Why Recruitment Software Doesn’t Pick the Top Candidates

ATS

Recruitment software and Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are must-haves in today’s recruitment world. We rely on technology to increase efficiency in nearly all other aspects of our lives, so it only makes sense that we now have software to automate recruitment tracking by handling job applications and resumes electronically.

Using an online recruitment system or ATS allows companies to better organize and streamline the hiring process. But while recruitment software is designed to help save time, reduce errors and ensure proper tracking, it is still unable to perform the single most critical part of the hiring process — picking the top candidate. Technology can only take us so far. In the end, the hiring process will always require a human element to pull the most qualified candidate from a stack of applications.

Email applications still carry an advantage over recruitment software and ATS. They require personal interaction from both sides throughout the entire hiring process. While accepting email applications requires additional time and organization from the employer, in the end, it helps you to more easily pick the top candidate for the job. Employers and candidates alike should take note of the following limitations of recruitment software and ATS:

They act as a funnel

Each new job posting will trigger an average of 1,000 resumes submitted. That is a staggering amount of paperwork, especially if you’re hiring for multiple positions at any particular time.

Recruitment software and ATS act like a funnel, taking in a large amount of applications in the beginning, but quickly narrowing them down to a mere few. This may sound great, but the limitation lies in the software’s ability to accurately determine what qualities and soft skills would make a candidate the best suited for the job. As a result, you end up eliminating qualified applicants who may not have used the exact words or descriptions the system was looking for, sending good talent right out the door.

They force candidates into boxes

People aren’t made to fit inside boxes, and their resumes don’t translate well into such rigid form fields, either. An online recruitment system breaks down the information on an application and organizes it into different “buckets.” If it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t get recorded, and it is never seen by the employer for consideration.

Sometimes the most unexpected information on a resume is the hidden gem that really makes a candidate stand out. For example, maybe a candidate is a certified yoga instructor or holds a national title in chess, but they’re applying for a marketing job. Holding a title in chess displays critical thinking skills, and being a yoga instructor shows the candidate works well with others. But if ATS don’t know to look for these words and identify them as valuable skill sets, they’re sure to be overlooked. One of the most important components to bring to the hiring process is an open mind. ATS do quite the opposite. They use a set of blinders to only focus on the exact keywords that have been pre-established.

They lack the human element

Many of the limitations of online recruitment system is is lack of human interaction. Nearly three-quarters of resumes will never be seen by human eyes.

In order to choose the best person for the job, candidates need to be evaluated much more personally. This is yet another reason why recruitment technology will never be able to fully replace the human element within the hiring process. A computer will tell you who looks best on paper, but only you can decide who possesses the interpersonal skills and personality that makes them the right fit for your company.

They encourage candidates to play the system

When it comes to applying for a new position, the emphasis has shifted. Candidates now want to know how to carefully craft an application that avoids recruitment software and ATS pitfalls. Learning how to “play the system” has taken precedence over simply submitting the most positive, honest representation of yourself.

Worse yet, ATS reward such tactics by bumping candidates with phony, keyword-laden resumes to the top of the stack, regardless of whether they are truly the most qualified. This is yet one more reason why recruitment software doesn’t pick the top candidate.

They discourage great candidates from applying

We can’t overlook the limitations of recruitment software and ATS that so many companies rely on for their hiring process. Sure, they make accepting and sorting applications a breeze, but
picking the top candidate is a subjective decision that no amount of technology can accurately automate. This will always remain up to the employer. Hopeful applicants should also be concerned with these limitations, as they affect whether their resume ever makes it before human eyes.

In the HR world, the hands-on approach still proves to be the most accurate. Stay involved in the hiring process and don’t rely on recruitment software to make one of the most critical decisions for your company!

What do you think? What limitations have you experienced using an online recruitment system as either an employer or a candidate?


About the Author: 
Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and#ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.

Is There a U.S. Talent Shortage?

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Companies throughout the U.S. are reporting difficulties in their search for new talent to fill positions. In fact, in a survey conducted by ManpowerGroup, 39 percent of companies in the U.S. report difficulties filling open positions. While some industries seem to be harder hit than others, it does seem to be a shockingly high number — particularly in light of the number of Americans out of work and having difficulty landing even one interview.

If you are among those many companies having difficulty filling gaps in your workforce, you might consider asking yourself these questions as you approach the search for a new candidate:

What Makes a “Perfect Candidate?”

When you review applications for an opportunity at your company, what makes you give one resume a second glance and toss away another? Are you looking to fill the talent gap with exactly the credentials of the employee who formerly filled that role? Flexibility and creativity during the hiring process leads to casting a wider net in your search for top talent.

Failure to consider a variety of candidates is common. In fact, 87 percent of companies reporting talent shortages are not seeking new sources for talent. Consider looking at different kinds of candidates for your position. Perhaps one applicant doesn’t provide the exact skills you are looking for, but that candidate might bring other valuable skills to the table. As long as they possess the fundamental core skills for the job, there is potential for an excellent addition to your team.

What Am I Doing to Develop My Current Workforce?

One of the first places you should look to deal with a talent shortage is within your existing workforce. Not only is it less expensive, it promotes incentives to work hard in order to earn upward mobility within the company. By investing the time and effort to foster the talent you already have, you may find those glaring talent gaps in your workforce shrink considerably.

Should I Be Using a Search Firm?

You might also consider using a search firm to find exciting candidates for your position. The benefits of using a firm are varied. They have both the expertise to weed out unqualified candidates quickly and a knowledge base of untapped talent pools you may have missed. During a talent shortage, a search firm can be a valuable resource.

How Am I Conducting My Search?

Another mistake companies make when trying to fill open positions is putting all of their proverbial eggs into one or two baskets. Where are you advertising your position? While posting on a handful of the largest job search websites may seem like the best way to attract a huge number of applicants, this should only be the first move.

From there, narrow the field by seeking out places to list your position that target certain industries. There are many specialized websites out there with large talent pools specific to your industry, and you should be taking advantage of them to increase the visibility of your position to the top talent in your field.

Finding the right candidate to fit your job may not be an easy task in the wake of a burgeoning talent shortage in the U.S. You can, however, execute your search with flexibility, creativity, and utilize unique resources to find the best potential hires on the market. The question is, will you ask yourself all the right questions?

What do you think? How does your company respond to gaps in your workforce?  

About the Author: Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.

How To Ensure Qualified Candidates Sign The Offer Letter?

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5 Essential Lessons for Recruiters Who Are Eager to Fill More Positions

Are you a recruiter who’s battling to find new employees to fill position after position?

A staggering 3.8 million open jobs are up for grabs, yet 70 percent of hiring decision-makers say it now takes longer to find a qualified candidate to fill these roles, according to a new Aerotek report, Retain or Recruit. In July 2009, it took an average time of 15.4 days to fill a position, and by December 2012, the average had risen to 23 days.

So what can you do to reduce the time it takes to find the ideal candidate and retain them once you’ve got them?

1. Make an offer they can’t refuse

Retain or Recruit found three out of five employees would leave their current role for a competitive offer.

That doesn’t necessarily mean offering more money, although that definitely makes an offer competitive. It could also mean offering wider and more comprehensive benefits, more vacation leave or opportunities for travel abroad. It’s worth taking the time to find out exactly what job candidates are looking for.

2. Tempt candidates with training

Of the employees who were not likely to be tempted by a more competitive offer, the prospect of employee training and development was enough to make them consider the option.

It’s not always about more money in the bank; young professionals in particular often prioritize their long-term personal and professional growth. That’s why another way of hooking them isputting your money where your mouth is and offering to…

3. Provide the training

While every single one of the hiring decision-makers surveyed agreed training is important, only half have a formal employee engagement program focused on employee development. Worse, a third don’t have a training program and don’t plan to have one.

Opportunity for growth is essential for GenY workers, so why not think about setting up a program or two?

4. Team up

“But I haven’t got time,” you’re probably screaming at the screen. It’s true that investing in training and development programs will cost you time as well as money, but it’s likely to pay dividends in the long run.

By identifying partners that can alleviate the time spent locating and interviewing candidates, you can use this time to focus on training and developing the employees you already have. Not only will it keep them happy and engaged; it’ll make your offer all the more tantalizing to potential recruits.

5. Manage your expectations

When it comes to new hires, one third of hiring managers expect more from the new kids in the office, despite half of respondents saying they have less time to train new employees.

You can’t have it both ways! Yes, you should expect your new recruits to be ready for action, but if you don’t invest in developing their skills and inspiring them professionally, you can’t expect this to happen overnight, if at all.

Bear in mind that graduates may not have extensive experience in the workplace, but they are fresh, hungry and keen to learn, so capitalize on this enthusiasm and make use of it!

About the AuthorAmy Noble is a freelance writer, copy editor, proofreader and general grammar-obsessive living in London, England.

For this post, Doostang thanks our friends at Brazen Life. Brazen Life is a lifestyle and career blog for ambitious young professionals. Hosted by Brazen Careerist, we offer edgy and fun ideas for navigating the changing world of work. Be Brazen!

Employers: 7 Ways To Prepare for an Interview

InterviewDiversity

Hopeful job applicants know it takes skill and preparation to nail an interview. They research the company, practice the most unexpected questions and stress over what outfit will make them look both professional and likeable. A substantial amount of time and energy is put into the job before they even know if they will get an offer.

In contrast, many employers don’t go to the same lengths to prepare themselves for conducting the interview. Though it may seem to be an unnecessary use of skill and time, employers who are unprepared can send top talent walking right out the door.

According to new research, more than three-fourths of candidates would turn down a job offer due to a bad interview experience. It’s their first face-to-face interaction with a company, which makes it all the more important to create a positive impression. It’s about more than just creating a pleasant interview experience for the candidate — preparation ensures employers obtain the information they need to choose the best person for the job and reinforces a positive brand.

Here are seven ways every employer should prepare for an interview.

1. Pre-Screen Candidates

Pre-screening job applicants is a critical part of interview preparation. Before you sit down with a candidate, you want to be sure they possess the most important and non-negotiable qualities needed for the job. Such qualities might include a particular level of education or years of experience you just can’t budge on. Even if this is explicitly stated in the job listing, unqualified applicants will still apply. The pre-screening process gives you the chance to weed out the obvious no’s before offering them an interview.

2. (Really) Read their Resumes

One of the most basic ways to prepare for an interview is to closely read the candidate’s resume and cover letter. Still, many employers won’t dedicate more than a few minutes to this task — in fact, the average employer spends just 30 seconds scanning these materials.

Reading a resume on the spot doesn’t provide nearly enough time to absorb the information and do a little fact checking if needed. It also wastes valuable interview time because it promotes using canned questions rather than those tailored to the individual candidate’s experience and unique qualities. Employers should thoroughly read each resume in preparation for the interview and use the research to spark tailored interview questions. Candidates will be able to tell if you’ve familiarized yourself with their information or not.

3. Identify Key Questions

It requires skill to prepare for an interview while still leaving flexibility for the conversation to develop naturally. Candidates don’t want to be asked pre-formatted questions in rapid fire succession, but the interview needs to begin with some structure and planning.

As mentioned above, employers should use the resume and cover letter to identify a short list of key questions that should be asked during the interview, each tailored to the candidate. Just as much as a candidate can freeze on the spot, and interviewer can also encounter a mental block and forget to ask critical questions about past experience or skills. Adequate preparation provides organization and consistency across all interviews.

4. Search for Skeletons

One out of every ten candidates is rejected because of unacceptable use of social media. In preparation for an interview, be sure to check up on your candidates’ social media activity with a quick Google search.

This will help to uncover any skeletons in the closet and and give the candidate the opportunity to address and refute the negative representation. This isn’t something you want to be blind-sided with later on, so don’t turn a blind eye to it during the interview process.

5. Be Familiar with the job Description

It can take months between developing a job description to hiring a candidate to fill the role. This leaves much time to blur the focus of the core responsibilities of the job you’re trying to fill before the interview takes place. Employers should brush up on the job description before entering an interview, and have it on hand during the meeting. This will help to tailor questions to the information that’s most important for this particular role.

6. Prepare Candidates

Failing to prepare the candidate is one of the biggest mistakes employers make before an interview. You’re wasting both the candidate’s time and yours if you don’t explicitly express your expectations of the interview process. Should the candidate bring a paper portfolio? Will a grammar test be required? Do you expect formal or casual dress? Will three people be interviewing the candidate or just one? Is a group interview required?

Think about it: students score best on an exam when they’re informed of the specific information teachers expect them to have prepared. An interview is no different — it’s most effective when candidates are informed of your expectations in advance.

7. Test Their Listening Skills

Listening skills and attention to detail are among the most important qualities of any candidate. While many list these soft skills on their resume, employers should put them to the test prior to conducting an interview.

Test your candidates’ listening skills by asking them to complete a simple task with very specific directions. Maybe you ask them to include a certain subject line in an email or to address the cover letter to someone specific. If candidates fail to follow these simple instructions, it’s a clear indicator that they do not possess the highest level of listening skills or attention to detail.

Employers who prepare prior to conducting an interview reap many benefits. They are able to extract the most important information from job applicants and create a professional first impression of the company. Ultimately, a prepared interviewer will be able to choose the top candidate for the job with clarity and certainty, making it a worthy investment of both skill and time.

Employers, how do you prepare for the interview process? Candidates, how can you tell if your interviewer is prepared?

About the Author: Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.

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Recruitment Software: Why It Doesn’t Pick the Top Candidates

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Recruitment software and Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are must-haves in today’s recruitment world. We rely on technology to increase efficiency in nearly all other aspects of our lives, so it only makes sense that we now have software to automate recruitment tracking by handling job applications and resumes electronically.

Using an online recruitment system or ATS allows companies to better organize and streamline the hiring process. But while recruitment software is designed to help save time, reduce errors and ensure proper tracking, it is still unable to perform the single most critical part of the hiring process — picking the top candidate. Technology can only take us so far. In the end, the hiring process will always require a human element to pull the most qualified candidate from a stack of applications.

Email applications still carry an advantage over recruitment software and ATS. They require personal interaction from both sides throughout the entire hiring process. While accepting email applications requires additional time and organization from the employer, in the end, it helps you to more easily pick the top candidate for the job. Employers and candidates alike should take note of the following limitations of recruitment software and ATS:

They act as a funnel

Each new job posting will trigger an average of 1,000 resumes submitted. That is a staggering amount of paperwork, especially if you’re hiring for multiple positions at any particular time.

Recruitment software and ATS act like a funnel, taking in a large amount of applications in the beginning, but quickly narrowing them down to a mere few. This may sound great, but the limitation lies in the software’s ability to accurately determine what qualities and soft skills would make a candidate the best suited for the job. As a result, you end up eliminating qualified applicants who may not have used the exact words or descriptions the system was looking for, sending good talent right out the door.

They force candidates into boxes

People aren’t made to fit inside boxes, and their resumes don’t translate well into such rigid form fields, either. An online recruitment system breaks down the information on an application and organizes it into different “buckets.” If it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t get recorded, and it is never seen by the employer for consideration.

Sometimes the most unexpected information on a resume is the hidden gem that really makes a candidate stand out. For example, maybe a candidate is a certified yoga instructor or holds a national title in chess, but they’re applying for a marketing job. Holding a title in chess displays critical thinking skills, and being a yoga instructor shows the candidate works well with others. But if ATS don’t know to look for these words and identify them as valuable skill sets, they’re sure to be overlooked. One of the most important components to bring to the hiring process is an open mind. ATS do quite the opposite. They use a set of blinders to only focus on the exact keywords that have been pre-established.

They lack the human element

Many of the limitations of online recruitment system is is lack of human interaction. Nearly three-quarters of resumes will never be seen by human eyes.

In order to choose the best person for the job, candidates need to be evaluated much more personally. This is yet another reason why recruitment technology will never be able to fully replace the human element within the hiring process. A computer will tell you who looks best on paper, but only you can decide who possesses the interpersonal skills and personality that makes them the right fit for your company.

They encourage candidates to play the system

When it comes to applying for a new position, the emphasis has shifted. Candidates now want to know how to carefully craft an application that avoids recruitment software and ATS pitfalls. Learning how to “play the system” has taken precedence over simply submitting the most positive, honest representation of yourself.

Worse yet, ATS reward such tactics by bumping candidates with phony, keyword-laden resumes to the top of the stack, regardless of whether they are truly the most qualified. This is yet one more reason why recruitment software doesn’t pick the top candidate.

They discourage great candidates from applying

We can’t overlook the limitations of recruitment software and ATS that so many companies rely on for their hiring process. Sure, they make accepting and sorting applications a breeze, but
picking the top candidate is a subjective decision that no amount of technology can accurately automate. This will always remain up to the employer. Hopeful applicants should also be concerned with these limitations, as they affect whether their resume ever makes it before human eyes.

In the HR world, the hands-on approach still proves to be the most accurate. Stay involved in the hiring process and don’t rely on recruitment software to make one of the most critical decisions for your company!

What do you think? What limitations have you experienced using an online recruitment system as either an employer or a candidate?


About the Author:
Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.

7 Ways to Improve Job Ad Response Rates

7 Ways to Improve Job Ad Response Rates

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Your company may be doing amazing things for your industry, but are your job ads reflecting your awesomeness?

Too often, companies hash out quick job ads with little care as to how it translates to the job seeker. Is the ad telling a compelling story? Does it attract the type of worker you want to see apply? Is it visually appealing?

In the Internet age, advertisements are everywhere, leaving plenty of job seekers to be disillusioned with or untrusting of this medium. Companies looking to ramp up their recruitment process need to pay careful attention to the specifics of their paid job ads.

Here are seven ways to improve your ads and attract the best job seekers for your company:

1. Remember AIDA

AIDA is a selling format used by marketers and advertisers to describe what should occur when a person views an ad: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. Keep this in mind when writing your job ad. First, get the job seeker’s attention with great branding and compelling copy. Create interest by establishing your company’s relevance, and foster a desire to join the team. Finally, compel the job seeker to take action by applying.

2. Don’t overbrand

Your brand should be present in the job ad, but not overbearing or distracting. This is particularly true if you’re a small or medium-sized company. You want to include your company logo and colors, but keep the focus on the job seeker and the open position.

3. Ensure your ad copy is professional

Avoid too many exclamation points and skip the sensationalism. You want your open position to appear compelling and exciting without being a downright lie. Don’t fool job seekers into thinking your company or open position is something it’s not — you’ll attract the wrong candidates, and your company will suffer as a result.

— Post Jobs for Free at Doostang.com/hiring


4. Think simple

Ensure the text of your online job ad is clear and readable on any browser. Ensure you’re not over-explaining the position — pick out the key points, and keep the description simple. Too many words will bog down the ad and make job seekers lose interest.

5. Avoid over-designing

Your ad should be visually appealing and draw the reader’s eye, but resist the urge to ad fancy fonts, bright colors, or patterned backgrounds. You want to draw the job seeker in and keep their interest, not throw them off with harsh or distracting visuals.

6. Keep the focus on the job seeker

Your ad doesn’t have to include a full list of benefits and job responsibilities — you can link to a more detailed description on your company website. Keep the focus on the person and how they’ll benefit from the position. This shows your company is focused on worker needs first — an attractive element for any job seeker looking for fulfilling work.

7. Include key points

Key information to include in a job ad: a job title, the employer or recruitment agency, location, a concise employer and job role description, and an outline of the ideal candidate. But don’t be afraid to get creative — you can keep your ad even simpler by adding a catchy headline and including a few short sentences to get click-throughs to your company website. Be careful with this strategy, and make sure to run it through a few eyes or a focus group first to gauge what works.

Job ad responses can be tough to gather. Keep your copy concise and your visuals compelling, and you’ll attract the right job seekers in no time.

— Post Jobs for Free at Doostang.com/hiring —

Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.

 

6 Ways to Weed the Best Job Candidates From the Rest

 

hireme

There are more candidates out in the job market than ever before. For every one job opening there are three unemployed people looking for work. So it shouldn’t be surprising that, on average, you’ll receive about 250 resumes for every open corporate job posting.

This is certainly a lot of talent to sort through, and obviously not everyone is going to be right for the job. Weeding the best from the rest can often feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack, except this needle is important for your company’s survival.

Here are a few simple ways to cut down on your candidate pool and separate the job seeking superstars from the office duds:

Include Application Instructions

A great way to do a little preliminary pruning in the early stages of the hiring process is to include application instructions in your job description. This can be as simple as instructing job seekers to include a certain phrase in the subject line of an email or requesting the candidate provide a salary range. What application instructions are really for, however, is to weed out candidates who aren’t detail oriented.

The candidates who ignore your instructions might be the same people applying to dozens of jobs at once. They’re not excited about the position, they’re just looking for any job at all and wallpapering their resume around cyberspace. You’re looking for more than a warm body in your office — you’re looking for your company’s next superstar hire. Someone who can’t even follow your simple application instructions is probably not the right talent for your position.

Ask For A Work Portfolio

Depending on the position and your industry, a work portfolio can give you a great idea of the candidate’s actual skill level. Showing off the goods can be a great way to evaluate everyone from writers to marketers to tech wizards to graphic designers.

The best part of requesting work samples is that it helps you save time in the preliminary steps of the hiring process. If you’re not impressed by the work sent along, most likely you won’t be overly impressed by the work done in the office. Keep in mind candidates sending their work portfolios are passing along their best work. If you’re not blown away, it might be smart to move on to the next talented candidate.

Check Out Social Media

Social channels are a great way to gauge the personality and professionalism of the candidates applying for your open positions. Look at their pubic social media accounts to see how they communicate with others and present themselves. If they’re sharing inappropriate messages and pictures, perhaps the candidate doesn’t have the level of professionalism you need in your organization.

Ask The Right Questions…

If you’re past the preliminary stages and you’ve whittled down your list of candidate to the best and brightest, it’s time to start thinking about the interview. While 92 percent of job seekers are scared about some aspect of the interview process, you know the interview is the best time to connect personally with candidates and see what they’re made of.

You need to think critically about the questions you ask in the interview process. You don’t want to ask too many cookie-cutter questions, or you’ll end up with well-rehearsed answers that ultimately tell you little about the candidate. Instead, ask situational questions about the candidate’s previous employer and working style.

For example, ask about your candidate’s proudest accomplishment, their biggest mistake and how they work in a team environment. The answers to these questions will give you insight into how the applicant works under pressure and solves problems.

…But Don’t Get Too Wacky

Every year a list of the wackiest and most oddball interview questions is compiled, and huge companies from Amazon to Google appear with some truly strange questions. But are these brainteasers actually useful in determining the best candidates? The answer to that question is far from determined.

Google, one of the earliest proponents of the weird brainteaser questions, has actually abandoned the practice. Laszlo Bock, senior vice president of people operations at Google, told the New York Times, “On the hiring side, we found that brainteasers are a complete waste of time.”

You need to know if job applicants can work well in your company culture and do the job at hand, not whether they know how many golf balls would fit into a commercial airplane. While you’re focusing on outside-the-box questions to avoid by-the-book answers, make sure your interview questions still give you insight into how the candidate would fit into your company and how well they could perform job functions.

Look For Passion

Perhaps the most important thing to look for while evaluating job seekers is sincere passion for your industry, company or the position in question. If you find someone with genuine motivation and passion for the job, you’ll be hiring someone willing to work hard and bring real value to your company. You’ll also be hiring an employee likely to stick around for the long haul, reducing costly employee turnover for your organization.

Separating the superstars from your packed stack of resumes is far from easy. If you utilize some of these simple tips, however, you can weed out the very best for your open positions.

What do you think? What are some ways you weed out applicants and find the very best? Share in the comments!

About the Author: Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.

How To Make A Job Offer They Can’t Refuse

hirethebest

You might not be The Godfather, but you still need to make your best job candidates an offer they can’t refuse. Still, many companies drop the ball during the job offer stage and lose out on the talent they need.

You can’t afford to lose the war for talent because you couldn’t seal the deal. The best and brightest will have plenty of employment options, so don’t make the mistake of thinking a candidate will accept your offer just because you put it on the table. Instead, you need to dedicate the same time and care in the offer stage as you did when finding and interviewing talent.

Here are six tips on how to turn a job offer to your top candidate into a great new employee for your company:

Don’t Hesitate

The hiring process itself often takes way too long, and deciding to make the job offer is part of this never-ending process. According to the Society of Human Resource Management, hiring someone for a new position can take anywhere from an average of 29 to 43 days. You know what your competitors are doing while you drag your feet for over a month? They’re hiring all the best people out from under your company.

If you’ve found a great candidate, it’s time to streamline your approval process. Get everyone who needs to sign off on the same page and do it as quickly as possible. Making a quick offer to a candidate not only undercuts your competitors, it also shows how excited the company is about the candidate. Everyone wants to be wanted, and making a quick offer is likely to make a big impression on the best and brightest.

Connect Personally…

Before you hit send on your email offering the job, stop and think for a minute. What will leave a bigger impression on a great candidate: an email or a phone call? If you’re offering a job to a top-notch candidate, it’s important to do so in a personal manner.

Candidates don’t want to feel like just another cog in the machine, so picking up the phone shows you care enough to deliver the good news on a more personal basis. It also allows you to gauge the interest level of your candidate and answer some important questions they may have about the position.

…But Then Put It In Writing

Now that you’ve placed a phone call with your offer, it’s time to send out the formal job offer in writing. Make sure you include everything the candidate will need to know about the position, such as salary, time off, office attire and perks.

The letter should be formal and legal, yet it should also give the candidate another glance into the company culture and how their work will contribute to your corporate goals. You should also include a deadline for how long you’re willing to wait for the candidate’s answer — around three days is a typical wait time.

Be Excited

When you’re speaking to a candidate about the position and the future at your company, don’t try to be so professional that you skimp on the excitement factor. Allow your natural excitement about the candidate and position to shine through, and don’t be afraid to express why your company is a great place to work.

You’ve been selling your company all along, from the job description to the interview, so now is not the time to stop telling the story of why your company is the best place to work. If you’re passionate, you’ll showcase a positive company culture and some of your enthusiasm will rub off on the candidate.

Put Benefits On The Table

Candidates want to know their salary and what tasks they’ll be completing on a day-to-day basis. But they also want to know what kind of perks they can expect at your organization. Don’t be afraid to get into the nitty gritty of specific benefits and company perks.

If your company offers a great healthcare plan, let the candidate know. If your company offers a flexible work schedule, now is the time to detail how this program operates. Get specific about your company’s benefits and put them in writing so candidates can see exactly what they’ll get when they sign on the dotted line.

Get Real

Every company has its pros and cons, and your company is no different. Candidates are going to have some tough, specific questions for you to answer before they accept your job offer. Don’t soft pedal the answers, even if the reality is less than rosy. You need someone who is willing to jump in and hit the ground running.

This means taking the good with the bad and knowing what to expect. If your company has long hours and overtime because it’s a small organization, don’t hide this information. You want to be passionate and excited but also realistic and transparent so you end up with employees who will stick around for the long haul.

You’ve almost made it to the finish line with your top candidate, so now is no time to take a breather. If you make your best candidates an offer they can’t refuse in a timely and personal manner, you’ll likely end up with the top talent your company desperately needs.

What do you think? How do you make a great job offer? Share in the comments!

About the Author: Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.

 

 

How to Have a Successful Video Interview

With more and more recruiters using video interviews to assess candidates, it’s important for both recruiters and employee hopefuls to understand how their body language, tone of voice and word choice effect the overall impression they give off. You may be sabotaging your video interview without even realizing it.

Luckily, PGi/iMeet put together this great infographic to help both sides of the interview table (or, in this case, screen) understand the rising importance of video interviews and how to make sure you nail them:

Video Interviews

Have you participated in a video interview before (on either side of the screen)? What tips do you have for others?

For this post, Doostang thanks our friends at Brazen Life

Infographic by PGi/iMeet.

Brazen Life is a lifestyle and career blog for ambitious young professionals. Hosted by Brazen Careerist, we offer edgy and fun ideas for navigating the changing world of work. Be Brazen!

Should You Hire Job Hoppers?

jobhopper

Conventional wisdom tells HR managers and recruiters to avoid hiring job hoppers. After all, these people have demonstrated they don’t stick around in a job for long, so why run the risk of turnover? You don’t want to go through the trouble of investing time, energy, training, and money into a new employee just to watch them hop away. For this reason, avoiding job hoppers has become second nature to many of us making hiring decisions.

But when we dig a little deeper, is it actually smart to avoid job hoppers when looking for your next superstar employee? Maybe not. Here’s why:

What Does Job Hopping Actually Tell You?

It’s not a great idea to judge a candidate by their previous employment lengths, as many factors often contribute to the decision to switch jobs. Often, they had concrete reasons for leaving that led them to find perfect potential match with your company. Perhaps the candidate didn’t enjoy the work environment, dealt with an unfair boss, had too heavy of a workload, didn’t receive benefits, or had to deflect office gossip. Maybe they simply decided it was time to switch career paths, needed to move, or their dream job came along and they just couldn’t justify letting it slip away.

It’s impossible to know the story behind a job hopper or if they will hop along again. Look at the facts: A recent study by Evolv looked at 100,000 call center employees and isolated candidates who had job hopped recently. Researchers then went back further in their work history to see if this behavior was part of a pattern of job hopping.

They found job hoppers and non-job hoppers held about the same amount of jobs. This means former job hopping isn’t actually a good predictor of job stability in the future.

Everyone Is Hopping Along

Here’s another reason you should rethink your avoidance of job hoppers: everyone is hopping now. In fact, the employment marketplace sees more hopping than frogs and lily pads.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median number of years a worker stays in the same position is about 4.4 years. The days of 20-year tenures and the “company man” have most certainly passed, especially in today’s tough economy.

Not even an economic miracle is likely to turn the tide when it comes to job hopping. This is because Millennials are even more likely to abandon ship than their older coworkers. According to statistics, the tenure of young workers is only about 2.3 years, and 91 percent of Millennials expect to stay in a job for less than three years.

Following this logic, the average young worker will have between 15 and 20 jobs throughout the course of their career. A study by PwC showed only 18 percent of university graduates expected to stay with their current employer for the long term. Job hopping is a phenomenon not likely to go away soon, so it’s time to adjust to the new reality of the employment marketplace.

So Why Hire Job Hoppers?

All these stats and figures on the impossibility of avoiding job hoppers may have you feeling backed into a corner, but there are plenty of reasons former job hoppers will be a good addition to your organization. Here are just a few:

Better Cultural Fit: Job hoppers are looking for an organization in which they feel at home. Once they find this workplace home, there will be little motivating them to hop again. In fact, a study by Net Impact found 88 percent of workers consider “positive culture” essential for their work. Contrast this with the 86 percent looking for job security, and you’ll see just how important it is for workers to find a place to call home.

Learning: It doesn’t matter how many times a candidate has hopped from job to job — what matters is what those hops say about the candidate’s career passion. Perhaps the candidate was feeling stagnant in a former job, unable to take on more responsibilities. Perhaps they hopped because they wanted to learn new things. After a few years on the job, a worker’s learning curve flattens out. But this isn’t so for the job hopper, who will continually add skills and experience by bouncing from role to role. By the time this candidate bounces over to you, they likely have a wide-ranging and highly-developed skillset that adds value to your organization.

Passion: In the same Net Impact study, 58 percent of workers agreed they would take a 15 percent pay cut if it meant the organization they worked for shared their values. This means workers want to be passionate about the company they work for and the job they do. They don’t just want a 9-to-5 promising security and a steady paycheck, they want to work for an organization they can believe in. Communicate your organizational goals and cultural expectations clearly, and workers will be more likely to engage with your mission statement and stick around for the long haul.

Just because a candidate has job hopped in the past doesn’t mean they will do so in the future. Understanding the prevalence of job hopping and the benefits of job hopper candidates means you can find the best people for your open positions, even if their resumes aren’t perfect.

What do you think? Would you hire a job hopper? Share in the comments!

About the Author: Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.