employment – THEN

Hi, I’m Jessica Stephenson with ExactHire, and to say that it has been a volatile employment year is a major understatement. Whether your employer has laid off people, or is in a hiring binge, it’s clear the pandemic has shed light on the more troubling excuses we hear employers make about their hiring process.

Before the pandemic began, companies were navigating a candidate-driven market. The job seekers called the shots…and companies couldn’t find enough candidates…fast enough.

At the end of February, nearly 158.8 million US civilians were employed–that was a 10-year high. And, the unemployment rate was at a historic low of 3.5% (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics).

The employment landscape favored job seekers, and while we were in a much better economic position, employers had to rethink their hiring processes to attract and quickly hire top talent. That meant candidates received multiple job offers, employers boosted their total compensation packages and some jobs went unfilled for long periods of time.

Some of those were evergreen jobs…those are the jobs that some industries always have open 24/7, year round. Examples of evergreen jobs might include servers at restaurants, cashiers at retail stores, tellers at banks, direct support professionals with nonprofits…you get the idea. The positions for which multi-location employers, especially, are always hiring.

Pandemic Impact – NOW

Fast forward to now. We’ve made economic improvements and US unemployment has improved to 6.9%…though it’s still almost double what it was in February (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Some jobs are still on hold, and others are at peak demand in an unprecedented way. Like manufacturers of safety equipment, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, e-commerce sites, online meal delivery services and software companies.

And like I said earlier, the excuses employers are making…are more exposed. So, what’s that first one?

A Higher Unemployment Rate Doesn’t Mean Hiring Employees is Easier

Unemployment is still pretty high now, and it’s an employer’s market so I’m not worried about applicant volume.

Not so fast…even though you’ve likely seen an increase in job listing views, application starts and even submissions since the pandemic began, know that some people are still opting out of traditional working arrangements for many reasons.

These reasons may range from a new need to work remotely in order to care for others…to a lack of motivation to work because pandemic-related unemployment resources have exceeded their normal pay rate.

And for people who are underemployed and constricted to a specific schedule of availability due to a short-term part-time job, they aren’t giving your job a second glance if you’re not conveying that your organization is still working hard–even in an employer’s market–to attract and retain good hires.

The Pandemic is Still Impacting Your Job Candidate Pool

According to a Washington Post article referencing Bureau of Labor Statistics data in May of this year, “if you took the official unemployment figure, added in people who wanted a job but were not looking for one, and then included everyone who had been pushed into part-time work, you could say that 26.4 percent of people lost work or work hours in April.

But hey, things are better now than in April, right? Yesss…but let’s recognize that this year more than 1 in 4 workers were hit by the coronavirus fallout.

Navigating that experience had a significant impact on job seekers and that impact has lasting effects…effects that you must consider as an employer.

Strategy: Communicate Your Employment Opportunity Differently

Since there are no guarantees that you’ll convert applicants…even in this job market…you must communicate differently.

And I don’t mean just trying different media to communicate (although that is important), I also mean highlighting your solutions to the pain points that today’s job seekers want to alleviate.

If they’re reluctant to return to work for social distancing reasons and your job can be done remotely, prominently display that in your job description…and even your job title.

If you’re open to flexible working arrangements such as temporary work or variable working hours, mention that, too.

Dedicate a portion of your careers site to spotlight your response to the headlines of this year such as the global pandemic and the fight for social justice and racial equality. Weave your employment brand and core values into every piece of career content with consistency, variety of delivery method and sincerity.

And just like you’re not willing to settle for a warm body in a job seat, while applicants may need jobs…they’re not willing to settle at organizations that don’t have brands or values that align with their own.

Has your organization been doing enough to navigate this volatile employment landscape?

Interested in learning more? Watch this webinar on demand!

Pandemic Hiring Recruiting Webinar | ExactHire

Check out the other videos in this series…

Application Process is Worse Than You Think
Job Seekers Aren't Patient in Hiring Process
Long Job Application | Hiring Process Improvement