Hate the Game, Not the ATS Player

Posted by Sean Pomeroy on Wed, Oct, 07, 2015 @ 08:10 AM


Hunting for a job isn’t easy and candidates are very frustrated with the process. Candidates that are in the large percentile that don’t get picked by the Applicant Tracking System are naturally more inclined to hate on the ATS. But sometimes, despite their need for a job, they just weren’t qualified or didn’t fit the company’s needs. Just the same, there are those in the HR and recruiting space who loathe the automation of the ATS. But that doesn’t mean these platforms aren’t any less necessary… they are. The problem isn’t with the ATS itself, it’s the way it’s used. Chances are, many of the concerns you’ve had with your system can be attributed to user error. “More is better” isn’t always the case, especially with your platform. This is why you shouldn’t be so hard on the ATS. Learn the importance of choose the right ATS

More ISN’T Better

Massive job boards are a popular choice in placing job ads. The only problem: it exponentially increases the number of candidate applications and resumes that flood into your digital filing cabinet. Goldman Sachs alone only hired 3% of their 267,000 applicants last year. You look through all of the advice online from various industry thought leaders, but what you’ll find is the scatter your seed method. But seeds don’t prosper if they are haphazardly strewn across the land, right?

The same is true for your job ad. It has to be strategically placed so your ATS can sift through a reasonable amount of applications to pick a fewer number of great ones for you.

Tweet This: Strategically place job ads so the ATS can do what it's built to do, properly. Read more: 

Remember: An overloaded, disorganized ATS is not an effective screening and hiring tool.

Choose The Right ATS, the Right Technique

There’s something to be said for purchasing the right ATS for your organization. Not all applicant tracking systems are the same, they have different bells and whistles and although one ATS might have everything you need, there’s a chance there are features you don’t use. That could affect the way your system works. Jackye Clayton (@JackyeClayton), Editor at RecruitingTools.com, said:

“But before you bash your ATS, it’s important to take a step back and ask yourself whether or not you’re actually using it as intended. Because the thing is, the majority of recruiting and staffing end users utilize their applicant tracking systems as a resume repository and job posting platform, features which, while designed to make online recruiting a little bit easier, aren’t, in fact, a core functionality for which these systems were originally conceived and dedicated.”

Tweet This: @JackyeClayton says we need to be careful how we're using our ATS. Read more:

Remember: If you’re not using the included training and vendor provided assistance, you may not be getting the benefits your ATS offers.

The Platform Isn’t Broken

One thing to remember, one small, yet key feature to always keep in mind, your platform isn’t broken. You may not like the way it functions anymore, or your team simply doesn’t know how to use all of its features, but that doesn’t mean it’s malfunctioning. Really, it could be you just have too many applicants or the ATS doesn’t fit your needs anymore.

Tweet This: Reassess your ATS needs before completely ditching the system like this:

The ATS doesn’t (or at least it shouldn’t) remove the human aspect from the application process. It merely automates the administrative portions so recruiters can focus on their primary duty - interacting with candidates. But when you don’t have the right system in the first place, it becomes cumbersome, clunky and a loathed recruitment platform, as Matt Charney (@mattcharney), Executive Editor and Head of Content at Recruiting Daily, described: 

“In fact, almost every one of the many potential perils of the average recruiter out there today faces on the talent battlefield can be more or less directly traced to the system that they’re forced to rely on, even at the expense of recruiting efficacy, efficiency, and optimal outcomes.”

Remember: Even if you didn’t choose your ATS, you need to use it in order to do your job, which is hiring the right talent for your organization.

Despite the reservations or any struggles you may have with your applicant tracking system, you shouldn’t abandon the idea of an applicant tracking system just yet. You may simply scatter your job ads too wide or may not have the right platform for your company, but the system isn’t necessarily broken. It takes the right ATS to do your job exceedingly well, and if you don’t have the best-fit platform, it can lead to more struggles down the road.


Tags: Applicant tracking software

5 Tips to Make the Best of Campus Recruiting Season

Posted by Mark Jackson on Wed, Sep, 30, 2015 @ 08:09 AM

New and veteran students are beginning to flood campus grounds and hallways, and that means a lot of potential candidates waiting out there for recruiters. From set-up to after the tear down, you need a specific plan before you enter the college campus filled with eager young professionals. There are some tips to remember, before you begin your journey to find some fresh professionals with advice from other recruiting professionals.


1. Set up early 

As it goes, if you’re not 10 minutes early, you’re late. Such is the case here. Take advantage of getting there early so you have ample time to set up. Shannon Smedstad (@shannonsmedstad), Employment Brand Director at CEB, said:

“The career fair that I attended was from 10 am to 3 pm. At 2:30, nearly half of the employers started packing up. By 2:58, most of the employers had left. At 3:05, we still had students at our booth. Years ago, part of my core responsibilities was to attend job fairs. My philosophy then and now is ‘first in, last out.'"

Tweet This: @shannonsmedstad says, "First in, last out." Read these best practices for campus recruiting season:

2. Let’s get visual 

Mot people are visual learners. We are surrounded by thousands of visual stimulants every day. At the career fair, you’ll be competing with all of the other recruiters there - your talent competitors. Make your organization stand out above the rest with some engaging visual displays. However, don’t rely on the campus to provide any A/V equipment you might need. It’s best to have those resources yourself, or use visuals that don’t need extensive maintenance.

Tweet This: Be simple with your displays and try not to rely on campus to provide A/V equipment. #CampusRecruiting

3. Got reading material? 

The college students at the career fair you’re attending will be browsing other booths as well. Stick in their minds with some reading material - brochures, applications, or maybe even a little bit of swag to stick in their minds longer. Many campuses will tell their students to take any and all information available from career fairs, so it’s your responsibility to provide it.

Tweet This: Make a lasting impression on campus students during recruitment season like this: 

4. Network with other recruiters 

Meet with other recruiting professionals to discuss ideas about exhibits and trends during the event. It’s your opportunity to network with other HR professionals just as much as it is for students to network with company representatives. All good recruiters should have a network of other recruiters in the event they have trouble finding the right talent, and a career fair is the perfect opportunity to do this.

Tweet This: Don't forget to network with other recruiters during campus recruiting season. Read more:

5. Follow-up afterwards 

Send impressive candidates follow-up emails or a phone call to set up an interview to see how their skills and experience (or potential experience, they are students after all) match up to the positions you’re vetting for. In order to do so, however, it’s critical to stay organized to keep and reference their information in your ATS later. Those particularly competitive candidates will be swiped up quickly, so take the time to gather their contact information and call them as soon as possible.

Tweet This: Impressive candidates are fleeting. Do this after campus recruitment:

Whether you’ve been to a career fair on the back end of the table before or not, there’s no hurt in a little refresher course in career fair best practices. Make sure you arrive early and set up early. There will be a lot of students flooding the gates so you need to make sure you’re ready for them when the doors open. Your visual aids are important; they need to be engaging and easily set up and tore down (for portability purposes). Don’t forget to give students information to take with them. Give college jobseekers the tools they need to research the company more later and information on your training and internship programs. Most of all, get the contact information from the most competitive candidates, so you can follow up with them before your competitors do.

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Tags: recruiter

How Can I Transform Employees into Great Leaders? Glad You Asked!

Posted by Sean Pomeroy on Wed, Sep, 23, 2015 @ 08:09 AM

“The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born-that there is a genetic factor to leadership. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.” - Warren Bennis

Leadership is vital to every organization. Some employees strive to be leaders and others can care less. Whether you are trying to attract new candidates or set an example for your current employees, leadership is important to study throughout the company. James P. Kahler, Content Specialist at Hireology said,

“77% of connected millennials (those who use social media regularly) said part of the reason they chose to work where they do is because of the company’s sense of purpose.

Imagine the type of company you could have if you turned some of your employees into great leaders and shared that sense of purpose. We know you're thinking, "How can I transform employees into great leaders?" Here's how:

Tweet This: 77% of Millennials say organizations with a sense of purpose attract them to work there. 

It All Starts with You
Employees can only grow as high as their leader. If you want your employees to become excellent leaders, you have to want that for them as well. Many of the great leaders place inordinate focus on ensuring their employees are smarter than they are, and then get out of their way once they are trained. While you may need to check your pride, investing in your people will only make your company better, which is what you want. 53% of fully engaged employees admit they perform by learning how their superiors work. Set the standard for the team by performing how you expect them to work and by showing them where they need to be more “hands off”.

Tweet This: Set a proper example for your employees- 53% are fully engaged by learning from superiors. 

Provide Professional Opportunities
Give your employees opportunities to grow and be successful. There are many ways to offer these opportunities: training, online education, networking opportunities, meetings, speaking slots and more.

“About 37% of respondents to a survey said things would be better if their companies provided more training and educational opportunities, narrowly beating out the other desires employees expressed.”

Without opportunities to flex their leadership muscles (leading the coworkers on a team, managing a new project, being a lead within their department or networking on behalf of the company), employees may feel stuck and frustrated when their advancement doesn’t happen sooner. While it can be scary to offer these opportunities (instead of taking them yourself) to employees (who might mess them up once or twice), it’s a strong show of faith and a step in the right leadership direction.

Employees need feedback, they need to know what they are doing great and what they could improve on. It’s important to always keep a constant communication with them. In the 2015 SocialHR Camp Conference, Maren Hogan (@marenhogan), CEO of Red Branch Media said,

“Praising employees for their project, their ability to learn from something from a colossal failure, how they got through a difficult time emotionally and still kept work up to speed, strength to admit when they were wrong.”

Use the Power of Mentors
Assign every employee a mentor or allow them to choose someone. Employees meeting with someone whether it be monthly or a weekly lunch to learn from and lean on someone in order to navigate their work. Twenty-percent of employees are currently lacking mentor/mentee relationships at work, but would like to be in one. There is always room for growth and we can’t be ignorant to that. Laura Vanderkam (@lvanderkam), Writer and Speaker with FastCompany said,

“In most cases, more time with the boss is a good thing. As people rose from 1 to 6 six hours spent with their direct leaders, they became 29% more inspired about their work, 30% more engaged (that is, likely to recommend their company as a great place to work), 16% more innovative, and 15% more intrinsically motivated (finding something interesting in most of their tasks).”

Anything above that 6 hours mark may feel like micromanagement to employees and again, thwart the leadership potential you’re attempting to cultivate.

Leadership is valuable. How you are influencing, educating and giving them access to opportunities can be the sure way to see not only growth in your company but seeing happier employees. Happier employees equal less turnover, better work environment and less money waste. In the end, you’ll see a difference in everyone, including yourself.

What are you doing to transform your employees into successful leaders?
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Tags: Mentoring

Why Boring Work is Subjective and Necessary

Posted by Mark Jackson on Wed, Sep, 09, 2015 @ 10:09 AM


Your employee, Jill, wants to talk. She sits you down, darts her eyes around the room nervously, and comes out with it: she finds her job boring. You’re taken aback — you thought she loved her job! You might scramble to fix the problem, but you need to realize: if your employee came to you to tell you they’re bored of their job, there’s probably a bigger problem at hand. If not, then they have to realize two things: Boring is often subjective, and almost always necessary. Here’s why.


Boring Work is Vague

“Bored” can mean a lot of things. Some people think it’s synonymous with “disengaged” when it comes to the workplace, and would point out that only 31.5% of U.S. employees are engaged at their jobs. That might be true, but there are a number of reasons your employees could be bored at work. They could find the work unchallenging, under-stimulating or have lost their passion for their industry.

Tweet This: What do your employees really think of their jobs? 31.5% are unengaged for the following reasons: 

What’s more, “boring” isn’t something you can fix easily. Different people find different things boring, and you have to modify your approach to fit the candidates. Some people find organizing paperwork relaxing, while others find it dreadfully monotonous. Saying a job is “boring” isn’t helpful, because it doesn’t properly identify the problem. Why is the job boring? Ask your employees more about their issue. Don’t assume “boring” is bad and leave it at that.


Boring is Necessary

Boring isn’t always mandatory to working in certain fields — it can often be just as beneficial as the work we’re passionate about. In fact, some of the most important parts of our working lives can be the most boring. As Sharlyn Lauby (@sharlyn_lauby) explains, we still need to dedicate ourselves to whatever we might find the least exciting.

"Some of the things we need to know in our careers and lives we won’t consider fun. But we have to learn them anyway. At least if we want to be successful, we need to be capable. Here’s an example. Driving is not my favorite thing to do. But I need to know how to drive in order to go to work and school, take vacation, and run personal errands. So, I drive and give it my 100%."

Tweet This: @sharlyn_lauby gives insight about the need for staying motivated at work. Read more: 

So no matter what part of your work your employees find boring, you need to encourage your employees to do it well.


What to Do About Boredom

Sometimes the best way for employees to deal with boring work is to buck up and find ways to make it exciting. No matter what career they choose, work won’t be a cavalcade of fun events one after the other. The same goes for your employees. You can’t fix every issue with their job because people have to file expense reports, and those usually aren’t very fun.

However, there are times when you can take steps to fix an employee’s boredom with their job. If your employee doesn’t find their work fulfilling, and you see signs that they might be better suited for another department, don’t hesitate to ask them what they’d rather be doing. At work, 25% of employees would feel more motivated if they were doing what they did best. Take this into account when talking to an unmotivated employee. Are they burnt out, or simply looking for another outlet to apply themselves?

Tweet This: Keep your employees motivated by simply allowing them to do what they love. Read about how this works:

Like we said, curing boredom doesn’t come easily. Not every employee can be reassigned into being motivated. You may have to put up with a certain amount of disengagement at your company, because it tends to come with the territory. But this isn’t always a bad thing, and while not everyone likes boring work, “boring” means different things to different people, and it’s often necessary and vital to the workplace.

Need to find the optimal fit for every employee? For that, there’s Visibility Software’s learning management system, Cyber Train, which can track every employee’s progress in their role. Sign up for a demo today!

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Tags: training, Leadership

Top Barriers for On-the-Job Training

Posted by Sean Pomeroy on Wed, Sep, 02, 2015 @ 07:09 AM

I recently came across this chart listing some of the most pervasive problems leaders have in training employees. The chart breaks down both on-the-job and formal learning pain points, but today I’ll focus on addressing how your company can rectify growing pains with the on-the-job training. Many companies assume on-the-job is synonymous with playing the learning process by ear, but this isn’t the case. While it might be less structured than formal training, an organized process is just as important in on-the-job training. Without these few key elements, your training won’t be as effective as it could be.


Lack Feedback and Development

The biggest barrier to effective on the job training is “poor post-learning feedback from [the] manager.” Although the performance reviews you’ve recently conducted might seem good enough, 47% of employees want weekly or quarterly feedback. This makes regular constructive criticism during the training process vital because it’s part of the learning process; you have to track employees during training through your internal learning management system in order to give team members actionable feedback.

Tweet This: Employees can't get enough feedback... in fact, 47% want more. 

Poorly-done feedback can hurt your employees’ ability to grow as well as their desire to stick around. Studies have shown that 55% of employees cite a “lack of growth opportunities” as their greatest frustration with their work. In order for your company’s on the job training to matter, you need to make your employees understand how what they’re learning now will influence their career path. Use milestones and benchmarks to help employees understand that impact and stay on track during their training.

Lack of Application

Employees want to learn how to perform better and expand their role within your company. Without the ability to practice what they’ve learned in training, you’re wasting the valuable time spent in employee education. What’s more, you’re wasting your own time developing these training programs if your employees can’t apply them to their actual role; studies show that up to 30% of corporate training materials companies develop are wasted.

Tweet This: Are you wasting 30% of corporate job training materials? Doesn't hurt to check!

If that sounds like your organization, you may need to restructure post-training to make that new knowledge useful. Whether you choose to use projects as catalysts for employee education, or a new spin on an everyday task, your team needs actionable ways to use their new skills. When you create these training programs, have specific tasks in mind for employees to incorporate their training so their effort - and yours - is not wasted.

Lack of Relevance

Remember when you were in grade school, sitting in math class? That new formula you learned, albeit easy enough to understand, seemed useless; you thought to yourself, “when are we ever going to use this?” Unfortunately, many employees, like the students in math class, find their training irrelevant. According to the chart I mentioned, “low relevance to business challenges” and “low relevance to the job” are the 5th and 6th most-cited barriers to on-the-job training. Making this training applicable to an employee’s current role is crucial to embedding them into the company culture. Yet only 32% of employees think their compliance training last year was engaging, and only 39% thought it was pertinent.

Tweet This: The truth hurts. Only 32% of employees think their compliance training was engaging.

In order to make these kinds of training sessions more relevant to employees, you need to directly integrate it into their individual roles within the organization. Have them talk to other members of the team about their responsibilities. If there’s a workflow for each tasks that runs through multiple team members, guide them through that workflow step by step. This lets employees know how every part of their compliance training fits into what the final product looks like.

Tweet This: Read about this magic trick to make your employee's time worthwhile during job training sessions!

On-the-job training is vital to the success of your employees, and requires a process to track development regularly, provide valuable feedback, teach employees how to apply what they’ve learned and make sure they understand the relevance of their new knowledge. Once you have these processes and workflows in place, it’ll be easier to utilize these employees in more complex and time-consuming projects.

Visibility Software’s learning management system, Cyber Train, is the perfect tool to track, manage, and engage your employees in any kind of a training you need to provide them. Sign up today and receive a free demo!

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Tags: cyber train, training, Hiring