Posts Tagged ‘applicant tracking’

Hiring Managers: Be Empathetic To Applicants, Even Those You Don’t Hire

November 18th, 2014

When you are feeling rushed, harried and otherwise stressed out while performing your duties as a human resources professional, it’s not hard to see how your actions or even inaction can be interpreted as rudeness.

Many business professionals keep in mind the adage about being nice to the people you meet on your way up, because it’s always possible that one day you’ll be encountering them on your way down. This is not exactly the Golden Rule, but it’s a good rule of thumb when doing business.

It’s important to remember to be empathetic to all applicants who cross your threshold, even those you don’t wind up hiring.

Hurry up and Wait

Job applicants are finding themselves having to produce more material than they may be accustomed to during the tryout phase of the recruitment process. Then, after they generate a stack of documents in a brutally short timeframe, they are dismayed because the employer takes months to respond. It’s perfectly reasonable to request materials to get an idea of what the recruit has to offer, but you have to treat them with the same respect you would give a hired consultant or an existing member of your team.

Avoid asking potential employees to rush with unexpectedly fast turnaround times on sample materials, proposals, advises Anne Kreamer in a recent post at the Harvard Business Review. Instead, allocate a reasonable time for deliverables, and make the timing of such requests transparent from the beginning.

Be Honest from the Start

Have you ever prolonged an interview with an applicant because you knew he or she was just not going to be a good fit, but you didn’t have the courage to say so from the outset?

This is an example of being discourteous, noted a recent report by Roberta Matuson at Forbes. You don’t want unsuitable applicants to take up too much of your time and resources. Consider then, that applicants don’t want you to take up their time with a pointless interview just because you are afraid of hurting their feelings.

The Courtesy of a Reply

When you engage with a recruit over the course of weeks or months and then let things trail off without giving them a response about the status of the position they interviewed for, it can leave a sour taste in applicants’ mouths.

Set aside sufficient time in your schedule so you can give everyone a response, and customize your message instead of sending out boilerplate whenever possible.

If you think there is a chance that you may not have been as empathetic as you’d prefer when dealing with job applicants recently, you have the upper hand over other HR professionals in that you are sensitive to the issue and are interested in making a change. Putting yourself in other people’s shoes while evaluating whether they might be a good fit in your organization will make a big difference.


Is the Online Job Application Experience Improving for Job Seekers?

October 17th, 2014

It’s always a good idea to periodically assess the state of any technology or system that your organization relies on to function efficiently. Widespread access to broadband has revolutionized how companies present job offerings as well as how individuals discover new jobs and apply to them.

HR professionals have found that applicant tracking systems make their workflow much easier. However, does this convenience come at a cost?

One often overlooked question is whether the online job application experience has been improving for job seekers.

Consider that many industries have taken to using online intake forms to make things easier for their clients and customers. It’s worth noting, then, that 60 percent of respondents to a survey conducted by Kelton Global and Jibe indicated that online job applications are harder to complete than other typical online applications, including health insurance as well as student loans and mortgages, according to a recent post at the Fox Small Business Center. About 80 percent of those surveyed also said that their job search was stressful and took too much time.

You should take those sentiments to heart and make sure that you go with an online job application system that is easy and fast for your applicants to fill out. Completing an application shouldn’t have to amount to a technology test when you are trying to fill some vital positions in your organization.  This will not only improve the quality of the incoming candidates, but will also ensure that those that are turned down for the job don’t leave with a sour taste about your brand.

New cutting-edge ATS solutions such as Newton Software’s Cloud Apply, help small-to-medium sized businesses offer applicants a convenient way to upload their CVs, storing their resumes in a secure cloud site, while letting the data auto-populate into an online job application when the time comes to fill it out.  Most applicants will be quite satisfied when they learn that they don’t need to fill out another long application, especially after they’ve already answered all the pertinent questions in their resume.  The addition of support for mobile devices, such as with Newton’s ZenApp, gives applicants even more flexibility, enabling them to apply for positions while they’re on the go.

It’s clear that you need to select the best online job application system for your budget while also taking into account the fact that job seekers are growing weary at the amount of time they sometimes have to spend submitting their details over and over. The more efficient your online application process is, the better chance you have of recruiting promising new talent and promoting a positive image for your company’s brand.

Measure Your Way Out of the Dark Ages of Hiring

June 30th, 2014

dark ages of hiringHow successful is your organization at building new teams? While there may be little shortage of qualified applicants, not everyone you see will necessarily wind up fitting in well with the other members of the group you’re assembling.

If you’re not defining and using metrics to improve the quality of your new hires, you might as well be operating out of the Dark Ages, when compared to your competitors who are more savvy about making data-driven decisions for recruitment and employee retention.

For some perspective: As a way to focus on quickly growing the user base at Internet start-up companies, the concept of “growth hacking” emerged a few years ago, according to a recent post by Nick Marsh at The Next Web.

Growth hacking, as Marsh describes it, emphasizes metrics. In the case of startups, the mission would be to reduce the cost of acquiring each new customer by using technology more aggressively in the process.

Examples of technology range from CRM software and applicant tracking applications to social networking and mobile devices able to access all required data via cloud service providers.

You can apply this philosophy of aggressively using technology and making measurements to your recruiting efforts, as well as toward seeing whether team members can bring their individual skill sets together more effectively as you build new teams.

Marsh notes that traditionally, companies would go through a lengthy recruitment process, hoping that candidates with poor interview skills but who would otherwise make a great fit could manage to get past the first round with HR. After the team has had time to meet with enough candidates, they work out whom to hire. It is only later, after work actually begins, that they can really determined if the new candidate is a good match. You should get better results when you add more metrics to the mix.

Begin Making Measurements

Build up a data set to help you figure out what is working when you hire exceptional candidates and what is not working so well. Startup firms are particularly adept at this, because they are typically used to doing A/B testing and analytics to measure products and other aspects of their business, so that they can quickly pivot their model if need be.

As you develop your measures of success and apply them to new candidates, your goal should be to continuously keep track of the measurements so you can steadily boost the quality of hires going forward. Because you will be using more data to make your hiring decisions, you should expect to see a decrease in the cost per hire for each new recruit.

If you and the other HR professionals at your organization haven’t been taking advantage of more data-driven techniques in your recruitment process, don’t you think it’s time to start giving it some more consideration? These days, with more information becoming available than ever before as well as being much easier to manipulate, analyze and share, it seems like a waste of a valuable resource if you ignore the benefits of defining measures of success and applying them to new hires.