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Where have the workers gone?

The bottom line is the techniques and the offerings that you used in the past will not work now. And, no, I don’t believe it’s going to change anytime soon. American workers don’t want to go back to that normal. And what needs to change, actually, is just about everything.

Where have all the workers gone?

 

 

TRANSCRIPT

Every client we talk to, every company that we interact with, is saying the same thing: they can’t find talent.
most everything that they’ve done in the past that has worked or isn’t working right now. How could that be?

The pandemic hit in march of 2020 and what did we see?
We saw unemployment skyrocketing or businesses that were affected by either shutting
down, slowing down, or going out of business.

But as the economy starts to heat back up one what we expected
was an excess of candidates and an excess of jobs–all those things would mesh together and what we would get
would be this perfect situation. But that isn’t what’s happened.

For the first quarter of 2021 what we’re seeing is unbelievable numbers on all the
factors that the government measures like GPP, durable goods spending, etc. Well the
opportunities have returned to the market but we haven’t seen the workers come back.

Why is that?

What I’d like to suggest here, are a few things that you should consider:

  1. With the increased unemployment benefits,
    some people can just survive staying at home and there may be lots of reasons that they want to do that.
  2. Some people that have been laid off have just decided they’re not willing to go back to work.
  3. Competition for talent has increased dramatically, and you need to pay attention to that because that’s a key.
  4. Some people have gone back to school and they’re not available for full-time work.
  5. But also, with schools and day care centers not going back full-time, some people are challenged because they
    now have children that are at home and they have to care for them.
  6. Despite increased vaccination rates, some people are still worried about returning to the
    workforce and being subjected to COVID.
  7. Some laid off workers have realized that, you know what, they they really dislike their manager, they
    dislike that job or the industry, and they’ve decided I’m not going back to that at all.
  8. And last but not least a remote workforce which was an exception, has now become the norm.

The bottom line is the techniques and the offerings that you used in the past will not work now. And, no, I don’t believe it’s going to change anytime soon. American workers don’t want to go back to that normal. And what needs to change, actually, is just about everything needs to change.

How Do I Create an Online Job Application?

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

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

Benefits of Online Job Application Forms

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

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

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

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

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

Simple Employment Application Form

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

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

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

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

Online Employment Application Software

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

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

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

 

 

Applicant Tracking System or Online Application?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Final Thoughts on Creating an Online Job Application

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

 

Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash

 

 

What Is Programmatic Job Advertising?

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

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

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

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

Programmatic Advertising

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recruitment Advertisement

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

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

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

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

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

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

Programmatic Job Advertising in Recruitment

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

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

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

Affordable Programmatic Job Posting

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

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

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

Final Thoughts About Programmatic Job Advertising

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

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

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

 

Photo by Ricardo Arce on Unsplash

How Do You Announce a Job Posting?

Everybody likes something new and shiny. Babies, Tesla’s newest innovation, or the latest iPhone. New gets all the buzz. Job seekers, too, have a predilection for the latest and greatest. A new job posting looks more appealing than one that’s been languishing on online job boards.

For all these reasons, your job posting has more traction during its first few days of life. Search engines rank new job postings higher. Job seekers show more interest in recent job postings. You can maximize the momentum of a new job posting with a strategy that attracts quality candidates quickly.

Ways to Announce a New Job

Your strategy for attracting quality job candidates quickly begins before you announce a new job. Start by identifying your ideal applicant. Go beyond the basics. You know your machinist needs an eye for detail. Or your new server needs to be friendly. Dig deeper to understand what motivates your ideal employee. Highlighting opportunities such as overtime or advancement will attract motivated individuals while helping less enthusiastic applicants disqualify themselves.

With your ideal employee in mind, think about your application process. Keep in mind most job seekers use their mobile device to apply to positions. Assess your application process using both mobile and desktop technology. Keep applicants engaged with text and email responses that communicate the next steps in the application process.

Applicant tracking software can help you in each step of your strategy to attract quality candidates quickly. Using ATS, you can create a branded careers site optimized for both mobile and desktop applications. You can also communicate with applicants via email or text from within the ATS. When it comes time to publish new job, you can streamline the process by posting to multiple online job boards at once. Then the ATS will monitor your online job ad’s performance so you can improve applicant conversion with each new job opening.

Creative Job Postings Examples

With your profile of your ideal applicant and your applicant tracking software in place, you’re ready to write brilliant job ads. Start with a unique job title. If your company has more than one job opening for evergreen jobs, such as server, or machinist, or data entry clerk, then create a distinct title for each open position. Doing so will prevent job boards from tagging your open positions as duplicates.

Pay attention to keyword density. Use your job title throughout your description. Avoid uncommon or gendered synonyms, such waitress in place of server, or journeyman in place of machinist. Use the job title—or words closely associated—to describe actions of the job. Words such as serving, operating machinery, or entering data will all help the search engines pick up the job posting.

Avoid catchy phrases for sample job posting ads on sites such as LinkedIn or Indeed. We all know you’re not really looking for a rock star or a wizard. Endless guitar riffs make it difficult for your other employees to concentrate. And what if your wizard accidentally turns your receptionist into a houseplant? My point is that these overused words have lost their pizazz. Avoid worn and tired words, and seek fresh ways to describe your job.

If you’re looking for examples of creative job postings, check out this recruitment video from Fiverr. Or this job ad from Bud Light for a “Chief Meme Officer.” Both job ads use humor. But they’re effective because they also show applicants what their company is like. In other words, both companies authentically represent themselves in their job ads.

Internal Job Announcement

Your best quality job candidates already have a job. But don’t despair. Around 70 percent of the workforce is open to better opportunities, including your own employees. The best recruitment strategies use internal job advertisements and expansive external recruiting to target these passive job candidates.

Go beyond the job boards. Scour LinkedIn and Facebook profiles connected with companies that employ similar talent. Don’t dismiss old resumes on your favorite job boards. Job seekers often leave their resumes online after they’ve found a job. If you use applicant tracking software, you can create a talent pool of previous applicants who might be a great fit for your current opening. You can start contacting candidates from your talent pool in the first few days your job posting goes online.

Stand out when you reach out to exceptional talent. Send a message that emphasizes your company’s strengths and advancement opportunities. Be aware many people experience online scammers. So be transparent and provide information the applicant can verify.

Leverage your current employees’ connections by creating a referral program. Referred candidates perform better and stay longer than other applicants. Develop a process to determine how closely connected the applicant is to the referring employee. Close connections result in better referrals.

Internal Job Posting Announcement Sample

Current employees can be your best quality job applicants. They already fit into the company’s culture. They understand your industry and your products. Most importantly, they are fully productive more quickly that an external candidate who would need to go through the entire onboarding process. Companies with internal mobility programs understand that advancement opportunities reduce employee turnover.

You can start your internal job posting by reaching out to departments or teams that have the talent and skills you need for your open job. Supervisor and management feedback can be important. But you can avoid favoritism by creating an internal job posting announcement throughout the company.

Employees should easily find samples of internal job postings. Consider creating an internal job posting announcement on the company’s intranet homepage. Post internal job postings on bulletin boards throughout the company.

Final Thoughts on How to Announce a Job Posting

Your job ad loses effectiveness as it ages. Create a strategy to maximize your job ad’s potential before it goes live on job boards and internal job announcements. Writing a creative and effective job description to your ideal client, recruiting passive candidates, and engaging current employees in your search will help you fill your position quickly.

Applicant tracking software can help you synchronize all these steps so that your new job posting is most effective right out of the gate. Post to external job boards with one click and monitor your job ads effectiveness on one screen. Create a seamless careers site that optimizes mobile and desktop applications. Sort the resumes that come rolling in and apply custom status codes to keep it all straight. Build a talent pool you draw from for future positions and create an internal job application process all from within the ATS.

Are you ready to stop hunting rock stars and instead start engaging with your ideal candidates? Give us a call today.

 

Photo by Girl with red hat on Unsplash

 

What Is the Screening Process?

I imagine every recruiter experiences a twinge of dread mixed with excitement as the resumes start hitting the inbox. Somewhere in that digital pile is the best candidate for the job. But all those resumes and applications create a mountain of data to sift through. If you’re like most recruiters, you’ve probably tried a variety of ways to screen candidates. But you may have wondered if your efforts to be more efficient led to a more ineffective screening method. The following screening process steps will help you save time without sacrificing thoroughness in your search for a great new hire.

SMB Pre-Employment Screening Ebook

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Recruitment Methods for Screening

The types of screening methods you use begin before you receive your first application. A well-written job description can help applicants self-screen, while targeted application questions can help you focus on the most qualified applicants.

Your job description is your first communication with potential new hires. Before you can write a description that will “sell” the job to your ideal candidate, you must first have a clear idea of what your ideal candidate looks like. Start by reviewing the current job description with the role’s supervisor and even coworkers. Methods for screening candidates should include a list of your ideal candidate’s attributes, such as the ability to work without supervision or to work well within teams. Then write a job description to appeal to that person. An effective job description will do the following:

  • Clearly state the minimum requirements for the job.
  • Describe personality requirements as appealing benefits, e.g., “work with a close-knit team to collaborate on creative marketing solutions.”
  • Be upfront about undesirable aspects of the job, such as weekend hours or long hours standing.
  • Include a description of the company, as well as its vision and mission.
  • Avoid wording that undermines diversity efforts.

Discerning candidates should be able to tell if your company and position would be a good fit for them from the job description. You can further screen those who proceed with relevant application questions. These questions are examples of screening methods that will give you a glimpse into the candidate’s motivations and values.

  • Why do you want to work for our company?
  • Which of our company values do you think is most important and why?
  • What skills do you want to develop in your next role?

Screening and Selection Process

Your job description and application questions will help ensure that you receive quality resumes and are the first steps in your recruitment and selection process. Your next step in the screening and selection process is reviewing and sorting those resumes. Oftentimes, recruiters feel overwhelmed with the task of manually reading applications. An applicant tracking system can help you save time without sacrificing thoroughness in your new hire search.

The ATS can scan resumes for keywords so that you can find the most qualified applicants quickly. After you review each resume, you need a way to assign a status and place it in a digital “pile.” ExactHire applicant tracking software will allow you to create custom fields to help you move candidates though the applicant funnel. You’ll know right away, without rereading the resume, whether an applicant is under qualified or not a good fit. You can place applicants in the disqualified “pile” and move on to those with better qualifications. The software will store applicant information and your hiring notes to protect you against legal liabilities.

Look for applicant tracking software that allows unlimited user logins so that you can delegate tasks and work with a hiring team. Each login should apply permissions and assign access consistent with the user’s position in the organization. Entry-level employees can manually input applicants who turn in a paper application, while managers can review resumes. You’ll create the most efficient and time-saving recruitment and selection process when you can assign tasks and communicate with stakeholders from within your ATS.

Pre-Employment Screening

Throughout your entire pre-employment screening process, be mindful of liability issues surrounding your hiring process. Be aware of whether the local area where you hire workers allows you to ask about criminal history. If you use social media to screen candidates, make a plan for how you’ll address information you may uncover that is protected from employment considerations. Review with your hiring team questions that may violate state and federal laws.

Consider using pre-employment screening tests to measure applicants’ skills or uncover their hidden personality traits. These tests can help ensure you find candidates whose values align with your company’s culture. Hiring people with qualities such as honesty, trustworthiness and a drug-free attitude can strengthen your team and help reduce employee turnover.

Also consider using background checks to verify applicant information. Criminal background checks and a pre-employment screening drug testing can protect you from fraud and costly accidents. Another example of pre-employment screening measures includes checking civil records to uncover whether an applicant has been involved in lawsuits. Verifications will assure that the applicant has been truthful on her resume. You can verify past employment as well as educational records.

Currently, federal law allows employers to use credit checks in their hiring process. But recently lawmakers have considered legislation to ban the practice. Some states have already banned the use of credit checks for employment purposes. If your company finds it necessary to check applicants’ credit, be sure you comply with the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. Ask the applicant’s consent to run the report and give them the opportunity to review information that influenced your decision.

Screening Questions

As you can see, you can accomplish much of your employee screening process before you speak to candidates. A concise job description and effective application questions will help you sort and organize candidates when you use a time-saving ATS solution. But at some point, you’ll need to start interviewing your short-list of candidates during your screening process for hiring.

Before you pick up the phone, prepare a list of questions for screening and evaluating candidates. Every applicant should receive the same questions. Your interviewers should have a clear set of criteria for documenting and scoring answers. A structured interview applied consistently for all candidates is one of your most effective tools in your employee screening process.

Since the first pyramid needed an architect, recruiters have grappled with the screening process for hiring. Knowing which interview questions to ask is one of the toughest steps of the selection process. But instead of asking candidates trendy, but useless, brainteaser questions, like “how many golf balls will fit in the Great Pyramid?” develop questions that actually help you find the best new hire.

Start by identifying the problems your new hire will face on the job and ask the candidate what steps she would take to solve it. Develop a few questions directly from the candidate’s resume. Ask her the steps she took to achieve a specific accomplishment. Ask how she plans to succeed in the role. Many roles within an organization may never have direct contact with end users. Asking your potential new hire how the position directly impacts customers will help you determine if the he understands how he would influence the company’s success.

Phone Interview Questions

Phone conversations are your most efficient and effective solution for first-round interviews. But interviewers often make the mistake of conducting phone interviews much like they do in-person interviews. Take into account the phone’s unique benefits and shortcomings when developing screening interview questions.

Silence is more awkward on the phone than in person. When speaking to someone in person, you can read body language to fill in the gaps in conversation. As a result, many people compensate by talking more when on the phone. While you don’t want your applicant to feel uncomfortable, avoid being overly personal to convey friendliness. Instead try speaking with a smile. Your tone will be friendly while keeping the conversation focused on the job.

Set a time limit for the phone interview. Remember, the applicant can’t read your body language either. He may overcompensate by over-explaining his answers. Start by letting the candidate know the phone call will take about 30 minutes. He’ll likely give more concise answers, and he’ll know when it’s time to wrap things up.

Remember, a level of transparency will improve your candidate’s experience. Even disqualified candidates can impact your company’s reputation. If you decide during the phone interview that the candidate is not a good fit, politely and respectfully let them know. Or let successful candidates know to expect a follow-up phone call to schedule an in-person interview.

Final Thoughts

You shouldn’t have to choose between saving time during your pre-employment screening process or conducting a comprehensive search for the best candidate. Creating a screening strategy that begins with your job description and includes structured interview questions will help you tame the hiring process chaos while uncovering the best applicant in a mountain of resumes. ExactHire’s applicant tracking software can help you save time while creating a more effective screening process during each stage of your new hire search.

Photo by Darrin Henein on Unsplash

What Are The Pros And Cons of A PEO?

The following post is provided courtesy of Human Capital Concepts (HCC), a Certified Professional Employment Organization that partners with employers to manage employee-related responsibilities and risks. HCC  provides worry-free HR, benefits, payroll, and compliance solutions all in one place, with personal attention from a dedicated team of experts.


When you dreamed about growing your business, you probably didn’t imagine that you’d need to become an expert in labor regulations, health care mandates, and safety guidelines, along with HR administration, payroll, benefits and compliance. The fact is small businesses spend 17 percent of total manpower on non-core business tasks. Most of these tasks revolve around employee management. A PEO may be able take many of these challenges off your hands.

A PEO is a “Professional Employer Organization.” A PEO will handle all of your company’s HR responsibilities and tasks. Partnering with a PEO will do more for your business than freeing resources for your core business activities. PEO clients consistently provide a better employee experience. Businesses that partner with a PEO experienced twice the revenue growth of their non-PEO competitors. PEO clients are also 50 percent less likely to permanently close.

Before you decide if a PEO is right for your company, you should consider all your options for HR support.

PEO Pros and Cons

When considering teaming up with a third party for your HR needs, you have several options. These options each have pros and cons. A PEO vs a payroll broker or HR administrator, such as an HRO or ASO, may look similar on the surface. They are, in fact, very different.

HRO stands for “Human Resources Outsourcing.” As the name suggests, an HRO allows you to outsource some or all of your HR tasks. The HRO will offer a la carte services. The downside of an HRO is that you are still responsible for decisions surrounding the minutiae of your human resources administration. You’ll still need at least one expert on staff who can make these decisions. Another disadvantage is that your company won’t enjoy lower benefits costs when you partner with an HRO.

An ASO is a cross between an HRO and PEO. ASO stands for “Administrative Services Organization.” Unlike an HRO, an ASO will administer all of your HR tasks. But unlike a PEO, an ASO does not provide workers’ compensation or liability coverage. Also, partnering with an ASO will not help your company save money on benefits coverage.

Partnering with a professional employer organization, or PEO, offers more pros than cons. The advantages of using a PEO range from tax reporting to benefits procurement. The PEO will administer all of your HR needs. A PEO will withhold employees’ taxes and employment tax liabilities. A PEO will also take care of the yearly tax reporting. Your company will benefit from partnering with a PEO to handle many of the aspects associated with having employees.

Higher health insurance costs are a downside of being a small business. Companies that partner with a PEO can leverage the PEO’s size when purchasing health insurance and other group benefits. The PEO will also carry workers’ compensation and liability insurance.

PEO Benefits

Partnering with a PEO provides many benefits for business owners, startup founders, nonprofit executives, and others. For starters, you’ll be able to focus on your core business activities. You strive to be the best in your industry, and growth is exciting. But with growth comes more employees and a larger HR burden. HR compliance, workers’ compensation laws, and employer liability issues are complex and divert resources from your company’s main focus.

A PEO will provide expert support as your HR partner. Human Resources expertise is crucial to the success of your business. Errors from your HR department can potentially cost your company thousands. Hiring the wrong HR personnel can increase your risks of fines, workers’ compensation claims, and lawsuits. In fact, a PEO with recruiting expertise can protect your organization from hiring the wrong people.

You’ll enjoy cost savings when you partner with a PEO. A study conducted by noted economists Laurie Bassi and Dan McMurrer of McBassi and Associates on behalf of the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO) found that businesses enjoy a cost savings of 27.2 percent when they partner with a PEO. According to the study, the average cost savings from using a PEO is $1,775 per year per employee, which also reinforced the findings of earlier research, again showing notably lower employee turnover, higher rates of both employee and revenue growth, and enhanced employee benefit offerings.

Partnering with a PEO will help you get lower rates for group insurance. Your PEO benefits specialist will leverage the PEO’s larger size, meaning you get better rates for your company. Small businesses that partner with a PEO save up to 40 percent on their health insurance premiums, according to the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO).

You may find the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages of using a PEO. According to the NAPEO, businesses that used a PEO grew 7-9 percent faster. They experienced lower employee turnover rates and were 50 percent less likely to go out of business.

PEO Group Insurance

When the Affordable Care Act rolled out in 2010, employers saw a 40 percent increase in insurance premiums. Over the next ten years, healthcare premiums increased another 54 percent, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. In 2020, average health coverage for a family costs $21,342.

The Affordable Care Act also gave employees insight into the high cost of healthcare. The pandemic drove this point further in employees’ minds. As a result, good benefits are more important than ever for employee retention. More than three-quarters of employees say that benefits are an important part of their overall compensation. Half of employees say they’d consider taking a new job for better benefits.

As a small to medium-sized business, your insurance costs are higher than what large corporations pay. In the past, you may have been forced to provide your employees with less-than-stellar benefits. But partnering with a PEO can lower your costs and provide better options. This is because the PEO negotiates with insurance companies for coverage for all of their clients. You get to pay rates similar to the big corporations when you have PEO group insurance.

The Affordable Care Act did more than raise premiums. Increasingly complicated regulations also increase your administrative costs for health care benefits. An in-house HR team must spend more time ensuring your company remains in compliance. Additionally, an in-house HR team often becomes a sort of middleman between the insurance provider and the employees. When issues arise, your HR staff redirects their time contacting the insurer or deciphering the policy.

PEO Payroll

Payroll administration demands hours that could be spent growing your business. The tasks start with getting withholding information from your employees. From there, you need to track hours and calculate withholdings. You must also track direct deposit information for your employees.

Like any other payroll administrator, a PEO can do all these tasks for you. But there are advantages to partnering with a PEO vs a payroll broker. Your PEO becomes your co-employer. The PEO’s EIN number will appear on all employee tax forms. This allows the PEO to handle tax withholdings and reporting. When tax time comes around, your PEO, not you, will file the litany of related employment tax forms.

But be careful about the downside of PEO tax implications. If you choose a PEO that is not certified by the IRS, otherwise known as a CPEO, you’re on the hook for unpaid taxes. Not every PEO completes the stringent qualifications to become an IRS-certified CPEO. Those that do, however, take on 100 percent of the liability for unpaid employment taxes for your company. Choosing a CPEO is the only way to be confident the money you earmark for taxes makes its way to the IRS.

Another of the pros of a PEO is that you don’t need to employ a Human Resources professional to handle HR administration, benefits and workers’ compensation issues. The average salary for a full-time human resources manager is $68,399, plus an additional 40 percent, or $27,336, for recruitment, benefits, and taxes. The Society for Human Resources Management says businesses need 2-3 HR team members per 100 employees to deliver essential HR services.

Professional Employer Organization Tax Reporting

Partnering with a PEO has important and beneficial tax implications for your company. A PEO will become your “co-employer.” Under this arrangement, the PEO is able to withhold employee federal and state taxes. The PEO then pays the government the withholdings.

A PEO will handle all of your other time-consuming payroll tasks, such as tracking employee wages and other payroll expenses. Your PEO will handle direct deposits and employee classifications. PEOs also take care of all employee documentation and compliance reporting, including new hire paperwork.

But what if your PEO fails to forward employment taxes to the IRS? Some unfortunate companies discovered a significant disadvantage of using a PEO when their provider failed to pay the IRS. Even though you’re entering into a “co-employer” agreement with the PEO, in the eyes of the IRS, you are still the primary employer liable for employment taxes.

That’s why you need an IRS Certified Professional Employer Organization when it comes to tax reporting. A CPEO is certified by the IRS. A CPEO undergoes financial audits, background reports, among other qualifications. Most importantly, once a PEO becomes certified as a CPEO, they assume liability for employment taxes. In the eyes of the IRS, the CPEO is on the hook if it fails to pay your employment taxes.

The PEO will also help handle many of the administrative tasks associated with workers’ compensation.

PEO Cost

Before you decide to purchase PEO services, you should understand how much money and time you’re spending on in-house employee administration. The Small Business Administration says the cost of an employee is up to 1.4 times his salary when you include recruitment, benefits, and taxes.

The time you and your team spend on payroll and HR-related tasks is a little tougher to pin down. A survey by the National Retail Federation found that 69 percent of small business owners feel “overwhelmed by regulations, rules and mandates such as labor regulations, health care mandates, tax codes and safety guidelines.”

The PEO will relieve you of the administrative burden of HR-related tasks. A PEO will also have the expertise to navigate the regulations, mandates, tax codes, and safety guidelines that, frankly, take too long for any layperson to unravel. Your PEO employs a team of HR experts who can navigate the complexities of the Affordable Care Act. They’ll also field questions from your employees. Your PEO will also stay on top of the ever-changing regulations.

Remember, PEO clients average a 27.2 percent return on their investment. A PEO can likely negotiate better rates for all of your employee benefits. Companies that use a PEO experience lower turnover and higher growth. But a PEO may also shield you from unexpected trouble.

The NAPEO recently compared the pandemic’s impact on PEO clients with other small businesses. Its findings suggest that PEO clients were better insulated from the catastrophic impact of the pandemic. PEO clients were twice as likely to have received Paycheck Protection Program loans. Most importantly, PEO clients were 91 percent less likely to still be temporarily closed and 60 percent less likely to have permanently closed.

Conclusion

The reality of employee management may cast a shadow on your dreams when you’re a business owner. But an HR partner can tackle the tedious, yet necessary, administrative tasks that are bogging you down. Once you have a trusted ally who can navigate the burdens of HR administration, you can go back to focusing on your core business activities.

How to Make a Tough Hiring Decision

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

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

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

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

Making Great Hiring Decisions

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

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

 

Distribute Hiring Authority

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

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

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

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

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

Choosing Between Two Quality Candidates

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

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

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

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

Interview Questions for Every Stage

 

Tie-Breaker Interview Questions

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

Examples of open-ended tie-breaker questions include:

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

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

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

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

Final Decision on Hiring

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

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

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

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

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

 

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo 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

 

Why Diversity Hiring Is Important

The world has its eyes on systemic racism. And now, more than ever, everyone seems committed to dismantling discrimination. But with the heightened attention comes the awareness of the complexity surrounding inequality. Diversity is complicated, and that’s why most companies fail to meet their Diversity, Equity & Inclusion goals.

Businesses tend to see diversity as a numbers issue. They see that a minority group comprises a certain percentage of the local population and then focus their efforts on having a similar percentage in their workforce. But emphasizing statistics ignores the uncomfortable factors that lead to poor diversity.

Leaders can address these issues within their workplace when they emphasize the benefits of diversity without downplaying its difficulties. Situational factors, privilege, and implicit bias drive inequality. These factors make conversations around diversity difficult. But companies that address the circumstances that lead to inequality ultimately reinforce the shared experience of living in our society. Ultimately, everyone in the organization will feel more valued.

Defining Diversity and Its Importance in the Workplace

Most business owners think of diversity in the workplace in terms of the compliance regulations imposed by the federal government. These regulations ensure equal employment opportunities for marginalized groups. Business owners agree diversity hiring in the workplace is important. But they tend to view their diversity hiring efforts under the narrow lens of the EEOC. They acknowledge hiring for diversity is important in the world and contributes to the greater good. Yet they also see diversity in the workplace as having very little impact on the company’s success.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Diversity in the workplace is good for the bottom line. In 2015, McKinsey and Company found that companies with a diverse workforce performed 15 to 35 percent better than the national industry median. This success underscores the importance of diversity in the workplace.

McKinsey followed up with a 2018 report that echoed the finding of the first: diversity is good for the bottom line. Companies with gender diversity at the executive level were 21 percent more profitable than their less diverse competitors. Companies with culturally diverse executive teams outperformed their competitors by 33 percent.

In both the 2015 and 2018 reports, McKinsey delivered bad news to companies with poor diversity. Companies that fail to cultivate gender and culturally diverse teams perform up to 29 percent worse than their competitors. Companies that fail to recruit minorities need to figure out how to increase diversity in the workplace.

Leverage Diversity in the Workplace

There are no disadvantages of diversity in the workplace. When companies go beyond simple compliance and truly leverage diversity on their teams, they can outperform their competitors. Businesses can better withstand unexpected challenges, such as a pandemic, when they leverage the benefits of diversity in the workplace.

Businesses can avoid “group think” when they prioritize diversity in the workplace. Companies with a diverse workforce will benefit from the different perspectives and experiences their employees bring to the table. Leveraging diversity on teams will lead to more creative solutions and innovations.

High-quality talent demands diversity as well. According to a survey by Glassdoor, 76 percent of respondents said diversity is important when considering job offers. Professionals under 35, especially, expect their employers to emphasize diversity, equity, and inclusion. Companies that prioritize diversity in their hiring efforts can attract and retain this top talent.

You’re more likely to understand your customers’ needs when you leverage diversity in the workplace. The U.S. is rapidly moving toward a diverse population. Will your workforce be diverse enough to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse consumer base?

Realizing the benefits of diversity in the workplace requires more than hiring for diversity. To really tap into the potential throughout your workforce, you need to leverage diversity. Leveraging elevates diversity from a numbers game for compliance to a comprehensive strategy for diversity hiring and development.

Download ExactHire Company Culture E-book

An Effective Hiring Process Includes Diversity

The first step to employing a diverse workforce is an effective hiring process that includes diversity as one of its primary goals. Impress upon your team the importance of an effective hiring process that emphasizes diversity. Companies that understand the importance of hiring and retaining the right employees are more successful.

One or two (or more) stakeholders may (silently) think the company should hire the best qualified individual rather than hire for diversity. Explain to your hiring team that the company will always seek out the most qualified person for the job. But unconscious biases often exclude highly qualified people from marginalized groups. Dismantling these unconscious biases is the first step to a hiring process that promotes diversity.

An article in the Harvard Business Review details a study conducted to uncover biases while rating resumes. They found that a female or minority candidate needed a 4.0 GPA to get the same rating as a white male with a 3.75 GPA. A white male with an impressive internship received a 50 percent higher rating than a female or minority with the same internship.

Understandably, your hiring team may feel uncomfortable with the idea that they, too, have implicit bias. However, leveraging diversity goes deeper than simply hiring for diversity. To have a truly inclusive workplace, your hiring team should understand and dismantle their own implicit biases.

Technology may help you avoid implicit bias in your candidate selection. Applicant tracking software can scan and sort resumes for qualifications. The resulting list will be free of human bias. ATS can also track your applicants to help you identify problem areas in your recruiting efforts.

Hiring Diverse Candidates for Your Organization

Hiring diverse talent requires intention and strategy. Even the most committed companies may fall short in their diversity goals when they fail to proactively recruit a diverse workforce.

Start by examining your requirements for the job, such as GPA. Applicants who come from low-income backgrounds likely had to work while attending college. Their GPA may have suffered under long work hours. Failing to account for situational differences among applicants can lead to poorer hiring decisions.

These situational differences extend to attaining a degree. Since the Great Recession, employers inflated the importance of degrees for entry and mid-level jobs. Yet, in 2016, just 30.8 percent of Black adults had attained a college degree, compared with 47.1 percent of white adults. Furthermore, degree holders in these jobs do not always perform better than high school graduates.

Reexamine the necessary skills for entry and mid-level jobs within your organization. Place a higher value on work experience. If you still find that candidates need specialized skills, consider recruiting from trade schools or implementing an in-house training program.

Consider your interviewing process from the lens of marginalized groups. Are you flexible with your scheduling? Do not doubt a candidate’s commitment just because she isn’t available for an interview until next week. Up to 58 percent of the nation’s low-income families belong to non-white racial groups. Candidates may be working multiple jobs or jobs with unconventional schedules.

You may be sabotaging your diversity hiring efforts if the application process and virtual interviews require too much technology. Black and Hispanic candidates have less access to the Internet and laptops. On the other hand, these candidates are more likely to primarily use cell phones for their job search and applications. A hiring process that embraces mobile technology can boost your efforts at creating a diverse workforce.

 

Workplace Diversity Goals in Hiring

You can create diversity hiring goals to gauge your success and examine areas for improvement. Good diversity goals focus on the corporate culture, the corporate branding, and corporate recruiting. Your company is more likely to meet its diversity goals if you effectively communicate them.

Your compliance reporting likely already contains information about how your hiring metrics compare with the general population for your area. You’ll have access to even more data if you use an applicant tracking system. Finally, examining your current workforce and diversity at all levels, including executive levels, can create a clearer picture.

Now that you’ve compiled your data, you can look for areas of improvement.

  • Does your workforce include as least as many diverse employees as the community’s population?
  • Are candidates from marginalized groups applying for jobs within your organization?
  • Is one group disproportionately offered interviews compared to minority groups?
  • Is your hiring team composed of a diverse group of people?
  • Is there pay disparity in your company between marginalized groups and their peers?
  • Does the demographic of your managerial and executive positions match the demographic of your entry level positions?

When you understand where your company is lacking, you can create actionable steps towards a more diverse workforce. These steps are more achievable if you communicate them correctly to your staff. Companies are more likely to achieve their diversity goals when leaders tell their teams that diversity is important and requires a focused effort. This creates a positive message around diversity and also creates buy-in from their staff.

Diversity Recruiting Strategy

Many companies find that minorities and marginalized individuals aren’t applying for open positions. A diversity recruiting strategy that proactively seeks these candidates can help. In addition to removing unnecessary the educational and technology requirements mentioned above, recruiters can implement strategies that encourage minority applicants.

Create a culture that values diversity and inclusion in recruitment and beyond. Incorporate your diversity initiatives into your company mission and value statements. Provide company-wide diversity training, with an emphasis on those in management and hiring teams. Include minorities in your company’s marketing campaigns. Emphasizing diversity within your organization and your branding will create a welcoming atmosphere for minorities.

Connect with community organizations. Look for associations that attract minority members. As you speak with professionals in your community, learn about the employment issues these groups are facing. Build a network that includes professionals in underrepresented groups. Lean on your network for employment referrals.

Expand your recruitment efforts to schools with a significant minority population. Minorities are underrepresented in the nation’s top schools. Companies face diversity recruiting challenges when they focus on a few universities. Instead, redirect some of your recruiting efforts to schools with ethnically diverse students.

Invest in an applicant tracking system. An ATS comes with several features to help you reach your diversity goals. You can more easily comply with diversity hiring laws with built-in compliance reporting. The ATS will also help you build a talent pool you can use for future openings. And the resume sorting capabilities of an ATS can help you ensure diversity in your recruiting and hiring practices. The right applicant tracking system will come with a fully mobile careers site that allows applicants to use their smart phones.

Final Thoughts

Diversity is hard, but well worth the effort. Federal compliance and the financial benefits of diversity will always be important. But the biggest reason to hire for diversity is because it’s the right thing to do.

The tragic stories in the news over the past year brings racism and bias to the forefront of our collective consciousness. At the same time, the pandemic has undone the gains women have made in the workforce. Now is the time for your company to recommit itself to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

If you’re interested in learning how applicant tracking and onboarding software can help you achieve your diversity goals, you can register for a personalized demo with a one of our solutions team members.

 

 

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash