Be Competitive: Effective Tools To Simplify Hiring and Onboarding
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You are always hiring: Be Prepared Hone your story The company that provides candidates with the most information almost always ‘wins’. Remember, when people look for jobs, they are simply assessing risks. Relevant, well organized information mitigates risks and assuages fears. Your organization may not pay the most. You may not build the sexiest product. You may not provide free organic juices or host foosball tournaments. But, if you provide opportunities that truly leverage people’s strengths, reward hard work, have flexible working hours, provide good benefits, allow people to work from home, you absolutely need to communicate this and highlight your unique attributes as part of your corporate story. When building or refining your corporate story you need to really think about your audience. Who are you trying to appeal to? Next, think like a marketer and build a framework to organize your message. The story needs to be personal, genuine, compelling, and delivered with commitment and consistency (we’ll get into the delivery in a bit). Below is a framework that I’ve used to build and organize Newton Software’s corporate recruiting story. Mission statement: short company history, clarify our purpose, who we serve, how we provide value Key differentiators: what makes our product exceptional in a market of mediocrity The culture: how we treat our employees, why people choose to work here, what to expect
Elect Ambassadors Anyone who has the opportunity to interact with a potential employee has the privilege to tell the corporate recruiting story. Keep in mind, interview processes should be bi-directional exchanges. It’s critical to choose interviewers that will not only effectively assess skills, talent and character but are willing and able to convey the right message. Additionally, it’s imperative that anyone that will be exposed to candidates is a trained ambassador for your recruiting brand. Everyone’s behavior has a direct impact on each candidates’ perceptions about the organization. This is easily and often forgotten. To take this further, think about this concept in practice. You’re a job seeker. You’ve spent a couple of hours preparing for an interview. You arrive at the interview and are greeted at the door (yes, this should be part of HR’s plan) by someone that is expecting you. Throughout the interview process, all the actors know who you are, everyone has a consistent message and they are clearly prepared to spend time with you. Whether you loved the content of the job or not, your impression would be that this company has its act together and they took the process seriously. More importantly, they took you seriously. That goes a long way. The bottom line is that HR and recruiting teams must build the message and everyone that touches the recruiting process from beginning to end. Error to the side of being a control freak.
Create a customer experience As our service economy has evolved, recruiting isn’t just about processing people anymore. To attract the quality of hire necessary for modern businesses to grow, we must build relationships with candidates just as we would with potential customers. As HR professionals and recruiters, our marketing responsibilities now include creating an experience for our candidates that mimics how we treat our customers. Professional candidates spend countless unpaid hours preparing for interviews. They research our companies on LinkedIn and Glassdoor. They build up expectations. Unfortunately, all too often, they are met with an experience that is disappointing at best. Many candidates are still subjected to disorganized, disjointed, uncommunicative and even adversarial recruiting experiences. By creating a recruiting process that provides candidates with a great experience – a customer experience, you put your company in a position to make the decision as to whether you want to hire the candidate or not. Some would refer to this as being in the driver’s seat. Think of it this way, it’s a lot easier to hire applicants when they want to come work for your organization. Furthermore, if your recruiting process is disjointed, inconsistent, unfriendly or all of the above, you’ll not only lose the opportunity to hire top talent, you’ll lose other hugely important hiring by-products like employee referrals, repeat candidates, word-of-mouth candidates, etc.
Tune your engine: Get Lean
“Lean hiring is the systematic approach to recruiting that increases overall productivity by eliminating wasted steps and periods of inactivity, maximizing resources and promoting consistency.” “Most companies struggle to hire wasting time, money, energy and lots of great candidates because their process and tools are nonexistent, out-of-date or they simply just focus on putting more candidates in the into the funnel.” Steve Hazelton, CEO, Newton Software
3 Steps to â€œleanâ€? your recruiting process Simplify! The easiest way to hire people faster is to simplify your recruiting process by eliminating wasted steps, paper forms, burning hoops and anything else that creates unnecessary friction in your process. Next, standardize the stages of your recruiting process while maintaining enough flexibility to address dynamic events. Now, look at the rest of your recruiting process like you job approval process, application process and even your feedback mechanisms and remove anything that can create a bottleneck. Quick Tip: Want to really see how your process really works? Apply for a job at your company and run through your process from start to finish as an applicant. This may be the nudge you need to get lean!
Drive Decisions The recruiting process is a natural candidate for lean. In simple terms, recruiting is a series of sequential waterfall tasks that are defined by a series of yes / no decision events. At its root, the hiring process is not complex, but there are several magnets for wasted activity (or inactivity) that can slow it down, confuse people, and lead to breakdowns / failures. Decision points commonly create bottlenecks in many recruiting processes. By sharing decision making responsibility amongst recruiters / HR and hiring managers in an automated process you can drive the decisions that drive hiring and eliminate periods of inactivity. Quick Tip: Choose an applicant tracking system that is designed to drive the decisions that drive hiring and one thatâ€™s easiest enough for everyone on your team to use.
Get Consistent In any system, consistency is only achieved through discipline and a whole lot of practice. Ultimately, consistency drives more than just efficiency or cost reductions, itâ€™s also critical for promoting compliance and producing measurable analytics. With one streamlined recruiting process, youâ€™ll be able to capture all the required compliance output, pinpoint bottlenecks and find areas for improvement.
Quick Tip: Avoid over-customization when setting up your recruiting tool or choose a platform that has lean recruiting DNA built in from day one. Use the exercise of streamlining your recruiting program to start fresh rather than systematizing bad processes into a platform that doesnâ€™t reinforce your lean initiatives.
Additional Resources: Tune Your Engine: Video: HR and Recruiters are the New Marketers http://www.newtonsoftware.com/blog/2011/12/12/hr-and-recruiters-are-the-newmarketers/ 3 things you must do to improve your recruiting program this year http://www.newtonsoftware.com/blog/2012/01/11/3-things-you-must-do-toimprove-your-recruiting-program-this-year/
Get Lean: Video: Applicant Tracking Software That Drives Decisions http://www.newtonsoftware.com/blog/category/lean-hiring/ Promotes lean hiring http://www.newtonsoftware.com/blog/2010/04/19/newton-promotes-lean-hiring/
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