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.
Turning your consultancy on a dime hasn’t been easy, but some of the challenges are thankfully diminishing. In fact, the nuances of converting to a virtual workforce and a mostly or completely offsite project work are now last on the list of Top 10 Challenges Facing Professional Services Leaders, according to respondents in a recent SPI Professional Services Talent Benchmark.
However, there are plenty of challenges still remaining including around many around hiring and retaining the right talent. Here are some tips taken from the recent Technology Advice Paper: Top 10 Critical Consulting Moves for 2021.
Don’t Neglect the “Soft Skills”
When it comes to talent, consulting staff (and clients alike) must punch up their skills as online communicators and collaborators – to best engage without in-person lunch meetings or stand-up presentations. Those soft skills are now critical to your firm’s success.
In stressful working environments, clients seeking consulting support appreciate meaningful interactions with a more balanced professional staff, skilled at effective collaboration, with a bit of compassion.
Hire for the Long Term
Many businesses are trying to make short-term adjustments today so they can more easily adapt as needed tomorrow. But when it comes to hiring talent today, leadership must invest for the long term. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reported that on average it costs a company 6 to 9 months of an employee’s salary to replace him or her.
Make your firm attractive to the top talent that’s available by offering opportunities for learning, growth, wellness, personal connections, and family flexibility. Your firm will find that the opportunities you offer to your talent today will pay off in retention, employee satisfaction and even client satisfaction down the road.
It’s spooky season! The Brilliant HR team is excited to begin our 5 part blog series where we will be covering some common Halloween monsters – with a twist – how each monster can show itself in HR!
To kick us off, this week we are covering the Skeleton and the Vampire.
The Skeleton – HR teams operating with a bare bones staff.
Functioning with a bare bones staff can lead to everyone being so overworked, they are no longer effective. This can be a result of incorrect staffing ratios, layoffs driven by budget cuts or even expansion where hiring has yet to catch up with company growth. When this happens, it is important to evaluate your current processes to ensure they will be effective in the new structure of the team. It may be that some employees are now wearing multiple hats and the previous processes are no longer efficient. Carefully analyze all that needs to be done, how many weekly hours it will take, and if it can be reasonably accomplished with your current team. You may want to consider hiring a consultant to help get you through a busy season. If the workload is the new normal, you may want to review what tools are available to help you automate some of your processes to ensure you can meet all your business objectives without burning out your staff. A fatigued staff are more likely to create errors which brings added risk to the organization. Automated processes can save you time and money and allow you to work with a leaner team. Having the right number of people and the right tools is key to running a successful HR Department.
The Vampire – Inefficient business processes that suck the life out of you
I’m guessing you have.
A business process is a series of steps performed to achieve a specific objective. These processes can be fundamental building blocks to the efficiency of a department or business as they can help streamline activities and ensure resources are put to optimal use.
Generally, when a business process is created it is driven by the desire to improve efficiency, streamline communication, to ensure accountability and establish an approval workflow, to standardize a set of tasks, and ultimately to prevent chaos from consuming your day-to-day operations. But what happens over time when business objectives change, technology progresses, fewer people are available to participate in the process, or budgets are smaller? What worked before may no longer be the best way forward.
The truth is the old process may no longer make sense to your current business needs. There are important steps necessary in the development of a new business process. The obvious ones, are to define the objective, map out the process, assign actions to stakeholders, test and implement the process. The less obvious and most important are to monitor the results and repeat. What does that mean? It means we should always be testing and monitoring the effectiveness of our processes and asking ourselves if the process needs to change to better optimize time, money, and resources.
Let us know in the comments – have you dealt with any of these monsters in your workplace?
We hope you enjoyed this first installment of our blog series, and be sure to check back next week to see what monsters are popping up!
Human Resources (HR) has been around for decades. It’s the foundation that builds strong organizations. Traditionally, the HR department of an organization is tasked with recruiting, screening, and training new hires along with managing programs related to employee benefits.
While many traditional HR tasks are managed with computers, digital HR adds an extra pillar of support for all HR processes. In other words, digital HR isn’t separate from traditional HR, but rather, a support system that increases the efficiency of running a human resources department.
What is “digital HR?”
Digital HR describes the use of technology to optimize HR processes. The cluster of tech used is called “SMAC tech” and consists of social, mobile, analytics, and cloud technologies. The end result of optimizing HR processes with SMAC tech is an efficient, effective, and connected HR team.
Digital HR components
The goal of digital HR is to increase efficiency and effectiveness with specific digital technologies. Those digital components include:
Digital advertising. Many HR departments use pay per click (PPC) advertising platforms to solicit applications to fill employee positions and generate clients. This streamlines the hiring process, especially when combined with automated screening technology. The most popular PPC platforms are Instagram, Facebook, and Google Adwords.
Many HR departments also take advantage of the other side of digital advertising by becoming a publisher on Google’s Adsense platform. Organizations that have a blog will benefit greatly from monetizing their content with Adsense. Since most websites run on WordPress, any HR team can set up Adsense quickly and easily without any technical help.
Automated screening tech. Some organizations develop proprietary software technology designed to screen applicants automatically. Applicants fill out an application online and applications are filtered according to the answers.
For example, if a company requires a master’s degree, all applicants that do not have a master’s degree get filtered into a separate folder. The company can still access those applications, but those who have a master’s degree are filtered into the main inbox where they’ll be given priority.
Automated screening software can also be used to segment applicants according to a predefined tier of priorities. For instance, say an organization prefers to hire website developers who also have basic knowledge of Photoshop. The application can be set up to ask if the applicant has any Photoshop knowledge on a scale of “none” to “expert” and apply a tag accordingly.
The same type of segmentation can be applied to any other required or negotiable skill as determined by the organization. In this way, applicants can be tagged according to a scale of preference as the organization determines ahead of time to make candidate selection easier.
Cloud platforms. Today, almost anything can be hosted in the cloud. This includes websites, third-party software, proprietary software, and anything else required to run an organization. By hosting HR-related software in the cloud, the company doesn’t need to maintain onsite resources like servers and special network components.
Company intranets. A company intranet is a powerful component of digital HR technology. Employees, contractors, and even vendors need a private space to conduct business communications and access stored data.
A company intranet is also the best way to foster connection and communication among team members. Intranets also provide employees with a self-help area where they can get answers to questions, access procedures, company regulations, and other important information.
Digital HR gives organizations a competitive advantage
Every HR department is better off when utilizing digital strategies to acquire and retain talent. Social media hasn’t entirely replaced job postings in the physical newspaper, but it’s definitely eclipsed listings in the paper.
People are spending more time than ever on their smartphones and tablets, specifically spending time on social media. To get a competitive edge on acquiring talent, it’s no longer optional to use digital HR strategies. If you want to acquire top talent and thrive in today’s marketplace, you need to leverage social media at minimum.
Get the edge on talent acquisition with digital HR
Organizations are constantly competing for top talent. The organizations that can attract the right applicants will have the best pool of talent to choose from. Using digital HR is the best way to attract and retain top talent once acquired.
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)
Rocketmat’s AI algorithms helped in the selection and hiring of 150 health professionals to quickly increase the workforce at world-renown healthcare provider, Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein. Leveraging rocketmat’s AI technology, the hospital has taken their typical 30-day hiring cycles down to less than 5 days.
São Paulo, April 13, 2020.
With the outbreak of COVID-19, Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, one of the top 50 healthcare providers globally, approached rocketmat, an Artificial Intelligence company focused on talent selection and management, with a critical challenge: hiring healthcare professionals in record time. That meant building a methodology in just a few days that could analyze thousands of candidates simultaneously with high accuracy. NewsWeek as one of the 50 best hospitals in the world.
According to the startup’s CEO and co-founder Paulo Nascimento “understanding this was not an ordinary project, and its operational efficiency impact on a process that was completely manual until a few weeks ago, were fundamental to Einstein’s strategy selecting and hiring a large number of candidates in a very short time ”.
Nascimento says that the project kicked off when rocketmat received the first dataset on Friday, March 6th. “With agility and assertiveness – the hallmarks of our work – we could address the hospital’s increased hiring needs”. Rocketmat’s approach was to divide the work teams into system engineering and architecture, data science and developers who could act in synchronized layers of activities in order to start the screening of the first two groups of candidates: nurses and doctors. In less than 30 hours of uninterrupted work, rocketmat released the first test link. Before midnight on Saturday, March 7th, the first candidates were already interacting with a fully digital selection process.
With the algorithms running, the next step was to scale and screen over six thousand applicants already registered for several job openings. The results were processed almost in real-time, so that pre-screened, qualified candidates could move forward to the next stage in the selection process: interviews, also held remotely.
In less than three days, 150 doctors, nurses and healthcare support staff were hired thanks to the speed and accuracy that rocketmat provided to Albert Einstein’s HR department, allowing recruiters to work nonstop. Nascimento also reports the feedback received from Einstein’s management: “this was undoubtedly the quickest process of mass hiring that we ever conducted, a joint effort of our teams with the invaluable support of rocketmat’s technology. We were able to carry out a process that on average took 30 days down to less than five, a total success”.
The work will continue to fill another 1,426 openings such as nurse technicians, registered nurses, physiotherapists and doctors in Albert Einstein’s own network, as well as other healthcare facilities managed or supported by the hospital.
Intelligence that builds trust
Paulo Nascimento says that “the challenge given by Albert Einstein reveals confidence in the work of Rocketmat and in the positive impact that Artificial Intelligence has brought to our daily lives”. Paulo also comments that rocketmat’s AI solution can help many organizations in the health industry, at a time when speed and accuracy in selection processes are fundamental. “We have already implemented our AI solutions at Unimed Belo Horizonte and at Sura Seguros in Colombia, which confirms the credibility of our services and algorithms”.
The challenges never before experienced due to the Covid-19 pandemic, require a country’s health system to take rapid action. One of the main initiatives is the maintenance and expansion of large-scale service in healthcare providers. “It was no different in one of the largest hospitals in Brazil that moved quickly to care for the population that uses the services of Hospital Albert Einstein in São Paulo. From the startup’s point of view, our goal is to contribute, through excellent work, so that families are assisted in their need for a well-advised health service ” says Nascimento.
Rocketmat is a robotic process automation startup offering solutions for Human Resources. It was founded in 2017, with its headquarters in Dallas, Texas, and R&D operations in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. The company’s focus is recruitment, selection and talent management through Artificial Intelligence developed entirely in-house.