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How to Automate Workflow Within Employee Onboarding Software [VIDEO]

While web-based solutions that can automate new hire employment forms and documents do exist, very few solutions also empower employers to customize their onboarding software platform to automate all the new hire and existing employee tasks associated with a robust employee onboarding process. The ability to automate workflow is one of the core strengths of the OnboardCentric employee onboarding solution. Two features that are key factors in the ability to accommodate unique client workflows are FlexFields and Roles.

OnboardCentric FlexFields Roles Video

FlexFields at work

FlexFields, as the name implies, are flexible, multiple-choice data fields that store unique information about each employee within an organization. These fields are customized on a per client basis. Examples of different FlexFields might include individual employee attributes such as

  • division,
  • department,
  • exemption status or pay type, and
  • employee level.

The values selected for FlexFields on an employee record drive two primary outcomes within OnboardCentric:

  1. tasks assigned to the new hire, and
  2. follow up tasks assigned to an internal staff member.

New hire tasks

Let’s talk about new hire tasks. We’ll group them into two categories:

  1. tasks assigned to every new hire, and
  2. tasks assigned only to certain new hires.

Tasks assigned to every new hire tend to include the completion of required federal forms such as the I-9 and W4, state tax forms, and policies and procedures specific to a given organization. Please note that FlexFields do not impact those forms or documents assigned to all employees.

However, FlexFields are involved for tasks related to forms and documents that only a subset of employees are required to complete. In fact, the criteria that define this subset of employees are determined by the values of one or more FlexFields.

For example, if new hires in the Compliance Division should be assigned items that other new hires outside the Compliance Division should not be assigned, then “Division” would be setup as a FlexField. Likewise, if new hires at the Executive Level are assigned items that hires at other levels aren’t assigned, then “Employee Level” would be setup as a FlexField. To determine the FlexFields necessary for your business, create a list of all the attributes that differentiate one group’s employee onboarding tasks from another group’s tasks.

Once your FlexFields are created, they’ll be visible as drop-down boxes for each new employee you add to OnboardCentric.

Using the previous examples, there would be a FlexField for “Division” that might have values of “Compliance”, “Information Technology”, “Manufacturing”, and “Marketing.” If “Compliance” is selected, that new hire will be assigned extra tasks that new hires in the other divisions will not. Similarly, there would be a FlexField entitled “Employee Level” that might have values of “Associate”, “Executive”, “Manager”, and “Staff.” If “Executive” is selected, that new hire will have additional tasks that new hires with other values for that field will not.

Roles for existing employees

Next, let’s talk about how Roles work within OnboardCentric.

Think of Roles as the acting parts your existing staff members play in the onboarding process. You may have as few or as many Roles as necessary to handle any follow up actions that must be completed by your staff. These follow ups will always be triggered by a task completed by a new hire.

For instance, once a new hire completes his portion of the I-9 form, that will trigger a follow up for someone within your organization to verify/approve that I-9 form on behalf of the organization. Typically this Role is referred to as an “I-9 Approver.”

Other common examples of Roles include “Countersigner”, “Equipment Provisioner”, or “License Certifier.” In each of these examples, the Role name used may be anything that makes sense within your organization. Instead of “Equipment Provisioner,” you may choose to call that Role “Supply Orderer.” The key point to understand is that the Role refers only to what type of follow up actions you’ll want that person to perform within the OnboardCentric platform.

Accommodating people with similar tasks

The intersection of FlexFields and Roles occurs in situations where you have more than one staff member performing a given type of Role. For example, let’s assume that you have four different staff members who each have the Role of I-9 Approver.

In this scenario, the FlexField values you assign to a given new hire will then be used to determine which of the four I-9 Approvers will be assigned that follow up task once the new hire completes his portion of the I-9.

FlexFields and Roles allow OnboardCentric to accommodate almost any type of workflow necessary for the unique needs of your organization’s onboarding process. We encourage you to take advantage of these capabilities so that you may maximize your onboarding efficiency.

 

Get started on the path to better onboarding.

Contact ExactHire to learn more about OnboardCentric employee onboarding software.

 

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)

Indiana Basketball And Hiring – What Can We Learn?

I live in Indiana, where basketball is king. Whether you attended Indiana University or not (I did not–I’m a proud Butler University Bulldog), IU basketball is a mainstay of conversations throughout the state, especially this time of year.

This year, however, IU basketball is the topic of conversation for the wrong reasons.  Over the past few months, no fewer than 6 of the 13 scholarship players on the IU squad have been arrested or suspended for run-ins with the law…that’s almost 50% of the team!

Naturally, many of the discussions about this among Hoosier fans (don’t ask what a Hoosier is, as even those of us from Indiana aren’t 100% sure!) revolve around how much coach Tom Crean should be held accountable for these incidents.  Regardless of any personal bias one might have for/against Coach Crean, I find myself thinking about the following:

  • He recruited and signed each of these players.
  • They each interact with him on a regular (almost daily) basis.
  • How they perform on the basketball court ultimately determines his success as a coach. 

Sound familiar?  If you’re a business owner or hiring manager, it should.  After all, what do we do in those roles?

  • Recruit talent (i.e., employees).
  • Interact with employees regularly.
  • “Coach” employees to perform at a level that ensures success for the organization.

Given that, let’s look at the IU situation by placing things into a business situation.  Assume that you hire 13 people over the course of a year or so.  Then, assume that those 13 people perform at a fairly average level (if you’ve seen IU basketball over the past year, you know this is a generous statement).  Finally, let’s assume 6 of those 13 people end up arrested or suspended over a period of a few months for various alcohol or drug-related offenses.  As the manager of those people, how likely is that you’d still have your job?

My point here isn’t to pile on as it relates to Tom Crean.  It’s fun to draw these comparisons, as there are some parallels between the roles of a coach and a manager/boss.  But, my overarching point here is how important it is to recruit/hire the right people. 

I know that’s a very simplistic and obvious statement.  “Right” means different things to different organizations.  Talent is clearly important, but it isn’t the only thing.  How well will the person “fit” the organization, the role, the team, etc.?  Will they be a good teammate?  It’s true in sports, but it’s also true in business.

Let me finish my basketball-to-business comparison with two examples relative to IU: the Duke and Kansas basketball programs.  Both programs are run by coaches who  know how to recruit those who “fit” their programs. They also have the respect of their players.  As you get ready to hire for your next opening, be sure to think about what you can learn from Duke or Kansas to more consistently recruit the right people for your team.


ExactHire provides hiring solutions that help organizations find and hire the best talent and the right fit for their company culture. To learn more about how ExactHire can improve your hiring process, contact us today!

Image Credit: Basketball Goal by prettybea (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Fix Bad Customer Service, Don’t Flip Out

My daughter was on Fall Break, and that meant that she needed a friend over to keep her company. It was a regular work-from-home day for me, but when 2 adorable little girls ask you to  take them to the local trampoline park for an hour, you kind of want to give in to that request.

Being a modern mom, I hopped online and checked the facility’s availability for the afternoon. On their site, I noticed that Wifi was available. Perfect!  I could now  work while the girls jumped. So I called just to confirm the WiFi, and I received a verbal confirmation: “Yes Ma’am, we have free WiFi.” Yay! I bought the digital tickets, packed up, and we drove over.

We arrived. And with the girls jumping away, I smiled, pulled out my laptop, and set to work. Then things took a turn…No WiFi.

SaaS Overcomes Bad Customer Service

As frustrated as this made me, I wanted to be a good example to the girls. So there was no angry scene or request for a refund. I am a modern mom, and I had a smartphone with 5 different work apps already loaded. Plus, I still had a computer, which works without internet (really, it works without the internet). So the girls got their jumping in and I managed to work around the issue.

Well, this post doesn’t seem like it has much to do with ExactHire, but it does! And I could go two ways from here:

#1 Software as a Service (SaaS) made it possible for me to even run into this issue, and it also allowed me the opportunity to work from my phone and still respond to customers during this conundrum.

#2 The staff at the trampoline park is obviously sub-par. It could probably benefit from an ATS like HireCentric to hire better employees–those who don’t lie or guess at answers with customers.

*Deep Breath*

Since I have written about the amazing benefits of SaaS before, I will go with #2.

Although the trampoline park got my money and my business that day, I do not plan to return because the service there was so poor. Not only did the person on the phone lie (or perhaps didn’t know and didn’t care to check), the service at the check-in desk was bad too. The lack of customer service skills and experience was apparent and disappointing.

So how can your organization avoid this scenario?

Hire A Customer Service Culture Using ExactHire Solutions

Applicant tracking software can improve the quality of employees for any business. An ATS helps you compare applicants and their qualifications before making a hiring decision.  This ensures that you can quickly hire for the right set of skills and experience that will drive your business forward.

ExactHire’s HireCentric ATS can support the creation of a customer service culture at your organization, and we offer additional solutions to streamline your hiring process as well. From software that automates reference checking and background checking, to a system that makes onboarding paperwork a breeze to complete, ExactHire has what you need to grow.

No matter the vertical of business, you need good employees. I left a business card for the owner of the trampoline park. Maybe he’ll give us a call.  Any  business that entrusts their livelihood and success to teenage angst should also employ some form of behavioral assessment–we offer those too!

Image credit: Trampoline by Nico Aguilera (contact)

Streamlined Hiring Process | SaaS > File Folders

“Technology is great when it works.” Perhaps cliche now, my husband has been saying this to me for over 13 years. Although there is merit to his sarcastic take on technology, the truth is that technology has impacted life as we know it for the better. Even the critics and naysayers of technological advances have benefited from it, whether they know it or not. Technology fuels business on the backend. Computer systems, databases, and software programs house the majority of functions necessary for our daily lives to run smoothly.

Can you imagine (or remember) the hassle of managing a hiring process with folders of  paper applications and resumes for various positions? First off, they are dropped-off or mailed to you–that takes time and they may be misplaced. Assuming you receive it, you have to thumb through each one to see if any meet your desired qualifications. Then, you contact them individually to see if they are still looking for a job before writing down an interview time on your desk calendar (the kind that sits on your physical desk–not your digital calendar). And that is just the beginning!

Before desktop computers and software, you had to call references, do background checks, fill out new-hire paperwork, and file that folder full of information in alphabetical order in the proper drawer for applications.

Ahhh….those were the days.

No! Stop the nostalgia. Those days were awful. These are the days!

Software systems help streamline the hiring process and many, many others. This reduces work and the duplication of tasks. And that makes employees happy!

Today’s hiring managers can post a job on the wonderful world-wide web and wait for applicants to accumulate in their Applicant Tracking System. From that point–with the click of a button–the manager can easily reach out to all applicants and advise them as to whether they are moving forward in the process or not. At the same time, the manager can send emails with additional links and instructions for those who are moving forward.

Applicants can complete background checks, predictive indexes, assessments, and reference checks in a completely digital environment. And then- almost magically- the information is sent to the hiring manager to make a decision. An offer can even be sent electronically to the luckily applicant!

Even more impressive, once the position has been accepted, the hiring manager can have the new employee complete all the daunting onboarding paperwork before they even arrive for their first day of work. Onboarding software allows payroll, benefits, I-9, W-4, and any other necessary paperwork to be completed electronically and sent directly to the Human Resources department.

Compared to the days before desktop computers, the internet, and process automation– when an HR professional’s day was full of  mundane tasks and long hiring processes–today’s hiring process can be lightning fast and of the highest quality. Now HR professionals can maintain hiring processes for multiple positions at the same time across different departments, and they do it in a fraction of the time compared to earlier years. This means that job applicants, clients, consumers, and co-workers are getting better, quicker service through technology.

So the next time someone complains about all the new-age, fancy technology, just remember that SaaS > File Folders! If you don’t embrace change, you will be changed.

 

To learn more about how you can streamline your hiring process through an SaaS solution, visit our resources section or contact ExactHire today!

 

Image credit: Sculpture: OMG LOL by Michael Mandiberg / Eyebeam Art + Technology Center Open Studios: Fall 2009 / 20091023.10D.55420.P1.L1. / SML by See-mee Ling (contact)

Umm…I Can’t Come to the Office Because of the #Polarvortex

A snow day! The best words of winter to anyone under the age of 18… and often 21. Here in Indiana we’ve been impacted by the “polar vortex.” The winter witch dropped over 14 inches of snow within 24 hours. While it created incredible sights and terrific workouts (shoveling snow), we were all stuck in our homes for days.

Think of all the great things you could do! Wash all of the bed sheets, mop the floors, reorganize the home office, get a headstart on that New Year’s resolution of exercise. Sounds lovely, huh? Based off of my Facebook news feed, however, I believe most of my friends actually have messier houses, have eaten everything in sight, and several can’t stand to be trapped with their loved ones in a house for a few days.

Similar to my friends, I did not have an opportunity to tackle all of those great things (aka household chores) I mentioned earlier because I was busy having one of the most productive work weeks I’ve had in a very long time. That’s right, no snow day here; it was business as usual.

The Wonders of SaaS During Snow

Just because it’s snowy where I am, doesn’t mean it’s snowy where my clients are located. As long as we have electricity and internet, we can keep the doors open for business. We often talk about how our ExactHire technology solutions are SaaS products. Software as a Service, or SaaS, applications can be accessed anywhere you have an internet connection. Forgot your laptop at work before the snowstorm? No worries…grab your personal laptop or tablet and access the software via the internet.

Because many people are confined to their home during these snowy days, I noticed an uptick in the amount of jobs being posted. Way to go administrative applicant tracking system users! Good job on working through the “distraction” of snow, and children, and anything else staring you down during your time at home. I also noticed an increase in the number of people applying for jobs.

Clearly we cannot tell, too far in advance, when the weather will give us such a large amount of snow, but we can file this bit of information away for later this winter or next winter. If people are snowed in, it’s worth your time to share your posted jobs to social networks – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

If you’re not currently using a SaaS product for your hiring process, I would recommend checking out our selection of applicant tracking and employee onboarding software options by visiting our resources section or contacting us for further information. If you are already on board, I hope your snow day was productive.

Keep warm everyone!

How to Automate the New Hire Process

Time is the hottest commodity on the market. There are many more things to be done today, but the hours in a day have stayed the same. Because of this, we begin looking for ways to automate various tasks in our day. If you’re in Human Resources, you might be asking how we can automate the new hire process.

Calculate your ROI for Hiring Software

The Employment Application

The best place to begin automating your hiring process is with the application. An online application that can help standardize your job description postings, add additional job specific questions to the application process, and automatically place applicants into an electronic database is a great place to start! You could decide to make a simple online form for the application process (which would not likely include the cool features mentioned above) or you could use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to create an online application (which would include the cool features mentioned above).

Scoring Applicants

By using an ATS, you could also include scoring filters on questions that you ask applicants. This would allow you to sort your applicant pool quickly, giving you those who most accurately fit the profile that you’re seeking at the top of your “stack.” For example, if you need a mid-level person with 2 – 4 years of experience you could include the following question with score levels that you customize:

How many years of customer service experience do you have?

  • Option 1: Zero – one year of experience (score = 0)
  • Option 2: > 1 year, but < 2 years of experience (score = 5)
  • Option 3: > 2 years, but < 4 years of experience (score = 10)
  • Option 4: > 4 years, but < 6 years of experience (score = 2)
  • Option 5: > 6 years of experience (score = 0)

From this question, along with a few others, you could sort your applicants based on the score attained and begin reviewing applicants that most closely fit your preferred candidate skill/experience profile.

Routing Application(s) for Review

With the HireCentric ATS, you can route applications to various people within your organization and the system will keep track of to whom you routed the application, as well as, when the other person reviewed that application. No more stapling a routing slip to a resume or a teammate saying they spilled coffee on the only copy. It can all be automated through applicant tracking software! A few simple clicks and away it goes.

Completing New Hire Paperwork

Already have the application, scoring, and routing process all set? Really looking for a way to automate the “hundreds” of forms a newly hired employee fills out? The new hire paperwork process can be automated by using employee onboarding software. We build your paperwork forms into an online database. The new hire fills out the questions – all electronically. That information populates the forms and the employee may electronically sign them. You or anyone else on your team with access can approve the forms and then print, forward, archive, etc. the forms. Our onboarding software can be connected to our HireCentric ATS which means as soon as you decide to hire an applicant, directly from their HireCentric file, you can invite the new teammate to begin completing paperwork.

 

Making the new hire process paperless does not have to be a complicated nor difficult process. Let us help you find more time in your day! Visit our resources section for more information or contact us to schedule a live demo.

Image credit: Zahnrad. / Gear. by Stefan W (contact)

Employee Referrals – Use Technology to Help Track and Reward

There’s a lot of talk in our market these days about where recruiting is headed. Many experts feel that we are on the cusp of some significant changes in the next few years. Less reliance on traditional job boards, heavier use of social media and allowing applicants to leverage mobile technology are some of the more consistent topics of change that I see on a regular basis.

Whether you see these trends affecting your organization or not, there is a recruiting strategy that is worth considering — employee referrals. This is nothing new. In fact, employers and their staff members responsible for hiring have been trying to find ways to consistently tap this market for years.

Employee Referral Program Benefits

There are several benefits to using employee referrals for sourcing applicants:

  • Better applicants — good people tend to know and refer other good people
  • Passive applicants — this approach reaches people who may not yet be actively looking for work and would never see your opening on your career site or a job board
  • Lower cost — even if you pay employees for referrals, it is widely acknowledged that this cost is far lower than the typical costs born through standard recruiting techniques
  • Better potential for cultural fit — your current employees understand your organization’s culture and are in the best position to help answer questions about the organization from those applicants they refer

Here’s more good news…technological advances are continuing to help make this employee referral process better for both employers and their employees. Social media on its own allows employees to make others in their networks aware of job openings in their organization. However, some of the more progressive applicant tracking software (ATS) tools in the market make this even easier for employees. Employees may click and share openings through their social channels without any copying/pasting. This makes the overall program more sustainable and successful.

To learn more about social referral tools available within HireCentric ATS, please schedule a live demo with ExactHire.

Payment Term Options for ATS and Onboarding Software

At least once a week, when dealing with clients, especially the new ones, I am asked about the payment and billing options available when purchasing hiring software solutions from ExactHire. So, in this blog I thought I’d give you a quick run-down so you will know how you may pay for applicant tracking and employee onboarding software.

ExactHire Billing

We do all our billing via email, this is to make the whole process streamlined for both the client and us. Not to mention, this reduces waste and cost. Emailed invoices normally will arrive to our clients a few days before the actual invoice date. All invoices state the type of service (ATS, onboarding or employee assessments) rendered, as well as whether the statement is for ongoing access fees or set up fees for new clients. I try to be very specific on each client’s account so they know the exact reason for the invoice (i.e. date range, etc.).

Hiring Software Payment Options

Payment options vary depending on the billing frequency the client chooses at the time of implementation. We offer monthly, semi-annual and annual billing (and in some cases, quarterly billing may be an option, as well). For all our monthly clients, we require an ACH (Automated Clearing House) payment. This makes things super easy for all involved. At the start of the service, the client provides us bank information (account and routing numbers) so that we may initiate an automatic payment on their behalf each month when their invoice is due. When their invoice is emailed to them, it already shows that it has been paid by ACH transaction.

We do accept checks, as well, but only for client accounts that have elected semi-annual or annual billing. This is done to keep our account receivables moving smoothly so we can keep costs down for all. Lastly, we accept credit cards, as well. It does not matter the frequency of billing for the credit card payment customers. We accept Visa, Mastercard and AMEX.

Hopefully this helps to answer any billing and payment-related questions. Oh, and don’t forget to thank your organization’s own bean counter(s) today…we can be an under-appreciated population!

For more information about ExactHire’s web-based hiring products, please see our resources section or contact us.

Image credit: Dollars by Images Money (contact)

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