The First Key Step to Successful Talent Acquisition

Posted by Sean Pomeroy on Thu, Jun, 02, 2016 @ 07:06 AM


Employers who want to improve their talent acquisition should take note of these statistics from two recent Aberdeen Group reports: 

  1. 47% of respondents in the “An Employee-Centric Digital Workplace” report said they have trouble sourcing enough qualified candidates.
  2. According to the “Best Practice: Use Modern Recruiting to Stay Cutting Edge report, best-in-class organizations are 55% more likely to proactively build and expand their candidate pipelines, regardless of current hiring needs. 

These figures show you need to focus on quality sourcing and building a strong talent pipeline. In fact, doing so is the first of our “4 Key Steps to Successful Talent Acquisition.” Let’s take a closer look. 


Quality sourcing may not win the war for talent for your company but poor sourcing sure can lose it. In the talent acquisition process, if you source the wrong candidates, your efforts are doomed from the start. If you don’t source enough of the right candidates, you’ll struggle to consistently fill your talent needs. 

Two important elements of quality sourcing are:

  1. Tracking and measuring your talent sources
  2. Effective recruitment marketing

Tracking and measuring the performance of your talent sources (internal referrals, external recruiting partners, social sites, job boards, corporate career sites) is critical because it’s the only way to optimally focus and adjust your sourcing efforts and budget. 

As for effective recruitment marketing, communicating intriguing messages about your organization and your culture to candidates and potential candidates helps attract more candidates while also making candidates eager to join your organization. In fact, employers worldwide are recognizing the importance of recruitment marketing. According to LinkedIn’s Global Recruiting Trends 2016 report, 59% of respondents are “investing more in their employer brand compared to last year.” 

Talent Pipeline

Another essential part of finding and hiring the right people (those with the specific skills, qualities and capabilities your organization needs) is knowing exactly who’s in your talent pipeline. This includes both internal talent and external candidates.  

Internal talent—Your organization may have a surplus of some skills, qualities and capabilities, and a shortage of others. By understanding your internal talent pipeline, you’ll know which positions you have the bench strength to fill internally, and you’ll identify skills shortages that you need to fortify before they become major problems.  

External Candidates—By maintaining a strong candidate pipeline, you’ll always have a pool of qualified talent that you can use to fill positions when they open, reducing time to hire and increasing your quality of hire.  

Modern Talent Acquisition Software Can Help!

Modern talent acquisition software is a great tool for improving your sourcing and talent pipeline. 

Sourcing: It enables you to efficiently and effectively track and measure your talent sources. You can see the quantity and types of candidates you’re receiving, the talent sources they came from and identify trends. You can also evaluate the effectiveness of individual job postings—as software can show you the candidates being attracted and how far those candidates made it through the hiring process.  

Talent pipeline: Modern talent acquisition software empowers you to track your current employees’ skills and abilities, helping you identify both quality internal candidates and skills needs in your organization.  

The result is you can access and evaluate data that will help you make more informed decisions and identify high-quality candidates. 

For more sourcing and talent pipeline tips, and to learn other important steps for improving your hiring, read our new article “4 Key Steps to Successful Talent Acquisition.”

Tags: best candidates, Hiring, applicant tracking system

7 Ideal Candidate Traits to Look for in 2016

Posted by Mark Jackson on Thu, Dec, 10, 2015 @ 12:12 PM


Hindsight is 20/20, and managers aren’t immune; they regret their hiring decisions about 50% of the time. Unfortunately for you, every failed hire costs you time and money. If you’re looking for a way to avoid hiring mishaps, it might be useful to stop looking solely at qualifications and start looking for predominant personality traits. Which characteristics should you look for? Below are the 7 traits we think correlate most with quality employees. 


Several studies have shown that 76% of an employee’s productivity and contribution to their company is determined by their level of intelligence. The key to evaluating intelligence is asking purposeful, intelligent questions. One of the most noticeable hallmarks of intelligence is curiosity; the more questions your potential hires asks about various aspects of the company, the more likely they’ll be an intelligent, curious and resourceful employee. While intelligence is important, keep EQ in mind when looking for new employees as well!

Tweet This: 76% of an employee’s productivity to their company is determined by level of intelligence.


Top performers tend to be more driven. A study by ARCH Profile earlier this year indicated that the level of an employee’s ambition has a significant impact on their performance. For example: 89% of ambitious employees set high work standards for themselves and 88% of employees consistently look for ways to improve their performance or complete tasks more efficiently. These are exactly the kinds of things you should look for in a candidate. Remember to ask questions about work they’re proud of and what they want to accomplish with your organization. Often Recruiters or Hiring Managers find themselves threatened by obviously ambitious candidates. Instead, envision how that ambition can accelerate your succession and workforce planning! 

Tweet This: 89% of ambitious employees set high work standards for themselves.


SHRM found that 47% of employees feel independence contributes greatly to job satisfaction. In fact, some of the best places to work in the U.S. have created cultures allowing employees to have the freedom to think, create and work on their own. The less you micromanage the team, the better. Ask candidates about a time they were left responsible for a project and came through to help find the hire you’re looking for. Have your managers implement clear concise directions for every new campaign and create a focus on central, transparent communication channels like Slack, Yammer and more to facilitate autonomy.


Nearly 23% of job openings specifically asked for leadership skills and although that can be an overused buzzword, it’s nonetheless necessary in qualified candidates. Looking for leadership requires interviewers to get into the gritty details about a candidate ability to lead teams and how they managed high-pressure situations. You can also scan the resume for frequent promotions and indications the candidate was placed in leadership roles relatively early. But don’t stop there, make your workplace a place where leaders can (and do!) emerge.

Cultural Fit

Choosing an employee with a personality that fits the company culture can be somewhat difficult, but it has become a necessary feature in candidate assessments. Employees who fit into the company culture are less likely to quit, ultimately resulting in a higher retention rate. Everything from the job posting to the interview should be inundated with aspects of the company culture so you andcandidates are able to determine their fit. 


Happy employees can increase productivity by 12%, since they’re more likely to have the motivation to produce better work. When you’re happy with your job and the work you do, you tend to put a little more effort into both. Looking for happiness can be difficult (a seemingly disgruntled candidate could be having a bad day and a cheery one could be pretending for the interview), but when you assess for fit, ambition and a few other traits on this list, happiness should follow. Remember that happiness is not the only indicator for positivity but it’s certainly the easiest one to identify during the interview process! 

Tweet This: Happy employees can increase productivity by 12%. Read more:


According to Gallup, 63% of employees worldwide are not engaged at work. Self-motivation is a valuable skill: it means an employee will seek out work and go the extra mile more often, leading to a more positive and productive workplace. To determine if your potential candidate is self-motivated or not, ask them about how they work between big projects, how they feel about taking on other people’s work, and what kinds of hobbies they have.

This list should give a great idea of what to look for in candidates when trying to find someone who’s a better fit, is more productive, and can deliver results. Every industry will still need to evaluate for their respective hard skills, but evaluating for these traits should give you a firm template to use no matter what job you’re hiring for and avoid those poor hiring decisions. 

Improve hiring decisions by implementing a recruitment system that enables recruiters and hiring managers to rank applicants making it easier than ever to identify qualified applicants. Further streamline the recruitment process with Visibility Software’s applicant tracking system

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Tags: best candidates

Don’t Forget the Hiring Managers - Hiring and Training the Best

Posted by Sean Pomeroy on Wed, Jun, 17, 2015 @ 07:06 AM


We spend so much time thinking about the candidate and how to hire them; what about the person who hires all of the candidates? How do we hire and train these personnel? They certainly don’t poof into their profession. While it may be commonplace to train or hire managers, you can’t forget the qualities they’ll need to hire team members. Here are the qualities recruiters should look for when hiring a new hiring manager and ways to train them to be effective for your company.

Be a warm welcome

A hiring manager represents the face of the company alongside the recruiter since they are among the first handfuls of welcomes and assist with the first impression of the employer brand. While 46% of job seekers look at company reviews before even speaking with a recruiter or hiring manager, they are often the first to interact with the candidates. Job seekers can find this information on your website or social pages, but your hiring managers carry that brand through the hiring process.

Tweet This: When was the last time you read your own reviews? 46% of job seekers read them while searching!

If you’re looking for a hiring manager and you have disengaged characteristics such as a lack of enthusiasm or complacency you’ll portray that to the candidates, which does not support the culture the organization has tried to create. Instead, be eager and responsible during the hiring process, and you’ll likely find a hiring manager that will exemplify the same behavior.

Establish employer branding and candidate experience

The corporate behemoth, Google, is accustomed to what an “excellent candidate experience” means. A majority (80%) of the candidates they reject still recommend friends to apply for the company. Senior Vice President of People Operations at Google, Laszlo Bock (@LaszloBock2718) said:

“You want them to fall in love with you. Really. You want them to have a great experience, have their concerns addressed, and come away feeling like they just had the best day of their lives.”

Tweet This: Even rejected candidates refer friends to Google's team. What's their secret?

Pass this same mentality onto your new hiring manager; they will practice the same behavior when they guide candidates through the hiring process. Create an enjoyable candidate experience by:

  • Communicating: technology makes it easy to communicate with candidates-- use it to your advantage by reaching out and thanking your candidates for entering the hiring process with your organization.

  • Putting yourself in their shoes: Think about the worst job interview you’ve ever experienced; think of how awful it would be to experience that again. Treat your candidates the way you’d like to be treated so they can emulate those while hiring for your company. Of the organizations who prioritize candidate experience, 26% of them rate their talent acquisition as highly effective.

  • Evaluating and presenting expectations: 27% of candidates who had a poor experience with an organization actively discourage colleagues from applying. Be personable with your candidates by explaining your reach-out process. Give a time range of when they will be contacted (regardless if they made the cut or not) so they’re not left hanging.

Know what you want

A hiring manager must fully understand what kind of representatives their company needs for success. Enterprise IG conducted a study that found 70% of customers’ brand perception comes from conversations with employees. If you don’t communicate with your candidates and employees what they need to promote, your company could take the backlash. Harvard Business Review also discovered companies excelling in consistent messaging are increasing revenue growth by 10-15%. Effective brand communication will help them better communicate to candidates in their future position as the hiring manager what the company stands for because they understand the brand and mission statement fully.  

Tweet This: What does it take to hire a quality hiring manager?

Raise brand awareness before the hiring process even begins. Give your audience the resources to click into your brand and gain awareness on social mediums. 61% of professionals with social media use it for business at least once a week. Promote your company culture, mission and work expectations to attract the hiring managers your company desires. By aligning your work objectives, you can attract the next best group of hiring managers for future success in better hiring.


Don't forget to look beyond the recruiting process. You want your employees to love you the whole way through! Tap into our Cyber Train free demo.

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Tags: applicant management, best candidates

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