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How to Push Jobs from HireCentric Applicant Tracking System to LinkedIn Jobs

If you’re seeking white collar talent, then the business professional social media networking site, LinkedIn, is a good place to source potential candidates. If you wish to take your recruiting efforts beyond personal connections with LinkedIn contacts, then you may consider pushing job listings from your HireCentric applicant tracking system to LinkedIn Jobs using our post to external job boards feature.

If you plan to do a great deal of posting on LinkedIn, then it probably makes sense to establish a relationship with LinkedIn and pre-purchase job postings in bulk. However, if you’re just starting out with pushing jobs to LinkedIn and/or your hiring volume doesn’t support pre-purchasing in bulk, then you can buy one-off LinkedIn job postings directly from ExactHire within your HireCentric applicant tracking software portal.

Here’s how it works:

  • Navigate to the Jobs Dashboard of HireCentric, and then select the “Job Board Favs” tab.

Push Jobs to LinkedIn | HireCentric

  • From here, you can select the “Suggest a Job Board” button and then do a search for LinkedIn-related posting opportunities.

LinkedIn Job Postings | ExactHire Applicants

  • If you have an existing sales representative with LinkedIn, then you can use the “Account” method and enter your login credentials to connect the use of your existing job credits with LinkedIn with the ability to automatically push job postings from HireCentric.
  • If you wish to purchase one-off slots for LinkedIn Jobs from within HireCentric applicant tracking software, then you may utilize the “Billing” method and pay for your posting using a PayPal account. You can find more details about billing methods for Job Board Favorites on this tip sheet.
  • The one-off job price you pay to ExactHire is the same price you’d pay LinkedIn directly for a single job posting. However, by posting through ExactHire’s portal, you save the time and hassle of having to manually post your job listing directly with LinkedIn outside of the applicant tracking system.
  • Moreover, you can post your job listing to any geographic market in the United States. In fact, as of January 2017 ExactHire now offers the ability for you to purchase LinkedIn job postings in the New York City and San Francisco markets which were previously unavailable through HireCentric.

Need Help with HireCentric and LinkedIn Jobs?

If you’d like assistance with using the HireCentric applicant tracking system to purchase single LinkedIn job postings, please contact the ExactHire Client Services Team at support@exacthire.com. We’re happy to help!

Recruiting Ninjas: 5 Ways to Build a Niche Network

Sales and recruiting have a lot in common and I think just about any recruiter out there would agree with that. Given this similarity in function, you can imagine the path to success for both is likely similar. All good salespeople and recruiters know that networking is the key to any long term success.

Successful networking involves repetitive and constant effort. All plants will eventually die if you don’t water them. Just like sales, all recruiting networks will eventually dry up if you don’t nurture them. As a recruiter you most likely already have a technology solution to let you manage job openings and applicants. If not, you need to get one! An applicant tracking system like HireCentric ATS from ExactHire is what you need to track and manage all your leads and applicants resulting from your networking efforts.

Recruiting is a “results-based” endeavor. Meaning, placements and hires are what matter. However, all recruiters know there is a significant amount of activity that goes into it. Since you don’t have unlimited time, you need to make sure your activities are focused on what will get you results and what will help you build your network.

Building a successful network requires focusing and fine tuning your efforts. In order to focus your network efforts you need to pick a niche. If you are hiring software developers, your networking efforts need to focus on those groups, activities and associations. Focus on the following five activities to build your niche network, be more efficient, and reduce your time-to-hire.

Niche Job Boards

Focusing your efforts is critical to getting the best return on your [time] investment. Job boards can take some getting used to and none of them are real easy to post openings on or search for candidates. So how do you make your use of job boards effective? There are a few steps you can take.

First, find a job board that is very specific to the target market for which you are hiring. Do your research on the volume of jobs posted.  If it has a resume database, evaluate the number of resumes it contains. Do some searches for your target candidates. How many are in the system, when were their resumes last updated? These are questions to ask when evaluating the system.

Hint, hint! If you’re an agency recruiter or independent recruiter, look at the companies that are posting jobs on these boards. These are potential leads and you can clearly identify their needs. Use it to your advantage.

Attend Niche Professional Organizations

Building a network must involve–you guessed it–networking. Forget about recruiter networking groups. After all, you aren’t hiring recruiters. Identify networking groups that are associated with your target market. If you are seeking candidates, focus on groups and associations in which they would be involved and attend those events. If you are seeking clients, focus on groups and associations to which those hiring managers [decision makers] would belong.

Hint: Most of those groups will have both potential candidates and clients as members.

Speak at Niche Events

Speaking is always a great way to network with many people at once. It’s also one of the toughest areas to break into and you usually need a network to get started in speaking. That being said, many professional organizations are always looking for speakers at events. As long as you’re competent and you know the material you are presenting, speaking is the best way to get branded an “expert.”

Tailor your message to your audience. You have a captive audience for networking so take advantage of it. This is more than an elevator pitch, it’s a full commercial. Continue the conversation with those who come up to speak with you afterwards. If you’re speaking to potential clients, this is great exposure to your services.

Give Career Advice

Since you are a recruiter you should, by default, be an expert in career advice. Since you live and breathe job placement everyday, you have unique insight into what employers seek, how they make decisions, what candidates want, etc. Share this knowledge and information with both potential clients and candidates.

You should use a variety of mediums to share your knowledge such as blogging, writing articles and short books, speaking (as mentioned above) and volunteering at career centers and workshops. These are all fantastic ways to build your network. Focus your advice on interviewing, resume writing and job searching. You’ll also have the side benefit of getting first glance at potential candidates before they even apply to other jobs.

Know Your Stuff

A recruiter who is competent and credible in the industry in which they recruit will achieve greater levels of success than his peers. Some of the most successful recruiters have actually practiced the trade for which they source candidates. Being able to talk-the-talk and walk-the-walk will not only help you win instant respect from clients, but also from candidates.

Now demonstrate your expertise and knowledge. Seek out any opportunity to write for blogs, submit articles, etc. Sign up for opportunities to be an expert source or reference for different publications at the site Help A Reporter Out (HARO). Brand yourself and your social media presence as an expert in the fields for which you recruit. Actually take the time to learn the jobs of those you are recruiting. Know what goes into their daily activities. Know the good and the bad. Understand the typical struggles. Most importantly know why your candidates typically look for new opportunities.

 

Building a niche network will not only help focus your precious time and efforts on the activities that will actually generate better results for your recruiting efforts, but it will also brand you as a career expert in your area. When you are a defined expert, people will seek you out. In recruiting this means not only will candidates seek you out, but clients will as well.

Want to leverage your recruiting network? See how ExactHire’s Applicant Tracking System can quickly get your postings to the niche job boards you need.

 

Photo Credit: OpenClipart-Vectors

5 Recruitment Tools That Give You the Advantage

The competition for talent requires organizations and their armies of recruiters to maintain a competitive advantage and a sharp edge when it comes to their recruiting and hiring practices. The modern day recruiter must be proactive, responsive, open-minded, and a little bit competitive. An applicant in your pipeline has also applied to other places so it’s imperative you’re on your game.

There are a number of things that can give an organization and its recruiters a competitive advantage in the gladiatorial arena of today’s hiring environment. Whether you face lack of applicants or lack of qualified applicants makes no difference. The fact is, the best applicants aren’t just dropping on your door-step.

An ace recruiter realizes that speed to hire without jeopardizing the process or quality is critical to winning the recruiting war. You have to be able to attract the best active job seekers to apply and make it as easy as possible for them to do so. Likewise, as a recruiter, you need to be able to sort through those applicants efficiently and recognize the best fit quickly.

Fundamentals of an Advantageous Process

There are some basic considerations when establishing a process aimed at giving you the upper-hand in hiring active candidates. The combination of speed, information requirements, accessibility and recruiter decision making all come into play.

Reducing the complexity of applications is probably one of the most critical aspects of the process. Allowing for a “quick app” collecting the minimum information needed for you as a recruiter to make a “call / no-call” decision is about all you need initially. Making your application mobile friendly is a good first step in this process as it forces you to abbreviate the information you are requesting.

Many times an application process is bogged down with irrelevant and excessive information. This can be a turnoff for some candidates and they may leave the process. There’s nothing more frustrating for an applicant than spending a lot of time on a resume, uploading it to your ATS, only to find out you want them to fill out a digital application as well. Limit the information you need to collect from them to the essential information you need for a “call / no-call.” decision. You will get more applicants!

Mobile friendly application processes will place your opportunities in the hands of more people, literally. If they they can apply with a few taps of the screen and a little bit of initial information (e.g. via Indeed or LinkedIn), you are sure to gain the attention of more people. This also means you can’t purely rely on the artificial intelligence of most applicant tracking systems. AI features are great at flagging applicants, but a human decision is still required.

Gain a Competitive Advantage with These Five Functions

Be sure that the applicant tracking system you select provides for these five key functions, which when leveraged properly, will grant you an extreme competitive advantage.  A system like ExactHire’s HireCentric ATS will provide all these features and more giving you a robust platform with the functionality you need to compete in the recruiting space.

User Interface

As mentioned earlier, the less painful you can make an application process the better. A mobile application is a must and an abbreviated process is critical. You don’t want to lose applicants before they’ve even completed the application. Take a hard look at your ATS of choice. Is it just an infinite amount of text fields requiring manual data entry?

A fast application should provide for the critical information necessary for you to make a “call / no-call” decision. This may include name, phone number, email, current position and brief summary, and any “knock-out” questions you may have. Caveat – make sure knock-out questions are actually relevant and matter.

Social Recruiting

It goes without saying that integration with social media sites is a must for every recruiter. A modern and effective ATS needs to interact and leverage social media. You should be able to push jobs to and share jobs on social media sites. As well as allow current employees to do the same. This allows a more active approach to recruiting rather than relying on the “post-and-pray” method.

Applicant Management

Your applicant tracking system is the heart and sole of your hiring process. If you’re fortunate enough to get high double-digit or even triple-digit applicant counts, you will need an efficient method for keeping them organized.  Top line features allow for the integration of applicant assessments and questionnaires. Your information gathering process should rely on who the applicant is and what they are capable of more so than a labored list of previous jobs, duties and functions. Assessments and questionnaires will provide you with an interactive look at who you’re considering for employment.

Paperless Onboarding

The hiring process doesn’t stop once an offer is made. Your onboarding process is the first impression your new employee will receive from your company. Remember, they have nothing invested yet, so a bad first impression could be the difference between a fully accepted offer and a rejected offer. Allowing for e-forms, digital signatures, video tutorials, etc.; will set you apart from the labored and antiquated new hire paperwork.

Analytics and Sourcing

What good is an ATS without the ability to leverage and mine the data that exists? Continuously improving on your process is sure to improve your speed to hire and attract more of the right applicants. Basic information such as time-to-hire, workflow, interviews, hiring yields among others, should be expected. Advanced information that gives you the ability to more precisely target your most successful applicants is what makes a significant difference.

 

The application process is the first impression an applicant gets of your company. Make it a good one. If you keep these fundamentals in mind and choose an applicant tracking system with some key competitive features, you will surely be on your way for winning the war on applicants. Remember, in today’s labor market, you typically need them more than they need you!

 

Want an advantage? Contact ExactHire to learn how our Applicant Tracking System can give you the edge you need.

 

Photo Credit: trainer24

Why Uptime Is Important

Uptime is a term used to describe how long a system remains functional and accessible. Uptime is enjoyable–you get what you expect when you want it. Downtime is the opposite–you don’t get what you expect when you want it.

In the first days of PokemonGo, many users were aghast to find their new pastime–at once hip and nerdy–was inaccessible due to its mass popularity. The servers couldn’t handle the traffic. And so for four hours PokemonGo hipnerds suffered through downtime.

Now this is excusable for a new release that encounters unexpected popularity. In fact, the downtime probably helped PokemonGo…

Brah 1: “Brah, PokemonGo is sooo populah that it broke the servers, brah.”
Brah 2: “Whahh, brah? What’s PokemahGah? I’m gahna download it, brah.”
Brah 1: “Dooo it, brah!”

That’s all fine and good for an app meant to distract and entertain the masses, but you and your HR brahs don’t want downtime when working with hiring software. You want your software to meet your expectations when you need it. Downtime is not acceptable.

Uptime For HR Software

HR Software vendors aren’t dealing with millions of round-the-clock users obsessed with the fun and competition of hiring talent. Recruiters don’t have to “catch ‘em all”, they just need to catch the right ones for the right positions. So maintaining uptime for users shouldn’t be such a huge challenge. But curiously enough, for some, it is.

When HR professionals contact ExactHire about our applicant tracking system or employee onboarding software, they ask a lot of questions. And right they should, as an informed buyer more often than not results in a happy customer. However, one question that is rarely asked is something like, “So what can I expect in terms of this solution’s uptime and downtime?”

You see, even a buyer who asks all the right feature and benefit related questions–and gets all the right answers–will find herself beyond disappointed if that well-vetted solution is constantly crashing or inaccessible. Frequent downtime means HR cannot access information on applicants, cannot communicate, and is essentially dead in the water. This is the risk of going with HR technology that looks pretty and works well, but frequently fails to work at all.

This is not to say that a solution should not have any downtime. In fact, it’s often necessary to schedule downtime in order to perform system maintenance and updates–that’s the beauty of SaaS solutions, you are constantly receiving the best that the vendor can offer in features and functionality. The problem, however, is that many vendors do not always schedule their downtime.

The HR Software Vendor’s Role

Unscheduled downtime is likely the result of one or two things:

  • A lazy/careless/ungrateful vendor
  • Inadequacies in vendor hardware or software

Oh, and maybe an earthquake or another Act of God, but that’s understandable. God has his own rules.

It’s probably safe to say that most organizations don’t want to do business with a lazy/careless/ungrateful vendor. And they certainly don’t want to invest in inadequate software that runs on questionable hardware. So why do HR professionals fail to ask about uptime and downtime when it comes to making a buying decision?

I think it goes back to expectation. We expect that 100% uptime is a given. Even though we all have gone through the annoyance (rage?) of losing a cell phone signal or dropping the stream from the season finale of Game of Thrones right when Cersei Lannister is prepared to exact her revenge on the High Sparrow and the House of Tyrell!

Ah the rage! And yet, we still expect 100% uptime.

100% HR Software Uptime

Fortunately, striving for 100% uptime is not a fool’s errand. By employing competent software developers and using stable hardware, vendors can go a long way toward ensuring 100% uptime. And when maintenance or updates are required, a proactive support team that notifies users of upcoming downtime is a must. Lastly, when those competent software developers are also committed to user satisfaction, updates and maintenance can often be planned for weekends or evenings in order to avoid downtime that negatively impacts users.

At ExactHire, our goal is to continually fulfill the expectations of our clients. Maximizing the uptime of our solutions is vital to this. In addition to our professional, committed staff in software development and client support, we utilize multiple servers and real-time data replication to provide system redundancy, limiting downtime. And when downtime is required, we’ll schedule it and you’ll know about it–but you probably won’t notice it.

So if you are currently researching HR solutions, check us out. And as you look at other vendors ask them about uptime and look for signs that backup their claims. You’ll be a better informed buyer and, ultimately, a happier customer.

Now excuse me. I’ve got some Pokemon to catch.


Feature Image Credit: pokemon-go-crash-189560 by Nintendo (contact)

How to Use Google Analytics to Measure Mobile Recruiting

This isn’t a beginner’s guide to understanding analytics; however, even if you are new to recruitment analytics I encourage you to read this post for its tips for using Google Analytics to measure mobile recruiting activity. Then, find your favorite marketing department buddy and plan to explore Google Analytics with his or her assistance.

Why Should You Track Recruitment Site Activity?

An analytics platform is essential to the modern recruiter because it can inform your decision-making process, give you justification for new recruitment expenditures and unearth trends that will compel you to create new action items for your organization’s talent acquisition efforts.

If you’re already using a mobile-optimized applicant tracking system, you may very well already have access to a robust analytics dashboard that allows you to evaluate the behavior and source of your job portal visitors. If you don’t use an ATS, Google Analytics is an incredibly powerful and free alternate resource.

Even with access to a recruiting software platform with in-application measurement dashboards, it still makes sense to use Google Analytics as a complementary analysis tool.

Prerequisites for Mobile Recruiting Analysis

Before you can reap the data rewards offered by Google Analytics, you (or your marketing team) needs to do some quick groundwork to connect your careers website to a Google Analytics account with a unique tracking ID. If you do work with an applicant tracking software provider, ask its support team to install the tracking ID in your ATS portal so you have a secondary analytics option that complements your recruiting software’s dashboard reporting.

Once your Google Analytics account begins to track data, know that the information you glean will become more insightful as time passes. A quarter or a year of tracking information is more telling than a week of data.

Initial Questions for Mobile Recruitment Metrics

Google Analytics can be a virtual playground for the analytically-inclined. There are myriad ways to splice and dice data, but it isn’t going to be productive for you or your organization’s mobile recruiting efforts unless you look at metrics that matter and customize them to your needs. However, you must begin somewhere.

Consider “big picture” questions about your mobile recruiting activities and then use Google Analytics to create custom reports and dashboards that answer those questions in a way that suits your unique circumstances.

  • What type of technology are visitors using?
  • Where do visitors originate?
  • What actions do visitors take while they browse the jobs portal?

Customize Data Elements for Additional Insight

It’s time to drill down to what matters most for your talent acquisition efforts. In this section, we’ll explore ways to answer the above questions using different tools within Google Analytics. As you and your team customize reports, you can use the answers gleaned to carve out which mobile job seeker “personas” matter most. Then, put action steps in place to compel more visitors with those preferred personas to convert on job opportunities.

Visitors

Primary Question:
What is the breakdown of site visitors by device type?

You don’t know anything about your mobile recruiting analytics until you know what percentage of your career site visitors arrive via desktop, tablet and mobile device. The answer to this question is the foundation for so many more decisions related to how you structure not just a mobile recruiting strategy, but an overall recruiting strategy. For smaller organizations, the general category percentages across all site visitors may be sufficient. In larger companies, it may make sense to evaluate this breakdown separately across each job category for additional insight. This latter approach will be applicable for further discussions in this post as well.

Mobile Recruiting Analytics Overview | ExactHire

Channels

Primary Question:
Which channels provide the most mobile traffic to the jobs portal?

Out of the box, Google Analytics provides a number of helpful reports that can serve as starting points for your data exploration. However, as previously mentioned, its power comes from customizing for your own scenarios. For instance, by applying a secondary dimension to the Channels report in Google Analytics’ Acquisition dashboard, you can quickly separate channel traffic by device category. Take it a step further by adding an advanced filter to look at channel traffic for one specific category such as mobile.

Mobile Recruiting Site Traffic Organic

Then, edit the filter to look at desktop by itself, too.

Desktop Recruiting Site Traffic Organic

Look for notable differences and start to ask why they exist. In the previous image, one possible hypothesis for desktop users being more likely to arrive via organic search compared to mobile users could be due to the jobs portal not being built with responsive web design principles. As a result, jobs portal pages wouldn’t necessarily appear as prominently in mobile search results than if the site was mobile-friendly.

However, you can’t rely on siloed statistics, so you must look at all angles to make informed decisions. For example, in some sites, the social channel may be a bigger piece of the pie for mobile users relative to organic search because so many people access social sites from their mobile devices more frequently than from computers.

For further insight, click on one of the channel groupings, such as social, for more detail about which sites in that category provide traffic to your jobs page.

Social Network Mobile Recruiting Analytics

Conversions

Primary Question:
Compared to desktop users, how many mobile users start employment applications? How many finish them?

Bring additional, essential context to the aforementioned metrics by examining them from a conversion standpoint. After all, improving the number of mobile users to your jobs portal across various channel categories is useless if those users don’t submit employment applications while they visit. Although you should compare the number of initiated employment applications to the number of completed applications over a given time period across all user categories, keep in mind that some people who completed during that time period may have started applications before the beginning of that reporting period. Nevertheless, you can still monitor percentage gaps over time for insight.

Compare this mobile user application start-to-finish ratio to that of desktop and tablet users. By doing so, it will become clear whether you may have an application problem in general; or, a mobile application problem, specifically. To put it simply, is your application too long for everyone because you ask twenty essay questions; or, do only mobile users abandon the funnel because they have cramps from finger zooming to see itty-bitty application drop-down boxes? (Assuming your site is not yet…you guessed it…mobile responsive!)

Tips for Increasing Mobile User Application Conversions

  • Enable auto-populated candidate data from external profiles like LinkedIn and Indeed.
  • Make sure text is legible and images are spaced appropriately without finger manipulation.
  • Add a progress bar to your mobile application showing percentage of completion.
  • Re-engage users who create a profile but abandon the application by sending them email invitations to finish the process.

Additionally, Google Analytics conversion reporting can help you identify opportunities to capitalize on emergent strengths and/or shore up apparent weaknesses.

Social Email Mobile Recruitment Analytics

The previous image might lead a recruiting professional to the following opportunities:

  • Even though the email channel makes up a tiny percentage of mobile site traffic, it’s the most successful category for converting applications. Therefore, a relatively small amount of money and time may be well spent on developing additional email campaigns to engage job seekers in an organization’s passive applicant pool. If your applicant tracking system offers automated job alert emails, this could be a pivotal feature in this scenario.
  • The social channel grouping is relatively poor at converting applications even though it brings more site visitors than organic search traffic. It’s abundantly clear that social media isn’t going away as a tool for recruiters, so this organization could re-evaluate the content it’s posting on social channels to include more calls to action that result in application conversion. Example: If your online employment application is mobile-optimized, share occasional posts about how easy it is for users to apply for jobs from their smartphone with a link to the portal.

Your marketing team can help set up goal conversions in Google Analytics based on a destination URL address or portion of a URL address (e.g., a user landing on your application “thank you” page is counted as a conversion).

Segments

Primary Question:
What are notable differences between desktop users and mobile users?

Once you feel more comfortable navigating reports related to visitors, channels and conversions in Google Analytics (perhaps with additional coaching from your marketing “bestie”), start experimenting with segments in Google Analytics. Adding segments to reports allows you to easily compare different cross-sections of users relative to specific dimensions and metrics in a single screen. Segments can help you quickly identify differences between desktop and mobile users, U.S.-based vs. international users, or new vs. returning users, for example.

Audience Overview Segments Mobile Analytics

Google Analytics Mobile Recruitment Resource

As you can see, in order to reap the benefits of this robust analysis tool it’s important to clarify your end objectives and specify the type of information that will help you make actionable decisions for your recruiting activities. Start with the basics and then customize your view using filters, additional dimensions and segments.

Want to get a jump start on analyzing your talent acquisition metrics for mobile site visitors? We’ve put together a dashboard complete with recruiting-relevant report templates you can use as a foundation for your own mobile recruitment dashboard customization. Download our free resource and get instant access to the following data points just to name a few:

  • conversion rate, bounce rate and average session length by device category;
  • session and conversion info segmented by channel across different device categories;
  • and, conversion rate by social network across different device categories.

Mobile Recruitment Analytics Dashboard | ExactHire
Image credit: iPhone by Gonzalo Baeza (contact)

Does HR Tech Dehumanize HR?

Technology distorts and weakens vital human interactions that are essential to the development of healthy, productive relationships.

Living in scholarly articles and strewn across the internet, there are endless theories and opinions on the profound impact that rapidly advancing technology is having on our society. Mixed with these viewpoints–and perhaps coloring them with shades of the apocalypse–is a very real fear; it is the fear that with the gains of technology, we are losing parts of our humanity.

Humans as Resources

The term “Human Resources” was coined in the late 19th Century– at the beginning of the Second Industrial Revolution. Then, it simply referred to the concept of humans as capital assets, or worse, commodities. It was not until the latter half of the 20th Century in the United States, with the founding of what would become the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), that the modern understanding of Human Resources began to evolve.

Today, Human Resources Management has grown from a profession primarily handling payroll and benefits, to one that manages the entire employee life cycle, succession planning, compliance, and labor relations–to name just a few functions. But as the scope of Human Resources Management has grown, so too has the time and work required to execute these functions. This fact has led organizations to do one of two things: hire additional, specialized HR professionals for the myriad functions; or rely on a few highly trained individuals to manage it all.

For many small- to medium-sized businesses, hiring additional HR professionals is not an option, so these organizations must rely on the talents and efforts of a few–or even just one. But how can an “HR Department of One” perform at a level of efficiency that matches an “HR Department of Many”?

Dehumanize HR

Dehumanize HR. Yes, a highly controversial answer when taken out of context; however, when an organization’s ultimate goals are considered, it becomes very clear that much of Human Resources Management is not about managing humans, it’s about managing processes. And a process managed by technology, rather than an HR professional, creates the time and opportunity for people to meaningfully interact–the net result being an experience that is more human, not less.

Over the past decade, our society–our world–has grown increasingly connected with rapid advances in technology. The Digital Age has brought efficiencies to almost every part of our lives, many that would have been unfathomable to those living in the mid-20th Century. So why could there be hesitancy to adopt technology to create efficiencies in Human Resources Management?

Fear: HR Software Is a Threat

HR technology as a threat

Some HR professionals fear that by incorporating technology into their departments, they will be eliminating the need for HR staff.  The thought is that if technology can automate so much, then why will we need a person to do it manually? This could lead to a fear of having to fire good people, not to mention the fear of losing one’s own position.

Reality: Technology is a tool to be used.

At least for the time being, much of the technology used in HR today still requires intelligent, experienced humans behind it. So the real danger for HR professionals is in failing to adopt and learn new technologies. The technology won’t replace you, but other humans who know how to use the technology will.

Fear: HR Technology Is a Liability

Is HR software a liability?

Transitioning from “do it yourself” to “login, click, and voila!” can be nerve-racking initially. There‘s the uneasiness of it being too easy–what once took hours to complete can now be accomplished in minutes. And so suspicion and doubt may arise as to whether the personal information is safe, documentation is adequate, and compliance reporting requirements can be met.

Reality: Technology can increase security and accuracy.

Although it may be natural to believe more in what we can see than in what we cannot see, technology has advantages: it does not forget, it does not misunderstand, it does not misfile. Great HR software is developed by a team that knows the HR industry and the compliance complexities that it entails. The best solutions will be backed by a customer support team that stays abreast of changes and ensures that the software is continually updated to meet a client’s compliance and reporting requirements.

Fear: Automating HR with Technology Is Just Wrong

HR software is wrong

For some, any change that radically alters their way of doing things will simply be labeled as wrong. End of story. This fear is held with the valid belief that not all things “new” add value. By refusing to consider new technology, these individuals can continue to think and perform within their safe zone, while feeling more in control.

Reality: Automation provides professional growth opportunities.

Let’s not get emotional. Yes, there is the aforementioned uneasiness of doing something new when we’ve done something one way for a long time. But, we must not confuse “change for the sake of change” with growth. It should be every professional’s goal to continually improve and grow in what they do. This can be done through learning new concepts, implementing new ideas, or finding and using new tools. Not all concepts, ideas, and tools will add value, but refusing to explore the possibilities inhibits your growth as a professional.

These are just a few fears that some HR professionals may have when they consider adopting HR technology for their organizations. The common thread among them is that the fears are unfounded when considering quality HR technology. Sure, there is junkware out there that may validate these fears, but organizations that carefully research options will find a number of solutions that meet their needs and empower their HR staff to focus on people, rather than process.

Stressed Out HR

A funny thing happens when you get busy. You get stressed. Now, some people handle stress better than others, but to some degree stress affects a change on everyone. You begin to lose focus on the unimportant things or, at least, the not immediately important things. This is hardwired in all of us, and it can be really useful for, say, a race car driver or a mountain climber. Those guys and gals need to be focused on the extreme activities in front of them and not much else.

But what about your average Joe or Jane in the Human Resources Department? How does stress and this narrowing of focus impact them?

Human Resources Cutting Corners

Recruiting for talent is stressful, especially in today’s job market. To succeed in finding and hiring the best for your organization, you have to raise awareness and garner excitement around your open position first. This means you must write a compelling job description that attracts top talent and hopefully references an awesome work culture. You also need to cast your nets wide by posting jobs on social media, utilizing niche job boards, and leveraging the power of job aggregators. Then you have to review and organize applications and communicate with hiring managers and applicants. This might be manageable with one or two open positions, but what if you’re hiring for several jobs? And what if you’re an HR Department of One? Hello stress!

Stress begins to seep into your workflow the moment work volume exceeds your work capacity. This is precisely when “immediately unimportant” items or tasks get dropped.

Now, some might say that high work volume is “a good problem to have” and “job security,” and that “desperate times” (high work volume), “call for desperate measures” (cutting corners/dropping items). But this mentality and approach can sabotage an organization’s talent management efforts because it masquerades as a solution, while not addressing an inconvenient truth: a well-planned, efficient hiring process does not contain any unimportant items or tasks–everything is important.

But say your organization doesn’t have a well-planned, efficient hiring process. Suppose it, instead, places its faith in an HR professional with a keen sense of what’s important and timely for an effective, high-quality hiring process. Well, stress has a funny way of dulling the senses, and when an organization relies on the “keen senses” of HR to reach its talent goals, it’s setting itself up for failure. Because while cutting corners may be a byproduct of high work volume at first, eventually those cut corners will become an established part of the process.

Unintended Behavior Modification

Ever seen a dog exploring the boundaries of a newly installed electric fence? You know, those invisible ones. I haven’t (because I find a real fence to be kinder), but from what I hear, the dog will approach the boundary and receive a shock. Eventually, after getting zapped enough times, the dog learns not to approach the boundary for fear of being shocked.

When our HR professional drops items or tasks in the face of “too much volume, not enough capacity,” he is modifying his behavior to overcome stress just like the dog. Overtime, the HR professional will learn to drop items and tasks before he reaches capacity, so as to avoid the stress. This leads to a drop in recruiting/hiring quality because the dropped items are often things like:


  • Posting jobs to social media with frequency (“But, one tweet is enough, right?”)
  • Writing a remarkable job description (“But, all the vital information is there…they get the idea.”)
  • Consistent, timely, and appropriate follow up with applicants (“But, it’s not immediately important.”)
  • Projecting a friendly and welcoming demeanor to job applicants (“But, I’m too stressed to be kind!”)
  • Proactively communicating with colleagues to keep everyone on the same page ( “Sorry, I meant to tell you sooner. I just have a lot on my plate.”)

Taking care of the above distinguishes an organization in the eyes of top talent (the excuses…are just that, excuses). Neglecting the above is not professional, and it hurts the hiring process. So does that mean 60-hour work weeks for our HR Department of One? No.

Getting Resourceful

If the dog in our story above wants to chase a squirrel beyond its limits and avoid the shock of the electric fence, running into the fence more often is not going to help. The shock (stress) will only increase. But suppose that dog climbed up on the the patio table adjacent to the invisible fence and jumped over it? It avoids the shock and can now have a chance at that squirrel.

Our HR Department of One can likewise chase top talent (purple squirrels even) by being resourceful when faced with stress caused by high work volumes. Rather than viewing work capacity as static and immovable, they can explore ways to increase capacity and enhance quality in hiring. HR technology accomplishes both. By automating many of the time-consuming tasks that are vital to high quality recruiting and hiring processes, HR can be free to focus on the things that distinguish their organizations in the job market.

 

ExactHire provides hiring and employee onboarding solutions to assist organizations in attracting, hiring, and retaining talent. To learn more about how you can leverage our SaaS solutions to optimize your talent management efforts, contact us today!

Feature Image Credit: stressed by rick (contact)

Mobile Recruiting Strategy Fails – When Your Organization Isn’t Prepared

You built a mobile recruiting presence, the applicants came…but then your organization wasn’t ready. Or, maybe you’re well on your way toward social recruiting Shangri La and you sense that a few hiring managers may be late to the party. In this blog, I’ll review five mobile recruiting strategy fails encountered when a business is not prepared in the hopes that you can avoid the same mistakes.

1 – Failure To Get Buy In

Even if you’ve already put a few mobile-friendly recruiting elements into play, or if you continue to evolve your social media content calendar to include career-related advice, you will still struggle if the rest of the team at your company isn’t prepared to buy into and participate in the new talent acquisition model. Start by educating them with statistics that paint a picture of this trend–no, this new way of doing business–to get their attention.

According to a 2015 survey by SHRM, 65% of employer respondents indicated they had sourced candidates from social media in the past year. And if it’s not your organization regularly leveraging the power of professional networking sites like LinkedIn or career community-focused networks like Beyond.com, then you can bet your competitors are.

Skilled workers who are willing and able to participate in the workforce aren’t as easy to come by these days. For example, in October 2015, recruiting difficulty reached a four year high for the 19th consecutive month according to SHRM’s Leading Indicators of National Employment (LINE) Report. Your organization must utilize the latest resources available in order to grab its share of scarce talent.

2 – Failure To Be Candidate-Centric

Remember when Tom Hanks’ character told Meg Ryan’s character that she needed to take it “to the mattresses” to save her business in the movie You’ve Got Mail? As you may recall, the dialogue was actually a reference to the famed Godfather; however, I like to mention the former, more recent movie because it represented how (at the time) email was a revolution in the dating game. It changed the face of courtship forever.

So now has social media and the proliferation of smartphones and tablets forced the evolution of talent acquisition. Take it to the mattresses. Be candidate-centric…maybe not in the same context that a staffing agency might because you have to fill a specific job rather than amass resumes for the future, but in a way that empowers your company to find the candidates where they are…on the networks and devices they are using. Don’t make it difficult for candidates to research your company online; and do make it easy for them to share jobs and positive career-related content on social networks when they want to chat with their peers about what they heard about working at your organization.

3 – Failure To Know Your Candidate Personas

If you fail to identify your target applicant audience across various job categories, then you will miss the mark when it comes to selecting specific social networks, mobile job posting apps and even customizing the applicant interface for your jobs portal to optimize your user experience (UX).

And while the thought that “mobile is coming” often conjures images of my favorite Stark family characters warning that “winter is coming” along with an onslaught of white-walkers in the binge watch-worthy Game of Thrones, the extent to which your organization needs to plan out its mobile and social strategy is dependent on the types of jobs you offer and the demographics and preferences of the top talent filling those positions. According to a 2015 Pew Research Center Report on U.S. smartphone use, it is lower income smartphone owners who are the most likely to use a phone during a job search.

Translation: The mobile candidate experience will make or break your recruiting success when it comes to your less specialized and entry-level positions.

 

In fact, according to the report, “compared with smartphone owners from households earning $75,000 or more per year, those from households earning less than $30,000 annually are nearly twice as likely to use a smartphone to look for information about a job — and more than four times as likely to use their phone to actually submit a job application.” So ask yourself what percentage of your recruiting efforts focus on that population and then take appropriate action.

This insight doesn’t mean you can rest on your laurels if you manage HR at a professional office setting with higher income levels such as a physicians group or an engineering firm. Mobile is coming and the statistics on usage in the job seeker space will continue to climb across all income brackets.

4 – Failure to Communicate Internally

In your haste to reach out to candidates in their own space and ensure that your applicant tracking system is mobile responsive, did you miss explaining the consequences a more savvy candidate hiring experience will have on your internal stakeholders? If you’re not catching my drift, think about whether the following comments elicit a grin…or a chagrin.

  • Have you engaged hiring managers in the process of revamping your recruiting process? If not, then the shorter, concise job descriptions you may want to use may irritate them since they don’t understand why you are condensing details about their department’s opportunity. (The answer of course would be due to the shorter attention spans and impatient click behavior indicative especially of mobile job viewers).
  • Ever since social media has inserted itself into the selection process, the next generation of candidates who used to place phone calls to hiring managers and HR staff are now inviting employers to connect on social media; or, they are simply tweeting at your organization’s Twitter handle with specific job questions. With this increase in inbound activity comes the heightened responsibility for employer representatives to be ready to respond in the same manner solicited. And, for your organization to have documented policies on how you handle social media inquiries (using the best hashtags BTW) and candidate social screening.
  • Have you documented details on which social platforms and external job boards you use to post which types of positions? After all, what works for attracting manufacturing-minded machinists will probably fail miserably at securing interest from content marketers.
  • Have you discussed how to approach scenarios in which you may need to privately source talent for a position that is not yet open? If individuals in management but outside of recruiting are involved, a lack of coaching to show constraint when it comes to covertly posting future jobs can spell disaster for many…especially the existing employee who has not yet received the termination memo.

5 – Failure To Enable A Talent-Focused Culture

When was the last time you paid a placement fee to an external recruiter? Not something you want to do for every open position, huh? While there is certainly a time and a place for such engagements, in the meantime you should be focused on maximizing awareness for your job opportunities via in-house resources. The right approach starts with making sure that your existing employees, vendors, clients, alumni and friends know about the amazing roles available with your organization. The best approach kicks it up a notch (like Emeril) and incentivizes crowdsourcing behavior with a socially savvy employee referral program.

Make it easy for individuals to share your job listings with their networks using a unique permalink (URL address with an individual identifier) that tracks their referral activity and rewards them when their candidates are hired. Then, when it comes to amplifying the reach of your latest career-related content, share examples of suggested wording for social posts so that your co-workers can quickly copy and paste to spread your message (for ex., if they are outside of human resources and don’t necessarily want to spend time/thought on crafting their own version of a message). Also, consider whether any rigid social media policies or limited access to certain websites will limit your long-term hiring objectives by handcuffing your employees’ talent-focused social behavior.

This is the first post in a series of blogs about mobile recruiting fails. Stay tuned for the next post which will examine what happens when the technical aspects of your mobile-friendly recruiting experience don’t align with the rest of your hiring process.

ExactHire’s HireCentric applicant tracking system is a mobile responsive software application for your job posting and recruiting needs. Contact us for details today.

Image credit: FAIL Stamp by Hans Gerwitz (contact)

5 Steps To Getting More Qualified Applicants

Finding the right candidate from a small pool of applicants is no easy task. Many times, hiring managers must settle for the “best available”, and sadly this often leads to new hires that simply don’t pan out. Before you know it, that hiring manager is looking to fill the same positions each year; effectively making them the “turnover manager”.

Turnover is inevitable at some point, but great hiring managers seek to minimize it by hiring individuals who are a fit for both the position and the company. This is not easy, as it requires searching for applicants who possess “something special” that cannot be easily found by parsing resumes or sometimes even by conducting an interview. So when these individuals are found, it’s important to not lose them.

The following steps will help your organization develop an applicant pool that consistently delivers more qualified applicants and, over time, minimizes employee turnover.

1. Maximize Channels

Believe it or not, many hiring organizations–of all sizes–are not promoting their open positions through all available channels. While being on every channel may not be practical, collaboration between Marketing and HR is vital in order to maximize awareness of job openings. Good recruiting software will include tools that easily leverage an organization’s existing channels, while also unlocking dozens more. And the best recruiting software will automate these job postings to multiple channels with just one click.

2. Promote Your Authentic Employer Brand

There is nothing worse than a job description or career page that appears generic–and I’m not just talking about the cheesy stock photography. Employers who want to hire and retain the best talent must work hard to cultivate and promote an enviable employer brand. This employer brand should be based on the foundation of a positive, authentic work culture that permeates all aspects of an organization–including the job descriptions and career page.

3. Provide An Applicant-Friendly Experience

With wide awareness of your organization and its job opportunities in place, it’s now time to focus on where the rubber meets the road: the application process. This is the time period where an organization begins building a relationship with applicants. And the first and most important component in any relationship is trust. By providing an applicant-friendly experience that imbues the positive qualities of your employer brand, an organization can go a long way to building this requisite trust. From there, make it easy by:

  • Providing transparency (let applicants know what’s ahead)
  • Staying on track (meet the expectations you set with applicants)
  • Utilizing online applications (yes, some companies still ask for hard copies)
  • Automating duplicate entries (no one wants to enter the same information twice)
  • Making it easy to apply for multiple or future openings (an ATS can help with this)

4. Express Why You (The Hiring Organization) Want To Stay Connected

Inevitably, there will be some very good applicants that simply cannot be hired. How a hiring manager deals with these applicants will determine whether or not a talent pool for future hiring can be developed. An applicant status message of “Thank you for your interest. Please check back for future job openings” will simply not cut it.

While many HR professionals may feel that a canned “rejection” message is all they have time for, a little more effort at this point can save a lot of time down the road. Tell those qualified, “something special” applicants exactly:

  • Why you found them impressive
  • The types of opportunities that may exist at your organization in the future
  • How you would like to stay in touch with them (and give them options for this).

5. Stay Connected With Your Applicant

Assuming you’ve implemented the above, the final step is to simply follow through with what you said you would do. And this is done by going back to Step 1 and, where possible, segmenting communications for the the “something special” talent pool. Here are some examples of what that could look like:

  • Personalized invitations to apply for specific positions before they open
  • E-newsletter specifically created for previous “something special” applicants
  • Storing applicant information in an Applicant Tracking System for easy re-apply
  • Brief, personalized emails that include company updates
  • LinkedIn/Facebook group for prospective hires (Ex. “ACME Future Directions

Getting More Qualified Applicants Begins With Building Relationships

Developing relationships with previous applicants is key to creating a high quality talent pool for hiring. These relationships do not need to include frequent interaction, but they must be marked by consistent value and sincerity. In this way, a growing organization is never challenged to find “something special” in a sea of “meh” applicants. And that, in turn, will go a long way toward minimizing employee turnover and its associated costs.

 

ExactHire provides hiring solutions for small- to medium-sized businesses that are seeking to hire the best talent for their organizations. To learn how ExactHire can assist you organization, contact us today!

 

Feature Image Credit: New York – Overhead Traffic Lights by Pete Bellis(contact)