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 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?

 

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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.

 

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recruiting Ideas for Low Wage Workers 

Prior to the pandemic, most people used terms like “essential worker” to refer to healthcare workers, police and other first responders. 2020 changed our perceptions of what we think of when we consider jobs that are indispensable to the functioning of our society. It also changed the perceptions the people who work those jobs have of themselves and the roles they perform.

From the pre-pandemic issues surrounding low-wage workers to the effect COVID has had on our perception of them (and to the Great Resignation that’s fueling their exodus from essential jobs), companies are struggling to find innovative ways to recruit for these vital positions.

Who Are Low Wage Workers?

Before executive orders deemed them essential, grocery store workers, delivery drivers and manufacturing workers were more likely to be referred to collectively as “low-wage workers.” And they weren’t always given much respect.

One study found that restaurant workers—hard hit financially because the pandemic caused them to lose their low-wage jobs—endure the most sexual harassment. Another study on working conditions in the U.S. in 2015 found that nearly 20 percent of workers were “exposed to a hostile or threatening social environment.” In other words, these workers were routinely disrespected.

But the tables turned when COVID-19 brought the country to a screeching halt and sent millions to their homes to isolate.

Empty toilet paper shelves and daily home deliveries became the picture of the pandemic for many white-collar workers. The previously invisible mechanisms and supply chains of a smoothly running society were exposed. For the first time for most, Americans couldn’t count on being able to buy the necessities they previously took for granted.

The low-wage workers who had been keeping the supply chain operating were rebranded—rightly—as essential workers. And while state legislatures fervently hashed out which specific businesses were, in fact, essential, everyone readily agreed that those who were stocking shelves and delivering orders were working for the public good.

Fast forward to 2021, your business may be having trouble filling positions with these “low-wage” workers. Corporations like Amazon, Walmart, and Chipotle are addressing their labor shortage by ramping up their average wage to $15 an hour. Most small businesses simply can’t afford to pay their workers that kind of salary. If your candidates are flocking to work for the big box stores, it’s time for you to find creative ways to recruit hourly employees and warehouse workers.

Recruit Low Wage Workers

The key to attracting great low-wage workers is the same as for every other open position: identify what motivates your ideal candidate.

Low-wage workers want the same work and life balance as the rest of the workforce. But their obligations may look a little differently. They are more likely to have trouble finding reliable daycare. They’re more likely to require the day off if their child is sick.

Parents of low-wage workers are also less likely to be independent. These workers may need to take their aging parents to appointments or perform other caregiving duties for them. In the past, rigid employers weren’t understanding when they needed time off to care for family.

Low-wage workers are also more likely to experience financial insecurity. Lack of health insurance and affordable housing means these workers are more likely to live paycheck to paycheck. Employers that are recruiting laborers can help by providing better benefits and perks that reduce their employees’ out of pocket expenses.

Low-wage workers deserve respect. Always. Despite their status as “essential,” many low-wage workers bore the brunt of America’s frustrations. Rude or even violent customers lashed out at helpless cashiers or airline attendants. Going forward, everyone, from customers to managers to business owners, should examine ways to improve the dignity of low-wage labor in their lives.

Creative Recruiting Ideas

Understanding your ideal employee’s needs is one thing. But if you’re among the half of small business owners struggling to find workers, you need recruiting ideas for hourly employees that make you stand apart from your competitors as an employer of choice. And you need recruiting ideas for low-wage jobs that won’t break the bank.

Allow remote work as much as possible. Telecommuting isn’t an option for many low-wage jobs. But you may be able to work it in more than you think. Do your team leads have paperwork or other tasks that don’t require them to be at the workplace? Allow them one day a week to work from home. Even entry level hourly workers can likely complete their training from a laptop at home.

Be open to flexible work schedules. Remember that low-wage workers often have limited options for daycare, medical appointments, and transportation. Work with employees’ family schedules as much as possible. Flexible scheduling may not be convenient for management. But a flexible work schedule can be a low-cost and effective way to attract quality talent.

Offer better benefits and perks. The rising cost of healthcare makes many employers balk at offering better benefits. But your employees and their families still get sick. Find ways to help them with their health-related expenses. Creative recruiting ideas during the pandemic gave rise to low-cost telehealth services that can help employees access preventative care. Likewise, discount plans for dental and eye services are a low-cost way to help your employees save money.

Look for perks that can help your employees save money in other ways. Try increasing the discounts you offer employees for your business’s goods or services. Recruiting ideas outside the box include negotiating special pricing for your employees at local businesses. Cell phone providers or daycare centers may offer your employees discounts at no cost to you.

Recruitment Strategies for Low Wage Jobs

Individual pay and perks are important for attracting and retaining great unskilled workers. But your recruitment strategies for 2021 should include a company-wide approach. Making sure your business is a great place to work will help you attract awesome candidates.

Make your workplace culture as positive and fun as you can. Investing in the morale of your workforce will help you attract energetic hourly workers while also increasing your company’s profitability. With some forethought, improving company culture can be a low-cost recruitment strategy plan to attract great talent.

The most basic thing every small business needs to do is making sure its management staff treats every employee with dignity and respect. Create comprehensive policies that address interactions between management and employees. Invest in thorough training for managers to eliminate workplace harassment and discrimination.

Next, think of creative ways to recognize star performers. Prime parking spaces, restaurant gift cards and even employee of the month plaques will make your employees feel appreciated. Alternatively, address problem behaviors from employees that disrupt the work environment.

Plan social activities for your employees that foster friendship. Workers are more likely to stay at companies where they have formed friendships. Employees can get to know each other if you host a pizza lunch once a month. Plan a company picnic or take your employees and their families to a local baseball game.

When you interview candidates, take them on a tour of your workplace and introduce them to key employees. Let them see firsthand that your company is a great place to work.

Recruit Low-wage Workers with an Applicant Tracking System

Even if you implement all of these ideas, your recruitment strategy will never be as successful as it can be if it isn’t efficient and organized. An applicant tracking system can help you advertise your job openings and increase candidate conversion while collecting valuable data that will help you improve your recruitment process.

With ExactHire ATS, you can post jobs to multiple job boards with a click of a button. From there, a single screen will report performance metrics so you know which sites are most effective for your company. A robust search engine and the ability to sort and assign a status to your candidates will help you find the proverbial needle in the talent haystack.

The data you collect will make your recruitment process more efficient over time. You’ll be able to see which new hires were successful and where you found your best employees. And every year, you can complete your HR compliance reporting effortlessly and accurately.

ExactHire applicant tracking system has built in features that will help you find great low-wage workers, like text recruiting and mobile-friendly applications. If you’re ready to optimize and streamline your search for low-wage workers, contact us today.

Photo by Nathália Rosa on Unsplash

What Are the 5 C’s of Onboarding?

Onboarding is the critical first impression that you only get one chance to make. Prior to the pandemic, many companies skated by with a basic onboarding process involving a few forms and an employee handbook. Companies making a nominal effort may have treated their new hires to lunch on their first day.

A lackluster onboarding process isn’t cutting it during the “Great Resignation.” With many companies struggling to find enough employees to provide fundamental customer service, they need to do everything they can to hold onto the new hires they’re lucky enough to get.

An outstanding onboarding process is the proven first step to lowering employee turnover, improving engagement, and boosting productivity. Small and mid-sized businesses are learning in 2021 what the most successful corporate giants have known for years: great onboarding is a key component of your company’s success.

But why is onboarding so important?

And what makes an outstanding onboarding program?


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Benefits of a Robust Onboarding Process

When your onboarding process checklist has got game, your new employees fall in love with their jobs. The fact is, your company needs employees that are fully engaged to compete in the new economy. According to this Gallup study, employee engagement is a key factor in nine performance outcomes, including customer service, profitability, and turnover.

Engaged employees are passionate about their work and they feel a strong connection to their company’s culture and values. Employee engagement is all about the emotional bonds people form with their work. These employees will always outperform their peers who couldn’t care less.

You want your employees to show up on time, every day, and do their best work. You want them to go the extra mile for the customer. When they’re on the manufacturing line, you want them to care—really care—about the quality of the goods they’re producing.

Companies are constantly looking for that special combination of skilled talent, soft skills, and work ethic that make a great employee. But they leave their new hires to fend for themselves as soon as they are finished filling out their W-4. A poor employee onboarding process flow contributes to the massive national turnover rate that costs U.S. companies $1 trillion each year.

A robust onboarding process, on the other hand, can make your employees almost 70 percent more likely to stay with your company for at least three years. And your new hires can be 50 percent more productive when your onboarding process steps set clear expectations while also providing crucial support early on.

Your new employee’s onboarding checklist pdf covers four areas known as the “4 C’s.” The 4 C’s are listed in order of importance to company growth. However, every stage of the 4 C’s is essential to a comprehensive onboarding plan.

Onboarding: The 4 C’s

Most companies stop with the first two C’s: compliance and clarification. Successful companies pay careful attention to the last two C’s: culture and connection. And our team likes to add a fifth C (shhh…don’t tell anyone!).

Compliance: Companies interested in avoiding discrimination and harassment lawsuits, i.e., every company, should start their onboarding with a thorough run-down of their policies and rules. To be most effective, you should implement a clear process by which employees can report discrimination and other issues. Earn your new employee’s trust by making it clear your company takes these issues seriously.

Clarification: This is the stage during which your new hires learn about their role, their duties and their responsibilities. Take this time to set your employee up for success. Establish a support network and ensure she has the tools she needs to complete her work.

Culture: More than a buzzword, culture has a tangible effect on a company’s success. A strong and positive culture gives you a recruiting edge. And clear values keep individual behavior in line with your company’s ethics. Make culture a strong aspect of your onboarding process by inserting it throughout your new hire’s experience. Include your company’s history and mission in your onboarding process.

Connection: Often overlooked during the onboarding process, connection is a key driver of employee retention. When workers form friendships with their coworkers, they’re more likely to enjoy being in the office. Positive relationships between your employees also mean less drama and conflict. You can foster connection during your onboarding process by finding creative ways for your new hires to spend time with coworkers.

We like to add a bonus C: check-in. New hires are most likely to quit their positions within the first year. By checking in with these new employees throughout that first year, companies can address brewing problems.

New Hire Onboarding framework

These 5 stages of onboarding create a framework companies can use to improve employee engagement and its associated outcomes. By adopting a more formal, vs an informal, onboarding process, companies can boost their customer ratings, improve employee retention, and increase their profits. Onboarding software can help companies keep their improved onboarding process organized and efficient.

Onboarding software can help you improve all 5 stages of employee onboarding. New employees can fill out their paperwork more quickly and accurately during the compliance portion of the 5 stages of onboarding with the help of auto-populating fields. Legally binding electronic signatures for all of your important onboarding forms will always be easily accessible, even years down the road.

Create training modules for every position within the company. Use training videos, how-to guides, and assessments. A simple checklist and triggering feature ensure your new employees won’t feel overwhelmed.

Include information about your culture, mission, and values in your training modules. By making culture a key component of your new employee’s experience, you’ll encourage behavior that aligns with your values. You can foster connection by assigning roles to team members to assist in the onboarding process. Each team member will receive email reminders so you know your new hires won’t fall through the cracks.

Incorporate the bonus C, Check-In, by assigning tasks to supervisors at intervals throughout the new hire’s first year. Over time, the data you collect in your onboarding software will help you improve your overall onboarding process.

Final Thoughts About the 5 C’s of Onboarding

The pandemic underscored the high cost of employee turnover, low engagement, and an uninspiring culture. When your employees are unenthusiastic, they’ll be less productive and less innovative. You’ll need more people on the payroll to get the same amount of output.

Beefing up your onboarding process is the first step to creating an inspired workforce. The investment you make in onboarding will pay dividends by creating a strong, cohesive team. Learn more with our webinar, How Effective Onboarding Boosts Your Bottom Line.

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How Do I Post a Job Ad for Free? And Should I Pay?

The talent shortage of 2021 has many companies expanding the rate at which they post jobs online for free. If you’re looking to post a job for free on Indeed or any of the other online job boards available, you may feel overwhelmed.

There are plenty of choices for free job advertising and even more choices for paid job postings. When deciding where to advertise a job for free or when to pay to post jobs online, strategy is key. Create a winning strategy with data analytics to help you find great workers when you post jobs online.

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Attract the Right Candidates with a Free Job Ad

There are nearly as many job openings as there are people looking for work. And although there is a willing worker for each job opening, every recruiter knows only a small percentage of applicants will make a great new hire. Recruiters who post a job for free online increase their chances of attracting quality applicants.

But applying to a free job posting is easy and quick. That’s why when you advertise a job for free online, you also risk attracting unqualified candidates. So, while free job advertising on sites like Indeed and LinkedIn is a crucial component of a successful recruitment strategy, use these tips to attract high-quality candidates while discouraging unqualified candidates.

Be clear about qualifications. Whether it’s a bachelor’s degree or a welder’s certification, be clear about what you need. But don’t raise qualifications just to cut down on the number of resumes you need to weed through. Imposing unnecessary qualifications on a job may be discriminatory. And needless educational requirements may exclude diverse candidates with hard-to-teach soft skills.

Be clear about less desirable aspects of the job. When recruiters advertise a job for free online, they sometimes gloss over unsavory traits of the position. Neglecting to mention things like mandatory overtime may net a greater number of applicants. But you risk a poor fit and costly employee turnover if wait until your new hire clocks in to break bad news.

Write a job description tailored to your ideal new hire. Think about all the reasons a hard-working, go-getting team player wants to work for your company. Opportunity for overtime? Advancement opportunity? Tuition reimbursement? When you advertise a job for free online highlighting these benefits, you’ll attract employees driven to succeed—and discourage those without the work ethic to take advantage of these rewards.

Optimize Your Free Job Posting

With 9.2 million open positions out there, you may be tempted to pay to get your free job advertisement in front of candidates. Sometimes it makes sense to pay for advertising to find your new hire when you post jobs online.

For example, you may occasionally have a professional position to fill. Open positions for which there are fewer qualified candidates and those that have a larger impact on your operations may benefit from a sponsored job posting. For other positions with higher turnover, you can get good results by optimizing job ads when you post a job for free on Indeed or any other free job boards.

You can start by making a list of all the words candidates will use to find your open position. Now search for positions on sites such as LinkedIn or Indeed using the keywords. Make a note of how often each job posting uses your keyword, keeping in mind the first few results are likely sponsored. Now aim to use your keyword more often than the other job posting on the first page of results.

Stagger Your Job Ad on Free Job Posting Sites

When you post a job for free, you steadily go down in results pages as your job ad ages. You can keep your job posting on the first page of search results when you stagger the sites on which you advertise a job for free.

Job seekers use more than one site to look for jobs. Your new job ad may appear on the first page of results when you post a job for free on Indeed. Then as that ad ages, it’s less likely to appear at the top of search results regardless of keyword optimization.

When your free job posting slips to the second page on Indeed, you can post a job for free on LinkedIn. Candidates who don’t find your aging free job ad on Indeed will be more likely to find it on LinkedIn. By staggering the sites on which you post a job for free, you attract more job seekers by extending the life of your free job advertising campaign.

Get Your Job on Google Results Pages

Here’s another reason to stagger your job postings. Positions listed on many online job boards also appear in Google for jobs results. When candidates search Google for “administrative positions in Cleveland,” Google aggregates open positions across job boards on its results page. Candidates can click on the ad from Google and apply right on your branded careers site.

Make Posting a Job for Free Easier with Applicant Tracking Software

Don’t have a branded careers site? That’s too bad because having a branded careers site will make posting a job for free easier. When you post jobs for free online, many job sites will ask if you already have a careers site where applicants can apply. Without an online application, you’re stuck creating questions for candidates on each free job board.

ExactHire’s applicant tracking system includes a branded careers site where candidates can search open positions and apply, even from their cell phones. But there are other ways an applicant tracking system will make it easier for you to post a job for free online. Using ExactHire’s ATS system, you can create your job ad and post it to as many free job sites and social media platforms as you want with a single click. The ATS will store all of your passwords and will streamline the process you use to post a job for free.

You can also use ExactHire’s applicant source reports to find out which advertising methods work best in your recruitment campaigns. You’ll be able to see the performance metrics for each free job site on the same screen. Over time, you can fine tune your recruitment strategy to save time and money while reducing employee turnover.

Are you ready to learn more about how ExactHire’s ATS can make your free job advertising campaigns more successful? Contact us today.

Photo by Souvik Banerjee on Unsplash

 

 

 

How Do I Create an Online Job Application?

If you’re like most employers, the current worker shortage has you rethinking your hiring strategy. This is especially true in industries like construction, restaurant, and home service. Perhaps in the past you’ve been able to avoid implementing an online job application without sacrificing the quality of applicants you attract. But if you’re one of the thousands of businesses forced to shorten hours or reduce the number of customers you can serve because you don’t have enough workers, you can’t afford to not have an online job application.

But how do you go about creating an online job application? Even after you create an online job application, you’ll have other difficulties to puzzle out. You need to get the application onto your website. And as long as you’re going digital, isn’t there an easy way to capture all that candidate information and sort it to find your best new hires?

Benefits of Online Job Application Forms

Considering how complex creating an online job application seems to be, it’s understandable if you’re still handing applicants a paper form. But you’re missing out on great new hires if you don’t give job seekers a chance to apply online.

According to Pew Research, 77 percent of Americans own a computer. And 85 percent own a smartphone. Digital access means a majority of job seekers go online to find their next job. Online resources outpace other, more traditional ways to look for work, including personal or professional networks, job fairs and employments agencies.

You risk losing out if you require job seekers to open their email application, paste an email address, and attach their resume. The best candidates won’t bother hopping in their cars to drive to your location to fill out a paper form, either. Including an easy-to-complete online job application within your job ad will help you hook the right talent before they click over to your competitor’s job ad.

You’ll see the most benefits from your online job application form if it’s mobile-friendly. Pew Research also says that more than half of young adults use a smartphone during a job search. Overall, 41 percent of smartphone users have used their smartphone during a job search. Smartphone owners are even using their mobile devices for complex tasks. Half have used their smartphone to fill out a job application. These smartphone-wielding job seekers will pass over your job ad if you don’t create a mobile-friendly job application.

Job seekers prefer online job applications for obvious reasons. They don’t have to travel to your location to fill out a paper application. Applicants can take their time answering the questions on your online job application. And if your careers site is mobile-friendly, they can fill out the application almost anywhere. Workers who have multiple jobs or children can fill out applications more easily online than in person.

Simple Employment Application Form

Now that you’re convinced of the benefits of an online job application, how do you go about putting one together? A simple job application form format is your best strategy to get more job candidates. The online job application you create should take no more than 15 minutes to complete and should include fewer than 20 questions. Your online job application should be easy to find within your job ad with a link that says “apply online now.”

Just like with your paper application, you should examine your simple job application form for potential legal liabilities. Education requirements that go beyond the knowledge necessary for the job or questions about criminal history may make you vulnerable to discrimination claims.

Your online job application must be mobile-friendly to attract young people or candidates without computers. You can create a mobile-friendly online job application by including drop-down menus or check boxes where possible. To create a truly mobile-friendly form, you’ll need to understand tech-savvy issues such as responsive design and programming.

Simplicity isn’t just for your job applicants. An online job application should be easy to create and should make your hiring process easier. That inexpensive solution may be prohibitive if your team struggles for hours to understand it. Or a blank job application form in a Word document may not be all that convenient if you’re printing it and throwing in a stack just like your old-fashioned paper applications.

Online Employment Application Software

You’ll reap the most benefits when you choose the right online employment application software. Look for these benefits and capabilities.

  • Flexibility. Your company is exceptional, and you’re looking for a standout new hire. Run-of-the-mill application questions won’t cut it. You want the ability to create custom questions to find candidates that fulfill your unique needs.
  • Mobile-friendly. You’re missing out on a major benefit of a paperless job application if it isn’t mobile-friendly. A free online job application form may seem attractive until you try to complete it on your smartphone. Remember, a third of applicants—and half of young adults—will pass over your online application if it isn’t mobile-friendly.
  • Data-capture. What’s the point of going digital if you’re printing applications and sorting them by hand? When you capture applicant data and store it digitally, you’ll be able to sort applicants and find the people with the skills you need.

This final point is key, and the benefits of data-capture don’t stop there. Over time, you can build a talent pool to draw upon for future open positions. When it comes time to file compliance reports, a few clicks of your mouse will gather the required data. Pairing your online application with applicant tracking software will also help you hone your application process. You’ll know which sites net the best applicants and which online application questions most effectively narrow the field.

 

 

Applicant Tracking System or Online Application?

An online job application will improve the applicant experience and increase the number of applicants you receive. But without an applicant tracking system (ATS), you risk wasting time thumbing through applications or overlooking quality candidates altogether. When you use an ATS , you’ll easily be able to create an online job application and much more.

Create multiple applications with an ATS. Some positions only require a one-step application, while other positions should have multi-step applications. You can even create an internal application for current employees.

Work within an intuitive, easy-to-use interface. Our applicant tracking system allows you to choose from a library of application questions or create your own. You can also choose the best format for the answers, such as text box or multiple choice.

Direct applicants to a branded careers site. Don’t require your applicants to download a job application form or a Word document. Instead, improve your applicant’s perception of your brand with a careers site in which they can fill out your online job application.

Make it easy for smartphone users to find and apply to jobs. Chances are, at least a few of your positions are generally filled with a demographic that primarily uses their smartphone. ExactHire’s online job application is always mobile friendly, without any of the compatibility problems you’ll find with free online employment application software.

Easily sort candidates. With your current paper system, are you able to know at a glance why a candidate wasn’t hired? Using an applicant tracking system, you can create a list of applicant codes. Using these codes, you can always know what prompted a candidate’s advancement to the next step in the hiring process. And you’ll always know the reasons candidates were disqualified.

Final Thoughts on Creating an Online Job Application

Up until now, you probably considered digital job applications a costly addition fit for larger companies. But the current worker shortage has probably shown you that neglecting online job seekers is far more expensive. Don’t waste your valuable time trying to figure out complicated free online employment application software. Instead, let ExactHire create a customized, scaled solution for your hiring needs.

 

Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash

 

 

What Is Programmatic Job Advertising?

Have you ever wished your recruitment advertisement strategy could target your ideal job candidate with as much precision as Instagram when it showed you that goat-shaming Farmers Insurance ad? After all, if the internet can know you go ga-ga over baby goats and you’re insuring two teenage drivers, then why can’t it deliver your job ad to experienced IT candidates in the local area who know SQL?

The targeted ads you’ve been noticing—the ones that seem tailored-made for you—are the result of a thing called programmatic advertising. These nifty algorithms are traditionally the domain of tech giants and commercial marketers. But in recent years, the recruitment industry has been taking notice. Hundreds of job boards, along with crappy candidates crowding out the champions, leave recruiters wondering if there’s a better way.

There is, and the better way is called programmatic job advertising.

Programmatic job advertising brings targeted ads to job seekers. Using programmatic job postings, companies can create job advertising campaigns that zero in on the best candidates, wherever they may be on the internet. Job ads appear on the right site, at the right time, just when the right candidate will see it. But programmatic job advertising does so much more.

Programmatic Advertising

Advertising on the Internet is nothing new. We all remember the flashy banner ads on Myspace. What is new is programmatic advertising that uses big data, machine learning, and predictive analytics to target the right audience.

When your grandfather told you “Nothing in life is free,” he might as well have been talking about all those free apps on your devices. It’s no secret that everything we do digitally is stored in a cybernated profile. Programmatic advertising uses this information, collectively known as “big data,” to target consumers.

Don Draper and the rest of the “Mad Men” only had standard demographics to work with when creating audience profiles. Big data adds hundreds of input fields to create a complete analysis of an ad’s intended audience.

All those factoids are too much for humans to interpret and act upon. Enter machine learning. Software can analyze the data and match ads with users most likely to convert. The software will always make the best choices using algorithms that analyze all that big data.

The ad’s performance metrics are fed back into the algorithm. When this performance data is factored into the big data, the software can make better matches in the future. Predictive analytics is what happens when machine learning produces increasingly better results.

But the software doesn’t stop there. Programmatic advertising completely automates the purchasing and managing of advertising space. Programmatic advertising software can find sites and purchase or bid on space within a spending budget set by the user. Humans can always step in and make adjustments. Programmatic advertising platforms take the grunt work out of marketing campaigns while making them more efficient and effective.

Programmatic advertising is why you see an ad from REI for a mirrored sighting compass after you purchase “A Walk in the Woods” from Amazon.

Recruitment Advertisement

Despite the advantages of programmatic job advertisement, most companies still use traditional recruitment strategies to place job ads.

Traditional recruitment advertisement operates a lot like those old Myspace ads. Recruiters hand-select the job boards to which they wanted to post. They log into each one individually, then purchase space and upload their ad. They cross their fingers and wait.

Traditional recruitment advertisement doesn’t have the advantage of big data. Recruiters can’t know which job board has the most forklift operators or which ones have the most active users in their area. Traditional recruitment advertisements are basically a crap shoot in which recruiters hope they’re posting to the right jobs site at the right time.

Aptitude Research, a Boston-based advisory firm, estimates recruiters waste 40 percent of their advertising budget with traditional job advertising. According to Aptitude’s founder, Madeline Laurano, “Traditional job advertising is expensive, inefficient and, at times, ineffective.”

Applicant tracking software can help improve the efficiency of job advertising with one-click posting and single screen analytics. Recruiters who use an ATS can increase job seeker conversion with a branded careers site and a multi-step application. ATS can also streamline other recruitment-related tasks such as HR compliance reporting.

Pairing applicant tracking software with compatible programmatic job advertising software can help companies zero in on the best candidates, wherever they may be. The result is a recruitment juggernaut that finds and converts the best candidates, then streamlines and optimizes every step of the selection process.

Programmatic Job Advertising in Recruitment

Programmatic job advertising by definition will help you reach the right candidates, wherever they may be. With the help of programmatic job advertising platforms, your job ads will appear on the job boards where your ideal candidates are hanging out. Glassdoor and Monster cater to different types of job seekers. Your job ad will appear on the best choice, whether you are looking for an operations manager or a forklift operator. Your best job candidates aren’t spending all their time on job boards. Programmatic job advertising software will place your ads on sites you may not have considered.

HGS, a business process management company, pivoted to mostly programmatic job advertising from traditional job advertising in response to the pandemic. To keep their workforce safe and healthy, HGS closed their call center doors. Their newly remote workforce meant that HGS could recruit from almost anywhere in the U.S. and Canada, rather than the few physical locations they previously operated. Casting a wider net in a larger talent pool meant their job advertising costs ballooned. Programmatic job advertising helped reign those costs in while improving time-to-hire.

According to Trish Robb, the General Manager of North American Recruitment and Talent Management at HGS, “With some of the time that we’ve gained back, our team has been able to focus on other recruitment marketing strategies, like engaging with talent through our social media channels, creating virtual job previews, responding to employee reviews and improving our reputation as an employer.”

Affordable Programmatic Job Posting

In the aftermath of the pandemic and the current labor shortage, HR teams are looking to programmatic job advertising to save money and find great candidates. According to Aptitude’s research, companies that use programmatic job advertising improve their time-to-hire as well as the quality of their new hire. Filling open positions quickly with top talent is the first step to improving employee retention.

With hundreds of job boards available, both you and your advertising budget can get overwhelmed. Programmatic job advertising software will help you effectively branch out to the most effective niche sites without wasting money on ineffective job boards. The algorithms written into programmatic job advertising software will use real-time data to adjust the software’s recruitment strategy.

When you use programmatic job advertising in recruitment, you can rely on predictive analytics and algorithms to make the most efficient use of your recruitment budget. You can avoid wasting money purchasing paid advertising on sites or for open positions that perform well through less expensive posting options. Programmatic recruitment marketing platforms will identify the open positions that aren’t receiving enough applicants. The programmatic job posting software will then your recruitment spending into those positions by purchasing ads on the optimal sites.

Final Thoughts About Programmatic Job Advertising

Whether you’re hiring hundreds of high-turnover positions each year or searching for a unicorn with mad JavaScript skills, you can use programmatic job advertising to reduce your costs and free up your time for other recruitment activities.

After all, posting job ads are just one part of a comprehensive recruitment strategy. Rather than spending your time analyzing your recruitment ROI across dozens of job sites, let programmatic job advertising software send your job ads to platforms where your best candidates are hanging out. You can focus on boosting your employer brand and selecting the best new hire.

Are you ready to dive deeper into the cost-saving possibilities of programmatic job advertising? Contact our solutions team for a personalized demonstration.

 

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How to Make a Tough Hiring Decision

There’s a lot riding on your hiring decisions. Studies show, when companies make good hiring decisions, employee turnover goes down and productivity and profits go up. The reverse is true when hiring decisions go wrong. Employee retention and morale go down, customer service suffers and companies struggle to maintain a competitive advantage. Whether an employee leaves voluntarily or is terminated, filling the empty chair costs thousands.

It’s easy to see why the future of an organization depends on making great hiring decisions.

But so much of the hiring process seems subjective. Assessing education and work experience is the easy part. Hiring managers face difficult decisions when assessing for personality, culture fit, and soft skills. Abstract qualities such as these are difficult to quantify. Hiring teams that rely on intuition to assess these abstract qualities may find themselves making decisions based on personal biases.

When considering how to make a tough hiring decision, develop a data-driven hiring process that artfully mixes objectivity with sound intuitive judgement to choose the best candidate.

Making Great Hiring Decisions

The pressure is on to make great hiring decisions. Creating strong teams and reducing employee turnover are effective ways to reduce costs and increase profits. Great hiring decisions rely on three important factors.

  • The first of these factors is the quality of the data you gather. When applications and resumes come in, you should have an effective way to analyze and sort the information they contain. Recruiters often find the internet brings mixed blessings in their search for top candidates. The internet is an effective way to increase the radius of your search. But oftentimes, recruiters are faced with too many unqualified applicants. Stellar candidates can easily get lost in the mix. Use applicant tracking software to help you organize and sort the responses that your job ad garners.
  • The second important factor for great hiring decisions is an objective set of criteria against which to measure all the candidates. For this, you’ll need an updated job description. Resist the urge to just go with what you had when you were hiring the position three years ago. Supervisors and team member can help you make sure the job description accurately represents the role. From there, develop a list of necessary qualifications. Don’t let your anxiety over hiring the wrong candidate get the better of you. Don’t require a college degree for entry level positions unless it’s absolutely necessary. Personality traits like motivation and loyalty may be more important than oodles of work experience.
  • Your emotions will likely influence your final hiring decision. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. That’s why sound intuitive judgement is our third factor for great hiring decisions. At some point, you’re going to have to “trust your gut.” But you’ll find your gut is trustworthy when you learn how to make emotionally intelligent decisions.

 

Distribute Hiring Authority

You can make the best data-driven, objective, and intuitively sound decisions when you rely on a hiring team. Avoid “group think” by including a diverse group of people from throughout the company. A variety of personalities with various roles and stakes in the organization can provide the well-rounded perspective you need to make great hiring decisions.

You’ll want to include the new hire’s supervisor and perhaps even a team member. These individuals are in the best position to assess the unique qualities required for this role. They’re also in the best position to assess how a candidate’s personality will mesh with existing team members. But be careful not to enable a toxic work environment if there’s conflict among members of the current team. In that case, look for a new hire with the positive attributes that will make the team stronger and address existing conflict separately.

The most successful companies are the ones with a strong, unifying vision. For this reason, you need someone on your hiring team with deep knowledge about the company’s culture, its goals, and values. This person can help you make sure the new hire’s values align with the company’s mission.

Finally, you’ll need someone unassociated with the department in which the new hire will be working. Departmental heads can sometimes be blind to the weaknesses within their own teams. An outsider can appreciate the strengths an introvert may bring to a team of extroverted members.

Consider Amazon’s Bar Raiser Program. Amazon proactively identifies star performers within their organization and then trains them to be skilled interviewers with a focus on hiring candidate’s who demonstrate 14 Leadership Principles. The program helps ensure objectivity during the hiring process and influences behavior centered around the company’s values.

Choosing Between Two Quality Candidates

If you find that you’re repeatedly forced to choose between two equally qualified candidates, it may be time to reexamine your hiring process. Ask the following questions to better describe how your hiring manager should decide to hire the best applicant.

  • Are you collecting enough data about candidates during the application process?
  • Are you quantifying the soft skills and personality traits required for the job?
  • Have you created an assessment against which to rate candidates?

No matter how well thought out your hiring process, from time to time you will be lucky enough to find yourself with two stellar applicants. The hiring process is no time to draw straws. So how do you choose between the two?

If you haven’t called all of their references, pick up the phone. You may get information that will sway your decision. Consider administering assessments to test for the personality traits that will make your new hire successful. If there is still no clear winner, don’t jump to consulting your gut instinct just yet. Develop some tie-breaker interview questions first.

Interview Questions for Every Stage

 

Tie-Breaker Interview Questions

Tie-breaker interview questions uncover hidden, but important, personality traits. The right list of questions can help you develop a personality profile for the candidate that gets underneath the mask they put on when they wear their best interview suit. You can gauge an applicant’s maturity level and emotional intelligence. You can find out what motivates them, whether they possess self-confidence, and whether they’re committed to personal growth. Tie-breaker questions are unexpected and, being unrehearsed, will give you the greatest insight into your applicant.

Examples of open-ended tie-breaker questions include:

  • Why are you interested in working for our company?
  • What are your short and long-term goals? Where do you want to be in two and in ten years?
  • What do you like best about your current job? Why do you want to leave it?

If there still isn’t a clear, logical choice, don’t be dismissive of your intuitive powers. Your marketing team will be quick to tell you most of our decisions are emotional. No matter how rational you fancy yourself to be, many of your choices are rooted in your emotions.

And using your intuition to make decisions isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Studies show your mind processes far more information than you can juggle in your logical, working memory. The conclusions your super-processing brain make come through as emotions. A decision feels right or it feels bad.

Make sure hiring decisions are rooted in healthy emotions. If the new hire’s department is known to be toxic, you may hire someone you think is tough enough to handle the negativity. In reality, you’re probably hiring a person who will contribute to the negative atmosphere. The better, and more difficult, solution, is to hire people with desirable traits while separately dealing with undesirable behaviors that have already taken root.

Final Decision on Hiring

You can avoid needing to make a tough, last-minute hiring decision if you develop effective strategies to determine how the final hiring decision is made.

Start with applicant tracking software that can scan resumes and pull the most qualified candidates for you to review first. Count on a diverse hiring team to provide different, yet valuable, perspectives. Recruit a specially trained person to assist with recruitment decision making who prioritizes the company’s culture and is also unaffiliated with the position’s department.

Incorporating tie-breaker questions throughout your entire application process can help you uncover each applicant’s true personality. When you’re still faced with a tough hiring choice, an intuitive judgement call from an emotionally healthy place can be your best tool for making a final employment decision.

Assign one person who will make the final hiring decision in the selection process if you find your team can’t agree on the best candidate. Remember one of Amazon’s Leadership Principles: a bias for action. As important as the hiring decision and selection process are, there are other equally important factors that can lower employee turnover and develop your team’s potential. Effective onboarding and training programs are useful tools that can help an average new hire become great.

Are you interested in developing better interview questions? Download our guide that shares best questions and advice from over 70 hiring experts.

 

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How to Write a Job Description

Indeed.com, just one of many jobs sites, is home to more than 16 million job postings. How can yours stand out? How can you avoid underqualified applicants? Most importantly, how can you persuade the best candidates to apply to your company?

The answers to all of these questions begin with your job description. That small post of just a few hundred words has to do some heavy lifting. Your job description must be optimized for search algorithms. It must be clear and honest to help candidates self-qualify. Your job ad has to subtly communicate the awesomeness of your company to a small pool of coveted, well-qualified candidates.

Your job description must accomplish all these goals for one purpose: to convert only the best job seekers into a manageable pool of applicants. How can you write a job description packed with that much power?

Job Description Writing Guide

When thinking about how to write a job description, there are two things to keep in mind. First, you’re writing for the search engines. Second, you’re writing for the job candidates. Each of these “audiences” requires a different approach.

Search engine writing elevates your ad near the top of search results where applicants can find it. Writing your job description with keywords will guide algorithms to your ad. Keywords should appear in your job title and the description, especially the first paragraph. The meta title and meta description should also include keywords.

Keywords will get your ad in front of the applicant. But only clear and compelling writing will persuade readers to complete the application. When asking yourself how do you write a good job description, start by identifying your ideal candidate. Then create a job ad that appeals to that person.

Sometimes, a boss will ask employees to write their own job descriptions. Ideally, several stakeholders should be involved in crafting job ads. HR professionals should seek input from the supervisor overseeing the new hire and also the position’s co-workers. A marketing professional or content writer can craft a job description that is both SEO optimized and compelling for applicants.

 

Mobile Recruiting Guide

Best practices for Writing Job Descriptions

The best practices for writing job descriptions seamlessly weave SEO writing with persuasive writing. If you’re learning how to write your own job description, start by crafting a job description that clearly identifies the role. This description becomes the blueprint to which you add keywords. Finally, you’ll rework your description to persuade job seekers to apply.

What do you write in a job description? Things like the job title, pay range and shift should appear at the top. Next, include a brief summary of your company. Follow this by a summary of how the job fits into the goals of the company. You’ll want to include the most important or time-consuming duties and responsibilities for the position. Identify the minimum qualifications. Finally, identify unique requirements for the job, such as heavy lifting or repetitive hand motions.

Identify what words job seekers are using to find your position. These become your keywords. Use both general and specific terms. The first paragraph of your job description should contain all of your keywords.

Perhaps you’re writing a job ad for what your company calls a project manager. But many industries employ project managers. Someone searching for a position as an IT project manager would not be a good fit for a litigation support project manager. If your job description is for an industry-specific position, then include that information as a keyword.

Include keywords that specify required skillsets. “Java-Script Computer Programmer” or “B2B Content Creator” act as longtail keywords. They are more likely to appear at the top of results for applicants searching these terms. Being specific with your job titles will also help applicants self-qualify.

A Good Job Description Template with Job Responsibilities

When wondering how do you write an effective job description, consider your ideal candidate. What does this person want? For example, perhaps you want someone who works well with a team. This person wants to feel like a valued team member. Perhaps you want someone who can work independently. This person wants to feel trusted and empowered.

Notice that you’re writing to appeal to your ideal candidate’s emotions. In this way, writing your job description is much like writing content for customers. You want your candidates to feel good about applying to your company in the same way you make customers feel good about purchasing.

The best practice for writing the duties and responsibilities section of a job description will tap into a candidate’s desire to support a larger cause. Any job duties list can be written to tap into the applicant’s desire to contribute to something bigger than themselves. If you already track employees’ roles and responsibilities in an Excel or Word template, you can rewrite them from this purpose-centered perspective.

A job seeker’s decision to apply to your company is largely an emotional decision. In this way, applicant conversion is similar to customer conversion. However, you’re only hiring a few select applicants. Effective job descriptions will increase the number of preferable applicants while discouraging undesirable or unqualified applicants.

You can do this by highlighting the emotional benefits that the company values. For example, perhaps your open sales position requires travel. Enticing someone who “wants to see the world” may not attract the type of candidates you want. But you’ll appeal to more desirable applicants if you highlight the opportunity to “work with some of the most innovative and culturally diverse software clients in the world.”

Good Job Description Examples

Rework the key components of a job description to highlight the benefits applicants may enjoy.  The best job descriptions for 2021 will highlight benefits in relation to a purpose-orientated mindset.

Good job description examples of the duties and responsibilities for a receptionist may include answering the phone. A compelling description may be, “Be the friendly first point-of-contact for Esperion Therapeutics. Ensure a great customer experience by correctly determining callers’ needs and identifying the person or department best suited to meet those needs.”

Perhaps you’re wondering how to develop a job description for a service technician who will travel to repair equipment for clients. A persuasive job description may read, “Use your mechanical know-how to ensure a consistent customer experience. Keep client productions running smoothly when you travel to client locations nation-wide to diagnose and repair equipment or perform maintenance.”

What Job Descriptions Should Not Include

Now you know your job ad needs keywords and compelling writing. But what should not be included in a job description?

Overwrought Job Titles. Don’t include words like rock star, ninja, connoisseur, or anything similar in your job titles. Rather than creative, these words seem dated and desperate. Candidates aren’t using these terms to search anyway.

Unrealistic Qualifications. Ask yourself if you really need a branch manager with a Master’s degree. Or a receptionist who speaks Spanish. Or an assistant who can write Excel macros. Some qualifications aren’t as important as you may think.

Too Much Positivity. You also want to realistically assess the job. Is there something about the position that may be a deal breaker for some people? If the job requires overtime or working weekends or excessive travel, then clearly say so in the description.

Jargon and Abbreviations. Your words should be clear to a general audience and spelled out completely for search engines. Don’t use terms that only people in your industry or company would understand. Don’t use abbreviations.

Complete List of a Role’s Tasks. Your job description should not be an exhaustive list of the position’s duties. For legal purposes and to avoid wrongful termination suits, include phrasing that allows supervisors to expand responsibilities for the role.

Final Thoughts

Recruiters need to do more to attract top talent. With more than half of job seekers going to online job boards, the work of getting noticed by quality applicants begins with your job description. This small block of text must appeal to algorithms as well your ideal candidates.

But what happens when your amazing job description spurs a candidate to apply? The best job descriptions will fizzle if they end with email instructions. You can keep the momentum going when your job ad directs clients to a branded careers site where they can learn more about your company. You can sort and manage the data from the influx of awesome candidates when your branded careers site feeds into an applicant tracking system.

Do you want to know more about how to connect with job seekers online? Download our free guide, Connecting with Job Seekers in the Digital Age.

 

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How Much Does Onboarding Software Cost?

Companies may be breathing a collective sigh of relief now that the vaccines have arrived. The end of the pandemic is in sight. Economic recovery can begin.

Not so fast.

Have you thought about what the pandemic’s end means for your employees? A new survey says one in four of them will be quitting your company. Eagle Hill Consulting released a survey that indicates 25 percent of employees are planning to leave their jobs once the pandemic is over. The number climbs to 33 percent for Millennials and parents with children who are remote learning.

People will be leaving their jobs for a variety of reasons. But their departures will mean one thing for your company: rising employee turnover. Low employee retention can cost your organization thousands. As you prepare for future recruiting, you can also incorporate strategies to reduce employee turnover.

Effective onboarding increases employee retention by 82 percent.

You can prepare now for the new hires in your future. And by doing so, you can improve what may be the most important ingredient for creating high employee retention: your onboarding process. Effective onboarding increases employee retention by 82 percent. Onboarding software can further reduce your costs while improving your new employees’ experience.

Estimating the Price of Employee Onboarding Software

Before you can know the true cost of anything, you have to know the price you’re paying for not having it. You can’t calculate the ROI of best employee onboarding software until you know what your current onboarding process is costing you.

First, there’s the hours spent onboarding new hires. Someone in your organization is printing off those new hire forms and putting together the new employee packets. Your new hire is spending time completing the forms and handwriting the same information multiple times. Then the documents make their way to someone who inputs the information into a variety of software, databases, and spreadsheets.

Then there’s the not-so-straightforward hours spent onboarding employees. Someone is charged with chasing down forms when they’re not completed on time. That same person searches for forms that long-term employees completed on their first day. Has a sales person ever left your company for a competitor and there was nothing you could do about it because the non-compete form he signed a decade ago was MIA?

Next, consider the obscure number of hours spent training the new employee. These numbers are difficult to estimate if you’re not using employee onboarding software. Chances are, employees are stepping in to help when they can. Without onboarding software to outline a training plan, your new hire’s introduction to your company is an ad hoc assortment of good intentions and tedious forms.

Now you’re probably wondering, what does employee onboarding software do to improve the onboarding process? Software will streamline your onboarding process, saving both time and money. You’ll improve your new hire’s experience, increasing employee retention. Over time, you’ll collect data which can be used to further improve your onboarding process. You’ll find the cost savings and benefits make onboarding software essential to an effective and affordable employee onboarding process.

Factors that Affect the Price of Software

The price you pay for your new software will depend, in part, on how many employees you typically hire per year. As you consider what features you need from your employee onboarding software, also consider the current cost to onboard new hires at your organization.

New Hire Onboarding Packet: Your employee onboarding forms can be digitized for efficiency and to reduce errors. The information entered into electronic I-9 and W-4 forms can seamlessly integrate with your payroll software. Onboarding software also includes E-Verify integration, and electronic signatures are legally binding.

Company Policy Manual: Are you sure your new employees actually read your workplace and sexual harassment policies? You can integrate all of your new hire’s training into the onboarding software with training modules. These modules will educate your new hire on your company policies and ensure they have the necessary knowledge with short quizzes.

Assign Tasks with Email Reminders: With software, you can create a customized workflow for the onboarding process with tasks. You can assign each task to a stakeholder. This person will then receive email reminders to mark the task as complete within the software. Everyone will know their roles. You’ll always know where the onboarding process stands.

These are just some of the affordable onboarding software features to consider when you calculate the ROI of onboarding software. Onboarding software will also assist with various federal compliance tasks, such as reporting and security measures that keep information confidential.

Choosing the Right Onboarding Software for Small Businesses

When you decide to buy employee onboarding software, you may find companies that sell onboarding solutions cater to large organizations. Not only are these providers more expensive, they may not offer the level of HR support as a provider catering to small and mid-sized businesses.

Look for a provider that offers customer support for onboarding software tailored to SMB. A support team that is SHRM-certified will give you the detailed HR support small and mid-sized businesses need. And a realistic timeline expectation–or even a guarantee–for software implementation, along with a money-back guarantee, mean less risk for SMBs.

When considering how to choose employee onboarding software, look for E-Verify integration and comprehensive support features. In addition to HR-related support, you’ll want in-house technical support staff. And of course, software that is cloud-based means you won’t need to invest in IT infrastructure.

Get a Price Estimate for Employee Onboarding Software

Before you get a price estimate for employee onboarding software, make sure you find a provider that can handle your unique employee onboarding process needs. As an SMB, you’ll need unlimited onboarding software customer support at no extra cost. Many so-called top HR software vendors target large corporations and may not provide unlimited, personalized support.

Also consider how your employee onboarding software will integrate with your other HR systems. “Best of breed” onboarding software can readily accommodate payroll and other HR software systems. By creating a seamless digital onboarding experience, you save time, reduce errors and improve your employees’ experience.

Regardless of your timeline for HR software implementation, make sure your provider won’t tack on additional hidden charges. Look for a pricing structure that is straightforward, where you won’t need to pay extra for support or implementation. And finally, ask if you can try onboarding software risk-free for a couple months.  With guaranteed support, a risk free trial period, and a solid set of onboarding features, you’ll be ready to decide whether the cost of employee onboarding software is worth it.

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