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Attracting talent won’t be any easier in 2020. Evaluate your 2019 successes and failures to ready your team for the new decade.
5 Hiring Trends for 2020
What trends will impact hiring in 2020?
- Improved screening for soft skills will expand your hiring pool
- Company culture still an important factor for applicants
- Gender pay equity and diversity hiring
- Older workers (65+) will eventually be the fastest-growing employee demographic
- Prepare for an eventual recession
Measure Soft Skills for Hard-to-Fill Positions
Soft skills are key behavioral characteristics. They help an employee succeed if they don’t initially have the hard skills for the job role.
Hire for soft skills and train for hard skills. Custom assessments can help you.
Use the structured interviewing tools in your ATS. Craft behavioral questions to measure soft skills. We addressed this in detail in our 2019 guide to structured interviews.
Be proactive about a positive company culture. It affects all of your business operations. Identify your culture, improve it if necessary, and express it in your recruitment marketing.
Gender Pay Equity
Identify whether your company has gender pay equity. If it doesn’t, you’ll have to work with your executive team to address it. There is no quick fix but you have to start somewhere.
Gender pay equity (or lack thereof) affects your culture, employer brand, and workforce satisfaction.
Is salary inequity kept under wraps at your company? Don’t assume it will stay that way. Review sites like Glassdoor exposed pay gaps at many companies in 2019.
If your company has achieved gender pay equity, congratulations! Feature this achievement prominently in your recruitment marketing.
Hiring bias (both conscious and unconscious) limit efforts to increase diversity. If your company wants to improve diversity, the onus is on your team. Increasing diversity at your company could be your teams’ greatest contribution in 2020.
Companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.
Baby Boomers Haven’t Disappeared
In 2019, we were constantly reminded about the importance of Millennials, Gen Y, and Gen Z. But don’t count out boomers just yet. They continue to have an impact on the hiring landscape.
This is good news for companies that haven’t been able to fill highly-skilled positions. You may find ideal candidates in this oft-overlooked demographic. Strategize with your team to attract and accommodate applicants from all generations.
The Economy Will Start Slowing Eventually
The question is not if but when. We won’t stave off a recession indefinitely.
When the recession hits, companies will have to adjust their hiring practices. Employers will be approached by more underqualified applicants. Effective first-pass filtering will be essential to isolate a qualified pool of applicants. Automate this process now with custom questionnaires and knockout questions. Your ATS should have this capability.
Strategize with company stakeholders to create a plan. Consider how outsourcing, gig workers, and part-time positions can help you survive the next downturn.
Our Knowledge Base Can Help You Prepare Your Team
In 2019, we addressed a wide range of important topics. They continue to be relevant:
Here’s to happy hiring in 2020 and beyond!
By Liz Strikwerda
Let’s get specific about ATS benefits.
How does an applicant tracking system work in the real world? For real-life HR professionals?
These are first-person accounts of user experiences in a variety of industries. They are from Capterra (a leading business software review site).
After each review, we’ll summarize the specific applicant tracking system benefits described.
The Hiring Process is More Enjoyable
We’ll start with something that is basic but often overlooked—how does an ATS affect your job?
“It has made our lives of sifting through thousands of resumes and applications much easier and the hiring process more enjoyable. With this software, we have been able to find quality candidates and make sure nobody slips through the cracks!”
3 Key Takeaways:
- Processing thousands of resumes is quick and easy
- The hiring process is more enjoyable for the recruiting team
- No applicants slip through the cracks
Manage Applicants in a Single Hub
Receiving paper resumes or gathering applications from different job boards seems ancient when you experience a centralized database.
“This software is great for tracking candidates through the hiring process. It acts as a central hub for the entire hiring process. It allows you to track all of your current open positions, all of the actual job postings on the different platforms and job boards. Track the number of applicants for each job/position and individual candidate information. Track candidate application status, interview stage, interviewer notes/comments/feedback, and candidate communication and history.”
3 Key Takeaways:
- You can track each applicant through every stage of the hiring process
- All applications flow into a centralized database
- You can check your hiring metrics at any time
ATSs Save Reams of Paper
Making your process greener is always a worthy goal. Save trees (and banks of filing cabinets) by using electronic documents.
“We save so much time and paper—everything is on this site, and stays there. We can go back and review applications from years ago to compare to a more recent application. Now I print the applications of only the qualified candidates—save reams of paper. All job details are saved also. It has streamlined our hiring process.”
3 Key Takeaways:
- Save time
- Save paper (be eco-responsible)
- Create a talent pipeline
Post To Numerous Job Boards Quickly
The days are over when you could rely on one job board. Recruiters have to get their jobs on numerous platforms. Posting one-by-one makes no sense. Let automation do its thing!
“It allows us to post our jobs on numerous job boards. We store templates for standard replies (such a time saver!) and easily refresh our job postings through the launch tab.”
3 Key Takeaways:
- Post to multiple job boards simultaneously
- Email templates save time
- Refresh job postings
“It’s quite cost-effective for what you get out of it. Other job boards and companies can be known to price gouge when it comes to postings, so a flat monthly rate is a nice change. The adoption of this software earlier this year brought us into the 21st Century (the world of everything online).”
2 Key Takeaways
- ApplicantStack’s flat monthly rate is cost-effective and prevents billing surprises
- Manage hiring 100% in the cloud keeps you on the cutting edge of technology
ATS Can Be Customized
If you are researching ATS vendors, don’t forget the people behind the product. The quality of customer support is as important as product quality.
“Customer service is quick to respond and assist with anything you need. We requested a custom application and they opted to not charge us for creating it. The overall modern look of the site is a plus as well. The partnerships with online job boards (mainly Indeed) is a major factor in applicant turnout, as that is where we receive the majority of ours from. Nearly every question you have can be answered with prewritten questions and responses for just about every aspect and function. Customization is a huge player in this software—you can order and lay out exactly how you want your data and information to be presented to you so you don’t have anything that is unnecessary.”
4 Key Takeaways:
- ApplicantStack’s customer service goes above and beyond
- Your site is modern and professional
- Partnerships with online job boards bring in more applicants
- Comprehensive knowledge base answers questions 24/7
Hiring Software Isn’t Hard to Use
Most HR professionals are fairly comfortable with business software. But don’t assume every ATS is as easy to use as your favorite phone app. Our software was designed by recruiters who know what ‘user-friendly’ means.
“It’s very easy to use and is step-by-step throughout the entire process. I love the email templates with mail merge features, the flags we are able to customize, and that you can trigger automatic emails throughout the stages.”
4 Key Takeaways:
- Software is intuitive and doesn’t require extensive training
- Customer service responds to user requests
- Mail merge automates emails
- Email triggers can be customized for your hiring process
Filter Out Unqualified Candidates Immediately
The hiring process is all about communication. If you can’t track the back-and-forth, you risk losing talent. This user also mentions another biggie; custom screening questionnaires. Let your ATS handle the first-pass filtering. You have better things to do.
“Communicate with candidates directly through the application. Create applicant screening questions to filter out candidates that do not qualify for specific roles.”
2 Key Takeaways:
- Communicate with candidates in the software (through texting or email)
- Create custom questionnaires to filter out unqualified candidates immediately upon application
Default Workflows Help You Use Best Practices
As mentioned, ApplicantStack was designed by hiring professionals. Not software engineers who have no idea how hiring works.
“The default workflow is set up in a logical fashion which really helped as we weren’t sure what the best process would be. Email and job listing templates is great. The application a generates job specific links and email addresses so that you can post them in other forums.”
3 Key Takeaways:
- Logical default workflow
- Job description and email templates
- Job specific links you can post anywhere
ATSs Improve Compliance
If your ATS can’t help you stay on the good side of the EEOC, you’re missing out on an important benefit. This user also mentions the importance of a positive candidate experience.
“Historical data storage helps maintain compliance. Candidate experience is not cumbersome.”
2 Key Takeaways:
- Helps maintain compliance by storing hiring data
- Positive candidate experience
We’ll end with this one:
“This is the best ATS I have ever worked with. With the ever-changing world of recruitment, I find that the flexibility is key because you never know what may be needed next!”
We appreciate our customers who take the time to leave a review about ApplicantStack ATS benefits.
By Liz Strikwerda
Are you in charge of the entire recruiting process? Are you in charge of one small slice of the process? Are you a beginner?
Whichever camp you fall into, you need to understand full life cycle recruiting.
What Is Full Life Cycle Recruiting?
Full life cycle recruiting goes by many names: 360 recruitment, full circle recruiting, end-to-end recruiting, and full cycle staffing.
Regardless of the name, this term defines the entire recruiting process from job requisition to onboarding.
Why Is It Important To Understand Full Life Cycle Recruiting?
You can’t execute a process successfully unless you understand it from a high level. Recruiting is more complicated than it may appear at first glance.
The steps in the hiring process are inter-dependent. They build on each other sequentially.
If you don’t understand the hiring manager’s needs, the candidate persona won’t be right. If you mess up the candidate persona, your job description will be off-target. If your job description is off-target, your applicant pool won’t contain suitable applicants. And so on…
Any process with a lot of moving parts can get off track.
An HR director who understands the recruitment life cycle from a holistic perspective will be more successful. I will go even further regarding that assertion: an HR director who doesn’t understand full life cycle recruitment cannot be successful.
Regardless of which step you are in charge of, you need to understand the entire process so you know where your task fits.
All Companies Need A Full Life Cycle Recruitment Approach
A common misconception among small business owners is the idea that business management theory only applies to large companies.
Many small business owners are too busy just trying to keep the lights on.
This begs the question: ‘How do small businesses become big businesses?’
One predictor of growth is whether the business is able to establish and follow effective processes. Life cycle recruitment is one of those processes. One could argue that it’s the most important process because the people you hire create and execute all the other processes!
How Does Full Life Cycle Recruitment Help My Business?
What are the ultimate goals of full life cycle recruitment?
- To fill each position with the perfect employee in a timely manner
- Employees are productive, engaged, and loyal
- Employees execute the business strategy and create ongoing value
How Do I Design A Full Life Cycle Recruitment Process?
Following is the full life cycle recruiting process.
- Hiring Manager Submits Job Requisition
- Create The Candidate Persona
- Create Job Description
- Source Job Applicants
- Screen And Filter Candidates
- Interview Selected Candidates
- Perform Background And Reference Checks
- Extend The Job Offer
- Onboard The Employee
Let’s break it down.
1. Hiring Manager Submits Job Requisition
- Verify company job requisition policy is followed
- Identify and understand the job requirements
2. Create The Candidate Persona
- Understand and interpret the hiring manager’s needs
- Create a fictitious candidate persona(s) based on the hiring manager’s needs
3. Create Job Description
Job descriptions aren’t a simple laundry list of qualifications. They need to describe both the job and the company culture. They must articulate what the candidate needs to bring to the table as well as what the company will bring to the table.
A successful job placement meets the candidate’s as well as the company’s needs. Recruiters who fail to appreciate the competing interests and employer-employee relationship will fail.
4. Source Job Applicants
- The candidate persona and job description help you choose the sourcing channels
- Use different techniques for sourcing active and passive candidates
For example, your company social media sites are a good place to attract passive candidates.
If you have a highly-specialized position, proactive sourcing on LinkedIn might work well.
Posting the job to the job boards and other online sites is a critical part of the sourcing step.
5. Screen and Filter Candidates
You don’t have control over who applies for your job. If your job description was spot on and you advertised on multiple forums, you will build a pool of good candidates.
There is an art and science to candidate screening. When and how you screen makes a big difference.
Reading resumes is tedious and time consuming. Each resume is formatted differently. It’s not always obvious whether or not the candidate has the necessary skills and experience.
Creating a custom questionnaire in a good applicant tracking system is the best way to do first-pass filtering. Instead of scrutinizing all the resumes first, filter out poor-fit candidates with a questionnaire crafted for the job description.
This will narrow your candidate pool considerably. You will be left with a smaller group of top applicants—each of which has the necessary skills, qualifications, and experience. Now you can start reading resumes to distinguish the applicants from one another.
Your time is better spent reading resumes for a small group of candidates. An applicant tracking system (ATS) with custom screening questionnaires automates first-level screening. When the ATS has eliminated many of your applicants, you perform the critical thinking that software can’t do.
6. Interview Selected Candidates
Effective interviewing is another learned skill. And preparation is just as important as the actual interviews. Structured interviewing scripts are an accepted best practice.
Structured interviews reduce unconscious bias, protect you legally, and help you find the best applicant for the position. ATSs with structured interviewing tools are invaluable.
7. Background and Reference Checks
This process is fairly straightforward. You can’t extend a job offer until you’ve thoroughly vetted your candidate. This workflow is also simplified brilliantly with hiring software.
8. Extend The Job Offer
When you’ve made your choice, you can’t complete the cycle unless the candidate accepts your job offer. If they decline because they accepted another offer, you’ve got to back up and repeat the last two steps with your second choice.
9. Onboard The Employee
When the new hire arrives for their first day, you’ve invested a lot of resources to get to this point. You can’t drop the ball with onboarding. The stakes are too high. You need to nurture the new employee with a structured, carefully-designed onboarding process.
That’s it in a nutshell. Whether you are in charge of the entire process or one component, understanding the whys and hows of each step is key to success.
ApplicantStack For Full Life Cycle Recruiting
ApplicantStack is designed for the entire hiring process. It was created by recruiting veterans who understand the mechanics and theory of full life cycle recruiting. That’s why it has tools for each critical operation in the recruiting process.
If you are researching ATSs, evaluate them from the standpoint of full life cycle recruiting. Successful recruiters and hiring managers use systems like ApplicantStack that simplify each step in the cycle. With ApplicantStack hiring software, the solution is greater than the sum of its parts.
In our How To Hire Your Next Employee Series, we explain how to use ApplicantStack for full life cycle recruiting.
ApplicantStack Recruit handles job descriptions through hiring. ApplicantStack Onboard takes over once the employee is hired. The products are integrated so you won’t have to re-enter any information.
Recruit and Onboard help each member of your hiring team perform their tasks in the full life cycle process.
Here is how one of our clients described how ApplicantStack has transformed their life cycle recruiting:
‘Excellent hiring software. The ability to follow and track an applicant from the initial inquiry through the entire hiring process. ApplicantStack not only sends our job ads out to the most prominent sites, but allows us a stellar tracking process all the way to hire.’
Full Life Cycle Recruiting For Beginners
Let’s go back to where we started. This post is directed to beginners. Because ApplicantStack was designed for the entire process, you won’t be a beginner for long. There is no quicker way to become a pro at full life cycle recruiting.