Are Your Hiring Managers Ruining Your Brand?

December 8, 2014 Leave a comment

A recent article by the Harvard Business Review talked about the rise of rude hiring managers seen across the job market. When you are looking to talk to job applicants, it is critical that your hiring managers are not being rude. They may be rude without even being aware of it, so you want to take the time to look at the practices in place.

At least one in every five job applicants have a horror story about being given assignments for a job and then not getting the job. These “assignments” can include anything from proposals to five-year plans to working in the location to see how one responds to the overall environment. In the end, even though a person meets all of the criteria, they are told that the company is going to go in a different direction.

When a person is asked to jump through hoops and then ultimately not given the job, it can leave a bad taste in their mouth. They can focus their energy on sabotaging the business on many levels – and when you are trying to become a more successful company, you don’t want such a thing to happen.

An Applicant Tracking System can be used to keep all applicants organized as they come in. You can figure out what characteristics are the most important and then search the applicants based upon these. You can even allow hiring managers to ask the applicants to do something as a way of seeing the eagerness of the applicant and their outcome. However, all should be logged into the tracking system so it is fair.

When such a system is used, it also allows hiring managers to deliver a better response when someone is not ultimately chosen for a job. Instead of feeling like they have been “taken” by the company, they can feel as though they had a fighting shot and simply wasn’t the one that was chosen.

Harvard Business Review suggests streamlining the hiring process and using both good manners and common sense. The process should be transparent to all the applicants. A timetable should be established for making a decision, and updates should be given periodically. Any “tryout” requirements should be limited and explained at the very beginning. All applicants being considered for a position should also be given a definitive response within the timeframe.

Rudeness should simply not be permitted by your hiring managers – it can ruin your companies brand, as each of those job applicants will voice their opinion about it. It’s best to identify a timeframe to adhere by. Studies have shown that the decision making process has increased dramatically in recent years. With an Applicant Tracking System and a simple plan, you can ensure hiring managers don’t come across as rude and applicants know just what they need to do to be considered for a position.

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The Art of Turning Down Applicants

November 18, 2014 Leave a comment

Most companies are in a constant state of flux. One quarter you may be hiring non-stop, the next you’re flush with candidates with not an available position in sight. It happens.

Even if you aren’t hiring right now, it’s important to stay in the good graces of those excess applicants. You never know when you’ll need that one “freelance writer with expert banjo playing skills”. And you don’t want her to refuse a job offer because you laughed her out of the office.

Okay, so maybe that’s an exaggeration, but it does make a clear point. The hiring process can be incredibly time-consuming and demanding on job applicants. The last thing anyone wants to do is make it worse. Doing so could not only damage your reputation as a manager, it could also sully the reputation of the company.

In a recent article on HBR.org (Rise of the Rude Hiring Manager, 2014), the negative affect of bad hiring experiences is discussed. From too-long processes, to unclear intentions, to just plain rudeness, applicants judge managers just as much as managers judge them. The article also gives an idea of “what not to do” during the hiring process.

But what do you do when you aren’t hiring and still have job applicants coming in? Disclosure is key. Job seekers hate being lead along. They need a job and don’t want to sit around for days, even weeks, thinking you’re considering them for a position you don’t actually have.

How you tell an applicant that you’re not hiring is just as important. It’s not as simple as saying “Thanks, but we’re not interested” as you shuffle them out the door. You want them to know that you value their interest in the company, and though you aren’t looking right now you will be sure to have their application on hand when you do.

This is where an Applicant Tracking System comes in. A good ATS will handle the storage of applications and turn them into a searchable database. This is why many companies have switched to an electronic applications process in the first place. Of course, this does not offer a lot of face-to-face contact with applicants. Luckily, many electronic application systems can alert potential applicants that the company is not hiring, but will store their information for any positions that open.

In short, be honest but cordial with new applicants. Tell them up front if you plan on keeping applications or not. They may be temporarily disappointed, but at least they won’t be in a rage after wasting their time. Finally, keep track of applications in an ATS database. You never know when you’ll need to use the filter function to screen for “mad banjo skills”.

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How Intelligent Is Your Current Hiring Process?

November 3, 2014 Leave a comment

It’s easy to be lured into hiring someone whose resume sparkles or who can furnish glowing reviews from some of the biggest companies out there. It’s equally easy to get sucked into the simplicity and cheapness of Craigslist hiring. Unfortunately, neither cost-cutting nor basing your hiring process on the shiniest prospect will yield the best results. Instead, hire smart using these ideas.

Match Prospects to the Job

When looking for new candidates, always ensure that you’re hiring the best person you can find for the job instead of simply targeting the best person you can find. The difference between an excellent candidate at a huge, well-established and wealthy company and an excellent candidate at a startup is significant, says Forbes Magazine. Instead of playing a narrowly defined role, a startup employee will likely have to wear many hats, including interacting with potential investors or clients. Look for friendliness and flexibility as well as on-the-job chops.

Work Smart With Staffing Agencies

Using staffing agencies can be a great way to find hidden talent and avoid the tedious process of weeding out unqualified candidates. They use streamlined technology and considerable connection to find the best prospect for any job. However, keep in mind when you sign up for services that staffing agencies keep a large chunk of what you pay, so for the initial period (often 6 months or longer), you will need to pay significantly more for that employee than you otherwise would. Because of the rules of most agencies, you cannot cut them out if they find your employee for you.

Use an Applicant Tracking System

Don’t rely on file boxes full of overstuffed folders. Instead, move your hiring process into the digital age with an applicant tracking system, or ATS. This is a piece of software that keeps all your hiring details in one place, from job description information to potential candidates. An ATS is a well-oiled machine that follows candidates all the way through the interviewing, screening and hiring process and even provides extras such as potential screening questions and resume processing abilities.

Find Good Advisors

You’ll only attract the cream of the crop if you offer what the cream wants. Forbes advises finding trusted insiders who can tell you how to snag ideal candidates by putting together a competitive compensation and benefits package. Instead of simply offering the moon, which you might not be able to afford anyway, target what each candidate will want depending on their job description and length of time in the workforce, then offer that.

The hiring process doesn’t have to be demanding, opaque or annoying. With some well-placed technology and a smart approach, it can be a breeze.

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4 Hiring Problems Your Company Needs to Overcome

October 20, 2014 Leave a comment

Job seekers in search of employment are similar to single people who are in search of love. Each fears the unexpected as well as the unknown and the prospect of rejection is quite daunting. Both groups are desperate to meet expectations and present themselves in a positive light. It’s a race to impress and when one doesn’t present himself in an adequate manner, he is dismissed from consideration. What most employers don’t realize is that they are in a position that is similar to that of job seekers. While employers conduct interviews, they are also being interviewed by job prospects as well. Companies need to put their best foot forward in order to lure the most qualified candidates.

Write A Thorough Job Description

Organizations on the prowl for new talent should spend ample time creating a thorough job description. When describing an open position, organizations should provide extensive details about the position’s responsibilities, qualifications and expectations. Those that fail to adequately describe the job will end up recruiting a pool of candidates who are unclear as to what the job is really about and whether they’ll enjoy it. They might not know that they aren’t a good fit for the position until it is too late and the result will be a waste of everyone’s time and effort.

Avoid Quick Hires

Applicants are leery of employers who offer an open position immediately after an interview. It reeks of desperation and prospects question whether they’ll get slammed with an avalanche of work when they set foot in the office. Prospects want to feel like they’ve been vetted and cautiously considered for the position. Otherwise, they’ll feel neglected and possibly disrespected. Applicants study the company that is hiring, so the company should thoroughly study their applicants as well.

Always Reach Out To Those Who’ve Interviewed

After someone comes in for an interview, the employer should follow up with some sort of communication. Employers should call, e-mail or snail mail a message thanking the applicant for his time and explaining whether they’ve chosen another candidate or that they’d like him to come in for a second interview. Employers that fail to perform a quick follow up will frustrate job seekers and potentially ruin their own reputation within the community. Applicants want to know if they are still in consideration for the opening after an interview. If they never hear back, they’ll be discouraged from re-applying for another position in the future.

Not Making Use of Technology

Hiring managers can make use of high tech solutions to simplify the hiring process. Software like the applicant tracking system (ATS) makes the search and response process simple. This software can post job openings to various websites and navigate through the responses to identify prospects that businesses are looking for. Hiring managers will love the fact that they can establish an ATS to list openings, search for applicants with specific backgrounds and even send automatic e-mails to candidates about interview requests and their hiring status. This way, candidates always receive a timely follow up and know where they stand.

More importantly, high tech solutions like ATS make it easy for hiring managers to find the talent that they need. For example, if a company is looking for candidates with an MBA, 10 years of experience and a fluency in Spanish, the software can find those applicants in a moment’s notice. The end result is a system that searches for talented prospects much more efficiently than a team of human resources employees.

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Hiring by Committee – Will It Work For Your Business?

October 6, 2014 Leave a comment

When a position opens up within your company, of course you want to do everything you can fill that position with a qualified and motivated worker as soon as possible. According to Business Insider, the best way to make this happen is to form a specialized hiring committee that can focus their efforts on finding the ideal candidate for the job, conducting interviews, and coming to a consensus over who will be the best fit for the company.

However, a hiring process is only as successful as its committee. Read on to explore tips for setting up a hiring committee.

Choosing the Right Members

The first and perhaps most important step in creating a hiring committee is selecting the right people for the job and delegating responsibilities properly. Specifically, all hiring committees should have a Chair–a person who will lead the group and oversee the general hiring process.

All members of the committee should also be assigned specific duties. These duties should be carefully outlined so that there is no confusion over who is responsible for what. Furthermore, since there are bound to be disagreements among committee members throughout the process, it’s important that a written plan for handling conflicts be put in place ahead of time.

Defining Assessment Criteria

To prevent committee member bias and to ensure that everybody is on the same page, it’s also a good idea to set forth specific candidate assessment criteria before the hiring process begins. Hiring managers and committee members should be responsible for agreeing upon assessment criteria as a group.

Following interviews and correspondences with candidates, all committee members should be prepared to make comments on whether or not a particular candidate met the agreed upon criteria.

Using the Right Technologies

These days, there are so many programs out there that can help employers scope out potential candidates and track applications. These technologies, such as Applicant Tracking Systems, can save employers and their hiring committees a great deal of time. And when you run a business, time equals money. No employer these days should go without one of these programs while looking to hire a new employee.

Deciding on an Interview Format

Another important part of putting together a successful hiring committee is to agree upon an interview format that will work best for the company. Sometimes, this will be based on the number of qualified candidates applying for the position.

For example, when dealing with a large group of candidates, a group interview may be best for the initial stages of narrowing down the pool. For smaller groups, one-on-one interviews may be ideal. Either way, all committee members should be aware of their responsibilities during the interview.

Setting up a hiring committee is something that should be taken very seriously. By following these tips, any business owner can set up a more successful committee to find the right talent.

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Does Your HR Department Need A Bootcamp to Get in Recruiting Shape Again?

September 24, 2014 Leave a comment

From PRWEB: 

“Newton launches online Bootcamps for corporate recruiters and HR Professionals. The Newton Bootcamp Program is an online educational series designed to help corporate recruiters achieve maximum results with Newton’s corporate applicant tracking system and to share innovative ways to improve recruiting processes in general with experts from the industry.”

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Do you Test Drive New Job Candidates?

September 22, 2014 Leave a comment

Technology changes so many aspects of human existence, especially how we interact. We are relying more and more on automated systems to handle initial processing before an actual human being becomes involved. The economy dictates the balance of a company’s budget, and payroll is usually a corner that is cut. Automated systems are a logical solution to replace a human resource, but businesses must apply them properly or they may defeat the purpose of the system. They are beneficial for a number of reasons:

  • Job postings circulate to numerous and diverse sites, which broadens your prospect pool.
  • Just like automated telephone systems answer and direct calls to the proper departments, and human interaction if necessary; applicant tracking systems answer applications and direct them where they need to go, according to a given company’s needs.
  • Once applications have been sorted, the system handles processes like background checks, reference checks, and resume perusal, all of the leg work that eventually leads to an interview.
  • Such systems eliminate manpower, paper processing, and facilitate global networking.
  • They provide comprehensive data for analysis in whatever context the company wishes, like costs per employee based on qualifications or compliance with company policy or government statutes.
  • Post-hire processes can also be addressed by these systems.

Automated systems, no matter how advanced or precise, are still limited and bound to programming. They may save time and money initially, but should never be relied on to completely replace or automatically improve upon human ability. Depending upon the format chosen by a candidate, the system may ignore work experience, education, and other qualifications; this could approve an unsuitable prospect or discount an appropriate one based on something as basic as keyword usage or the order in which credentials are listed.

Even though these systems prove useful, they can only process applicants from a two dimensional perspective; human interaction is the third. Automated systems coupled with temp-to-perm policies effectively improve your employee roster. What looks good in data (theory) does not necessarily work in the office (practice).

Temporary employment allows both the company and the prospect time to knock out the kinks of growing pains and personality clashes. Both parties may explore options and make decisions in a mutually beneficial situation.

More and more companies are implementing applicant tracking systems in one form or another. It saves time and money in the short run (processing applicants in a timely fashion), but if improperly implemented, can cost your company in the long term (misinterpreting crucial data). All technology should be combined with some sort of human direction or interpretation to maximize results. It is always a good idea to remember that technology should be used as a tool by humanity and not a replacement for it.

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