Best Practices for Seasonal Hiring

Best Practices for Seasonal Hiring

While seasonal hiring isn’t limited to the holidays (think summer lifeguards), the winter holidays are most commonly associated  with hiring seasonal employees. Seasonal hiring presents a particular challenge to employers. Competition for quality employees is stiff. Onboarding needs to be successful and immediate. If you don’t start training early, seasonal employees are left to sink or swim.

So what seasonal hiring best practices can help your hiring team overcome these challenges? Do you know how to recruit seasonal players? There are a few rules of thumb that will lead you to success during this busy season.

Hire Early.

Some major retailers begin the application process for seasonal employees as early as June, especially when the job market is tight. With major players adding tens of thousands of workers each holiday season, a small or medium-sized business has to make sure it’s competitive. If you don’t start advertising seasonal positions early on, you’re going to be behind the ball when the holidays roll around.

Offer Benefits.

If you haven’t begun advertising your seasonal jobs yet, don’t panic. You can still beat out the competition by offering better benefits. What kinds of things do seasonal workers want? Higher wages never hurt, but flexibility tops the list of demands. New apps and sites have made it easy for seasonal applicants to comparison shop, so you need to find a way to stand out. Leverage technology like your applicant tracking system to enable applicants to schedule interviews at their convenience. Make sure you’re able to tell your workers their schedules at least a week in advance. Although these employees won’t stay with you for long, they will affect your bottom line.  And a happy employee is a productive one, especially in sales.

Advertise Appropriately.

Post your seasonal job where it’s most likely to be seen by the kinds of people you’re looking for. College job boards, Craigslist, and Facebook are all good sites to find someone who wants seasonal work. An applicant tracking system like ApplicantStack can make it easier to post jobs to niche sites. You can even track which applicants are coming from which sites to determine your most effective advertising avenue. Unless you need very specific skills or have certain prerequisites, you may want to skip the fee-based job sites. Those tend to be frequented by applicants who are looking for a longer-term career rather than a seasonal job.

Interview In Person.

Or at least on video. When you’re only hiring someone for a few months, attitude matters most. You don’t have time to nurture and teach your seasonal employees to connect with peers and customers. In retail, especially, likability matters. A resume won’t tell you if a candidate is respectful, enthusiastic, confident, and poised. That’s something you need to see to assess. In-person interviews are time-consuming, especially if you’re hiring en masse. ApplicantStack integrates with Google Calendar and Outlook, so you can eliminate scheduling complexities and easily find times that work for everyone. Consider hosting group in-person interviews, or use video interviews instead. Face-to-face interviews are part of seasonal hiring best practices because they yield the best results.

Think Long Term.

Don’t neglect to ask about an applicant’s long-term plans just because he or she is only with you for the season. If you can hire someone year after year, that person will become familiar with your processes. College students, for example, can be a great choice for seasonal hires. They may have the same season off each year for several years. They like knowing that they can count on you to employ them when they’re on break, and you like knowing that your seasonal new hire isn’t completely “new.” If someone might need a seasonal job next year, take that into account during the hiring process.

Be Ready to Go.

Once you’ve sealed the deal with your new hire, get the ball rolling as quickly as possible. Use your applicant tracking software to send and receive the necessary paperwork. Smooth out any wrinkles in your onboarding process. If possible, upload safety and training videos to your new hires’ accounts so they can view them at their convenience. Use a questionnaire to get your employees’ uniform sizes and order them ahead of time. Set yourself – and your new hires – up for success by giving them as much information as they can handle before Day 1.

Seasonal hiring best practices can guide you as you make your hiring choices for the holiday season. Snap decisions are necessary, though, and you’re likely to experience some turnover. Once your employees are on board, don’t neglect them. Employee engagement can help lower those churn rates. Training should be ongoing; offer opportunities for promotion. Who knows? That part-time worker may become a key full-time asset.

8 ATS Software Upgrades That Revolutionized ApplicantStack

8 ATS Software Upgrades That Revolutionized ApplicantStack

ApplicantStack was founded nine years ago, and since that time we’ve made dozens of upgrades to our ATS software. One of the benefits of software as a system (SaaS) is that updates occur automatically. That means our end users might not immediately notice that something has improved. In honor of the many ATS software upgrades we’ve made over the years, we’ve put together a list of the eight improvements that really changed things for our clients. Does your ATS software offer these features?

1. Email Delay

Got a fish on the line and want to reel him or her in? In 2013, we added the option to schedule an email to be sent anywhere from one day to one year after its creation. Essentially, you could create a drip marketing campaign to nurture your prospects and keep them interested.

2. Integration With Glassdoor

When Indeed.com bought the up-and-coming job search site Glassdoor, we were on top of things. Our ATS software immediately enabled automatic integration with Glassdoor. If you post your job on Indeed, we’ll post it on Glassdoor, too. No extra steps necessary. With 62 million unique visitors each month, that’s a whole lot of free exposure.

3. Questionnaire Updates

Questionnaires are a quick and easy way to screen out unqualified candidates, and we were leveraging this tool way back in 2010. In May of that year, we added several features to the ATS software at the request of our users. Among those features, we made questionnaires global, so they didn’t need to be attached to a specific job. Layout Templates make questionnaires appear professional, clean, and organized. We also added reporting features as well as the ability to export questionnaire data.

4. Feedback Forms

Standardized candidate feedback can help you streamline your recruiting processes and find weak links where you can improve. ApplicantStack makes it easy to obtain consistent feedback easily using a candidate evaluation form. With suggested multiple choice, scale, or ratings questions, you avoid vague descriptions or hard-to-interpret emails. This gives you a collaborative review of candidates. Consequently, you can compare everyone’s input and create a report on the data – all within your ATS software.

5. Custom Signatures

Most companies believe that increased personalization will improve email interaction with their subscribers. Apply this insight to your recruiting strategy by incorporating custom signatures into your emails. In addition to adding a bit of flair, this will strengthen employment branding efforts – which are essential to successful job recruitment.

6. Jobs Filters

The Jobs Tab is the heart of ApplicantStack, and we’re constantly adding features to make adding, organizing, and managing open positions even easier. The Jobs filter makes it a cinch to narrow down the information you’re looking for. You can view just the jobs you own or manage, sort jobs by stage, filter by department or category, and select jobs by type. Choose multiple filters to provide an exact, detailed list of specific jobs.

7. SSL Security

Security Magazine reports that 70% of hackers target small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Of these hacked SMBs, 60% go out of business within six months. ApplicantStack realized early on that security is a primary concern for small business owners. We increased security measures by offering SSL security for all job boards. Job applications often contain sensitive information. SSL encrypts the data so that its more difficult for hackers to obtain.

8. New Data Set Reporting

Whatever kind of report you want, our ATS software has you covered. The Reports Section is key to discovering and assessing your hiring metrics so you can better optimize your recruiting process. Reporting can show you:

  • Where candidates are dropping off or losing interest in your application process.
  • Which sites are bringing in the most applicants – and which sites result in the most new hires.
  • Global activity for an account so that you can ensure OFCCP compliance.
  • Basic information on all candidates who have created an account on your job board, so that you can follow up with any who have not submitted.
  • Any combination of fields, filters, and groups you need to view specific data.

At ApplicantStack, we’re constantly improving our ATS software to bring you the most functionality. We’re the experts on how to recruit, hire, and onboard the best employees. Our team solicits (and listens to!) user feedback, so that we can add the features that are critical to our users. Want to learn more about how it works? Start your free trial today, and see just how much you can do with ApplicantStack.

The Best Human Resources Blogs for Recruitment Managers

The Best Human Resources Blogs for Recruitment Managers

Any good recruiter or hiring manager knows that self-education is a great way to improve your skills. Having trouble sealing the deal with a superstar prospect? Can’t quite master the Facebook scene? Just want to read up on the latest and greatest in the recruiting world? These are the best human resources blogs to check out now. Learn how to recruit, hire, and onboard with aplomb!

Best HR Blog for Recruiting

The Searchologist is dedicated entirely to the world of recruiting. As part of The #SocialRecruiting Show, Katrina Collier interviews diverse experts on every recruiting topic under the sun. This blog offers the benefits of multiple perspectives.  You can join in the discussion, view it later, or just read the textual rundown. If you want something to do on your lunch hour, these Crowdcast videos are an educational (but not boring!) way to pass the time.

Best HR Blog by a Thought Leader

John Boudreau seems to be three steps ahead of every other HR expert out there. In addition to being one of our favorite authors, he’s the research director for the Center for Effective Organization at USC and a professor of management and organization at the Marshall School of Business. A prolific author, his blogs are always thoroughly researched and well written. If you want to know where the recruiting world is headed, Boudreau writes some of the best human resources blogs out there.

Best HR Blog for Motivation

The RBL Group is a leadership consulting firm with an emphasis on HR. If you’re feeling a bit burned out or have a case of the Mondays, check out the RBL Insights Blog. This is one of the best human resources blogs on our list because each blog includes actionable advice to implement immediately. We especially enjoy the blogs authored by Dave Ulrich (author of one of the five books every hiring manager should read). His take on the concept of time, for example, offers a whole new perspective on time management.

Best HR Blog for HR Issues

Once you’ve got the talent, you need to retain it. The HR Bartender blog is written by the wise and approachable Sharlyn Lauby, who created the blog as a “friendly place to discuss workplace issues.” Her blogs address things that HR managers will encounter time and time again – how do you handle grief in the workplace? Do you need an onboarding intervention? How can you combat employee disengagement? Some of the best posts are part of the #AskHRBartender series, where Lauby answers reader-submitted questions about HR conflicts.

Best HR Blog for Humor (and Education)

Fistful of Talent is written by a group of experts from the HR and recruiting world. You’ll find yourself nodding in agreement and even laughing out loud as these witty authors mull over everything from avoiding lawsuits to the benefits of hiring the formerly incarcerated. Fistful of Talent is more like a series of op-eds than a collection of newspaper articles; you’re definitely getting someone’s take on something rather than ‘just the facts.’ But the opinions you’ll read are informed, coherent, and thought provoking (as well as humorous). It makes a refreshing change!

Best HR Blog for Techies

The Boolean Black Belt blog focuses on technological solutions for recruiting problems. Author Glen Cathey was inspired when, as a technical recruiter, he leveraged Boolean search strings to narrow down his candidate pool. His blog is full of tips for leveraging recruiting technology. With practical hacks like how to get unlimited LinkedIn InMails, Cathey gives applicable advice so you can maximize functionality of tools you’re already using.

Best HR Blog for Recruitment Solutions

(You knew this was coming, right?) We’ve got to toot our own horn a little bit here! We think our very own ApplicantStack blog features some great content on solving recruitment and onboarding challenges. Covering everything from the basics of recruitment tools to industry-specific advice, we share what we’ve learned as a best-in-class ATS provider. Want to know more about how we can improve your onboarding and recruitment processes? Watch this video demo now!

What Is Cloud Based Recruitment Software?

What Is Cloud Based Recruitment Software?

In 2015, Time called cloud computing “the most important new technology in decades.” Spending on cloud computing is expected to grow at more than six times the rate of IT spending from 2015 to 2020. The adoption of cloud technology is growing in every country and every industry.

But despite these statistics, there’s some confusion about what cloud computing actually is. How does it relate to software? More specifically, what is cloud based recruitment software, and how can it benefit my hiring team? We’ll address each question in turn.

What Is Cloud Computing?

A cloud in the sky is made up of tiny raindrops caught up in turbulent winds. These raindrops obscure our vision to form a cloud. The internet works similarly. The ‘droplets’ are called packets, and they appear to travel in chaotic fashion, swirling alongside billions of other packets in an electromagnetic wind.

Here’s where the analogy breaks down. You never know where a raindrop will land, but packets have assigned destinations. They rarely take the shortest route, but that doesn’t matter when they travel at the speed of light. Cloud computing uses resources more efficiently.

Instead of storing all of your data on your computer all of the time, cloud computing stores the data in a data center. When you want a specific thing – say, a document or a video – your computer retrieves it from the cloud. When you’re done using the resource, your computer doesn’t have to store it anymore and is free to use that memory on other things. If you have a Google account, you might use Google Photos. Those pictures aren’t stored on your computer; Google stores them, and you can access them whenever and wherever you have internet access.

How Does Cloud Computing Relate to Software?

Cloud computing has enabled a new industry of Software as a Service (SaaS). Essentially, SaaS providers offer their software over the internet. Instead of buying a CD or downloading a software, users typically purchase a subscription. The software is accessed through the internet, so it doesn’t take up space on the computer and it can be used anywhere and on any device. SaaS is the next generation of software, and the explosive growth of the industry shows no signs of slowing.

What Is Cloud Based Recruitment Software?

Cloud based recruitment software like ApplicantStack is a tool used by hiring departments to streamline the recruitment process. Any applicant tracking system can save time and money by reducing cost per hire. But cloud based recruitment software offers some major advantages over traditional software.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Device, and it’s becoming the new standard for business. Employees don’t want to have multiple computers and phones for work and personal use. Cloud based software is available anywhere you have internet, so employees can access business software from their personal computers – without downloading it. For better or worse, things like ‘snow days’ are becoming a thing of the past. If you have internet access, you can still work.

Work From Home

Along the same lines, the flexibility to work from home is important to many employees, including HR teams. Working from home can actually boost productivity significantly, but if your software is tied to your cubicle, it’s an impossibility. Cloud based recruitment software gives your recruiting team necessary data access from home, vacation, or anywhere else. Employees who telecommute report a better work-life balance and even have improved health and wellness, according to CNN.

Save Money

There are lower upfront costs, because you don’t need highly capable computers to host the software. Most cloud based recruitment software comes as a subscription, so you pay as you go. If you no longer need it, you stop paying for it. It’s easy to use from the start, and updates happen automatically. Your software will never be outdated, and you won’t have to pay for an updated version.

There are many benefits to using cloud based recruitment software. (Learn more here!) SaaS is the wave of the future, and its widespread use is only projected to grow. Get started today with a free trial of ApplicantStack, and see how easy it is.

How to Attract Talent to Home Care Jobs

How to Attract Talent to Home Care Jobs

The pool of applicants for home care jobs is growing exponentially – as is the demand for candidates. The Bureau of Labor Statistics cites a job growth rate of 41% between 2016 and 2026; over one million jobs will be added to this field.  Home care jobs are growing at a more rapid rate than any other type of career. And as demand increases, competition for the best home care providers will get tougher. How can you stand out from the crowd?

Optimize Your Listing for Home Care Jobs

Crafting a captivating job listing is a combination of art and science. You want to be specific about your own expectations, so you aren’t recruiting candidates who aren’t willing to do the job. You also want to make sure you’re mentioning the factors that matter most to those seeking home care jobs.

What You Want

First, be clear in your job description. Are you looking for part-time or full-time employees? Seasonal, temporary, or long term? Will home care aides work with several people of various ages and capabilities, or will they focus on just one or two clients?

Note any physical, educational, or experiential prerequisites so as to eliminate unqualified candidates before they begin the application process. Explicitly state any necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs).

What They Want

In today’s job market, both parties have to bring something to the table. With so much demand for home care jobs, the benefits and bonuses you offer your staff can set you apart from other employers. According to recent studies (learn more here and here), the most important indicators of job satisfaction among home care workers include:

  • A consistent, predictable number of hours
  • A flexible work schedule
  • The ability to work independently
  • Employer-provided health insurance
  • The ability to develop a long-term relationship with a patient

If the home care jobs you are offering provide these benefits, emphasize them in your job post. Knowing that you provide the things that are most important to your prospective applicants will help your job posting resonate.

Where to Post

Even the greatest ads for home care jobs won’t gain any notice if they aren’t posted in the right places. Where are candidates looking for home care jobs? According to CareerBuilder, candidates use an average of 16 resources during their job search. Make sure you have your job posted in these key places.

Your Careers Page

Candidates will use your Careers page not only to find information about open home care jobs, but also to get a better sense of your company culture. Your Careers page can be your “secret weapon in the war for talent.” Put significant time and resources into designing it. Include information about career paths, opportunities for advancement, salary ranges, prerequisites, and corporate culture. Use videos and images to paint a picture for prospective applicants. At some point, the vast majority of applicants will visit this page (even if they find your job through another board or site), so make sure you’re wowing them.

Job Boards

There are literally hundreds of job boards out there, from major players like Indeed and Monster.com to industry-specific sites like HealthCareJobsite and HealtheCareers. (Although these sites emphasize the health aspect of home care, they also offer listings for general home care jobs.) Leverage an applicant tracking system to mass-post job listings to all of the relevant boards with just a few clicks.

Social Media

LinkedIn is the primary player in this category, although you may want to consider posting your job to Facebook as well. On LinkedIn, you can broaden or narrow your selection criteria by choosing more or fewer job functions and industries. If your job posting isn’t performing well, open it up a little by adding categories. You can renew your posting every two weeks, so it shows up at the top of the listings when applicants search for similar jobs.

Finding and recruiting candidates for home care jobs can be difficult. Be honest and thorough in your job description and post your job where your candidates are looking, and you’ll soon have scores of qualified resumes in your applicant tracking system.