Is Your Recruiting Process Helping You Attract Top New Talent?

Recruiting new talent for your organization is a vital function for any growing company. Attracting new talent doesn’t just help ensure that key positions are filled and your staff is maximizing productivity. It’s also a means for gaining a fresh perspective and infusing new energy and insights into your workplace. But the standard recruiting practices of posting a job and vetting resumes may not be enough to draw in star performers. Leveraging the latest technology and finding unique ways to engage prospective applicants can help attract top candidates. Here’s a closer look at several strategies that can help you attract new talent.

Streamline Your Recruiting Process with Technology
Many candidates are looking for companies that have a streamlined recruiting process designed with applicant ease in mind. A good process not only helps attract the best candidates, but it feeds into a great candidate experience. Vetting resumes, scheduling interviews, managing feedback loops, and prioritizing communication become less time intensive. One important aspect of this process is optimizing for mobile technology. Many candidates want to be able to review company information, look at job descriptions, and apply from smartphones and tablets. Features such as LinkedIn integration can also help, by allowing candidates to apply in fewer steps. Evaluate your recruiting process for inefficiencies, and look for gaps where a high quality enterprise-grade applicant tracking system can help.

Leverage Social Media and Specialized Job Boards
Social media channels can help you reach new candidate streams, beyond the major job boards or your own company’s career site. Find ways to promote your company’s open requisitions on professional social networking sites such as LinkedIn. Encourage your recruiters to use social media to network with prospective applicants, and to share job opportunities with targeted industry groups. Another strategy to reach deeper into candidate pools in specific fields is to look for industry-oriented job boards. Professional associations can be a good source of candidates with these factors in mind.

Prioritize Training and Development
Great talent is on the lookout for companies that prioritize training and development. Training and development can run the gamut from strong internal training programs, management development tracks, and a willingness to sponsor appropriate outside training for key staff. Candidates are seeking companies willing to invest in their careers and provide a clear growth trajectory, insomuch as possible, is very attractive.

Emphasize Benefits and Work-Life Balance
Compensation is important when candidates are considering your company. But being known as a business that offers great benefits or prioritizes work-life balance can also help attract new talent. Consider featuring top-level information about your benefits plans on your company’s careers page, and be sure to have details that you provide to applicants before they’re considering a job offer. If you offer work-life balance benefits such as onsite daycare, flexible schedules, or the ability to work remotely, promote these as they can be major selling points.

Attracting new talent to your company has numerous benefits throughout the organization. By developing a streamlined process, using a quality applicant tracking system, and reaching out to candidates through social media and specialized job boards, your company will be well on the way to attracting star performers.

Are Recruiting Biases Causing You to Overlook the Best Candidates?

A recruiting bias can impact the quality and variety of new hires that you bring into your company. Recruiting biases are thought patterns, conscious or subconscious, that cause you to make judgments about a candidate — positive or negative — without objectively evaluating all the facts. A wide range of potential biases exist. Here’s a closer look at some of the more common ones and how they can impact your overall recruiting process quality.

Resume Errors
Many HR professionals argue that the resume alone is a terrible tool to base the entire recruiting process on. As a tool to determine if a candidate meets the minimum qualifications for a particular job, a resume can be helpful. But there are many ways that the resume itself can subconsciously bias recruiters or interviewers against a candidate.

One of the most common is a resume error. Errors can be introduced into a resume in the form of misspellings, grammatical mistakes, or even common usage errors. When a recruiter notices an error like this, it’s easy to jump to conclusions about a candidate’s attention to detail, ability to communicate effectively, or educational background. Immediately dismissing any candidate because of a resume error may cause you to overlook a strong contributor.

College-Related Biases
Many companies have a strong history of recruiting from specific schools. Perhaps they’ve had good luck identifying strong workers from specific programs and trust the quality of those educational institutions’ graduates. Other biases regarding colleges occur when a recruiter or hiring manager prioritizes their own alma mater or when interviewers are awed by seeing distinguished colleges such as Harvard, Stanford, or MIT. As a result, their recruiting may be biased toward those schools. Yet, by opening up your recruiting to other institutions, they may get a higher quality or greater diversity in candidates.

Branded Company Experience
For some companies, there’s an assumed bias that if an applicant has work experience at a Fortune 500 company, they’re a great candidate. Branded company experience can signal several things, including deep industry experience, high performance, and investments in training and education by the previous employer. But it may also mean that a specific candidate is used to working within the support structures of very large companies and may struggle at smaller businesses or those with a more entrepreneurial culture. Candidates that have worked at smaller or medium-sized companies may have had the opportunity to take on more responsibility, advance faster in their careers, or to develop a deeper level of specialized knowledge.

Overcoming Recruiting Biases
There are many ways to overcome recruiting biases. The first is to have a well-defined recruiting process that’s supported by a modern applicant-tracking system and an up-to-date job description. The second is using technology strategically. Finally, use tools within the applicant-tracking system, such as job board postings and social media promotion, to expand the field of candidates that you’re attracting. Being aware of potential biases; addressing them systematically can help ensure predispositions aren’t getting in the way of objective hiring of top qualified candidates.

The Importance of Saving Often

How often do you start something and then get distracted? Maybe you leave an email in your draft folder for days, or you have countless windows of Internet Explorer open to remind you of various tasks that you need to complete. For applicants, they might leave during the online application process to look up dates, fix a resume, or to find their references’ contact information. Regardless of the reason, it is important to allow them to return to the online application process at their leisure.

According to our analytics, last month, myStaffingPro applicant tracking system had 1.9M applicants use the system. Of these, 35% returned to the online application process.

5.9% of applicants returned to the online application more than 9 times.

In addition to allowing applicants to return, it is essential to save their responses and allow them to continue to complete the application. Applicant tracking systems can typically be broken up into two online application process types. Those that:

  1. Display the entire application process on one page.
  2. Separate the process into small sections.

With a single page design, the online application often turns into a LONG data entry form with just one save button at the bottom. What happens if the applicant steps away from the computer? More often than not, the candidate will lose all of the information that they entered and will have to start from scratch. Imagine asking 35% of your applicants to retype information just because they did not complete it the first time!

The alternative is a process that is broken up into smaller sections. This method saves the applicants’ responses as they progress through the online application process and allows them to leave and return at any time.

Which process would you rather use?

How to Improve Application Rates

Over 20% of online applications remain incomplete. In an increasingly competitive employment marketplace, it is important to make the online application process as easy as possible, while gathering all of the information needed to make a decision. Here are five suggestions to improve application completion rates:

  1. Reduce the number of clicks that it takes to apply. If possible, add a link to your Careers search screen to the main navigation of your site.
  2. Create a tiered application process that separates the screenings into a series of phases. Rather than ask everyone everything, break apart the prescreening process so that you collect data as you need it.
  3. Accept applications from multiple devices and browsers. Meaning, don’t limit your applicants to applying with Internet Explorer from a computer. Let them choose!
  4. Allow applicants to save and return to the online application process at any time.
  5. Send an email reminder to invite incomplete applicants to return to the online application process.

Looking for an applicant tracking system that masters the candidate experience? Contact us for a free demonstration of myStaffingPro.

Five Ways to Keep in Contact with Candidates

Candidates can be a squirrely bunch. They have jobs that they are trying to maintain and/or they are looking at several opportunities at once. Sometimes getting ahold of them can be a feat. Here are five tips to keep in contact with candidates:

  1. Connect with them on LinkedIn. LinkedIn’s InMail boasts that you can get a message to any of the 300 million people on LinkedIn. Try it and see if it works for you!
  2. Converse with them through their preferred method of communication. Do they like to use the phone, email, text, or video chat? Think outside the box and utilize a diverse toolset to get in front of them and keep in contact.
  3. Ask for a secondary phone number or email. I don’t know about you, but there are several different ways to get ahold of me. Depending on the time of day, some are more successful than others. Ask the candidate for several methods of contact and the best time to get ahold of them. (Bonus points if your applicant tracking system let’s you keep track of all these methods of communication.)
  4. When in doubt, set an appointment! Schedule a time to talk that is convenient for both of you.
  5. Be a resource of information. Candidates are often juggling several responsibilities. Make them want to hear from you by providing key information and details that will keep them engaged and informed.

Lose the Paper: 5 Reasons to Use an Applicant Tracking Software System

An applicant tracking system can transform your recruiting process. If you’re still managing your hiring process with printed resumes, email trails, and shared spreadsheets, you’re missing out on some of the major advantages of the latest human resources technological developments. From more efficient candidate screening and sourcing to more robust data reporting, here’s a closer look at five reasons you should start using an applicant tracking system today.

Better Candidate Experience
Many candidates expect to have the ability to review job postings online, learn more about your company, and submit their resume and cover letter via your website. Companies that aren’t offering these capabilities may be damaging their brands, especially if they’re recruiting technical talent, millennials, or executives who rely on multiple devices while on the go. An applicant tracking system enables you to have a professional, streamlined resume submission process that offers a positive candidate experience, while also making it easier to process resumes on the backend.

The Ability to Pre-Screen Candidates
Depending on what job you’re recruiting for, you may receive dozens or even hundreds of applicants. Reading and vetting every cover letter, resume, and portfolio to develop a pool of qualified candidates can be a daunting task. An applicant tracking system offers companies the opportunity to use pre-screening questions. For example, are you hiring for a job that requires a specific skill set? With pre-screening questions, you can identify which candidates meet the most important qualifications and narrow down the applications automatically.

Eased Workload for HR Staff
Many HR teams are leaner than ever before. Often fewer staff are managing a wider range of responsibilities. It’s important to have the right tools in place to allow your HR staff and recruiters to focus on their most vital tasks, whether that is recruiting star performers to your team, or building positive employee relations. Human resources is an administratively intensive field. Applicant tracking systems may save you time and money by eliminating duplicative administrative work.

Streamlined Review Process
When all the information about a candidate is available in a single interface, it’s easier for HR managers, recruiters, and hiring managers to review candidate submissions. Applicant tracking systems typically display details, such as interview notes from staff or system updates keeping track of where a candidate is in the interview process. Tracking systems also enable you to automate and track correspondence, ranging from resume acknowledgments to rejection letters.

Integrate Background Checks with Recruiting Information
Many companies are increasingly relying on outside services to help them make good hires. Examples of these services include detailed background screens, credit checks, skills assessments testing, reference verification, and drug testing. Applicant tracking systems offer the capacity to integrate these services and the results. The ability to integrate all this information allows companies to access the candidate data in one location, and may allow for a simpler onboarding process.

BYOD for the Job Application Process

Do you know what your candidates are using to complete the online application process? We had a guess, but I have to say that we were surprised by the results. Last month, myStaffingPro had 1.9M applicants use the system. This candidate sample used more than 20 browsers to apply on various devices! Surprisingly, the most popular browser wasn’t Internet Explorer. It was Google Chrome!

39% of applicants are using Google Chrome to access the online application process.

The most popular mobile device, less surprisingly, was the Apple iPhone at 23% of mobile traffic. The most unusual methods for applying included using the PlayStation and Blackberry. (Sorry BlackBerry fans.)

Although it is hard to guarantee that a SaaS system will work on every device and browser combination, it is important to provide applicants with several methods of entry. Ask your applicant tracking system provider what browsers and devices they support. Review their system requirements against your website’s metrics and those of your target market. Make sure that you aren’t losing out because your tracking system doesn’t support the most popular browsers or devices for target market.

Top 5 Benefits of Integrating Your ERP and Applicant Tracking System

Integrating an applicant tracking system with your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system can be one of the most effective ways to get better visibility into your staff and improve your recruiting process. Here are five ways integrating an applicant tracking system with your ERP platform can benefit your business.

Streamlined Hiring Processes
Following a clear hiring process can enable companies to quickly fill critical positions, while helping to ensure a cogent experience for both candidates and recruiters. Integrating their ERP and applicant tracking system may allow companies to streamline their hiring workflows by implementing paperless hiring processes, simplifying new-hire onboarding, and easily communicating with candidates throughout the hiring process.

A Foundation for Better Analytics
Linking your ERP and applicant tracking system can yield actionable data by simplifying access to historical records, enabling custom reporting, and creating a full audit trail of your recruiting activities.

Amplified Recruiting Efforts
Today’s applicant tracking systems often allow you to promote available jobs through job boards, social media websites, employee referral programs, and notification emails to previous applicants. With an applicant tracking system integration that works with open requisitions, companies may be able to attract qualified candidates in less time by more strategically advertising open positions through a single interface.

Mobile and Cloud Access
On-the-go hiring managers and HR professionals often want the flexibility of mobile and cloud access. Today’s Web-based applicant tracking systems integrate smoothly with ERPs and are accessible from a range of devices, allowing your team to view information from both systems wherever they are — whether it’s at home, the office, or anywhere else with Internet access.

Better Information Management
Integrating your ERP with an applicant tracking system enables the automatic and easy transition of data between systems. Applicant information can be transferred into your ERP for easy new-hire processes. Requisitions can be transferred so your HR team is always working on filling new jobs and you always have the latest information for budget forecasting and other managerial needs. Automatic processing of data helps to eliminate administrative errors and reduce the need to enter data into duplicate systems.

Interested in learning more about integrating your ERP with an applicant tracking program? Contact myStaffingPro today to learn about our configurable recruiting software.

3 Tips for Hiring a Payroll Software Specialist

Hiring a payroll specialist today demands finding candidates with a high level of technical savvy and software experience. According to Software Advice, 83 percent of job advertisements for payroll specialists required some degree of software knowledge for the position. Companies of varying sizes are increasingly relying on payroll software. As a result, companies are hiring dedicated, software-savvy talent to ensure that their teams are getting paid on time and staying in compliance with state and federal regulations. There’s little room for error. In fiscal year 2014, the EEOC obtained $296.1 million in total monetary relief through its enforcement program prior to the filing of litigation. Here is a closer look at how employers can get the right level of technical expertise when hiring for this important role.

Reflect Your Position Priorities in the Job Ad
Depending on the organization, the role of a payroll specialist can look quite different. At a medium-sized company, a member of the HR or finance team may be responsible for all aspects of payroll from determining compensation to processing payroll, in addition to other human resources responsibilities. At larger companies, an individual may be dedicated to managing just one aspect of the payroll process. In your job descriptions, it’s important to outline the roles and responsibilities for the specific position as well as related knowledge and experience. If you are using an applicant tracking system, the software may have a template that you can use as a starting point. Generally, candidates should be comfortable working with financial information, have an understanding of the payroll process, and a working knowledge of relevant regulatory information.

Determining Your Software Knowledge Needs
As discussed above, companies are putting increasing importance on candidate’s knowledge and experience using payroll software. There are numerous ways to measure this when looking at a candidate’s background. One is general software and technical savvy, including programs such as Microsoft Excel. Another is to focus on previous experience with payroll applications. Payroll applications may be best-in-class standalone applications or integrated as part of a broader HR product suite. If you’re already using a specific application, hiring candidates with a working knowledge of that specific product may minimize training needs and increase productivity.

Questions to Ask During the Interview
When you’re hiring a payroll specialist, you may wish to evaluate their overall understanding of the payroll process. How do they manage complicated challenges that arise? What is their stance and practice regarding privacy and confidentiality, since they’re handling sensitive personal and financial information? Does their understanding of the regulatory environment match your company’s industry, locations, and other needs? Finally, your interview questions should explore their previous software experience and skills.

To determine how technically savvy a candidate is, ask them to describe their previous experience. Give specific examples and ask how they would solve a problem. Remember that software is always changing. How willing and able is the candidate to learn new software packages, or adapt to major upgrades in an existing core program? Ask pointed questions about their previous software transitions and how they managed these and learned new information.

A payroll specialist is essential to keeping your employees paid accurately and on time, as well as staying in compliance with regulations. With an increase in the technical resources used in most payroll departments, asking the right questions will help you find a technically savvy candidate who can make the most of your payroll software packages and ensure you meet your business goals.

myStaffingPro Surpasses 1,000 Clients

What’s in 1,000? As a tech start-up company based in Ohio, the answer is “a lot”. In 1993, Robert (Bob) Schulte was ready to exercise his entrepreneurial spirit, and try something new. Armed with a recruiting and business management background, he started HR Services as a project-based, recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) company. After several successful years, and truckloads of paperwork, he hired Jennifer Brogee to develop an interactive voice response system (IVR) to collect applicants’ answers to prescreening questions and self-schedule appointments. The IVR improved the applicant experience by allowing them to apply from a touch tone phone, but it took hours for our support staff to transcribe the applicant information.


When Google was just in beta, HR Services launched the web-based applicant tracking system, myStaffingPro.

 


Version 1.0 was a custom solution; if you can dream it we will “persuade” our programmers to build it ASAP. As customers came on board, more and more functionality was added to the system. In 2005, we streamlined our custom shop and organized the system into a standard edition that could be implemented in under 30 days. Since then, we’ve been continuously adding functionality to myStaffingPro so any company can become a customer on our single platform.

In the last 16 years, myStaffingPro has grown from an idea to an award-winning applicant tracking system with more than 1,000 customers. As we reflect back, we would like to thank you, our customers, friends, and partners for your support, ideas, and feedback. Without you, none of this would have been possible.