We are somewhere in the middle of an unparalleled event that will likely change the way with think about how we work forever. This ‘new normal’ we are living may not last forever, but it is likely that more of the workforce will expect different working options in the future. The demands of the workforce will continue to evolve, which will impact everything from how employees are managed to how new hires are recruited.
Candidates are experiencing challenges like never before. Some companies have placed a freeze on hiring and positions that are actively being recruited for are attracting massive amounts of applicants. Other companies may be faced with remote hiring in order to accommodate new projects resulting from stimulus dollars being injected into the certain parts of the economy. Now more than ever, companies must ensure they have an attractive brand and excellent candidate experience. And as we all know, once we start returning back to normal, even some of our own furloughed employees may choose to look elsewhere.
The many of us tend to overlook the ‘experience’, that is, what our candidates are going through when trying to find and apply to jobs. After they apply, what is the impression they get while wondering if their resume has been reviewed, considered, and when or if they will hear back from anyone? This lack of transparency and follow up can lead to a poor candidate experience. As Talent professionals, we need to challenge ourselves on changes we need to make to improve their experience if we stand a chance to win over the best and brightest for our business.
The goal here is to provide you with some quick and easy wins that will help you get the advantage and fill project positions faster than ever before. But first, let’s look at a few stats that will support the best practices we will cover.
Gallup report indicated that 60% of candidates say that better communication throughout and after the application process would make the most positive impact.
Glassdoor reported very closely to the same with 58% of candidates citing that the most important factor to a positive experience included clear and regular communication.
Glassdoor also reported that making an online job application even 10% easier to complete can cause a 2.3% increase in job applications from mobile users and a 1.5% increase from desktop users.
Consider what a poor or negative candidate experience can do to your business. After a Rallyfwd conference, the attendee poll summarized that 73% of companies say they have been impacted by a negative candidate experience. This could mean reduction in referrals, poor reviews on social media sites, and an overall decline in candidate applications. Another stat that ties into this as well is 50% of candidates say they wouldn’t work for a company with a bad reputation – even for a pay increase.
So, the question is “what can you do now to ensure your positions are viewed, applications flood in, and you have overall project success?”
Company Brand – Your Image
Think about the last time you reviewed your company’s website content. Have you provided any new videos about company culture, what benefits or perks are offered, as well as career growth opportunities with your company? Does your website stand out from your competition? As a rule of thumb, you should review your career site at least every two to three years but once a year doesn’t hurt. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to change things but keep in mind, the internet is constantly changing, software changes, and the world definitely continues to evolve. As we navigate our new normal, what candidates are looking for in a company will definitely change and we need to make sure we are keeping with the pace of our competition to keep candidates interested.
When designing and configuring your candidate application process or workflow, be sure you are only capturing what is absolutely necessary up front. To throw another stat at you, 60% of job seekers have quit an application due to its length or complexity (Lever.co/blog). If your application is too lengthy and takes too long for candidates to complete, where they have to save and come back to it later, that may create angst and discourage the candidate from completing the process or they may forget altogether. If you’re not seeing the application completion numbers you’d like, review your workflow. When applications are simple, quick and easy not only does it increase your application completion rates, but it gives recruiters an opportunity to follow-up with candidates and start developing a relationship.
Additionally, are you:
Leveraging social apply methods? Are your candidates able to apply using existing social profiles eliminating the need to create and maintain additional accounts?
Screening candidates based on required skills, experience or certifications the job req requires? Be sure your screen-in and screen-out messages are clear on what the candidate’s next steps are. Even if they are screened-out, provide a message that is encouraging leaving a positive impression as the candidate may be a good fit for future project positions.
Keeping candidates informed by using Talent’s Candidate Status Transparency System Setting? This provides an update to your candidates on where they are with their application process without the recruiter or the candidate having to reach out.
Reviewing your general reply emails? What does your automated “Thank you for applying email” say about you and your company? Do not leave the candidate hanging with a simple thank you. Encourage them to check other positions they may be a good fit for, provide links to your company’s social pages like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc. where candidates can stay informed on your company. Use this opportunity to tout on all the great things your company has to offer.
Taking the time to walk through your application process, start to finish, including reviewing your messaging so that you can see first-hand what your candidates have to experience? I encourage you to do this and adjust your processes as needed to improve the candidate experience.
Leverage Talent Pools and Talent Relationship Management (TRM) Campaigns
You’ve probably heard me or one of my colleagues say that Top Candidates are gone within 10 days. This stat should resonate with anyone in the project based business world knowing how critical it is to start projects on time.
Talent Pools help you build pipelines of your runner-up candidates that are specific to your business. You’re able to categorize and group candidates so that you can easily locate them later. This is one of the best proactive methods you can use in your recruiting strategy.
We’ve talked about Talent Relationship Management (TRM) in the past and have several resources available to you around TRM campaigns which you can find on our company website. TRM is designed to help you develop lasting relationships and build trust with your candidates. Adding drip campaigns as part of your recruiting processes will give you the upper hand when needing to fill future project positions.
Candidates are Customers too
Keep in mind, these best practices are just a few examples of ways to improve the candidate experience. I encourage you to make it a habit to continuously review your processes and identify what is working and what isn’t. We know candidates and recruiting is an ebb and flow and we have to be flexible enough to shift and adjust as needed.
To be successful, we all need to deliver a meaningful candidate experience that keeps them coming back again and again. Without our candidates, we cannot run our business or our projects. Our candidates are our customers!
50% of candidates say they wouldn’t work for a company with a bad reputation – even for a pay increase. (Betterteam Blog 2017)
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.
Research conducted by AIHR in 2018, showed that HR metrics & analytics is the least effective area of human capital management. This trend has remained largely unchanged over the past five years. The lack of progress in this area is certainly not reflective of need or desire. Most HR professionals we talk to are hungry for data and metrics that help them measure the success of their recruiting and employee engagement efforts. Why the struggle? In short, outdated or non-existent technology is a major factor. The vast majority of firms surveyed as part of Deltek’s Clarity research pointed to the fact that HR solutions have not seen significant investment in the last 5-10 years. If you are evaluating solutions to help you win, manage, and deliver successful projects, human capital management absolutely should be part of the equation and investment. It’s the people behind the project delivery that truly drive growth and success.
Are you asking yourself how to become more data-driven in your human capital initiatives? Maybe you’ve started to invest in learning and development for your employees or to renew your focus on your employer brand to attract fantastic project leaders. Wouldn’t you like a way to measure the success of those initiatives? With access to the right data, analytics, and reports HR leaders can champion strategic goals that align with the big-picture direction of the firm and have a real impact on both employees and firm-wide growth. Your ability to answer some of these key questions has a direct impact on your company’s profitability and overall success.
Are you able to determine the most effective recruiting channels for different positions?
Can you assess the quality of your new hires?
How good is your organization at identifying and assessing top performing employees?
Do you really know how your employer brand is perceived by employees and candidates?
The main dashboard gives users access to key pieces of information important to their role. Depending on a user’s role within the solution, they will see information relevant to the recruiting process, managing direct reports, or administering the solution.
For example, our recruiting user will see information that will help them manage the recruiting cycle. Alerts for actions pending, such as approvals, onboarding sessions, or requisition creation, are presented. This is followed by dashboard widgets specific to recruiting. Here, we can see how many candidates are in each cycle, with the option to drill down and easily access all new resumes. We can track where our requisitions are, and again, drill down to see which requisitions are still in the approval process. We can also track current onboarding sessions and drill down to view details of existing sessions, or initiate onboarding for new hires.
Users can configure the information they’d like to see here. If a user wants to change the layout of this screen, they can drag and drop widgets to a new location. They can remove widgets that they don’t use and add widgets to take their place. There are several widgets to select from, such as a resume search or new resume listing.
If a different user logs in, who primarily uses the solution to track information related to their direct reports, information relevant to that user’s role will be presented. The manager will see alerts related to certifications, appraisals, and other items related to their employees. This user can easily view and create continuous feedback sessions, view team competency fit, track employee goals, and view performance appraisals.
There are many standard reports included in the solution that can be consumed in two different ways. First, users with permission can access built-in reports through the solution’s navigation. The second way is through the reporting tool designed , to provide custom report writing capabilities, but that also includes additional standard reports. This time we’ll focus on the built-in standard reports.
BUILT-IN STANDARD REPORTS
Users with the appropriate access will see the built-in standard reports on their navigation pane. The categories of reports available will vary based on the Deltek Talent Management modules that you have implemented, so this example may look different if you aren’t yet live with the complete Talent Management solution.
In each module, you’ll receive a listing of standard built-in reports, further broken down into related categories. You can hover on a report title to see what the report is designed for. For example, the Quality of Hire report lists hired individuals within a specified time frame and includes their referral source, original type, requisition hired against, assigned recruiter & hiring manager, date of hire, latest performance score (pulled from Performance) and overall potential (pulled from Career Development).
When you run the Quality of Hire report, your first step is to select filters, then you can see the results of the report. Many of these items come from Talent Acquisition, but in addition to just seeing where hires are coming from, you can also see which channels produced top performers and high potential hires. This information will then help you to determine which source produced the most applicants in addition to the greatest number of hires who are performing well.
Standard built-in reports can be exported to CSV, PDF, and Excel formats.
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!
The competition for great talent is fierce, just as it is on the ice or mountainside.
Great Candidates, just like athletes, are few and far between. Every candidate has a goal in mind when they interview at your organization, whether that is “Get the Job” or “Just seeing what’s out there”.
Finding good candidates and hiring fast still retain their positions as the top 2 challenges when it comes to recruiting. Consider what happens before and after the job application, as well as the risks and opportunities these findings pose to employers who compete for top talent.
The Impact of Social Media. 74 percent of interviewers will check candidates’ social media as part of their interview preparation. This is in contrast to the expectations of candidates, however, as only a third expect their social media to be screened, meaning many could be caught short online.
Time is of the essence. Just as our Team USA athletes compete in timed races, the dash to hire top talent is crucial. Today’s candidates want a faster process and to communicate via social channels such as texts, WhatsApp, Twitter or even Instagram. Luckily, with the growing presence of Artificial Intelligence, top recruiters are increasingly able to streamline into one single sign-on platform accessing virtually all aspects of recruiting and following up with candidates for future opportunities. With technology taking the brunt of the more cumbersome work, your recruiters have more time to invest in high-value areas, like giving candidates a high-quality experience and hiring managers impactful advice. On average, filling a vacancy takes 45 days and that’s 45 days of lost productivity. When your organization builds upon a solid technology foundation, you have a winning strategy!
Keep your players engaged. Take a minute to think about the difference between a happy employee and an engaged one. Though they might sound similar, they aren’t necessarily the same thing. Engaged employees feel their work is valuable, have a sense of connection to their co-workers, and want to be part of the company’s operations. Focus on getting potential new hires ingrained in your company culture as quickly as possible and keeping it throughout the recruitment and onboarding process. You will be pleasantly surprised at how much better your employees will perform, and your retention rates will decrease as well. Here’s something to consider: people will never remember what they were told or what they read on their first day at a new job. They will always remember how they felt at the end of the day. You want your employees leaving work like they just won that gold medal, the best job ever.
Think like a head hunter. Just as athletes are always thinking about their competitor, how they’re training, how often they are practicing… you should be too. You know there are executive recruiters out there with their eyes on your top talent. Do they know things about your best people that you don’t know? Better catch up or someone may recognize that star player and make an offer that’s tough to turn down.
To learn more about Going for the Gold in Talent Management, be sure to tune in to my webinar next week with Deltek. Click the button below to register.