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

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

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

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

Long Job Application | Hiring Process Improvement

Video Transcript:

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

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

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

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

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

The job application rate numbers don’t lie.

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

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

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

Your job seekers…and you…deserve better!

Strategy: Trim the question fat.

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

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

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

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

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

Schedule a demo with ExactHire now!

We’re ready to learn about your hiring process!

Check out the other videos in this series…

Long Job Application | Hiring Process Improvement
Hiring Process Improvement | High Unemployment

 

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

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

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

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

Long Job Application | Hiring Process Improvement

Video Transcript:

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

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

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

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

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

The job application rate numbers don’t lie.

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

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

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

Your job seekers…and you…deserve better!

Strategy: Trim the question fat.

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

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

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

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

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

Schedule a demo with ExactHire now!

We’re ready to learn about your hiring process!

Check out the other videos in this series…

Long Job Application | Hiring Process Improvement
Hiring Process Improvement | High Unemployment

 

High Unemployment is Not an Excuse to Avoid Hiring Process Improvement

I’ve seen a lot of change in HR technology over the past decade as well as many employer pitfalls when it comes to leveraging technology to improve the quality of hire and increase the number of job applicants.

Those employer pitfalls have really stuck out like a sore thumb this year, as the global pandemic has had a profound impact on employer recruitment and retention success. Creating a great hiring experience has never been more important to workforce productivity.

The excuses your organization may have made in the past about why you haven’t taken the time to improve your recruiting process must be remedied if you hope to compete for top talent in a post-pandemic world.

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

High Unemployment | Hiring Process Improvement

Video Transcript:

Pre-Pandemic Employment – THEN

Hi, I’m Jessica Stephenson with ExactHire, and to say that it has been a volatile employment year is a major understatement. Whether your employer has laid off people, or is in a hiring binge, it’s clear the pandemic has shed light on the more troubling excuses we hear employers make about their hiring process.

Before the pandemic began, companies were navigating a candidate-driven market. The job seekers called the shots…and companies couldn’t find enough candidates…fast enough.

At the end of February, nearly 158.8 million US civilians were employed–that was a 10-year high. And, the unemployment rate was at a historic low of 3.5% (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics).

The employment landscape favored job seekers, and while we were in a much better economic position, employers had to rethink their hiring processes to attract and quickly hire top talent. That meant candidates received multiple job offers, employers boosted their total compensation packages and some jobs went unfilled for long periods of time.

Some of those were evergreen jobs…those are the jobs that some industries always have open 24/7, year round. Examples of evergreen jobs might include servers at restaurants, cashiers at retail stores, tellers at banks, direct support professionals with nonprofits…you get the idea. The positions for which multi-location employers, especially, are always hiring.

Pandemic Impact – NOW

Fast forward to now. We’ve made economic improvements and US unemployment has improved to 6.9%…though it’s still almost double what it was in February (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Some jobs are still on hold, and others are at peak demand in an unprecedented way. Like manufacturers of safety equipment, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, e-commerce sites, online meal delivery services and software companies.

And like I said earlier, the excuses employers are making…are more exposed. So, what’s that first one?

A Higher Unemployment Rate Doesn’t Mean Hiring Employees is Easier

Unemployment is still pretty high now, and it’s an employer’s market so I’m not worried about applicant volume.

Not so fast…even though you’ve likely seen an increase in job listing views, application starts and even submissions since the pandemic began, know that some people are still opting out of traditional working arrangements for many reasons.

These reasons may range from a new need to work remotely in order to care for others…to a lack of motivation to work because pandemic-related unemployment resources have exceeded their normal pay rate.

And for people who are underemployed and constricted to a specific schedule of availability due to a short-term part-time job, they aren’t giving your job a second glance if you’re not conveying that your organization is still working hard–even in an employer’s market–to attract and retain good hires.

The Pandemic is Still Impacting Your Job Candidate Pool

According to a Washington Post article referencing Bureau of Labor Statistics data in May of this year, “if you took the official unemployment figure, added in people who wanted a job but were not looking for one, and then included everyone who had been pushed into part-time work, you could say that 26.4 percent of people lost work or work hours in April.

But hey, things are better now than in April, right? Yesss…but let’s recognize that this year more than 1 in 4 workers were hit by the coronavirus fallout.

Navigating that experience had a significant impact on job seekers and that impact has lasting effects…effects that you must consider as an employer.

Strategy: Communicate Your Employment Opportunity Differently

Since there are no guarantees that you’ll convert applicants…even in this job market…you must communicate differently.

And I don’t mean just trying different media to communicate (although that is important), I also mean highlighting your solutions to the pain points that today’s job seekers want to alleviate.

If they’re reluctant to return to work for social distancing reasons and your job can be done remotely, prominently display that in your job description…and even your job title.

If you’re open to flexible working arrangements such as temporary work or variable working hours, mention that, too.

Dedicate a portion of your careers site to spotlight your response to the headlines of this year such as the global pandemic and the fight for social justice and racial equality. Weave your employment brand and core values into every piece of career content with consistency, variety of delivery method and sincerity.

And just like you’re not willing to settle for a warm body in a job seat, while applicants may need jobs…they’re not willing to settle at organizations that don’t have brands or values that align with their own.

Has your organization been doing enough to navigate this volatile employment landscape?

Interested in learning more? Watch this webinar on demand!

Pandemic Hiring Recruiting Webinar | ExactHire

Check out the other videos in this series…

Long Job Application | Hiring Process Improvement
Hiring Process Improvement | High Unemployment

Introduction to Using Video in Recruiting

ExactHire recently teamed up with Covideo to create a short series of videos highlighting tips for how to use video in the recruitment and hiring process. Check out the video below for a short overview of how to use video in recruiting.Video Recruiting How-To | ExactHire

Video Transcript

There’s no denying that the majority of people prefer to watch an engaging video rather than read text. Not surprisingly, many job seekers have the same preference as they research and engage with potential employers. But, to see why recruiters specifically could benefit from video, we talked to Jessica Stephenson from ExactHire.Hi, I’m Jessica Stephenson, and I’m the Vice President of Marketing and Talent for ExactHire. We’re a software firm that develops applications that help employers automate and improve the hiring process.

So, why would a recruiter want to add video to their recruitment process?

From a recruitment standpoint, video is super appealing. I think in the age that we are today, especially with unemployment being low, employers need to do everything they can to stand out in a sea of other employers as they compete for talent. So when you think about assets that you can use to promote your job opportunities, what’s going to stand out more in an email, in a social media stream, and anywhere–it’s going to be video and imagery…not just static text content.

What are some of the places where video can be used during recruitment?

So video can be used in all different aspects of recruiting and the employment life cycle. Starting with recruiting, also in interviewing, in pre-boarding, in onboarding and employee engagement, and even in offboarding.

Video is beneficial to any recruiter out there looking to distinguish themselves to their applicants.

There’s no right or wrong way to use video in the employment life cycle. Do what’s right for your organization based on your unique core values and culture. And, experiment along the way to see what works best for you.Choose Right HR Software | ExactHire

Can I Check the Status of My Employment Application? [VIDEO]

In this age of instant gratification, it’s natural for job applicants to want uber-prompt attention when it comes to knowing whether the employment application they submitted for your company’s position has made it through your screening process. And, even if you pride yourself on being ultra communicative to applicants regarding their fate in your hiring process, it never hurts to make additional strides in the proactive communication category.

In this ExactHire vlog, listen to Jessica Stephenson explain how you can introduce an element of applicant self-service by enabling candidates to check on the status of an employment application by logging into their profile provided by your HireCentric applicant tracking system.

ExactHire Vlog Applicant Status Codes

Video Transcript:

When it comes to screening employment applications, how long is your applicant status code list? Especially if you’re subject to compliance reporting, the list can get very long and specific. For example, noting the exact reasons why each candidate fails to meet minimum basic qualifications…experience, education, etc.

And, while you would want that level of detail for your internal status assignments, you wouldn’t need to share that with candidates externally.

What if you could introduce a self-service component that allows applicants to log into their profile and check on the status of their own job application? Well, you can…and the best part…you get to choose the public-facing label for each of your internal status codes. So, what you know as “Not Selected–Basic Qualifications–Experience” would simply show up as “Not Selected” to the candidate externally.

But think about the positive application of that feature…for what you use as “Sent to Hiring Manager” internally, you could more strategically rename that status code “Screened by HR–Sent to Hiring Manager” to serve as a positive reinforcement to candidates that would otherwise disengage without prompt feedback about their employment application. This tool can be a competitive advantage in this age of immediate feedback…as long as you screen your applications promptly.

If you’re interested in turning on this feature, the ExactHire Client Services team would love to help you. Please email them at support@exacthire.com. Once enabled, Admin users will see a new field when adding or editing status codes called “Status Shown to Applicants.” Likewise, candidates, once they’ve logged into their HireCentric profile, will see a public-facing version of your internal status codes assigned to them.

Thanks, and have a great day!

How Important is Hiring for Company Culture Fit…Really? [VIDEO]

In this ExactHire vlog, listen to ExactHire Co-Founder, Jeff Hallam, explain what we can learn from a high profile sports team employee termination, and offer tips on how to better assess a job candidate’s potential ability to fit in with your corporate culture.

cultivating-company-culture-exacthire

Video Transcript:

Hi, today’s topic is to talk a little bit about culture, and when I talk about culture not so much in terms of what you can do to make your culture better…it’s not really my realm of expertise at all. But more so, to talk about how important keeping your culture in mind is when hiring. This came to light a while back with the GM of the Colts here in Indianapolis being let go despite having a pretty good run over the last four or five years.

Hiring for Culture Lesson Learned from the Colts

And, as much as there have been issues and there have been rumors that have swirled around that, and just because it’s such a high-profile role, what came to light after the fact I think surprised a lot of people, myself included. In essence, despite the success that was had, it became clear that the way this person behaved internally…how they interacted with others…certain things that they did or didn’t do didn’t really line up with the culture that the owner of the Colts had in mind in terms of how they should be functioning day to day. It made me think, a lot of times especially with what’s happened in the candidate space over the last couple of years with the job market really tightening, the candidate pool continuing to seem from an employer perspective like it’s shrinking…there’s a lot of talk about trying to engage candidates better.

All of that’s perfectly valid—that is absolutely critical to try to get people involved and interested in your roles. At the same time, I think once people show that interest there are a couple of things that you can do just as final steps to make sure you’re not skipping through that process too quickly and find yourself in the same situation the Colts did.

Assess Job Candidates’ Potential Company Culture Fit

Getting a good performer, especially in a prominent role, is critical and we all know that–but sometimes in the interest of trying to move past that it’s easy to skip a couple of core things that can maybe help prevent that. So one of those things is the notion of taking the time to do reasonable reference checks. Again, understand you’re not going to do that probably for roles that are paying a little bit less or aren’t going to interact with others as much. But for these roles where people are going to touch others within the organization with their actions, with their words; or, for those who are going to interact frequently with your clients…that reference piece can be pretty significant in terms of making sure you’re getting what you thought you were getting.

So making sure that you have a handful of people who have interacted with that person before, and having a very clear notion of what you’re looking for–what you need to know about that person–can absolutely help raise any potential red flags that otherwise you might not see until later in the process.

Use Social Media to Better Understand Candidate Professionalism

The other thing you can do is…and there are various channels and tools out there to do this…one that I just became aware of recently is called 360social.me. Really powerful and neat little tool, but whether you do that or just visit them on LinkedIn, or look at their Twitter profile…or whether you use this third-party plug in…the notion is look and see how this person conducts themselves via social media. Doesn’t matter what their views on certain things are, etc. But if they’re offering up any kind of inflammatory comments, or they’re sharing views or things that are inappropriate…lots of things that might otherwise again not fly in the face of how you like things to operate within your culture.

Better to know those things upfront…be aware of them, and at that point then you can determine whether it’s based on feedback from the references or what you see on the social media gamut, you can better determine whether those are items that help reinforce your hiring decision or whether those are things to be aware of and perhaps modify with that person once you bring them on board.

Download ExactHire Company Culture E-book

Applicant Tracking System User Access Levels [VIDEO]

In this Q&A video chat, Jessica Stephenson discusses the common differences between applicant tracking system user access levels. In particular, she reviews manager and assigned user ATS access in detail — including feature availability and ideal timing for involving new users in the selection process.

Video Transcript:

Hi, I’m Jessica Stephenson and welcome to another episode. Today we’re going to focus on best practices for determining the appropriate level of user access within the applicant tracking system for the many stakeholders involved in your hiring process. And we work with small and medium-sized businesses, so this question often surfaces during the implementation process. And, while commonly people are familiar with an administrative level user, or the super login I Iike to say, they might not be so sure of the different types of user access levels for people outside of the HR department, in particular.

So usually HR staff members will be administrative level users within an applicant tracking system, and sometimes I see that expand to include owners or CFOs at smaller companies, as well. And the administrative level user can certainly manage applicants across all business units that are established within the system, and then do things like change settings, add or edit job listings, access reporting, leave HR-visible notes so that lower level users can’t see those notes, and then add and edit other users to the system.

When it comes to employees that should access the system outside of the human resources department, I divide those into two categories. The first one being manager-level users, and the second being candidate-specific assigned users. So, with manager-level users, they can access all applicants across their own business unit or units, and for your organization that might mean a department or a geographic branch, so on and so forth. Larger organizations that are rigorous about training hiring managers on the recruiting process may wish to optionally allow these manager-level users the ability to add, edit and post job listings, as well. However, many smaller organizations will tend to leave job edits to those in human resources and lock down that access so that managers can’t touch job listings. In addition, in general, manager-level users in applicant tracking systems can’t access reporting, change settings or add or edit users within the system.

Now candidate-specific assigned users are what I would call “bare-bones” access level users, in that they login and they don’t see any other dashboards like jobs or settings or users, and they will only see candidates that have specifically been assigned to them by other users. Think “minimalist” when you think of this type of user, and know that it’s ideal for organizations that are ready to empower non-HR staff to make applicant notes and decisions within the ATS…as opposed to via email correspondence back and forth with HR, for example. The other compelling benefit of making wider use of this very restricted login type is that in a reputable ATS, it should support a complete view of the applicant record including: who at any point in time has looked at that applicant record; to whom it has been forwarded via email; the email correspondence history with the applicant; and, any time someone has been an assigned user for that candidate so that they could review the candidate’s credentials. This benefit is especially critical for those organizations that are subject to affirmative action plan compliance, as well.

So now depending on the applicant tracking system in use, these two broad user level categories that I’ve discussed will likely have various toggles available for further customization, as well, especially at the manager level login. So for example, an administrator may choose whether or not that manager can initiate job requisition requests; or leave notes and view notes on the applicant record; update the EEO information for a candidate; and, optionally edit the status or disposition assigned to a candidate, or the date on which it was assigned.

In terms of timing, and what I mean by that is, how soon various non-HR users would start using the system during a specific hiring process…that will of course depend on the level. When a manager-level login is created, because they can access all applicants across all business units, and sometimes even job listings, as soon as their login is created they are going to be able to at any time go in and view details. And so, certainly the organizational expectations and culture surrounding hiring managers’ participation in the selection process will help dictate when those hiring managers should actively start to participate and perhaps leave comments and assign status codes and so forth.

Now, with more restricted assigned users, their scope is more limited since they are only going to be able to start taking action once candidates have specifically been assigned to them. So if you choose to exercise the most control and/or wish to make the review process as simple as possible for those non-HR folks, then the assigned user is the ticket.

And with both types of user-level access, the great aspect about using an ATS and not making them administrative level users is that you don’t have to have any worry about them inadvertently accessing sensitive information related to perhaps the candidate’s employment history, any kind of red flags that might be on their record that you’re not ready for other people outside of HR to see, and that sort of information…because you can lock that down. And so, the timing of their access becomes not as important a factor as it might be otherwise.

So, above all, I want to reiterate the value and certainly the security piece of mind organizations will see when they handle all applicant documentation, including screening activities and correspondence with candidates, within an applicant tracking system…not via email, for example. I hope you enjoyed this episode of video chat and please stay tuned for answers to further questions. Thank you!

Recruiting Software: Single-Source System vs. Stand-Alone ATS [VIDEO]

In this Q&A video, listen to ExactHire Co-Founder, Jeff Hallam, run through some common recruiting-related pros and cons when it comes to choosing between a single-source human resources software information system (HRIS) or a stand-alone ATS (applicant tracking system).

Video Transcript:

Hi, I’m Jeff Hallam and welcome to another edition of ExactHire Q&A. The topic today is whether an organization should purchase recruiting software as part of their overall payroll and HR solution; or, whether that’s something that they might be better served purchasing in a stand-alone environment. And the idea of our talk today is not to try to arrive at any conclusions or tell you what you should or shouldn’t do, but rather just to give you some guidance and some ideas to think through to help determine ultimately what might be the right solution for you and your organization.

So, let’s talk a little bit about the pros and cons for each. So, if you look at a solution that’s offered through a payroll and HR software provider, some of the pros would be things like the ability for information and the process to flow from one point to another…from the very beginning as an applicant…all the way into being an employee…and then ultimately as an ex-employee.

Certainly one of the strong selling points in solutions like these is also the notion of integration. Once I’ve hired someone that core information can flow forward into payroll, and I as an HR professional nor anyone else on my team has to worry about re-keying that information.

And then likewise having a single provider for all things, holds a lot of appeal for people. And so that is certainly a list of some of the main drivers that might lead people to lean toward purchasing this as part of that overall payroll and HR software deliverable.

Some of the cons, likewise, include items like how much of a priority is recruiting software in that provider’s development queue? Is it getting the time, attention and dollars that you’d like so that it’s going to keep up with emerging trends out there in the industry.

What does the price point look like? Is it more, is it less…and are you contractually obligated to stay with that solution as part of the overall solution for any minimum period of time?

And then finally, features and functionality. It’s not uncommon for this to be not necessarily the strength of most payroll and HR tools. So that’s certainly something to look at…will it have the features and the capabilities that you’re looking for and that your group would need?

Now let’s look at stand-alone recruiting software. So, the pros for that are that typically those types of solutions should have very good features and functionality. They should be something that, because that’s all they’re doing, it should have those types of things.

Secondly, there often times are add-on tools…other things that you can do as spokes off of that, that may not exist in that single-source solution that we were talking about a moment ago. Things like video interviewing, automated reference checking, onboarding solutions, integrated background checks and things of that nature.

And then hopefully, dependent upon the provider that you’re dealing with, there should be better expertise to help with technical questions that would come up. That group should be a little more on the leading edge of what’s going on out there and what’s emerging in the industry, as opposed to somebody where this is part of their overall solution.

The cons to the stand-alone solution are…of course, out of the box, it probably is not going to integrate with your existing payroll and HR solution.

You do now have a separate vendor to go to for support-related questions as opposed to a single vendor in that consolidated environment.

And then dependent on the provider, there are some applicant tracking or recruiting software providers out there that do have contractual obligations. So once you sign up to use that, you are required to use it for a certain period of time. And that’s kind of a common con to be aware of in either scenario…just make sure that you understand what that looks like so that if it’s not doing for you what you’d like you have an opportunity to consider other options without being bound to that one provider longer than you might care to.

So, here’s a quick list of five questions to ask yourself as it relates to what might be best for you, and which of these scenarios might apply. So the first one would be to look at the overall priorities of your organization, and for your position. How important overall is recruiting? If it’s a minimal activity, and it’s not happening very often…that probably points you one direction versus another.

Secondly, how much hiring will your organization do over the next year or so? How much volume is going to be done might tie in with the priorities, and it might also tie into the next question…which is what data exactly are we talking about when that integration piece is discussed? So once I’ve hired someone, what exactly from the applicant tracking side of things will then port over into payroll? Make sure you understand what that is and make sure you understand how important it is and how much of it there is.

Looking at price, is there a price differential between the two…that’s certainly something that merits consideration.

And then finally, some of those add-on tools that we talked about with the stand-alone recruiting options…how appealing are those to you? Do you ever see yourself needing those?

As I said earlier, none of this is designed to say you should go one way or the other…it’s like so many other things with software…there is no pat answer that’s going to be consistent for everyone. Rather, it’s just something that is designed to help you from your end, have a little bit more objective way to sit down and look at the pros and cons of each, and ultimately determine, what is it that’s ultimately going to be right for your company.

This has been another edition of Q&A, thank you for joining us!

How to Engage Hiring Managers During Hiring Process – Whiteboard [VIDEO]

In this video, pick up some tips on how to better engage hiring managers to effectively participate in your small- to medium-sized business hiring process. Learn how technology can help automate the hiring process and facilitate manager participation, especially when an organization is decentralized.

Video Transcript:

Hi, welcome to another edition of ExactHire Whiteboard Video Chat. I’m Jeff Hallam and today we’re going to talk about how can I engage hiring managers in my recruiting and hiring process.

This comes up a lot, and as you can imagine it’s something that most everyone is trying to get to, but it’s not always the easiest thing in the world to get buy-in from folks who don’t hire for a living. When they have positions open they want them filled, they want good people in them, and a lot of times they’re trying to get through that as quickly as they can as opposed to maybe following your process that you’ve laid out as an HR professional or as a recruiter.

So these four steps are really designed, or these tips I should say, are really designed just to give you some ideas on how you can better engage these folks and hopefully get both what you want, and they want, out of this cycle.

So the first piece is, maybe trying to look at it through their eyes. And anytime you can walk a mile in somebody else’s shoes I think it can certainly benefit the experience. And so you have to think of it from their standpoint, this can often times be seen as a bother. Why do I want to do this? What’s in it for me? I don’t want to take the time. I don’t want to learn another system. And all those things are valid when they are busy…as we all are. So one of the things you can do is as you see it from that perspective, really think hard about what is in it for them. Think about how their needs and what they’re trying to get done can align with what you’re trying to get done. And when you can do that, that’s definitely a great first step. And that kind of transitions over here to point two in terms of making it easy.

By making it easy, what we mean is, if you can really see it through their eyes, it will help you understand what would in fact make this easier for them. So things like not requiring them to quote/unquote learn another system. Not requiring them to put in pages and pages of notes. So the more structure and input and things of that nature you can give them the better. And likewise, if you can create an environment from their perspective, where they can actually very quickly give you their feedback, and it’s always in a consistent format, all the better. And that kind of bleeds over into point three here.

If you can create a template, a form, a document…whatever it might be that can collect this feedback, that’s almost always going to universally go over a little bit better than just the free-form notes. Again, it will take a little getting used to up front for folks, but once they get that, they’re going to understand that from their perspective, it’s quick…they’re putting in their feedback, they can see other peoples’ feedback. It’s easy, they can access it from anywhere, it’s easy to get to, it’s constant. And, then as that starts becoming a little bit more baked in, a little more consistent, then you get to a point very quickly where you can start making sure that there is follow through.

You can hold these folks accountable and let them know that you are going to be checking into this. And when they’re not doing it, this is a good opportunity for you to go back and hold them accountable, and help them understand and reinforce these other points of why it is important, why it’s just as good for them as it is for the organization. And, as you start doing these things, particularly if they’re in the right technological platform, you should really be able to bring a lot of automation to this, get that feedback very consistently, have it always in a consistent format…and as you go through that process, if you’re like a lot of other folks we work with on a regular basis, you should actually see your hiring results not only speed up, but just as importantly the results should improve.

Template for a Consistent, Effective Hiring Process – Whiteboard [VIDEO]

A consistent, effective hiring process is a critical factor when selecting and onboarding employees for your organization. In this whiteboard video, Jeff Hallam of ExactHire discusses how to create a template for a successful process, including the use of tools such as background checking and reference checking.

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Video Transcript:

Hi there, and welcome to another edition of ExactHire Whiteboard Video Chat. I’m Jeff Hallam and today we’re going to talk about how to create a template for a consistent and effective hiring process. And this predominantly applies to small- to mid-sized organizations, and that’s who we work with for the most part. And this is something that when you’re working for a Fortune 500 organization, a lot of these things are already set in stone and you don’t really have much of an opportunity to change those nor debate them. But for many of these organizations that aren’t at that level, the issue of how do we hire, what does it look like and how do we make sure it’s consistent time after time…can be a little elusive because there may not be a person who spearheads that, and/or that person may not have communicated things very effectively up to that point. And so following a handful of very simple things and making sure that there are a few items in place can really help you in your endeavors to make things much better from a hiring perspective.

So the first one is, as you understand what it is that you want to do, make sure that everybody internally who is going to be involved in that process understands what it is, what the steps are, who is going to be involved and what that is going to look like over time. And once everybody understands that, it really sets a groundwork for everything that is going to happen from there. And I know that seems simple, but that miscommunication or lack of communication is usually the number one culprit for why things don’t work the way folks might like in today’s world.

Likewise, once that’s been set, it becomes very easy for people who are involved in the cycle…and I’ve been guilty of this myself in prior worlds…to want to shortcut the process. This is a really hot candidate, this is a really important job…we have to fill it very quickly. We don’t have time to do these things that we have normally done…and as tempting as that is, and understand you have to have some flexibility, understand there will be exceptions. But as much as you can, try to take this process that’s been communicated and defined and avoid that temptation. Try to keep it in place as much as you can…it can really avoid the notion of everybody thinking their job is the exception.

So once you have that platform, and you understand this is kind of what we want it to look like, there are some elements that most everybody agrees should be part of any best practice that you would consider for hiring. And we’ve just listed those here, and very briefly, they start in order of beginning of the process on forward at the front of the train with relevant job descriptions. Unfortunately, a lot of people still use job descriptions the way they did twenty-five, thirty, forty years ago. Very long, very detailed, very lengthy lists of things that somebody has to have, must do, etc. And frankly those are things that candidates just aren’t paying much attention to. What they want is a quick, little bulleted list of: what is this job; what do I need to have to be qualified for it; so that they can make a good quick decision as to whether they are even interested in learning more.

Once you’ve gotten them past that, the next step becomes how can you make it simple for them to let you know they’re interested in the job? When we were in the throes of the recession, employers could ask for a full online application, multiple sets of references, everything except somebody’s first born child it seemed and they would get plenty of applicants. And that’s because people were desperate for work. But now that that’s reversed and is nearly 180 degrees the other way, applicants are very much the ones setting that tone. And they’re not going to, in most cases, be willing to give you a full online application, let alone a full written application, just for the privilege of being considered for your opening. So really give some thought to what you can do to automate that number one, and number two, to only get what you need initially and then perhaps get the rest later. That’s very much a trend we’re seeing and there are a lot of ways that you can do that. So it’s definitely something worth considering.

One of the biggest issues that we see for most organizations is this inability to keep candidates apprised of where they are in the process. Having them know where they are, what the next step is, are they moving forward, if not, make them aware of it, if so, what does that next step look like and what is the timing for it… I cannot stress how important that is. It’s the number one complaint from most candidates and that the easiest way to protect your employment brand is to not let them feel like their resume or application fell into a black hole. Let them know where they are, keep them posted as they go through your cycle.

Something that’s been around for a long time and people sometimes will almost just treat this as a, “yes, I’m done” type of endeavor is checking references. This is another item that’s even become automated now. There are lots of ways that you can make this much more quick, simple, much less laborious. The key to that is making sure that there is consistency there. Much like everything else we are talking about here…make sure the same questions are asked, make sure the feedback is recorded in the same format. Not just for ease of access, but also to give you a point to go back to over time to find out where things might have been missed. Understanding what somebody has done in prior environments can be an invaluable way to get a better feel for how well they are likely to do in your environment.

And finally, performing background checks. As funny is this might be, initially, this is the thought for a lot of people…”I hope they don’t see this,” “I hope they don’t find out I did that,” etc. People have a lot of skeletons in their closet for better or worse, and certainly not everyone, but a much higher percentage of the population than you might think. So dependent upon your organization and what your needs are, making sure that you understand how they’ve done before, and is there anything that could potentially create exposure for your organization if you hire this person, again, are very necessary pieces that have to be in there.

So when think about this notion of, how do I create this template, how do I make my process consistent and more effective, following these three steps…get everybody on board, make sure there is something that keeps everybody from short-cutting what you’ve put in place, and then making sure that some of these key best practices are there as part of that cycle will definitely help you and your organization, not only make the process more consistent, but overall help you hire better.