Rethinking the Role of Recruiters

Posted by Mark Jackson on Thu, Aug, 04, 2016 @ 07:08 AM

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Recruiters as brand ambassadors – as opposed to salespeople - for your organization

Let’s face it. It’s a candidate-driven marketplace out there. It is more difficult than ever to attract and retain qualified employees. As a recruiter, you’re charged with filling open positions with the most qualified candidates. But there’s more to it than attracting top talent; you need to find the right match for your organization so every hire becomes a productive, engaged, long-term employee. Competing for talent in a buyers’ market requires the recruiter’s role to evolve from a transactional salesperson to a brand ambassador – responsible for establishing the organization’s reputation as a desirable place to work, and keeping the attention of both today’s and tomorrow’s job seekers. Just what makes a brand ambassador and how can you get there?

Convey Your Brand

As an ambassador, your job is not to sell applicants on your company. Instead, you want to serve as a matchmaker, accurately communicating the organization’s brand and identifying applicants’ individual brands to find an ideal match.

What do we mean when we speak of a brand? In this context, it’s not a marketing term. Your brand is your organization’s essence – it’s core values. It helps to think of the organization as a person and assign personality traits to it. Is your organization resourceful, adaptable, creative, independent, serious, spontaneous, responsible? And you’ll need to think beyond the organization’s brand to consider both the department and hiring manager’s brands as well.

You, as a recruiter, are the initial human point of contact for your company’s brand and are in the unique position of using both your experience and your discretion to make vital hiring decisions. You’re searching for a brand match – the perfect relationship where both parties share parallel goals and approach professional life in similar way. 

Salesperson Versus Ambassador

What is ambassador-style recruiting? Essentially, it boils down to respect for the candidate. A respect for their time, their goals, their skills and their potential contribution to your organization. Here’s a look at some of the pronounced differences between salesperson- and ambassador-style recruiting. 

Salesperson-Style Recruiting

Ambassador-Style Recruiting

Match based exclusively on resume to job comparison

Match based on meeting the brand vision and goals

Focus on easily-defined “hard” skills

Consideration of “soft” skills like leadership, oral and written communication

Success based on filled vacancies and speed

Success based on engagement

On-boarding is company-focused (internal tasks and paperwork)

On-boarding is part of the employment experience and geared to promoting early success

Applicant Experience and Onboarding

An ambassador-style recruiter should understand what’s it like to be an applicant, and hone the recruiting and onboarding process to be an overall positive experience. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reports that new employees decide within the first 30 days whether they feel welcome in the organization, and that one in 25 leave their jobs because of a poor (or nonexistent) onboarding program. There are areas in the applicant experience to focus on: 

  1. First impressions: Are your job listings up-to-date and does the language accurately reflect the position and the ideal applicant? Do the listings help convey your brand? Do applicants receive confirmation of the submittal of their resume or application?
  2. Process: Does the process move smoothly with organized, timely interviews? Do you process resumes efficiently? Are non-selected applicants politely notified?
  3. Finalization: Is the onboarding process geared to the applicant? Do they have the tools they need to succeed? Are early expectations communicated?

As part of the applicant experience, we can’t stress enough the importance of treating each applicant with the respect they deserve. You should be looking to attract not just today’s applicants, but tomorrow’s as well. Today’s runner up may be tomorrow’s perfect candidate.

The ambassador-style recruiter is focused on building relationships, not closing deals. By putting the applicants’ first, respecting their time and individuality, and meshing their brand with yours, your organization has the best chance to win top talent - today and beyond.

For more on ambassador-style recruiting, check out our on-demand webinar

What Every Company Ought to Know about Ambassador Style Recruiting

Tags: Hiring, applicant experience, candidate experience, recruiter

Saying “I do” to Employee Engagement - It’s a long-term commitment that starts with recruiting

Posted by Mark Jackson on Wed, Apr, 20, 2016 @ 10:04 AM

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Employee engagement is a workplace concept that refers to how committed employees are to their organization’s goals and values, and how motivated they are to contribute to the organization’s success. Research has shown that highly engaged employees: 

  • Are more customer focused, more creative at work, and take less sick leave
  • Care about the future of their organization and put in greater effort to help it meet its goals and objectives
  • Feel proud of the organization they work for, are inspired to do their best, and motivated to deliver
  • Are much less likely to leave the organization.

Perhaps it’s not surprising then, that companies whose employees express a high level of engagement are more profitable, have greater revenue figures, and have higher levels of customer satisfaction. A company that values its employees and invests in them right from the beginning is laying the foundation for high levels of engagement. Here are some ways your organization can begin building employee engagement during the recruiting cycle.

Meet Them Where They’re At

Social media has quickly become a powerful recruiting tool. In fact, a recent Aberdeen Group survey reported that 68 percent of “best in class” recruiters think social media is “crucial” to their recruitment strategies. Your company’s LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter accounts can help you spread the word about new job opportunities. They also help put a human touch on your organization, providing a way to introduce and showcase elements of your corporate culture and mission.

Respect Their Time

Strive to be an employer that respects candidates’ time and efforts by streamlining the application process. Post open positions to your company’s website and/or an online job board like Monster.com® and Careerbuilder.com®. Make it simple for them to apply to more than one position at a time. And, send an acknowledgement email letting them know that their resume was received. An applicant tracking and recruiting solution, like Cyber Recruiter, can automate and streamline these tasks, integrating them fully into your workflow.

Conduct Effective Interviews

An interview is the first impression for both employer and candidate. It’s not only a chance for you to assess the candidate; it’s also the candidate’s chance to observe your corporate culture. As many as 42 percent of companies now employee video conferencing (solutions like Spark Hire) in the interview process. This is a great way to give both parties that vital first impression without either of you incurring the expense of an in-person interview.

Make Your Proposal  

Once you’ve identified your next hire, make the proposal a good one. Prepare and send an offer letter along with onboarding forms. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) help speed and automate this part of the process, letting your candidate know you value them and respect their decision-making process. And of course, the applicants that were not selected deserve the same level of respect, so be certain you send them an email or letter as notification.

Prevent Information Overload

On your new employees’ first day on the job, don’t inundate them with paperwork. Much of the necessary information was gathered during the recruiting cycle, and if you’re using an ATS, that data can transfer seamlessly to your payroll and HRMS applications, eliminating the need for duplicate data entry. 

Use that first day instead to make the new employee feel welcome with an office tour, introductions to key personnel, and a welcome gift bag filled with product samples and company swag. 

Striving for high levels of employee engagement simply makes smart business sense. Think of employee engagement as a long-term, evolving relationship between your organization and your employees - one that begins long before the employee starts to work. By building employee engagement strategies into your recruiting methods, you are demonstrating that yours is a company that invests in its most valuable assets.

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For more valuable information about employee engagement and improving the talent acquisition process, check out our best practices guide - 

Best Practices Guide – 4 Key Steps to Successful Talent Acquisition

 

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Tags: company culture, employee engagement, candidate experience, Hiring, Job Candidates

How the Right ATS Improves Candidate Experience

Posted by Mark Jackson on Fri, Nov, 20, 2015 @ 07:11 AM

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According to a recent report from Software Advice, nearly 26% of recruiters said using an applicant tracking system is one of the top contributing factors for applicants having a good candidate experience. A good applicant tracking system allows your company to guide every candidate through your hiring process from beginning to end with ease. Unfortunately, not every company can take advantage of this streamlining, and it costs them money and candidates. And of course, some systems are better than others. So as always, it’s important to ask the right questions about your applicant tracking system to see if it’s your process or your software that’s making your organization’s candidate experience terrible.

 Is your ATS simple?

A good ATS is simple and to the point. It helps guide applicants through the process, and makes it as easy as possible. At its best, an applicant tracking system is invisible. The last thing you want your ATS to do is to be overcomplicated, confusing and an extremely long process for the candidate, making applicants focus on the how of application process rather than the why. A recent study showed that almost 49% of candidates think extremely long applications were a major deterrent to applying for the position. If your applicant tracking system makes applying more complicated than it should be, drop it. A great ATS should be as easy to navigate as a consumer website, why isn’t yours?

Tweet This: 49% of candidates think extremely long applications were a major deterrent.

Is it Effective?

In order to have the best candidate experience, your ATS needs to do what it sets out to. For your applicant tracking system to be effective, here’s what it needs to have: requisition management, automated workflow, applicant-facing tools, pre-screening, scoring and compliance. Analyzing your current situation, your job posts, and how your ATS feeds into the rest of your hiring process can allow you to improve every part of hiring, but only if your ATS can deliver on its part of the bargain. If you feel like you have to work around your applicant tracking system instead of with it, it’s not effective. Once every element of your hiring (including your ATS) works in harmony, every part of your hiring will end up benefiting. Ask your new hires how they feel about your applicant tracking system and be ready to process their honest answers.

Tweet This: For your applicant tracking system to be effective, here’s what it needs to have:

Is it convenient?

Have you ever been to the hospital, reached the front desk to tell someone your emergency, then, once you finally reach the emergency room, the nurse asks you what’s wrong? And then, once the doctor finally comes to check on you, they also ask you what’s wrong? It’s frustrating to have to repeat yourself, especially when you’re in need of dire care. When something like this happens, all you can think to yourself is, “are these people even talking to each other?” It’s incredibly frustrating annoying, and while hospitals may have their reasons for the lack of communication, the amount of time they waste in treating a patient is all the same. 

Why treat your candidates the same way? After being questioned so many times about who they are and what they do and having to fill in the same information over and over, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that your candidates are dropping out. A recent study showed that companies saw a drop out rate as high as 48% because of a complicated applicant tracking process. Don’t do this to your candidates. It will decrease your talent pool and give you bad reputation as an employer. You need every advantage you can get as an employer looking for talent, and anything keeping you from top talent needs to go.

Tweet This: Companies saw drop out rates as high as 48% because of complicated ATS processes. 

If your current ATS isn’t your company’s standards for hiring and it doesn’t make anything easier for the candidate it may be time to look into a new solution. Your ATS is a key part of your hiring process, so don’t let your current one cost you candidates and your company money. Instead, a good applicant tracking system should expand your talent pool by giving your candidates the most optimal experience. Not sure where to look? Visibility Software’s applicant tracking system is a great place to start.

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Tags: candidate experience, applicant tracking system

Perk it Up to Attract and Retain Great Talent

Posted by Sean Pomeroy on Wed, Feb, 18, 2015 @ 08:02 AM

Everyone wants to work somewhere where they’ll feel taken care of. Google, one the most sought-after workplaces, takes excellent care of its employees; it gives them free food, a gym, allows dogs in the office, and provides one the best life insurance policies in the world. Not every business can be Google, but the company’s commitment to making their employees feel appreciated is a lesson for every business out there, regardless of budget. People want to work where their work will be valued, and if they think they’ll be valued at your workplace, they will come flocking. 

 

Perk

 

If you want to keep your employees around (and you do, since replacing them can cost you up to 20% of their salary), show them you value them. In fact, 53% of employees would stay longer if they felt more appreciation from their boss. This might seem like common sense, but employers often struggle on how to do this practically and consistently. While employees rank appreciation as the #1 thing they want from their employers, company leaders believe they’re most interested in good wages. How can you show appreciation to your employees? 

 

Flex-time: A Perk For All Budgets

Some of the best employee perks, like unlimited vacation time, cost a pretty dime, and subsequently not every organization can afford PTO. Just because you don’t have the money for extravagance doesn’t mean there’s nothing to offer your employees. There are plenty of low-cost perks, and some of them could even help your employees work better. Benefits such as flex-schedules can lead to a growth in revenue according to 63% of managers. 

 

Tweet This: 63% of managers say flex-schedules can lead to a growth in revenue.

 

Flex-time is one of the cheapest ways to give your employees a little freedom, and 83% of new employees cite the ability to choose their hours as an important factor in saying “yes” to the job offer. Along with the ability to work remotely, flex time is one of the best ways to make your employees happy. Startups and small companies have led the way in introducing more flex-time into the workplace culture, as well as the proliferation of technology and software that allows employees to work from home. What it really boils down to is, freedom.

 

Be A Little Crazy, Be A Little Creative 

Creativity can stretch budget in order to retain employees with less expenses. Take Motley Fool, for example: they have a surprise two-week vacation for one random employee every month. Your HR staff may not think you could afford an extra two weeks’ leave for twelve employees a month, but think about it this way: employees only use 51% of their paid vacation. Whether they’re afraid of returning to an overwhelming workload or don’t think anyone else could pick up their slack, most workers leave four days on the table, on average.

This ends up hurting their productivity in the long run. You could take Motley Fool’s vacation sweepstakes idea and bend it around your own needs: if you can’t give them bonus PTO, why not use the name-out-of-a-hat theme to give employees their full PTO? Perhaps you could offer one or two bonus days if an employee was chosen and took their vacation right then and there (obviously, you don’t want to force an employee to take a saved-up week off when they planned to use it at another time). It would up your revenue due to the increased productivity, and having this sort of “activity” would make employees a little happier at work, knowing they could receive a bonus day off at any time.

 

Snacks, Weights and Walks

It costs very little to stock a fridge with yogurt and mixed nuts or fresh fruit, but when it’s done, employees feel the love. Surprise employees with a game afternoon or start having “no work walks” to freshen their mind and their perspective. Talk to a nearby gym about reduced rates for employees or bulk memberships. Can you afford to dry clean your sales team’s suits when they come in from the road? None of these will break the bank but all of them can make employees feel excited, valued and most of all, cared for.

If these ideas don’t work for your workplace, maybe something similarly inspired could? The point is to think about what you can do with your limited budget to make employees feel like they work in a fun work environment. It might take a little bit of thinking (and a little bit of cash), but if you can make your workers feel appreciated, you won’t have to pay to replace them, and you may even get some new hires along the way. 

Want to create the best work environment around? It starts with the people you hire and how you train them. Visibility Software’s suite of solutions can help you hire the best, most creative employees, keep track of how they’re doing, and provide the most efficient training imaginable. Sign up for a free demo today!

 

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Tags: candidate experience, applicant experience

Quantity vs. Quality: The Group and the Panel Interview

Posted by Kimber Crumlish on Wed, Jan, 28, 2015 @ 09:01 AM

Looking ahead for what the "Next Big Thing" in hiring will be, we should consider what this year’s recruiters have at their disposal. More specifically, 63% of recruiters will have a higher hiring volume in 2015 (up from 43% in 2013), and 46% of them will have a larger hiring budget. Recruiters will have more people to hire, a higher volume of candidates to hire from, and more resources to work with.

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How do you deal with the increase in volume? How do you adapt the growing number of candidates? How do you make the most of your newly-found recruiting funds?

One area for you to improve is the interview. In the last few years, it took employers 71% longer to secure a new hire and to conduct more interviews for each successful hire. Candidates are finding it harder in the process as well, with 52% of them saying the job interview process is more difficult now than it was five years ago.

Tweet This: 52% of candidates say the job interview process is more difficult now than it was five years ago.

So how should you deal with your hiring difficulties while making the process easier on the candidates? Well, it depends on your situation.

When You’re Overwhelmed: The Group Interview

If you need to fill multiple positions and have too many applicants to fill them, a group interview could be your best bet. Managers, as well as recruiting staff, are more willing to conduct a single one-hour interview than conducting several one-on-ones with candidates that may not even want the job or may not be qualified. If you only need to conduct one (or, depending on the volume of candidates you may have, two or three) interview, chances are you’ll be more focused on the task, asking the right questions, and have the energy to not zone out while a candidate is speaking.

The group interview also has a way of separating the wheat from the chaff. In a group setting, a good candidate stands out by being relatable, being personable and overall being attentive throughout the process. If they’re lively during the interview process, it shows they want the job. Those who don’t exhibit much enthusiasm in this group setting may not be as interested in the job.

Introverts might be wary of this group interview, since louder candidates can dominate the process. But if you’re in a skills-based industry, try adding a training exercise that candidates can complete alone or with a group. This will show you who can work with a team and produce results, and the introverts in the group will feel more confident when presented with the opportunity to prove themselves.

When You Need to Nail It: The Panel Interview

Maybe you don’t have a plethora of new hires, and have the time and resources to dedicate if it meant getting the right hire, such as in a high-level or executive position. In these cases, you’re going to get the best possible interview experience from a panel interview. A white paper from the revenue consulting firm Gendreau Group found panel interview to go far beyond any interview process when it came to nabbing the best hires:

"Based on our 25+ years of hiring, managing, and consulting experience, we have found that organizations that use a team approach to interviewing and candidate selection tend to make much smarter hiring decisions than when decisions are made by individual managers based on one-on-one interviews.”

A panel interview, according to Adler Group CEO Lou Adler, eliminates the biases of the individual interview, since one superficial feature of a candidate that could favorably sway one interviewer could sway another against the candidate. This leads to a larger emphasis on performance, leading to a 20-30% increase in interview accuracy. If you’re looking for the absolutely best person for the job, having a more accurate interview is invaluable.

2015 is already looking like a busy year for recruiters, and with more funds and candidates at their disposal, the tried-and-true group and panel interviews could prove some of the most valuable assets in a recruiter's toolbox.

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Tags: candidate experience, applicant management