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Hiring Manager Tips in 2014 January 10, 2014

Posted by Darwin in Applicant Tracking System, HR Tips.
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Last month, one would assume in honor of the new year, Mashable published “10 Hiring Tips for Your Small Business.” The notion that hiring for a small business is more integral than for large, established companies is spot-on, because we all know there is nothing like the right team to help a business grow.

The article also points out something that, as a hiring manager, you already know. The longer it takes you to find the right candidate, the more the hiring process costs. While the article advises us to take the price of a drawn-out candidate search into consideration, it doesn’t fail to mention the cost of employee replacement, which I argue is far more costly in the end than a drawn-out hiring process.

Getting the right candidate the first time around, someone who will do the job well and will stay in the position for at least a few years, always trumps making a quick decision to save costs on hiring.

As for making the right choice for a new hire, Mashable goes on to provide several tips, including:

Going to where the best candidates are for the job, and being constantly on the look out for talent.

They recommend being on the right job sites, and attending meet-ups and conferences. Not mentioned is a source that many recruiters fail to consider when hunting candidates – freelance sites. Freelance sites are an excellent place to find creative talent, because you can commission a project for a set rate and get a feel for how a person works before making a job offer.

Many freelancers would be happy to be scooped up to do what they do well for a steady paycheck.

Laying out all the demands of the job in a clear manner.

Mashable points out the problem from the employee side, how being clear prevents confusion about the job and frustration for the new hire. As a hiring manager, it is also important to think about how much time you will save in interviews by eliminating people who don’t have the skills for the job right away.

Being Flexible

Flexibility in work schedules and workspaces keep employees happy, Mashable argues.

What the article neglects to mention is the money it can save on company expenses. Setting up remote work arrangements with talent means you won’t need a place to put them on-site, and it provides the employees all the flexibility they could possibly want in their work environments.

While the Mashable article provides many more great tips, like impressing quality candidates instead of expecting them to impress you, and making them feel like part of the team right away, one area it fails to hit on at all is one of the greatest advantages hiring managers have these days – the apps and technology that make the job easier.

If you are always on the lookout for employees, a business card app, like Cam Card, provides a means of quickly collecting job candidate contact information for sorting later.

Applican Tracking Systems, which can be either web- or machine-based applications, work with both manual entries and automated data-gathering from job listings, referrals from employees, and incoming data from other external sources. With sorting options, it provides an easy means of elevating the right candidates so that the job of weeding out those candidates to call in for interviews practically does itself.

While the Mashable article is on the side of seeking out qualified candidates in advance, it also doesn’t recommend something that many hiring managers for start-ups have come to realize. When one stumbles upon a candidate with a lot to offer, it is often worthwhile to make room in the budget to hire that person even if there is no currently open positions. A growing company will need new employees soon enough, and the best candidates don’t stay on the market long.


Hiring The Best In Sales Employees October 4, 2013

Posted by Darwin in applicant tracking, Applicant Tracking System, HR Tips, human resources.
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When it comes to hiring sales employees, you should always be looking at those who have a proven track record of being able to sell the product or service they have been tasked with selling. A resume is not always indicative of what a person has to offer your company. While it may be great that a person worked for another company for 10 years, were they consistently at the top for sales?

Forbes recently published an article containing the top 50 questions that you want to ask a sales professional. These can allow you to get in-depth to what a person is capable of and whether they will be able to perform for your company given the sales environment that you have fostered.

You don’t want to be overly firm or overly friendly during an interview, but you do want to make sure you get to ask at least some of these 50 questions to get to know the person sitting across from you a little more.

Top questions to ask include:

– What sales quotas are you used to being given??

– What is your sales technique?

– Can you provide an example of a contract negotiation that you completed?

– What market did you find to be the most profitable?

– What kinds of marketing methods have you used?

– What kinds of customer relationship marketing tools have you used?

– What was your average sale at your last position?

– What are your best traits as a sales representative?

Especially if you are not familiar with the company that a person worked for in the past, you need to be able to familiarize yourself with the selling standards. Did they work in a similar selling environment? Were the target demographics the same? Will their knowledge translate well into your company?

The more questions you ask, the more you can learn about the person sitting across from you (or over the phone). This will allow you to make better hiring decisions for your sales department and be able to meet your own goals within the company.

There are various tools that you can use to hire the best in sales employees beyond asking questions. An applicant tracking system can also allow you to organize applicants easier and be able to search within the resumes in order to find particular types of individuals – those that have used certain keywords or meet certain basic requirements.

A sales employee is the face of your business. They are responsible for interacting with consumers and getting the sales you need to stay financially stable. Hiring these employees is nothing to take lightly, so you need to use all the tools (and all the questions) you can.


What is the exact function and role of an HR department? October 6, 2011

Posted by Darwin in applicant tracking, Applicant Tracking System, EEOC, HR Tips, human resources.
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What exactly does your Human Resources Department do? This is a difficult question to answer, even for the owner of the company. Human Resources is one area that tends to evolve on its own, and everyone in that department is responsible for their own individual piece of that evolution. Some are employee oriented and work on programs and solutions that help the worker. Others are numbers crunchers, those who recommend cut-backs on personnel when it appears that a company might be on the verge of taking a loss. In some companies the terminations would be the responsibility of HR, or they could be a task reserved for management or ownership.

Regardless of the unique make-up of individual human resource departments, all of them have a few things in common. They are all responsible for recruiting and hiring and each needs to have their own applicant tracking system. That could be automated recruitment tracking software or manila file folders. If you’re still using the latter you might want to upgrade. Paper filing systems are not only obsolete – they’re inefficient. Once a folder is filed in the wrong spot it’s more often than not never discovered. Quality job applicants fall through the cracks like that all the time.

Most human resource departments also need to keep track of current regulations and required hiring quotas. There are compliance issues when it comes to hiring and employment. Foremost among these are EEOC and OFCCP, the federal guidelines that demand equal opportunity employment and enforce affirmative action. If you’re modernizing and installing a new job applicant tracking system, you might want to look into web based recruiting software that downloads regular updates in these areas when the laws change. Like paper filing systems, keeping track of these things without automation is an obsolete and dangerous practice.

Human Resource departments are also typically responsible for benefits administration. There are statutes in place on federal, state, and county levels that mandate these benefits in certain areas. Health care is one of the big ones, and perhaps the most publicized in the past few years, but there are others. Regulations and liability issues on retirement funds, direct deposit, and stock awards can get pretty complex. It’s up to the HR department to translate all those wordy rules and explain them to the average employee. Some companies even keep a lawyer or paralegal in HR specifically for that purpose. The legal presence is not a requirement, but it does help.

What else do human resources departments do? When new companies open and start to build, they put a lot of responsibility in the hands of human resources. As time goes by, those responsibilities are sometimes removed and passed on to other departments, but more often than not they stay with HR, making it one of the more complex and important departments in your company. Do you know what they do? If you’re a business owner or site manager and you don’t know, you might want to go down there and find out. That knowledge might come in handy at some point.

Common Challenges in Human Resource Management September 13, 2011

Posted by Darwin in Applicant Tracking System, HR Tips.
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Human Resources departments today face different challenges than they did even a few short years ago. Personnel pools are larger, jobs are scarcer, and people are willing to do almost anything to secure gainful employment. The technology is more advanced also, for both the job searcher and the recruiter. Cloud-based ATS applicant tracking software is used by most human resource departments. If yours doesn’t have it, your competitors have an edge. That’s something you’ll want to correct.

Budgets are typically lower because profit numbers are down across the board. No matter what industry you’re in, you’ve been affected by recent economic events and have to work with less to achieve more. This means that your advertising and recruitment efforts need to be more targeted. Once again, a top-of-the-line applicant tracking system can help you. The best applicant tracking applications register where each hit comes from when the potential employee first contacts you. That information will be extremely valuable when you run your next recruitment campaign.

Benefits administration is another area that has gone from a part-time consulting basis to a full time job. With the rules on health care changing regularly and funds for 401-Ks and pension programs fluctuating wildly, its essential that a human resource department have someone in place to answer employee benefit questions when they arise. In some instances, companies are so inundated with these questions that benefits administration has become an entirely separate department.

Fielding questions and solving problems related to employee rights and privileges are the responsibilities of Human Resources, too. When an employee feels they are mistreated or discriminated against, the HR department needs to step in and document the entire situation for possible later action. This is perhaps one of the most uncomfortable and difficult tasks that a human resource employee performs. No one wants to deal with what is considered one of the ugliest areas of employment law, but someone has to watch out for the rights of employees. When discrimination rears its ugly head, it’s your job as an HR employee to bring attention to it.

Fair compensation is a question for management, but when it’s lacking it can become an issue for human resources. Part of the job of that department is to keep track of changes in wage laws and required cost of living increases. These change frequently, so staying on top of those changes is important. If the minimum wage goes up, the rest of the employees at your company may be entitled to a raise, including the folks in your department. You wouldn’t want to miss that would you? Of course not.

If you’re managing a human resource department, make your job easier by upgrading your applicant tracking system before you do anything else, then check the latest employment laws for any changes or issues you should be aware of. Assign a person or two to deal strictly with benefits and another to deal with employee complaints. Once all of that is done, you can focus on your main responsibility – finding quality employees.