How to Switch From Manual Hiring Processes to an ATS

How to Switch From Manual Hiring Processes to an ATS

Designing a successful ATS implementation is as important as choosing good software. Are you switching from manual hiring processes to an applicant tracking system?

Congratulations! You’re going to love it. Make sure the transition is handled correctly.

5 Steps For a Successful ATS Implementation

Here are the steps for a smooth rollout:

  1. Get approval for a new system
  2. Choose your recruiting software
  3. Create an implementation plan
    • Appoint an Implementation Manager (IM)
    • The IM creates an implementation timeline
    • Transition in stages
    • Create redundancies until every process has transitioned
  4. Learn the system
  5. Train your hiring team

Let’s talk about each step.

1. Get Approval For an ATS

Find out exactly who must approve the purchase of an ATS. Your company might have a formal process—forms, signatures, budgeting, etc.

If you are having trouble persuading the decision maker, present a report. The report should detail how the system will improve recruiting metrics. Then show the second-stage benefits that will follow. Increased profitability. Higher quality employees. An improved company culture.

2. Choose Your Recruiting Software

Research features. Don’t settle for a sub-par system. Make sure it integrates with other software you are using.

The main focus of this article is ATS implementation. After we discuss the implementation process, we’ll describe important ATS tools.

3. Design an ATS Implementation Plan

A good plan is specific and realistic. Anticipate problems and include solutions.

Appoint an Implementation Manager

If your company is small, this might be you. If you have a hiring team, there might be a better person for the job. Your IM sets the tone for the rollout. They should be competent, organized, enthusiastic, and persuasive.

Set a Timeline

Your IM will create your plan. Transition processes in stages. Break it down to the steps and sub-steps.

Create a timeline. Depending on the size of your organization, two or three weeks per process should be sufficient. You can modify your timeline if necessary.

Build in an overlap period so you have backup until the ATS has fully taken over the workflow. For example, send manual emails until you are sure the auto-email triggers are set up correctly in the software. Test each workflow repeatedly. You may have to adjust ATS settings.

4. Learn How to Use the Software

When you’ve purchased your software, learn how to use it. Do this with your IM. This may sound obvious, but you would be surprised at how many hiring managers skip this step. Don’t assume you can figure things out while you teach your hiring team. For a smooth software implementation, know how to use the software inside and out. Your expertise will instill confidence in those who will use it.

5. Train Your Hiring Team

Augment your hands-on training with resources from your ATS vendor. While you are training, document the process. When you hire recruiters going forward, you’ll have documented training materials. Make it an onboarding workflow in your onboarding tool.

Keep Reminding!

For the first few months, remind your hiring team to use the system. Old habits die hard. Sometimes people forego the quick and easy way for the old, familiar way. If you end up with an incomplete software implementation, you can’t use your ATS to its potential. Your hiring metrics won’t improve as projected.

Don’t Make It Optional

Don’t make using your ATS optional. Even if you encounter resistance. Pretty soon, everyone will be comfortable with the system. They will appreciate the convenience and ability to accomplish so much more in less time. (By the way, ApplicantStack clients report that their hiring teams embrace the system immediately, learn it quickly, and never look back.)

Be Available

Make sure your IM is available to help during the transition and going forward. Show that you are dedicated to making the system a success.

Does Your ATS Have These Functions?

As mentioned previously, we’ve included a rundown of ATS must-haves. These functions are available in current generation ATSs.

Single sign-on posting to multiple job boards

It’s a hassle to remember login credentials for Indeed, ZipRecruiter, CareerBuilder and the other job boards you post to. Single signon makes sure the posting process doesn’t slow you down.

Customizable pre-screening questionnaires

Many recruiters choose an ATS based on filtering powers alone. No hiring team has time to do a first-pass review of hundreds of applications. Automation lets your filter out the vast majority. Your time is best spent on the small pool of qualified applicants.

Standardized candidate scoring

Standardized scoring is more important than you might realize. If you treat candidates differently, bias will influence selection. You will miss great candidates. If you’re trying to add diversity, this will hamper your efforts.

In-application texting

Texting engages applicants. Plus, it eliminates scheduling confusion. And it speeds up the whole process. But texting needs to be documented and managed carefully. In-application texting saves a record of conversations.

Onboarding integration

It doesn’t make sense to re-enter information once an applicant is hired. Reducing tedious processes is one of the main reasons you are getting an ATS. If your onboarding has been unstructured up to this point, now’s a good time to automate it. You’re already making a major transition by automating the hiring tasks. Don’t disrupt everything down the line by waiting to implement onboarding software.

Interview self-scheduling

Candidates love picking an interview slot from a calendar. Self-serve scheduling makes everything easier for the candidate and your hiring team. Eliminate a common bottleneck.

Structured interview templates

Structured interviewing is a best practice used by successful companies.

Stage change email triggers

Let automation do its thing. Your ATS should send emails to keep your applicant informed and engaged.

Share hiring team feedback

Review the collaboration tools. Will they work for your team?

E-signature

E-signature simplifies new hire paperwork and benefits enrollment.

The Right Software + The Right Hiring Techniques

To experience all the benefits of an ATS, consult our series How To Hire Your Perfect Next Employee. Combine best practices with good software. That’s the winning combination for successful hiring.

ApplicantStack Recruiting Software

ApplicantStack has the tools described here plus many more. You can try it for free for 15 days. Let us help you have a smooth ATS rollout.

By Liz Strikwerda

Stay Compliant With Hiring Laws As Your Workforce Grows

Stay Compliant With Hiring Laws As Your Workforce Grows

$10.5 million.

That’s what it cost Bass Pro Outdoor World to settle an EEOC case in 2017. Bass agreed to pay a class of Hispanic and African-American applicants who claimed they weren’t hired based on their race. The EEOC agreed.

As part of the settlement, the EEOC ordered Bass to proactively increase diversity hiring. The chain of sporting goods stores agreed to recruit at minority colleges/trade schools and post jobs in publications popular with underrepresented groups. (Note that Bass didn’t admit wrongdoing.)

Hiring laws should be taken as seriously as, well…a $10 million check.

Why Do Business Owners Violate Hiring Laws?

It’s hard to imagine that a business owner would willfully violate a hiring law. But plenty of employers are penalized every year. Are they ignorant of the laws? Do they just not care?

If you fall into either of these categories, you are on thin ice when it comes to compliance.

But we get it.

Compliance is complicated. Requirements change as your workforce increases. You are busy running your business.

Let’s look at your legal requirements per size of workforce.

Keep in mind that we are focusing on laws that affect hiring. Some regulations have a hiring component as well as many other implications.

How Large is Your Workforce?

As your company grows, there are milestones along the way. Your compliance burden increases as you add employees.

We recommend that you retain competent counsel. Employment law experts can help you navigate the byzantine layers of regulation.

But it’s important to be familiar with the hiring laws that affect you.

Here is a listing of the main hiring laws that apply to all employers. Keep in mind that your state may have additional ones. Union and government contracts may have special requirements as well.

Cumulative Hiring Laws

Your compliance burden never decreases. You are responsible for all the regulations that apply to one employee. When you hire your 15th worker, you are subject to additional laws. And so on.

1. Employers With At Least 1 Employee

  • FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act)
  • Immigration Reform & Control Act (IRCA)
    • Don’t hire employees who aren’t legally permitted to work in the U.S.
    • Keep I-9 forms for all workers on the payroll.
  • EPA (Equal Pay Act)
    • Male and female employees must be compensated equally for the same job role.
    • The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (passed in 2009) expanded the EPA significantly.
  • Uniform Guidelines for Employment Selection Procedures (under EEOC)
    • You cannot discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
  • EPPA (Employee Polygraph Protection Act)
    • You cannot use lie detector tests in pre-hire screening or while the worker is employed. There are some exceptions for incidents when an employee is suspected of fraud. Consult your legal counsel if you have such a scenario at your company.

2. Employers With 15 or More Employees

3. Employers With 20 or More Employees

4. Employers With 50 or More Employees

  • AAP (Affirmative Action Program)
    • You must take active measures to recruit persons in designated classes: women, minorities, disabled, covered veterans. You must keep records of AAP hiring programs.

5. Employers With 100 or More Employees (May Apply to Government Contractors With 50+ Employees)

 

Remember that you have many other compliance requirements. FMLA, ACA, OSHA, and COBRA are some of them. As mentioned, these are the laws that affect recruiting directly.

If you contract with the federal government, you are subject to another layer of laws. They are similar to the laws mentioned previously but may kick in at earlier thresholds. Consult the DOL Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.

The following states have additional hiring requirements.

  1. New York—marital status can’t be a factor in hiring
  2. Washington D.C.—political affiliation can’t be a factor in hiring

Ban the Box

These laws are named for the ‘box’ on job applications that indicates a criminal history. Each of the following states have a law related to hiring applicants with a criminal history. If you live in one of the following states, consult your state department of labor for the details. Additional states have ban the box provisions for public employers.

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • New Jersey
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Washington

Protect Your Company

Are your processes compliant with hiring laws? We recommend that you:

  • Provide compliance training for hiring managers and all members of your recruiting team.
  • Use structured interviews with scripted questions.
  • Consult your legal counsel when creating employment contracts.
  • Stay on top of local and state laws.
  • Maintain comprehensive records.
  • Verify eligibility to work.
    • Ensure applicants fill out I-9 completely, including signature, within 3 days of hire.
    • Require supporting documentation for applicants with a temporary work visa.
    • Review eligibility status frequently.

If You’re Serious About Compliance, Use An Applicant Tracking System

An applicant tracking system (ATS) makes it easier to comply with multiple layers of hiring laws. It helps you create compliant workflows with checklists to track progress and assign tasks. Manage structured interviews. Create compliant screening applications. Don’t sweat the recordkeeping requirements with powerful ATS databases and search functions.

An ATS protects your company from compliance violations as your workforce grows.

By Liz Strikwerda

 

 

Manufacturing Hiring: New Challenges and Opportunities

Manufacturing Hiring: New Challenges and Opportunities

In today’s post, we focus on manufacturing hiring.

The Great Recession took a heavy toll on this industry. U.S. production dropped 20% and 15% of manufacturing employees were laid off. Since 2008, the industry has had nowhere to go but up.

Manufacturing is Thriving

Despite outdated stereotypes, today the manufacturing sector is booming. In 2018, the industry added 300,000 new jobs. A study by Deloitte predicted an estimated 2.4 million manufacturing positions will go unfilled between 2018 and 2028.

While production has become increasingly automated, this hasn’t eliminated jobs. But it has changed the nature of skills needed. Yesterday’s factory workers need more advanced training for today’s manufacturing jobs. The net result is a critical talent shortage.

New Recruiting Methods for Manufacturing

Now’s the time to capitalize on the favorable business climate. Companies must adapt their hiring or fall behind.

The industry needs educated, skilled workers. Someone has to program those CNC routers and 3D printers. Someone has to set up fully connected IoT operations. And who’s going to troubleshoot the robots?

‘There are more computers on the manufacturing floor than machine tools and other types of equipment,” said Judy Marks, CEO of Siemens USA.

Last year, manufacturers advertised for software developers more than any other position except sales.

What does this mean for recruiters? You have to compete with many other industries.

Create Manufacturing Apprenticeships

‘Build a talent pipeline’ is always sound recruiting advice. An apprenticeship program goes even further. ‘Train a talent pipeline.’ An apprenticeship program can be a smart investment. Seek high school and trade tech students. Expose first-time employees to the opportunities available in your industry.

What if your manufacturing business is too small to afford a program? Partnering with local schools can provide a source of funding. There are also federal grants available. In addition, connect with local job re-training programs. They may provide funding as well.

Be the Manufacturing Employer of Choice

What do manufacturing employees want? They want what every employee wants:

  • Competitive pay and benefits
  • Work/life balance
  • Advancement opportunities
  • Better training so they can be more effective
  • Recognition for their contributions

Companies that are great places to work attract great workers. Mutually-beneficial relationships last longer. Quality employees provide good job referrals. They help your business grow.

Improving recruiting methods will help get workers on your factory floor. Creating a first-class company culture will keep them there. This is especially true in rural areas.

If you’re not sure where to start, ask your experts—your employees Find out how you can improve. Conduct ‘stay’ interviews. Plus, create a way for employees to give suggestions anonymously. They will be more candid.

Spend the time and resources to create a better working environment. There are no downsides. It will help your recruiting efforts. You will experience lower turnover. Happy employees are more productive. Increased productivity means greater profitability. (There’s always a money angle.)

Post to Niche Sites for Manufacturing Workers

There are manufacturing forums on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Reddit. Target your job postings where workers interact online. Hiring software can help you post to several sites with single signon. You can also create a database of passive candidates. Your hiring system can help you build relationships with the potential employees in your pipeline.

The Most Important Manufacturing Technology: Recruiting Software

Boomers are retiring. To hire the next generation, change the way you engage. Applicant tracking systems (ATS) are leading the way. They provide end-to-end digital hiring. From application to interview scheduling to job offer.

Mobile-optimized recruitment marketing is de rigueur. ATS texting is one of the latest innovations. It allows you to engage with job candidates in a way that’s natural for them. We already mentioned talent pipelines. Hiring software makes it easy to capture and store information on hundreds of potential hires.

If you aren’t using an ATS, you will have a hard time engaging with job candidates.

Small Manufacturers Can Use Cloud-Based Hiring Software

We’ve mentioned the importance of updating the image of manufacturing employment. But there’s another misconception that is hurting companies. This is a misperception held by employers, not job seekers. It’s the idea that sophisticated hiring software is only for large manufacturers. This simply isn’t true today.

You don’t need deep pockets to purchase today’s ATSs. You don’t have to spend thousands for a developer to create custom premise-based software. Small manufacturers can afford cloud-based advanced applicant tracking technology. It works like a subscription service and has all the tools used by the big guys.

  • Create and manage templates for:
  • Manage multiple manufacturing job postings
  • Create custom manufacturing hiring workflows
  • Assign tasks to hiring team members with checklists to track progress
  • Intelligent screening improves the quality of hires
  • Track manufacturing hiring KPIs
  • Create a manufacturing talent pipeline
  • Maintain compliance with manufacturing hiring laws

Back to (Hiring) Basics

For a comprehensive guide to hiring techniques, see our How To Hire Your Perfect Next Employee series. We have articles and videos on every step in the hiring process. All manufacturing hiring managers should review best practices to ensure their processes are up-to-date.

By Liz Strikwerda

The Ultimate Guide to Onboarding Your Perfect Next Employee

The Ultimate Guide to Onboarding Your Perfect Next Employee

After hiring, onboarding is one of the most important HR functions. Whether large or small, every organization should bring new employees on in a structured and efficient manner.
Do onboarding well and you dramatically increase the odds that you retain top talent in your organization. You may be surprised to learn that:

The details may vary but the fundamentals of onboarding are the same. Certainly, the goals are the same: streamline and accelerate the process that transitions new hires to fully productive employees making a positive contribution to the team.

Onboarding is for Everyone

Onboarding is for everyoneYour onboarding strategy may differ by the type of employee you hire. For example, onboarding an executive may be quite different from onboarding a junior accountant. Similarly, Gartner suggests that hiring and onboarding virtual, gig economy workers takes a heavier emphasis on inclusion and engagement.

Regardless of the employee type or the duration of employment, onboarding is essential. After all, anyone who works for you—even seasonally, part time, or as an intern—represents your company. They affect morale, efficiency, and brand.

In fact, the shorter the likely duration of employment, the more important it is to onboard efficiently and effectively. Onboarding seasonal workers, part-time employees, remote employees and interns is as important as onboarding full-time staff. You can see the value for yourself by watching a short Harvard Business School video featuring three students who talk about their internship onboarding experiences.

The Goldilocks Approach to Onboarding

The best onboarding program finds the right balance between focus on the new hire and productivity of the organization. By organizing and standardizing common tasks, you can make onboarding more efficient for everyone.

Onboarding that is ‘just right’ quickly connects new hires to payroll, gives them the tools they need for the job, and engages them with their workplace and co-workers. Efficient onboarding pays off with higher morale, quicker productivity and a more stable workforce.

Go Beyond Onboarding Checklists

So, what does it mean to onboard well? There are hundreds of articles about onboarding but most focus on the mechanics, providing a laundry list of tasks in a series of checklists that give the illusion that onboarding is a cookie cutter, repeatable process driven by tasks.

Instead, onboarding is a critical process that can affect your corporate culture, productivity and morale. It is about more than just the new hire. You need to do it right. Checklists can help make the process more disciplined and onboarding systems can improve efficiency.

This guide breaks down the onboarding process into several key focus areas to guide your onboarding activities. It also includes some checklists, and strongly recommends you develop your own checklists to increase your odds of success with each candidate.

Focus 1: Make a Good Hire

Focus 1 Make a Good HireOnboarding is only as good as the hire itself. Make sure you follow a strong process for hiring. This includes everything from creating a detailed job description to strategic prescreening, job posting, and making a selection.

A good hire will meet the job requirements and fit your culture. Make sure your team evaluates candidate and provides feedback in a way that allows you to have confidence in your selection.

Applicant tracking systems (ATS) can help organize and amplify your hiring efforts. These systems provide templates, workflows, and shortcuts for creating and posting jobs, gathering candidate applications and evaluating interview feedback. They eliminate paper and speed the hiring process while reducing the time and effort for all involved in the hiring process.

Focus 2: Validate Candidate Background and Ability to Work

Focus 2 Validate the CandidateOnce your selection is made, it’s time to verify eligibility to work. Now is the time to release the candidate if there are any surprises. Do a thorough background check.

  • Call references. If you haven’t done so yet, check the references provided by your candidate. Use a standardized questionnaire to ensure that you conform to rules and gather feedback in a consistent manner. Or better yet, use an applicant tracking system to automate this step by triggering an email to the references.
  • Verify qualifications. If there are absolute requirements like holding a valid driver’s license, make sure you get independent confirmation. This can be part of a background check service.
  • Run a background check. The easiest and fastest way to do this is to use a professional service. Make this part of your standard onboarding process to be thorough.
  • Check social media. Review top social media platforms to see if there are any red flags to indicate you need further discussion with the candidate.
  • Drug test. Many organizations require drug testing prior to employment because of potential workplace liability. Use a professional service to conduct this independent testing.

Applicant tracking and onboarding systems can streamline this essential process through checklists and automation.

Focus 3: Leverage Federal, State, Local Incentives and Programs

Focus 3 Leverage FSL ProgramsOnce the candidate makes it past background checks and drug testing, it is time to make an offer. You have done everything you can to ensure that the candidate is a good match for your need. Now is a good time to see if your company is eligible for a tax credit if you hire the candidate.

Work Opportunity Tax Credit

The federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) program is designed to give companies incentives for hiring certain target groups as a way to reduce unemployment. WOTC targeted groups include certain recipients of TANF, veterans, disabled veterans and felons.

To start the process, be sure to have the candidate fill out the relevant forms on or before the offer date. You will also have to file all paperwork within the first 28 days.

WOTC Forms include:

Your tax credit can be in the thousands per qualified employee, so filling out the paperwork is certainly worth the effort. Be sure to include it in your onboarding process. You will also need to track hours worked, as there is a minimum for eligibility and an escalation to a maximum.

Don’t leave money on the table. Ask all your candidates to fill out form 8850. If the forms handling process is too burdensome for you, look for an outsourcer like Efficient Hire. They can manage the entire filing, tracking and reporting process for you for a percentage of your credit. You only pay if you receive the credit.

Other Federal, State and Local Hiring Incentive Programs

There may also be other federal, state and local programs that provide incentives for hiring. Make sure you are well aware and include them in your onboarding efforts up front. Examples include state point of hire credits, federal Indian credit, and the Georgia job tax credit.

Focus 4: Payroll and Benefits Readiness (between Offer and Hire Dates)

Focus 4 Payroll and Benefits ReadinessThe goal of payroll and benefits readiness is a smooth first day on the job without all the paperwork hassles. Make a list of everything you need from the new hire related to payroll and benefits. Use automation to gather as much of this data as you can.
It is in everyone’s interest to get payroll set up ahead of the start date. Be sure to consult legal counsel regarding any compliance issue created by onboarding activities performed off-the-clock prior to report date.

Common forms and details that new hires complete include:

  • Federal W4 Form
  • Federal I9 Form
  • State withholding forms
  • Direct deposit details and authorization
  • Emergency contact

On the hiring side, payroll details include:

  • Employee details including social security number
  • Job assignment
  • Department
  • Employee ID
  • Offer Date
  • Hire Date

For example, applicant tracking software can help you make the transition to onboarding by collecting and storing important candidate information such as name and contact information. Fully-integrated applicant tracking can deliver this information to your onboarding system so that you don’t have to re-enter or track this information separately. It may seem trivial, but it is helpful, saves time, and provides a chain of custody (so to speak) of information on your candidate all the way back to the receipt of their resume.

Time tracking is a critical element of payroll readiness. Timekeeping systems make it easy to track employee work hours, design schedules, accrue time off and manage requests, approve time cards, job cost and more. With all the compliance issues related to workforce management, modern timekeeping makes sense for every organization.

Add your new hire to your timekeeping system, with a schedule beginning on the report date. Your new hire will then be able to clock in at the beginning of their first day on the job. The data from your timekeeping system can then feed into the payroll system for payment of wages earned in the first pay period.

Remote Data Gathering

Your goal should be to have new hires complete all payroll and benefits related forms prior to reporting for work on Day 1. Make this something that the new hire can complete remotely. Let them work from their own device and at their own pace. This makes it more convenient for everyone, and more likely that the new hire has access to the right documentation to fill out the various forms.

Your candidate should be able to log into an employee portal and see a list of documents that need to be completed prior to their first day. It helps to provide a checklist, so they can track their progress. Checklists also provide you with alerts and reporting that help you measure the onboarding process and see where follow-up needs to occur. Checklists can also save time when onboarding multiple new employees at once.

Mobile access can make this process much more efficient. Allow documents to be electronically signed and look for onboarding that tracks engagement. Allowing new employees to use their mobile device also comes in handy when you need them to take a photo of their driver’s license (for example) and upload for your records. Questionnaires can help you measure comprehension and helps establish a basis for performance reviews and even formal reprimand.

Benefits Selection

Some benefits are immediately available while others become available after time on the job. Share as much information as you can early on and consider having the new hire to fill out forms ahead of eligibility, if practical. This may accelerate the enrollment process once the new hire is eligible.

Benefit forms may include:

  • Healthcare enrollment
  • Life insurance
  • Health savings account
  • Retirement plans
  • Disability insurance
  • FLSA

Focus 5: Workspace Readiness, Space Allocation and Technology Provisioning (before Day 1)

Focus 5 Workspace Readiness, Space Allocation and Technology ProvisioningIf your new hire will have an assigned space, assign it now. Prep the space with the various technology and supplies needed on day one. These may include:

  • Phone extension
  • Email address
  • Computer
  • Network connection
  • Software and apps passwords
  • Furniture
  • Paper, pens, and other office supplies

If your new hire works in a shared space, you may need:

  • Locker/storage
  • Network connection
  • Uniform
  • Pen, paper, and other supplies

The goal here is to have the work environment ready day one so the employee can start contributing immediately, whatever their job.

Using an employee onboarding system can help streamline these activities by assigning each task to the individual responsible. Adding reminders will ensure that nothing slips through the cracks.

Day One Planning to Ensure a Good Experience for All

Make a list of everything that should happen on day one. Think about day one from the perspective of the new hire, hiring manager, and co-workers. This is the beginning of a successful onboarding program.

  • Logistics
    • Parking
    • Lunchroom
    • Bathroom
    • Timeclocks
    • Supply room
    • Door entry
  • Safety
    • Fire alarms
    • Fire extinguishers
    • Workplace hazards
    • Emergency exits
  • Introductions
    • Team introductions
    • Email/collaboration tool introductions

Every workplace is different. Build the right list for your organization with the goal of smooth introduction to the workplace. Make it a knock-out day one!

Focus 6: Compliance and Alignment (between Offer and End of First Week, Ongoing)

Focus 6 Compliance and AlignmentPolicies and procedures are really important. Be clear. This is about compliance, clarification, culture and connection—what SHRM calls the 4 Cs.

Every new hire should receive a copy of the employee handbook and any other policies and procedures not included in the handbook and relevant to their job.

  • Employee handbook
  • PTO policy
  • Sick leave policy
  • Expense reimbursement policy
  • Bonus plan
  • At-will employee contract

Make sure your new hire understands formal protocol for things like legal representation, press representation, authorizations, approvals, chain of command and other organizational authority.

Get them familiar with emergency protocol, too; fire escape plans, emergency plans, etc.

An employee onboarding system can automatically attach items listed above as a standard to all new employees, which can easily be accessed via the employee portal at any time.

Focus 7: Engagement and Fit

Focus 7 Engagement and FitThe most critical function of onboarding is equipping the new hire with the tools necessary to be a successful contributor to the organization. The peak of activity is at the front-end, when the employee is added to systems like payroll, offered benefits, allocated space, and informed of rules and operating practices.

Beyond the initial flurry of activity lie two related and very serious success factors—engagement and fit. New hires need to integrate into the organization—to become part of the whole and contribute their unique value without subordinating their individuality.

You can foster initial engagement by activities such as:

  • Introducing the new hire to immediate co-workers
  • Notifying all employees and welcoming the new hire via email or portal
  • Inviting the new hire to company social events like lunch-and-learn and birthday celebrations
  • Give new hires an option to provide some personal tidbits like hobbies, associations, and favorite cartoon character to stimulate conversation
  • Assign the new hire a clear, short-term project to focus energy and demonstrate competence

Mentoring and Shadowing Programs

Another way to foster early engagement is through mentoring for new hires. Mentoring programs can be highly effective in connecting new hires to their jobs and co-workers. They can also provide a sense of long-term opportunity for growth. Similarly, shadowing programs can be helpful in learning jobs on-the-go, which can be very effective in retail, restaurant, repair, manufacturing and other environments.

Just be careful not to go overboard on mentoring. New hires need a sense of autonomy and contribution, and current employees need to feel that they are on track to achieve their own objectives. If you offer a mentoring program, be sure to establish boundaries, set goals, and evaluate effectiveness for both mentor and mentored.

Shadowing is a short-term program. Mentoring, however, can be continued over much longer time periods. If you choose to keep it going, make sure you establish goals for both mentor and mentored and revisit on a regular basis.

Performance Reviews

Performance reviews should be regular and two-directional across the course of the first year of employment. These reviews help the hiring manager, HR and the new hire measure the new hire’s achievements as well as identify areas of improvement for everyone involved. They can be as simple as a checklist for discussion or more formal.

Frequency for performance reviews varies by job and industry but commonly starts with day 1 and week 1, followed by monthly and eventually moves to annually. These reviews are an opportunity to build rapport and adjust the onboarding process to suit individual needs. Set an expectation that new hires are encouraged and even expected to gallop out of the gate.

Organizational Fit and Cultural Fit

Fit is a key factor in long-term success for both you and the new hire. This factor should be considered long before onboarding. One of the very first steps of the hiring process has to be a clear understanding of organizational need that is translated into a job description.

Most employers have budgeting and requisitioning processes that help ensure that there is a true organizational need for the new hire. Well written job descriptions and a good screening and interview process help ensure that the new hire is an organizational fit. Put that work in during the hiring process and you have a much better chance that the new hire fits in. Take the organizational fit into consideration during the onboarding process as well to help the new hire understand clearly their role in the overall success of the company.

Cultural fit can be more difficult and nuanced. Introduce the culture early and often, and don’t expect a new hire to be a change agent. This rarely works and usually ends badly.

Keep the Good. Lose the Bad.

Work hard to keep your good hires as part of the organization. The cost to replace and the loss of momentum is steep.

Bad hires, though, are best lost early. Identify mistakes early. If you make an error in hiring, correct it early. Keeping an employee who is not a fit causes bigger problems. Some companies incorporate a quit now bonus into the onboarding process as a check against bad hiring decisions. If all else fails, fire fast!

Innovative Talent Sourcing Meets Today’s Hiring Needs

Innovative Talent Sourcing Meets Today’s Hiring Needs

The modern workplace has experienced a two-fold transformation that affects talent sourcing. Namely, a sharp increase in both non-traditional employees and non-traditional working arrangements

It’s not surprising that technology is at the heart of this shift. It has both driven the sea change while adapting to its effects.

There are no losers here. Companies grow faster and make more money. Employees are happier. Society as a whole benefits when employers support work/life balance.

What types of employees and work arrangements are we talking about?

  • Virtual positions and telecommuting
  • Global hiring
  • Flexible schedules
  • Freelancers and independent contractors
  • Job-hopping
  • Post-retirement part-time working
  • Non-linear career paths

Those who don’t embrace these trends will struggle to find workers. Unemployment is at a 17-year low. There are simply not enough talented employees to go around.

To leverage these trends, you must adapt. Our focus today is how to adapt your talent sourcing.

Let’s discuss how.

How To Adapt Talent Sourcing For Non-Traditional Employees

Create a Talent Pipeline

Without a passive candidate pool, you are always playing catch-up. A reactionary approach doesn’t result in quality hires.

If you start from scratch every time you need to hire, you are at a disadvantage. Companies who have developed relationships with potential candidates have the upper hand.

Hiring software with CRM-like tools allow you to cultivate a talent pipeline. The software makes it easy to engage with your passive candidates. Build relationships. They will be more likely to join your team if given the chance.

An applicant tracking system (ATS) lets you create and store detailed candidate profiles. Track schedule and work environment preferences. Plus unconventional skills, experience, and career paths.

Non-Traditional Job Descriptions For Non-Traditional Employees

Your job description is the first hiring touchpoint. If it isn’t written to attract non-traditional applicants, they won’t apply. You can’t hire a diverse workforce if you don’t bring them into the hiring funnel in the first place.

Rethink Job Requirements In Your Talent Sourcing

Traditional job requirements may filter out candidates who could succeed if given the chance. For example, applicants with resume gaps. Those who need a flexible schedule. Candidates who want to work offsite.

A good ATS can help you screen non-traditional candidates. Soften must-have qualifications. Adapt criteria to let more candidates advance to interviews. Create structured interviews that measure a wider range of soft skills. Consider candidates with unconventional career paths.

Adapt Your Culture To The Modern Employee

Take ‘cultural fit’ out of your recruiting lexicon. Non-traditional employees may not fit the mold. Hiring managers who make this subjective judgment are inserting bias into the process. More on that below.

Improve your employee experience by adapting your corporate culture to your workforce. Not the other way around. Today’s employee blurs the line between personal and work activities. Provide the technology and policies to support this style of working. They will be more productive and loyal. It will strengthen your employer brand which will improve hiring outcomes.

Update Candidate Filtering

It’s an ongoing battle to keep bias out of your processes. ATS’ allow you to hide unnecessary identifiers from applications. We’ve already mentioned screening questionnaires and structured interviews. Design these specifically to prevent unconscious bias.

Create An Inclusive Employer Brand

Non-traditional applicants need to understand that you are welcoming to all types of employees. Advertise work/life balance perks in your recruitment marketing. ATSs manage recruitment communications and help you reflect inclusivity.

Update Onboarding Programs

Adapt your onboarding practices to help all new hires succeed. Regardless of employee type, work schedule, or work environment. Teach both onsite and offsite employees how to collaborate with geographically-dispersed teams.

Provide An Innovative Candidate Experience

Trying to attract highly-skilled freelancers or independent contractors? If you don’t use modern hiring software, these candidates will never apply in the first place.

Make your websites mobile-friendly. Make sure your ATS has texting capability. Use video interviewing for job applicants outside of your geographic area. Use software that supports interview self-service scheduling. And, of course, you want e-sign for all paperwork that requires a signature.

By Liz Strikwerda