By Michelle Silverstein, Director of Corporate Marketing at Criteria
Looking back on 2020, the year was challenging in so many ways. Yet challenges present an optimal time to learn from experience and improve for the future.
In the middle of 2020, Criteria, surveyed over 400 hiring professionals to learn about how their hiring processes had adapted to COVID-19. We published the results in our annual Hiring Benchmark Report, and the responses were illuminating. From that data, we uncovered some interesting takeaways about hiring that can be used to improve and grow as we cruise into the new year.
1. Remote Work Is Here To Stay
According to our survey, 69% of organizations transitioned to remote work at some point last year. As a result, organizations had to establish remote hiring processes that were just as effective as in-person processes.
For those who were fortunate enough to be able to work from home, we were curious how they felt about remote work. In our survey, we asked: “Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, how has your opinion of remote work changed?”
What we found is that the majority of respondents, 54% said that their opinion of remote work has become more positive. Meanwhile, 42% said their opinion had stayed the same, and a paltry 4% said their opinion had become more negative.
On the whole, remote work has left a remarkably positive impression on those who had the opportunity to try it. From that same survey, respondents said that the key benefits of working from home were:
Less commuting (95%)
Flexible schedule (76%)
Better work-life balance (75%)
Fewer office distractions (72%)
More time with family (68%)
More productivity (64%)
What’s clear is that employees like and appreciate working from home, and that it can actually be more productive than working in an office. This suggests that even after the world returns to a “new normal” and offices begin to open back up, we don’t expect to see everyone go right back into the office. Instead, we expect to see a hybrid workforce model that combines a blend of remote and in-person work.
With remote work likely to play a major role in daily life moving forward, organizations need a way to optimize their remote hiring processes. Remote hiring has the same goal as in-person hiring: to find the best person for the job. Ultimately this means that organizations need a way to accurately and efficiently identify top talent without meeting them face-to-face.
2. The More Candidates, (Not Necessarily) the Better
2020 saw a sudden and massive rise in unemployment early in the year. The result was an influx of candidates flooding the job market. This represented a significant shift in the hiring landscape. Before, the hiring landscape was characterized as a candidate-driven market where qualified candidates were scarce and employers had to put forth greater effort to attract and retain top talent. But with more job seekers looking for opportunities, employers were faced with a welcome challenge: too many candidates.
The result? Hiring professionals started to perceive hiring as “easier” in 2020 than it was in 2019. In our survey, we found the following:
Across nearly every dimension, hiring professionals were having an easier time in 2020 than 2019. This may stem from the feeling of greater choice among a bigger candidate pool.
Nevertheless, the biggest challenge that hiring professionals face continues to be finding high quality job candidates. While more candidates may seem like a blessing, it doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to find that one person who is right for the job. On the contrary, a high volume of candidates can create problems of its own, with the need to efficiently and accurately identifying the candidates who demonstrate the highest potential to succeed.
3. Diversity Is a Priority Now More Than Ever
In our 2020 Hiring Benchmark Report, we also asked hiring professionals if increasing diversity in the workplace was a priority for their organization. What we found was that, for the majority of organizations, it was.
32% said increasing diversity in the workplace was a top priority at their organizations. 46% said it was somewhat of a priority, and just 22% said it’s not a priority. What’s clear is that most organizations are invested in hiring and retaining diverse teams. The question is, how are they going to achieve that goal?
Unconscious bias is pervasive in the hiring process. One way to combat it is by incorporating more data-driven elements that are tied to job success. The goal is to identify the right person for the job based on their abilities, not based on their connections or background.
4. There’s Reason for Optimism About the Future
There’s no denying that 2020 brought with it a lot of reasons to be pessimistic. However, when it comes to the future, hiring professionals are largely optimistic. In our Hiring Benchmark Report, we asked hiring professionals how they felt about the future for their organization, and the results were surprising:
The data painted an extremely optimistic picture. 66% of respondents were positive about the outlook, while 20% were neutral. Just 6% were negative and 9% were unsure. Despite the setbacks of 2020, hiring professionals are seeing the opportunity for growth in the future.
Ultimately this is a lesson in resilience and adaptability. Setbacks don’t have to debilitate any forward-moving progress. Even in times of strain, organizations can keep making plans for the future and building towards those goals, even if the vision has to be altered due to changing circumstances.
How Criteria Can Help
Criteria’s assessment platform is designed to help teams hire and grow. If an organization is the sum of its people, then each new employee has an important role to play. When assessments are incorporated into a long-term hiring strategy, organizations can start to see incremental improvements in everything from performance and productivity to employee retention and engagement.
By administering assessments early in the hiring process, organizations can quickly identify which candidates are most likely to succeed in the role. This can save invaluable time in screening and interviewing candidates, making it easier for the hiring team to maximize their time and efforts towards finding that right person for the role.
Criteria’s assessments are designed to help organizations hire diverse, high performing teams. Through a rigorous validation process, Criteria’s team of industrial and organizational psychologists ensures that the tests are non-discriminatory and accurate. And when assessments are administered early in the hiring process, they help to highlight candidates who may have been overlooked based on resume alone.
About Michelle Silverstein
Michelle Silverstein is the Director of Corporate Marketing at Criteria, a leading provider of pre-employment assessments. With a background in B2B, SaaS and HR Technology, Michelle is a passionate advocate for helping companies make more informed talent decisions through evidence-based hiring practices.
You might read dozens of resumes and find only a few possible gems. What are you doing with the resumes for the other handful of great candidates that you don’t hire for a particular role? Hopefully you’re saving them to build a great source of candidates for your next search! There are so many tools that can help you search through those resumes for the skillset and experience you need. Applicant tracking systems are no longer a “nice-to-have.” They are absolutely essential for the modern recruiter. Your job has changed and you cannot be as effective without the right tools. Here’s five ways Deltek Talent Management helps you be a more effective recruiter so you can better organize, find and interact with your applicants.
1. Resume Search
The resume search within Deltek Talent Acquisition enables you to search your entire database of resumes using different parameters. These parameters can vary widely from a basic keyword search, to a location search radius, to specific skill certifications, licenses or security clearances. To determine the correct filters for your search, start with the following questions:
If you have a lot of old resumes in your database, are you able to search based on recently modified resumes?
Is your search saved for OFCCP reporting if this is a requirement for your company?
If you have modified your application form to add custom fields for your company, can those be added to the search form?
Once you find resumes that match your criteria, can you take action on those resumes by sending emails, inviting applicants to apply to new postings, or forwarding them to another user for review?
Did you know that all of these options are available to you in Deltek Talent Acquisition?
2. Search Resumes Dashboard
At times, getting access to resumes quickly is a priority. When an applicant calls in wanting to know the status of their application, or a hiring manager wants to update you after an interview, being able to quickly find an applicant’s resume is important. Our Main Dashboard for the application is configurable to include a Search Resumes widget, so you can come in and quickly find their resume.
3. Resume Search Agents
Sometimes you don’t find the right candidate right away in your existing database, and being able to be notified when someone applies who meets your criteria would be very helpful. That’s where Resume Search Agents come into play – you can save your searches as a Resume Search Agent, and then choose how frequently you want emails to come in when applicants matching your criteria apply. This is very helpful when you post a hard to fill position and want to be notified when resumes come in that meet your needs.
4. Resume Pools
When you find highly qualified applicants in your database, being able to quickly find them when openings are available is helpful. Resume Pools make it easy to tag these resumes and view a listing of resumes with that tag. For example, if you had two great candidates for a job and hired one of them, tagging that “second choice” resume by adding them to a Resume Pool for easy access in the future if a new opening comes up is beneficial. You can also have your Resume Search Agents automatically populate Resume Pools for you, maintaining a list of candidates who have some of those skills you are on the lookout for. And keeping in touch with these candidates you’ve tagged is simple with Talent Relationship Management available within Deltek Talent Acquisition.
5. Monster and CareerBuilder Resume Search Integration
What happens if you don’t find the talent you need within your resume database? There are other tools and databases you can use to search for resumes – we work with both Monster and CareerBuilder to provide these services from directly within Deltek Talent Acquisition. For example, if you enable the Monster search integration, you have the option to search the Monster resume database directly and then import the resumes you find into your resume database. These resumes can then be reviewed, included in Talent Relationship Management campaigns, or invited to apply to job openings.
Let’s face it, recruiting today is tougher than ever and finding top talent is like finding a needle in a haystack. Unemployment is at an all-time low, it is a job seeker’s market and they’re going to play hard ball when you do find them. However, is it really that hard or any harder than it has been in the past? Maybe we just need to take a different approach and look for talent in another way. Maybe the talent you seek is already available and you just forgot where to look.
Statistics show that 62% of the talent you need is readily available to you and are twice as likely to accept cold emails if they have interacted with your company brand before. That’s right, 62% of the top talent you’re looking for is already in your database, just waiting for the right opportunity to join your company. That is why it is more critical than ever to create a proactive recruiting strategy and ensure Talent Pools are an integral part of that strategy.
But it doesn’t end with just creating talent pools, you also must establish a relationship with the candidates in those talent pools and build their trust. You need to stay engaged and encourage candidates to keep their resume data current and accurate. You must show YOU’RE still interested long after they’ve applied and that there is future opportunity for them.
What does ‘establishing a relationship’ mean? By definition, a relationship is the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected. The way we each view a relationship can differ broadly, but at the core it still means the same thing. To have a relationship with someone means being connected at a deeper level than a mere association. Talent Relationship Management is the engagement between recruiter and candidate; it is building trust and maintaining interest on both sides so that time to fill future awarded projects can be reduced exponentially.
Talent Pools and Talent Relationship Management (TRM) can work lockstep and create an immersive experience for your candidates. They can help you develop and maintain relationships with your candidates and stay engaged with your top talent, nurturing that talent early and often. The ultimate goal is that you are never behind the 8 ball when projects are awarded. You have the talent to fulfill any project need with the right skills, competencies, certifications, and experience level, you just need to remember where to look.
Capitalize on your existing candidates with Talent Pools and TRM campaigns! An engaged relationship = opportunity for both you and your candidates. Win/Win!
In this series, we are going to explore some of the features that Deltek Talent Management offers, but that we have found are under-utilized. You may have started with the basics and planned to expand later or maybe you missed out on some of the new features that came out during software releases. No matter where you are today with your Talent Management solution we are going to shine a spotlight on areas that will help you leverage the full solution and make it easier for you to do the things you need to do.
Did you know that you can collect candidate certification details during the application process? This standard system functionality, which was added in our recent 15.1 software release, will help you to identify the most qualified candidates faster by highlighting their professional certifications and licenses. Once you’ve found the perfect candidate, you’ll be able to take the guesswork out of allocating your new resource. This is another way to keep the information you need at your fingertips.
We are seeing a major shift in the talent marketplace. In the past, the ball was in the employer’s court, but low unemployment and a growing economy has shifted the ball to the court of the employee or candidate.
Many candidates are entertaining multiple options and routinely receive multiple offers. According to research conducted by Deltek in multiple industries; including Architecture and Engineering, Government Contracting, and Consulting, project focused organizations are finding it increasingly difficult to locate and acquire qualified talent. The organizations that are most successful at acquiring top talent know how to move fast by leveraging the technology available to them. This feature can help you to quickly sort through candidates to find the qualifications you need for your next project.
Talent Management has always supported the collection of this information, but our 15.1 release made this feature much easier to, include in your process.
Automatically adding certifications to an employee’s learning record when they are hired will streamline your on-boarding process and eliminate the need for duplicate entry. This combination of features from Deltek Talent Acquisition and Deltek Talent Learning makes this capability more focused and embeds it into the workflows of the system.
Here’s how you can leverage this great feature in your own acquisition process:
When a job seeker applies, the request to upload certifications can be added as a step in the online application process. During the application process, candidates can select from the drop-down values you’ve provided or select other to add a different certification not already in the listing. This is a simple step for the job seeker that can give you powerful visibility into the candidates applying to your postings.
Above you can see Step 4 highlighted as part of the application process
Collect information on the type of certification and when it expires. This information will be recorded in the solution so that you won’t have to re-enter the certification or the expiration date if you hire that candidate
As a recruiter, you are now able to review the certifications that an applicant has provided, as well as search for applicants with desired certifications. This is also a great basis to use when creating candidate pools.
Certifications and descriptions are housed in the solution and can be viewed and included as a basis for reporting
Use the solution to exclude expired certifications
View and edit both internal and external certification under the employee’s learning profile
As a final step, leverage the solution to automatically add the certifications to the employee’s learning profile and save yourself the step of manually recording this information.
Look out for the next blog in the series on underused Talent management Features.
We will continue to explore ways that you can leverage your solution to acquire, develop, and retain top talent!
Are you feeling overwhelmed by trying to keep track of open requisitions, or the candidates you have in the interviewing process? Not to mention the candidates with unanswered offer letters or those that have accepted or declined an offer. There are a lot of moving pieces in the acquisition process, now add to that the expectations of the candidates themselves and you could end up spending more time writing emails and making phone calls than actually recruiting anyone!
In their book “The War for Talent,” Ed Michaels, Helen Handfield-Jones, and Beth Axelrod tell us more about the new reality created by the war for talent. Within the old reality, people needed companies; machines, capital, and geography were the competitive advantage; better talent made some different; jobs were scarce; employees were loyal and jobs were secure; and people accepted the standard package they were offered. However, within today’s new reality, there is a shift more towards focusing on and keeping employees because companies need people; talented people are the competitive advantage and better talent makes a huge difference; talented people are scarce; people are mobile and their commitment is short term; and people are demanding much more.
While the employee/employer relationship of today impacts every type of business, it has an even more profound impact on project based organizations. You rely on your people to deliver world class projects every day. Without them, your projects suffer, your customers suffer, and ultimately, your bottom line shows the negative consequences. BUT, there are better ways to cope with the challenges of talent acquisition.
With this new reality in mind, let’s cover what you can do to stay ahead of the curve and secure the strongest candidates in the marketplace. Firstly, you need to expedite the talent acquisition process, secondly, understand how talent pools can help you keep track of those highly specialized roles, and finally, how optimizing employee branding and the candidate experience can make a huge difference for your organization.
Expediting Talent Acquisition
The days of candidates flocking to your website to apply for positions is over. Remember, if they are a great employee, you can bet you are not the only one trying to convince them that your organization is the best place for them. Mindsets have shifted. The dialogue is no longer “why should we give you a job”, instead it’s “why our organization will be a great place for you to build your career.” This means we need to rethink our hiring process completely to understand how to present a strong value proposition to prospects. People want to work where the culture is strong and the projects are interesting. How are you communicating that to prospective employees?
All this change gets a whole lot easier when you leverage technology to track and adjust your processes.
To get a clearer picture of your talent acquisition process, take a look at it and break it down into intervals of time between each of the steps between the job posting and the first day on the job – from when a candidate was sourced, to when they were screened, to when they were interviewed, etc.
Considering you have this information available – both the steps and time to fill – a part of the equation you might be missing is how long it takes you to complete each step. This piece of information lets you know right away if there are any steps that are consistently taking longer than others, and gives you a chance to evaluate your processes to make them more efficient. According to Dr. John Sullivan, the steps that tend to hold up the process the most are:
Approving new job postings
Each of these steps can be tracked in an ATS, a great tool to aid you in the reporting of this information. Reporting on the average amount of time in each step can help to identify blockages and where to focus to improve processes and efficiency for future hires. At the end of the day, it’s all about having the right people available at the right time to keep your projects staffed and running smoothly.
For example, through reporting you can identify if you are indeed struggling with approvals of job postings, where to make improvements to the process and if the changes you are making are improving the timing.
How Brilliant HR’s Talent Acquisition solution can help:
When creating a requisition, approvers for that requisition can be established. These approvers then receive email notifications to accept or reject the requisition, with reminders if they do not take action.
You application process can include screening questions that score applicants as they apply to the requisition. These can be used to auto-screen candidates, or you can review these responses as a part of your initial review.
When it is time to interview a candidate, the Brilliant HR ATS gives you the ability to select dates and times to send to the candidate, which they can then accept or reject online.
You can also report on how long each of these steps takes, and evaluate if there are areas you can improve.
Another area an ATS can assist with is in building and maintaining talent pools. Deltek’s Clarity research shows that finding qualified talent is a top challenge for project based firms and establishing talent pools can really help to flag candidates that you want to stay in touch with for future opportunities.
As resumes are added to your ATS, you can review and then flag those that would be a good fit for future openings.
Maintaining talent pools by continuously accepting and flagging resumes from strong applicants can help you move faster when you win a new project, or when someone leaves unexpectedly and a succession plan for that individual is not in place. In his post The Smart Move for Growing Companies Is to Always Be Recruiting Talent, David Ciccarelli further expands on how having a pipeline in place can help, and some techniques for expanding the pipeline.
In the example of where someone leaves unexpectedly, this is where having a pipeline of candidates can be critical, filling that gap sooner rather than later. There is nothing worse than having to delay a project start date because you lack the appropriate resources!
How our Talent Acquisition can help:
When you review a resume, you can add that resume to a pool so that you can easily find them in the future.
Pools enable you to keep lists of candidates with specific requirements, helping you stay in touch with those job seekers with email communication. These lists can be generated manually or through the use of search agents that automatically add to the list. They can also be shared for easy access to information. Inviting job seekers in these pools to apply to job openings they are a good fit for and have the appropriate skill set. Again, potentially filling a position quicker by already having the talent defined by using Talent Pools.
Employee Branding and Candidate Experience
It is very important that you are attractive to candidates as an employer; their experience moving through your online application and hiring process can have a huge impact on this perception. An ATS can help you identify areas where applicants drop from the process and make it easier to keep in touch so that your organization avoids giving candidates the “black hole” experience.
A recent Forbes article gives some insight into some of the things that job seekers found negative in the process.
60% of employers “never bothered letting me know the decision after the interview”
43% of candidates found out during the interview “the job didn’t match what was written in the job ad”
34% of the candidates said the company representative “didn’t present a positive work experience”
This is where a focus on your branding and candidate experience aided by an ATS help to ensure that your offer is the one that gets accepted!
How our Talent Acquisition can help:
You are able to create your own email templates for notifications, and then tie those to different steps in your recruiting workflow to make sure that you are keeping candidates informed.
You can access your listing of job descriptions when starting a requisition, and use those descriptions to fill in your job description and requirements within the requisition form.
Talent Acquisition can assist you with your career center – the Brilliant HR and Deltek teams work with you for a branding experience that matches your company’s needs, while providing you with the ability for applicants to find and view jobs online (including on their mobile device). This also includes an application process, where you drive the steps and information collected from your applicants.
Here are four tips for attracting young talent into your organization.
Tip 1: Create a Compelling Job Posting
When looking for jobs today, candidates want to get a really good idea from the job description what they will do every day, how they will contribute to the company, and what they will gain from working with your company. Simply posting a bullet-ed list of requirements and responsibilities is no longer enough to grab their attention. You could be missing out on some great candidates by writing descriptions that don’t address their major concerns. Are you giving them enough information and are you taking advantage of all of the new media that is available to you? Share graphics, videos, and other resources on social media to draw candidates in and pay special attention to focus on information important to them.
Tip 2: Look in Non-Traditional Places
Sometimes your best candidates aren’t those found through traditional listings on your website or standard job boards. Often the key to finding the right talent is making the most of all candidate sourcing channels available to you. Build and maintain your referral networks, reach out on niche job boards and leverage professional organizations to access candidates who may not be actively searching for a new position. Encourage your employees to leverage their networks and social media presence; it’s a great way to find candidates and to build your company brand.
Tip 3: Make the Interview Evidence-Based
It is important to know that the people you bring in can do the job – that they have the right skills and experience required to step in and successfully perform in their new position. Prepare a standardized set of questions to ask each candidate interviewing for the position. This is a good way to draw more accurate comparisons between candidates. An effective way to understand how someone might fit into the team is to ask detailed questions about their experience and how they would perform routine tasks. Pose typical problems they might encounter on the job, and ask them how they would address them. This can provide more tangible evidence of their experience and how they think on their feet.
Tip 4: Define Your Measures for Success
Let prospective employees know how your company measures success. What do they need to accomplish to be a top performer, and what is your reward or recognition structure for those who do perform to your expectations? Are incentives both employee and team oriented? Is there a career path and what is it? In order to hire and retain exceptionally talented people in the new workforce, you have to work hard at it. It’s a two way street. You must keep them motivated and inspired and give them work that fills their sense of purpose and lets them know they are valued.