Release Notes: Tracking Job Application Abandonment and Improving User Experience

Employer Strategies for Successfully Hiring Justice Involved Job Candidates

My gut tells me that many employers are open to the idea of hiring individuals from the justice involved community, but have historically avoided the opportunity for a variety of reasons. Whether they previously had an abundance of other candidates to consider or were intimidated about the steps involved, many organizations haven’t proactively included this untapped talent pool.

After all, they haven’t been sufficiently motivated to do so. That changes now.

Why you should consider hiring the justice involved population

Today, employers can’t afford NOT to look at every viable employee population. Increased awareness and support for inclusive hiring practices coupled with historically low unemployment suggest that the time is ripe for employers to implement strategies that successfully source and retain justice involved individuals.

Here are a few of the benefits to employers who engage employees who are formerly incarcerated or on work release, parole, or probation.

Better job candidate flow

Low unemployment is especially crippling for industries that traditionally experience high turnover in hourly positions and/or with a contingent workforce. With nearly one in three American adults holding a criminal record (ACLU, 2017), employers who are able to successfully engage this population are poised to win the war on talent.

Text Recruiting | Hourly Workers | ExactHire

Giving justice involved individuals another chance is the right thing to do

The formerly incarcerated combat a pervasive social stigma in many facets of their life, and it often impedes their ability to find work. In fact, according to the same ACLU study, 75% of formerly incarcerated people will remain unemployed a year after release. When someone has served his/her time, society should give them a second chance–not a re-sentence once they are released.

Reducing recidivism pays for itself

According to a 2018 special report from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, across 30 states 5 out of 6 (a staggering 83%) of state prisoners released in 2005 were arrested at least once during the 9 years following their release. Recidivism, or the “tendency for a convicted criminal to reoffend,” is on the rise.

And, it’s no surprise when we consider the absence of sufficient resources to support transitioning justice involved individuals back into society. This makes it hard for the formerly incarcerated to get over what some call the “three hots and a cot” mentality.

Consider that the Gross National Product (GNP) is losing an estimated $78 billion to $87 billion annually as the justice involved remain unemployed, according to the aforementioned ACLU report.

Employer tax incentives

Companies who hire the formerly incarcerated may be eligible for hidden hiring incentives such as the Work Opportunity Tax Credit. WOTC is a federal tax credit available to employers that hire individuals from specific targeted groups that have consistently faced significant employment barriers. Among these targeted groups are “qualified ex-felons” who are defined as individuals who are hired within a year of being convicted of a felony, or being released from prison from the felony.

Create a supportive network to succeed with the justice involved

It’s one thing for companies to be compelled to act based on the benefits mentioned above; however, in order to realize success in hiring and retaining the justice involved job candidate population, your organization must implement an internal infrastructure that can accommodate their unique needs. Additionally, it should utilize established external resources that may already be available in your area to help transition the justice involved back to work.

This is easier said than done, as there is not an abundance of model employers showing the rest of us how to do it. And, perhaps that deficiency is part of the explanation for the slow adoption of hiring this population.

The best intentions are only a fraction of what’s required for success in employing the justice involved. Employers must put systems and services in place to get this source of talent back to work. According to SHRM’s Getting Talent Back to Work Toolkit, employers should focus on

  • Reliable Checks – working with reputable background checking agencies to make sure the data you use to make decisions about a candidate’s suitability for employment is sound.
  • Relevant Assessment – ensuring your organization’s methods for assessing criminal records on an individual basis are relevant.
  • Reasonable Risk – comprehending and assessing the reasonable risks associated with hiring this population so that you can proceed confidently.

Within these three categories, there are many steps organizations may take to set themselves up for a higher percentage of success in employing the justice involved population. Here are some ideas for consideration.

Make connections during the pre-release period

Consider offering a candidate training program for incarcerated individuals six months prior to their release. Just as you would approach tuition reimbursement for an in-demand nursing student, ask pre-release individuals who have been identified as good candidates for a commitment to work for your organization for a period of time so that they may receive important life skills and a starter wage. This type of arrangement can go far in building employee loyalty in a tough employee retention market.

Develop relationships in your community

Employing the justice involved is a careful undertaking, and can be enhanced by positive and close relationships with local sheriff departments and other representatives at the Department of Corrections (DOC), staffing agencies and other transitional support agencies.

Set expectations with internal staff

For success in employing the justice-involved population, you need to dedicate internal resources to properly setting expectations and training existing staff members on how to undergo this initiative in a productive way. Be realistic and transparent around challenges that may surface, and develop strategies about how your company will address those challenges before you find yourselves in the moment.

Make sure that your organizational structure models success for justice involved individuals. For example, don’t have a single working area or department where justice involved employees represent a majority of the unit. This is their time to transition back into the workforce and recognize positive habits and behavior from others who have succeeded in the organization. If you offset that balance, then negative habits can be perpetuated with poor outcomes.

Invest in offering on-site services for justice involved employees

Some justice involved individuals fall circumstance to rising recidivism rates because they don’t have reasonable access to the services and support they need to get a foothold in the world after release. If your organization is serious about successfully employing this population, then consider offering some of these services:

  • Reentry resources – Links to and documentation about existing public reentry services in your community. For example, Orange County, California has a robust post-incarceration resource toolkit on its website.
  • Basic food needs – Make information available about local food pantries and agencies that make sure people don’t go hungry. Help employees apply for food stamp benefits.
  • Spiritual support – Consider on-site chaplain services so employees can nurture any of their spiritual goals and confide in a third party.
  • Medical care – Make sure that employees are afforded time to take care of medical needs and given information about how to obtain access to prescription drugs, including mental health care when applicable.
  • Basic paperwork – Remember that your justice involved hires may need important documents either located and/or reproduced such as birth certificate, Social Security card, personal ID card and/or driver’s license.
  • Substance abuse support – Recognize that some of your justice involved hires may struggle with substance abuse and therefore create an environment that is supportive of substance abuse counseling and rehabilitation so that destructive habits that often lead to crime aren’t repeated.
  • Ride planning – In order to promptly arrive to your workplace, your employees may need ride sharing programs, access to information about convenient public transportation options, and/or an employer-provided bus to transport employees to and from their current residence or halfway house to your job site.
  • Flexibility for required meetings – A common challenge for recently released individuals is maintaining availability for a shift job while also showing up for required probation or parole officer meetings that might happen in the middle of the day. With proper communication, offer these workers flexibility to attend the meetings that are critical for their post-release success.
  • Soft skills training – In some cases, justice involved individuals may have never learned about or been exposed to positive models for appropriate communication, social behavior, or even cleanliness/hygiene. Understand that services around these soft skills may be critical for employing this population with success.

Communicate your intentions clearly

Because much of employers’ hesitancy to hire justice involve populations is attributable to the stigma often associated with the formerly incarcerated as well as the company’s tendency toward compliance and protectiveness, clear communication is a driver of employment success for this talent group.

Clear communication includes both adjustments in traditional employment policy as well as external job advertisements, company culture content and screening and interview process design.

Remember that it is a violation of Title VII to reject applicants because of criminal records unless it is job related and consistent with business necessity. Employers have an obligation to clearly define what is job related and consistent with business necessity. They should reevaluate the role and scope of background checks in the hiring process, and use effective job evaluation to identify which criminal offenses will not work with which jobs.

Set realistic expectations with your justice involved candidates

Not every employer is going to be able to employ every justice involved employee. However, there is power and respect in being transparent about the opportunities and potential path available with your organization. I recently attended an event (more on that below) where they talked about the “ABC Jobs” trajectory for the justice involved:

  • Any job
  • Better job
  • Career

Which of those types of jobs can you offer this population? And, if it is just any job that has a low wage, how can you prepare that individual to succeed in that job and then move on to another organization (maybe one with which you partner on these programs) where they can achieve the next step?

This job pathing model can improve your community by creating work that improves individuals, makes your company productive and advances the public good through reduced spending due to rampant recidivism.

Anticipate potential setbacks

There will be ups and downs in any endeavor to create an infrastructure for employing justice involved populations…as there is with any other talent population, too. However, being aware of setbacks through conversation with other employers, local law enforcement, state agencies, etc. will bring to light things you can plan to address:

  • “Ban the box” legislation – Do you have work sites in geographic areas that are NOT subject to “ban the box”? If so, then take another look at your employment application and consider whether any questions about a candidate’s criminal history are potentially deterring qualified, but justice involved individuals from considering employment with your organization.
  • Shift challenges – Is your work shift schedule such that it makes it impossible to accommodate the needs of justice involved individuals who must attend parole meetings? As previously mentioned, take measures now to consider alternative strategies for meeting transportation needs and addressing shift requirements.
  • Recognize bias toward unexplained issues – I recently met someone who is employed with the city government and who was previously justice involved. She explained that it is not uncommon for little, unexpected things to happen that can adversely impact the positive trajectory of a justice involved individual. She encourages others to get the facts before jumping to negative conclusions. For example, she has seen malfunctioning ankle bracelets cause productive employees who have done nothing wrong to be hauled away by police on the job in front of co-workers. Without sensitivity to the root cause of such problems, bias and gossip could lead to a lack of support, or even wrongful termination.

The time is now

Is your organization ready to get serious about considering this untapped talent population? I hope the considerations outlined in this blog inspire exploration of this talent pool and fine-tuning of any of your existing initiatives.

Author’s Note: I recently attended a remarkable “Second Chance Staffing Visioning Event” held in January 2020 at Butler University and in conjunction with Allegiance Staffing. This interactive session was a kick-off to a joint research project between these partners and others to explore the job performance of those with criminal backgrounds while on the job. There is not yet much (or current) research in this specific area and the event brought together individuals from social service agencies, businesses, and the government–including thriving employees who have been justice involved. I’m excited about the direction of this research as it perfectly aligns with making a positive impact and with the challenging job landscape. Given the lack of formal studies in this area, their goal is to conduct a more detailed empirical analysis of the relative workplace performance of justice-involved citizens, as well as identify factors affecting this performance. Such a study requires the assistance of local employer(s) willing to share data regarding employees’ attendance, aptitude, and attitude, and they are currently in the process of securing these partners.


How to Effortlessly Use Texting to Hire Hourly Workers

You only have to look at your smartphone’s weekly screen time report to know that the amount of time we spend accessing our phones is increasing at a relentless pace. Whether our pervasive mobile usage troubles or encourages you, it is undeniable. In fact, according to research done by Hitwise, the average device split for searches was 72% for mobile and 28% for desktop in 2017.

In consideration of the amount of time people spend doing web searches on phones, naturally we’re in a climate where employers must adapt and leverage mobile communication in their hiring process–particularly while unemployment is at an epic low.

Today, the name of the hiring game is speed, and this is painfully realized in industries that employ a large number of hourly, non-exempt workers. The reality of those employers is that if they hesitate to respond quickly, the competitor across the street has already paid their would-be new hire for their first shift.

Signs that you’re not effectively using a text recruiting strategy

We can and should all continuously experiment with and tweak our hiring processes. The hiring landscape changes so quickly that constant attention is required. However, there are telltale signs that help identify when your organization has a more significant mobile communication problem.

Phone ghosting

I was initially surprised a couple of years ago when I heard that many employers of hourly workers, in particular, struggled to get candidates to respond to phone invitations for an initial interview. If your recruiters are frequently encountering full voice mail boxes when reaching out to schedule a conversation; or they discover that a candidate doesn’t even have voice mail set up, then it’s time to try something other than a phone call.

Candidate shelf-life

It’s not uncommon for employers who rely on large numbers of hourly workers to empower the managers and assistant managers of various store locations to screen candidates and invite them to proceed in the hiring process. Because hiring is just one of myriad operational responsibilities for these managers, they don’t always respond to candidates as quickly as may be necessary in this job market.

This failure in prompt candidate engagement all too often sinks a retail location’s recruiting efforts before the ship even leaves port. Or, maybe a manager is in such tremendous need of candidates that he recognizes this deficiency and immediately calls or emails new applicants. However, because many hourly workers tend to fill positions that aren’t necessarily accompanied by a desktop computer or an office landline, their tendency is to communicate via text rather than voice mail or email.

If a job seeker doesn’t recognize a general manager’s incoming phone number, chances are she’ll avoid taking the call–meanwhile, if she has applied to multiple hourly positions, a savvy competitor is grabbing her attention and her time via text before she checks her inbox.

Standardizing communication and respecting candidate privacy

In the absence of a strong hiring software platform that allows managers to contact job candidates via text message, many managers of hourly workers will resort to their own smartphone to contact applicants to connect for an interview.

This is commonplace; however, it isn’t in the best interest of the employer. In many cases, these applicants were not prompted to opt-in to receiving text messages during the job application process–why would they if the applicant tracking system didn’t support text messaging?

Not only is this a privacy concern as it does not allow job candidates to formally opt-out of text messages once they are initiated, but practically speaking, candidates won’t necessarily be on the lookout for text communication from your organization.

Arguably, they will probably quickly adapt given that texting is second nature to many of them, but your organization is missing an opportunity to set expectations about the hiring process and endear itself to candidates…candidates who are in hot demand.

Moreover, when general managers take texting candidates into their own hands outside of an ATS, there is no guarantee of adequate communication documentation with the job applicant. By utilizing applicant tracking software that includes in-application texting functionality, an employer is ensuring that multiple users of the system have access to review communication between candidates.

After all, in this highly competitive recruiting landscape, recruiters have full plates and may be called to work on different job requisitions if a co-worker is on vacation, on leave, etc. What you don’t want is for only one person in your organization to have access to candidate conversations–that’s a significant obstacle for a scaling company.

Why is mobile recruiting an opportunity for hourly jobs in particular?

Hourly workers are often the front-line defense (or offense) for your organization. They are the individuals who are most likely to interact directly with your customers. And, unfortunately, they are often in the positions with the highest turnover–whether that is related to the nature of the job, the typical lower pay (relative to exempt positions), and/or the lack of benefits (at least in the case of part-time hourly employees). In a job market flooded with open positions, candidates will leave for a few cents more per hour.

You see this happen in positions like

  • hosts and servers at your local restaurant,
  • cashiers at your retail store,
  • LPNs at your healthcare facility,
  • service techs at your automotive dealership, and
  • direct support professionals (DSPs) for nonprofits.

People who fill these types of positions tend to be on the go (i.e. not doing a desk job) and may have more than one part-time job at a time. They don’t get into email or voice mail as frequently (if at all), and so they need fewer barriers to communication when it comes to job consideration, as well as long-term engagement with an employer.

Considering that over 58% of America’s working population fills hourly positions (BLS, 2017), there’s real opportunity to leverage texting to be the first to attract and engage hourly job candidates. I’m offering the following steps to help you position your organization as an earlier adopter of the mobile recruiting revolution.

6 steps to successfully use texting to hire hourly workers

1 – Create communication efficiency

Use pre-built text message templates within your applicant tracking system. Create and label them for different stages in the selection process for hourly workers. This saves store managers time when they need to hire three new retail associates–“yesterday!”

2 – Model the right texting behavior

Train your hiring managers on appropriate texting etiquette for your recruiting process. Does the language they use and the tone they convey support your overall employment brand? Additionally, make sure they understand how text messages will show up to the job candidate.

An easy way to accomplish this is to test the messaging feature from within a sample job application. Then, take a screenshot of how it appears to a recipient on your phone and share it with managers. This step will help them understand from what number(s) messages may originate, whether the sender’s name, job title and/or organization name are referenced, and how much of the message will appear on the preview screen before being cut off.

3 – Lightning fast speed

Use text to reply promptly to candidates once they’ve responded to your initial outreach. Don’t make the mistake of resting on your laurels once you have native texting functionality and take your sweet time to reply–jump on message responses!

Remember: texting affords job candidates fewer communication barriers to entry, so they expect organizations to respond quickly, too.

4 – Strategically plan text content

You should absolutely use text to reach all types of job candidates to screen and schedule interviews. However, text messages also present an opportunity–when used thoughtfully and selectively–to reach candidates who are on the fence about joining your organization.

Consider the potential impact of a personalized message sharing a link to a positive article about your company. Or, the likelihood that a hired candidate will end up ghosting you during the pre-boarding phase if you regularly connect with him to prepare him for his first shift.

5 – Flip the script on thank you notes

Use text messages to thank a job candidate for her time and preparation after you conduct an interview. That’s right–once upon a time, we expected job candidates to thank recruiters and hiring managers for their time in order to help them secure an offer–but times are changing!

Thank you notes are still an amazing gesture on the part of a job candidate, but they are no longer a mainstay for job offer consideration in today’s job market given the sorry state of many employers’ candidate pipelines.

Today is about sourcing, not screening. Break through the clutter by proactively thanking candidates with a simple text message and humanize your hiring process.

6 – Hiring process visualization

When candidates know what to expect from the hiring process it

  • helps them visualize how they see themselves interacting with your organization,
  • may allow them to more adequately prepare, and
  • it makes it easier for them to say “yes” when you make the job offer.

You can use text to quickly outline the various hiring process steps at the onset of the recruiting process. Think of this step as reducing friction for distracted job seekers who probably have many options before them. If you can grease their understanding runway regarding your job opportunity–and you can do so quickly–you’ll be the employer who is poaching job candidates from competitors across the street.

Mobile recruiting facilitated by text message communication is here to stay. Armed with the steps outlined above, you’re on the way to engaging the job seekers in your hourly job candidate pipeline and positively impacting your employer’s bottom line.

ExactHire Hiring Software | Text Recruiting

7 Tired Excuses for a Long Job Application

So your customer service representative and retail associate jobs have been posted for weeks on end…but you still don’t have enough applicants to satisfy the general managers at all your retail locations.

What’s a recruiter to do? Maybe you should come to grips with the excuses your organization has been telling itself about why it keeps its lengthy, increasingly-obsolete job application.

You say, “but this application used to be a gold mine – ten years ago we were flooded with job applicants!” Well, ten years ago the recession gave you an employer’s market that made it easy to nurture your “woobie blanket” of an employment application.

It seems obvious that employers should regularly evaluate the effectiveness of their hiring process (and more frequently than once per decade); nonetheless, many organizations don’t put it at the top of the HR priority list…until their candidate pipelines have dwindled to a trickle.

Let’s examine the excuses that keep employers preserving their lengthy job applications.

1 – If they really want the job, they’ll complete it.

Once upon a time, this was more true. And, perhaps it will be sort of true once again as economic factors 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 engages all of the top talent to complete a 52-question job application in a climate where unemployment is so low.

In fact, 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 questions. 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.

2 – It’ll be too much work to screen later.

Recruiters and HR professionals understand that if you ask fewer questions up front in the job application, then you have less information to go by when it comes to screening candidates. You may be concerned that it will take too much time to ask these repositioned questions at the interview stage of the hiring process.

However, your lengthy job application is going to dramatically decrease the number of candidates you will put through your hiring process–so, you may have some free time for extra screening on your hands.

In this market, you must decrease your application complexity because the opportunity cost of a long employment application is more time sourcing more candidates because there isn’t enough talent in the pipeline.

3 – Our application “isn’t that bad.”

You agree that a 50+ question application is ridiculous and are giggling alongside me as you read this blog. Of course we can’t expect reasonable job seekers to waste their time on that fool’s exercise!

But wait, when was the last time you actually pretended to be a job seeker and applied to your own company? Hmmm….

Have you ever counted all the fields and questions in your employer’s job application? Go do it now, I’ll wait.

What’s that you say? There are…28 questions for the cashier job at your store?!?

Test your own job application with regularity–at least once per year, if not more frequently, as you notice significant changes in your application rates.

4 – We don’t have that many mobile job seekers.

Should no one in 2019 say ever. You’re in denial about the massive application abandonment rate you experience with mobile job seekers until the Google Analytics statistic of 70% is staring you in your face. Yes, at ExactHire we’ve seen abandonment that high with prospective employers who have not yet implemented a mobile-friendly, reasonably brief, job application.

Remember, an already lengthy application becomes an absolute beast on mobile and tablet views with smaller screens and ample finger pinching, scrolling and zooming.

By reducing the length of your application to appeal to the mobile job seeker, you also stand to improve your diversity and inclusion efforts. According to Pew Research done in the past 5 years, “black and Hispanic smartphone owners are especially likely to use their phone for job-related activities – more than half (55%) used their phone in the past year to find job information, compared with about a third (37%) of whites.”

5 – HR will yell at me.

You think your job application has to be long because Dolores Umbridge in human resources will stalk you if you deviate from the standard.

While certain industries and organization sizes require specific compliance-related questions, there aren’t so many requirements that your application should be painful to complete.

You should absolutely stick to applicable employment law when it comes to questions related to criminal history, pay history, employment eligibility, required licensure, voluntary self-identification, etc. (it will vary depending on employer size, location, contractor status, and industry).

But, that doesn’t mean you need to collect references on the first step of the application. Remember, your job application helps to form the first impression of your organization…do you want that impression to be one riddled with red tape and inefficiency?

6 – Everyone gets the same job application.

“Well, this is the way we’ve always done it.”

You feel compelled to have every job seeker, regardless of position interest, complete the same, one-size-fits-all application. It feels safe, right?

You can have different job application versions to meet the needs of different job categories and locations. And, our ExactHire applicant tracking software makes it a cinch to customize and manage application templates. After all, not only do questions sometimes vary depending on state, but the knock-out questions that you’d present an hourly worker are probably different than for a white collar executive.

7 – I don’t know which questions to ask at which step.

You’re starting to relent in your desire to preserve your lengthy job application. Fantastic!

Now you must figure out which questions to ask at which stage of the hiring process. First, examine your existing job application and consider questions that you really don’t need to ask in the initial step. Keep only the deal-breaker questions.

Deal-breakers for hourly positions at a retail location may be as simple as evaluating

  • which shifts the candidate may fill,
  • whether the candidate is available to work overtime, and
  • whether the candidate has reliable transportation to and from work.

Don’t be afraid to go to your general managers and ask them for the short list of questions that actually matter when they consider someone for this type of position. Of course, your short list will likely vary quite a bit when considering questions for your general manager positions.

No more excuses for your employment application

Be aware of these seven excuses so you can keep your organization from falling back into the trap of the dreaded, lengthy job application.

By regularly evaluating your application fulfillment rates and testing your own application versions for different job categories, you’ll increase the number of qualified candidates in your recruitment pipeline. You’ll improve your employment brand, too.

Optimize your job application

Schedule a demo of ExactHire to see how you can customize and manage multiple employment application templates to suit different job categories.

Audit Your Recruitment Process Marketing Content to Delight Job Seekers

Use this audit checklist to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of your recruiting process-related content.

I’m not the first one to say that recruiters, human resources professionals and marketing specialists should team up to create content that engages top talent in your recruitment process. However, how many of you have actively engaged in measuring the impact of that HR/marketing “bestie” partnership?

If you don’t have a benchmark from which to grow, your organization will have a tough time figuring out which recruiting content is worth the investment of time and money.

Maximize the effectiveness of your recruiting content with a periodic audit of your hiring process-related promotional assets. Establishing KPIs for content will make it easy to quickly identify existing content gems, as well as guide you in developing additional content that will resonate.

Auditing your recruitment content is as easy as 1-2-3

Let’s examine the audit process and recap with a free recruitment process marketing content scorecard.

1 – Determine your recruitment content audit’s focus

You can’t decide if you’re investing your time and resources to produce recruitment content wisely until you settle on the scope of your audit.

Don’t sweat it if you can’t tackle a comprehensive audit in your first attempt. If you can–great–though it will depend on your recruiting volume and what you’ve previously tackled in terms of content analysis.

It’s okay to segment an otherwise comprehensive audit into smaller sub-audits–just have an overall plan in place for which audit type should be attempted first.

Potential content audit focuses:

  • Employment brand quality: consider whether your recruitment content is well written, and whether it aligns with what you’ve defined as your organizational employment brand.
  • Hiring process stage: analyze whether a specific hiring process stage is addressed in each of your content assets, and if job seeker questions characteristic of that stage are answered by the content.
  • Job board optimization and search engine optimization (SEO): review your job listing rankings on third party job boards and recruitment content performance on external search engines to identify improvements that will create better digital awareness for your employment opportunities.
  • Content compliance: examine whether your content meets any industry- and/or government-related compliance requirements for your organization, including an analysis of your career content’s ability to attract a diverse set of job candidates.

2 – Settle on your audit evaluation factors

Your recruiting content evaluation process will be based on the type of audit you select. The audit factors must be easily measurable and align to your project scope.

Because this audit is a wonderful opportunity to connect the human resources and marketing teams in your company, ask the project champions from each of those departments to determine the ideal recruiting content audit criteria.

If we select a hiring process stage audit as an example, then HR and marketing might jointly evaluate factors like the content’s

  • alignment with overall employment brand,
  • specific hiring stage focus (e.g. awareness, consideration, conversion, retention and advocacy),
  • attempt to answer stage-appropriate job seeker questions,
  • call-to-action for the next step in the hiring process,
  • current distribution and promotion method by stage type, and
  • likelihood of being easily utilized by hiring stage stakeholders

As you prepare for an audit, you should also plan your intended project deliverables. Aside from a quantitative score for each recruitment content asset, deliverables can include other action steps to enhance content quality.

Potential hiring process stage content audit deliverables:

  • Documentation of all current content assets by hiring stage
  • Content gap analysis for certain hiring process stages
  • List of questions that individual content assets should answer at each hiring process stage
  • Action steps for your content library – content to retain, revise, create or expire
  • Template for creating content for each hiring process stage
  • Distribution strategy for each asset based on hiring process stage and content type (e.g. owned media such as your own career site, earned media such as a guest blog placement on an industry website, or paid media such as a sponsored job listing on a job board)

3 – Rank your recruiting process content

After you’ve married the appropriate content criteria with each asset, you’re ready to score your recruitment process content!

Please recognize that some things can be quantitatively evaluated (e.g. how many out of X job seeker questions are answered?) while others are subjective (e.g. does the narrative’s language support our employment brand initiatives?).

Now’s your chance to create your own evaluation form to standardize your existing and future recruitment content.

Need some help designing your employer’s scoring process? ExactHire created this recruitment process content scorecard to help you hit the ground running.


ExactHire Recruitment Process Content Scorecard

Recommendations that resonate

Your audit data is chock full of ideas on where you can start making an immediate impact on your recruitment process marketing. Best of all, it’s backed by a standardized content scorecard.

Use your scorecard analysis to spot trends. Does one aspect of your hiring process consistently fall short? Could others help implement some of the action steps due to their expertise in one stage of the process?

Backed by your audit data, you’re on your way to constructing a high-level recruitment process content strategy that will reinforce your employment brand and help convert more new hires.

9 Employer Strategies That Limit Ghosting

Even if you haven’t already heard the term employee “ghosting,” odds are you have still experienced the workplace trend. What is ghosting and why is it more relevant to your organization than ever?

From existing employees failing to show up for work and disappearing without a trace…to job seekers reneging on an accepted offer when a better one comes in last minute–ghosting occurs when someone you are counting on fails to appear and doesn’t give you any notice.

Why is this trend emerging now? Contributing factors may include a labor shortage, a tight job market, and younger generations’ popular preference for electronic correspondence over face-to-face conflict resolution. Not surprisingly, ghosting affects industries with a large number of hourly workers, but it’s also impacting the white collar worlds of technology firms, business services and healthcare.

Here are nine strategies to help scare off the ghosting trend in your workplace.

1 – Follow the Golden Rule

This is simple, yet worth restating with some regularity nonetheless. I frequently find myself telling my kids to “treat people the way you’d want to be treated.” And, the same goes for employees and applicants. Keep them informed, treat them with respect and be kind. For a long time, many employers got away with ghosting job seekers and interviewees, failing to respond to the messages of final stage candidates or even completely neglecting to decline them at the end of a hiring process.

Make sure your own recruiting tactics don’t include ghosting tendencies…turnabout is fair play! Recruiters can’t get away with the same bad behavior they may have had when unemployment wasn’t at the low that it is right now.

2 – Strategize the counteroffer

Considering that one of the insidious forms in which ghosting takes shape is that the employee doesn’t show up on his first day, you must anticipate job candidates receiving competitive offers–including a counteroffer from an existing employer.

Plan a strategy session with a newly hired employee at the time he accepts the offer and talk through various scenarios. Encourage him to brainstorm with you how he might fend off a counteroffer. Remind him to consider why he originally looked elsewhere and provide a template the candidate may follow to talk through his resignation with an existing employer.

3 – Leverage text recruiting

Since applicants (like the general population) rely on smartphones to screen their calls, in the age of spam robo-callers it is less likely that they will pick up the phone when you call them for the first time to schedule an interview. In my product research calls over the last year, many employers explained that job seekers they try to contact frequently don’t even have their voice mail box set up–or if they do, it’s full.

Make sure your hiring software includes the ability to text with candidates, and more importantly, ensure that incoming text message notifications to your job seekers adequately identify your organization, related job and recruiter name.

4 – Over-communicate with job candidates

Obsess about the communication piece of your employment brand. Counteract a potential eventual lack of communication on the candidate’s part with meticulous communication from the employer throughout the selection process. Job seekers will feel more informed and more engaged to reciprocate communication if they sense the opportunity may not work for them. Here are some specific communication tactics:

  • Set expectations about what the hiring process involves at the very beginning of the process (e.g. number of stages, requirements of each stage, duration of process, etc.).
  • Send updates to job seekers when target dates for various stages get delayed.
  • Invite candidates to share feedback about your process at different steps along the way–whether they are selected for the position or not.
  • Stay connected with silver medal candidates for future consideration. They are a great back-up if the gold medalist ghosts you, and more likely to come through for you in the next position if you keep them engaged in your pipeline through thoughtful messaging.

5 – Be transparent with those who refer candidates

Follow-up with referrers of candidates to thank them for their employee referral, and acknowledge your appreciation for the referral with the job candidate, too. This personal reminder puts pressure on the referred candidate not to let her friend down by ghosting the employer and risk damaging her reputation.

Not only does this practice help mitigate ghosting, but it also increases the likelihood that your existing employees will continue to refer you qualified candidates in the future. Remember–don’t ghost your own employees about referral outcomes when they take time to make a recommendation to you!

6 – Preview the employee onboarding experience

Create content that provides a thorough overview of your employee onboarding process to potential hires. This helps prevent the cognitive dissonance that they may otherwise feel about accepting an offer. If they’re excited about what to expect in their first year, then they’re much more likely to show up on their first day.

Additionally, give final stage interviewees a sneak peak into the employee experience by inviting them to do a job shadow before extending an offer. This simulation illustrates what it’s really like to work for your organization, and encourages candidates to self-select out of the process before you get to the ghosting let-down.

7 – Become a pre-boarding pro

Don’t go radio silent during the all too important pre-boarding process–that time between the accepted employment offer and the start date. This may last from a few hours to a few weeks depending on your organization and job category, but think about how to keep new hires feeling connected during this time.

Reflect on your culture and plan touch points with the new hire that make them feel welcomed to the team. Text a group photo, invite them to lunch before the start date and/or send them a swag bag at home. Ask the new hire to complete a “get to know you” sheet during pre-boarding, and then share info sheets about other employees with the new hire prior to the first day, too. This helps the new hire start to feel like a part of the team before the first day–which will make it harder to abandon the team without explanation.

8 – Flaunt your best attributes

Know your market and then understand which aspects of your compensation and benefits package and/or work schedule are highly attractive. While it is natural to highlight these attributes in detail in an employment offer, it’s a good idea to remind existing employees, too.

To help prevent employees from leaving unexpectedly for greener pastures, create a detailed total rewards summary and discuss it annually with workers to differentiate your unique value proposition from competitors. Make sure the summary highlights any continuous education opportunities, especially, so that employees not only understand their existing assets, but also their potential to improve their knowledge.

9 – Proactively thank candidates

Once upon a time, recruiters gave an edge to the candidates who sent the first thank you message (assuming all else was equal). However, today recruiters who don’t wait around, but rather proactively thank candidates following an interview are less likely to be ghosted. This follow-up is also a trigger for the organization to touch base with job seekers about timing for next steps in the process. And, as we learned in tip #4 above, over communication is a best practice.

It is unlikely that you will completely prevent ghosting despite your attentive efforts; however, the aforementioned tips are a proactive start in dramatically reducing its impact on your company.


6 Ways to Turn Today’s Silver Medal Candidates into Tomorrow’s Gold Medalist Hires

How often have you progressed through the hiring process and ultimately realized that your final two candidates were almost evenly matched–one just slightly nudged out the other for the gold medal employment offer? While it’s great to be in that kind of position as the employer, it can be tough to turn down a talented second choice candidate.

However, these “silver medal candidates” pose a significant opportunity for your company and great care should be taken to continuously engage them. You never know when you may need them to step up to a gold medal platform in your organization.

Have you already had the opportunity to groom silver medal candidates into eventual hires? Or, perhaps you were previously a second choice candidate that was later given the opportunity to finish first for a different role. If so, then you understand that with thoughtful practices in place, your employer can leverage a silver medalist pipeline to edge out competition by sourcing top talent quickly and in a cost effective manner. In this blog, I’ll share six behaviors that you can implement to foster enduring positive relationships with your silver medalist applicants.

1 – Set expectations from the start

So much of the content I write underscores the importance of setting clear expectations in the hiring process–but it’s so true. This critical step begins before you ever know someone will end up as your silver medalist candidate for a role. An expectation that is a part of any respectful hiring process is that the recruiter or hiring manager should tell the candidate

  • the milestones involved with the hiring process,
  • an estimate of process duration, and
  • the method by which the candidate will be informed of his/her status during and at the end of the cycle.

The added bonus of setting expectations well is that this behavior naturally forces accountability. After all, a recruiter who doesn’t follow through with what he says he’ll do is going to damage his reputation, as well as the employment brand of the organization.

2 – Promptly communicate

To reinforce the expectations set at the beginning of the hiring process, employers should communicate with candidates regularly and promptly. Even with multiple job requisitions open and oodles of candidates, there’s no excuse not to touch base with applicants thanks to the communication automation tools that are capable of candidate personalization available in applicant tracking systems.

While it can induce less stress to communicate with candidates earlier in the process, it can be trickier to do so with the final two candidates…particularly if the top pick is reviewing an employment offer you already extended while the silver medalist waits to hear if she is still in contention. If a deadline passes while you wait on an answer from your gold medalist, message the silver medalist to explain that circumstances have changed and that you will touch base with her again in a reasonable amount of time. Then, make sure you do.

Timely communication shows your respect for the candidate, and even if she doesn’t make the cut this time, she’ll remember how you treated her and the resulting word of mouth will more favorably represent your company.

3 – Reject expertly

No one likes delivering bad news, but when there are only two candidates left in your hiring process and they’ve both invested a great deal of time completing employment applications, taking assessments and interviewing, you owe the silver medalist a formal let-down. Call him–don’t just email (or worse yet, an automated email)!

And if that’s hard, make yourself accountable heading into the final phase interview by telling him (in the expectations period, remember?) that he will receive a phone call either way at the end of the process.

Then, also follow up with an email thank you and let him know of your sincere, continued interest in him for future roles within your company. Tell him how to learn about future job postings via your ATS job alert feature, and be honest about how often you might hire for positions that fall into his wheelhouse.

4 – Connect for future follow-up

During the phone call and email thank you, let the candidate know that you’re open to connecting on social media (if you haven’t already) so that you have an easy means of staying in touch with each other in the future. This is a great way for the candidate to be exposed to future career-related content that you may personally post or that is shared from your company social media profiles.

If your organization isn’t likely to be hiring relevant roles anytime soon, offer to help the silver medalist by connecting her with others in your network through virtual introductions.

To help prepare the candidate to go for the gold at the next job opportunity, make her aware of resources that might help her improve her job-related skills or knowledge (e.g. certification study courses, industry-related member associations, etc.).

5 – Nurture candidates with technology tools

Use your applicant tracking software features to designate talented second place finishers as great future candidates for other roles. Use applicant status codes or tags to mark them as “#silver,” for example. Or, better yet, “#futuregold!”

Then, it will be easy to target this group of candidates to share culture- and job-related content with them periodically. Take it a step further and observe how they interact with social media posts and engage in follow-up. Make note of their connectivity in their candidate profile within your hiring software so that future hiring managers and recruiters in your organization have a rich record of not only their potential qualification for other roles, but also their organizational engagement.

6 – Put silver medalists on the fast track

A surefire way to disengage silver medal candidates is to make them reinvent the wheel to apply to future roles that interest them. Consider that they’ve already gone through your entire selection process, so there must be opportunities to put them on the fast track for certain roles.

If you proactively source them for a new position, do the equivalent of giving them a “bye” in your recruiting tournament and start them at a later stage in the hiring process. The one exception to this may be if your organization/industry must adhere to certain compliance requirements that necessitate each individual experiencing every stage for a position.

Nevertheless, your applicant tracking system should make it easy for them to optionally pull forward previous resumes and standard application questions, while giving them the opportunity to answer job-related questions that are unique to the new role for which they are applying.

If they previously took an employee assessment that you use for many job categories, then there’s no need for them to retake it. And, especially if they are interviewing for a similar position the second time around–and you specifically invited them to apply–consider taking an informal approach with a coffee conversation to gauge the candidate’s interest, and to find out what’s new as it relates to the position and their career.


With proper grooming of silver medalist candidates, it will cost fewer staff hours to assess and hire the best candidates for the position because they will already be ready to go in your talent pipeline.

Choose Right HR Software | ExactHire

Reject With Respect: How to Decline Job Candidates

One of the less glamorous tasks in recruiting and human resources is the responsibility to decline a job candidate when he isn’t the best individual for a role. While it’s not easy or fun, it can and should be done with efficiency, professionalism and respect. After all, if you were in the candidate’s shoes, you’d want to know the final decision on your potential employment status with the organization.

Unfortunately, many employers procrastinate on or even skip this essential candidate communication due to apathy, a lack of organization and/or a poor system for managing candidate follow-up during the hiring process. Not only does this damage the company’s employment brand (and likely the consumer brand), but it also impedes its ability to source a sufficiently stocked candidate pipeline in the future. In fact, according to The Candidate Experience Study (WorkplaceTrends), candidates are 3.5 times more likely to re-apply to a company if they were notified when declined for a previous position.

Put yourself in a position to professionally decline candidates by forming your candidate rejection strategies before you find yourself in the moment. Craft email template options, brainstorm bullet points for phone scripts and role play a “no thanks” conversation with a coworker. In this blog, I’ll share ten employment brand-friendly strategies for passing on job candidates.

1 – Set yourself up for success by setting expectations

I’m a huge believer in setting hiring process expectations with candidates so they understand

  • how long it may take to fill the job,
  • how many stages are involved,
  • whether they will receive an answer on their candidacy regardless of decision made, and
  • in which format the answer will be sent.

The desirable impact of this habit is that it forces you–as a recruiter or hiring manager–to stay accountable to telling candidates when they aren’t selected. You wouldn’t want to go back on your word and damage your professional reputation (or that of your organization) by dropping the ball.

2 – Personalize follow-up by hiring stage

Applicant tracking systems make it easy to personalize fields such as name, job title and company in email templates, and employers should create templates for each stage a candidate navigates during the hiring process. For example, while I rely on automated personalization in emails sent to candidates that don’t progress past the application, I make a personal phone call to a silver medal candidate who finished second after the final interview.

However, there are many nuanced approaches that fall in between those opposite ends of the hiring process. I explore them in the following sections.

3 – It’s not never, just not now

How many times have you interviewed a sharp candidate for a specific position who didn’t have the same amount of experience as the individual who finished first? Or, perhaps the personality of the silver (or even bronze) medal candidate wouldn’t have been the perfect match with the hiring manager involved?

There are situations when you really believe in the potential for the rejected candidate to do something at your organization in the future–the timing just isn’t right now. Don’t lose track of these individuals. Instead, engage them in a targeted campaign for future job opportunities, invite them to subscribe to your future job alerts and send them a thank you email with links to follow you on social and read your corporate blog.

4 – We’d love to leverage your strengths elsewhere

I’ve sourced candidates for many sales positions and I always encounter candidates from a wide variety of sales specializations. Some are amazing new client hunters, others excel at managing and nurturing an existing client base, and some would be better suited to driving client acquisition behind the scenes by developing lead acquisition techniques.

When I find a talented individual with the wrong specialization for my current role, I do my best to reroute her to an opportunity that better aligns with her strengths. If your organization is large enough, that may be as easy as inviting her to apply to other roles internally, or making it simple for the candidate by teeing up an introduction to another hiring manager.

If you’re not currently hiring for any other relevant roles, then tag that candidate for future consideration for other job categories with a meaningful status in your applicant tracking software. Then, periodically touch base with her to let her know she is of continued interest to your organization.

5 – You have potential, keep at it

When you encounter an inexperienced candidate with a long runway of potential future performance, invest in a targeted communication approach with that individual. Tag that candidate to receive communications about

  • how to prepare for your hiring process,
  • the skills and education you require in various job categories,
  • opportunities for internships and temp-to-hire roles, and
  • future hiring events such as open houses and career fairs where your organization will be represented.

Relative to the other strategies listed here, this tactic is a slow simmer; however, six months to two years down the road that greenhorn candidate may have professionally matured into the best option for your future job listing. Plus, the opportunity cost of nurturing her via email and social over time is usually far exceeded by the short-term costs of paid job board listings and external recruiter fees.

6 – Can I help connect you?

Sometimes the final group of candidates for a position are in a neck-to-neck race to the employment offer. While almost negligible differences may separate their final qualification for a position (e.g. the recommendation of a colleague, a slight difference in pay expectations, their availability to start by a certain day), there’s only one first place finisher.

Don’t lose sight of your opportunity to not only engage those not selected in future opportunities with your organization, but also your privilege to help connect them with your network in the hopes they may land something spectacular elsewhere. This could be as simple as an invitation from you to connect on LinkedIn so that you may facilitate introductions between them and your friends at other organizations.

I’ve employed this approach successfully in my own career when I wasn’t the final choice for an available position. In fact, I’ve sourced new clients as a result of the relationship I maintained with an employer despite being its silver medal candidate for a position. You never know when your path may intersect with an organization again.

7 – Circumstances have changed

Perhaps more frustrating than not finishing first is the feeling a candidate experiences when an employer decides not to fill an open position. After all, the candidate has already invested the time and energy in applying, interviewing and waiting only to not find out whether he was ever qualified to be selected!

While some employers will send a communication to candidates when circumstances prevent the company from filling the position, many have the opportunity to improve that message by commenting on whether the candidate should pursue the position should it become available once again. If a candidate was not a fit for the role even though the role wasn’t filled, be respectful of that candidate’s future time by thanking him for his interest and encouraging him to either develop himself more in specific areas or pursue different avenues in the future.

8 – Thank you with a parting gift

If you feel like parting ways with a job candidate isn’t the sweet sorrow you were seeking, then offer a consolation prize. NOTE: This isn’t for everyone and should be approached with a delicate analysis of the candidate audience relative to your consumer brand. However, particularly if you are a retail brand sourcing part-time positions for various locations, a parting discount or coupon can sweeten the sting of rejection.

For example, as long as I was communicated to and treated with respect during the hiring process, a thoughtful decline note that asks me to keep an eye on future positions and includes a coupon could prompt future job applications from me. In the hourly, part-time employment world, five dollars off my next pizza would encourage my continued patronage of a retail brand I probably already enjoy.

9 – What can we do better?

When we recruit in a vacuum, we can’t expect to improve our process or our hiring outcomes. Therefore, choice employers incorporate a continuous feedback loop into their recruiting workflow by surveying their job candidates.

The key to success with this approach is to customize the feedback request based on both the status and stage of the candidate. After all, an applicant rejected after an initial phone screen will have a different scope of experience than the final candidate who receives the employment offer.

Take action on the nuggets of wisdom uncovered in candidate surveys by stage and produce content that explains how you’ve improved the hiring process. And, because you’ve stayed in contact with previously declined candidates based on strategies mentioned earlier, your future conversion of these boomerang candidates will certainly improve.

10 – A reverence for referred candidates

In the same way that employers have a responsibility to follow-up with all candidates to preserve their employment brand, employers have a duty to follow-up with existing employees who refer candidates. While the explicit details of the employment decision may not be appropriate to share with the referring employee, a general comment about the candidate’s status in the hiring process will always be appreciated.

In addition to sending a sincere thank you to the employee, providing closure about the status of the referral will help ensure that employees continue to make an effort to promote your organization within their networks.


The communication strategy you employ within your hiring process is critically important to the long-term success of your organization. Keeping people respectfully informed of their candidate status will go a long way toward populating your talent pipeline in the future.

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How to Use Video to Engage Applicants and Employees

There’s no denying the appeal of video. When I’m doing research for a home project, planning a purchase or trying to teach myself how to play a new board game, I prefer to watch an engaging video rather than read through text or scan images. Not surprisingly, many job seekers have the same preference as they research and engage with potential employers to determine which will suit their career aspirations.

How can employers use video in the hiring process and throughout the employment lifecycle to entice job seekers to consider a position? How can video engage employees to remain employed? Consider the following tips to leverage the strengths of video throughout your employment experience.


Employee testimonials

Identify your true employment brand ambassadors and invite them to produce testimonials for your career site. Ask them to speak about the invigorating challenge of their work and the unique, tangible and intrinsic benefits that your organization offers to employees. Most of all, make sure they convey the specific reasons they choose to work for your organization.

Job description overview

A key aspect of successful candidate recruitment is not only selecting the right individual for the company, but also allowing job seekers to understand what they are getting into when it comes to job responsibilities.

Create a video that summarizes the key responsibilities of a position, but then go a step further and discuss what job success looks like for a new hire at three months, six months and one year of employment. These career opportunity digital assets are excellent content resources to share on company social media channels, too.

If you use an applicant tracking system to manage your recruitment process, you may already have access to easily embed videos into job descriptions and share them with third party job boards. Other ideas for video overviews include having a top ten list of reasons to work in a specific role for your company; or, a short segment on what to expect from the hiring and selection process. For example, will the candidate be asked to take any assessments and how many interview stages are involved–and with which company staff members?

Here’s an example of how ExactHire used video in the hiring process when we were looking for web developers. Make sure that the tone and style of your video aligns with your organizational culture. For us, quirky is appropriate!

You could even automate a video email that outlines next steps to send to the candidate after applying online.


Candidate communication

Remember that the quality of your organization’s candidate communication is being closely evaluated by job seekers. It is the first impression that will indicate how responsive and communicative the employer will likely be once a candidate is hired as an employee–it’s the perception of job seekers (and, in my experience, often the truth).

Make applicant correspondence personal by using video email to invite applicants to progress in your hiring process. If you enjoy a remote work culture, using video to facilitate interviewing is critical in moving the selection process along quickly enough that you don’t lose qualified candidates to other offers.

Even if your office isn’t full of telecommuters, if you involve multiple employees in group interviews, video conference calls can open up additional calendar slots by eliminating the need for stakeholders to buffer schedules for commute time.

Closing the deal

In this competitive market, your top candidate will often have another offer when they are considering a position with you. While compensation, benefits, and role will heavily influence the candidate’s choice, you can use personalized video messages to encourage the candidate to join your team and share examples of how your employees embody organizational culture.

Consider sending a team video highlighting a recent company potluck, holiday event or fun competition. You could even send a personalized video email from the CEO to let the candidate know that leadership is excited to invite them on board. Make sure the candidate understands that by accepting an offer with your organization, he or she could enjoy these same moments with co-workers who care, too. It is these seemingly little gestures that often make or break the deal when another offer is on the table.


While many organizations pull out all the stops to woo candidates during the interviewing process, unfortunately too many then fail to keep the momentum going with frequent connections with new hires during the pre-boarding phase. Pre-boarding is comprised of the time period between when the candidate accepts an employment offer and experiences his first day on the job.

Office orientation

Even if you previously gave an interviewee an office tour, sharing a virtual video office tour helps incoming new hires orient themselves with the location of various office items before they experience their first day. Check out MOBI’s compelling virtual tour of their headquarters building:

Setting expectations

To minimize new hire jitters for your new teammates, create videos to help identify what the new employee can expect in her first week of employment. Preview the types of activities she’ll be experiencing and consider inviting mentors or other people with whom the new hire will be meeting to have a segment in the video. Other discussion points might include information about

  • dress code,
  • location of bathrooms and gym,
  • availability of office snacks,
  • beverages and the location of the kitchen, and
  • an overview of the types and frequency of company and department meetings that occur throughout a month.

Make sure that the new hire’s supervisor engages with him during the pre-boarding phase as well. While a phone call or interactive video conference is great in this scenario, if schedules make connecting difficult then a thoughtful video welcome message from the hiring manager can serve as an attractive alternative. Leveraging video during pre-boarding may help to reduce the likelihood of new hire ghosting!


Once your new hires officially begin work, make sure that their employee onboarding experience excites them and prepares them to be productive as soon as possible. Effective employee onboarding involves activities that introduce new hires to teammates and the organization, allow them to become familiar with the resources they’ll need to do the job, and further set expectations about performance and pace.


To support these activities, offer videos that help train new hires on organizational procedures and teach them how to use different tools necessary for their role. If you use employee onboarding software to automate your onboarding workflow, then use the platform to create employee tasks that prompt new hires to watch these videos at the appropriate time during their onboarding phase.

Video is also a great way to facilitate introductions between new hires and remote workers when an in-person “nice to meet you” isn’t practical.

Employee Engagement

Daily connections

Speaking of remote workers, my organization is quite remote friendly and therefore we have to be intentional about creating opportunities for employees to regularly connect with one another. While we used to rely heavily on email and instant messaging tools to catch up on a daily basis, in the past year we’ve started regularly doing video calls with one another for daily “stand-up” meetings in various departments. Even though these meetings often last only five minutes, the chance to make eye contact with your peers and sneak in some “water cooler” type talk has been an important enhancement to our remote work culture.

Open window

Some of our departments take video calling a step further and have weekly “open window” time when they all log in to a video chat for an hour to simulate what it would be like to sit in cubicles next to each other. They use the time to catch up, but sometimes they just work silently until someone has a comment or inquiry.


While the hope is that employees will be successful and engaged for an extended period of time with your organization, the reality is that circumstances sometimes call for offboarding employees. Whether it is a voluntary or involuntary termination, there are opportunities to positively support your employment brand based on how you approach the situation.


In the case of someone who has resigned, solicit teammates to put together a best wishes video to send off your departing employee knowing that he was truly valued. After all, you never know if you’ll have the opportunity for a boomerang employment situation in which the person returns to work in your organization at some point in the future.


In the event that the employment separation isn’t voluntary, a video message to existing department members can be an effective means to properly communicate the tone of the situation and assure existing employees that everything will be okay despite the seemingly sudden departure of another employee. This approach is preferable over a static email in which tone can be interpreted inconsistently by various recipients.

Video: An Employee Engagement Tool

These are just a few tips for using video in your hiring process and for employee engagement. Experiment with different video themes for your own organizational processes.

Your culture, core values and current business opportunities will guide you in a direction that aligns with the interests of your applicants and employees.

This content was originally published on Covideo’s Blog.

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