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Dont Make Your Hiring Process Overly Complicated May 12, 2015

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Hiring for a company is as difficult as any situation involving close quarters and human beings. However, advances have been made for hiring processes so they run as smoothly as your business. With this being said, here’s a look at some of the key factors to focus on for hiring new employees.

Spreading The Word

The days of classified ads are almost over, as social media has become the new method for advertising open positions. In addition to social networks such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, there’s numerous sites dedicated to finding the employees you’re looking for. From hospitality to media arts, there’s plenty of excellent potential hires in the area just waiting for your job posting.

Google Forms

Google Forms is a brilliant way to categorize potential hires to suit your business needs. These forms not only allow one to delve into the intricate information regarding an open position, but cut away the need for sorting through endless resumes and applications before an interview is set up. The reason for this is due to the Google Form system allowing an employer to enable search specific questions so the job you’re looking to fill is receiving the best of applications. As for Google Forms itself, you can apply such questions as:

  • Easy To Process – Having the forms set up as easy to answer questions can make your selection process significantly easier. Checkbox, multiple choice, or number fields can be quickly managed so that the answers you’re looking for rise to the top. Allow some written questions as well so that the possible employee can shine with their answers.
  • Deadlines & Group Revision – So once you’ve set a deadline and applications have been accounted for, it’s time to gather your team and make decisions. Creating a spreadsheet afterwards allows your team to vote on who is worthy of filling the position based on opinions, facts, and figures from your compiled information.
  • Grading – Have a grade system set up for the applicant’s written portions. Make sure you give it some generosity as these questions are set up to give perspective for the individual applying.

Finding worthy employees is easier now than it has ever been due to the significant advances and methods used for gathering information. These advances have not only made hiring easier, but cut the work space and clutter from paper information in the past. In the new age of technology jobs – the best hiring technology needs to be utilized to find the best candidates.

Newton Upgrades ATS with Personality Tests for Employment May 8, 2015

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Newton has upgraded its #ATS again!  This time with pre-employment personality test features that make hiring the perfect employee that much easier: http://newtonsoftware.com/blog/2015/05/08/integrations-newton-upgrades-applicant-tracking-system/

Hiring and Recruitment Tips for 2015 April 14, 2015

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When you are looking to hire a new employee what do you look for? Do you look for someone who is determined? Experienced? Lively? Have you been having trouble finding the exact type of person you want? Whatever you are looking for it is possible to find, but only if you have the proper hiring process. Your process needs to ask the right questions and give you a real feel for a candidate personality. One company that does this well is Google. Their hiring process asks all the right questions and proves that any business can get the right people if they have the correct hiring process. Here are three things that you can do to fix your process to get who you want.

Define What You Want

Google uses what they call the four attributes of “Googlyness” to cut down hundreds of applicants into a choice few. These attributes help them narrow down who will add something to the company and who would just be a good employee. The attributes include cognitive ability, leadership skills, role-related knowledge, and general “googlyness,” although they haven’t really defined what that last attribute is. Look at your company and find four or five basic attributes that you want in every employee. Ensure that during interviews you ask questions that relate.

Hire Those Who Are Better Than You

You always want to look for the people who are the best and the brightest. Look for the people who want to grab “the bull by the horns” and want to advance in their careers. Look for those who aren’t satisfied with sitting at the bottom their whole lives. Look for those who could one day be a potential threat to your job. This will help make the company better, and you’ll look like a better hiring manager for finding smart and dedicated individuals for your company.

Consider and Then Reconsider

Google is a company that gets millions of applications every year. They are the kind of innovative company that everyone wants to work for. Now, you may not get millions of applications but you could get a couple hundred or even a few dozen. It does not really matter how many you get but how you treat them. Google considers every application and then reconsiders it from a different angle. This is something that you and your business should strive to do. Review your job applications and then look at them again. Do not throw out applications for one little thing; you could be throwing out an application from someone who is a perfect fit.

Are You Using an ATS in 2015? January 12, 2015

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Whether you are planning on it or not currently, chances are you are going to be hiring someone new in the upcoming year. From expanding your business to someone leaving (or being let go), you need to have a few different strategies, or New Year’s resolutions if you well, regarding your recruitment strategy. It can take only a few tweaks to what you currently do, but by attracting the top talent and by bringing in only the very best, your business is sure to respond positively from the new hire.

Bring in the Right Employee

Of course, now that you know what employees you need to go after, you need to make sure you land the right person, especially if it is a higher profile position. First, you want to impress your applicants. Make eye contact and smile, and not just directly in front of them but while you are walking up from a long distance away. Eye contact is becoming a lost art, so show the applicant you care by maintaining it. You should also anticipate potential needs of the applicant. They might be thirsty when they arrive or need directions to a restroom. Offer everything up front without the applicant asking, as chances are, they probably are not going to. This can go right into treating the applicant with respect. Often times, many applicants and potential employees complain about not receiving the kind of respect they believe they deserve, such as returned phone calls or being ignored by the front desk attendant. Showing you care is extremely important.

On top of it all, according to Madison.com, you need to make the compensation package easy to understand. Often times, this kind of compensation is mystified and made to be a bit difficult to understand. Instead, make it easy to follow and offer up an easy to read packet. You can even include a small swag bag, including some promotional items you might hand out. Even if they don’t take the job (or you don’t hire them), they can still advertise for you by using your provided pen or water bottle. Plus, everyone loves free stuff.

Implement an Applicant Tracking System

First, you need to cut out all of the slack you receive from opening up applications to online services like Monster and LinkedIn. All of the applications you receive probably floods the inbox, and trying to read everything is next to impossible. Instead, you need to take advantage of an applicant tracking system. This allows you to highlight specific skill sets, educational background and experience, so you are presented with the limited number of applicants who fill your need and the rest are saved in a different location. With the software in place, you save time, energy and productivity, all while spotting the very best potential employees for your company’s needs.

Start Using an ATS in 2015 December 23, 2014

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You need to hire the best and brightest if you’re going to help the company achieve its goal and mission. Job openings are posted to the website and national job boards but you’re dissatisfied with the quality of applicants you receive. Is it time to change the process?

When a position opens up, you’re inundated with paper resumes that you have to sift through and skim in order to find a short list of possible candidates. Nothing is in one place or easy to find. You’ve considered adding a new piece of software to the process, but it only fixes one part of the problem, and doesn’t address the overall problem of finding and hiring the best people in the most efficient way.

It may be time to consider an applicant tracking system (ATS).

Software is constantly evolving to fit customer demands and needs. The clunky ATS you were pitched a few years ago won’t work in today’s world. The options are evolving to make your job easier and to help you find the best people. Before you choose the first slick product that arrives in your email, give careful consideration to what you want and need it to do.

Ask these questions when considering any individual ATS program:

  • Does it allow people to utilize it from mobile devices?
  • Will it make the application process easier? Will applicants be able to use their LinkedIn profile to apply – and edit the information, if necessary?
  • Will the program adapt and grow as technology changes?
  • Can recruiters and hiring managers work on the go?
  • Does the ATS allow everyone to participate in the process? Can hiring managers and recruiters interact with the information? Can applicants apply? Can employees share the position to their own networks.
  • Can it all be done with a swipe of a finger as well as a push of a button?

The last thing you need is something that will slow down hiring or cause confusion. Asking the right questions and thinking carefully about your process from start to finish will help you find the right ATS for your business.

The future of hiring is already here. People are spending more and more time on mobile devices. They do more on the go. Giving candidates access to the application process from their phone allows the busy go-getters who do everything on the move (the type of employee you want and need) to apply. Using an all-inclusive program makes life easier for you as a hiring manager and recruiters you work with. 2015 may be the year you add an ATS to your hiring process – just make sure you find the one that can, has, and will adapt to new technologies.

Is Your Business Hiring the Wrong Way? December 8, 2014

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Hiring the best person for a position is typically not as simple as reading resumes, conducting interviews and choosing the person that is the most qualified. If it were, turnover would not be the issue it is in corporate America. According to a 2013 BusinessInsider.com report, Amazon, Google and AFLAC rarely retain an employee for more than a year.

As the job market begins to improve, it is reasonable to assume that corporate employee turnover rate will continue to rise. How does a company — Fortune 500 or otherwise — combat the trend? By hiring the right employees in the first place.

There are a few ways your company may be hiring wrong and there are simple solutions that will prevent them from occurring in the future.

Trusting Resumes – In this day and age, almost every employee has the capacity to find a professional resume. The job of professional resume writers is to accentuate strengths and bury shortcomings. When reviewing a resume, search for the things that are not being said as much as those that are not. In other words, do not take a resume at face value.

Look for gaps in unemployment. Gaps indicate an employee was let go as opposed to one that moved on. Look for references that are from previous employers, not random professionals in unrelated fields. If an employee left on good terms, their previous employer will almost always be included in the reference section.

During interviews, ask candidates specifics about their skill set. Confident answers mean a candidate can do what they claim. Uncertainty in an answer means the candidate may have embellished their skill set.

Having Faith in Employee Placement Agencies – Employee placement agencies are in the business of getting people hired. That means placement agencies find employers, not the candidates searching for work. An employee that finds you has already exhibited resourcefulness and initiative.

While employee placement agencies are the easiest way to find qualified employees, they are not necessarily a guarantee that the employees will be the best.

Letting Canned Answers Suffice – When a candidate answers a question in the exact expected manner a potential employer would expect them to, that employers learns very little about the candidate. For example, if a potential employer asks a candidate what are your weaknesses as an employee. and the candidate replies, “I have a tendency to work too hard and get overly concerned about my work.”

Those kinds of responses are not honest because such a fault would be a benefit to an employer. Take seriously the candidate that says things like, “I tend to lose patience at times,” or, “when I am overwhelmed, I become disorganized.

In other words, in order to prevent hiring wrong, always look for the most honest employee, even if — on paper — a candidate does not look as attractive as others.

KISS Like Google’s HR Department (Keep it Simple Stupid) November 18, 2014

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If you are in charge of hiring at your company, you might be tempted to make it an in depth process that leaves no stone unturned in an effort to find the optimal candidates. A better approach is to follow Google’s example by keeping it simple.

The tech giant has eliminated complex problem solving questions that candidates hate. It also bucked convention by reducing the emphasis on grade point average. Google’s mantra is to adhere to its consistently high expectations for candidates. Their logic is that by never letting hiring standards slips, they’ll continue to bring in a flow of talented and intelligent workers who challenge the current workforce to stay on their heels.

It is tempting to fill a role with a slightly inferior candidate just to eliminate one of the company’s glaring needs. Yet when you lower the bar for a temporary solution, you’ll be diluting your organization’s talent pool. In the long run a hastily made decision like this will backfire. By never lowering your hiring bar, you’ll maintain an overachieving workforce that consistently delivers a top notch performance.

As soon as you lower the standard out of nepotism or when pressed for time, you’ll start a domino effect. This is especially true if you are hiring someone for human resources. A below average candidate who doesn’t meet your typically high standards will likely higher someone who is a tad less talented and hard working than themselves. That person in turn will do the same until your organization is full of average employees.

Take a page out of Google’s playbook and take the hiring control out of mangers’ hands. Instead, when it comes down to the final decision, utilize an entire committee. This provides a system of checks and balances that won’t allow one person to flex his power and hire someone who doesn’t meet the company’s lofty standards. Although it is hard to believe, word is that Google’s CEO, Larry Page, personally reviews each offer that is extended to a potential employee.

It is clear that the most successful company on the planet doesn’t take hiring lightly. Aside from their committee based approach, they also utilize a number of high tech solutions that help to narrow the incredibly large field of applicants. One such tool is the applicant tracking system, commonly called ATS. This software empowers human resources personnel to sift through a seemingly never ending pool of prospect data. It filters resumes, applications and other information to identify candidates that will best fit your open position. This way, you can devote your hiring department’s resources to interviewing and researching the diamonds that ATS has uncovered from the rough.

3 Steps To Supercharge Your Company’s Hiring November 3, 2014

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Every company is looking for the most intelligent and committed team who can boost the brand to greater heights. Small brands need to realize that they often will have trouble competing with offers from larger companies who have a greater reach into the talent pool with well-known reputations, outlined paths for employees to move up and possibly even better benefit packages.

Instead of focusing on the classic employee mold, entrepreneurs might find better options with talented folks who didn’t get into the pedigreed university and won’t bring years of premium-brand work experience to the table. Startups have to seek those who have potential for growth and are lacking in certain respects (making them willing to take a job with a startup at a lower pay).

Finding these diamonds in the rough means spotting the critical traits they have in common and considering their interview from a different angle.

1. Curiosity

You need employees who ask unique questions and have the drive to find the answers. These individuals will challenge their co-workers and even the brand itself, pushing your company towards faster development. To find curious candidates, look for applicants with:

  • Interesting or fun pastimes
  • Outside of the box thinking
  • Intellectual quirks and problem-solving tendencies

2. Competitiveness

Your team members should hit the gas pedal and not let up until the mission is accomplished! Competitive employees will have the kind of drive that pushes them to exceed your expectations and create a competitive atmosphere. It’s written deep down in their nature to press onward despite setbacks and work hard to achieve high goals. Individuals with this character trait often have:

  • A history in organized sports
  • Competitive pastimes
  • Signs of mental toughness and resilience

3. Integrity

The most important characteristic for your employees to possess is integrity. Without that, you will have your hands full with employees who shave corners or even steal from your company. Dishonest people can severely hurt the reputation and direction of your brand. To help narrow down the field and discover a lot about the potential candidate you are interviewing, ask:

“What one thing about yourself could cause me to seriously question hiring you for this job? And, don’t try to spin it as a potential strength.”

The answer you receive will tell you a lot about the integrity, humility and self-awareness of the person you are interviewing. We all have a hidden part of ourselves that we work every day to overcome, but the first step towards overcoming them is admitting they exist in the first place!

It may take time to work through those who don’t shine on paper to determine who has true potential, but the reward is worth it. Cut some of your hours by using current technology advantages, like the Applicant Tracking System, to find true talent in the pool of resumes you are sifting through.

Do Pretty Women Have the Edge in Hiring? October 20, 2014

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While most people assume that beautiful women have a leg up on the competition in terms of securing employment, sometimes they are actually at a disadvantage. More and more attractive women are complaining that they aren’t getting job offers and they are blaming their looks. Surprisingly, many of them are telling the truth. Plenty of attractive women are disliked and denied employment opportunities simply because of their beauty.

When hiring managers consider a beautiful woman for an open position, they commonly consider her to be an inferior applicant. In general, people equate female beauty with incompetence, shallowness and a general lack of authority. Many people think that pretty women should be relegated to being stay at home mothers, receptionists, file clerks, cashiers and other jobs that don’t require significant intelligence and responsibility. Unfortunately, people in power consider these “low authority” positions to be female oriented while considering managerial positions are typically thought of as male oriented roles.

Yet the question looms: What should women do about this discrimination? It’s awfully hard to prove that one’s good looks could prevent her from obtaining a managerial position, or any position. Oftentimes, people just assume that women with beauty are given priority for jobs because they provide “eye candy” for the men in the office. Pretty women might be best served by openly acknowledging the fact that they are attractive. Simply mentioning that they don’t look like the typical manager, executive or supervisor might be enough to persuade a hiring manager to give them adequate consideration. This might sound odd but it is a fact of human nature. When a beautiful woman alludes to her beauty and her gender, an employer is more likely to hire her. This is due to the fact that the majority of people have an unconscious bias against the intelligence and aptitude of beautiful women. When this bias is subtly brought to light without an offending statement, it tends to fade away.

Hiring managers must acknowledge the fact that they might have this unconscious bias against attractive women. We’ve been socialized to think that pretty women are incapable of handling a demanding position that requires intelligence, authority and skill. Instead of judging applicants on their looks, hiring managers should make use of advanced technologies to pinpoint applicants with the best skill set, experience and potential.

One such high tech tool at employers’ disposal is the applicant tracking system (ATS). ATS empowers hiring managers to sift through an avalanche of prospects with ease. This software program can be set up to search for specific experience levels, college degrees, skills and other key words so that hiring managers don’t have to spend significant time and energy to find the diamonds in the rough. ATS will identify the employees that can benefit the organization and it can even list job openings on the Internet and generate a list of qualified candidates from those that respond. It’s the perfect tool for a hiring manager who wants to converse time and effort when searching for his company’s next super star.

How To Prevent Hiring Discrimination at Your Company October 6, 2014

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When you’re hiring someone new, how do you choose the right person for the job? Do you look at what is on paper or do you rely on gut feelings as well? Employers use a variety of factors to decide who is right for the job, but for most, the bottom line is how they feel about the person. But that can cause serious problems down the road if you do what most people do unconsciously – hire someone that looks and acts like them.

The Problem: Human Beings Are Inherently Biased

When an interviewer meets with an interviewee, they often have the subconscious habit of “look-like-me/act-like-me” hiring. That means that when faced with basically equal candidates, they will unconsciously choose based on race, gender or possibly economic status. They aren’t being prejudiced on purpose – it is just how the human brain is wired.

Is The Answer Big Data and Modern Computing?

It is a simple enough equation. If you want to stay as unbiased as possible, you should look at the facts objectively. Just like a computer. In fact, that is what is happening in many companies, where data mining can lead to a completely objective decision about who to hire. Many are hoping that this will lead to a more diverse workforce where a minority has exactly the same chance as a non-minority to get hired.

But big data at work has some risks. The White House and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have both expressed concerns over how the data will be used and whether it would allow companies to discriminate against minorities and those with a lower socio-economic status. The FTC is calling it “discrimination by algorithm.” so the right application is essential.

Recruitment data mining and use doesn’t have to be difficult. One of the most promising apps that can make using data for H.R. an easy and effective task is called the Applicant Tracking System or ATS, a fully equipped software solution for recruiting that not only collects data from prospective job applicants, but then organizes and analyzes the data collected so that a hiring decision can be reached. In this way, all candidates are evaluated equally and a recruiter or employer can see the big picture.

There will never be a replacement for the “gut feeling” in hiring practices, and there shouldn’t be, as it is one of the most effective tools for judging someone. But it shouldn’t be your only hiring standard, and you should look at the data to ensure that you aren’t making a serious error that could cost you down the road.