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

What’s the trouble with job posting?

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

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

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

How to Write an Optimized Job Posting

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

Preparation Is Key to Writing a Job Ad

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

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

How to Write a Job Ad to Attract the Best Candidates

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

How to Write a Job Posting Optimized for the Search Engines

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

Tips for Posting to a Job Board

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

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

Creative Job Ad Examples

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

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

Job Board Posting Software

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

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

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

Tips for Top Job Posting Sites

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

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

Tips to Find Free Job Posting Sites

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

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

Final Tip

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

  1. Use an ATS.

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

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

 

 

Photo by Prateek Katyal on Unsplash

Avoid HR Headaches with these 25 Tips

The expectations business leaders place upon their human resource departments are increasing. Years ago, the role of HR centered around filing employee paperwork, navigating benefits, and a range of activities meant to avoid compliance fines and lawsuits. Of course, human resource professionals came into their roles with a higher calling: cultivating the company’s human capital, its employees.

The times have caught up with the nobler side of human resources. Even the most profit-focused executive understands the high cost of low retention. And much of the business sector embraces concepts like culture and employer brand after witnessing the tech industry wield them successfully. As a result, business leaders expect much more from their human resource professionals.

Throw in COVID and the ever-increasing labyrinth of laws and regulations, and any HR professional may start measuring their dedication in aspirin. But you needn’t suffer migraines to chase your HR calling. We’ve identified 5 common causes of HR headaches and compiled a list of 25 HR tips to avoid these issues.

Eliminate Workplace Discrimination, Promote Diversity

  1. Elevate your training beyond a blurb in the handbook. Create a comprehensive anti-discrimination training plan using how-to videos and assessments to ensure understanding.
  2. Create additional, in-depth training programs for managers. When a potential HR discrimination issue arises, it will likely be brought to the attention of one of your managers first. Make sure they know how to handle discrimination situations to avoid making the company vulnerable to further legal action.
  3. Address the anti-discrimination HR issues unique to remote workers. Virtual meetings are a fact of work life, whether employees are in the office or at home. Likewise, in the absence of physical proximity, employees rely on email and other forms of communications more often than ever. Make sure your anti-discrimination policies take into consideration the increasingly virtual nature of work.
  4. Avoid claims of hiring discrimination by using applicant tracking software (ATS) to thoroughly log hiring decisions. Keeping an electronic record of interviews, impressions and the reasons behind your hiring decision will protect you in the event of legal action resulting from a hiring decision.
  5. Create a diversity plan in your hiring process. Remove excessive educational or other onerous job requirements. Advertise your job openings to marginalized groups.

Avoid Wage and Hour HR Issues

  1. Take advantage of the training modules in your onboarding software to educate workers about expectations regarding working during off hours. Clarify that they are not allowed to work beyond their scheduled hours without approval, and tell them to approach HR if they feel their manager is pressuring them to perform unpaid work during their off-hours.
  2. Know the wage and hour laws in each state where remote workers or contractors reside. For example, California updated its employment laws regarding the classification of independent contractors. Even one remote worker in a state may make your company liable for franchise taxes or a different standard of workers’ compensation insurance.
  3. Require employees to sign-off on any changes to their time worked or their paycheck. Sometimes payroll mistakes will happen. When they do, provide documentation explaining the error and require the employee to sign it before corrections are implemented.
  4. When hiring, the role should be clearly designated as being exempt or nonexempt. Be consistent with your job descriptions and training for jobs. Utilize your ATS and onboarding software to help keep track of the details. Don’t recreate the wheel every time the chair is empty.
  5. Classify bonuses correctly for nonexempt employees. The overtime rate for your nonexempt employees is “one and one-half times the regular rate at which they are employed.” When you give nonexempt employees bonuses, that bonus amount most likely needs to be calculated into their “regular rate” for overtime calculation.

Avoid HR issues and Turnover by being Proactive

  1. Use your onboarding software to create employee training plans for each position. Rather than relying on the same onboarding process for every new hire, tailor your onboarding plan for each position. Include training modules as well as peer training.
  2. Create a career development plan for employees. 65% of employees expect their employers to provide resources for continued learning. You can increase engagement and reduce turnover by supporting your employees’ career development goals.
  3. Create a mentorship program. Pair current leaders with your star employees to form a mentorship program. Upskilling your current workforce is less costly and more effective than hiring new employees. Current employees who show potential but lack training already understand the company, its culture and its mission.
  4. Consider sponsoring employees for paid certifications and workshops.
  5. Avoid a one-size-fits-all approach by conducting a performance analysis to pinpoint the source of performance issues. Employee surveys, accident reports, customer feedback and other tools can help you determine if the problem is specific to an employee, a manager or the entire team. They can also help you uncover company-wide inefficiencies that contribute to performance issues.

Avoid Employee Conflict

  1. Encourage inter-departmental communication early. During your onboarding process, assign new hires to work in different departments for a day. They’ll learn how their role affects the company, and they’ll form working relationships with their colleagues.
  2. Respect personality differences and adjust for employee strengths. Often, a perceived weakness is masking a corresponding strength. An introvert struggling in a team setting may excel if given the opportunity to work independently. Use personality tests and strength-based assessments to ensure everyone can thrive in their role.
  3. Foster team relationships with company-sponsored events. Whether it’s a company-wide baseball game or a smaller outing to a comedy club with the team, give employees a chance to get to know their colleagues beyond their work role.
  4. Incorporate relationship-building and social needs into your onboarding process. Get new hires off to a great start by encouraging workplace friendships. Ask your new hire to write a short biography, including information such as hobbies or pets. Post this biography in a prominent place on the company intranet. Assign a peer buddy to each new hire to help them learn the company’s culture and unwritten rules, and schedule lunches with team members.
  5. Reexamine your incentive and rewards program. Make sure to revise employee incentives that may encourage too much competition and create conflict.

Improve Your HR Recruitment Results

  1. Use an ATS to automate repetitive tasks such as posting to multiple job sites, texting candidates and tracking progress. By doing so, you’ll have more time for creating a strategy that improves your hiring process.
  2. Harness the power of data. Your ATS can tell you important information, such as your time-to-hire ratio, drop off rate, how long it takes applicants to complete an application and more. You can use your ATS to find out where you can make improvements in your process.
  3. Implement an employee referral program. Employee referrals result in more new hires than any other method. And they tend to stay with the company longer.
  4. Use a team approach to make better hiring decisions and avoid unconscious bias.
  5. Make it easy to attract top talent by developing your employer brand.

Take the Headache Out of Human Resources

The causes behind the most common HR issues are increasingly complex. Discrimination, once confined to the office, can now happen across great distances. And greater social awareness is bringing a wider range of claims to the courts. Wage and hour laws, always notoriously complex, can be downright perplexing when it comes to remote workers.

Training has become a key expectation from top talent. Employee conflict, which affects your productivity and culture, is even more damaging in the tight post-Covid labor market. There are a lot of factors that support the current labor shortage and the Great Resignation phenomenon we are experiencing. Unfortunately, neither are going to change in the near term.

Without a doubt, a career in human resources can be a wild ride. On the one hand, you’ve got a pile of new laws and regulations to decipher and an executive team demanding more metrics. On the other hand, you get to help people reach their potential and assist them when they need support along their work journey. If you want to reclaim part of your workday and throw away your aspirin bottle, I suggest you work with companies that are truly interested in partnering with you and your success versus just selling you software.

If you are ready for real help from real people, check out our applicant tracking system and onboarding software. Contact us today to find out more.

Photo by Vinicius “amnx” Amano on Unsplash

Hiring with QR Codes

If you’ve been dining out or picking up food to go, it’s likely you have seen or used a QR code to access your menu or even pay a bill. Want to share feedback on an experience? Often, the participant will access a QR code to provide input on a topic. What are QR codes you might ask?

What is a QR Code?

Invented in 1994, QR (Quick Response) codes are matrix barcode readable optic labels…or more simply, those black line patterned squares we see on receipts, papers, billboards and a multitude of other areas. (Even Super Bowl commercials for that matter!) Upon scanning a QR code with a mobile device, a designated webpage will open in the viewer’s browser.

QR codes are not new, but they are a bit newer to mainstream use. They provide contactless convenience to communicate essential information to the reader via a mobile device.  Those nifty square shapes of lines are rising in popularity due to our increasing need for mobile communication, especially since the onset of the pandemic.

No matter the industry, there are ways to incorporate the use of QR codes. Let’s talk about the area where we, HR Professionals, may need extra support now–recruiting and hiring.

Hiring with QR Codes

Companies are short staffed and desperately seeking interested, qualified applicants to fill their job openings. How can a company promote its brand and fantastic job opportunities with limited time and space? By hiring with QR codes!

Hiring with QR codes–or using them in your recruitment process–can be the catalyst that amplifies your applicant volume. An employer using QR codes can quickly disseminate valuable content to job seekers, reaching audiences that it might not have connected with otherwise. Plus, they present your organization as modern and tech savvy–which helps your employer brand.

How and Where to Use QR Codes for Hiring

Not sure how or where to use a QR code for hiring? Here are some helpful strategies and tips to incorporate QR codes into your recruiting and hiring processes.

  • Print Media – Printing flyers for distribution or posting in high-traffic areas? If so, then add a QR code so viewers can scan to learn more about your job listings. Motivate job seekers to apply by providing instant information!
  • Signage – Look around, and you’ll see a large number of signs exclaiming “Now Hiring!” Competition is fierce, so include a QR code on your signage to standout and compete with other companies that are vying for the same job seekers. Interested job seekers who are not ready to walk inside and apply can scan the QR code to access your company’s job info. They then can choose to apply immediately or at their convenience.
  • Business Cards – While networking face to face has been altered due to COVID-19, it still exists. Employees with personal business cards can add QR codes. If your organization prints general recruitment cards, add a QR code linked to your company’s “Career Opportunities” webpage.
  • Workroom posters and flyers – Just like using print media for an external audience, workroom flyers are a great way to target an often overlooked talent pool–current employees. Current employees offer knowledge of company culture and goals–and can often jump the “new hire learning curve”. Post flyers with QR codes in break rooms to promote vacancies and show your company’s commitment to internal growth.
  • Transportation – Take your message wherever you go by adding a QR code to your company vehicle via car wraps. It’s company mobility with a mobile message.
  • Receipts – Hospitality, service, and retail industry leaders, in particular, take note. The next time a receipt is provided to your customers, make sure a QR code to your job openings is included at the bottom. Your loyal customers might become your best employees!

Better Hiring with QR Codes

QR codes provide a tremendous amount of data with a quick, simple scan. This helps employers track the effectiveness of recruitment marketing strategies, like print and other display content. And it simplifies the application process by giving job seekers the power to conveniently apply on mobile devices, giving them a way to “apply on the fly”.

QR codes communicate directly to audiences–safely, quickly and thoroughly. As HR professionals, we seek to make the applicant experience impactful, timely, and accessible. Hiring with QR codes helps you achieve this and much more!

 


ExactHire ATS makes it easy for employers to deploy QR Codes in the hiring process, contact us today to learn more.

 

 

Can an ATS Really Help You Find Your Next Candidate?

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

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

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

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

An ATS Can Make Your Branded Careers Site Do More

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

Why is a branded careers page important?

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

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

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

Applicant Tracking System Makes Applying to Your Job Opening Easier

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

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

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

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

Text message? Phone call? Email?

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

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

Use an ATS to Craft an Organized, Seamless Candidate Experience

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

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

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

Keep the Positive Candidate Experience Going by Building a Talent Pool

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo by João Ferrão on Unsplash

Top 5 New Year’s Resolutions for the HR Generalist

The year 2022 has arrived at our door whether we are ready or not. Traditionally, at the culmination of the year, rumination over the year’s positive and negative experiences flood the mind while music like Auld Lang Syne resonates with the validity of its translation: “Days Gone By”.  Truly, those days have gone by quickly, yet at times, days are seemingly endless. Let us turn our energy to starting a new year with renewed focus and optimism.

As we reflect on days gone by and the challenge of starting a second year of business operations in a pandemic, it helps to focus on the core of a business’s success. And while customers are a driving force for profit and growth, the ultimate force that helps sustain and grow our organizations–the core of our success–is our employees.

Each day, statistics and articles are published focusing on “The Great Resignation”. No one can deny that people are leaving the workforce in record numbers for myriad reasons.  Executive leadership within organizations must be cognizant of the daily struggles of their employees at all levels. Eliminating the disconnect between managers and support staff is crucial to ensuring a productive and positive working environment.

HR Generalists – keep your superhero cape fastened.  Here are five goals for 2022 that will help keep the light bright within your organization.

  1. Reevaluate your current talent – Look internally at your talent. Are there current employees who would be ideal for your vacant roles?  Do you have a succession plan in line if your key talent and leadership leaves? Current employees are knowledgeable of the company culture and already meet a basic learning curve.
  2. Retrain and refocus – As technology evolves, are your employees staying up-to-speed? Do certain departments or employees need specific training offsite, or can outside trainers meet your needs onsite?  Many educational institutions offer group training designed after a thorough needs analysis which can be delivered onsite or virtually.
  3. Enhance the employee experience – Make physical and mental health for yourself and others a priority. Does the organization offer, and encourage, the use of physical and mental wellness plans? Many gyms have closed or are on modified schedules due to COVID. Some individuals do not feel comfortable going into public exercise facilities. Any option to provide paid time to work out for 30 minutes during the day at the company or at home?
  4. Lead by example – HR is the go-to for the majority of items. Often, HR receives complaints and concerns but not always positive feedback on the successes of others or wins across departments. Seek ways to generate positive feedback from employees and departments to improve struggling morale.
  5. Flexibility, flexibility, flexibility – HR has been stretched to the point of snapping, but HR is also flexible enough to bounce back after being pulled multiple ways at multiple times. Our working world will not be able to party like it is 2019 anytime soon. Having contingency plans for staffing, support and incentives for employees to pick up additional tasks and shifts will help ease the roller coaster of departures and quarantines. Find ways to bridge the gap between onsite and remote employees. Weekly or biweekly sessions offered via video conferencing software might help.

Human Resources professionals are human like each of us. HR Departments of one or many need support too. The last two years have proved that we must work together to succeed.

 

To start 2022 more efficiently and streamline your employment processes, contact ExactHire to learn more about our Applicant Tracking Software (ATS), employee onboarding and employee assessment solutions to help increase your organization’s productivity.

 

Photo by Tony Hand on Unsplash

Best Ways to Attract Applicants to Apply

If you’re having trouble attracting talent to your workplace, you’re not alone. The U.S. has 11 million job openings, but only 7.7 million applicants to fill them. That means companies like yours have to work hard to attract applicants. The big fish like McDonald’s and Amazon are raising their wages to recruit candidates.

But small and medium-sized businesses, still reeling from the pandemic’s economic downturn, can’t write big paychecks to attract employees. Many small businesses are getting by on shortened hours and fewer employees. But these emergency measures can only work for so long before customers start taking their business elsewhere.

Fortunately, unemployment claims are finally inching downward. But that isn’t a light at the end of the tunnel. The U.S. is still missing over 4 million workers who are sitting out the labor force because of COVID concerns, family obligations, and other reasons. Small and medium-sized businesses are still in a cut-throat competition with big chains to attract quality talent. Luckily, many of the best ways to attract applicants don’t require deep corporate pockets.

Get Job Applicants to Apply

Figuring out how to get job applicants to apply to your company begins with your employer brand and your employer value proposition. In other words, what are you doing to make your company a place where people want to work?

Start by checking your company’s reviews on Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and Indeed. These sites will give you valuable feedback about what employees really think about working for your company. They also influence candidates, who will forgo applying to your company if they read negative reviews.

But don’t wait for employees to voice their grievances online. Consider conducting an anonymous employee survey to uncover potential problems as well as those things that make you a great employer. Most importantly, after you’ve collected your feedback, act on it.

Consider also the obstacles job seekers are facing. Nearly 1.5 million of those missing from the workforce are mothers with school-aged children. Schools may be welcoming children back into the buildings, but parents still aren’t off the hook when it comes to COVID. As the virus sweeps through the classrooms, children are forced home to quarantine or recover. Revisit your policies and examine ways you can support working parents juggling jobs and children.

Many workers are also staying home due to COVID concerns. Vulnerable populations are still susceptible to serious illness, even with a vaccine. Unemployed workers caring for aging parents or unvaccinated children may be waiting until the virus is better controlled. You can encourage these employees to return to the workforce by maintaining your COVID precautions or implementing a remote work policy.

Best Place to Find Job Candidates

To know how to find good candidates for jobs, you need to know the best places to go. Most companies assume they’ll find the best candidates on Indeed and LinkedIn. But there are countless job sites out there, and your ideal applicants may be on smaller, niche job boards.

Are you tracking recruitment success rates across job sites? If you use an ATS that includes applicant source reports, you can know which sites are the best places to source employees for your industry. ExactHire ATS can filter source reporting by applicant status, so you’ll know which job sites are netting low quality talent and wasting your time.

Use social media to boost your online recruiting success. The people who follow you on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram already have a positive view of your company. Even if these users aren’t looking for a job themselves, chances are they know someone who is. Take advantage of your followers’ social connections to find job candidates.

Don’t rely solely on the internet to source talent. Take advantage of job fairs, universities, and your local employment office. Implement an employee referral bonus. According to Statista, referrals were a close second to LinkedIn as the most effective source for staffing firms. New hires are more likely to become successful long-term employees when they come from an existing employee’s network.

Create a talent pool of previous applicants to source your future hiring needs. Oftentimes, your hiring decision is a close call between two or more applicants. You can keep in touch with those who didn’t get the job. Of course, you need to implement a stellar candidate experience so rejected candidates will still want to work for your company.

Creative Ways to Attract Talent

These basics will go a long way in helping you attract and retain talent. But in the current labor shortage, you’ll need creative ways to attract candidates.

When you’ve ironed out your employer value proposition and you know the core benefits your company offers employees, create content to get the word out. Your branded careers site is the perfect place to showcase employees’ individual accomplishments. You can also create videos to give candidates a feel for what it’s like day-to-day in your workplace.

Create a lot of recruitment-related content and spread it around the internet. Think about all the things potential applicants want to know about your company. For example, on Medium.com, you’ll find articles about “How to Get a Job at Amazon” and the “5 Things You Need to Know Get a Job at Facebook.” You can post workplace photos on Instagram and links on Twitter. Or upload recruiting videos that highlight your culture to YouTube.

Consider joining a virtual job fair or hosting your own. If you haven’t seen job fairs in your local community, it could be that they’ve gone virtual. Search for virtual fairs locally as well as nationally to recruit candidates interested in moving. You can also create your own job fair. You can create a space in which job seekers can learn more and ask questions. Then, you can create meeting rooms where hiring managers can interview attendees.

Outside-the-Box Recruiting Strategies for Conversion

Up until now, we’ve focused on getting job seekers to want to work for your company. Now, it’s time to get them to want to complete your job application. The sad fact is most job seekers quit the application process. If you want to increase the number of completed applications you receive, think outside-the-box and consider your candidates’ perspective.

Your ideal candidate either already has a job or is so motivated to work that she’s made finding work her job. Either way, she’s too busy to fill out a long, complicated job application. And with so many jobs available, she doesn’t have to.

Make sure your application takes less than 15 minutes to complete. Your employer branding efforts may convince job seekers your workplace is amazing. But that doesn’t mean they’ll spend half a day filling out your job application.

Many candidates prefer the convenience of their mobile device when searching for jobs. Hourly workers may only have access to a smartphone. And many Millennials prefer using their smartphones to fill out job applications. In other words, regardless of the position for which you are hiring, you’ll attract more applicants if your careers page and application are mobile friendly.

Make sure your branded careers site contains an Applicant FAQs page. You can improve your candidate experience by providing an overabundance of information. Applicants will want to know how long the application will take, how to apply to multiple positions, and how to check on the status of their application, to name a few questions.

Your careers site and application form are your candidates’ first interaction with your company. Making these pages mobile-friendly and easy to use is your first step in creating an exceptional candidate experience. Your candidates’ experience continues during the interviewing and hiring phase.

HR Best Practices for Interviewing and Hiring

You can improve your candidates’ experience during the interviewing and hiring phase with these HR best practices.

  • Clearly communicate during each phase of the hiring process using the candidate’s preferred method. An ATS that incorporates text recruiting, message templates and interview scheduling can help.
  • Introduce interviewees to the team and take them on a tour of the workplace. You’ll demystify your workplace and allay candidates’ anxieties.
  • Provide a lot of information. Tell candidates whom they’ll meet with. Give them detailed instructions on where to park and what to wear. And tell them what to expect from your hiring process and your timeline.
  • Follow-up with candidates who didn’t get the job. Give them gentle feedback and ask them for feedback about their experience. And don’t forget to wish them well in their job search.

A massive labor shortage on the heels of a debilitating pandemic is pushing too many small and medium-sized businesses into survival mode. But you can get back to your regular business hours and get on with serving your customers with these best ways to attract talent.

Attract applicants to apply by developing your employer brand and make genuine efforts to be a great place to work. Remove obstacles that are holding back 1.4 billion Americans from searching for a job. Then get creative with your recruiting efforts. Finally, create an exceptional candidate experience and create a talent pool to invite past candidates to apply again.

You have to work harder to attract applicants to apply to your company. But an ATS can make your recruiting efforts more efficient and save you time. Using ATS data and reporting features will help you implement the best strategies for finding candidates and avoiding time-wasters.

Contact ExactHire today to find out how our ATS can help you find quality applicants.

 

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Remove Friction from the Application Process

In a challenging job market where job seekers have the leverage, employers need to ensure that their hiring process is “candidate-centric” —and that starts with a frictionless application process.

 

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TRANSCRIPT

The biggest challenge that companies are facing today is talent. They can’t fill open positions, and it’s having a huge effect on their revenue, their profits, and their service.

  • We need to make the process more candidate-centric versus employer-centric.
  • We need to remove the friction from the process, make it easier, and we need to use applicant tracking systems to streamline the process both for the candidate and the company.
  • Trim the question fat–that’s in essence, what that means is just reduce the number of questions that you’re going to ask people–there’s way too many.
  • Change your approach to applications. There’s a lot of things here you can do, like first one is you could use two-stage apps, and that is just ask questions of people, get some information, figure out if that’s a good candidate for you, and then flip over to the second set of questions once you reduce that number to more manageable number.
  • You need to know what your candidate drop-off rate is.
  • You need to know how long it takes for your candidates to complete an application. If you haven’t taken your own application, you should do that to give you a baseline to know what that is.
  • Track and measure your success so you can see if you’re making any improvements, and how it’s working.

And with that, happy hiring!

Recruiting Ideas for Low Wage Workers 

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

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

Who Are Low Wage Workers?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recruit Low Wage Workers

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

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

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

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

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

Creative Recruiting Ideas

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

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

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

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

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

Recruitment Strategies for Low Wage Jobs

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recruit Low-wage Workers with an Applicant Tracking System

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

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

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

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

Photo by Nathália Rosa on Unsplash

Hiring Former Offenders

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

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

Pandemic Job Market

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

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

Hiring Former Offenders

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

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

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

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

Justice Involved Hiring

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

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

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

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

Ban the Box Policy

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

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

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

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

Employers Benefit from Justice Involved Employees

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

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

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


ABOUT EXACTHIRE:

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

 

Photo by Hédi Benyounes on Unsplash