Employee Training Needs to be Strategic and Here’s Why

Posted by Kimber Crumlish on Wed, Aug, 26, 2015 @ 08:08 AM

We recently came across a startling statistic: almost half of companies in the United States spend more on coffee per day than they do on employee training. This stat should alarm companies for two reasons: one, that much caffeine can’t be good for you, and two, that’s far too low an amount to spend on training. More companies seem to disregard training as vital to the workplace every day, but companies need to learn that training is not only important, but it also needs to be strategicHere’s why.


All Part of the Plan

Companies need to think about training not as something they need to do in order to put their business plans into action, but part of the plans themselves. In the same way many companies create plans and business goals for the coming year and track their progress accordingly, they need to create these plans for their employees as well. Unfortunately, many companies are choosing to forego extensive training altogether.

Employees are a company’s most important asset, and if you’re not factoring their progress into your business, you’re going to have some upset workers. Currently, 55% of employees cite a “lack of growth opportunities” as their greatest frustration with work, so employees are more receptive to training than you might think, even after they’re already up to speed in their current role.


Tweet This: Not factoring employee progress into business can result in some unhappy workers. See how to avoid this! 


Training for Interest

When developing your strategic training, you need to discuss specific interests with your managers and employees. Forcing employees to undertake training in areas they may not be suited for won’t work out as well as having them train in areas they’ll find both interesting and useful. Surveys show that 25% of employees would be more satisfied at work if they were doing what they did best.

So instead of matching an employee’s training to their role, companies should match it to their interest instead. Before assigning them training, they should talk to them about what they’d like to do at the company, which aspects of the business they’d like to grow into. Companies should then develop a training program that caters to those interests. Employees will not only appreciate that the company listened to them, but they’ll be more interested in learning something they asked for, making them more productive and engaged.


Tweet This: Surveys show that 25% of employees would be more satisfied at work if they were doing what they did best. 


Hiring With Training in Mind

Companies can also take their approach one step further and develop a training program specific to the company’s needs and less reliant on the candidate market. Recent surveys reveal 61% of companies hire untrained candidates, looking for soft skills instead of hard ones and then training them on the job. Additionally, 49% of companies plan to do the same in the future.

For companies looking to hire entry-level positions, this is a solid plan of action. Even in the most hard skill-ridden industries, a good mentor on the job can make a big difference for new employees, showing them the ins and outs of the industry. Some industries will require certifications no matter what, but since 56% of new hires want a mentor or buddy program as part of their first week, using employees they already have as a teaching tool should prove a valuable training avenue for companies. 

Companies don’t have to develop their own college courses in order to train employees, but no matter how they implement training on their workplace, it needs to be strategic. They must incorporate their hiring as part of their wider business plan, create plans that appeal to the work interests of their employees, and create hiring plans which factor in these two aspects along with their business interests. When hiring is strategic, employees and companies alike reap the benefits.

Try a demo of Visibility Software’s Cyber Train today and see how you can create training programs that employees will want to be a part of.

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Tags: training

5 Things to Consider Before Purchasing an Applicant Tracking System

Posted by Mark Jackson on Wed, Aug, 19, 2015 @ 08:08 AM

You’ve finally decided to take the plunge and get an ATS. Good for you! With all of the different applicant tracking system vendors out there, it can be hard to know what to look for. There are a plethora of platforms, and picking the one that’s right for your company has to be right for the recruitment team and the business needs as well. However, we’ve found that many organizations ask the same questions, so we’ve created our own list of questions to consider when purchasing an ATS.


Is it Automated?

An ATS will sift through all of your candidate resumes and bring you the best ones, and some will even send pre-written polite rejection emails to the ones who didn’t make it to your desk. But that’s not what we mean by autonomous. Some ATS rely on cooperation between management and the hiring team in order to sign off on requisitions. Because companies know about 80% of the positions they’ll have to fill each year, it’s best to let the hiring teamwork autonomously, using your company’s ATS to help them out. 


Is it Simple?

An ATS can have all the bells and whistles — if it’s too intricate or difficult to manage, it’s not going to be the most efficient product for your team, or your candidates. A good ATS won’t overload the hiring team or candidates with hoops to jump through or special features they never really use, no matter how much it can do. Candidates specifically don’t react well to complexity, with 48% of them dropping out of the process if it’s too cumbersome. So when you’re browsing the features of an ATS, make sure simplicity is one of them.


Tweet This: If your ATS is too difficult to manage, it’s not going to be the most efficient product for your team.


What Else Can it Do? (Onboarding)

Of course, you don’t want to get cheated on other features, too. “Simple” and “versatile” don’t have to be mutually exclusive. You can investigate what other benefits an ATS provides. Many offer some sort of other hiring feature, such as training, onboarding or mobile integration, since 9 out of 10 job seekers plan to use their phone to apply for a job within the next 12 months. Make sure you’re looking for these features, since you want your applicant tracking system to be simple and easy to access.


How Aggressive Is it?

Depending on your recruiting workload, the size of the company, and the position, you may need a more or less aggressive ATS. What do we mean by “aggressive?” How many applicants, on average, get through your ATS before moving on to the next step in the process. In some cases, companies make the application a little longer on purpose, since 53% of HR professionals believe it helps remove uninterested candidates from the process. Does that sound right for your business?


Tweet This: 53% of HR pros believe making the application longer helps remove uninterested candidates from the process.


Can it Help With Interviews?

Speaking of candidates, you may want your applicant tracking system to offer a smooth transition from the application to the interview. After all, these dual-sided conversations are part of the larger  application process, so integrating the two into the same system is a no-brainer. If your applicant tracking system can help sort through resumes and set up interviews with the candidates who do make it through, it saves you the time of having to prop open your favorite calendar app and do it yourself. This is a fairly simple step for an ATS to implement, and should be another common feature you look out for. 

Your own business needs require you to think about a number of things. How does the software scale with more hires? What sorts of access privileges does it allow candidates? But the five above are some of the most common considerations we see across the board, and they should be what’s on your mind as you shop for an ATS system. But don’t worry: once you have your checklist, the shopping process will be much easier. Fun, even! Good luck! 

Need an ATS that’s simple, lets you make requisitions on the fly and integrates into your interviewing schedule? Then try out Cyber Recruiter, Visibility Software’s applicant tracking system, which lets you schedule interviews and sort through applicants with ease. Sign up for a demo today!

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A Quick Guide to Purchasing Your First Applicant Tracking System

Posted by Mark Jackson on Wed, Aug, 12, 2015 @ 08:08 AM

When it comes to picking which applicant tracking system will fit your organization’s needs best, how do you decide? Every vendor will have reasons for why their ATS is simply the best for your team and what your organization needs, but that may not always be the case. You need a sage, someone who knows the industry and the tools inside and out, to help you through the process. Unfortunately, we can’t send Sean through the internet, but we have the next best thing - a guide to purchasing your first ATS. 


What is an Applicant Tracking System?

An Applicant Tracking System is a recruiting tool that enables your recruitment team to handle, manage, and organize the needs of your department. It can be an in-house system, or you can use it as an online service - Software as a Service (SaaS). Even better, it is used from the smallest organizations to the enterprise business level; here’s the catch - not all were made the same. You need to choose an ATS which matches the size of your organization and its needs. 

Tweet This: Find out how to select an ATS that matches the size AND needs of your organization.

1. Identify Internal Requirements.

Before you even start researching the different types of ATS out there, you have to know what your company needs first. Why is this so important? Without an understanding of your internal requirements, you’ll be trying to chase the wind - i.e., you can’t find something when you don’t know what it looks like. Review what your team does on a daily basis, the entire recruiting process and how accessible you want the platform to be. Then comes the issue of budgeting… but don’t worry, you’re probably one of the organizations that has increased their HR spend (or is at least planning to) over the next several months.

2. Does the Structure Fit Your Needs?

The next question is: do you want an in-house platform? Or would you rather let someone else store that massive amount of information? Both of these are great choices, but it comes down to whether or not you have the space and the capacity to take care of the information yourself. It’s important to find the right platform to accommodate your needs - don’t be caught in the 25% of companies that don’t like their current system.

Tweet This: Is yours in the 25% of companies that don't like their current ATS system? Learn how to pick the right one for you!

3. Is the Solution Reliable?

Imagine the sheer number of candidate profiles that will be on this platform… hundreds - maybe thousands - of applicant addresses, social security numbers, birthdates. In fact, 76% of candidates would rather apply through your career site, which means the majority of your candidates will immediately be in the ATSsystem. Whichever platform you decide to go with, how you choose to use it (SaaS or in-house), etc., it has to be secure and reliable. You can’t have a platform that loses information or is easily manipulated. 

4. Consider Other Necessities

Of course you’ll be approached by vendors who sell all of the bells and whistles, but after you’ve decided which basic platform fits the organization’s needs best, then you can decide on which vendor offers the best add-ons. Consider workflow management, mobile access, business intelligence, candidate experience and social recruiting capabilities when evaluating the extra. Just over a quarter (26%) of recruiters feel their ATS has an impact a positive candidate experience.

At the end of the day, there’s more vendors than you can count and even more Applicant Tracking Systems. You have to know what you want out of the recruiting tool before you start your research so you know which systems will fit your needs best. This guide will help to lay the groundwork for your quest to find the applicant tracking system you want. 

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4 Ways to Train Your Team for Better Time Management

Posted by Kimber Crumlish on Wed, Aug, 05, 2015 @ 09:08 AM

The availability of Facebook updates, innumerable cat videos, and the fascinating GIF-based Buzzfeed articles have exacerbated the problem some organizations have with the company water cooler effect. It is, after all, fairly easy to get distracted during those particularly long work days. Unfortunately, that can mean waning performance, and that’s not a blind performance management misstep; organizations know their lapses performance management. An Aberdeen Group report notes that 60% of all organizations surveyed said they need to improve workforce planning capabilities to drive workforce management efforts. 


Even though too much chatter around the proverbial water cooler can lead to productivity concerns, that arena for workplace bonding is necessary. There has to be a balance between workforce motivation and team interaction. If you’re unsure how to poise professional communication with team development, here are 4 ways to instill better time management practices. 


1. Be on Time

You expect your candidates to be on time, right? That means you need to have better time management and show up on time as well. This shows candidates and new hires you (and the organization) posit time as a valuable asset. For example, if you start a training session 5 minutes behind schedule, your new hires are primed to the same behavior. Because a key symptom of disengagement is a lack of responsibility, (being late to work, leaving early, or missing deadlines), new hires may come to reflect this attitude and behavior. This is particularly detrimental for the organization because actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. between $450 billion and $550 billion every year in productivity.

2. Designate Time

Assigning your team an allotted amount of time to work on a particular project or to brainstorm helps the team to make the most of the time they have. Prompt your employees with deadlines so they finish their assignments on time. Give them leeway, however, to ask for more time if they need it for a particular project. Consider designating a bit of time before your employees start on major projects to get quick, intelligent ideas on the table from the beginning to shorten the amount of time spent on the assignment. This group ensures they spend their time effectively and not scrounging through their email or social media sites. 

Tweet This: Be sure to prompt your employees with deadlines so they finish their assignments on time.

3. Collaboration is Key

Encourage and train your team to come to work prepared to interact and collaborate with coworkers. It increases the quality of their work relationships and gives them a chance to speak with leadership in a casual manner to increase transparency. Collaborating with mentors at work creates learning opportunities and insights into professional development they wouldn’t normally have in their day-to-day responsibilities. Crystal Miller (@TheOneCrystal), DriveThru HR Show Strategist, said: 

“Great workplaces often share a sense of transparency and empowerment - they WANT employees to feel invested and informed.” 

This collaboration throughout the company leadership ladder instigates a culture of knowledge sharing which is critical to not only internal hiring practices but succession planning as well. Allowing your team the time to work and think together is beneficial for organizational growth and individual employee development. 

Tweet This: Did you know collaboration throughout the company leadership ladder instigates a culture of knowledge sharing?

4. End on time

You and your team arrive to meetings on time (perhaps even early) - that’s a common expectation. However, everyone in the office has things to do, important things, so it’s just as vital that the meetings end on time as well. Your team needs to understand the value of time management, and conducting meetings in the same timely manner shows just that. Ken Blanchard (@kenblanchard), co-author of The One Minute Manager said: 

“If people don’t have a clear understanding of where they are going and what they need to focus on, they can’t perform at their highest level.”

Managers with better performance management have 50% less staff turnover, 30% more efficient customer experience and 40% higher employee engagement. Accomplish your best training practices through better management of your own time and respecting the time of your employees to create a happy, efficient office. Eliminate those common office distractions and get your workforce on track, engaged and at full-power.

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Tags: Employee Training

How to Recruit the Under-Sourced Veteran Talent Pool

Posted by Mark Jackson on Tue, Jul, 28, 2015 @ 08:07 AM

We’ve all fallen prey to resting on our laurels, but as recruiters, staying stagnant is a recipe for failure. Between workforce generational gaps, skills gaps and gaps in talent, it is necessary to learn of different talent pools to pull from to accommodate these breaches in acquisitions. 


So what is a pool you can recruit from for not only highly experienced, but highly qualified candidates as well? Veterans. However, sometimes the lack of medical accommodations dissuade these valuable potential candidates from divulging this information. Even though unemployment rates for female veterans who have been discharged since September 11, 2001 has declined to 9.3% in 2013 since it’s hiatus in 2011, there is still room for improvement.

Perhaps recruiters can step in to help repair the higher than average veteran unemployment rate. Here are some ways you can tap these frequently unused candidate pools to help boost your talent pipeline. 


Understand where to source candidates

Veterans, like any other particular group of candidates, have specific places they congregate when they look to find new jobs. In the case of veteran women, a Women Veteran Program Manager at the Veteran’s Association Medical Center can help you to source your candidates easily. These appointed officials are there to help the women veterans find employment after their service (among other things). Unfortunately, many female veterans don’t disclose this information as often as they should. Col. Steve Parker, Executive Director of Joining Forces (the joint initiative from Michelle Obama and Jill Biden to support military families said: 

“Female veterans also don’t all readily identify themselves as veterans.”

Only 21% of organizations say it was their top priority to build a strong relationship with their candidates and recruits. If you’re considering a strategic move towards hiring veterans, they may not have much experience outside the service. However, this time serving their country can involve numerous different roles and responsibilities. Determine veteran candidate fit by asking questions during the interview about how their time-served helped to prepare them for this role. Understanding their background and setting a solid foundation from the start with your candidates to improve cost-per-hire.


Tweet This: In search for highly experienced and qualified candidates? You may be under-sourcing this talent pool:


Network and Engage

Brand familiarity and a healthy employer brand can help you find qualified and interested candidates through the social platforms your ideal talent flocks to. Aberdeen found 73% of 18 to 34-year olds discovered their last employer via social media. Although Millennials account for 30% of the modern workplace, they constitute nearly three-quarters of the United States Military. 

Because Millennials are so active on social media, it’s important to target the social media pages that attract them as well. There are plenty of military affiliated organizations that use Twitter handles and Facebook pages to establish relationships with their followers. After establishing a relationship with your talent pool, familiarize yourself with additional organizations they engage with on personal and professional social sites. Notice the positive and negative interactions you are gaining with these audiences in order to adjust accordingly in the future.


Tweet This: Only 21% of organizations say it was their top priority to build a strong relationship with their recruits


Common misconceptions

Many veterans face pre-determined opinions regarding their service. Like the majority of stereotypes, they are anything but true. According to the veteran candidate pool, some of the most offensive assumptions organizations have about those who have served include:

      They are too rigid to deal with sudden changes

      Veterans are unable to think outside the box

      They shouldn’t have been deployed in the first place


Of the 50% of HR professionals that have hired veterans, however, they have said these misconceptions are far from the truth. There are many benefits to recruiting veterans including their strong responsibility and ability to work under pressure.

Stepping outside of your comfort zone isn’t always easy, but doing so opens the doors to experienced candidates like military veterans. Despite the fact they may not always be the most forthcoming with their service, they have a wide set of skills and abilities you may not be able to find in the traditional sources. Once you’ve adapted the changes in recruiting these predominantly untapped talent pools (compared to others), you can reach any audience, schedule interviews virtually and onboard to accommodate to everyone’s needs with the use of Cyber Recruiter, applicant tracking system, for quick, easy-to-follow processes.

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Tags: Recruit