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What Should a New Employee Do for the First Week?

Are you interested in increasing new hire retention by 50 percent? How about boosting your team’s productivity by 62 percent? Then, you need a solid onboarding plan. One study found that companies with an effective onboarding plan retained 91 percent of their first-year hires. And those that just wing it when it comes to onboarding? Their new hire retention rate is an abysmal 50 percent.

Now that you know how much is riding on your new employee onboarding process, how do you go about designing the most effective onboarding plan? While the best onboarding plans extend to the new hire’s first anniversary, it’s your employee’s first week that will make or break the effectiveness of your onboarding plan.

Welcoming New Employees During the First Week

Onboarding provides new hires with the support, encouragement and foundation they need to become successful, long-term employees. The first week of onboarding, when excited new hires are most vulnerable to second-guessing their decision, plays a pivotal role in the success of your onboarding process.

According to The Work Institute’s 2021 Retention Report, the average quit rate among new hires during their first year is about 34 percent. One study found that 40 percent of new hire turnover happens within the first month. So, the first week is all about reassuring the new hire that he or she made the right choice.

Several factors help determine employee longevity. Clear expectations, meaningful work and great friendships are just a few of the reasons good employees decide to stay at their jobs. Making meaningful efforts to engage your new hire on these points during their first week will dispel any lingering doubts they may have about you as an employer.

On the other hand, leaving new hires to fend for themselves will increase their apprehension. The more your employee is left questioning the basics, such as where to park or what she should do next, the more she will feel like an outsider. Instead of integrating with the team, she’ll be scouring the job sites with her cell phone while eating lunch alone.

New Employee First Day Agenda

The first day at a new job isn’t unlike the first day of school. We all remember that mix of nervousness and excitement when you desperately want something to go well but you’re not sure that it will. Your paperwork and training are important. But even more important is ensuring that when your new hire goes home and is asked by his friends and family how his first day went, he can answer with a resounding “Great!”

Before New Employee’s First Day

Your new employee first day checklist sets the stage for your new hire’s great first day long before you greet him at the door. A series of emails to welcome your new employee before her first day eases first-day jitters. Emailing the following information will help your new hire prepare for his first day:

  • Links to digitized new employee forms for 2022 and policy documents. Provide these links several days before the new hire’s start date.
  • An organizational chart and bios of team members, if available. Invite the new hire to write a brief bio as a way of introduction. Or create a “Get to Know You” questionnaire.
  • Basic information, such as parking, possible road construction, and dress attire.
  • Let him know who his first point of contact will be and also that he will be eating lunch with the team. Be clear about whether the company will provide his lunch.
  • An email of introduction and welcome from the new hire’s supervisor and others on the leadership team. An email from the CEO will help the new hire connect his role to the company’s mission.

Basics of a New Employee’s First Day

When your new hire arrives for her first day of work, the following strategies will help her feel welcomed and integrate more quickly in her role and within the team.

  • Make sure her workstation is fully set up, with all the tools and network access her role requires.
  • Make sure her point of contact introduces her to the team before leaving her.
  • Provide her with tasks. New employees need to be told what to do. You can set her up with training modules or assign her to shadow a fellow employee for the day. Just make sure she has something to do.
  • Plan a team welcome lunch for the new employees to set the stage for collaboration and friendship.

New Employee Checklist Template for the First Week

Your new employee first week schedule template needs to accomplish a few objectives during the first to help ensure your new hire will go on to become a successful long-term employee. These objectives are related to the Four C’s of onboarding: compliance, clarification, culture, and connection.

Compliance deals with the documents required for the new employee as well as the necessary safety and anti-discrimination training. Clarification means the new hire understands her new role and how it connects to the company’s mission. Culture loosely refers to the company’s values and how those values translate into its daily operations. Connection refers to the emotional bonds and friendships your new hire will form with her colleagues and the company.

We like to suggest a fifth C: check-in. It’s important to periodically assess how things are going. During check-ins, the feedback the employee provides is just as important as the feedback she receives.

Below is a new hire schedule template for the first week to help you cover all five C’s.

New Hire Checklist Template Before the First Day:

  • Send a series of welcome emails to your new hire.
  • Have new hires fill out digitized paperwork.
  • Set up a workstation with necessary tools, devices and access.
  • Make sure IT sets up all necessary accounts and logins.

New Employee First Day Agenda Template:

  • Make a new employee announcement on the company’s intranet and social media pages.
  • Introduce the new hire to the team and supervisor(s).
  • Provide a tour along with interdepartmental introductions.
  • Introduce the new hire to the executive leadership team, who can then share words of advice for the new employees.
  • Provide a team lunch.
  • Give the new hire a prepared set of tasks.
  • Assign a peer mentor to assist the new hire.
  • During the first week:
  • Send the new hire to work for a day in different departments to help him understand how his role connects throughout the company.
  • Schedule lunch for the new hire with the peer mentor.
  • Schedule a one-on-one meeting with the new hire’s supervisor to help her gain clarification on the role.
  • Assign training modules to the new hire.
  • Give the new hire a “real” work-related project to demonstrate your confidence in his abilities. Make sure it’s a project he can accomplish with his current company knowledge.
  • Give the new hire a list of coworkers he can contact regarding various issues, such IT or HR related questions.
  • Schedule an orientation during which the new hire learns about the company’s history, mission, values and future direction.
  • Schedule an end-of-the-week check-in to answer any lingering questions or concerns.

Design an Onboarding Day by Day Plan

Providing the best onboarding experience for new hires will improve your employee retention.

Your new employee’s first week is pivotal to your onboarding plan. Anxiety and lingering doubts threaten your new hire’s long-term success. By designing a first week onboarding plan, day by day, you can welcome your new employee to the team and increase his engagement and productivity.

Your first week onboarding plan begins long before you greet your new hire on her first day. By sending out informative and welcoming emails, as well as ensuring her workstation is complete prior to her start date, you help ease her anxieties surrounding a significant life change.

Then, by organizing onboarding first day ideas in which she is enthusiastically welcomed to the team and immediately assigned tasks, you reassure her that her new role is meaningful to the organization. Finally, by creating daily onboarding activities to orient your new hire to the company’s culture, mission and values, you lay the groundwork that will boost your new hire retention rate. And always remember to include opportunities for onboarding experience feedback and answers to questions.

ExactHire’s employee onboarding software, OnboardCentric, can help you create an effective, streamlined and consistent onboarding process for new employees. Take the hassle out of coordinating the moving parts of your onboarding plan digitized paperwork, reminders and more. Schedule your free demo today to find out how ExactHire’s OnboardCentric can increase your new hire retention.

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

Job Posting Struggles? 40 Tips to Streamline Your Job Posting Efforts

What’s the trouble with job posting?

Sometimes, life can only be understood through an 80’s cult classic. Remember Gremlins? All those fiendish little imps devolved from a single sweet and cuddly creature.

The role of HR is much like the movie…stay with me. An HR professional’s responsibilities once centered around advocating for employees in a corporate climate bent on profits. Luckily, many companies came around to the idea that their human capital is their most valuable asset. But with that realization, the HR department’s roles multiplied.

Take job posting, for example. From navigating legions of job sites to promoting your employer brand, even posting entry-level job ads can be a pain in the neck. We’ve got you covered with the following 40 tips to streamline your job posting efforts.

How to Write an Optimized Job Posting

Your job posting has to accomplish quite a bit. It needs to be clear, yet appealing. Optimized for search engines, yet written for humans. Your job description must also communicate your culture and employer brand. As powerful tools for your diversity goals, job postings must reflect your company’s awareness of marginalized groups and inclusion efforts.

Preparation Is Key to Writing a Job Ad

Before you set pen to paper, use these following tips:

  1. Meet with team leaders to update the job description.
  2. Identify the core characteristics of your ideal applicant. Note, focus on values rather than experience or educational requirements, e.g., independent worker or team player, etc.
  3. Now identify the minimum experience and educational requirements for the role. Puffing up your requirements just to avoid sifting through too many applications often has the unintended effect of discouraging marginalized groups from applying. Below, we have tips to help candidates self-qualify to prevent an influx of junk resumes.

How to Write a Job Ad to Attract the Best Candidates

  1. Write a job description that appeals to the qualities you identified in your ideal candidate in step 2. Check out this job ad from Taco Bell that appeals to their ideal employee, while also encouraging others to just keep scrolling.
  2. Include the salary range. The transparency reflects well on your employer brand. You’ll help candidates self-qualify. And including salary ranges helps fight the wage gap for women and minorities.
  3. Purge these terms from your vocabulary: superstar, rock star, anything ninja. These terms are dated and really do nothing to help you connect with the right candidate.
  4. Highlight the benefits of working at your company, from actual benefits to work environment.
  5. Use gender-neutral words.

How to Write a Job Posting Optimized for the Search Engines

  1. Use a clear job title. Don’t create a job title that reads “Receptionist/Administrative Assistant.” Doing so confuses the Google job search engine. Instead use one and sprinkle the other one in the job description.
  2. Search for the job title on the top job sites, such as a Glassdoor job posting. Count how many times the keyword is used in the job description for the top results, not counting the sponsored ads that appear first. Aim to use the keyword at least that many times.
  3. Include the location in both the location field and within the job description.
  4. Pro tip: ExactHire ATS optimizes job postings for you in many way.

Tips for Posting to a Job Board

With countless niche job boards, paid job boards and options for sponsored job postings, keeping it all organized can be a chore. These tips will help tame the digital clutter.

  1. Create a secured document or spreadsheet with links to job sites and your company’s login. You’ll have a quick reference for yourself and also a means to delegate the posting of some jobs.
  2. Group your list of the job sites you use with all open positions at the top. Then create separate groups according to job type, such as paid sites for management positions or niche sites for welding positions.

Creative Job Ad Examples

If you’re still itching to post a job ad for a superstar, we have some tips to help you get creative using the best job posting examples.

  1. Focus on how the role improves the world, even in a seemingly small role. For an online job board example, everyone has experienced a rude or incompetent customer service representative. Turn that experience into a job ad in which the candidate can “be the change he or she wants to see in the world” by speaking to that universal experience.
  2. Take a picture of your team having fun. Then post it and your job ad to your social channel–consider looking at your competitors for other social job posting examples.
  3. Create a humorous compilation of the non-awesome qualities you typically see, and write a job ad that calls out the slackers. Just one of the many job board examples using this technique, a job ad for a server read, “Please do not apply if you need nights off because your band has a gig.”
  4. You can flip the humor around and write creative job ad examples that are really, really honest about why your place of work is awesome. Another server ad read, “looking for someone well-versed in the subtle art of sarcasm.”
  5. Create a video on your branded careers page, but don’t be generic to avoid being the butt of the joke in this recruitment video by Fiverr.

Job Board Posting Software

Don’t have a branded careers site? Oh… yikes. That’s too bad because a branded careers site can do some heavy lifting in your recruiting efforts. It can be the place all the job sites send your candidates, where they can fill out an application or view other open positions at your company. Your branded careers sites can also showcase your company’s culture and highlight your employer brand.

A branded careers site is just one advantage of using applicant tracking software (ATS). An ATS is job board posting software that can help you streamline your job posting efforts and help in other ways too, like:

  1. Post to multiple job boards and social media with just one click. An ATS will remember all your favorite job sites and their passwords.
  2. Access a dashboard that analyzes job ad performance across sites on a single screen. Stop wasting time and money on job sites that don’t perform for your company.
  3. Receive recommendations, tailored to your company, for sponsored job posting and programmatic job advertising. Take the expensive guesswork out of paying for job ads.
  4. Increase candidate conversion with mobile everything. Text messaging, QR codes, or even applying with a phone number, going mobile will streamline your recruiting efforts.
  5. Organize your job candidates. An ATS will sort applicants and push the best to the top of the list.
  6. Master compliance reporting. An ATS will also track all the applicant details and create reports to help you stay compliant.
  7. Use an online employment application linked from your branded careers site (hey, it’s worth repeating).

Tips for Top Job Posting Sites

Most applicants go to top job posting sites Indeed, LinkedIn or Google for Jobs. These tips will help you reach them.

  1. Claim your company page on Indeed, perhaps the best job posting site for employers. This is where former employees and interviewees can leave reviews for your company.
  2. Take advantage of LinkedIn’s premium membership to scout out the best passive candidates and send them an Inmail.
  3. Stagger your job postings across sites to remain on page one of Google for Jobs Search. Google’s job post schema is a search engine that pulls together listings across job sites.
  4. Make sure your company’s LinkedIn page is updated.
  5. Make sure the personal profile of whomever is named as the contact in your job ad is updated in LinkedIn.
  6. Join LinkedIn groups where your ideal candidates are.

Tips to Find Free Job Posting Sites

Recruiting isn’t cheap. SHRM estimates it takes six to nine months of a position’s salary to recruit and onboard a new hire. Save some money using these tips for finding free job posting sites.

  1. Start with LinkedIn and Indeed, both are top job search sites and have options to post jobs for free.
  2. Edit the HTML of your job posting on your website to integrate with Google for Jobs API. Hint: Your ATS provider will do this for you.
  3. Handshake is a free platform to help employers connect with college students at hundreds of schools.
  4. If you’re one of the thousands of companies going remote, check out Hubstaff Talent, a free job board for remote job listings.
  5. Check out local institutions and niche job boards. Universities, high schools, and state employment sites often offer options to post a job for free online.
  6. Post jobs for free on Craigslist.
  7. Use Monster for free job posting.

Final Tip

Posting job ads can be a bit chaotic. And if you don’t do it right, you risk keeping that chair empty longer than necessary. These tips will help you tame the chaos and organize your job posting efforts. We have one tip that cut the work in half. You ready?

  1. Use an ATS.

Really. It’s the best way to organize and track your job posting efforts. When you use an ATS, you do more than tame the job posting gremlin. You elevate your efforts by harnessing the data that will shorten the time it takes to fill your empty positions.

Ready to learn more? Sign up for a demo of ExactHire today.

 

 

Photo by Prateek Katyal on Unsplash

Can an ATS Really Help You Find Your Next Candidate?

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

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

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

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

An ATS Can Make Your Branded Careers Site Do More

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

Why is a branded careers page important?

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

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

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

Applicant Tracking System Makes Applying to Your Job Opening Easier

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

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

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

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

Text message? Phone call? Email?

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

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

Use an ATS to Craft an Organized, Seamless Candidate Experience

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

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

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

Keep the Positive Candidate Experience Going by Building a Talent Pool

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo by João Ferrão on Unsplash

How Do I Find Blue Collar Employees?

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

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

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

Blue Collar Meaning

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

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

Bias Surrounding Different Types of Collar Jobs

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

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

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

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

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

Increasing Blue Collar Jobs Training

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

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

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

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

Finding Blue-Collar Employees

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

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

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

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

  •       Skilled Trades
  •       Apprentice
  •       Manufacturing
  •       Operator
  •       CDL

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

Hiring for Blue-Collar Jobs

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

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

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

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

Photo by Jason Richard on Unsplash

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

Hiring Former Offenders

Help Wanted! Now Hiring! Sign On Bonus to Work! Those attention grabbing, highly colorful signs are everywhere on windows, billboards, and yard signage. Look on social media or pick up a newspaper – more “Help Wanted” content. Go to the primary source for job openings – online job boards encompass an endless list of companies who are hiring for all levels of roles.

It’s never been more clear. Companies need employees now, and if companies do not meet their staffing needs to operate, doors will close—maybe permanently. So what can companies do to find more employees?

Pandemic Job Market

The pandemic has brought many challenges to the nature of the hiring process. Competition for employees is fierce with organizations scrambling to find additional perks to recruit, and even retain, employees. Good insurance and vacation time won’t cut it anymore; people are seeking flexibility and remote options because many need to be caregivers or provide support to children who are e-learning.

Additionally, there are many factors that affect the ability and willingness of individuals to work. Government funding plays a role along with concerns of physical and mental health due to COVID-19. Ultimately, in discussions with fellow HR colleagues, the consistent concern of finding available employees is reiterated. Where can organizations find potential candidates to fill their vacancies?

Hiring Former Offenders

After listening to an inspirational presentation delivered by Alice Marie Johnson at the HR Indiana Conference a few weeks ago, a solution for many organizations is readily available and has been in the forefront for awhile. To fill vacancies, it is time for organizations to take a clearer look at the former offender population.

First, a little about Ms. Johnson…Alice Marie Johnson was pardoned in 2020 after spending over 21 years in federal prison for her first and only conviction in a nonviolent drug case. She has been instrumental in criminal justice reform and helping former offenders become self-sufficient upon release. Ms. Johnson provided testimonials from multiple former offenders who simply want a chance to prove themselves to employers, their own families and even to themselves.

USA Today also provided statistics that we need to examine. More than 70 million Americans – that’s nearly 1 in 3 adults – have a criminal record. Those adults have families also so nearly 1 in 2 children have at least one parent with a criminal record.

A Brookings report published in March 2018 found that 45% of those released from prison did not have any reported pay in the first calendar year after they returned home. If a person cannot support oneself or their family, that affects the likelihood of recidivism. Earning a living wage to support oneself and family through employment can reduce the likelihood of committing future offenses and break the cycle of incarceration and poverty.

Justice Involved Hiring

As a country, we need economic stability, especially now in an unstable global market. A study released by the Center of Economic and Policy Research in 2016 found that the economy loses out on roughly 2 million workers and approximately $80 million in gross domestic product (GDP) by not hiring justice involved job seekers. That was in 2016, so take into account five years and the influence of a global pandemic, and those numbers have grown.

To help former offenders find more options to acclimate into life outside of prison and re-enter the workforce, the federal government passed the First Step Act. The First Step Act is a criminal justice reform law that reduces prison sentences by changing the sentencing guidelines and facilitating early release, and supports education and treatment programs in prison.

The need to hire former offenders is prevalent. Organizations such as Taking Action for Good (TAG, created by Ms. Johnson), Hope for Prisoners, and Indeed are offering resources to help formerly incarcerated individuals find the stability they need through work.

ExactHire does not provide legal counsel so please check with your company’s legal team. If your organization’s employment application(s) include questions related to conviction history, ensure there are established guidelines internally as to how the conviction will be evaluated in the applicant review process. Consider the impact of the conviction related to the nature of the job, the severity of the offense and how much time has passed since the offense to ultimately determine how much, or if at all, that conviction affects the individual potentially completing the duties of the role.

Ban the Box Policy

As more cities, municipalities and states evolve into Ban the Box entities, companies need to review their employment application content to confirm legality. Even if an organization is in a location that allows companies to ask if an individual has ever been convicted, is that question really necessary to include on an employment application?

Is it worth eliminating a population of individuals who want to work?

Once that question has been answered on an employment application, will that cause any staff to have preconceived notions?

Background checks are consistent resources in the hiring process. As an organization, consider removing the conviction question from the employment application initially to increase applicants. Then, if and when an offer is extended, conduct and review the applicant’s background check. The conviction may show, but at that point after reviewing the applicant’s qualifications and interviews, that applicant might have already demonstrated enthusiasm and willingness to work that supersedes a conviction from years ago.

Employers Benefit from Justice Involved Employees

Consider the nature of the organization. Does the organization have legal parameters that provide bona fide reasons to prevent the hiring of former offenders? Some industries, particularly healthcare, might have certain roles that have hiring restrictions. However, if an organization does not have specific guidelines that prohibit the hiring of former offenders, it’s time to review the qualifications of individuals in a population that is seeking to work.

Hiring former offenders can offer opportunities for an organization to adhere, or even develop, Diversity and Inclusion initiatives. Financial benefits might exist for organizations which hire former offenders as well. An organization might qualify for tax credits through the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) program if hiring former offenders. Federal bonding programs also offer additional security for organizations who hire former offenders as well.

Staffing challenges are at an all time high. Let’s keep businesses open. Explore the opportunities for your organization by providing employment opportunities for qualified former offenders. We’re all in this together!


ABOUT EXACTHIRE:

ExactHire offers applicant tracking software with features, such as multiple applications, to allow an organization to customize employment application content. Our OnboardCentric solution has the ability to help organizations effectively manage potential tax credits.

 

Photo by Hédi Benyounes 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

 

 

How to Manage Teams in Different Locations

I love the way grandmothers pack priceless wisdom into colorful phrases. Phrases like “when the cat is away, the mice will play” speak volumes about the human tendency to slack off when the boss isn’t around. Or how about this one: “out of sight, out of mind.” When something isn’t in front of me, it gets pushed to the back of my mind.

Maybe you think of these phrases when wondering how to manage teams in different locations. Conventional wisdom says managing dispersed teams is a headache. You can’t possibly make sure your staff isn’t goofing off. You wonder how to handle managerial tasks for a team possibly hundreds of miles away.

Nothing against Grandma, but her notions of remote management are a bit old-fashioned. With the right strategies and software in place, you’ll take to managing dispersed teams like a fish takes to water.

Considerations for Hiring Dispersed Teams

Grandma would say you can’t separate the wheat from the chaff when hiring a dispersed team. When you post job openings for multiple locations, you run the risk of missing high-quality applicants if your process is unorganized. Hiring employees at multiple locations requires strategic planning and implementation.

Perhaps one of the biggest considerations for hiring dispersed teams is maintaining your company’s branding. Multiple locations will probably develop their own unique culture. Your branding becomes the glue that binds employees in different locations to your company’s vision. Without strong branding, different locations may begin to feel like independent outposts for employees as well as customers.

You can introduce applicants to your company’s values, vision, and character with a branded careers site. A single careers website can manage applications for job postings at all of your company’s locations, even allowing job seekers to apply to multiple jobs with one application. Not only will you elevate your brand in your applicants’ eyes, you’ll be able to uncover more qualified candidates and manage applicant data from a cloud-based software system accessible at all of your locations.

From within the applicant tracking system, you’ll be able to sort applicants using a variety of data fields, including location. You can then assign tasks to individuals on hiring teams throughout the organization. You’ll be able to view applicants’ progress throughout the hiring process.

Perhaps most importantly, an ATS will give your hiring teams the tools they need to work independently without sacrificing your ability to oversee the process. An ATS can eliminate many of the intra-company emails and phone calls that hinder hiring across locations. With all the benefits of an ATS, I think Grandma might finally agree you can have your cake and eat it too.

 

Multi-Site Management of Employee Onboarding

Grandma might warn you against biting off more than you can chew when it comes to multi-site management of employee onboarding. It’s true that onboarding new hires at multiple sites can be problematic. Ineffective onboarding will cut into your bottom line, decrease your company’s productivity, and possibly leave you vulnerable to lawsuits.

Employees who undergo a comprehensive onboarding program are productive in their new roles more quickly. Effective onboarding can also improve employee retention. Onboarding software can help you create a consistent and effective onboarding process for all of your locations. You can use these digital onboarding tools when introducing your new hires to your company. Training modules within onboarding software can be customized for each position and its location.

New employee forms get trickier during cross-office collaboration. The best onboarding software will determine the correct new employee forms for each position and location. You won’t need to worry about your hiring teams forgetting about non-compete agreements for new sales people. And you can be sure the correct city payroll tax withholdings are on file. Best of all, onboarding software stores your completed new employee forms digitally. If your new sales person leaves for a competitor a few years down the road, you won’t need to chase down a paper copy of that non-compete agreement.

Even Grandma has to admit, onboarding software leaves no stone unturned.

 

Managing Employees at Multiple Locations

Grandma wouldn’t want you burning the candle at both ends when managing employees at multiple locations. Each location may develop a culture inconsistent with your company’s values. Productivity may suffer when employees aren’t engaged in the company’s larger mission. Poor communication can enhance existing problems.

You can address the challenges of managing employees in different locations by proactively managing your workplace culture. Create a comprehensive onboarding process with an emphasis on your company’s values and mission. Existing employees may benefit from training that focuses on your company’s culture. Try implementing a rewards program for employees who demonstrate behavior consistent with your values.

Nurturing a positive culture and workplace environment will help engage employees. You can also increase employee engagement by offering skill development training. Dispersed employees could access advanced training modules within your onboarding software or classes online. Think about pairing employees at remote locations with mentors working from the company headquarters. These mentors can help employees navigate the company’s dynamics.

Stakeholders need strong communication skills to make these strategies for managing teams at multiple locations successful. Managers with poor communication skills struggle with how to increase collaboration between teams and improve cross-departmental communication. Remind these managers to have regular video conferences with remote team members. Email is great for task-related communication. But only a phone or video call can nurture meaningful connections between co-workers.

You can overcome the challenges of managing and leading remote teams through culture, engagement, and communication. When you use these strategies, your employees will feel more emotionally invested in their roles and happy as clams.

Final Thoughts

Conventional wisdom may say that managing teams in different locations is difficult. Dispersed worksites tend to develop their own culture. Distance can complicate items such as paperwork. And poor communication will make managing remote employees even tougher.

But you’ll be changing your tune when you invest in the right software. And your remote teams will be over the moon when you use strategies to promote culture, engagement, and communication. Before you know it, managing teams in different locations will be a piece of cake.

Are you thinking about investing in applicant tracking software or onboarding software? Contact us today.

Photo by Antonio Janeski on Unsplash

 

How to Write a Job Description Optimized for Job Boards and Internet Search, Tip 4

Is writing job descriptions more of an art or a science? It is perhaps less of a science than it used to be since practices like keyword stuffing are now counterproductive while the focus is truly on producing quality content (as it should be) these days. I’m going to take the easy way out and claim that its a blend of both art and science…or perhaps, strategy is a better word. Gone are the days of packing job descriptions full of keywords to improve on-page optimization and propel your careers portal and job listings to the top of the search results list.

The Three P’s of Job Description Keyword Use

However, many factors have changed in the mystical realm of search engine optimization (at least it seems mystical to me at times) over the past few years and one thing is clear…relevance is king. So while keyword stuffing to the point that a reader was tripping over the same word every paragraph in a text used to be a somewhat effective trick, search engines like Google have since put algorithms in place to penalize such practices.

So what’s a savvy recruiting and HR professional to do to make sure new job opportunities are seen by inquiring applicants? In this fourth installment of the How to Write a Job Description Optimized for Job Boards & Internet Search series, I’ll highlight the Three P’s of Keyword Use in Job Descriptions: presence, popularity and placement. We’ll demonstrate keyword optimization for Indeed as an example.

Are Relevant Terms Present in Your Job Description?

While this is the simplest concept of the Three P’s, it nonetheless is the foundation for success in optimizing your job listings for search results. It really just requires that the most relevant keywords for your target applicant pool are present in your job description. The tricky part lies in the fact that you may not always know which keywords resonate with candidates that are well-qualified for your available career opportunities. To rectify the situation, think about employers in your market that source applicants from the same talent pool – in particular, the ones that seem to be beating you out when it comes to attracting potential new employees. Scour their job listings and take note of the terms they use in job titles and the first paragraph of job descriptions. Are you using the same types of terms in your jobs?

For example, let’s take a construction firm that is seeking a new electrical superintendent for a large industrial contract. When I did a search on Indeed for “construction superintendent electrical,” there were only 707 listings nationwide (since I didn’t specify a location).
Electrical Superintendent Construction Job Results | Keyword Optimization For Indeed
However, with a little research of my competitors, I might find that they have job listings titled “Project Manager” with very similar descriptions to my own Superintendent listings. A slightly modified search for “construction project manager electrical” on Indeed yields 4,752 jobs.
 Electrical Project Manager Construction Results | Keyword Optimization For Indeed
So, you might find that it becomes important to include the phrase “project manager” in your listing a few times…perhaps more so than “superintendent.” This may affect your job title decision, as well.

Keyword Optimization For Indeed | Density Considerations

Once you are confident of the right one or two key terms or phrases that you’d like to pepper into your job opportunity text, you must consider the frequency with which these words are used. As I mentioned before, in the past some recruiters stuffed words into the text for best results, but that won’t work anymore. In fact, while “keyword density” isn’t as integral an ingredient in your rankings recipe as before, you definitely don’t want to use terms too often…probably not much more than three percent of your total word count in fact. As with salt, a little can help bring out the flavor in your soup, but too much can quickly ruin the whole recipe. Similarly, too many of the same words in a job description will seem artificial and boring to the potential applicant. Remember the law of diminishing returns.

Consider writing your job description to flow naturally without minding keyword use. Then, go back and reread your text and insert your desired terms a few times. Lastly, think of synonyms and other related phrases and place those in the listing, as well. For our construction example, other words/phrases that might naturally occur with “construction project manager electrical” might include: field labor; electrical superintendent; industrial project; construction project; bid analysis; electrical contractor; and, lead electrical consultant.

These “co-occurring terms” will be recognized by search engines as complementary to your true targeted terms and are just another ingredient in the rankings effort. Plus, they offer the reader more variety and depth…which is more likely to result in the site visitor converting to become your applicant.

Mind the Placement of Job Description Text

So far you’ve learned to use just a few instances of relevant phrases in your job description…but not too many. Truth be told, a little can go a long way as long as you are using the right terms thoughtfully. That’s where placement comes into play. Even though you might include desired phrases only a few times in your job listing, they can pack a punch in rankings battles if you position them strategically within your text. Here are some effective placement techniques:

Now that you have a better understanding of how to use keywords strategically within your job listings, including being mindful of the Three P’s, you are well on your way to becoming a job listing ninja!

To see how ExactHire’s recruiting software can help streamline your job description optimization efforts, please schedule a live demo.