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.

Candidate First Impression

As recruiters, the first impression of a candidate is often limited to the information in the applicant tracking system. Some candidates take their time and enter as many details as possible, while others breeze through providing just the absolute minimum. Others pepper their responses with so many throwaway phrases that nothing stands out. For example, how many times have you read “proven track record” or “implemented changes?”

To help applicants create a better first impression, applicant tracking systems, like myStaffingPro, are now offering video cover letters. Video cover letters allow candidates to submit a recorded letter of introduction. Through video, they can explain how they learned about the position and what their “proven track record” really is. This functionality allows candidates to create a personalized message that provides an overview of their skills and the opportunity to use their presentation to create a lasting impression.

myStaffingPro offers this functionality free to all of our standard and premium customers. For more information about video cover letters, please contact us.

5 Reasons You Need Video Cover Letters

How many times have you read “extensive experience” or “great communication skills” on a resume? Then, brought the candidate in for an interview to find out the opposite was true. So much wasted time! So many unexpected surprises!

The good news is that new applicant tracking functionality may allow you to minimize surprises with a video cover letter. During the online application process, companies can now ask candidates to submit a video about how they heard about the position and their qualifications. The video may allow candidates to:

  • Become more personable
  • Show their creativity
  • Build rapport by highlighting their experience
  • Reduce data entry (and saves you from reading their stock cover letter)
  • Develop trust

Do you allow candidates to submit video cover letters? With myStaffingPro, you could. myStaffingPro offers this functionality free to all of our standard and premium customers. For more information about video cover letters, please contact us at http://lp.mystaffingpro.com/coverletter/

 

Applicant Tracking System for Microsoft Dynamics

Although ERP systems are typically used for financial and inventory functions, Microsoft Dynamics® has HR functionality that can be integrated with applicant tracking systems. Applicant tracking systems can provide recruiters and HR professionals with:

  • Paperless application and new hire process
  • Prequalified applicant pool
  • Historical data and up-to-date analytics
  • Integration that transfers applicant and requisition data

Human resources can integrate an applicant tracking system to Microsoft Dynamics to better streamline business processes, minimalize data entry, and maintain accurate and current information.

“A great deal of time has been saved by not having to manually enter all applicant info into Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains (GP), which used to take as much as four hours to complete daily.” – Recruiter, Health Care Company

Interested in learning more? Stop by booth #659 at Microsoft Convergence to learn how to extend your HR functionality with the ISV, myStaffingPro, or visit http://mystaffingpro.com.

Improving the Recruitment Process: A Look at Agile Hiring

A new trend, agile hiring, is changing the way that businesses think about the recruiting process. The “Agile philosophy” has its roots in the software development world, and has subsequently been introduced to a wider business audience with the popularity of the recently published book The Lean Startup. Overall, the approach focuses on defining essential high-value activities, eliminating administrate work, using well-defined targets and making data driven decisions. The goal is to eliminate waste and increase effectiveness. Here is a closer look at the concept of agile hiring and how to apply it to your business.

Defining recruiting process benchmarks

One of the essential elements of implementing agile hiring is shifting your perspective to recruiting as a quantitative process. The ability to take the 30,000 foot view of your recruiting process and determine what’s successful and what’s not is key to this hiring philosophy. Recruiting has a wide variety of metrics that can be considered: the number of applicants a job receives, how effective your screening process is by reducing the number of interviews with unqualified applicants, and the number of days it takes to fill an open position. By determining what your core measurements of success are, you’ll be on the way to eliminating inefficiencies and operating a lean, effective recruiting organization.

Establishing clear job targets

Agile hiring takes a distinct approach to drafting job descriptions. Job descriptions are more than just a list of general roles and responsibilities. Instead, they provide a data-driven map to help recruiters identify and hire the best candidates for the job. The right job description will contain everything from quantifiable requirements such as minimum education and years of experience to a very specific list of qualifications that can sharpen the effectiveness of your screening process. Clear job targets benefit everyone throughout the recruiting process, from HR staff that wants to increase their effectiveness in screening applicants to candidates that have a clear understanding of a position’s criteria for success when considering a job offer.

Choosing the right technological support

The right applicant tracking software is essential to implementing agile hiring techniques. Look for a system that’s highly customizable to your company’s process and can evolve over time as you migrate toward better recruiting approaches. For example, select a system that allows you to establish screening questions and only pass qualified applicants through to the next stage. Functionality like this can eliminate the administrative burdens that can pile up during the recruiting process and allow your recruiting staff to focus on high-value activities. The best systems allow your HR team to quickly access information about the recruiting process, to automate some important screening processes, and get great candidates into interview more quickly. Systems should also offer the capabilities to track specific performance metrics and monitor improvements or other changes over time.

Is your company ready to streamline its recruiting process by implementing agile hiring? Contact myStaffingPro today to learn more about applicant tracking software to arrange a personalized software demonstration.