Welcome back to Week 2 of our Halloween Monster Mash Blog Series! This week we are talking about the Ghost, and Frankenstein! Spoooookyyyy!
The Ghost – A person involved in the recruitment process who ghosts a candidate after he or she has advanced to the interview process.
What is ghosting? It is the practice of suddenly withdrawing from all communication without explanation.
Anyone who has tried to find a job in a fast-paced market has likely been ghosted at some point. An astounding 65% of job seekers say they never (or rarely) receive a rejection notice from employers.
On the flip side, anyone involved in the recruitment process knows it can feel overwhelming to personally respond to everyone who expresses interest in being hired to your company. Even more so if you are processing hundreds or even thousands of applicants.
In today’s tech savvy world, we have applicant tracking systems that can send an instant, automated response stating only candidates being considered for the role will be contacted. This is a great way to level-set on the front end.
But what about the candidate who spends hours of their time, often juggling a busy schedule for phone screens, video interviews, face-to-face, and even call back interviews, only to then be ghosted if not moving forward? Not only is it a terrible feeling, but it’s a drain on the time and energy they could be putting into other areas of their job search.
You might be thinking, if the company doesn’t plan on moving forward with a candidate, why should it be concerned with their candidate experience?
Today more and more job seekers are leaving negative feedback regarding their candidate experience on job search sites such as Glassdoor, social media and social networking sites, or sharing by word of mouth, making company brands more public than ever.
According to Glassdoor, 58% of job seekers consider a positive experience to include clear and regular communication, 53% clear expectations, and 51% feedback regarding rejection.
Additionally, 40% of applicants state they would pull out of the recruitment process due to a poor first interaction with the Recruiter or Hiring manager, this is only 4% less than the number one reason given, which is the announcement of a recent layoff.
This means it is important that some type of response be given to all that have taken the time to apply and interview. While automated responses are a useful tool for candidates not being recommended for interview, anyone who advances to the interview stage should receive timely follow up on the status of their candidacy. It may not be a comfortable conversation, but by creating a personalized interaction, it’s sure to help you stand out as a true professional and be a good reflection on your employee brand.
The Frankenstein – a group of HR systems that have been ineffectively pieced together resulting in inefficient business processes or data integrity issues.
Typically, when deciding on HR software the choices are between a best-of-breed approach or a comprehensive package. Either can be successful if approached with a strategic plan.
Best of breed typically offers custom solutions that can cater to complex program designs and provide a more granular level of function reporting, but little in the way of HR Analytics or cross functional dashboards. Additionally, systems can get bogged down due to multiple integration points.
Purchasing a comprehensive package is generally considered to be very user-friendly, with features like single sign on, and the benefit of robust reporting capabilities. Older versions offered little in the way of granular level customization, but rapid advances are being made in this area.
At times, companies will start with one “base” system and as the business grows, systems will be added based on individual department needs in an ad hoc way with no real strategic design. This is what we call the Frankenstein.
The Frankenstein will drain your team of valuable time and resources and increase the potential for error. It often involves pulling multiple reports to get all the data needed for comprehensive analytics.
Automation and streamlining processes mean more than simply adding technology to a current process. It’s important to understand what problems you want the system to solve, what is working with the current process, and what is not.
You’ll want to consider what you need for customizations and at what level, create a list of required features, narrow the list of solution providers, maybe ask a few trusted resources for recommendations. Consider scheduling demos for the top 3, discuss the system pros and cons and then select the one that meets the majority of your needs and provides the best overall price.
Implementing the right system can redesign how your HR department does business, streamline interdepartmental processes, and potentially provide a high return on your investment. You may even be able to accomplish more with a smaller team! Take that, Frankenstein!
Thanks for reading this week’s installment, we hope you enjoyed it! Be sure to check back next week for more of our twists on HR processes.
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 at Brilliant HR, we are frequently asked complicated questions surrounding employee compensation. Questions like, “what are the best practices for asking a candidate’s current salary?” or “is it appropriate to bring up compensation during an interview?Compensation can be a tumultuous terrain, and there are few definitive answers available for candidates and Hiring Managers. Through our research on the topic, we discovered varying inconclusive results.. While one article concluded that an applicant should not give up any salary information, and stick solely to “ranges” and “current market salaries” when interviewing for a new position; the next article stated that candidates should be upfront, direct and honest with what their current salary is and what they hope to earn in their next position..For the recruiter or Hiring Manager, there’s even less information out there;however, with new laws taking effect in many cities and states, — it’s critical for your organization to have a defined set of rules regarding compensation discussion. New York City, Albany County, New Orleans, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Massachusetts and Philadelphia have all passed ordinances prohibiting employers and employment agencies from doing any of the following:
Screening job applicants based on their current wages and benefits or other compensation or salary history.
Requiring that an applicant’s prior wages satisfy minimum or maximum criteria.
Requesting an applicant’s prior wages or salary history or requiring an applicant to provide that information as a condition of being interviewed or considered for employment.
Seeking the applicant’s salary history from a current or former employer.
Many of these new laws will help bridge the wage gap in the workplace; however, organizations may face greater difficulty in compensation planning and hiring without the knowledge of prior salary information. Learn about our Compensation Tool
So as a recruiter or hiring manager, where does that leave you? This article has some helpful suggestions on ways to handle these new laws.
Remove salary history questions from job applications, including online applications.
If you work with recruiting agencies and background check companies, ask them to exclude salary history inquiries in their process.
Train HR, internal recruiters and other employees who interface with job applicants not to ask about salary/benefits/compensation history, but to explore other permissible areas.
If these individuals are interacting with job applicants and the applicant offers their current/past salary without prompt, be sure your staff makes a note of it, and the circumstances surrounding the disclosure.
Post salaries for jobs on your open requisitions – or salary ranges, which can vary upon experience. This might help attract more qualified candidates!
In conclusion, we are in unchartered territory with the new laws coming in to effect. There is no precedent for how to engage and react – so tread lightly, train your employees to use caution, take notes and document in writing to protect yourself and your company. As a candidate, these rules apply as well. Read up on the latest laws and ensure you are being polite but also firm if someone asks you a question you think might be off limits. If you have any questions on this topic or any other HR compliance topics, contact us!
Knowing what to measure and when to measure it helps define your HR team as a crucial addition to the company’s success. Gone are the days of simply posting job opportunities on your company website, and hoping for the best. Building a strategy, being smarter about where you are finding candidates, and knowing how effective your recruiters are will determine the future of your organization’s talent. When it comes to recruiting, there are dozens of metrics that you could report on, but we have picked out just the top five most commonly used to focus on in Part 1 of this post, with another five coming in Part 2.
1 – Time to Start
Time to Start refers to the amount of time it takes to bring a new hire on board from the moment that you first publicize the open position.
It is important to distinguish that this means the time until a new hire’s first day on the job, not the day they accept the offer. This is probably the most important recruiting metric to focus on as it relies on the efficiency of the recruiters and the sourcing channels used, but also determines the success of your overall recruiting strategy. Job vacancies within an organization can mean a loss of productivity until that position is filled, so the longer the time to hire, the longer your organization is lacking in that area.
Of course, the time to fill is going to vary based on the job level and perhaps the skill set that is required. As time goes on, however, HR should be able to determine an average time frame across all positions and work towards reducing that time.
2 – Retention Rate
Employee retention is an important metric for many reasons. Not only does it show how successful your recruiting efforts are in finding qualified candidates, but is also a great indicator of the overall health of an organization. For now, we will focus on what the retention rate can tell us about recruiting efforts.
If your organization has a hard time retaining people for longer than a year after their hire date, you may be hiring the wrong type of candidate. Once you have determined the cost per hire for each position, it’s no wonder that the retention rate is such an important metric. Your company could be bleeding money with this unnecessary turnover. The cost of replacing an employee can be upwards of two times their salary! (Article from the Center for American Progress)
So, as with any problem, the first step is to identify whether or not your organization has a reasonable retention rate based on your industry’s standards as this can vary widely by industry.
Then, rather than trying to look at retention rates for all positions across all levels of the organization, it will be more insightful to analyze by sections. For example, you can look at the turnover rate for a specific role. If one role is causing turnover every year, maybe you need to take a look at the responsibilities of that role. Are there unrealistic expectations or unattainable goals? Another way to look at the data is turnover by pay grade or even by department. In this way, you can determine if the retention problem is company-wide, if it’s in a certain department because of a bad manager, etc.
Ultimately, measuring the retention rate will allow you to pinpoint whether or not the issue is a recruiting one. To quote an article from Forbes, “The best recruitment strategy is a solid retention strategy and this has to start at the top.”
3 – Applicant Satisfaction
While related to the employee retention rate, it is important to look at applicant satisfaction on its own to ensure that your recruiting efforts are placing applicants into positions where they feel they can grow and excel.
The best way to measure this is simply to have a standardized new hire survey, and then use performance reviews as another chance for employees to express how satisfied or dissatisfied they are with their job. Surveys can include questions on the hiring process, on-boarding, and overall job satisfaction. These metrics will help you determine how positive an applicant’s experience is from the moment a recruiter reaches out to them. This allows a company to take a step back and look at their processes from an outsider’s perspective, and shed some light on how they are portraying their organization to applicants versus what they experience when they are hired.
In today’s social world, this firsthand experience and testimonial is as important to a company’s reputation and messaging as any other marketing effort. The real goal is highlighting where a change needs to occur internally.
Is there an opportunity for more training for not just the interview process, but the competencies of employees? Is there a reason for employee dissatisfaction with the company that can be fixed to help retain top talent? It may be as simple as the job descriptions need to be revised. But it may be the job, the role, or the company direction that may need to be refocused, clarified or redirected. These are just some of the insights that can be gained by using applicant satisfaction company’s self-reflection.
4 – Sourcing Channel
Sourcing channel or source of hire simply refers to the efficacy of the different job boards or media a company uses to publicize its current job openings. The reason for tracking this metric is simple – there are hundreds of options for sourcing candidates, but depending on your industry or your specific organization, certain sources will prove to be more effective or provide higher quality candidates than others.
Talk about sourcing channels comes up often when thinking about Big Data – gathering the information above, you are able to combine this data to see the big picture and support your sourcing choices. As noted by David Bernstein on HR.com, “Big Data analysis also enables the employer to measure the effectiveness of their recruitment campaigns in real time and make necessary adjustments—sooner rather than later—to improve performance.” Not only do we need to take a look at what we’ve done in the past that worked, but what are we doing now that isn’t working? And how might we shift our resources towards more effective sources?
5 – Quality of Hire
It will take some time to determine the quality of a new hire, but the longer the employee is at the company, the easier it will be to establish. This should take into account not only performance ratings, but also their potential. Over time, you will be able to see a trend in their performance reviews, and determine their overall worth to the organization. This metric can then be linked to the sourcing channels to help determine where the highest quality candidates originated from, as well as the time to hire so recruiters can get a sense of how long it takes to find the right candidate.
The formula for Quality of Hire should be comprised of recruitment-focused quality measures and post-hire contribution / performance quality. The factors that contribute the data for each side of this metric can differ from one organization to the next. Deltek’s Quality of Hire report plots recruitment efficacy and directly correlates this to post-hire performance appraisal scores.
Quality of hire may sound rather subjective and difficult to determine, but nevertheless is one of the most important metrics. Because the cost per hire and retention rate are constantly scrutinized, it is important to find quality hires that are going to stay with your company for a long time, thus diminishing the need for another costly hire down the road.
Because of its organizational impact, quality of hire is a more important metric to track than time to fill or cost per hire.
For more recruiting KPIs, keep an eye out for Part 2 of this blog post coming soon!
You may also find our Top 10 Recruiting Metrics Cheat Sheet to be helpful in your efforts to streamline your recruiting plans in 2017.
For some companies and for some types of jobs, it is not uncommon that as soon as a job is posted online, applications come flooding in. But what about the times when that isn’t the case? Or when you need a highly specialized hire that may not be looking for a job at this time? This is a perfect opportunity to take a look at other options, and one great resource to pursue is working with external recruiters or recruiting agencies.
LinkedIn has a great list of how staffing firms can help you excel and some of the advantages of working with them. Some of the biggest reasons that companies start working with recruitment agencies include:
When the types of applicants they want are in high-demand and probably already in a job (and possibly not looking at this time).
When they have a hard to fill job that is not getting enough qualified applicants through their normal channels.
When they have already looked on job boards and not located resumes that fit their requirements.
When their company has grown significantly and the current team is overwhelmed with the number of job openings and the time required to fill them.
When you make the move to work with recruiting agencies, there are some considerations you will need to keep in mind in regards to the terms of your agreement as well as the responsibilities and expectations of the external recruiter.
What payments terms does the recruiting agency have? In most cases, this will be based on the hires annual salary and paid after the employee is on the job for a certain number of days. For example, you might end up paying out 20% of the employee’s annual salary to the recruiter after the new hire has been with the company 90 days.
What is the recruiter’s warranty period? Many will offer you a timeframe during which, if the hire doesn’t work out of leaves, they will find you a replacement hire at no cost.
What additional services will the vendor complete for you? Make sure that you work with an agency who, at a minimum, will pre-screen and meet every candidate that they send your way and that they will verify the qualifications before sending to you. Also, depending on the recruiter’s field and specialty, some may offer additional services such as skills testing, background checking, drug screening, etc.
Keep in mind that these things can be negotiated – especially if you are making multiple hires through the same agency. Make sure you discuss and come to agreement on the terms and price. Also, make sure you shop around and thoroughly review each recruiting agency you use. You may end up sending out to multiple agencies, but sometimes you can get competitive pricing if you work exclusively with a single vendor.
Additionally, there are some terms and scenarios you might want to review with a recruiting agency that may or may not be a part of their original agreement.
Do they offer a lock-out period? This would be a time during which the recruiter cannot place your candidate in another position at a different company, necessitating you filling the position again.
At what point do you have to pay for the resume? For example, what if the recruiter sends you a resume for someone that already applied through your website? Or what if the same resume is submitted by multiple recruiters? Make sure this is clearly defined and easy to document.
What happens if the recruiter sends unqualified candidates? This doesn’t seem to be the norm, but it can happen, so make sure you have open lines of communication to address this situation quickly.
With all of this in mind, our last piece of advice is to make sure that everything about the relationship and the resumes you receive and hire is well documented. Take steps to ensure you are able to find and report on the information about the resumes that have been sent your way. Utilizing tools such as applicant tracking solutions and vendor management systems can help ease some of the burden of tracking this manually. Also, having this as a part of your ATS makes it easier to track the resumes sent from recruiting agencies and house them in the same place as external or internal candidates which will help ensure consistency in your own hiring practices.
Posting jobs and hiring new employees can be a huge time investment, making it a big disappointment when your favorite candidate doesn’t accept the offer or leaves after being on the job for only a short time period. There can be many underlying reasons for this shock to the system, and one thing that it helps to keep in mind is that your hiring processes cannot always be a “one size fits all” tool. Your candidates may come from many different sources and backgrounds, and how you interact with them during the hiring process can influence their decisions to join or stay at your company long-term.
This blog series will focus on several different groups of candidates and considerations for working with those groups. For example:
How can you attract external candidates to apply to your openings?
How might you adjust the hiring process to meet the unique needs of candidates referred by your current employees?
Are there any special ways to keep in touch and market new job opportunities to respected alumni?
How can you get and keep the attention of the millennial workforce?
How can you make applying to jobs fast and easy for hourly workers?
Over the next couple of months, join us as we provide some best practices when accounting for the diverse needs of today’s workforce. Our focus will be on the candidate sources below, and we would be happy to receive further suggestions from our readers on additional groups you might like us to focus on.