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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.

 

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What Is Programmatic Job Advertising?

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

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

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

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

Programmatic Advertising

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recruitment Advertisement

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

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

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

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

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

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

Programmatic Job Advertising in Recruitment

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

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

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

Affordable Programmatic Job Posting

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

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

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

Final Thoughts About Programmatic Job Advertising

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

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

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

 

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How 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.

 

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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.

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How to Write a Job Description

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

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

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

Job Description Writing Guide

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

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

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

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

 

Mobile Recruiting Guide

Best practices for Writing Job Descriptions

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

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

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

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

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

A Good Job Description Template with Job Responsibilities

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

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

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

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

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

Good Job Description Examples

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

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

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

What Job Descriptions Should Not Include

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

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

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

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

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

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

Final Thoughts

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

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

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

 

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How Text Messaging Fills Positions Faster

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

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

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

 

Leverage Text Recruiting

Text Messaging Is Effective

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hiring Problems That Text Messaging Solves

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Text Message Professionally

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

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

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

Develop a Text Recruiting Strategy

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

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

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

 

Photo by Domingo Alvarez E on Unsplash

 

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

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

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

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

Long Job Application | Hiring Process Improvement

Video Transcript:

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

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

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

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

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

The job application rate numbers don’t lie.

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

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

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

Your job seekers…and you…deserve better!

Strategy: Trim the question fat.

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

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

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

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

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

Schedule a demo with ExactHire now!

We’re ready to learn about your hiring process!

Check out the other videos in this series…

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Job Description Writing Guide

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

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

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

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

 

Mobile Recruiting Guide

Best practices for Writing Job Descriptions

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

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

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

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

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

A Good Job Description Template with Job Responsibilities

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

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

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

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

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

Good Job Description Examples

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

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

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

What Job Descriptions Should Not Include

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

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

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

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

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

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

Final Thoughts

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

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

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

 

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

How Text Messaging Fills Positions Faster

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

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

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

 

Leverage Text Recruiting

Text Messaging Is Effective

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hiring Problems That Text Messaging Solves

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Text Message Professionally

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

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

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

Develop a Text Recruiting Strategy

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

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

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

 

Photo by Domingo Alvarez E on Unsplash

 

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

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

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

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

Long Job Application | Hiring Process Improvement

Video Transcript:

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

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

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

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

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

The job application rate numbers don’t lie.

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

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

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

Your job seekers…and you…deserve better!

Strategy: Trim the question fat.

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

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

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

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

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

Schedule a demo with ExactHire now!

We’re ready to learn about your hiring process!

Check out the other videos in this series…

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

 

5 Pro Tips for Quickly Pivoting to a Virtual Employee Onboarding Process

The new normal of living amidst the COVID-19 global pandemic is causing many employers to adopt new business processes…and to adopt them quite quickly.

For those organizations who are fortunate enough to continue hiring new employees, one of those business processes is to learn how to correctly onboard remote employees in a distributed workforce.

A hastily created employee onboarding process will put new hires at risk of feeling disconnected from their work and organization. On the other hand, a productive virtual employee onboarding program will forge a connection between the new teammate and the organization; thereby, positively contributing to employee satisfaction and the goals of the organization despite the uncertainty and hardship attributable to our current coronavirus reality.

Are you ready to pivot to a distributed workforce? Whether virtual employee onboarding is a brand new practice at your company, or you’re just looking for ways to fine tune employee onboarding for distributed workforces, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, I’ll discuss five best practices for quickly pivoting to a virtual employee onboarding process.

1 – Create a “remote-first” pre-boarding experience

With so much uncertainty on everyone’s mind, your new hire’s interactions with your organization in the days leading up to his start date shouldn’t further increase his anxiety. Make a toolkit of digital assets to share with a new teammate to make sure he feels adequately prepared and informed on day one. Here are some ideas:

  • Provide an organizational chart listing all employee names, titles and the hierarchy of the management structure. If you are a part of a very large organization, then a chart of the new employee’s department and/or division may be sufficient.
  • Create a task list or training schedule for the new hire’s first few days on the job. Create this in a shared document (e.g. Google Docs) that can be edited on-the-fly to include additional tasks as time progresses, as well as hyperlinked resource documents. With this approach, the employee can follow links to conduct further research to acquaint himself with your company and its organizational knowledge as his schedule permits.
  • Task relevant co-workers with creating video welcome messages to be shared with the new employee in the days leading up to the first day. We use a variety of tools at ExactHire (ranging from completely free to very affordable) such as video capture on our smartphones, and video applications like Soapbox, Vidyard and Camtasia.
  • Share a short, hyperlinked list of your company’s social media profiles with the new hire, as well as expectations about whether he is likely to be bombarded by social media invitation requests in his first week (as this can be a common way for remote workers to connect with one another).
  • Make it clear what equipment will be provided by the company (and by what date), and/or whether the new hire is responsible for bringing any of his own devices to his remote workstation. Ensure that all devices are accompanied by robust instructions on how to use and/or setup appropriate security protocols for effective work within the organization.

2 – Leverage the unique onboarding resources now available to your organization

While social distancing has caused many of us to approach the work setting in dramatically different ways, it has also led to the installation of a handful of new laws and limited regulations meant to help the American working population and employers cope with this crisis. Aside from new laws such as the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has also recently relaxed its normal requirements for Form I-9 compliance when hiring new employees. This change will help employees who have never hired remote workers to examine and temporarily approve employment eligibility documentation with confidence.

In particular, DHS has “[deferred] the physical presence requirements associated with Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) under Section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Employers with employees taking physical proximity precautions due to COVID-19 will not be required to review the employee’s identity and employment authorization documents in the employee’s physical presence.”

However, not all employers meet the criteria necessary for taking advantage of the option to initially virtually examine new hire documentation. In fact, only employers who have gone 100% remote for all employees may utilize this temporary flexibility in document examination. For more details on which organizations qualify and what documentation is necessary to participate, check out this recent Forbes article.

3 – Make a short list of near-term new hire expectations

To make this pivot toward remote onboarding manageable and relatively fast, focus on only the absolutely critical expectations that you need all new hires to know right from the start. In doing so, make sure you communicate that the current situation necessitates focusing on the “must-knows” initially, but that icing-on-the-cake knowledge and nurturing will be sure to follow as things calm down a bit.

Your new hire will appreciate your candor, and be more likely to establish trust in the organization early because it is helping to flesh out priorities to ensure the new hire’s success.

Here are some examples of employee expectations that may resonate with your team. Be sure to educate your new hire about each of the items below that may be important for his work.

  • Training prerequisites that must be completed before certain aspects of a job can be endeavored (e.g. safety, password security protocol)
  • Preferred methods for co-workers to communicate with each other (e.g. email, phone, Slack, text, video conference, project management tool comments)
  • Mission-critical reports and metrics that must be updated…and with what frequency

Remember that while your ability to equip your new employee with these essential bits of information can shorten his learning curve and improve outcomes, don’t forget that our normal isn’t so normal right now. In fact, it reminds me of an unidentified quote that my co-worker shared on our Slack channel today…one that very appropriately describes the current plight for many of America’s remote workers:

“You’re not working from home; you are at your home during a crisis trying to work.”

There’s a place for grace right now.

4 – Communicate your culture

While company culture can be somewhat nebulous to describe to others, as it is often something experienced for one’s self in-person, there’s no doubt that remote cultures exist, too.

However, it may take longer to assimilate remote workers to cultural norms if you don’t take strides to help them take seed early. Here are some ways to make your virtual culture more quickly tangible:

  • Facilitate video introductions between a new hire and fellow department members and other key co-workers. Make sure all teammates take a turn to introduce themselves, explain their respective roles, and offer suggestions on how they interface with the new employee in his job.
  • Recognize that your organization likely has a multitude of multimedia approaches for communication in different situations. Create a “cheat sheet” of common scenarios to give your new employees a head start:
    • Protocol for out of office messages
    • Appropriate channels for different types of Slack posts
    • Frequency for co-worker video meet-ups and the purpose of each (e.g. is this a project-related call or a virtual happy hour?)
    • General guidelines on how quickly to respond to different inquiries and requests (make sure to allow for time zone differences between co-workers)
    • Location of a schedule of regular working hours for different employees
    • Protocol on whether to use one’s video camera on conference calls (is it preferred or required by various departments?)
    • Acceptable format for email signatures
    • Preferred software applications for different assignments (e.g. MS Word or Google Docs when both are available?)

5 – Implement employee onboarding software for remote hiring success

Depending on the industry in which you work, you likely use a set of software applications critical to the productivity of your business–it’s your tech stack. From CRMs to POS systems, and project management suites to ticketing portals, these varied forms of technology are essential to different industries because they leverage technology to automate and improve repetitive, and perhaps otherwise manual tasks for different employers.

While health clinics may not need POS systems, and safety equipment manufacturers aren’t desperate for software issue ticketing suites, I will advocate that all employers who are currently hiring should consider employee onboarding software.

Moreover, if you are hiring remote employees, onboarding software gives you a significant competitive advantage as you can improve the new hire user experience (aka first impression) as well as minimize documentation errors.

ExactHire’s OnboardCentric employee onboarding software can be implemented either as a stand-alone solution to meet your urgent onboarding needs; or, as a hiring component integrated with our ExactHire applicant tracking system.

As employers face constantly evolving news related to COVID-19, they are adjusting priorities and re-allocating resources on a daily basis. Our team understands the need for fluidity and responsiveness, and we’re equipped to get you up and running with onboarding software quickly.

To expedite implementation and improve your new hire experience despite the current pandemic, we recommend that you start by implementing required new hire forms (e.g. state tax forms, Form W-4, Form I-9, direct deposit, etc.) and allow us to train supervisors who need access right away.

Then, as demands on your schedule decline, our team is happy to work with you to include non-essential nice-to-have new hire forms, discuss onboarding process best practices and conduct more advanced user training with all of your hiring managers. Our responsive team is ready to work as your partner through this crisis.

Demo ExactHire Onboarding Software

Are you ready to improve your employee onboarding experience and respond to the rapidly changing hiring landscape with success? Schedule a demo of OnboardCentric today.