Setting Social Recruiting System Guidelines for Your Recruiters

Posted by Mark Jackson on Wed, May, 20, 2015 @ 07:05 AM


Social recruiting is here to stay. In recent years, it’s become a great source of hire for many companies; social has leaked into all aspects of the recruiting process, from employer referral to sourcing to distributing job postings. In recent surveys, companies have made their love of social clear: 

Tweet This: 44% of companies say social recruiting increased candidate quantity and quality. 

With all of the social recruiting benefits, companies poised to take advantage of it stand to gain better employees from the process. However, using social media in alignment with a recruiting system may not come naturally to your recruiting team. Use these tips to improve your social media recruiting system: 


Developing Social Media Literacy

Social media recruiting doesn’t just happen. Posting your job ads to Facebook and Twitter and expecting candidates to engage with them is asking for trouble, or at best throwing your resources away on matters of chance. 

Companies must train their employees on the proper use of social media if they’re thinking of using it with their recruiting system. Justin Levy (@justinlevy), senior social communications manager at Citrix, warns companies they should have a social media strategy that involves teaching employees how to use social media.

"Companies should have social media guidelines and should conduct social media training to educate employees on best practices, the opportunities, the potential pitfalls and requirements when leveraging social media on behalf of the company." 

Levy’s advice was oriented around employee usage, but it applies to social media recruiting as well. If you’re invested in developing your brand on social media, trying to wing it is only going to make things harder.


Knowing Your Limits

Perhaps the most important guideline companies should train their employees on is respecting privacy. Social media helps candidates peruse jobs more easily than ever, and helps companies get a better look at the candidates they’re interested in. However, companies have an onus to respect what candidates have and have not divulged on social media.

Companies can reject candidates based on what they’ve said on social media, but they cannot ask for a candidate’s (or an employee’s, for that matter) social media passwords and other information that isn’t publicly available.

Besides privacy, companies should follow a number of other guidelines, such as being consistent with checking candidates’ social media profiles if they have decided to do so (to avoid bias), waiting until candidates have been interviewed to check their profiles, and documenting any social media practices during the recruiting process to create legal backup. 


Avoiding Other Legal Hurdles

One other guideline to keep in mind is the make sure social media recruiting isn’t your only tool. Not only is sticking to one outlet for recruiting a bad idea from a practical standpoint, but it also could lead to potential discrimination. Candidates from protected classes who may not have access to social media could claim they are being discriminated against by companies whose recruiting system is purely social, and in some cases, racial discrimination by one employee against another could be the responsibility of the employer.

Tweet This: Sticking to just one recruiting outlet could potentially lead to discrimination.

Though it’s a powerful tool, employers must understand that social media recruiting comes with its share of guidelines, and those in charge of hiring (whether it’s a hiring manager or HR) must follow those restrictions both to find better hires and to avoid litigation.

No matter what your recruiting system strategy is, Visibility Software’s applicant tracking system, Cyber Recruiter, will help you keep track of candidates every step of the way. Sign up for a demo and see how we can help take your social recruiting to the next level. 

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Tags: cyber recruiter, Best HR Software

How to Align Your Team to Create Engaged Employees

Posted by Mark Jackson on Wed, May, 13, 2015 @ 08:05 AM

What’s a football team without a quarterback? A concert without a drummer? A kitchen without the chef? Teams have needs - they all have predetermined roles necessary to produce a polished finished product. The same applies with your organization. You have a team; each individual has specific responsibilities that play a role in the final project. You simply can’t have a successful company without employees, or a manager, or senior leadership. All of these elements are the glue that holds a working company together.


Without a leadership figure to drive the company vision, employees could lose their focus on organizational goals. Likewise, without a manager to guide projects and stimulate engagement, employees are likely to join the 51% of the disengaged workforceEngaged employees perform 20% better and are 87% less likely to leave a company; so isn’t it worth it to develop an effective team to drive engagement? Here’s how you can align your workforce to work as a better team.

Who is doing what?

Explaining organizational values and goals to new hires gives each member of the team a better understanding of company performance expectations. While strong work ethic is a solid foundation in a new employee, they still need a sense of direction in order to meet company expectations. In a recent Harvard Business Review Analytic survey, 77% of respondents agreed frontline managers are important in helping their organization reach business goals

Set attainable goals for employees during the onboarding process to establish a benchmark, then build off of those goals during performance reviews. Readdress these goals on a regular basis to check the status of projects and to see if your team needs your leadership guidance.

Tweet This: 77% of surveyed respondents agree frontline managers drive business goals.

Create prime examples

If hiring managers and superiors sit at their desk with their feet up, take extended lunch breaks and slack off during work hours, it’s likely the employees will do the same. Even your top performers, your most engaged employees are subject to similar behavior. In fact, 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.

Don’t make promises you can’t keep

Unfortunately, 29% of employees don’t feel valued by their employers. The underlying cause? A surprising 32% of employees don’t feel their employer is always honest and truthful. Stay true to your employees to lock down their trust and loyalty. Keep the team aligned with company values and goals by continuously and openly communicating your expectations. This will form trust between superiors and employees, driving everyone to pitch in and do their part.

Tweet This: 29% of employees feel undervalued by their employers. 

Keeping close tabs on goals and achievements with your employees and maintaining trust will show your employees you care about their success for the sake of their professional development and contribution to the working company. 

Creating goals early on in the onboarding process, assessing achievements and improvements within your team, displaying success by example and building trust are all necessary elements of being a team player in your company. Show candidates you wish to hire during the interview process that your company believes in strong team building and work ethic. Don’t let poor company culture be the downfall of your team; work hard and work together to create the highest potential for your company.

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Tags: company culture, best candidates

The Struggle of the Small Business Skill Gap

Posted by Mark Jackson on Wed, May, 06, 2015 @ 07:05 AM

The skills gap isn’t just for big businesses anymore. The skills gap, for those who may not know, is the documented lack of talent in industries that require certain skills, such as IT, engineering, and in some cases, the medical profession. Without that talent, companies are confused how to grow. Traditionally, large businesses struggled with the skills gap. But even small companies are finding entry-level workers don’t have the skills they need to scale.


Small Business, Big Gaps

Small businesses have fewer spots to fill, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easier to fill them. According to a report by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), 29% of business owners reported not being able to fill positions in February of this year. 14% of those who couldn’t fill positions reported that the biggest problem for them was the lack of qualified labor. In a small business, every worker counts, and companies with open positions (whether they’re looking to expand or had someone leave recently) take a bigger hit to their ability to function than larger ones.

Tweet This: Small companies take a bigger hit when open positions can't be filled.

As time goes by, this becomes a larger and larger problem. In 2014, 30% of companies reported that a skills shortage was the biggest barrier to their continued growth. If companies can’t find the right employees to do critical task (which are again more important within small companies), they can’t grow. This a powerful motivator to close the skills gap. Small companies are turning to more innovative solutions that blaze past recruiting into training, learning and internal mentoring programs. If you can’t recruit ‘em, teach ‘em.

Tweet This: In 2014, 30% of companies reported a skills shortage was the biggest barrier to their continued growth.


Closing the Gap, One Hire at a Time

How can small business owners close the skills gap? If they need positions filled immediately, higher compensation is the easy answer. With higher salary and compensation offerings, companies can attract higher-quality candidates, and a higher rate of pay could be the difference quality hires are looking for when looking to make a decision between two employers. But in many cases, the skills simply aren’t there and in specific markets, this compensation supply and demand can price smaller employers out of the market. Training those with the capacity for the skill rather than trying to recruit an in-demand skill may be the better option.

Companies may want to consider implementing apprenticeships as well. These programs combine on-the-job training with a regular education and could be the key to creating a new market of candidates with hard skills. However, apprenticeships fell 40% in the United States between 2003 and 2013. Employees who work through apprenticeships also tend to develop an affinity for their employer and tend to stick around after their program ends. Though it may require companies to invest extra in training, it’ll pay off with an employee with hard skills.

Part of the lack of interest in apprenticeships may be the fact that they are considered far more blue-collar than the gaps in the skills we identified at the beginning of the article. But in fact, apprenticeships are ideal for skills that are rapidly climbing in demand, like coding and programming.


Closing the Gap with Big-picture Thinking

Taking a wider view of the problem, companies can further work with educators to programs for talent funnels. Educators want graduates to get jobs as soon as possible, and partnering with business benefits both parties. Small businesses agree: 57% are in favor of working with institutions to create these kinds of talent funnels.

Additionally, companies can help close the skills gap by thinking longer term in terms of hires. Though poaching employees from other companies benefits the poacher in the short term, it reduced the overall talent pool for the future. This could eventually come back to haunt all businesses, as it will only will make the skill gap problem worse.

It’s understandable that companies want quick solutions to prevalent problems. However, creating the talent you’re looking for by using apprenticeships or hiring candidates instead of poaching will go a long way toward fixing a problem that small businesses will eventually have to deal with.

For on-the-job training, Visibility Software’s learning management system is your best option. Our Cyber Train program keeps track of employees’ training in modern, easy-to-understand ways, while keeping track of all certifications and other requirements. Take a moment to sign up for a demo and start your best new training program today!


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Tags: candidates, best candidates, Hiring, skills gap

Under Pressure? Employee Training for Pressure Management

Posted by Mark Jackson on Wed, Apr, 29, 2015 @ 09:04 AM

Companies train their employees for the jobs they do. That’s a given. Even if they’re versed in their field, new hires need guidance to get up to speed on the ins and outs of the company, learn about their specific role there, and establish their workflow. Many companies also provide employee training to learn skills they’ll need to become better workers. But how often do companies invest in creating employees who work well under pressure? The answer is: not very. 


Creating Pressure Workers

Working under pressure is something many people must become familiar with, yet many companies treat it as a trait rather than a skill. As Lorri Freifield (@LorriFreifield) Editor-in-Chief of Training Mag writes, employers simply don’t value teaching employees how to deal with pressure:

"While companies are willing to invest in leadership development programs and compliance training and onboarding, they aren’t necessarily interested in shelling out bucks for a pressure management training program—or even admitting that their employees are under pressure. In fact, many companies are firm believers in using pressure to push employees to 'rise to the occasion.' So an inability to handle pressure often is perceived as individual weakness rather than a human nature norm.” 

Without this sort of employee training, companies leave stressful times to chance. When it comes to dealing with pressure, many people fall into the “Warrior” or “Worrier” camps, depending on how they’re able to deal with dopamine, a hormone that helps regulate brain activity. Some employees will be able to deal with pressure, and some won’t. With proper training, all employees will ideally deal with pressure eloquently. 

Alleviate the Pressure with Coaching 

If you’re dedicated to implementing a pressure training program, being personal is the way to go. In a recent case study, The Institute for Health and Human Potential (IHHP) created and conducted a pressure management training program to use with the technical and operations organization of a major Canadian bank. The IHHP would work with employees to help them adapt to high-pressure situations with a combination of a two-day training program, online learning and individual coaching.

As a result of the program, the organization saw increases to their employee engagement, learning and people management. 29% of respondents said they used the tools of the program, and 79% of those who received coaching used those same tools. When crafting a pressure management training program, the results are clear — personal, one-on-one coaching can provide enormous benefits. 

The Benefits of Working Well Under Pressure 

Pressure training programs have several direct benefits. Those who know how to deal with pressure can make better decisions, perform better and increase productivity. In fact, 90% of top performers at companies are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress, and they’re able to remain calm and in control. So when you help your employees and managers deal with pressure, you’re making them better employees. 

Tweet This: 90% of top performers at companies are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress.

Beyond creating employees who produce better results while working under pressure, these kinds of programs also provide a number of other benefits to employees and companies. Once a well-implemented pressure training program has taken root, employees are less likely to feel stressed out when the pressure begins to pile on. The benefits of reducing stress at work are well-documented; stress intervention programs, for example, have been known to reduce blood pressure and improve emotional health in employees, making them healthier and more productive. 

Visibility Software's HR & recruiting solutions help you recruit, train and manage your employees. Our learning management system allows you to automatically add job training requirements based on all the needs of the job, view job compliance and certifications with ease and create a stress-free environment for workers. Sign up for demo today!


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Tags: Employee Training, training management

Online Training Programs: The Pros and Cons

Posted by Mark Jackson on Tue, Apr, 21, 2015 @ 10:04 AM

With every aspect of employee life becoming automated or moving to the cloud, it only makes sense that training would end up in the crosshairs of discussion. Currently, only 34% of workers have participated in some sort of computer-based or online training program for work. Like with many of the new changes in work, there are of course strengths and weaknesses. But ultimately, does turning over on-the-job training for candidates over the computer programs benefit the companies, or is it a safer bet to use a more personal touch?


Discussing Potential Disadvantages 

Many of the disadvantages people see in leaving training up to programs don’t actually have to do with the software itself, but the people who use it. For example, many of the disadvantages of online training programs listed by TribeHR here are the result of poor workers, not technology failures. If workers aren’t motivated to use the software, it could be the software doesn’t pass muster, but it could also be the employee who doesn’t want to implement a new process will allow them to work better. Similarly, the fear that the technology could lead to feelings of isolation could be assuaged by combining the technology with a more personal touch from managers.

This isn’t to say there aren’t disadvantages to online training. Technological access inhibits the kinds of people and industries that have access to online training, and this is a difficult problem to overcome. However, these problems, while serious, should not affect that large majority those who can implement online training.

Train Better, Save Money

In 2013, companies spent an average of $1,208 on training per employee, according to a recent report by The Association of Talent Developments. How does that training break down?

  • 63% of this money is spent on internal services, such as learning department staff salaries, travel costs and a host of other minor costs.
  • 27% of it is spent on external services, such as consultants, content development, licenses, workshops and training programs.
  • 10% is spent on tuition reimbursement.

It doesn’t take a math wiz to see how online training programs could cut down on those internal services. When training’s online and automated, there are far fewer people to pay, less travel to account for, and most of the minor costs (such as a non-salary development and delivery costs) are included in the cost of the software. And with providing many of the benefits of regular, face-to-face training in most situations, what’s not to like?

Tweet This: It doesn't take a math wiz to see how online training programs could cut down on internal services.

Creating and Tracking Results

It may be cheaper, but does online training provide any real benefits other than monetary ones? Absolutely. A recent study conducted by MIT found that not only is online learning just as effective as face-to-face training, but that amount people learned in an online college course was greater than in a traditional lecture-lead class.

But how do you know if your training program is working?

"[Assessments] can be administered between modules or after the entire course, and can be intelligently designed to test against the learning objectives of that course. The scores on these assessments can be used to highlight whether the trainee is grasping the concepts/skills and whether they require any extra help. LMS’s support in-built assessment features that can report on employee performance and can further provide certification for the completed courses.” — Nikita Anand (@learnzippy), Marketing Associate for LearnZippy

Online training isn’t perfect, but many of its problems can be solved by fixing issues with the people using it. This is a small price to pay for cheaper, better training that can be more easily monitored, leading to more accurate data and better decision-making for your company.

Looking for company training programs that are cheaper, better and will get employees up to speed in no time? Visibility Software’s Cyber Train has everything you need to take your new hire to the next level. Sign up today and receive a free demo!

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Tags: cyber train, training, Employee Training