7 Steps to Hiring a New Employee: Recruiting to Onboarding

On March 15, myStaffingPro presented an hour-long, educational Bloomberg webinar by employment law lawyer, Tanya Bovee, and Paychex hiring experts, Jessica Hubbard-Davis and Grant McClellan, detailing the hiring process and potential legal cost traps for employers.

The webinar is now available for free, and makes an excellent, in-depth introduction to the hiring process for current and future HR leaders. Below are the primary steps of the hiring process addressed in the webinar—we highly recommend watching it in its entirety.

Watch the Webinar Now


       1. Write your Job Posting and Advertise

Job postings should be written with care—accuracy is essential.  Before writing an external job posting, you should write an internal job description, listing the essential functions of the position. Hiring managers should confirm the accuracy of those essential functions.

One you have that in place, review (or create) the external job posting, focusing on listing the day-to-day job duties and essential functions of the position.  Be sure to also determine the position’s exemption status under the FLSA and any applicable state laws, and list the status in the posting.

When posting your advertisement, be sure to list an accurate job title, explain the specifics for how a potential new employee should apply, identify your company as an EEOE, and target a broad geographic area and demographic mix. Job postings should also be written in such a way as to avoid screening out protected classes, and should be in compliance with applicable ban-the-box legislation.


       2. Prescreen Applications

Once job applications and resumes begin to arrive, it’s time to begin sorting them.  Review your job posting and look for candidates that have experience that matches the job duties and functions you listed.  Note that it’s important to have a signed employment application from potential new hires in addition to a resume (even though it often duplicates information). Be sure to use an employment application that has been reviewed for compliance with applicable laws.

Most employers follow up job-posting-to-resume matches with prescreen phone interviews. Prescreen phone interviews should last approximately 10-15 minutes.  You should ask the same questions to each applicant so that you can compare answers.  Be sure to avoid inquiries that could screen out protected classes. When taking notes during your phone interview, do not take your notes on resumes or application forms.


       3. Conduct Interviews

After you’ve further narrowed the field of applicants during your prescreening process, you’ll want to conduct structured in-person interviews with potential employees. Start by deciding who will be conducting the interviews, and where they will take place.  Review job descriptions and applications before the interview.  During the interview, all your questions should be job-related and generally open-ended.  As your interview is ending, inform the applicant of the next steps in the process, and don’t make any promises.

Some questions you can ask job applicants about are:

  • Reasons for leaving a previous job
  • Work schedule
  • Previous work experience or anything about their previous employer
  • Career interests
  • Their past job duties and training
  • Their education and qualifications related to the position
  • Any job-related professional associations they belong to


Some questions you should avoid asking a job applicant:

  • Age, date of birth, religion, race, sex, nationality, or genetic makeup
  • Marital status
  • Number of, or ages of children, or childcare arrangements
  • Loans, financial obligations, wage attachments, or personal bankruptcies
  • Arrests or convictions
  • Disabilities, past injuries or diseases


Once the candidate has left the room, it’s a good practice to immediately review any notes you took during the interview, complete an employment interview evaluation, and verify whether answers a candidate gave match key facts.

Some job positions may require other forms of evaluation, like assessments.  If that is the case, be sure to seek legal advice before performing any testing. You’ll want to ensure that your assessments comply with anti-discrimination laws.


       4. Make a Hiring Decision

Hiring decisions are a human process, but there are still some basic questions you should always ask before making a job offer to a candidate.

  • Do you have enough information or do you need to schedule second interviews?
  • Is the candidate qualified to complete the essential functions of the job? If not, could they do so with an accommodation?
  • Does this person seem to be a good fit with the company and its culture?
  • Did you check their references, and did they confirm the candidate’s qualifications?

Take your time in getting to “yes” with all your questions.  It’s estimated that the average cost to repair a bad employment decision is 1.5 times the cost of that employee’s salary.  Your employees are your company’s greatest asset.


       5. Extend an Offer

Once you’ve made your decision, it’s time for that exhilarating moment when you can offer your most qualified candidate a job.  It’s best practice to allow the hiring manager to extend the offer.  You should always follow up a verbal offer with a written confirmation. (That confirmation should not include a contract or guarantee of employment for any length of time.)

It is a best practice to include at-will disclaimer language as well.  If the offer is conditional based on completing a background check or drug test, this should be indicated. Employers are encouraged to consult with legal counsel when drafting offer letters or sending confirmations of verbal offers of employment. It’s also a best practice (and good marketing) to inform other candidates that you’ve extended an offer to someone else.


       6. Conduct a Background Check

Background checks are an uncomfortable, but valuable step to take after you’ve extended an offer.  Background checks must be job-related and compliant with applicable laws, including using a separate signed authorization to conduct the background check.  Other federal and state requirements will apply and the fines for non-compliance can be significant. Types of background checks may include criminal records, social security number traces, credit checks, or driving records, where permitted. Employers may consider using a third-party to obtain background reports, but should continue to be knowledgeable about the legal requirements of this process.


       7. Complete the Hire

Once an offer is accepted and background checks have been properly completed, it’s time to bring your employee to work. Completing the hire involves keeping, completing, and maintaining required documentation in compliance with federal and state regulations. This may include but is not limited to records of public advertisements, job applications, job orders, records relating to refusal to hire, W-4 forms and the completed Form I-9. Your HR team should also have an onboarding strategy in place, which includes completing paperwork regarding their compensation and benefits.


Keeping Track of Applicants 

If all the steps involved in hiring a new employee seem complicated and make you nervous, it’s because they are and they should.  Potential pitfalls underlie much of the hiring process. As companies grow and begin to hire en masse they look to technological solutions to automate the process and make the recruiting process more efficient.

myStaffingPro is an enterprise-level applicant tracking system for HR professionals. Recruit candidates, and seamlessly flow them through interviews, offers, background checks, and onboarding with our trusted software solution.

Contact Us Today


Should Businesses Be Worried About Their Job Application Completion Rates?

Sixty percent of job seekers quit filling out job applications in the middle of the process. That’s a lot of drop-outs. But is that a good or bad thing?

One school of thought says you’re actually weeding out the bad applicants. Another says job applications rates are one of your most important HR metrics. Is either right?

The Psychology of Job Applicants

When a potential job applicant sees an opening and begins the process of filling out an application, they’re not necessarily committed to completing it. They have a lot of unanswered questions about the position and the company, and they might be in the early stages of researching a career move.

Whether or not they complete the job application can depend on a) how badly they want the job, b) how likely they think they are to get it, c) how much time they have and d) how difficult they think the application will be to fill out.

If we look at each of those items independently, we can start to see what kind of applicant might complete a lengthy application, and what kind might not

Are Desperate Job Applicants the Best Applicants?

You want a hungry applicant, right? Maybe. While a sense of urgency and follow-through might be strong qualities to have in an employee, it could also mean an applicant with a low skill set and mitigating factors that have left them unemployed for a long period of time. A difficult-to-fill-out application can weed out passive applicants who already have jobs, have a strong skill set, and who are casually looking for a change. That’s not a good thing.

Don’t Let the Job Candidates Make the Selection for You

Why not let candidates self-select? If a candidate thinks they’re a good fit for the job, and is therefore willing to fill out a lengthy application, wouldn’t you rather have them complete the application than the candidate that doesn’t? Again, maybe. The problem is, maybe that certification you’ve listed isn’t that important, especially if the candidate is a certified genius.

If a candidate doesn’t have time to fill out your application, then they’re going to be too busy to concentrate on their job, right? This isn’t necessarily an accurate assumption either. On-the-go people might be the very people you want in the position, especially if you’re looking for an outgoing sales rep or a high-level executive.

Meet Jill, the Employee That Didn’t Complete your Job Application

So let’s put these factors together and compare a fast application process versus a slower application process.

Let’s look at Jill, a sales representative who has been rapidly increasing sales at her current job, but was passed up for a promotion. She’s been discussing it with a friend at a café. Her friend goes up to the counter to purchase a latte. While Jill is waiting, she casually pulls up Indeed, and stumbles upon your job posting. It’s a perfect match for her job skills.

In Case A, there’s a social apply option, so that Jill can apply for your job in 5 minutes with her LinkedIn profile before her friend returns with her latte. She applies.

In Case B, Jill clicks on the apply button and sees a page that makes her fill in data manually. She doesn’t apply.

Bad Job Applications are Bad Karma

According to a recent recruiting trends report, the information candidates most want to know about a company when considering a potential employer are its culture and values.

Don’t make a bad first impression by asking job candidates for more information than you need up-front, or, worse yet, forcing them to double-enter data. When job candidates feel like their time isn’t being valued, they may assume you won’t value their time while they are employed as well.

Smart Applicants Want Smart Applications

Savvy, in-the-know job applicants generally want to see that your company is also savvy and in-the-know. If your job applications look like a throw-back from 1997, it may imply your company is also behind the times.

If you’re looking for engineers or professionals that understand the current market and user-experience, you’ll want to demonstrate that your company is also current.

How to Increase Your Job Application Completion Rate 

It’s a simple equation. The faster an applicant can fill out a job application, the more likely it is that they’ll do so: a five-minute application gets a higher completion rate than an hour-long one.

Most large and mid-sized companies use an application tracking system (ATS) to assist with creating, tracking, and submitting easy-to-fill job applications to career websites or online job boards. myStaffingPro is a premier ATS for HR professionals. Recruit candidates, seamlessly flow applicants through interviews, offers, background checks, and onboarding with our trusted software solution.

Contact myStaffingPro Today

7 Tips for Writing a Job Posting Like a Pro

7 Tips for Writing a Job Posting Like a Pro


1. Be Accurate First. Market Second.

Writing a great job posting is a far more complicated task than most people think.  A strong job posting is first and foremost accurate.  If your job posting is accurate, your future employee will know what’s expected of them before they’re even hired—laying the groundwork for success.  Meanwhile, an inaccurate job posting can lead to a poor applicant pool, and misunderstandings.

Job postings can be both a recruiting tool and an advertisement for your company. Once you’re sure you have all the facts correct, discuss with your marketing team whether the job posting is on-brand.  Most companies have brand guidelines that define their company’s voice and culture.  There’s no need to go overboard, but adjusting a job posting to fit your company’s style will help increase the likelihood that your new employee is the right fit.

2. Make Sure the Job Posting You Write Has All the Parts

A job posting need not account for every task that an employee might ever do.  On the other hand, it should absolutely list the basics, like:

  • Job Title
  • Type of Employment (Full-time, Part-Time, or Temporary)
  • Expected Hours or Shifts
  • Likelihood of Overtime or Weekend Work
  • List of General Responsibilities
  • Requirements and/or Preferences in:
    • Education
    • Experience
    • Technical Skills

3. Don’t Be Coy about Salary in your Job Posting

Many employers choose not to list a salary range when they write their job postings.  This makes sense if the salary of the job you are offering has considerable variance.  For example, if you’re not sure whether you want to hire someone junior-level with less experience and train them, or whether you’d like to hire someone more senior level who can hit the ground running—you might set a salary range to Depends on Experience (DOE) in order to capture both types of candidates.

Not setting a range for the sole purpose of trying to minimize salary, though, may not be the best strategy.  Savvy, busy professionals may not have the patience to submit an application without knowing whether the salary meets their expectations; and less qualified candidates might take the lack of a salary range as an indication that they can get in the door by keeping their demands low.

If you have a budget and know what level of experience you’re looking for, setting a salary (or  salary range) at the low end of your scale will help ensure a stronger—and more refined— applicant pool, while leaving room for negotiation if the applicant you want requests more.

4. Research Job Titles and Get Them Right

Job titles matter.  A writer is different from a content manager.  A director is different from a manager.   A CEO is different from an owner.  Because job boards like Indeed, or Glassdoor are so crowded with job postings, job seekers are quickly searching on the titles they think they fit, and ignoring other jobs that they might also qualify for.  Consider who you’re trying to hire, and what job title they might be searching on.  Consider less sophisticated titles for junior positions, and more sophisticated ones for senior ones.

5. Don’t Overdo It

While it’s important when writing a job posting to list the tasks and responsibilities that will take up the majority of an employees’ time, this can be done in a general way.  The digital format allows for longer job postings, but consider keeping them short and sweet so a potential candidate doesn’t pass them over.  Think of ways to shorten your posting.  For example, instead of writing, “posts status updates to Facebook, creates tweets for Twitter, and produces articles for LinkedIn,” you might simply say, “manages social media channels.”

6. Don’t Be Afraid to Change Your Job Posting

One of the advantages of digital communication is that it’s easy to edit.  If your needs change, or if you’re not pulling in enough (or the wrong kind of) applicants, don’t hesitate to edit or rewrite your posting.  Because search tools are so sophisticated, a simple word change can alter the number and types of applicants that your job posting draws in.

7. Broadcast Your Job Description Everywhere

The task of writing a strong job posting doesn’t stop when you save it to your hard drive.  Writing also means promoting.  Savvy recruiters post the job on dozens of job boards, and then promote those postings across their company’s social media channels.

If you’re a busy recruiter, you know how time-consuming the writing and promotion of a job can be.  That’s why HR professionals are turning more and more frequently to recruitment software to automate the promotion of their job openings across job boards and social media.

Ready to Automate your Job Recruitment Process?

Your applicant tracking system (ATS) may be the first thing a potential employee sees from your company.  Leave a professional impression with myStaffingPro, the premier ATS for HR professionals. Recruit candidates, seamlessly flow applicants through interviews, offers, background checks, and onboarding with our trusted software solution.

Contact myStaffingPro Today

5 Must-Attend Conferences for HR Recruiters in 2017

HR Recruitment and Talent Acquisition Conferences are a great chance to learn and become an expert in the industry, as well as network with like-minded professionals. myStaffingPro recommends 5 popular and well-attended HR recruitment and talent acquisition conferences taking place in 2017.


Talent Management Conference & Expo – April 24-26, 2017 – Chicago, IL
SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition – June 18-21, 2017 – New Orleans, LA
Linkedin Talent Connect – October 3-5, 2017 – Nashville, TN
HR Technology – October 10-13, 2017 – Las Vegas, NV
Recruiting Trends – November 29-December 1, 2017 – West Palm Beach, FL


*Talent Management Conference & Expo: April 24-26, 2017
Talent Management is the annual conference hosted by SHRM that focuses on recruiting and talent acquisition. There are over 70 sessions that cover a range of topics including compliance, recruiting, metrics and analytics, leadership, and engagement/retention. This is one of the premier conferences to attend if your focus is onboarding and recruitment.

There is also a great opportunity to table or learn about software solutions specific to the HR recruiting industry. At about 1,000 attendees, Talent Management is big enough to make it worthwhile for sales and marketing opportunities, but small enough to really focus on your talent acquisition specialty. This year’s central setting in Chicago should bring together a good mix of exhibitors and attendees from across the country.


*SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition: June 18-21, 2017
SHRM is the epicenter of the HR conference universe, with over 15,000 HR professionals attending. A large conference that is jam-packed full of events, attendees find themselves scrambling to see everything they want to see.

With over 200 sessions, the large crowd, and the huge conference hall, SHRM is perfect for both education, networking, and direct sales. This year the conference host city is New Orleans, which should make this year’s conference uniquely entertaining.


Linkedin in Talent Connect: October 3-5, 2017
LinkedIn’s conference catering exclusively to HR professionals in the recruitment and talent fields has grown to almost 4,000 attendees. This year’s Nashville location in early Fall looks to be another big-hitter. InTalent benefits from strong keynotes year after year, with excellent networking opportunities for up-and-coming professionals.

As you would expect, social platform giant LinkedIn also uses their conference as an opportunity to showcase their newest products and services.


*HR Technology: October 10-13, 2017
HR Technology is again poised as one of the largest gatherings of HR professionals again this year. Although the conference is called HR Technology, it’s focus is on the products and solutions that drive the success of HR technology, not necessarily the technology itself.

HR Technology is being hosted at the Venetian in Las Vegas, which adds to the sizzle of the conference. In its 20th year, HR Tech is a stalwart in the HR circuit.

This conference showcases many of the latest products and solutions in the HR industry, presented by companies across the U.S. Attendance at HR Technology was around 8,500 in 2016, with similar numbers expected for the 2017 conference.


Recruiting Trends Conference, November 29-December 1, 2017
Let’s face it, the West Palm Beach location of Recruiting Trends at the end of November is one of the better-looking destinations. Match that with the Talent Acquisition Tech conference taking place in the same space and this might be the year to attend.

Recruiting Trends is chock-full of peer-to-peer workshops and educational sessions that can help benefit your career. When you have a free moment, you’ll want to skip over the exhibit hall to see the technological eye-candy that Talent Acquisition will be hustling.

*myStaffingPro will be attending these conferences in 2017.

recruitment software or employment agency image

Recruiting Software vs. Employment Agencies: Which is More Cost-Effective

Many companies struggle with the decision about whether to recruit employees themselves, using recruitment software or other tools, or whether to simply hire an employment agency to do the work for them.  Let’s look at some of the factors that come into play.

1. Time to Hire:  Recruitment Software vs. Employment Agency

Winner – Employment Agency

The perception of most hiring managers is that the fastest way to a hire is through an employment agency. This may or may not be true. Employment agencies are incentivized to fill a role as quickly as possible, while your own HR team rarely receives the same monetary rewards.  If there is a strong business case to fill a position quickly, an employment agency may be your quickest route to a hire, but remember, the cost of agency hires can quickly add up.  Agencies look to get the highest rates possible for their candidates, and their own markups can go as high as 75%.

2. Candidate Quality: Recruitment Software vs. Employment Agency

Winner – Even

While in theory, an employment agency takes great care to vet potential candidates, modern economics are bringing that theory more into question. Employment agencies are more likely to be clamoring for your business than more job candidates—and they’re likely using their own recruitment software to get them. Many employment agencies put out a cattle call any time a job opening appears, force candidates to make their case for the job, and then spam resumes to your hiring manager or HR team.  While it might be nice to quickly have a dozen resumes on your desk, the candidate quality may not be any higher than if you’d done the search yourself.


Ready to Bring Your Hiring In-House?

myStaffingPro is the premier applicant tracking software for HR professionals. Recruit candidates, seamlessly flow applicants through interviews and background checks, and onboard new employees with our trusted software solution.

Contact myStaffingPro Today

Transition from Offer to Onboard: Recruiting Software vs. Employment Agency

Winner – Recruitment Software

Many companies that use an employment agency to speed up their hire time lose that time during the onboarding process.  If you’ve made a hire in-house, you’ve already collected resumes, job history, and other data that your HR team will need to complete the hire and get your employee transitioned.  If you’re working with an agency, though, you’re starting from scratch.  To make matters worse, you now have a middleman you need to work through—whose work is now done after they’ve made the “sale” —which often unexpectedly delays a start date.  And of course, your team has to finalize the contract with the employment agency—a more complex transaction than a direct hire.

4. Overall Cost: Recruiting Software vs. Employment Agency

Winner – Recruitment Software

Consider for a moment the overall cost of hiring employees through employee agencies vs. purchasing recruiting software.  While agency markups vary, an average markup of 40% is not uncommon.  Let’s say your company hires 10 new employees in a year, at an average salary of $60,000.  The additional cost of hiring those employees through an agency is $240,000/year.

The cost of even the highest-end recruitment software falls far short of that yearly figure.  While you might have to grow your in-house team slightly to handle the additional demands of  recruiting—the software itself softens that load through social media recruitment features, automatic job board posting, digital data gathering, pre-screening, and workflow systems that guide employees through the onboarding process.

None of this means you should never use a staffing agency, but adding an applicant tracking system to your HR suite is almost always a worthwhile investment, and gives you the control.

myStaffingPro is a best-of-class applicant tracking system backed by Paychex, a 3 billion-dollar company. Our software is cloud-based, which means it’s constantly being updated and improved.

Contact us today to find out more, see a demo, or request a quote.

Contact myStaffingPro Today

From Paper Resume to Online Job Application

From Paper Resumes to Online Job Applications

How Do You Know It’s Time to Shift?

Move to Online Job Applications When You’re Overwhelmed with Paper Resumes

If your business has grown to the point where you’re getting hundreds of paper resumes for every job posting you list, it might be time to consider an applicant tracking system (ATS).

An ATS allows you to create online job applications that can be posted on both job boards and your own website.  Job applicants can fill information into a web-based form, upload cover letters and resumes, or import information from sites like LinkedIn.

HR administrators can then set up their applicant tracking system to pre-screen or score applicants based on lawful criteria applicable to the position. Some systems utilize keywords to help locate candidates with specific hard-to-find skills.

Tired of Paper Resumes?

Ready to Implement Online Job Applications?

myStaffingPro is the premier applicant tracking software for HR professionals. Recruit candidates, seamlessly flow applicants through interviews, the hiring process, and onboard new employees with our trusted software solution.


Contact myStaffingPro Today

Shift to an Online Job Application System When Your Competitors are Getting All the Best Employees

If your company is growing but having difficulty filling roles in your IT department, or other highly competitive job functions, it might be time to expand your reach through an applicant tracking system.

75% of large corporations use an ATS to automatically post job openings to all the major online job boards. Most powerful ATS software suites include social broadcasting functionality, allowing you to advertise hard-to-fill open positions to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Social media channels and online job boards can then be used to automatically funnel prime candidates to your mobile-optimized job application.  Active and busy applicants can quickly apply for jobs on-the-go.

When Hiring Is Taking Too Long, Online Job Applications Make Your Workflow Smoother

As your company grows, the process of recruiting, hiring, and onboarding a new employee can get more complicated and take longer. Overall company productivity can decline if job requisitions take too long to fill.

Powerful applicant tracking systems like myStaffingPro allow you to streamline your HR processes, so that applicants can smoothly be transitioned through initial recruitment, interviews, salary negotiation and hire, and onboarding.  By allowing all involved parties—the hiring manager, your HR team, and payroll—to see where the applicant is in the process, new hires should transition more quickly from newbie to productive employee: helping to save your company both time and money.



Want to See a Best-of-Class Applicant Tracking System in Action?

myStaffingPro is a best-of-class applicant tracking system backed by Paychex, a 3 billion-dollar company. Our software is cloud-based, which means it’s always being updated to keep it at the forefront of technology.

Contact us today to find out more, see a demo, or request a quote.

Request a Demo Today

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