If you are the hiring manager for an agency, you understand the importance of security recruiting. In the security industry, you can’t put a client on hold because you are short-handed. Staying fully staffed is critical. Just as importantly, your agents need the right hard and soft skills.
But the security industry—like most others—is struggling in this era of low unemployment. Security agencies compete for what seems like an ever-shrinking talent pool.
Top 3 Recruiting Tactics For Security
Financial success depends on recruiting and retaining good employees.
Here are proven tips for hiring qualified employees for your security agency.
- Use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to automate hiring processes
- Create accurate, comprehensive job descriptions
- Use screening questionnaires to eliminate unqualified candidates
ApplicantStack Applicant Tracking Software
Profitable security agencies use the right technology for all aspects of business management. To win the hiring game in security, you need current generation software. It gives you speed, flexibility, and keeps hiring costs as low as possible. ApplicantStack is an ATS that helps security owners find exceptional employees. The HR professionals at ApplicantStack are keenly aware of the recruiting hurdles for security businesses.
ATS vs. Spreadsheets
It’s a common misconception that spreadsheets are just as effective. When it comes to recruiting, ATSs are leagues ahead. For hiring processes, spreadsheets are scarcely better that paper-based methods.
Attracting Millennials and Gen Z
The first generation that grew up using apps has become the largest employee demographic. ApplicantStack is especially effective for attracting millennials.
Let’s dive deeper into our top tips.
1. Use an ATS to Automate Hiring
An ATS helps you hire quickly and strategically by:
- Writing and managing job descriptions
- Posting jobs to job boards, social media sites, careers pages
- Creating and administering applications and questionnaires
- Applying scoring criteria and filtering applicants
- Sharing feedback with hiring team members
- Tracking process workflows with task assignments and reminders
- Creating and managing structured interviewing scripts
- Scheduling in person and video interviews
- Candidate communications—emails, texts, phone calls
Your ATS compiles an applicant database without copious data entry on your part. It parses contact info from resumes and applications and stores digital copies of resumes. Plus, it maintains a history of interactions (applications, emails, questionnaires, interviews, reference checks, etc.). Collaboration has never been easier.
Some ATS’ integrate with background check services, video interviewing platforms, onboarding software, and other types of business services/software.
2. Write Accurate, Comprehensive Job Descriptions
It’s expensive to hire an employee. You take a financial hit when a new hire quits after two weeks. The most common reason for quitting is because they didn’t understand what the job entailed.
A comprehensive job description is highly detailed. It includes the required certification(s) and experience. It describes exactly what the employee will do in typical shift. It includes the necessary soft skills that will help an employee succeed.
There is no ‘typical’ job in security. Because job roles and work environments vary widely, highly-detailed descriptions are key. Some employees expect hours of solitude. Others want to actively interact with others at the location. Go into more detail than you think is necessary. This will save you time and frustration.
3. Use Screening Questionnaires to Eliminate Unqualified Candidates
An ATS can filter out unqualified security candidates before you set eyes on a resume. This saves so much time, first-time ATS users are blown away.
You create a custom questionnaire for each job description. When the applicant clicks on your job posting (on a job board, social media site, or your careers page), they are presented with the questionnaire. It includes knockout questions that eliminate candidates without the necessary experience. Regardless of your job requirements, you can do a first-pass screening automatically in your ATS.
ApplicantStack For Security Recruiting
Using these methods, you can efficiently advertise jobs, organize applicants, and isolate a pool of top candidates. Then you can concentrate your time on the most qualified applicants.
CRM for Recruiting
Most businesses use CRM tools for sales. CRM software is created to perform specific functions and it excels at those functions. We love our CRM systems.
Some companies believe CRM software can take the place of an applicant tracking system (ATS).
You actually need both types of tools. Let’s discuss why.
What is an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)?
An ATS is a type of recruiting software. It lets you create and manage an applicant database.
It automates repetitive operations like posting jobs, collecting applications, parsing resumes, and administering screening questionnaires.
You create and manage all hiring communications with your ATS: job descriptions, screening questionnaires, emails, candidate scorecards, and structured interview scripts.
Moving candidates through specific stages triggers emails and texts. ATS’ simplify interview scheduling and reference checks.
Your team can score candidates, share feedback, and make hiring selections.
Some ATSs integrate with background check companies, job boards, and video interviewing software.
What is Customer Relationship Management (CRM)?
The word ‘relationship’ in the title is key. CRM software is designed, first and foremost, to nurture relationships.
These can be customer relationships, partner relationships, or passive candidate relationships. For the purposes of this article, we will switch the ‘C’ for ‘customer’ to ‘C’ for ‘candidate’.
Relationships are built on interactions. Successful interactions require context. You need an accurate, comprehensive history to respond effectively.
How Do You Use CRM For Recruiting?
Potential applicants initiate contact through several digital channels. These include your careers page(s), social media sites, email campaigns, and job boards. You add to your pool through employee referrals and professional networking. Proactive sourcing through LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and other sites adds to your pool.
When a person opts in—leaves their contact information or comments on a social post—it’s time to engage them.
This requires consistent compelling messaging. The goal is to move your candidates through the funnel and inspire the best ones to apply.
CRM systems have an administrative component like ATS’. After all, there is plenty of data attached to every person. And all that data needs to be collected and organized. But this is secondary to the primary purpose of nurturing relationships.
ATS and CRM: A Match Made in Heaven
Now that we’ve made the case that both are essential, what are your options?
You can look for ATSs that have CRM tools. You can look for CRM systems that have ATS functions. Or you can integrate two platforms.
How Does CRM For Recruiting Work?
Previously, we outlined what a good ATS does. Here are CRM functions and tools to add:
- Social recruiting
- Personalized emails and texts
- Automated invitations to business events
- Email campaigns
- Candidate surveys
- Engagement analytics and scoring
- Candidate segmentation
- Referral programs
Proactive talent sourcing requires ATS efficiency and CRM tools. ApplicantStack has both. Our software helps you establish and nurture a talent pipeline. Discover why over 23,000 users rely on ApplicantStack to meet their recruiting needs.
When it comes to 2019 hiring challenges, many companies don’t take advantage of internal recruiting. This is puzzling, because most employers are intensely focused on retention. Plus many are struggling to meet staffing needs.
Internal recruiting helps on both fronts. Let’s discuss the relationship.
First, the fundamentals.
What is Internal Recruiting?
Internal recruiting is the process of identifying and attracting current employees to accept another job position within your organization.
Types of Internal Recruiting
- Promotions: When an employee is promoted to a higher position
- Location transfer: When an employee relocates to another office or sales territory
- Inter-departmental transfer: When an employee assumes a similar level position within their department
- Temporary-to-permanent: When an intern, temp, or part-timer assumes a full-time, permanent position
- Contractor-to-employee: When a 1099 independent contractor becomes an in-house employee
- Boomerang employees: Retired employees who return to work, sometimes part-time or as a contractor
Internally Assisted Recruiting
This is related to the types discussed previously. When existing employees recommend outside applicants, it can be extremely effective. One important difference is that it doesn’t leave a position vacated.
Current employees understand your company culture. They are in a position to know if a referral would also thrive in your organization. In one sense, they have performed a first-level screening.
What Are The Benefits of Internal Recruiting?
When an existing employee assumes another position, you save time and money on:
Minimizes Hiring Risk
Internal recruits fit in with the company culture and have established relationships. Plus, they are already on the payroll. If you make a hiring mistake, you may be able to move them back to their original team.
Career Development Opportunities
Most employees want to advance along a career path. This is only possible with promotions—a type of internal recruiting.
Faster Hiring and Time-to-Productivity
Internal recruits don’t need to be onboarded. They require less training. Plus, they often accept a job offer more quickly than an outside applicant. Finally, it’s less common for an internal recruit to ask for an extended interim before starting the new position.
Employee Engagement and Productivity
Companies that promote from within often have a more engaged and productive team. When they see your company investing in them, it improves performance and sense of common purpose. Employees who are invested in your business serve your customers better. When it comes to retention, a commitment to your mission can be as important as benefits and perks.
There is a higher retention rate for internal recruits in many industries. Presumably, they already enjoy working at your company. If they accept a promotion or transfer, they are probably planning to stay a while.
Tips For Successful Internal Recruiting
- Create rules
- Are all employees allowed to apply?
- Is there a minimum tenure for eligibility?
- Can managers invite employees from other departments to apply for positions on their team?
- Do employees need permission from managers to apply?
- Who needs to be involved in the decision-making process?
- Should you use an outside hiring team to screen and evaluate candidates to mitigate potential biases?
- Formalize internal job postings
- Give non-selected applicants feedback to help them the next time they apply for an internal position
- Screen internal employees just as carefully as outside applicants
- Use applicant tracking software for internal applicants the same way you use it for outside applicants
When Not to Use Internal Recruiting
Do you need fresh ideas in a department? If there is stagnation, an internal recruit may not be the best person for the job.
Do you need to increase diversity in your organization? Internal recruiting will only reinforce the status quo.
Have you created a new department? Are you planning to develop a new product? If you don’t have the necessary skills and/or experience on your staff, you’ll need to go outside your company.
ApplicantStack For Internal Recruitment
ApplicantStack applicant tracking software simplifies external and internal recruiting. Track applicants, write screening questionnaires, share feedback, and create structured interviews. Try ApplicantStack for free today.
Today’s post explores a fundamental issue in the recruiting industry: why you should automate recruiting.
Do you work as a hiring manager? HR director? Small business owner? It you are using paper-based recruiting processes, this post is for you.
Let’s discuss why you should automate recruiting.
Why Automate Recruiting?
- Process applicants more quickly and efficiently
- Create more effective screening materials
- Manage multiple job openings simultaneously
- Collaborate more easily with your hiring team members
- Engage with millennials and younger job candidates
- Reduce hiring expenses
- Stop duplicating work among your team
How Do You Automate Recruiting?
An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a type of HR software that automates hiring processes.
ATS software is similar to a customer relationship management (CRM) system. It allows you to track and manage applications, candidate interactions, online job postings, and team communication.
- Collect and track hundreds of applications and resumes
- Establish a central database of current and former applicants (talent pipeline)
- Create branded templates for job descriptions, questionnaires, emails
- Post to your favorite job boards with a single signon
- Track applicants through each hiring stage
- Changing an applicant’s stage triggers actions (i.e. emails, background checks, etc)
- Applicants complete pre-screening questionnaires and schedule interviews with a self-service interface
- Team members access cloud-based ATS’ from any mobile device—manage recruiting anytime, anywhere
Streamline Interview Scheduling
Scheduling technology simplifies interviews. Your team members mark their availability on a shared calendar. The ATS candidate interface presents applicants with pre-approved interview time slots.
This saves so much time you’ll kick yourself for not doing it sooner.
It also shows your company’s commitment to technology-driven efficiency and convenience. Millennials make up the largest employee demographic. Gen Z-ers are coming of age and entering the workforce. Both groups engage using digital tools. You simply can’t attract these potential employees without automated recruiting software.
Recruit from anywhere using mobile apps. See your ATS dashboard on any connected device. How are your job postings performing? Which applicants have completed screening questionnaires? Who’s interviewing tomorrow?
You have all that in your pocket. Around-the-clock. Recruiting superstars use mobile tools. You can too.
The Power of Pre-Screening
You post the job. Then you gather applications and resumes. Now the tedious, time-intensive pre-screening work begins. The pre-screening stage is a slowdown for many recruiting teams. If any recruiting task has been screaming for automation, this is the one.
You can pre-screen when a candidate applies with a custom application. Or email a questionnaire shortly afterwards. Video screening is also a brilliant recruiting innovation. With a pre-recorded video interview, the job applicant records a video of themselves answering screening questions. They can do it at their convenience—the software handles it. You can see your applicants before you invite them to schedule an in-person interview.
Automated pre-screening reliably shortens time-to-hire. It also helps you find higher quality employees faster by isolating top candidates.
Branded Recruitment Marketing
ATS’ let you brand your recruitment marketing. Job postings, applications, and candidate emails blend seamlessly with all of your marketing.
This helps your company present a cohesive image to applicants, customers, employees—and investors. This provides an important competitive edge. Especially for companies in industries with a low ATS adoption rate.
Establish Talent Pipelines
Today’s hiring challenges call for multiple recruiting techniques. One of these is creating and continually expanding a talent pipeline. An ATS collects and tracks applicants for your current job openings. Plus, it retains all applicants’ pertinent info in your database. This is critical for meeting long-term staffing needs.
Forward-thinking companies nurture applicant relationships in their talent pipeline. In the same way CRM systems help you connect with customers, ATS’ allow you to share relevant content as often as you like.
Automate Recruiting With ApplicantStack
ApplicantStack recruiting software automates every aspect of your hiring operations. It was designed by HR professionals for HR professionals. ApplicantStack is cloud-based, so you and your team can access it on any connected device. We handle the updates and rigorous data security protocols.
You can start using ApplicantStack today. Setup is quick and intuitive. But don’t let ease-of-use imply low-level functionality. ApplicantStack is a full-service applicant tracking system for companies of any size.
Welcome to our How To Hire Your Perfect Next Employee Series. Whether you are a new or veteran hiring manager, our series can help you improve your recruiting processes. In so doing, you will find perfect employees faster. And it will cost you less.
The Applicant Journey
In today’s post, we describe the process from the applicant’s point of view. This is called the applicant, or candidate, journey. Unfortunately, the applicant journey doesn’t always receive the attention it deserves. Yet the ApplicantStack candidate interface is key to our success. That means it’s key to your success as well.
ApplicantStack creates an exceptional applicant journey. Your company deserves nothing less.
Branded Recruitment Marketing
With ApplicantStack, you can brand your recruitment marketing. Or use our default layouts. In this article we’ll show you examples of both.
The Applicant Moves Through Stages Along The Applicant Journey
Before we continue, I want to remind you about applicant stages. It’s important to understand them.
A stage refers to one specific step in the hiring process. For example, an applicant could be in the interview stage. Or they could be in the manager review stage.
As you move an applicant through the hiring process, you change their stage in the system. Stage changes can trigger actions. For example, if you change an applicant’s stage to Do Not Pursue, you can cause the system to send a ‘Thank you for applying but you’re not a fit for the position’ email. You create a template for the email and even personalize it with merge fields. ApplicantStack will insert the applicant’s name.
As we talk about each point of contact between the applicant and your company, keep in mind that you can tie the applicant’s stage to auto communications.
The Applicant Sees Your Job Posting
Your job posting is the first point of contact in the applicant journey. Candidates can find your job posting on your chosen job boards (such as Indeed, Google, JuJu, CareerBuilder, Monster, etc.), social media sites, or your careers page.
Here are ApplicantStack job postings on Indeed. See the listing for the SwipeClock jobs:
Candidates look at these sites for jobs. Your ApplicantStack job postings start engaging candidates immediately. With branded postings, the applicant meets your employer brand at the first point of contact. Branded postings reflect the look and feel of the client’s website.
When the candidate sees your posting, they click a link which takes them to your application. (An application is called a ‘Questionnaire’ in the ApplicantStack system.)
Here is a questionnaire created in ApplicantStack:
Notice how easy it is to upload a resume. Applicants can use Dropbox or Google Drive. ApplicantStack makes everything easy and natural.
ApplicantStack has flexible settings to fit your ideal candidate. You can set the resume upload to allow the applicant to write a cover letter. If that isn’t customary in your industry, leave that turned off.
ApplicantStack Eliminates Redundant Processes
When the applicant uploads their resume, ApplicantStack parses some of the contact information. The applicant won’t have to reenter all of their contact information going forward.
Repeating tasks unnecessarily is frustrating for everyone. It’s especially frustrating for a job candidate who is in the process of applying for jobs at multiple companies.
Reentering contact info again and again wastes their time. And it makes your company seem twenty years behind the technological curve.
Personalized Candidate Emails
When the candidate fills out the application, they immediately receive a personalized email that confirms you received their application. If they are a good fit, you can reach out to them immediately.
The applicant never wonders ‘Did they get my application and resume?’ They see that your company is prompt and professional. You respect their time. You appreciate their interest in your company.
In ApplicantStack, you can use questionnaires for pre-screening. Screening questionnaires can play a role in a great applicant journey.
Here is a screening questionnaire:
Pre-screening questionnaires with knockout questions help eliminate unqualified candidates. This is how a questionnaire with knockout questions works:
You create a screening questionnaire with knockout questions. The knockout questions will depend on the job description.
The candidate completes the questionnaire. If they aren’t qualified, the knockout questions will filter them out.
You won’t waste any more of their time. If a candidate is eliminated, you can program ApplicantStack to send a ‘Thank you for applying but you aren’t a fit for the position’ email. You create an email template and ApplicantStack will use merge fields to enter the necessary information. (As mentioned previously, all candidates receive a ‘We have received your application,’ email immediately after applying.’)
If they pass the pre-screen questionnaire, the system presents the more extensive questionnaire.
If you want your applicants to receive the full questionnaire initially, you can program it that way. You understand the recruiting standards of your industry and company type. The job position also influences how you want to craft the process for your applicant.
You customize ApplicantStack to create an applicant journey that’s most effective for your hiring pool.
No-Hassle Reference Checks
In your questionnaire, you can ask for references. Your applicant will enter them when they apply. ApplicantStack saves them in the candidate profile. If the applicant passes the pre-screening and interviews, you can move them to the ‘Reference Check’ stage. When this happens, ApplicantStack will automatically email the references. This is called a Questionnaire Action in ApplicantStack.
This saves your applicant the trouble of re-entering their references. And you won’t have to ask them for their references again or find them on their resume. It keeps the process moving and eliminates a common bottleneck.
Interview Scheduling Reinvented
If the candidate passes the questionnaire screening, they are invited to schedule an interview. ApplicantStack interview self-scheduling is a game changer. ApplicantStack integrates with Google and Office365 for interview scheduling. Because of the integration, any non-available time slots will be hidden from the applicant.
Let’s discuss this in detail.
Decide how many members of your team need to be in the interview. For this example, let’s say three team members need to be there.
ApplicantStack will pull information from Google Calendar or Office365 for each member of the interview team.
Let’s suppose there are four specific time slots where all interviewers are available. The applicant is only presented with these time slots. The applicant can choose the most convenient time slot.
Let’s suppose there is only one time slot for which all hiring members are available. If this is the case, ApplicantStack presents the applicant with one interview time.
Your Applicant Won’t Be Frustrated With Scheduling Hassles
Interview scheduling is a hiring process bottleneck for many companies. With slowdowns, you run the risk of abandoned applications. Interview self-scheduling keeps the process on track.
When the background and reference checks are complete, it’s time to offer the job. Here is an offer letter email:
Notice the electronic signature. The applicant can sign and accept the offer immediately.
ApplicantStack ensures that you never lose an applicant because they are confused. ApplicantStack is always ready for each stage change. Candidates advance through hiring stages as quickly as your team chooses to process them. You will never have a slowdown because of the ApplicantStack platform. Your hiring team, the applicant, and their references control the timeline.
ApplicantStack can send hiring team members task reminders. Task reminders help your hiring team support a fluid, timely applicant journey.
By running reports in ApplicantStack, you can identify bottlenecks in your hiring process. This allows you to continually refine your process and keep improving your company’s applicant journey.
How To Hire Your Perfect Next Employee
We hope you’ve found our How To Hire Your Perfect Next Employee Series helpful. Here are the links to the posts on each specific step in the process.
We also have a comprehensive whitepaper, handy infographic, and hiring checklist.